Talk:Main Page/archive38

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Hi, I'm brand new here, but I was just wondering if this website is aimed more at conservatism (Political), Conservatism (Religious) or simply just religion with a political twist. From what I've read, this place includes combinations of all the above. Thanks! ModerateCatholic 14:32, 13 December 2007 (EST)

P.S- Meant to include that although I am not currently living in the US, I registered as a Democrat last year. I consider myself to be a moderate Democrat, though I won't be living in the US again in the near future. I was just wondering if Democrats are allowed to contribute or is this a Republican website? ModerateCatholic 14:33, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Sure, please do contribute your ideas here. Maybe we can learn from each other. Welcome!--Aschlafly 14:37, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Thanks. See you around I suppose. ModerateCatholic 14:39, 13 December 2007 (EST)

This is an interesting site - I am an American living abroad (in the UK). I am the 'infamous' swing voter that the parties love to pander to. There are some interesting (and passionate) debates alway going on here. Even though I only agree with about 25% of things said - it is interesting to see a different perspective. Spinnydizzy 15:53, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Welcome! We're here to learn, and I hope to learn from your edits.--Aschlafly 16:18, 13 December 2007 (EST)
ModerateCatholic, I welcome your posts and throw this out for your consideration: is there really such a thing as a "moderate" position on highly controversial issues, like abortion and marriage? I don't see any middle ground there.--Aschlafly 16:18, 13 December 2007 (EST)
I don't either. My views on marriage are quite 'Liberal'. I support British style Civil Unions, the type of which the Archbishop of Canterbury supports. I don't support gays getting married though.

There is no middle ground on abortion, except maybe those who permit it when the mothers life is in danger or if she has been raped. ModerateCatholic 16:30, 13 December 2007 (EST)

I think you'd find, if pressed, that there is no middle ground on any of the biggest issues. The term "moderate" is really just a way for someone to claim that his own views are reasonable and should be accepted by others. The media loves to use the term "moderate", for example. There is no such thing as a "moderate" position on abortion, marriage, Iraq, prayer in school, etc.--Aschlafly 16:50, 13 December 2007 (EST)
There is only a right position and a wrong position? Feebasfactor 16:59, 13 December 2007 (EST)
What makes you say that? Nothing in my comment suggests that.--Aschlafly 17:09, 13 December 2007 (EST)
When you said "There is no such thing as a "moderate" position", I thought it might. But I was just curious as to how to interpret that, hopefully I didn't offend. Feebasfactor 20:12, 13 December 2007 (EST)
On the big issues, you are correct. You either stand with one camp or the other. I opposed the Iraq war. But then again, this wasn't a Liberal or conservative issue in Ireland, as the overwhelming majority of Irish people opposed the war. But for the broader issues, like economic policy, it is very easy to hold moderate positions. One group will want to raise taxes and spending, the other will want to lower taxes and spending. Someone like myself wants public spending that works and gives back to the taxpayer, but also doesn't rip us off.

On social policy, some want to see full gay rights (Such as marriage) Others want to see no additional rights. People like myself seek to compromise and respect the rights of homosexuals to do whatever they want, so far as it doesn't infringe on our civilisation (IE, not allowing them to adopt children but allowing Civil Unions to tie up legal loopholes.)

I think all in all, being moderate on the issues that define our time (Iraq, AIDS prevention, the war on poverty* and terror) is nigh on impossible.

  • The War on Poverty in Africa and the 3rd World can be combated through means other than socialism, like sound economic policies or missionaries. ModerateCatholic 17:19, 13 December 2007 (EST)

P.S- (I'm fond of adding a postscript, amn't I!?) I think when someone refers to themself as a moderate democrat, they are basically saying they aren't Liberal. When a Republican calls himself they are also basically saying they aren't conservative. Some of my views are Liberal, some are conservative. For example, as an immigrant, my views on immigration tend to be quite Liberal.

I don't think that is why people use the term "moderate". I think they use it as a synonym for "reasonable". Often people want to be liked by both sides, as the media does, will use the word "moderate".--Aschlafly 17:33, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Well you can be moderate on topics like abortion can't you? I know I'm not, but surely if you allowed abortion in the case of the mothers death or the babies death and then only at an early stage in the pregnancy then wouldn't you be "moderate"? And also on the Iraq war, could you not support the war as a way of removing Hussein but at the same time protest against the war because those in power are lying about it? I'm just throwing that out there... Bolly 9:57, 14 December 2007
No, either you accept that an unborn child is a human life or you don't. There's no middle ground, and there's no "moderate" position. People who claim to be "moderate" on abortion will simply adapt to the views of whichever side they happen to be with. There's nothing in the middle but fiction.--Aschlafly 18:03, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Ok, thankyou for clarifying that for me. Just out of curiosity what is wrong about abortion if both the mother and baby will die in child birth? Thankfully it is a very rare scenario but would abortion in such an extreme case be acceptable? Bolly 10:26, 14 December 2007

