Return to Tradition: Ok, which one?

There are a lot of people who, when confronted with the modern world, insist on returning to some sort of eternal unchanging tradition, as a way out of the modern predicament. I’m not one of them and I’d like to explain today why that is. As the example to look at I’d like to take traditionalist Catholicism. It’s the most popular variety of this phenomenon and it’s also the one I’m most familiar with, because I happen to read about European history. These types are also responsible for filling the Internet with their mediocre memes, so I’m guessing you’ve probably seen it show up in your timeline yourself at some point.

The traditionalist Catholics tend to be adherents of some form of Catholic tradition that existed before the second Vatican council that began in 1962. Back then mass was changed, a modern form emerged that is more simplified and is spoken in the language of the people who attend the mass. The trad caths don’t like this, they wish to return to Latin. They seem to look at Latin the way Muslims look at Arabic: As a language favored by God. I look at it as the language spoken by the people who killed Jesus and threw his followers before the lions, the appeal is not clear to me personally.

Of course people are free to do what they want, if you wish to attend a mass in a language you don’t comprehend you’re free to do so, but I don’t see the point myself and it’s also not part of some sort of eternal unchanging tradition. In that sense the term “Traditional Latin Mass” looks deceptive to me. This mass was standardized in the late 16th century and fell out of favor in the 1960’s, when people were yearning for religious modernization. That’s a total of around 400 years, during which this phenomenon was the dominant tradition.

I say dominant, because it wasn’t ever the only form practiced either within Catholicism during this period. In Spain and Portugal there was the Mozarabic Rite, which was allowed to persist after 1570, because it was at least 200 years old. It gradually declined until by the early 20th century, it was almost extinct, at which point people made a conscious effort to revive it.

Three religious orders also continued to practice their own rite, but then in the early 20th century switched to the Tridentine Mass. There was also the Ambrosian rite, which survived in Northern Italy and Switzerland. It too was faced with constant attempts at suppression, but it continues to have five million practitioners today.

So the idea of there having been some sort of universal unchanging Catholic tradition until the 1960’s is a misconception. If anything, there was a degree of liturgical diversity between different areas that gradually declined under continual pressure from Rome, until the 20th century when it became clear that reform would be necessary to avoid alienating the public. Even the strong emphasis on use of Latin and only tolerating traditions that were more than 200 years old seems to me like a response to the reformation.

But although these rites and the manner in which they are practiced are very important to some people, people who like ritual and symbolism, for me it is of comparatively little interest. Rather, the tradcats generally also make an appeal to there being some sort of universal unchanging moral law, of which the rites are a mere expression. Here too, I have to disagree. Christianity has gone through a 2000 year long process of evolution and even among moral restrictions that now seem to face universal consensus among Catholics there has been a long period of disagreement.

Consider for example, the greatest taboo of all: Abortion. Catholic nuns have faced excommunication, because they helped women have an abortion who would die without an abortion. Doctors were even excommunicated, after performing abortions of girls who were raped by their stepfathers. I think being excommunicated for helping a nine year old girl receive an abortion is the greatest example of following in Christ’s footsteps. Throughout his life Jesus violated the letter of the law, to uphold the spirit of the law, but that is my opinion.

Christian thought on abortion has gone through a long process of evolution as well. You might now imagine that the idea that “life begins at conception” is some sort of universal timeless truth, but ask yourself this: How much did medieval people really know about pregnancy? “Life begins at conception” is a response to our modern knowledge of the process of pregnancy, we now know that we all originate from a single sperm that impregnated a single egg.

Augustine and Aquinas did not believe that ensoulment began until “quickening”, that is, the moment a woman begins to feel the fetus kick her belly. Although they condemned abortion, they did not consider it to be an inherently murderous act. There has always been a diversity of Christian thought on this subject. It wasn’t until 1869, when the limitation of automatic excommunication on a formed fetus was withdrawn. After 1869, the whole concept of ensoulment was moved towards conception.

