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Jack4

Biggar appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life

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http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/14/vatican-names-pro-abortion-philosopher-to-pro-life-academy/

 

The Catholic Church has been one of the leading advocates for the rights of unborn babies in the world.

This week, however, many are questioning Pope Francis’s decision to name Nigel Biggar, a philosopher who supports abortion, to the Pontifical Academy for Life. Biggar was one of 45 ordinary members appointed to the pro-life academy this month, according to a Vatican announcement.

“I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness,” Biggar said in 2011.

He continued: “It’s not clear that a human foetus is the same kind of thing as an adult or a mature human being, and therefore deserves quite the same treatment. It then becomes a question of where we draw the line, and there is no absolutely cogent reason for drawing it in one place over another.”

 

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Maybe he is following the adage to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. 

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1 hour ago, CatherineM said:

Maybe he is following the adage to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. 

Ought to find ourselves a modernist pope then. And initiate the college of cardinals into Freemasonry.

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Posted (edited)

I think the idea of "drawing the line" is already a rejection of a moral absolute. If we are dealing in moral absolutes, then there is no line drawn. In modern society, the only real moral absolute is human rights. There is no drawing the line, the point of human rights is that they are absolute, they have to be respected regardless of politics or economics or civil status.

Christians claim to deal in moral absolutes, but they draw the line, too. Historically, this needs no argument. Christian societies have drawn the line for slaves, heretics, unbelievers, the insane, etc. Today, abortion has become the great symbol of moral absolutes for Christians. But the pro-life movement has turned the womb into an object of examination, a sanctuary for a member of the human community. The fetus has become a thing to be defended by appeals to this or that biological fact. But that is already a capitulation to the idea of drawing the line, because a moral absolute needs no argument or explanation. A moral absolute can only be defended with silence and death. The womb is either a taboo, absolutely sacred, or it is a place where a "thing" can be examined and argued over and made into law.

I think the pro-life movement is blasphemous, not in any casual sense, but because it turns God into a philosophical and political idea. If the womb is sacred, absolutely sacred, then it can only be witnessed to by absolute reverence, by leaving it in the hands of God, not by trying to save what's inside, as if the Gospel were about becoming a political bloc that stands up for morality. That game is for the pharisees, not the disciples of Christ. Abortion is an idea in the pro-life movement, an idea that means nothing, that goes nowhere. It's a delusion of a world of philosophy where abortion disappears from society, and Christians feel good about voting for the candidates who made it possible. Politicians go a long way with this, because with nothing else they can capture all the Christians who draw the line rather than shut up and die, like their Master did.

Edited by Era Might

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Era, I mean this with all the respect that is possible given what I am about to say, but does it bother you that literally nobody here takes you or your postmodernist opinions seriously? I mean, if I were you, and if I believed what you believed, I would not even bother.

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11 minutes ago, Nihil Obstat said:

Era, I mean this with all the respect that is possible given what I am about to say, but does it bother you that literally nobody here takes you or your postmodernist opinions seriously? I mean, if I were you, and if I believed what you believed, I would not even bother.

It's the debate table. I'm not sure what's "post-modern" about what I said. I was basically defending the basis of religion, which is the sacred and the taboo. If we're going to destroy the traditional idea of God, then we mind as well get rid of it altogether, instead of trying to construct a modern philosophy that appeals to religion but operates on other principles.

And no, it doesn't bother me if anyone agrees. I don't post to convince anyone of anything. I post because I have something to say. And because I'm bored and want to discuss interesting things.

The "pro-life" movement is a modern political invention. Ideas have histories. "Life" is an idea with a history. The conception of Life as a thing, an object of scientific investigation and political abstraction, is modernism.

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Posted (edited)

To use another example, the pro-life objectification of the womb is like trying to defend the dignity of a homeless man because he has a heartbeat and bowel movements. No, HE is sacred, it's not his life that is sacred. Once he becomes an object for dissection and analysis and argument, his sacredness is gone. The Christian does not feed and clothe the homeless man because he has a heartbeat or a bowel movement, but because he is a whole, entirely sacred, inviolable. He is to be cared for, not because he has biological life, but because he is sacred. His biological life, in fact, is often unpleasant. He may smell, he may have a mental illness, he may demand more than we want to give. Christian charity begins precisely where life ends, in a life beyond life. Once we start to draw the line around him, saying we'll help him if he takes a shower, for example, we've lost the Gospel, though Life has been upheld. So, too, with abortion. Once the womb is objectified, politicized, criminalized, quantified, then the Gospel has been lost. Christians reverence the womb, not because it contains Life, but because it is a source of hope, expectation, blessing. To objectify the womb is to kill hope, expectation, blessing. The pro-life movement aims to regulate rather than hope, demand rather than expect, scare rather than bless. Abortion is the absence of hope, expectation, blessing, but pro-life ideology turns the womb into an object that already exists, regulated in law, rather than a soil for which we pray to God.

Edited by Era Might

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34 minutes ago, Era Might said:

And no, it doesn't bother me if anyone agrees. I don't post to convince anyone of anything. I post because I have something to say. And because I'm bored and want to discuss interesting things.

 

Ok. I do not really see any discussion though. Not genuine discussion, not for a long time. I certainly do not have any intention to discuss your ideas, because frankly I do not respect them, in the same way I do not respect postmodernist philosophical discourse. I do not mean that to imply that I do not respect you as a person. But of course it is your prerogative to continue to attempt to discuss.

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Just now, Nihil Obstat said:

Ok. I do not really see any discussion though. Not genuine discussion, not for a long time. I certainly do not have any intention to discuss your ideas, because frankly I do not respect them, in the same way I do not respect postmodernist philosophical discourse. I do not mean that to imply that I do not respect you as a person. But of course it is your prerogative to continue to attempt to discuss.