What else can you call someone who holds both Liberal and Conservative principles? Surely I cannot be pigeonholed as a Liberal due to a few Liberal principles. Moderates are often people who seek compromise also. I don't think people deliberately call themselves moderate in order to sound reasonable - I think they call themselves it because they simply do not agree wholeheartedly with one camp. They agree with both. Economics works best when we take a bite out of every sandwich (ie, We don't limit ourselves by economic theory, we diversify) In my opinion, politics also works that way. ModerateCatholic 18:31, 13 December 2007 (EST)

There are some issues that I agree with conservatives and some where I agree with Liberals (and some where I don't agree with either side). I find the Iraq war a bit of a strange one - I have been a big support of the overthrow of Hussain since the mid-eighties. In the 1980's I was a vocal opponent of the Hussain regime, particulary on the use of chemical weapons (in the Iran-Iraq war) and of course the gassing of the Kurds. I got berated by my conservatives friends and was called an 'Irainian lover' and a 'liberal xxxxx'. Now, because I still support the war, my Liberal friends have equally derogatory names. Oh the irony of it all!! I will put my hand up and say that there have been issues when I have been wrong - but I find alot of time factual relativism seems to play a big part in political discourse. Spinnydizzy 19:00, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Many issues are binary. What's the "moderate" position in a binary system? By the way, "moderate" usually does not mean liberal on some issues and conservative on others. Instead, the term is meant to connote halfway between conservative and liberal positions to appear reasonable. There's nothing there, there.--Aschlafly 20:22, 13 December 2007 (EST)
I see what you're getting at with "moderate" - but out of curiosity, what term would you use to describe someone who is liberal on some issues and conservative on others? Or is there even an accurate term for that? Feebasfactor 20:34, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Almost anything is better than moderate, which doesn't tell us anything about the specific positions anyway. Possibilities, depending on the views of the person, include liberal Republican, RINO, social liberal but fiscal conservative, cafeteria conservative, pro-establishment, pro-government, pro-big business, etc.--Aschlafly 21:19, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Thank you, that's actually quite helpful. Feebasfactor 23:31, 13 December 2007 (EST)

I agree that "moderate" does not mean "liberal/left wing on some issues, and conservative/right wing on others". And I also agree that on some issues there is no middle ground. But often it depends on how you frame the question. Is the foetus a person from conception or not? There's no middle ground. Apart from "I don't know", the only answers are "yes" and "no". However, on the question of "is it acceptable to abort unborn children, then there is more than one position. At one end the answer is "no". At the other end the answer is "yes". But there are other answers such as "only up to x months", or "only in certain circumstances". Calling these positions "moderate" is probably a case of expressing a value judgement that these "middle" positions are the correct or at least reasonable ones, so the term is unhelpful. But it cannot be denied that there are positions between the two extremes. For the record, my position is that the baby is a human being, made in the image of God and therefore not within our purview to kill (being innocent), so should never be aborted except in the very rare situation in which either the mother or baby will die anyway (and if the mother does, the baby probably would also). Only then would it be acceptable to kill the baby, in order to save the mother's life.

While I'm at it, I might as well mention that I don't find it helpful to classify people as though there were only two positions. I would most definitely be in the "conservative" camp, but I tend to favour gun control (although I don't have a really strong view on it), for instance.