Of course I am strongly opposed to this nonsense, as it causes vast amounts of misery for women, so I would like to explain why I find this so ignorant. To start with, let’s look at the idea that a child receives its soul the moment an egg is fertilized. We’re faced with the immediate question: What about twins? Human eggs that are fertilized begin to multiply, eventually they can split and then you can end up with twins, triplets or even the rare identical quadruplets.

So you might say “well, the egg was endowed with four different souls during the moment of conception”, but this is again a bizarre assumption, because human beings themselves are also capable of splitting an embryo. This is a relatively simple technique that can be used for fertility treatment. The first few days the cells are totipotent, they can develop into any sort of tissue. So you have to assume that humans are apparently able to influence the number of souls produced from a single fertilized egg, which makes the whole concept of “ensoulment” rather mucky.

There is of course also the simple fact that God is the world’s number one abortion provider. Current estimates are that between 40 and 60% of all fertilized eggs number make it to delivery. They are found to be incompatible with life at some point along the way and aborted spontaneously as a consequence. Most notable however, is that the rate of spontaneous abortion of fertilized eggs increases with age.

Whereas the risk of spontaneous abortion is estimated at 8.7% at the age of 22 years, it increases to 84.1% by the age of 48 years or more. In other words, a woman who has unprotected sex in her forties, is basically guilty of murder! If I rented you a car without breaks, knowing you have an 84.1% chance of not making it out alive, you would call me a murderer. For the same reason, we would have to consider women in their forties who practice unprotected sex guilty of abortion.

Generally speaking medieval Catholic Christians didn’t think of abortion as a big sin, worse than regular fornication or oral sex. There were saints who were held responsible for miraculous abortions. Even Catholic saint Hildegard von Bingen wrote down instructions on how to induce an abortion using natural remedies. It’s only as human biological knowledge increases, that we reach the point where Catholic thought settles on a consensus: If you induce the abortion of a fertilized egg, you murdered an “unborn child”.

You don’t have to be a radical feminist to reject the Catholic church’s position on abortion. Rather, you just need some basic knowledge of human biology, some basic compassion and some basic common sense. I’ve already told you the stories, of Catholic nuns who were excommunicated because they helped teenage girls who were raped to procure an abortion.

But now take a look with me, at one of the most terrible conditions that nature regularly imposes on the unborn: Trisomy 18. One in every 5000 births, is a child who has suffered from an extra copy of the 18th chromosome. After Down syndrome, this is the most common chromosomal abnormality humans suffer. So how come you never see someone with Trisomy 18?

Well that’s pretty easy to answer: They die. Even with our modern biological knowledge, we can’t help more than 10% of these infants survive beyond the first year of life. However, we are quite capable of recognizing this condition before birth. Imagine yourself as a theologian, condemning women to giving birth to children with a 10% chance of surviving the first year of life. Just one percent make it to the age of 10. They never learn to speak, they stand zero chance of ever becoming independent. As far as we can tell, these children are continually in pain. How is that not a cruelty?

Keep in mind, this is not some fringe example: This is the main reason women have late abortions. Women who have abortions in the second or third trimester, are almost always women who are suffering a pregnancy with some sort of horribly deformed child, a child who would have a life of suffering ahead upon birth. So pro-life Christians who think to themselves “well I’m going to support a ban on third trimester abortions, that’s pretty obviously murder” are just guilty of causing a lot of pointless misery.

There is also anencephaly. It is when the brain of a child fails to properly form in the womb, so you end up with a child that has some bloody mess at the top of its head. Here’s what it looks like. It looks terrifying. This happens in one of every 10,000 births. They die within hours, very rarely they survive for a few days. Again, these are not fringe examples for me to make a point, this problem constantly happens. Most people don’t like to hear about deformed babies without brains, so you don’t hear much about it.

How is this not insanity, to force women to bring these kinds of children to birth? Even if you don’t care about the women or the children, think for a moment of how big the cost is that we impose on the medical system: Endless surgeries, for children who will never have the ability to speak and who are still going to die before the age of 10. Those are surgeons who could operate on children who can grow up to become healthy adults.

