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Pro-abort prof argues babies not ‘persons’ til 18 months, not an ‘offense’ against child to kill it
LifeSiteNews ^ | 3/10/11 | Patrick B. Craine

Posted on 03/11/2011 10:44:37 AM PST by wagglebee

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-abortion activists sought, unsuccessfully, to disrupt a debate on abortion at Dalhousie University Tuesday night by ripping down ads, setting off stink-bombs, and covering the ceiling with helium balloons featuring pro-abortion slogans. In the end, they even turned on the pro-abortion speaker.

Representing the pro-life side of the debate was Stephanie Gray, co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform. Facing Gray was Dr. Mark Mercer, chairperson of the philosophy department at Halifax’s St. Mary’s University, who has in the past won the ire of pro-abortion activists for defending the rights of pro-lifers to express their opinions on university campuses.

While Gray argued that the unborn should be protected in law because abortion is the violent killing of innocent human life, Mercer argued that there is nothing ethically troubling about abortion, at one point suggesting that a baby isn’t a “person” until around 18 months of age.

The event, which was organized by the new student group Pro-Life at Dal, attracted about 150 students and members of the public.

In her remarks, Gray pointed out that the scientific community is unanimous that life begins at fertilization. At fertilization, she explained, the child “has everything she needs within herself to direct her growth and to move to the next more mature stage of her development.”

Mercer agreed that the unborn are human beings, and that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being, but argued that the notion of “human being” is not a “morally relevant concept.” Individuals are not special by virtue of their “species membership,” he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection because they possess certain “ethically salient properties” such as the ability to experience pain or pleasure, self-consciousness, and rationality.

Gray, however, maintained that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights deliberately speaks of ‘human’ and not ‘person’ rights because the powerful have often sought to subjugate or kill the vulnerable by claiming they are not persons. She pointed to examples like the Holocaust and the enslavement of African Americans.

“We have a nasty history as human beings of denying our fellow human beings the right to live because we divorce the concept of human and person as to treat them as two separate things,” she said.

She said the criteria used to define personhood come down to non-essential differences - namely size, level of development, environment, and dependency - and that these criteria are constantly changing for an individual. “Human is an objective term that we can determine scientifically,” she explained. “Person is a philosophical or legal term which has had a changing definition throughout history.”

“Our humanity, our right to life, should be based on that which is unchanging, which is our human nature - rather than that which is changing, which is our functions and abilities,” she added.

Gray argued that all humans carry intrinsic worth because of our common human nature, by which we are “moral, rational agents.” If an individual doesn’t exhibit signs of rationality, such as a developing baby or a disabled person, they nevertheless have the “inherent ability,” even if they don’t have the “current ability.”

“I don’t understand what this thing humanity is or the property of being human,” retorted Mercer, “such that an anancephalic infant is a rational being just as the rest of us. ... Here’s a creature who doesn’t have a capability and yet it’s still in the essence of that creature that it has that capability. That makes no sense to me.”

Gray said, however, “just because some humans are damaged, so to speak, I would say that doesn’t mean that we can end their lives because they’re not as developed or ‘perfect’ as we are.”

According to Mercer, a child likely only gains personhood at around 18 months to two years of age, and he also suggested at one point that adult pigs might be persons. Though he said he couldn’t imagine a reason to justify killing a born child given the availability of adoption, he said upon further questioning that “if the child isn’t a person, it’s not an offense against the child to kill it.”

A principled vegetarian, he agreed that it could be wrong to kill a pig even though he believes it’s acceptable to kill a child in the womb.

Asked by Gray how he justified defining a person based on his list of properties, Mercer responded, “Why should I take humanity to be ... a morally salient property?”

The most vocal pro-abortion voices at the event were obviously displeased with Mercer’s presentation, slamming him in the open forum at the end of the evening. “You didn’t even attempt to make any arguments that would convince anybody of anything,” said one activist. “You did not represent the pro-choice position at all.”

Though inviting them to e-mail him better arguments, Mercer nevertheless defended his view as the only cogent approach. He dismissed arguments based on “women’s struggle for equality” saying that that they fail to address the “moral status of the fetus,” and disagreed with approaches that claim a woman’s “right to choose” outweighs the unborn child’s “right to life,” saying that these only come into conflict in a “narrow range of cases,” such as rape.