Philip J. Rayment 21:29, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Philip, basic logic dictates that there is no middle ground on abortion. Introducing a number of weeks as a cutoff should not persuade many people, and it doesn't. At most it is a compromise between the two positions on the issue. Almost no one can genuinely believe that the middle position is a proper position, and almost no one does.
As to gun control, logic again can shed light on it. Arming a fraction of the law-abiding citizens must reduce overall crime. There is no way around that fact. Only by completely ignoring how guns deter and halt crimes can one pretend that gun control reduces crime. In the story on our Main Page about the Colorado church, and worshiper's use of her gun saved over 100 lives in the estimate of one observer. And that actual use of a gun does not even include all the instances in which the potential use of a gun deters a criminal.
Every study confirms just what logic dictates: more guns, less crime.--Aschlafly 22:01, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Regardless of whether or not you call it "middle ground", the fact remains that there are quite a few possible positions to have, and abortion being allowed for the first x weeks or months of pregnancy is one of those, and I'm quite confident that it's one that many people hold. It may not make much sense, and it may be a compromise, but it is a position, and one that people hold.
The problem with arming the "law-abiding citizens" is in determining in advance who they are. Many shootings have been by people who have been, until that time, essentially "law abiding", but shoot in a moment of passion or rage. I don't doubt that in some cases having a gun-wielding bystander there to stop the shooter has been of benefit, but it begs the question of whether they would be needed in the first place if the shooter had not had access to his gun. And the argument for gun control is not about reducing crime, but reducing deaths from crime.
There may be a problem in moving from a situation with free access to guns to a situation where there are tight controls, in that during the transition the irresponsible people have ready access to guns whilst the responsible people have given theirs up. But a situation in which nobody is allowed to own a gun without permission (police, gun club members, etc.) and then only under strict controls (guns always locked away and ammunition kept separately also locked away, for example, as Australia has) should, logically, mean that almost all people who in a moment of passion or rage would shoot someone can't because they don't have access to a gun.
By the way, among all my conservative Christian friends (and all the rest of my friends for that matter), I know of only one family who is pro-gun. This really is only an issue for Americans, as far as I can tell.
Philip J. Rayment 22:25, 13 December 2007 (EST)
On abortion, neither liberals, nor conservatives, nor libertarians, nor anyone I know argues that before x-weeks abortion is OK, but after x-weeks it is not OK. There is no logic to such position. I suppose people can be found who think 2+2=5, and that aliens live on the dark side of the Moon. But where there is no logic, there nothing of substance. There is no logic to a "middle ground" on abortion, and the laws in the U.S. have in practice been on one side or the other.
On gun control, it's not just Americans who oppose it. Switzerland, for example, not only opposes gun control but actually requires its citizens to own guns. Every time you hear of a mugging, a burglary, a rape, a beating, or a murder in Australia, just think that there would be less of them in the absence of gun control. And fear would be less also.--Aschlafly 22:41, 13 December 2007 (EST)
As Bolly says below, there is logic (even if ill-founded) for an x-weeks or x-months position, that being the time that the baby starts to feel pain, or has a working heart, or even is capable of surviving outside the womb (albeit on life-support). I forget all the justifications for such, but they are not as rare as people who believe that 2+2=5, and they do have a superficially-reasonable argument.
I wasn't meaning that only Americans oppose gun control, but that it seems that only in America is it a big issue. Even here in Oz there are those who oppose it, but they do seem to be a smallish minority, and not well-aligned along conservative/liberal lines. I'm not convinced that there would be fewer muggings, burglaries, rapes, nor beatings here if there were no gun controls, and I and many other people would have more fear if we knew that the crazies out there were more likely to have guns.
Philip J. Rayment 00:17, 14 December 2007 (EST)

I think that a moderate position on issues like taxation and health care is theoretically possible, but in reality, we know that's not what the term ever refers to. The term "moderate" in Kansas politics now specifically refers to Republicans who support abortion. It's ironic that the term "moderate" only refers to the most polarizing, one way or the other issues now. DanH 22:43, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Interesting, Dan. Thanks for that insight. I know that abortion has been divisive in Kansas for at least 15 years, and I heard Phill Kline speak a few months ago. Now the Kansas Attorney General is apparently in a big scandal.
Now that mention it, I guess that is what "moderate" really means in many places: pro-abortion or pro-choice Republicans. Sometimes liberals will also use the term to make themselves appear more reasonable to voters in order to be elected.--Aschlafly 23:12, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Ah...about abortion. I'm not sure what is so wrong about the "before x weeks" position (just for the record I believe that a baby can be aborted, terminated, killed, whatever term you want, up until, and even after its birth, so I'm not an "x weeks" person) because if it could be shown that a foetus was not 'conscious' until, say, week y then what would be wrong with abortion then? Not from a christian/conservative point of view, but why could you not make a case for a baby to be aborted up until week y of pregnancy? If so then would that be a moderate view? Bolly 15:22, 14 December 2007
I think the idea is that you either draw the line at birth - you believe life is sacred from conception onwards (and therefore abortion is almost never acceptable) - or you don't draw that line, and instead weigh the value of the baby's life as relative to other factors (or at least something along those lines; others may be able to phrase it better).Feebasfactor 23:30, 13 December 2007 (EST)
That's what I would do, weigh up quality of life for the baby but more importantly for the parents and family. Peter Singer is a strong advocate of that position, and I find his arguments very persuasive. Bolly 15:39, 14 December 2007
I find Singer's argument abhorrent, and illogical, when it means that "quality of life" is put ahead of "life". In other words, what "quality of life" is there if you are dead? Would you really be prepared to kill a toddler because his "quality of life" is not up to scratch? Philip J. Rayment 00:17, 14 December 2007 (EST)