It’s easy to be against abortion, if you don’t understand why people have abortions. If you think to yourself “well some women are promiscuous sluts who would rather commit murder than take responsibility for their actions” then you end up thinking that abortion should be prohibited. But the reality is that most women have abortions because the alternative they face is enormous pointless suffering.

It’s nice to be a Christian, if you’re guided by Christ’s compassion. I try to follow the two rules that Jesus considered most important: Love God and love your fellow man as you love yourself. Unfortunately, for most people Christianity now seems to mean adhering to some sort of dogmatic set of rules authorized by one group of old men or another, completely out of touch with human reality. I think Jesus had bigger priorities in his brief life than ensuring that women give birth to children with open skulls that die within a few hours of birth.

And so in one sense, I do agree with the Traditionalist Catholics. Christianity should return to tradition. Specifically it should return to the early Christian tradition of a bunch of marginalized nobodies, women and slaves who venerated a homeless Jewish man who was tortured to death by a powerful empire after he insulted a bunch of dogmatic pharisees.

I’ll end with one of my favorite Christian traditions recorded by Tertullian, one that I believe should be reintroduced in church, singing while you’re drunk:

Our dinner shows its purpose by its name: it is called what among the Greeks means affection (dilectio). . . . We do not recline until we have first tasted of prayer to God. So much is eaten as satisfies hunger; as much drunk as is fitting for the pure. Appetite is satisfied to the extent appropriate for those who are mindful that they have to worship God even at night; speech, as for those who know the Master is listening. After washing of hands, and lights, each is invited into the middle to sing to God as able, from knowledge of sacred writings or from their own mind; thus it can be tested how much has been drunk. Prayer again closes the feast.

 

39 Comments

  1. Aren’t you the same guy who hates humanity and wants to see us wiped out?

    Of course you would hate the most vulnerable and weak among us and speak of them as so much disposable trash. It is truly obscene for you to then turn around and say that you obey Christ’s commandments to love God and our fellow man; you obey neither, and you seem to hate both.

    None of these arguments are especially interesting or remarkable as they have been answered many times before. What is interesting here is how aptly you exemplify a certain mentality of nihilism that has become pervasive in the West, among young men, in particular.

    I continue to read your blog for this reason; you are an uncannily accurate barometer of the general psychological and intellectual state of a generation, I feel. Perhaps I am overstating this, but I don’t think so. I follow you to follow the world, and I do not like what i see most of the time, but I have no choice but to keep myself informed.

    • >Aren’t you the same guy who hates humanity and wants to see us wiped out?

      I think you’re confusing me with Jahweh, he drowned us all except one family and then he got tired of those people’s descendants too.

      >Of course you would hate the most vulnerable and weak among us

      Animals? No, I love those.

      >None of these arguments are especially interesting or remarkable as they have been answered many times before.

      Yes and the answer looks like this:

      -Sucks for you that you were raped girl, I know you’d rather go back to playing with dolls, but we’re going to have to spend another couple of months waiting for your 9(!) year old womb to split open as you bleed to death because we pretend to feel empathy for a clump of cells in your womb when we really fear that helping you out would set a precedent for other people to have abortions.

      -Hey sucks for you aspiring, mother to be, but we want you to give birth to a child that’s deformed and probably going to die within weeks after leaving your womb. Oh you’re going to suffer a psychological trauma from having a deformed child that you grow attached to but nonetheless dies within a a few weeks of birth? Well sucks for you.

      -Oh you’re going to be giving birth to a deformed child without a brain, with bulging eyes that make it look like a giant frog, that will probably die within hours of its birth? Sucks, but that’s the way it has to be!

      If that’s the Christian answer then Christianity is going the way of the Dodo.

      • Agree, the way of the DoDo, until it comes back. But once upon a time people would rather hold their deformed baby in their arms for a few hours, watch it die, rather than pretend that this member of their family never existed. That is the difference between people who can handle suffering and those that need to keep their lives clear of suffering … it is still your child regardless. I am not sure either is “right”, but definitely different.

