Abortion is really a simple issue if you take the ‘soul’ out of the debate

Nobody who rests comfily within the bed of Establishment thinking seems to want to take a position on the debate around abortion. The highest profile players in this arena include New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights playing forward striker for the Forces of Ethical Thinking and on the other side is the 2,000-year-old bedrock of, well, 2,000-year-old thinking, the Roman Catholic Church, and its team of lumbering “morality” policemen, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

For me it is quite simple.

Take the soul out of the equation and the rickety house of cards that is the Primitivist position on the matter of abortion comes crashing down.

It is the role of the dubious concept of the “soul” that muddles the whole issue of abortion. Organised religion uses it as a spanner that continuously fouls up any attempt to take a level-headed and ethical view on the matter. For something being used to frame the “debate”, the “soul” is at best a nebulous and slippery construct. As such, the concept of the soul is a personal matter managed at a deep level on an individual basis. To use it in a very public debate that has far-reaching impacts in a society governed under the framework of a secular state is quite simply an abuse and perversion of religious dogma.

foetusRemove the concept of the “soul” from the debate on whether or not to legalise abortion in the Philippines, and the guiding principle that then becomes the underpinning of this debate is the mind.

Douglas Hofstadter in his book I Am A Strange Loop provides a compelling theory of what a mind might be, and I attempt below to summarise the conceptual cornerstone of his book:

The physical human brain is a complex machine for storing patterns, and the mind is an immensely complex pattern stored in this machine. The mind therefore forms in the brain starting from the time we are born and increases in size, complexity, and sophistication as we go about living the rest of our lives. The nature our mind is an outcome of how our brain organises data captured in the course of our interactions with the world around us into a pattern.

The mind can therefore be thought of as having two measurable properties: size and complexity. Size and complexity of one’s mind could be a function of the extent of a mind’s cognitive abilities — how broadly and deeply one could think, let’s say.

Granted, our current level of understanding of our minds and measurement technologies available currently fail to give us a clear basis for measuring the defining properties of the mind. The point is, such properties are definable. It is the approach and basis for calculating the values of these properties that lie beyond today’s science a the moment.

In contrast, there is no such hope of an intellectual grip around the concept of the “soul”. And therein lies the power of organised religion. Organised religion is able bypass the rigours of modern thinking and hold an entire society hostage using an undefinable construct.

Philippine society is being held hostage by an irrational fear of the “wellbeing” of the “soul” — what is essentially an unknowable unknown.

If only Filipinos can somehow bat away the pop-gun being held to our heads by the Roman Catholic Church and see the debate around abortion for what it really is. It is a debate around which of the two minds at stake here — the mother’s or the unborn child’s — does our society already have significant investment (time, effort, emotion and, yes, money) sunk into.

And we can regard it with this simple question:

Which is more valuable: the mind of an unborn child, or the mind of its mother?

To answer the question we can think of which between the above two is more replaceable, thus;

– A mother who loses an unborn child, can quite easily try again in the future

– A husband who loses a wife or a parent who loses a 16- to 20-year-old daughter to a botched abortion or complicated pregnancy cannot replace this loss ever.

While so much time, money, and emotion had already gone into the formation of the mind of, say, a pregnant 16- to 20-year-old not much in relative terms has gone into that of an unborn child. Indeed, other than hardwired brain activity inherited from our evolutionary legacy, the mind of an unborn child is basically empty — a mere vessel for containing a pattern formed out of life experiences that, perhaps, another vessel conceived at some future time could house.

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71 Comments on “Abortion is really a simple issue if you take the ‘soul’ out of the debate”

  1. Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.

  2. To be a truly good Catholic, shouldn’t a man use every possible ejaculation he’s capable of to create another human being? It would be very tiring, expensive and difficult to raise a family while fucking different women multiple times every day, but otherwise he’s just letting his holy seed go to waste, and you know how God hates that. Weird that He made such an inefficient delivery system where millions of sperm go to waste, but let’s not question His wisdom.

    Same goes for women. Every period is a shameful abomination, they should be churning out kids every nine months as soon as they hit puberty.