According to Singer, yes. My understanding is that he supports what can only be described as "post birth abortions". That anybody here would support this makes me feel rather ill. DanH 00:22, 14 December 2007 (EST)

The question was directed to Bolly, given that he finds "his arguments [to be] very persuasive". But to give Singer some credit, he is at least being consistent with his views that humans are just animals and deserve no special treatment, unlike a lot of people who think that but are not prepared for carry that through. Actually, I give Singer too much credit. He also thinks the same for old people: that they should be killed ("euthanised", of course) once their "quality of life" is not up to what he thinks it should be—except that when it came to his mother being in that condition, he didn't have the strength of his convictions to carry that through. Philip J. Rayment 00:47, 14 December 2007 (EST)
I am not happy being lumped into one ideology, when more often that not I am not the group you speak of. Social Liberal and Economic conservative? Why then do I support the continuation of the Irish Universal health coverage? And why am I against Gay marriage? Most people judge politics on an issue by issue basis, and I am no different. Anyway, I'm really not all that interested in politics. I support missionary and charity work as the most Christian ethos. I think Christians should get their heads out of the corrupt political system to be honest and concentrate on the Christian virtues of helping the less fortunate and spiritual guidance. ModerateCatholic 09:51, 14 December 2007 (EST)

I would just like to pick up on something Aschlafly said regarding guns in Switzerland. "On gun control, it's not just Americans who oppose it. Switzerland, for example, not only opposes gun control but actually requires its citizens to own guns."

It should be noted that the situation in Switzerland is completely different to the situation in most of the US. All male citizens (subject to physical and mental fitness) undergo compulsory military training as part of the conscript defence force. They then remain in the militia until they are 30 years old. During that time, they are obliged to hold weapons at their home with a small amount of ammunition (50 rounds, I believe) and train with them once a year.

Their weapons and ammunition are inspected every year to ensure that they have not been used outside official training courses. On leaving the militia, they are given the option of keeping their gun. They have to apply for a special permit and the weapons are restricted to manual load or semi-automatic.

They may only carry guns on them under very special circumstances including for the use of a particular occupation such as security and they must have a permit to do so.

Interestingly the vast majority of unlawful shootings with militia weapons happens in a domestic environment while outside the home it is with illegal weapons that these crimes occur.

In summary, gun ownership and use in Switzerland is very tightly controlled and very different to the situation in most US states.

I am aware that the perspectives on gun ownership are very different in the US compared to most other Western countries including the UK and Australia. What is notable is that the US has a much higher gun crime rate per capita than either of these two countries and significantly higher than almost all other Western nations. The closest, if memory serves, is Canada with a third of the rate.

What seems to be the case is that when gun control has been introduced over many decades and the average citizen has never had relatively easy access to weapons, then gun crime is relatively low. However, when restrictive gun control is introduced in a place that previously had relatively relaxed gun control, there can be a tendency for gun crime to rise. I haven't thought too deeply as to why this might be.

Another obvious conclusion to draw is that US gun politics is (probably) unique compared to other Western countries because of its historical interpretation of its Second Amendment.

Comparing the US with other countries' gun crime statistics as an argument for US gun control may not be as straightforward as it would first appear even though is seems obvious to us foreigners.

Likewise, saying that Australian murder rates would be lower if everyone had guns is not a logical conclusion to draw. Ajkgordon 14:31, 14 December 2007 (EST)