    • Partially agree, the evident self indulgence – we should be able to have everything – the absence of suffering, and the host’s dependence on hallucinagenic drugs is very interesting. Having been brought up in Africa, I am kind of fascinated by people who have never experienced hardship, it just totally makes you a different sort of person. BUT, the host is very talented, very knowledgable, very thoughtful and very challenging, so I enjoy most of what he writes.

      • Just pointing out the obvious; you can’t get dependent on hallucinogenic drugs. You will realize why as soon as you take some. Plus, there is a cooldown period of at least a week where they don’t work anymore. It’s not like alcohol or cocaine which you can take every day.

        About hardship, yeah, that’s literally the problem in today’s Western society. I myself have been so lucky never to suffer physical hardship, but emotional trauma for which I have taken responsibility, paired with an interest for history have allowed me to be grateful for modern life nonetheless. Unfortunately we don’t teach that in our schools.

  2. If a child is destined to have a short life, it is still better to allow the child to be born. At least the child will experience a mother’s love for a few days, and the parents will have a sense of having allowed the child to live, which will free them of guilt. There is a sense of closure that comes from having allowed the child to live it’s short lifespan to completion.

    • >At least the child will experience a mother’s love for a few days

      Do you think they ever notice that, if they’re severely brain-damaged?

      Here’s what a child with Trisomy 18 is going to experience during their ~2 weeks or so after birth:

      -They struggle to breathe.

      -The intestines often protrude from the body.

      -Cysts inside the brain.

      -They can’t properly drink from their mother, because the esophagus doesn’t properly connect to the stomach.

      You seem to think they will receive some loving care from the mother, being breastfed or something like that. In reality what happens is that they have a tube surgically inserted into their stomach, in an effort to feed them. They will also generally have a hole made in their throat in an effort to allow them to breathe.

      They spend their first few days subjected to all sorts of surgeries and medical procedures in an effort to keep them alive. Most of the time they still die, sometimes about 5-10% manage to live for a few years. Just 4% live for more than two years.

      Oh and keep in mind, so far I just talked about the kids who actually are born alive. If you diagnose this condition early on and you choose not to abort, guess what, there’s a very high chance that you’re STILL going to be dealing with a spontaneous abortion, a child that’s simply born dead, a bloody mess that leaves your birth canal when you don’t expect it. or has to be removed from your womb.

      Why would anyone put themselves through that? Who could possibly benefit from going through this?

      >and the parents will have a sense of having allowed the child to live, which will free them of guilt

      Why would they feel guilty?

      Because other people tell them to feel guilty.

      • You don’t know the state of the child for sure early in the pregnancy. Sometimes the child will turn out better than the initial tests show.
        And many mother’s feel guilt for having had an abortion regardless of what society tells them.
        I am not a Christian but there is no point in dressing up post modern arguments in a Christian garb.

      • If God wanted them to die before they were born, they would have been still born. That is the final word on abortion except for those believers who decide they should overrule God.

        Who are you to judge what the baby feels or needs when God decides they should be born? What do you know? If you don’t believe in God I can understand your doubt.

        Modern people seem to have this confidence that humans know what is happening in this universe and what is best – the “Science” religion – when really this is nonsense.

        I am frequently astonished by Science believers: some large percentage – I cant be bothered to look it up – of Science is proved incorrect every year, yet these same Science religion believers believe that Science is the ultimate truth: humans are flawed.

  3. I agree with your stance regarding a womans choice regarding the child that is inside of her. I won’t even say no, if the baby is viable, or yes, if it is not. A girl /woman does have the right to decide her fate and the fate of any unborn children that grow inside of her.

    As a mother of 5 living children – pregnant woman of 7 – 2 miscarriages that were a Godsend! I thought about abortion with 2 of mine born alive but after prayerful consideration, decided that adoption was an option that I could live with. So, they were adopted. I say that to express my sadness at abortions that are for ‘convenience’ but understand that some people make different choices that they will have to live with.

