Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"I was wrong" about abortion

Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton was once on a panel discussion with Prof. Stanley Fish of Duke University. Fish was one of America's most prominent secularists and a staunch abortion advocate. When posed with the question: "Can we debate important moral issues when people proceed from deeply divergent starting points?" Fish argued that reason can never solve debates because there are no universal truths. Before the convention, Fish had pointed to abortion as a perfect example:

"A pro-life advocate sees abortion as a sin against God who infuses life at the moment of conception; a pro-choice advocate sees abortion as a decision to be made in accordance with the best scientific opinion as to when the beginning of life, as we know it, occurs. No conversation between them can ever get started because each of them starts from a different place and they could never agree as to what they were conversing about."

Prof. George responded with an essay, pointing out that one can defend the unborn without an appeal to religion. What scientific evidence tells us that at the moment of conception, a distinct, unique living being is created, with the full genetic code of a human being.

At the debate, Prof. Fish responded by saying, "Professor George is right, and he is right to correct me." Furthermore, Fish, who had been a staunch abortion rights advocate, admitted that science overwhelmingly favored the pro-life position, and condemned abortion rights advocates for ignoring such evidence.

The debate over abortion and stem cell research truly is one of science vs. ideology, except that it is actually the pro-aborts who rely on ideological arguments. Were the abortion debate to be decided by scientific evidence alone, the pro-life position would be vindicated, and an unborn child would be recognized as indistinguishable from any human person.

Here's a link to Prof. George's essay, in which he explains what science tells us about the being in the womb: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/abortion/ab0041.html

Here is an article about the debate by Chuck Colson: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0000029.cfm

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quotes by Robert George for Reference

This week, a prof. debated me on abortion. Essentially, this prof. framed the debate in this manner: a pro-life advocate is motivated by their religion; instead the debate should be motivated by scientific inquiry. That analysis is similar to that of Professor Stanley Fish of Duke University, which is quoted in this article by Professor Robert George of Princeton. In this article, Prof. George presents what science does tell us about the abortion question. He concludes that:

"The scientific evidence establishes the fact that each of us was, from conception, a human being. Science, not religion, vindicates this crucial premise of the pro-life claim."

I'll simply quote Prof. George at length here (mostly this is just for myself so that I can find these quotes later for reference, though I'd encourage you to read Prof. George's article, which I linked to  earlier):

"Professor Fish is mistaken, then, in contrasting the pro-life advocate with the pro-choice advocate by depicting (only) the latter as viewing abortion as “a decision to be made in accordance with the best scientific opinion as to when the beginning of life . . . occurs.” First of all, supporters of the pro-choice position are increasingly willing to sanction the practice of abortion even where they concede that it constitutes the taking of innocent human life. Pro-choice writers from Naomi Wolfe (“Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic (1995), reprinted with commentaries by pro-life writers in The Human Life Review (Winter, 1996)) to Judith Jarvis Thomson (“A Defense of Abortion,” in Marshall Cohen (ed.), The Rights and Wrongs of Abortion (Princeton University Press, 1974)) have advanced theories of abortion as “justifiable homicide.” But, more to the point, people on the pro-life side insist that the central issue in the debate is the question “as to when the beginning of life occurs.” And they insist with equal vigor that this question is not a “religious” or even “metaphysical” one: it is rather, as Professor Fish says, “scientific.”

In response to this insistence, it is pro-choice advocates who typically want to transform the question into a “metaphysical” or “religious” one. It was Justice Harry Blackmun who claimed in his opinion for the Court legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973) that “at this point in man’s knowledge” the scientific evidence was inconclusive and therefore cold not determine the outcome of the case. And twenty years later, the influential pro-choice writer Ronald Dworkin went on record claiming that the question of abortion is inherently “religious.” (See Ronald Dworkin, Life’s Dominion (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993).) It is pro-choice advocates, such as Dworkin, who want to distinguish between when a human being comes into existence “in the biological sense” and when a human being comes into existence “in the moral sense.” It is they who want to distinguish a class of human beings “with rights” from pre-(or post-) conscious human beings who “don’t have rights.” And the reason for this, I submit, is that, short of defending abortion as “justifiable homicide,” the pro-choice position collapses if the issue is to be settled purely on the basis of scientific inquiry into the question of when a new member of homo sapiens comes into existence as a self-integrating organism whose unity, distinctiveness, and identity remain intact as it develops without substantial change from the point of its beginning through the various stages of its development and into adulthood."

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Ephesians 6:19-20 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

 Philip P. Bliss:

“Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!  Dare to have a purpose firm!   Dare to make it known!”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Democrats May Kill D.C. Scholarship Program

President Barack Obama’s two daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, may lose two of their classmates soon. The $410 billion spending bill which is currently before Congress includes a provision which would threaten the Washington D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which provides up to $7,500 to low-income families so that they can afford to send their children to a private or religious school of their choice. Over 1,700 students receive money from this scholarship, and the future of their education may be drastically affected by the bill if it is passed as is. This would include Sarah and Matt Parker, who attend the same private school as Obama’s daughters, Sidwell Friends School. Without the scholarship, it is likely that these students will no longer be able to afford the tuition for the school of their choice.

The question this raises is, should public money be used for private school vouchers, including religious schools? Obama has repeatedly asserted that they should not, arguing that people shouldn't abandon the public schools just because they're failing their children. Of course, when it came to choosing a school for his own daughters, Obama wisely chose private education over the inferior public schools in both Chicago and Washington D.C. Though his anti-school-choice policies, Obama is denying low-income families the chance to make the same choice he did.

Vouchers are strongly supported by poor families, especially parents from minority groups. Citing evidence from a 2008 Education Next/Harvard PEPG survey, J. William Reed of The Washington Times wrote, “65 percent of African-Americans support private school vouchers for low-income students (14 percent opposed). Among Hispanics, 63 percent support vouchers for low-income children (16 percent opposed).”

The Supreme Court has ruled that all parents have a fundamental right to choose where their child is educated, whether they choose a public school, a private school, or a Christian school. However, many parents cannot afford to exercise this right. By killing the OPS, Democrats in Congress are doing indirectly what they are forbidden to do directly: denying parents the opportunity to choose a private school.

An amendment for the stimulus is being put forward by Republicans, which will remove the damaging provision. It's the last chance for OSP because Obama promises to sign the spending bill as soon as it's passed, regardless of the provision.

During the campaign, Obama promised to go through the budget "line by line" and cut wasteful spending. Why hasn't he exercised this power yet? Why sign a bill which will deny two kids the opportunity to go to Sidwell Friends School when he could easily cross out the provision?




Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obama and Dr. Evil

Obama gave a speech supporting the proposed annual federal budget: 3.6 Trillion dollars. Man, Dr. Evil only wanted $100,000,000,000, in the James Bond spoof, Austen Powers. Along with the Trillion dollar "stimulus package" the new government is spending more money than was spent by the federal government from the founding of this country to the current day. 

During the campaign, Obama sharply criticized the massive debt incurred by Bush. But if this budget does not change, at the end of four years Obama will have added twice the amount to the national debt that Bush added in eight years. If Obama is reelected, he will add a total of triple the amount Bush spent to the national debt. Looks like we're in for four more years of Bush's financial follies.