    Just to take religulous attitudes to contraception to their logical conclusion. Where to draw the line, bishops?

  3. Organized Religion has enforced the : “morality” of our civilization…Morality is what you think is Right…Hitler murdered six million Jews, and political opponents….he believed himself , as moral and right. Suicide Bombers and Jihadists murder thousands of innocent Infidels…they believe themselves, as moral and right. The Aquinos scammed the Filipinos out of the Hacienda Luisita. They believe themselves, as moral and right…even candidates for “sainthoods”…

    A soul cannot be placed in an electron microscope; studied like the atoms…whereby you can formulate a Theory…A soul is an inherent belief, of a believing individual. Whether, the belief is true or not…we don’t know. Remember, when Organized Religion taught people to think: the world is flat…if you think other wise…you are destined to be burned on the stake…now it is the fear of being burned in Hell…

    The question on Abortion is about life. When would life start? In conception or after conception? What is life?…is Abortion destroying life? Ask those people who are anti-abortion and pro-life…

  4. Indeed legalizing abortion would provide better protection and healthcare for women having unwanted pregnancy but by legalizing abortion you are encouraging an irresponsible society. A society that would use abortion as an eraser for an unwanted “mistake”instead of preventing them in the first place. Contraceptions, condoms and other birth control methods are out there to prevent conception. Why not utilize these methods? Why are we going to take risk into engaging in a risky surgery when it can be prevented in the first place. Also, although I am not Catholic I believe in the concept and idea of a soul. I am not certain if it is a tangible thing but through this idea do we become human. I must admit though that sometimes this notion gets abused and is used as a way to manipulate an uninformed society but by detaching to this sense of “soul” and “heart” we are nothing less but a walking mammal unable to comprehend feelings, emotions and morality. At the end of the day there must be balance to both rational thinking and our human sensibility.

    1. Most likely, the abortions would have to be free for poor people — since, according to Pro-choice advocates, Filipinos can’t be responsible enough to buy condoms or pills.

  5. I agree the existence of a soul muddles the debate. How about the argument of whether the embryo is human or non-human?

    1. Sorry, read the article again, and it seems to imply that the presence of a mind would be the crux of the debate then?

      An embryo, presumably, wouldn’t have a mind because it doesn’t have a brain. Therefore, granting that, then it would be perfectly okay for people to terminate such a life because it cannot be considered human.

      Perhaps extending it a bit more, we can also speculate that it can apply to people who have lost almost all control of their mental faculties and we could terminate their lives as well.

      1. “If it’s growing, isn’t it alive?
        If it has human parents, isn’t it human?”

        The Catholic Church teaches that life starts at conception. Every medical textbook you can find clearly states that a biological human being starts its existence at fertilization (conception). It’s been held up in court, at least here in the US in South Dakota – Planned Parenthood vs. Rounds. There, Planned Parenthood doctors are now required to say that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” It’s a universally understood statement of biology which Planned Parenthood had failed to refute.

        As for Euthanasia, there is a difference between kindness and love. Out of kindness, you’ll put down your dog because it’s suffering. Out of (agape) love, you respect the nature of a human being so that you don’t put him down, but instead alleviate his pain, while encouraging him to recognize his own dignity and respecting it enough to not end his life.

      2. You’re forgetting that the government is charged for protecting every citizen’s life from conception until the person breathes their last breath. It’s somewhere there in the constitution.

  6. Why is a mother or a 16 year old daughter more important than an unborn child? There is nothing in the mother or the teenage daughter that the unborn child isn’t going to become. All they have had is time. That unborn child can also have children and maybe become a great leader, hero or artist. Are you counting only the amount of food the mother and the unborn child have eaten? Or the amount already spent on education?

    1. In fact, given the self-centered mindset of that mother (“myself, before my baby”), I’d place my bet on the unborn child to hold more promise of a better world. At least the unborn still has a chance of becoming selfless (for mother and others). Not to mention, if he knows his mother put him ahead of her self.

      1. If your monicker is accurate, you’re a guy.

        I think that somewhat disqualifies you from thinking you’re a better judge of the woman should be doing.

        1. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. Much to learn you still have, my old padawan.