    Also, I am appalled that men have no recourse for impregnating a woman who then chooses to abort his child. Although, men, via choices, should realize that impregnating a woman without actually knowing that woman leaves him at her mercy!

    I really don’t like the women under 40 these days… They are bitter, hateful, human specimens!

    I’m new but I love this place! I give all of you a big kiss!

  4. Sounds like a lot of words when you could have just said women can’t handle the stress of not having sex outside of the intention to reproduce (who gets upset about nine year old girls getting abortions/victims of rape/abuse in general? what a waste of paragraphs…) so they accept the trade offs and decide they are fine with killing a helpless, squirming life form.

    It’s fine. We should all just take a deep breath and admit that women kill their children a lot (maybe even enjoy it? who knows, I wouldn’t want to stop them. Anything an individual or group chooses to do repeatedly must have some form of fun to it) and we can all just move on. No need to defend them when it comes to every last thing. Men are bad because they tend to rape and rob, women are mostly angels except for this One Weird Trick, no?

    There. No mental gymnastics, just simple admission of a timeless truth. Just breathe.

    • If he simply titled this article, “WHY INFANTICIDE IS RIGHTEOUS”, or something like that, then there wouldn’t be much for any of us to say as his words would speak for themselves.

      But, I can’t get over the fact that he pretends to be driven by a spirit of love; that is simply outrageous and appalling. Does he actually believe that?

      Or is it simply an insult to the readers’ intelligence?

    • >(who gets upset about nine year old girls getting abortions/victims of rape/abuse in general? what a waste of paragraphs…)

      Um… the Brazilian bishop excommunicated the doctor and the mother. There are many countries where abortion is illegal for victims of rape.

    • I think the author was writing about this subject from the perspective of the Catholic religion. Sure, we now know what you would do were you God, but I do not consider that to be the point of the article. What should you do as a believer, when God allows your child to be born, do you, as a believer, have the right/authority to override God’s decision?

  5. Spot on, Radagast! You seem to have learned more from the example of Jesus than most Christians have. As a muslim who follows the Quran alone, I acknowledge that infanticide is sinful as stated in there, whereas the zygotic union of two genomes does not a life make. In the absence of information from beyond, it is impossible to determine a date of ensoulment and therefore to describe any abortion as “certainly murder” or “certainly not murder”. With that amount of knowledge, if I needed an abortion, I would get one, repent to God, and move on with my life; and I certainly wouldn’t prevent not prosecute any abortion seekers. I believe such information from beyond does exist, though. As Edip Yuksel has written, there is latent information in the Quran that points to the time of ensoulment being the end of the first trimester, therefore first-trimester abortions are permissible for any reason. In my opinion, the fact that virtually no complications stem from first-trimester abortions is a sign from God confirming this. I also agree with you on the broad permissibility of aborting those who won’t live anything close to a full life, for their souls are in the same category as the souls of animals, plants, electrons, etc. Oh, how I wish I chose to be in that category…

    • >What they are really talking about is YOU. Since viruses are still a theory and have never been proven to exist, governments are using the word “virus” to deceive and divert your attention to make you believe they are talking about a boogey virus when actually they’re talking about the changes they are making to the Human genome.

      Viruses don’t be real fam

  6. I was brought up in the Anglican tradition – a kind of half-way house between Catholicism and Protestantism – and the church I attended was very focussed on tradition (some of it beautiful) and borrowed a lot of it from pre Vatican 2 Catholicism. I later discovered that none of these traditions had existed in the Anglican church much before the 1860s. I do understand the attraction of tradition – but like you I think that the trad catholics are barking up the wrong tree. I sometimes attend an Eastern Orthodox church but I am an attender and not a member (therefore I am not able receive communion). I find it very interesting when they break out into a language that hasn’t been spoken for centuries and the symbolism is very attractive but if I am honest with myself I know I can never believe the claims they make to be the exclusive holders of the Truth™. I see tradition as open source software – something we are free to adopt and adapt or discard lines of code. I note that the Orthodox denomination I am familiar with has totally bought into Covidianity and the Pfaith. They might care a lot about fetuses but it’s a shame they are not more outspoken about the wellbeing of children once they leave the womb. For example, they seem no have no concerns for children and young people suffering from myocarditis due to the state pushing injections into them that they do not need and might cause them long term damage.