I don't see much discussion on Phatmass, period.

You keep using the term "post-modernist" but I don't think you know what you mean. It seems to be a vague charge that something violates the Syllabus of Errors. The funny thing is I just accused you, or rather the pro-life movement, of modernism. That seems to me a fine basis for a discussion, but, I expect all I'll get from you is copy and paste from an obscure 18th century Encyclical or theology manual.

Granted, I'm not the one to have nerdy Catholic discussions with. If you want to argue about Cardinal Ottaviani, I'm not your man. Though, on Phatmass now I doubt you'll find much discussion even on that.

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No, I mean postmodernism in a philosophical sense. Reading your posts is like slogging through Badiou, but without the payoff of greater understanding of the context of modern philosophical debate.

But yes, we can agree that there is no genuine discussion on this site.

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5 hours ago, Nihil Obstat said:

No, I mean postmodernism in a philosophical sense. Reading your posts is like slogging through Badiou, but without the payoff of greater understanding of the context of modern philosophical debate.

But yes, we can agree that there is no genuine discussion on this site.

Bad writing isn't post-modernism. It's fine if you don't like my writing, but that doesn't make what I've said post-modernist. If anything, it's pre-modern. My post was defending the womb as a sacred Other, against the modern invasion of the womb as an object to be entered by investigation, argument, law, etc. The ancient pagans had abortion, though on their own grounds, not our (i.e., our moderns) grounds. The pro-life movement is a modern political and scientific conception of the womb. It turns the womb into a battlefield. I am against this, as I am against the philosophy of "drawing the line" in the OP quote from Biggar. There is nothing "post-modernist" about my argument, at least as far as I understand post-modernism.

Edited by Era Might

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11 hours ago, Era Might said:

a homeless man...

Once he becomes an object for dissection and analysis and argument, his sacredness is gone.

 

16 hours ago, Era Might said:

blasphemous, not in any casual sense, but because it turns God into a philosophical and political idea. ... That game is for the pharisees, not the disciples of Christ.

 

St Thomas and other scholastic doctors made God the object of their study, their philosophical inquiry; yet their reverence to the Lord was not lacking. 

 

Image result for aquinas

Edited by Jack4

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9 hours ago, Nihil Obstat said:

No, I mean postmodernism in a philosophical sense. Reading your posts is like slogging through Badiou, but without the payoff of greater understanding of the context of modern philosophical debate.

But yes, we can agree that there is no genuine discussion on this site.

I've been posting here pretty much since year one.  There were occasional discussions.  Though I define discussion as promoting an idea and defending and explaining doubts and questions.  PM is mostly pointing out where others are wrong and the defense is a good offense.   I'm no less guilty of that than anyone else, but that doesn't make it okay.  I think this degradation in quality communication is a consequence of the electronic communication revolution.    Human society will most likely figure it out.  It may be a result of painful lessons rather than preventive wisdom. It how we roll.  

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4 hours ago, Era Might said:

Bad writing isn't post-modernism. It's fine if you don't like my writing, but that doesn't make what I've said post-modernist. 

Badiou is an excellent writer. I think his ideas are garbage and nonsense.

25 minutes ago, CatherineM said:

Wonder what would have happened if the Pope had put Martin Luther on a papal commission. 

Hard to say, but it probably would involve Luther promoting heresy, as heretics are wont to do.

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I wonder what would have happened if the High Priest of the Chair of Moses would have appointed King Herod to the Commission of the Holy Innocences? 

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5 hours ago, Nihil Obstat said:

Badiou is an excellent writer. I think his ideas are garbage and nonsense.

Ok, but even so, bad or nonsensical ideas are not post-modernism. I'm actually interested in what you think post-modernism is, because I generally don't read post-modern writers. They don't interest me. Modernists do, but modernists range widely. T.S. Eliot was a notable Christian modernist.

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Let me maybe put forward a different direction of discussion. I recently met an Iraq war vet. He had PTSD, two sons, a troubled domestic life, deals and does drugs to get by. A nice guy, though I wouldn't want to be there when he snaps. He told me some stories about what he saw, a guy's face get blown off, then the commanding officer shot the guy as euthanasia. This vet is very against the military, basically he was sent off to the middle of nowhere where civilization didn't exist, it was carnage and mayhem, and now for the rest of his life he has to face reality. What did he go there for? What did he come back to? What was that hell for? To serve the government?

Life is real, beyond anything we can imagine in the comfort of our ideas, our fortunes, our principles. Abortion is the death of hope, but it is an ugly fact of life, like men who slaughter other men in deserts, like slave labor who work like animals to turn a profit for people across the world, like prisoners locked in a system of law and hatred and destined from birth to be there. To me, the pro-life movement is a farce that knows nothing of the real world. It's a politically invented mesh of religion, science, and respectability. So long as the womb is a battlefield for us to win, hope is dead.

Edited by Era Might

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Just what the hell-o does any of that have to do with appointing pro child killing individuals to a commission entrusted to protect the lives of children? 

 

The answer is nadda in case it's not obvious.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_philosophy

Postmodern philosophy is a philosophical direction which is critical of certain foundational assumptions of Western philosophy and especially of the 18th-century Enlightenment. It emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and discourse in the "construction" of truth and world views. Postmodernists deny that an objective reality exists, and deny that there are objective moral values.[1]

Postmodern philosophy is often particularly skeptical about simple binary oppositions characteristic of structuralism, emphasizing the problem of the philosopher cleanly distinguishing knowledge from ignorance, social progress from reversion, dominance from submission, good from bad, and presence from absence.[2][3]

Postmodern philosophy has strong relations with the substantial literature of critical theory.[4]

 

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