        2. Anyone who was once an unborn child is qualified to judge. In fact the woman’s judgement is suspect as there is evident self-interest.

  7. Abortion from the secular point of view can be seen as a friction againts two human rights: the right of the mother for health (physical, mental, emotional, etc) vs the health of a child. The question is: does a developing human have human rights? Or what is the a stage where the developing human have human rights? Is human rights inherent to humans or is it merely granted by the state, hence can be taken away?

    @benign0 – Abortion is illegal in the Philippines except when the life of the mother is threaten, though the exception wasn’t raised to the Philippine Supreme Court for clarification.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Philippines#Legal_status

    1. I agree, it’s a matter of human rights. This quote is also pertinent:

      “In my 36 years in pediatric surgery, I’ve never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.”
      – C. Everett Koop, U.S. Surgeon General (1982-1989)

      1. Well duh, she’s in pediatric surgery not obstetrics. There have always been cases where abortion would have unquestionably saved a woman’s life but too much quibbling about the usual hoo-haa made it much too late to do anything in the end.

        Abortion should be treated just like every other medical procedure. It can save lives in some circumstances, and yet aren’t appropriate in others. While people don’t always agree about whether an unborn child has rights or not, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that a living, breathing, autonomous human being has the right to live.

  8. I really admire people who write articles in this site because of their ideas about a specific subject. Ideas pointed sharply, saying Filipinos are crap and full of shit, but one thing they forgot about is them not doing anything to address those issues. They’re just the same as with those bloggers who wrote bad things about Filipinos in order to get traffic on their site.

    1. What do want them to do then? Post all the GOOD things they did for the people in this country? If that’s what you’re looking for, check Instagram, twitter and Facebook. Check the pseudo-helpful people’s posts. You will definitely see what you want to see.

      If the issues these people wrote here are not helping you to think or reflect about the things that are happening in the Philippine society, then you do not understand what these people are trying to do. If the rantings they’re doing do not compel you to think better and evaluate yourself to take actions so you can make a difference, then you do not understand a thing about what this page is all about.

      DIO said it right, You are missing the point.
      Read again, you might be enlightened.

  9. So by taking out the soul from the equation the author already thinks it’s easier to take a life? WTF!!! Should it not be more difficult because you are taking away the only life the person has? The author has to rethink his opinion on the matter because he is oversimplifying the subject of human life. As if we are nothing more but cattle or beasts of labor that can be disposed off when we become a liability to ourselves or others or when we are no longer needed.

  10. so if a pregnant women flippantly decides one day before shes scheduled to give birth that she wants the baby terminated there are no ethical concerns?

  11. The issue here is: is it Right or “moral” to bring people in this world, that you cannot feed, educate, give his/her needs, etc?

    We already have many families living in subhuman conditions…yet , organized religions are stubborn to cling to their dogmas , that are already obsolete in our age…

    1. That’s a valid point. Here in lies the values of education. A pregnant 16 year old is probably not very educated or disciplined. And there’s also the Christian virtue of no sex before marriage. I don’t know the statistic in the Philippines, but here in the US over 80% of people who get abortions are unmarried.

      A woman may kill her 9-month-old baby in her womb to save that baby from the troubles of the world (be they economic, social, etc). Why can’t a woman kill a 10-month-old baby that’s already born for the same reason? Why is there this sort of discrimination – shouldn’t everyone of every age and level of development be treated equally? This is why I consider abortion – the slaughter of tens of millions of humans every YEAR, to be the foremost human rights issue of our time.

      Well, I think the guilt, punishment, & reward system that organized religions employ have (and continue to?) play a key role in urging people to do good things. The Bible deals with human nature, which pretty much doesn’t change. Look at New Orleans, a major city of the richest country in the world, after Hurricane Katrina. It only took three days before people, in despair, resorted to mass looting and shooting. You would think the veneer of civilization would last longer than three days..

      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because we have nice things, that people won’t do whatever is in their power (especially if they have no morals…) to get what they want or need, if those nice things are taken away. You can see this clearly in comparing crime in developed countries to crime in un(der)developed countries.