Another pro-abortion advocate even suggested that the pro-life group had deliberately brought in a poor representative for their side, while flying Gray in from Calgary. Yet Mercer noted that he has published his arguments in national newspapers, and local pro-life advocates insist he’s been the only one willing to even debate the issue, despite efforts to find a representative through local university pro-abortion groups.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2sick4words; abortion; babykiller; moralabsolutes; murderer; prolife; sickbsstard
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Mercer agreed that the unborn are human beings, and that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being, but argued that the notion of “human being” is not a “morally relevant concept.” Individuals are not special by virtue of their “species membership,” he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection because they possess certain “ethically salient properties” such as the ability to experience pain or pleasure, self-consciousness, and rationality.

This sick thinking is typical of the pro-abortion movement.

1 posted on 03/11/2011 10:44:41 AM PST by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser
Pro-Life Ping
2 posted on 03/11/2011 10:45:25 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; Amos the Prophet; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
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3 posted on 03/11/2011 10:46:10 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

18 months? The previous estimate used to be 6 months... I’m just just waiting until it hits 18 years; then I can take my kid out for wrecking the car.


4 posted on 03/11/2011 10:46:34 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: wagglebee

Evil bastard!


5 posted on 03/11/2011 10:47:09 AM PST by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Impeach the corrupt Marxist bastard!!)
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To: wagglebee
Next argument:

Conservatives are not fully developed persons (ask Bill Maher)

People who disagree with the AGW scam are not fully developed persons

People who disagree with the State or engage in OldSpeak are not fully developed persons

Who will be the next 100 million to go at the whim of the Leftist leaders?

6 posted on 03/11/2011 10:48:00 AM PST by PATRIOT1876 (The only crimes that are 100% preventable are crimes committed by illegal aliens)
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To: wagglebee

Amazing how they can spin their evil.

If it has a heartbeat, it’s alive.


7 posted on 03/11/2011 10:49:08 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (They don't need to do another 911. They have BHO and the Fleebaggers.)
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To: wagglebee

The natural conclusions of evolutionary thinking -

humans are nothing special, just one species along the long trail of chemicals fighting for supremacy.


8 posted on 03/11/2011 10:49:45 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: wagglebee
Individuals are not special by virtue of their “species membership,” he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection because they possess certain “ethically salient properties” such as the ability to experience pain or pleasure, self-consciousness, and rationality.

In other words, we have to earn the right to be human. And Mercer intends to appoint himself to the Death Panel that gets to decide who qualifies - regardless of their chronological age. So I guess those racist Tea Partiers are next on his list...

9 posted on 03/11/2011 10:49:54 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan Atkinson)
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To: wagglebee
> he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection
> because they possess certain “ethically salient properties”

So by this standard, we may safely say that Liberals cannot be considered to be "persons" !

10 posted on 03/11/2011 10:52:36 AM PST by SecondAmendment (Restoring our Republic at 9.8357x10^8 FPS)
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To: Jim Robinson

This SOB could have worked in a mazi concentration camp.


11 posted on 03/11/2011 10:53:29 AM PST by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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To: wagglebee

“Mercer nevertheless defended his view as the only cogent approach. He dismissed arguments based on “women’s struggle for equality” saying that that they fail to address the “moral status of the fetus,” and disagreed with approaches that claim a woman’s “right to choose” outweighs the unborn child’s “right to life,” saying that these only come into conflict in a “narrow range of cases,” such as rape. “

The mad feminists would not have liked these answers he gave though as it undercuts ALL of their arguements. I love it when lefties pull the rug out from under each other! So nice to see them fall on their a#rse.

Mel


12 posted on 03/11/2011 10:53:59 AM PST by melsec
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To: wagglebee
It's the linchpin of the whole death culture. Note that by this guys' reasoning the demented elderly would cease to be "persons" and therefore also become disposable without penalty. Welcome to Nazi Germany and latterday Holland--and Princeton Univesity.
13 posted on 03/11/2011 10:55:27 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: wagglebee
It's the linchpin of the whole death culture. Note that by this guys' reasoning the demented elderly would cease to be "persons" and therefore also become disposable without penalty. Welcome to Nazi Germany and latterday Holland--and Princeton University.
14 posted on 03/11/2011 10:55:41 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: wagglebee

I will have to disagree with Gray on one point:

sometimes humans are not people.