I'd go along with everything you say there, although it would be good to see some hard statistics on some of the things you mention, as at the moment we only have your word on it (e.g. "the US has a much higher gun crime rate per capita"). Philip J. Rayment 18:40, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Sort of common knowledge (I know, hardly scientific) but a quick Google shows plenty of stats that demonstrate this. Example here. (Not being selective, just the first result.) The US rate is around 6 homicides per 100,000 depending on whose stats you look at, which is at least three times higher than other Western industrialised nations.
But, as I said before, this doesn't necessarily prove a correlation between gun ownership and crime in one country compared to another. There are probably other factors even though it might seem self-evident for us gun-less foreigners. Vice-versa applies, of course. Ajkgordon 19:19, 14 December 2007 (EST)
The problem with "common knowledge" is that this is one of those cases where there is wide disagreement, and so "common knowledge" is clearly disputed and is therefore insufficient. And the link you provided, although interesting, perhaps doesn't prove much, without knowing how many of those homicides were gun-related. Philip J. Rayment 23:46, 14 December 2007 (EST)
There are 100 times as many law-abiding citizens as people with criminal tendencies. Basic logic dictates that arming the public will yield many more defensive uses of guns than criminal uses, plus the enormous deterrent effect. If everyone were armed, then criminals would be outgunned 100:1. The logic is inescapable, and proven by studies.
Against that compelling logic some superficial and obviously flawed arguments are made above. The US has more homicides? Well, of course, the US has more drug use, and more freedoms (like pornography and gambling), which cause crime. So that homicide statistic is meaningless. Also meaningless is the statistic that thousands of people die from gunshots in the US. Many of those uses are defensive, many others would be homicides by another weapon (e.g., OJ's wife's death), and above all the statistic says nothing about the overall rate of crime. Murder is actually a tiny fraction of all crime. Rape, robbery and beatings are serious crimes to be avoided and deterred, you know.--Aschlafly 21:55, 14 December 2007 (EST)
I disagree with your "basic logic". There will be no "defensive uses" of guns by law-abiding citizens except in the circumstances where there is a need to take defensive action. That is, the only "defensive use" is in the face of an "offensive use" by a criminal. And most of the time, criminals will pick the circumstances to ensure that there aren't 100 armed law-abiding citizens there. For example, they will hold up a service station (US: gas station) attendant at gunpoint in the small hours of the morning when there is nobody else there. So he wouldn't be outgunned 100:1, but, at most, 1:1, and there's no guarantee that the attendant has a weapon, plus the criminal has the element of surprise (the attendant isn't expecting it), so the odds are actually in the criminal's favour. Of course this is not always the case, but it would be much of the time.
By the same token, it's also "basic logic" that if nobody has access to guns except under strict controls, then the criminals won't have them either.
I'm not sure that I want to ask this, because I'm not sure how much time I'm willing and able to spend on this, but what studies?
Philip J. Rayment 23:46, 14 December 2007 (EST)
(oops forgot to reply to Andy's second paragraph)
You say that the U.S. has more drugs and more freedoms. More than who? I guess that perhaps Australia is a little more regulated that the U.S., but I don't thing that there's that much difference, yet according to the link that Ajkgordon provided, America has over four times the murder rate that Australia does. And America also has more Christians, which would suggest if anything that the murder rate and drug use in the U.S. should be lower than in Australia.
Perhaps it was a slip of your typing fingers, but it's patently false to say that deaths from gunshots could be due to another weapon!
Philip J. Rayment 00:05, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Sure, criminals try to pick vulnerable victims. And, of course, there are a fewer percentage of defenseless citizens (and bystanders) without gun control. Most criminals are actually cowards, and even the chance of being met by force will deter them. Take away gun control, and that chance of self-defense exists with every potential victim. Here in the U.S., you might be surprised how often self-defense is used, as in the Colorado church. This is basic logic.
But it is illogical to think that criminals won't have guns if there is gun control. They have drugs even though they are illegal. They have guns where it is illegal also.
There are numerous studies that confirm the logic. John Lott wrote an entire book, "More Guns, Less Crime." There have been sequels too. No serious scholar in the U.S. even disputes that more guns has the effect of reducing crime.--Aschlafly 00:12, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Sure, gun control doesn't mean that no criminal will ever get a gun. But it could well mean that most of them don't most of the time. And as I've said previously, a lot of gun deaths are in moments of passion or rage by otherwise law-abiding citizens, just as effective drug enforcement can minimise the availability of drugs. Good gun controls pretty-well guarantee that these people (those that shoot in passion or rage) won't have guns in their hands at these times. It's already been pointed out that the John Lott article doesn't support what you are saying, so where are the studies that do support it? Philip J. Rayment 00:43, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Ok, apologies to Phillip in taking so long to reply but here goes: According to Singer, to be a human, one must understand that they have a future. A baby is not a human until it can understand this. This means that it has none of the rights that are normally associated with being human. Many premature babies are kept alive on life support when they would otherwise die. From the utilitarian point of view there are a limited number of resources to use to keep people alive, and they would be far better spent on a human who wants to live, then a baby who has no understanding of life or the future. "Quality of life" is a slightly misleading term, because what he really means is that if the person wants to live and they are capable of enjoying life in some way, then every effort should be made to save them. A baby cannot know the difference between life and death and therefore cannot 'want' anything. This is also why he advocates voluntary euthanasia because if a person has a reduced ability to enjoy life, and they no long want to live, then they have a right to die peacfully. I'm sure Phillip will remember the case of Nancy Crick (i think) who had an incurable bowel cancer and was in tremendous pain, and simply wanted to stop living. In her case, Singer argued that she should have a right to end her life.