    • >They might care a lot about fetuses but it’s a shame they are not more outspoken about the wellbeing of children once they leave the womb.

      Yeah I always find this weird. The people who care so much about your rights while you’re unborn tend to feel like leaving you over to the mercy of the invisible hand once you’ve left your mother’s womb.

      • I’m going to push back on this ‘no care for children once they are born.’ Speak for yourself, but I and many of the people in my church tradition go far out of our way to help children. That seems to be a favorite line thrown at pro-lifers, when in fact we are the ones most likely to do foster work, help with women’s ministries and homeless shelters. Statistically Christians are far more giving of their time and money than nonbelievers.
        I don’t know what to say to you that would show you the beauty I have seen in the least of these, that you callously dismiss as having little or no value. My friend chose to birth her baby with trisomy 18 even when she knew she wouldn’t survive long. They didn’t frantically do all sorts of surgeries, etc, to artificially prolong her life, but chose to love her best they could for the 6 weeks they had her.
        You seem to think that women having late term abortions aren’t birthing a baby. They are. Moreover, they are birthing a dead baby which is much harder than a live one. The only difference to the woman is she choosing to kill the baby before hand, rather than birthing the child then adopting them out or some such option. There is never a medical need to kill the child before birth. Sometimes it’s necessary to induce birth early for medical reasons, and may be at a point where the infant is too young to survive, but for me that’s far more acceptable than killing upfront. Maybe it’s splitting hairs, but I think it’s a distinction that’s far-reaching in its long term effects on a people.
        For those of us who value the sanctity of life, that must include the unborn, but not at the expense of the born. It’s not a zero sum game.

        • >My friend chose to birth her baby with trisomy 18 even when she knew she wouldn’t survive long. They didn’t frantically do all sorts of surgeries, etc, to artificially prolong her life, but chose to love her best they could for the 6 weeks they had her.

          Well see there’s the thing. If you somehow found yourself in a situation where you would spend every single day, struggling to breathe, if your internal organs protruded from your belly, if you suffered epileptic seizures and on top of that, could not communicate and had no way to express the pain you are in, how long would you want to spend in that state?

          It’s not love, because it’s not about the baby. That’s projecting all sorts of complex human emotions onto a baby that is brain-damaged from birth, with cysts that fill the brain. A dog would be more capable of experiencing love than a child born into that state.

          The primary emotion that you’re going to feel if you’re born into a deformed body like that, is pain.

          In Scandinavian countries like Iceland, 99% of fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities are aborted. Are those people somehow incapable of feeling love for their children? Are they all sociopaths? Or could it be that a handful of people give birth to children with no chance of ever reaching adulthood, out of some sort of ideological conviction, as a form of right-wing conservative virtue signaling?

          Or let me put it differently:

          Is there some sort of painful condition a child could have at birth, that is so painful that you would decide to spare the child this pointless suffering and end its life before birth?

          If a child was going to be born with bulging tumors where its eyeballs should be, or a swollen brain that’s pressing up against the skull, or skin that is constantly bleeding and getting infected, would you say to yourself “well this is so painful that I don’t want to do this to my child”?

          If the answer is instead: I would give birth to any living child, there is no condition so painful that I would rather opt for an abortion, then my question becomes:

          How can you claim to feel love for a child, if you’re seemingly indifferent to the degree of pain it suffers?