Anyone leftist who says that an 18 month old child is a “non-person” is too evil to be considered a person.

Leftists are so diabolical that they ought to be exterminated on sight.


15 posted on 03/11/2011 10:57:40 AM PST by Soothesayer (smallpox is not a person)
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To: wagglebee
I've only read a bit and just what I've read so far is so heartbreakingly evil I can't hold back tears.

Mercer agreed that the unborn are human beings, and that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being, but argued that the notion of “human being” is not a “morally relevant concept.” Individuals are not special by virtue of their “species membership,” he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection because they possess certain “ethically salient properties” such as the ability to experience pain or pleasure, self-consciousness, and rationality.

16 posted on 03/11/2011 11:03:10 AM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: wagglebee
Our youth are the victims twice, once by being seduced into thinking this is ok and a right. And the second by having so many of their generation missing, including siblings. They are taking up their cross and moving us forward into victory. I so admire these kids. God bless them.

Link

17 posted on 03/11/2011 11:03:44 AM PST by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: wagglebee
Evil SOB. Sitting there, arguing that only 'persons' have a right to life. Well, in my book, this bastard isn't even human, let alone a 'person'.

Lord help him to see the light.

18 posted on 03/11/2011 11:03:55 AM PST by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
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To: Soothesayer

I agree sympathetically, but that would make us no better then them.

It’s not easy to have to wait for the other side to shoot first.


19 posted on 03/11/2011 11:04:05 AM PST by MikeSteelBe
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To: wagglebee
Spawn of Satan...

Philosophy Faculty

 

Dr. Mark Mercer - Department Chair

Degrees: B.A. (Hons.), M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D. (Toronto)


Courses Recently Taught: Epistemology;  Ethics; Philosophy of Mind; Plato and the Presocratics

Recent Publications: “In Defence of Believing Wishfully,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHILOSOPHY (2010). “The Significance of Christmas for Liberal Multiculturalism,” CHRISTMAS: PHILOSOPHY FOR EVERYONE (2010); "Folk Psychology's Epistemic Credentials," FACTA PHILOSOPHICA (2007); "Metaphor and Sentence Meaning," FACTA PHILOSOPHICA (2006); "In Defence of Weak Psychological Egoism," ERKENNTNIS (2001); "Grounds of Liberal Tolerance," JOURNAL OF VALUE INQUIRY (1999); "Psychological Egoism and Its Critics," SOUTHERN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY (1998)

Home Page: markmercer

Phone 902-420-5825

mark.mercer@smu.ca

Office Hours:  Mon. & Wed. 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and 12 noon to 2:00 pm

 

 


20 posted on 03/11/2011 11:04:14 AM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: wagglebee
This kid is absolutely amazing.

Link to Lia

21 posted on 03/11/2011 11:09:39 AM PST by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: TribalPrincess2U
For those who believe in the Scriptures, Jeremiah 1:5 is very enlightening on this subject.
22 posted on 03/11/2011 11:11:06 AM PST by jennings2004 (Sarah Palin: "The bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel!")
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To: wagglebee

I normally don’t give into even expressing only verbally such feelings . . . however . . .

this insane jerk deserves to be castrated slowly with a rusty razor blade.


23 posted on 03/11/2011 11:12:38 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: MsLady

We’ve had a few threads on Lia Mills, she is an amazing young woman.

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/liamills/index?tab=articles


24 posted on 03/11/2011 11:15:45 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
Here's a random picture of an 18 month old from the web:

I guess i should add "democrats - inspired by Satan" to my tagline.

25 posted on 03/11/2011 11:16:22 AM PST by theymakemesick ( islam - inspired by Satan www.prophetofdoom.net)
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To: wagglebee

They are just moving their argument forward. It starts out like this with all of their ideas. Gays coming out of the closet. Now gays want to marry. Next it will be a brother and sister. Nambla’s the same. They slowly try to desensitize the populace to accept any abnormal and/or evil idea. It’s part of any effort to destroy Western civilization and so far they are doing a great job.


