Time I renewed my Amnesty membership, I think - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
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Time I renewed my Amnesty membership, I think Aug. 21st, 2007 04:35 pm

From: flewellyn
Date: August 21st, 2007 - 03:54 pm (Link)
Abortion is a central issue in Catholic belief? Gee...and here I thought that whole "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the poor" thing was more important. Just goes to show where Pope Palpatine's interest lies.
From: sashajwolf
Date: August 22nd, 2007 - 02:38 pm (Link)
In Catholic belief, they're all equally central, because they're all rooted in the value of human life. Googling for "seamless garment life" will bring up resources that explain this more fully, if you're interested.
From: flewellyn
Date: August 22nd, 2007 - 05:36 pm (Link)
Moderately, I suppose. I'm just recalling the "quickening" argument of Thomas Aquinas, which would make abortion not a problem...
From: fellcat
Date: August 23rd, 2007 - 12:18 am (Link)
The commencement of foetal movement is not the only standard by which one may determine life to have started (two alternative standards that spring to mind are the drawing of the first breath and the fusion of the spermatazoon with the ovum): I believe that current Catholic doctrine considers the latter or something like it to be its standard for the start of life.
From: flewellyn
Date: August 23rd, 2007 - 04:39 am (Link)
Oh, I understand that. But, see, the Catholic Church has no moral authority to make the distinction for other people in the first place.

Why do I say this? Well, I'm Jewish. And, you see, the Jews own the part of the Bible called the "Old Testament" by Christians. That's OUR testament. On behalf of the Jews, I have revoked the right of the Catholic Church to use the "Old Testament". Since the New does not make sense without it, that effectively revokes the Catholic religion altogether.

So, the Pope can go home now, he's just a guy with a funny hat.
From: fellcat
Date: August 23rd, 2007 - 12:41 pm (Link)
1: Jews don't own the OT, at least not here.

The authors of the OT have all been dead for more than fifty years, making the OT a public domain work in the UK. Therefore Jews cannot revoke the right of others to use the OT within the UK.

2: the CC has the same moral authority to try to assert its views as any other agent of social change has.

Social changes only come about because a person or group of people decides to attempt to assert a moral authority to make distinctions about boundaries for other people. An example is anti-racism: racism is removed from a society when a bunch of people decide that skin colour may not be used to create a distinction between entities worthy of human rights and entities not worthy of them, and then claim moral authority to assert their view that everyone else must stop using skin colour as a distinction.

3: not all people who oppose a moral/legal right to abortion are Catholic.

Abortion opponents are from many faiths— some are even atheists—and so even if you can revoke the OT from the CC and hence destroy the CC, there are still people with a secular justification for their opposition to abortion who will insist that young age, residence in the uterus, and helplessness do not render an entity undeserving of human rights, and will claim moral authority to assert their views over others.
From: flewellyn
Date: August 23rd, 2007 - 11:50 pm (Link)
I think you missed my point.

My point was that, by asserting an absurd moral right to revoke use of the Old Testament, I was acting with exactly as much authority and reason as the Pope rightly has.

Although your third point, on the notions of human rights, is worth addressing, I'm not up for it at the moment. Check back in my journal for my "Blogging For Choice" essay to see how I addressed it there, if you're interested.
From: fellcat
Date: August 24th, 2007 - 12:30 pm (Link)
AFAICT, the whole debate can be condensed down to whether or not an entity's right to not be killed outweighs another entity's right to decide how to use their own body. I don't think that it's possible to make an absolute declaration that one right is more important than the other, because there are other very basic rights (such as the right to primary education and the right to basic healthcare) which are dependant upon someone giving the use of their body (by teaching or practicing medicine) to help someone else.

I think that the practical option is to do more to minimise the risk to women of unplanned conception and to remove the economic and social reasons that often make carrying to term impossible.
From: fellcat
Date: August 21st, 2007 - 05:34 pm (Link)
The inherent controversy and irresolvability of the abortion rights/wrongs debate should have dissuaded Amnesty from taking any stance other than total neutrality on abortion access and legality. Amnesty has historically only acted to defend universally accepted human rights (such as not getting tortured and not being detained without charge); abortion is not universally accepted as a human right and there are logical, internally-consistent arguments for it to be considered either a human rights violation or a human right, depending upon one's own axioms.

I'm not surprised in the least that Catholics are leaving. I myself will not be renewing my membership, not because I disagree with some parts of their new abortion stance, but because they have lost the impartiality that I respected them for by taking a stance other than complete neutrality about something so divisive.
From: fellcat
Date: August 21st, 2007 - 05:34 pm (Link)
PS: I'm not Catholic.