          • I see why, with your nihilistic streak, you would only see it that way. I’m sure you also think assisted suicide is great. But we are forbidden to take life into our own hands, regardless of what we go through. Life is suffering, but it is also in that suffering the most transcendental truths shine through. We look for a new world where we’ll be able to see as from a distance, the tapestry of our lives here that includes the blood red threads of our pain. I know what it’s like to be suicidal. I know what chronic, years’-long illness is like, for myself and loved ones both. And this is where I’ve arrived at, after passing through ‘the valley of the shadow of death.’ Peace.✌️

          • I see why, with your nihilistic streak, you would only see it that way. I’m sure you also think assisted suicide is great. But we are forbidden to take life into our own hands, regardless of what we go through. Life is suffering, but it is also in that suffering the most transcendental truths shine through. I look for a new world where I’ll be able to understand perfectly the tapestry of my life here that includes the blood red threads of pain and the yes, the incredible beauty. I know what it’s like to be suicidal. I know what chronic, years’-long illness is like, for myself and loved ones both. And this is where I’ve arrived at, after passing through ‘the valley of the shadow of death.’ I do understand where you’re coming from, I’ve just arrived at a slightly different conclusion. At least so far. Peace.✌️

          • Now I understand your position: you support euthenasia and believe that you know enough about nature to decide when a child should die, a child that God has given to you alive. You want to overrule God because you know better. Wow, the arrogance!

  7. Endless surgeries, for children who will never have the ability to speak and who are still going to die before the age of 10.

    Abortion is not the problem: man’s belief that he can overrule nature is the problem. Let the child die? Then let it die at birth, force the parents to experience their lives and the results of their actions, good or bad. Surely the argument is why spend so much money fixing someone that is broken. Abortion allows you to terminate someone dispassionately, the coward’s way out.

  8. I am not impressed with your arguments about the soul: in fact, they are ridiculous. We don’t have any idea what consciousness is let alone the soul, so to start pretending that the soul must obey the same physical rules as a lamb chop (egg/sperm) is ridiculous. Maybe it follows quantum physics rules, something that most of us would consider weird. The life of the soul is still a matter of belief, same as the start of the universe, regardless of the message of those that believe the physics theory, yes theory, religion. Too many people are know-it-alls when really they “know” nothing.

  9. Why do you use “are almost always” to make a point instead of providing facts. You claim that ill health is “almost always” why women have abortions in the third trimester, if this is the case then why not provide the stats like you do in other areas of your argument?

  10. The abortion argument is as old as it is continually misused as a political sledgehammer. I think everybody except extremists would agree that it’s a matter of context, first and foremost. It’s hard to imagine that Westerners would morally reject early abortion for the result of a rape, or a child that will be deformed in some deadly way. The problem is typical black-and-white thinking. “Killing anything after a fertilized egg is murder”, or “shut up, it’s her body”. As always with these discussions, both are kind of true.

    The problem, as always (sigh) lies in the culture of discussing these things, which has been made entirely political. Here, women will fight for their right to have an abortion without even knowing what that entails. Young women are told an abortion isn’t a problem, or even that it’s “cool” in some circles. But they never know before the fact that the fetus will be plucked out of her uterus in so many parts. The answer, again as always, is open communication and education. Yes, abortion means killing something, but why can that not be justified? We kill animals to eat them. Some countries kill criminals. How many homeless people die because nobody helps them? We’re not morally superior, even if we like to feel that way. And we can’t talk about women being the ones who decide over abortions, if we’re not even sure the women know what the consequences of their choice will be, because two sides are fighting over her political stance, and both are lying.

    Same with COVID. It’s the exact same issue, literally. The thing is so heavily politicized that you’re not allowed to state the fact that “most COVID deaths could be avoided with early treatment”, for fear of insulting some doctors or ending the crisis policitians and pharma companies capitalize on. No, it’s either “viruses don’t exist, don’t be a pussy” or “COVID is like Ebola, lock down everything”. Meanwhile, all logic and traditional science goes out the window.

    • First of all, sometimes the issue actually is black-and-white. The Middle Ground Fallacy is a real thing (one, which, it seems that certain Northern Europeans such as yourself and our esteemed author are regrettably quite wedded to).