26 posted on 03/11/2011 11:20:12 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Quix
Hundreds of years ago, they would disembowel people and burn their entrails while they were still alive. I imagine the suffering was quite intense.
27 posted on 03/11/2011 11:22:12 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: MikeSteelBe

What if they start killing toddlers without ever having to “shoot first”?

The disgusting leftists in the audience weren’t even outraged that he was calling for the legalized murder of walking talking human beings. I have an 18 month old nephew and if any leftist rodent tried to harm a hair on his head I would torture that rodent for a 100 years. I would make it suffer so intensely that it would beg for death long before the end.

After all they have gotten away with so far how much more do we have to let them get away with? I would far sooner put a bullet through my own head than witness the total triumph of the vermin.


28 posted on 03/11/2011 11:22:15 AM PST by Soothesayer (smallpox is not a person)
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To: wagglebee
I admire his honesty. If you think killing a baby in the womb is OK how can you argue that killing the baby out of the womb is wrong? All of the dirt the pro-aborts throw up in their arguments pretending something else is happening besides taking a human life are undone by this sick twisted professor. His has just taken their argument to next logical step.
29 posted on 03/11/2011 11:22:39 AM PST by fungoking (Tis a blessing to live in the Ozarks.)
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To: theymakemesick
I don't understand. That isn't a person. What point are you trying to make?

/sarc

30 posted on 03/11/2011 11:22:39 AM PST by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
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To: theymakemesick

I like where you are going with this FRiend.

Here is a link to a 12 month old -

http://images.waterfrontmedia.com/wte/cms/toddler/article_photos/month_13.jpg

And next - GASP - a 6 month old : )

http://proudtointroduce.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/outdoor-6-month-portraits-milwaukee.jpg

Prayers for Japan.
Tatt


31 posted on 03/11/2011 11:23:11 AM PST by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." DorothyBernard)
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To: Nonstatist

Peter Singer is a conservative on this issue. Last I heard he “only” thinks a child should be able to be offed up to a month after birth.


32 posted on 03/11/2011 11:24:58 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: raybbr

Just look at that smirking demon. So clever with his MA. and ph.D. A servant of Baal.


33 posted on 03/11/2011 11:29:00 AM PST by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
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To: wagglebee

I really deplore the whole idea of torture . . . for almost any reason except, maybe, for saving the righteous.

This guy needs to appreciate the hell he’s headed for, particularly without repentance and confession.

May he have nightmares from all the aborted babies . . . may he have nightmares living in a society constructed on his values.

May he never have any solid sleep the rest of his life.

May he vividly realize his values are a dead in torturous, hideous cul de sac of misery.

May he waddle around with his head where the sun doesn’t shine as long as he has breath.


34 posted on 03/11/2011 11:33:26 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: wagglebee

She sure is, sharp, real sharp. I bet there isn’t an adult that is for abortion from PPH or where ever, that could debate her and stay rational.


35 posted on 03/11/2011 11:33:53 AM PST by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: beaversmom

Peter Singer is a conservative on this issue. Last I heard he “only” thinks a child should be able to be offed up to a month after birth.

I recall hims saying 2 year of age.


36 posted on 03/11/2011 11:34:17 AM PST by Chickensoup (“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face — forever.” Orwell)
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To: wagglebee
Individuals are not special by virtue of their “species membership,” he said, but become “persons” and worthy of protection because they possess certain “ethically salient properties” such as the ability to experience pain or pleasure, self-consciousness, and rationality.

This is identical to the claims made about Jews by the Nazis and by the people who promoted slavery. In their opinion both Jews and blacks were sub-human and not entitled to the status of personhood.

37 posted on 03/11/2011 11:36:19 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: Quix

Amen!!!


38 posted on 03/11/2011 11:36:28 AM PST by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
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To: wagglebee

Never forget that the liberals/Democrats/socialists believe that our planet can only support 20 million people. That means that 298 million of us in this nation have to go, and they think euthenasia and starvation are commendable ways of reducing the population. Folks, they don’t just disagree with you...they want you to die so they can walk in the woods without seeing any of those bothersome people.