In response to accusations about his mother, he did not actually commit any hypocrisy with regards to her. She had Alzheimers, and when it got to the point that Singer and his sister felt that she no longer could enjoy life, they did not continue to treat her for other diseases, and let her die peacfully. So no hypocrisy at all, just a false accusation. Bolly 9:17, 15 December 2007
I don't know a lot of detail about the situation with his mother, so I'll let that drop. Regarding murdering babies, you didn't actually answer my question on whether or not you'd be prepared to kill a toddler.
But your post draws into focus that our views on this depends on our views of what it means to be human. As a Christian, I believe that humans are creatures "made in the image of God", and thus have special rights granted by God, and one of those is that we have the right to life. God has allowed civil authorities the right to end the life of a human as a punishment for serious crime (e.g. murder) and perhaps limited other circumstances, but otherwise nobody has any right to kill a human being, because God has not granted that right. (By way of contrast, he has granted us the right to kill animals.) By the way, as God has not granted us the right to take a human life, that means that we have no right to murder ourselves, as Nancy Crick did. One way to justify the killing of humans is to declare them to be not human, or not fully human. Hitler did this with the Jews, evolutionists did it with Australian aborigines (some of whom were murdered to put in museums as examples of the missing link), modern society does with unborn babies, and Singer does with born babies, as you explain above.
As I said above, as a Christian I believe that we are made in the image of God. Evolutionists (except, inconsistently, theistic evolutionists) of course reject this and therefore grant themselves the right to define "human", and come up with varying definitions. As Andy and I have said before, ideas have consequences, and this is one of the consequences of the idea of evolution.
Philip J. Rayment 18:59, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Ah sorry. OK: Several criteria need to be filled, is the toddler having a large negative effect on the mothers life? Does the toddler understand the concept of 'future'? Is the toddler suffering from a disability or illness that greatly affects or will greatly affect its ability to enjoy life? If so then I would be prepered to euthanise the toddler.
You are exactly right. This all depends on your view of human. As I do not believe in any kind of God, and that humans are simply another type of ape, then I think that a human is someone that has the genetic makeup that determines them to be human (23 chromosones etc.) and that they are able to understand that they have a future. (Just out of curiousity, where does God grant the right to kill animals?) I think that humans and animals should have exactly the same rights, as we are simply another type of animal (and that is not an insult or a putdown) and that if we have a right to kill animals for utility purposes, and use animals for experiments, then why not use braindead people for experiments? Or euthanise those who no longer want to live? Why does Nancy Crick get no say over how and when she dies? Life had nothing left for her except pain and death. She cut out the pain. I agree that there can be dangerous slippery slope arguments regarding Hitler and any "primitive" indiginous peoples throughout the colonial era. However Singer has clearly defined what constitutes a human and what does not constitute a human. For that matter a baby is not an animal either, they are simply 'alive' however with no rights.
It is a consequence of evolution, however I would say it is a beneficial one. A lot of pain and suffering can be reduced by the adopting of voluntary euthanasia and abortion, consider rape victims who are forced to bear an unwanted baby, or severly demented elderly patients who have an uncurable cancer or disease. Bolly 11:29, 15 December 2007
What more can I say? I strongly disagree with you, but I guess that being prepared to kill a toddler, although surprising, is being consistent with your worldview that we are animals, which is what evolution teaches. I just hope that you're never in a situation where you have to make such a decision.
There are numerous places in the Bible that indicate that it's okay for humans to kill animals. For one, God required animal sacrifices under the old covenant. For another, God told Noah after the flood that it was okay to eat meat. Also, God has given man the task of ruling over His creation (except for taking an innocent human life). By the way, lest anyone misinterpret my comments, there is nothing in the Bible to say that we can mistreat animals, torture them, or etc. The Bible also teaches that everything ultimately belongs to God, and we are just looking after it for him, and that he cares even for the smallest of animals. So although it's okay for us to kill them if we have good reason, it's not okay to misuse them, which would be why William Wilberforce, for one, who worked for the abolition of slavery because of his Christian beliefs, was also instrumental in starting the RSPCA.
Philip J. Rayment 00:24, 15 December 2007 (EST)
You're right, there's very little left to say other than 1. I hardly think you need worry about me being a doctor, I never got the hang of biology, and 2. Thankyou for referencng the Bible for me, I was curious as to God's opinion on meat eating. And I do agree that there is no excuse for mis-treating or torturing animals, and the RSPCA is an organisation with noble ideals.Bolly 10:20, 16 December 2007