      Secondly and most importantly, either human life matters, or it doesn’t. This author has admitted he hates humanity, so we know where he stands on this issue. He must also necessarily hate God since man is made in the image of God.

      Of course, you might dispute all of this, but then we’d be divided on a theological matter of enormous import. That’s the discussion we should be having, and if you and similarly-minded secular “humanists” refuse such a discussion, at least have the courtesy to not pretend that you are rabidly defending your own particular theological and philosophical worldview against ours, in doing so.

      It is quite insulting to be told that we “care too much about abortion” or that “we’re not seeing the other side because we’ve become too wrapped up politics”. No, that is just the typical liberal gaslighting bullshit.

      If you believe in infanticide, then say it. Be honest.

      Some of us find such beliefs to be utterly despicable and contemptible, and we’re not going to be shy about saying so.

      • First of all, you don’t know me, so please stop putting me into narrowly-defined categories, which to me are just another kind of black-and-white thinking and identity politics. The world never is black and white, only human morality is and can be. The world, the universe is a wild, chaotic mixture of particles where anything can happen at any time. Good and evil are entirely made up terms which differ from person to person. They’re a bit like love. You can’t define it, but you know it when you feel it.

        Technically, anybody who isn’t directly or indirectly involved with a possible abortion, should not care about the matter or have an opinion. This includes me, by the way. The reason why we still do hold such opinions is because it’s a political, moral or religious matter that provokes a reaction through our strong feelings of right or wrong. However, either way these opinions are not formed on a reliable basis, since we may not even have an actual stake in the matter. We view it from a distance and, trying to use the government as the loaded pistol it is, we try to force our opinions on other people. It’s basically about power, under the guise of morality. We try to be seen as good people by saying “abortion is wrong” or “her body her choice”, even though we are faced with zero cases of abortions we can practically influence. But indeed, both arguments are positively formulated (“good”) and are appreciated by one side of society, but disregarded by the other. This is normal for any polarizing topic. Such topics always revolve around human morality, which is a function of religion, which in turn is an evolutionarily evolved trait. This doesn’t mean religion is a lie or it doesn’t exist. It just means that it’s natural for humans to try and fit into large groups with inherent rules, ranks and customs.

        I don’t believe in infanticide, because I admit to not knowing how exactly “infant” is defined. My entire point was that if women knew what an abortion entailed, way fewer of them would decide to get one, and we would have less of a moral dilemma in the first place. I think most of us would agree that life must be protected, and abortions should be avoided if they feasibly can be. However, to some people protecting life means protecting the freedom and/or mental health of a possible mother, because they have forgotten the number one rule of traditional religions: that life is holy, period. And others simply don’t see a fused egg cell as life. We can never all agree on a black-and-white scenario. But that’s the beauty of society and democracy. In my opinion, at least.

        • “…far fewer [women] would decide to get one.”

          Surely, a strong and sane society would not leave it to individual women (who may be unable or unwilling to make the right decisions) to protect the lives of the unborn. Some authority must step in to do what no one else can. We don’t leave other matters of importance up to the honour system, so why should this be any different?

          Of course, if you’d want to see a world in which no woman would ever even want to seek an abortion, then that is certainly a vision I would also share. There is no simple or painless solution to this problem, and it challenges all of us to discover a true love for humanity and for justice to face it.

          But, if one believes in nothing, then there will be no question of overcoming this or any other crucial world problem. You, Holger Lundstrom, should ask yourself: “What do I truly know…and what do I truly desire to know?”

          Would you have good answers to those questions?

  11. “But the reality is that most women have abortions because the alternative they face is enormous pointless suffering.”
    I very much doubt this statement. It certainly isn’t true in my (admittedly anecdotal) experience – every single abortion I know of occurred in females who simply didn’t want a child. Can you back this up with some solid evidence? Or is ‘having and raising a child’ the kind of suffering you’re referring to?

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