39 posted on 03/11/2011 11:58:46 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: wagglebee
A principled vegetarian, he agreed that it could be wrong to kill a pig even though he believes it’s acceptable to kill a child in the womb.

While Gray argued that the unborn should be protected in law because abortion is the violent killing of innocent human life, Mercer argued that there is nothing ethically troubling about abortion, at one point suggesting that a baby isn’t a “person” until around 18 months of age.

So he thinks it's okay to kill a child up to 18 months old, but it's not okay to kill a pig? Why would anyone take anything he says seriously? His mental facilities are obviously deficient.

40 posted on 03/11/2011 12:11:35 PM PST by vrwc1
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To: wagglebee
I've always liked the “tongue-in-cheek” retort of my spouse to the pro-abortion/pro-infanticide folks:

“Just want until the children are 13 or 14 years old, or so. Then you can choose the handsomest, smartest, strongest, etc., and eliminate the rest. You know, the culls: the ones with freckles, giggles, and shy smiles. Of course, you'd want to do away with any who limp or need braces. Why guess about which babies to keep when you can wait and be sure.”

41 posted on 03/11/2011 12:12:19 PM PST by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: wagglebee

I wonder if he was influenced by Peter Singer. They seem similar.


42 posted on 03/11/2011 12:20:09 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: wagglebee

Couldn’t see that one coming........

God help us.....


43 posted on 03/11/2011 12:35:35 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...
Personhood begins at conception—NOT birth.
Birth is one day in the life of a person who is already nine months old.

Click here to watch a 1-minute
Ultrasound commercial. Make
sure your speakers are on.
RealPlayer required, it's Free

Pro-Life PING

Please FreepMail me if you want on
or off my Pro-Life Ping List.

44 posted on 03/11/2011 12:36:10 PM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: Soothesayer; wagglebee
I have an 18 month old nephew and if any leftist rodent tried to harm a hair on his head I would torture that rodent for a 100 years.

They never met an 18 month old like my son. At twelve months he had an over 50 word vocabulary (I wrote them down one day) At 18 months, he could talk in complete, grammatically correct sentences. You could carry on a conversation with him; ask him questions and he would answer.

You want to know what an 18 month old is capable of, meet one like that. It will blow you away. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen him (and lived with him) myself.

45 posted on 03/11/2011 12:42:41 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: wagglebee

None of you even so much as DARE to tell me to be kind to these monsters. If you child contracts cancer do you act kindly towards the cancer cells? If your 18 month old gets the flu do you act kindly towards the virus? Do you tell each other that hand-washing is murder? Likewise, the destruction of leftist vermin is not murder but our civil duty.

The leftists are the enemy of humanity and they need to be exterminated. I carry around a small knife whenever I go out in public. In the event I walk into a leftist, the worthless thing will be instantly mutilated alive. A gathering of leftist protesters will be butchered wholesale.

I will show nothing but absolute viciousness, cruelty, and destruction towards these worthless viral agents. They should not even be granted the rights of an insect let alone a human being.


46 posted on 03/11/2011 12:52:16 PM PST by Soothesayer (smallpox is not a person)
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To: Soothesayer
I'm not telling anyone to be kind to these monsters. I've never seen any real advantage in being kind to those who are evil.
47 posted on 03/11/2011 12:59:17 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

We knew this was coming.. next the handicapped will be found to be non personas and then elderly that require care ...


48 posted on 03/11/2011 1:15:05 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: metmom; wagglebee; MHGinTN
metmom, your post about your son inspired an idea:

A youtube video conversation between a mother and a toddler child.

A Q & A about what month it is. If they know what month they were born in, how old they are and what they think about younger children. What is in a pregnant woman's belly.

“Well mom I'm only a year and a half old but clearly that professor is a liberal hack and a fool...but I repeat myself.”

49 posted on 03/11/2011 1:20:07 PM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org
In the following king refers to fear of the Lord:
'In that day there was no king in Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes.' ... And satan loved it because he's smarter than any human ever born, so he can manipulate souls like this professor and the poor fool will never realize whom he is serving with his demonic 'inspirations'.
50 posted on 03/11/2011 1:56:47 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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