Hi Bolly,

The utilitarian view, if I am thinking correctly would look on abortion as permissible if it brought greater happiness to the mother if the child were not alive. This of course, is an unacceptable position - I believe the world is split into two camps when it comes to abortion; Those who believe an unborn baby is biologically relative (A Fetus, which might as well imply its about as useful as a fly or spider) and those who understand and unborn baby is an unborn baby. No matter what torment the mother is going through, the life of a defenceless child must come first. ModerateCatholic 17:25, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Hi ModerateCatholic
I have an istant problem with the way you put the baby first. The mother is a human being who has relatives, loved ones, hopes, thoughts, dreams: ie she is human. The baby, especially when unborn, has none of those things. Why then is it more important that the mother when the mothers death or depression would affect so many more people in a negative way, including the baby who is dependent on that mother? Bolly 9:33, 15 December 2007


In the news about Matthew Murray, the one who killed all those people, there is a link to a WorldNetDaily article. In the article, it is mentioned that Murray was homeschooled for twelve years. This was undoubtedly an unusually bad guy, but it's also bad for homeschoolers. After the big deal we made that Timmy Tebow was homeschooled, don't you think it's fair that we show that just because a person is homeschooled, dosn't mean they'll become a great person? I'm homeschooled; I'm not against homeschooling at all. But this proves that even if the athiests and the MAFIA want to homeschool, they can still raise their children as murderous as they want to. --Stevie 07:45, 14 December 2007 (EST)

There are people out there that homeschool their children because the schools are too conservative! ~BCSTalk2ME 08:32, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Good points by both of you. Homeschooling is not a cure-all. I'm going to research the homeschooling of Matthew Murray more to see what I can learn. I'm curious, for example, what he did the other half of his life, since he was 24 or so years old when he started murdering.--Aschlafly 09:33, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Andy, it still seems a tad bit hypocritical of you to want to explain away, research what happened in the rest of the life of a home-schooled killer, but for anyone in public school, it was the school, the whole school and nothing but the school. A point that you have been dismissing often, is the fact that one's schooling is only a part of one's upbringing and one's influences. To ignore this fact when it suits your purpose, then to use it, also when it suits your purposes could strike some as deceitful, a word you love so much. Boomcoach 11:29, 14 December 2007 (EST)

The proximity of the schooling to the murders does matter. I can't see anyone disputing that, not even you, Boomcoach. It appears the Colorado killer had not been homeschooled for at least 6 years, maybe longer. His most recent schooling may have even been public school. He didn't become a murderer 6 years ago, he became one last week. It's silly to blame something 6 years ago when the real cause was what he was doing this year.--Aschlafly 11:46, 14 December 2007 (EST)
I am not arguing that point at all. I have not blamed homeschooling for his actions, nor would I if he was 18. I was merely pointing out that you do not like to consider any other factors if someone went to public school. I would expect homeschooled children to have a better level of behavior, on average, than public schooled ones, but not because of the nature of the schooling. The public school population is a cross-section of all demographics, while homeschools, whatever the impetus for their choice, by its very nature implies a more specific, stable demographic.
I have nothing against homeschooling,in fact my son is taking a Physics class at home this year, because it couldn't be worked into his schedule at school, but I also realize that it is not an option for the bulk of the children in the country. I think that good public schools are important, and I think it is important to improve them. I simply was pointing out that you do not apply the same criteria to your placement of blame. Boomcoach 11:59, 14 December 2007 (EST)

It also may not have been the school. It could have been anything, lack of friends, social problems, constant bullying, bad friends, even bad parents who did not spend time with him/her. You can't always blame the schools. Schooling may have been one of the major reasons, but probably not the only reason. --~BCSTalk2ME 11:57, 14 December 2007 (EST)

So does that mean the next time (and unfortunately there will most likely be a next time) a person in their mid-twenties goes on the rampage - you won't make the 'product of an athiest public school' comment that is prevalent when these events happen? Nik77uk 16:58, 14 December 2007 (GMT)

You may not agree with the way we present it, but you have to remember: you can not expect us to be perfect. Humans are not perfect, they are sinful!! --~BCSTalk2ME 12:05, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Ideas do matter, and ideas should be held accountable. In the case of the Colorado murderer, he apparently picked up his homicidal ideas from rock music, not from being homeschooled over 6 years earlier. But in the case of the the killers who shoot up public schools, their atheistic motivations are coming from the atheistic culture of public school. The Virginia Tech killer, for example, used his writing assignments in school to develop and express his ideas!--Aschlafly 12:09, 14 December 2007 (EST)