      1. No sex before marriage? People who are raging with hormones will always find ways to have sex…whether they burn in Hell or not…if these people cannot prevent pregnancies…then, it is their choice to terminate it. No organized religion should dictate what people will do, or will not do…we have too much trouble already with the religious idiologies of organized religions…suicide bombers, jihadist, religious bigots, phedophile priests etc…

        1. It is telling that our medieval counterparts, although substantially more primitive in numerous aspects than ourselves, were yet more able to discipline themselves at a fundamental level, particularly in being chaste.

          Take up your complaints with Islam, but the violence and abhorrence of its teachings and believers are incomparable with that of Christians. Are there any Christians who act as savagely as some Muslims do to people like Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg?

          And enough about the pedo-priest stereotype. According to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, between 1950 and 2002, only 4% of US priests were ever accused of child abuse (4,392 clergymen of 109,694 priests).

        2. In addition: While many of those cases occurred during the Sexual Revolution Era, and many of the priests involved in such accusations are dead; today, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate deems only about 8 allegations of child sexual abuse by priests every year to be “credible.”

        3. “It is telling that our medieval counterparts, although substantially more primitive in numerous aspects than ourselves, were yet more able to discipline themselves at a fundamental level, particularly in being chaste.”

          That assertion is simply a LIE. History is replete with examples of Catholic Church leaders who are hardly paragons of virtue.

          Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) — Rodrigo Borgia — had a long affair with Vannozza dei Cattanei before his papacy, and by her had his illegitimate children Cesare and Lucrezia. All told, Alexander fathered at least seven, and possibly as many as ten illegitimate children.

          Pope Pius II (1458–1464) had at least two illegitimate children before he entered the clergy, one in Strasbourg and one in Scotland. Pius delayed becoming a cleric because of the requirement of chastity.

          Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492) had two illegitimate children during his youth, both born before he entered the clergy. His nepotism towards these has been described as ‘lavish as it was shameless.’

          Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) had one illegitimate son before he took holy orders — Alessandro de Medici, the Duke of Florence.

          While there is no evidence of sexual exploits during his papacy, Pope Paul III (1534–1549) held off ordination in order to continue his promiscuous lifestyle, fathering four illegitimate children (three sons and one daughter) by his mistress Silvia Ruffini. He manoeuvred his illegitimate son Pier Luigi Farnese to become the first Duke of Parma.

          Pope John X (914–928) had romantic affairs with both the Roman noblewoman and senatrix Theodora and her daughter Marozia. Marozia is also said to have been the mistress of a previous pontiff — Pope Sergius III (904–911). That union was alleged to have produced a son, the later Pope John XI (910-935).

          Pope John XII (955–963) was accused by his adversaries of adultery and incest and described as being a ‘Christian Caligula.’ It is rumoured he died either by the hand of a jealous husband while in the act of committing adultery or after being stricken by paralysis, again in the act of adultery.

          Catholics should be ashamed by the hypocrisy of a Church that preaches celibacy and chastity while refusing to acknowledge the venal and carnal sins of the people who have held its highest office.

        4. @ Saint, please tell us ill-informed people what EXACTLY is an illegitimate child? For all your pontifications deriding the Catholic Church, PLEASE ,for all of us…explain that one!

          HINT:There is no such thing, unless YOU subscribe to the very principles preached by those you disparage so vogorously. and then that makes YOU…TA-DA, a mere hypocrit and oh so typical.

        5. For the edification of that breathtakingly obtuse PILE that perennially persists in posting anti-intellectual tripe without first acquainting himself with the topic…

          The usage of ‘illegitimate’ in this very, VERY simple context (though seemingly beyond the comprehension of the dolt that requires the explanation) is to describe the condition before the law, or the social status, of a child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of his or her birth. The sanctity of marriage, conception and procreation are issues the Catholic Church and Christians in general take very seriously. These have to do with Catholic/Christian attitudes and practices with regards to sex and (im)morality. Quite simply, the Catholic Church considers sex outside of marriage sinful — a violation of the teachings of Catholic/Christian doctrine. Any children that are produced by such unions outside of marriage are not only afforded a diminished status according to Church doctrine, but also tend to be disparaged socially, i.e. looked down upon by their peers within the community of the Church.