So, in other words, you have no intention of using any semblence of reason, you are simply going to continue to use the front page as a sort of anti-public school blog. Fair enough, I didn't really expect anything different. Boomcoach 12:19, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Boomcoach, try reasoning with an open mind. Please, not for my sake, but yours. Look at cause-and-effect. When the atheistic public school has a proximity to the crime and apparently plays a role, we're going to publicize that. When there is no temporal proximity and no linkage between the ideas taught and the crime committed, then we're not going to make up a link to satisfy you.--Aschlafly 12:24, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Haha, so in other words: When public school has any sort of connection - it should be publicized, but when homeschool does - it should be ignored unless it was the primary cause.--IDuan 18:13, 14 December 2007 (EST)
That kind of superficial -- and incorrect -- analysis is what one would expect from a liberal. Often smarter liberals don't believe their own arguments, but hope that others will fall for them. We don't here.--Aschlafly 19:01, 14 December 2007 (EST)
If Wikipedia always mentioned when a murderer was home schooled, but never mentioned if one went to public - well I think we can all agree it'd be classified as deceit. Us doing the reverse is still the same thing. And actually my analysis would be exactly what you said - because you believe all negative ideas can have a root from public schools - so therefore saying that "when the atheistic public school has a proximity to the crime and apparently plays a role, we're going to publicize that" - is essentially saying (for you): "when we can take advantage of a tragedy in order to express outrage against public schools - then we're going to do that". And stop insulting people just to ignore their arguments - first you accused boomcoach of being closed minded - and then you referred to me as a dumb liberal - and as to that: I'm not going to prove that I am conservative on this or any site, and it is clear that you believe any conservative that's not in line with you on every belief is liberal.--IDuan 23:30, 14 December 2007 (EST)
I wouldn't agree with that last comment. I disagree with Andy on a few things, but he's never called me a liberal and I can't see him doing so. Philip J. Rayment 23:52, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Fair enough - and I don't mean to say every instance this is done (and for the sake of Andy I'm not going to bring up a list) - I just mean to say that it occurs more often than it should--IDuan 00:00, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Eighth Circuit Court Opinion

In your breaking news section, you state the court ruled in favor of a Christian fellowship. In fact, the court upheld a DCA opinion which held the faith-based prison facility violated the establishment clause between 2000-2004. (unsigned by DaveSB)

The past is over, Dave. The Christian fellowship won with respect to the future.--Aschlafly 14:02, 14 December 2007 (EST)
From reading the decision (I admit it was tough going, I am not a lawyer) and this article about the decision, I have to admit I am not sure how this is a "win" for the ministry. Boomcoach 14:49, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Wow, guys, don't you think you could have checked the website of the party in the case, before acting like you knew better than the Christian Fellowship? I guess now you should contact them with your bad news! See [1].--Aschlafly 15:53, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Actually, so far in my legal career I've found that looking at the actual court's opinion tends to give a more accurate idea of the ruling than the website of one of the parties. Having read the court's opinion, it is pretty clear what they ruled the program violated the Establishment Clause. Whether that decision is right or not is a different question. What the court didn't say is that the program could never be legal, at least potentially. I suppose that is the victory the CF is claiming, but the conservapedia headline sort of distorts the court's ruling. - DaveSB

The Fred Phelps article

Fred Phelps is a leftist anti-homosexual behavior activist and liberal Democrat

Since the article is locked, and several people have appealed for it to be changed on the talk page but ignored, I thought it best to put it here in order to garner some sort of consensus. Is Fred Phelps a Liberal? Picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq because their country supposedly supports the 'homosexual agenda' is markedly illiberal. It needs change. ModerateCatholic 16:54, 14 December 2007 (EST)

As a veteran, I find Fred Phelps' actions to be reprehensible and despicable. The very freedom that allowed him and his ilk to protest in that manner was provided by the life of the soldier he's protesting. Karajou 09:58, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Nobody likes Fred Phelps, we know that. But that doesn't mean he can be branded a liberal just for being despicable - does it? Apparently he has some history with the Democratic Party, but his actual views don't seem very "liberal Democrat" to me. Perhaps he doesn't really fit into any political category? Feebasfactor 11:12, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Even if he was a staunch Republican and conservative, there is absolutely no call for his actions. Karajou 11:28, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Agreed (though I hope it didn't seem that I was trying to imply he was!) Feebasfactor 17:30, 15 December 2007 (EST)

In light of Andy's recent comments about non-linear political alignment, I would recommend that the "liberal" statement be redacted, and something to the effect of "Fred Phelps' political alignment seems to fall outside of any political category". --SimonA 16:07, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Given that advancing the homosexual agenda is a defining characteristic of Democrats and Liberals, it's hard to see how being so opposed to homosexuals would make him a Democrat or a Liberal. I looked over the article on him, and it said he did run to be the democrat nominee but didn't win. Maybe there are races where he did win the nomination, but just running doesn't mean the democrats support him. I mean, I would never call Ron Paul a republican but here he is running as one.TRipp 16:28, 15 December 2007 (EST)