          These tenets of Judeo-Christian philosophy have had profound influences on human civilisation. English Common Law (the precursor of our modern legal system) placed harsh penalties on an illegitimate child, denying the child inheritance and property rights. And while modern law has given the non-marital child more rights, our legal systems still differentiate between the marital and non-marital status.

      2. @Catholic Conservative, why are you relying on statistics of reported convictions to judge the extent of the paedophilia problem? The entire business is veiled in shameful secrecy and conspiracy, that’s why it was such a media furore when people started to come forward. Do you really think the majority have been found out?

        Also, your concept of abortion seems to be based on terminating a 9-month-old baby that’s just about to be born. Even in countries where women are given control over their own bodies, you’d have to search hard to find a shady doctor who would terminate a foetus capable of surviving outside the womb.

        Oh, what’s the point. Wasting my fucking time. Go back to your colourful church pamphlets.

  12. WAIT A SECOND: Who told you that you even have a soul? AND if you do, How do you know that you don’t have 20 of them,HUH?

    Who told you that shit, and more importantly, WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IT?

    1. JT North Koreans are brainwashed from birth to love Kim
      This mob are brain washed to love the church.

      All these 3rd world countries are the same they all live in the stone age and not one of them will ever progress.

      1. *Looks at your third sentence.*

        Really? Look at history, you might be surprised. Also you might also be surprised at just how short-lived and vulnerable some of the most powerful nations and countries on earth really were. But don’t let that burst your bubble… 🙂 Ignorance is bliss…

      2. @ YAWN, I just threw that out there to see what would come back. A ruffled feather or two, and at least one disgruntled person that thinks it may or may not be so…and that anyone who deosn’t hink so….is ignorant!
        FUCK IF I KNOW! LOL!

        1. @JT Jerzy

          Politicians steal billions and they do nothing about it, criticize the church and they go off the rails. No difference between this mob and the mad mullahs.

  13. A strong presence of religion or religious morality doesn’t necessarily make or break a country. Just look at the histories of countries such as Russia, China, Cuba, South Korea, Great Britain and probably lots of other countries in eastern Europe. Get real, just because the Filipino Masa’s version of Roman Catholicism is so distorted, don’t fall into this generalizing trope of “All religion does is propagate stupidity, violence and pedophilia hurr durr”. Yeah cause treating people like soul-less, machinical, tools worked out so well in the past right? In fact isn’t that what the Phil. government is already doing to the Filipinos nowadays?

    I know this is only somewhat related to the topic but seriously these stereotypes about religion in the comments section is just so simplistic and generalized.

    The easiest solutions isn’t always the best ones. And especially speaking for educated middle class, well if you got hourney and got pregnant or got someone else pregnant well sorry but that’s your responsibility… We’re not animals that can’t control ourselves.

  14. Is abortion a simple issue? (Some would like to make it simple, as RoeVsWade attempted, and look at what it has gotten us in the last 50 years or so. More debates with no resolution in sight.) The question really is: what is a human being? Is a human being easily definable by human beings? Many will say Yes, if we focus on just an aspect, say biology, or sociology. But, a human is not just a biological creature or a social animal, as we know. There is the psychological aspect, a hint that maybe, a human is not limited in essence to his/her materiality. A human could ontologically be also of non material nature and thus is spiritual, which could account for spiritual/ religious lives of many. Humans have developmental lives from conception to old age. They are social animals with senses and have sensual lives. They are normally part of an economic society, so they have economic lives. In short, they are complex beings by no small measure. So, i think the honest answer is No, human being is not easily definable if taken in his totality.

    The next question is: are humans valuable? To what extent are they valuable? And, how do we judge that value? As can be seen these are very, very fundamental questions. They are so fundamental that it is often proposed these days that they are stupid questions to ask. But, are they?

    Which should really lead us to ask: if humans are that valuable, and more often than not, that is taken for granted, why can’t we reflect more on what is the real value of humans? Why are we so prone to accept reductions, as can be seen in the above write-up? It is no accident even to casual observers that mankind has become more utiitarian in its mentality and approach, so the question is, do we even have the right frame of mind to ask fundamental questions? Are we or are we not caught up in consumerism, production efficiency, profit driven motives, political and economic agendas, etc, that there is a risk to judge men and women as just another asset or liability, a material input or cost, or an emotion-less resource? Is this the reason why man has now been made to serve money instead of money serving man, as Pope Francis asked.

    If we are handicapped judges, how can we even propose that there is an opposition between the rights of women and the rights of the unborn? Is there really an opposition between these two rights? Really? How and when did that happen, because it was not always that way? (There was a time when chivalry was not something awkward. Maybe, it was a time when men had a higher regard for women because they saw in them their mothers. It was a time when motherhood was seen as the highest dignity a human could have Today, it is called slavery or an unwanted status. How sad, really.)

    If there are answers to the foregoing, were these enough to justify the 80 million plus abortion worldwide in the last 40 years? 80m unique DNAs in each and everyone of them, where one could have been a scientist who could have solved mankind’s problems? A pipe dream, but why dispose of them when animal rights guys would have screamed bloody murder if they were animals? No doubt, what we are witnessing is a genocide of historical proportion; others claim it is eugenics at work.. Anyway, who is he/she who could decide which category of humans can be put in the chopping block and which can’t be? Every embryology textbook states that the unborn at any stage is a wholly integrated human from the time of fertilization. Zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus are terms just for taxonomy so experts could communicate, but each is only a phase in a continuum of life from zygote to old age. In short, the unborn is not a potential human being, but a human being with potentials. (Politics now wants power to decide which portion of that continuum is the beginning and end of life, and there have been attempts to change textbooks. Didn’t we already find it so shocking, so Nazi, when Belgium legislated child euthanasia? What could prevent other legislators in the world to arbitrarily come up with other horrible concepts?)

    No matter how we answer all the above, can we see the rationale why some concluded that the abortion debate is nothing but a debate about utility and lifestyle? Is it a debate between two philosophies in life: (a) sacrifice first, then pleasure, or (b) pleasure first, then hangover? Which is the vice and which is the virtue? So, what is the moral foundation for killing the unborn? In many laws worldwide, it is considered double homicide when a pregnant woman is killed, how is it that with abortion, it is not murder?

    It is therefore ignorance to broach that if we could settle the doctrine on souls, we would be able to untangle other gridlocks in the abortion debate. First of all, it was not RCC that came up with the concept of souls. It was Plato who in trying to understand how man could have the power for introspection came up with the concept that man must be made up of two components: one material, the other non-material. It was of course further polished by subsequent philosophers, in and out of the Church. They said it must be the intelligence and will of man that make up the soul. Soul defined as such must then be what separates us from the brutes, which could only have imagination, memory, instinct, or any biological product of an animal brain. Humans share what animals have, but brutes dont have the ability to self reflect, so it must be that human has a soul.

    The dualistic concept, body and Soul, has aided in explaining some doctrines to be more understandable to the masses. However, in several, it was useless for the reason that the Bible is not fundamentally dualistic in its concept. The Bible is Jewish in thinking, not Greek. So it is not about soul per se that is the central issue for that is deceptively limiting what RCC is teaching about man and what his nature is. There is simply something enigmatic about humans that their “substance” should be accorded the dignity no matter what their circumstance, or “accident” as philosophically termed. Jesus does not save the soul, it is the human person that He saves, if we are to be biblical.

    This is not to convince anybody, but if it is still maintained that the existence of a soul is not something provable, then one could as well argue more that scientism, whether it is Darwinian evolution, selective mutation, etc, has neither had the leg to prove there is no soul. And if one is really so averse to the concept of a soul, why doesn’t he just read on atheist S Freud and get a hint from the id, ego and superego (hahaha).

    1. Very thorough and engaging, I don’t think there’s anything one can add to what you said. The part about “not potential human beings, but human beings with potential,” is especially well-put.

    2. @Johnny Saint

      Good point, the Church has had such bad popes. It might be worth noting that they presided during the Renaissance, where the societal climate was far different from that of the 13th century; in Italy, brothels, courtesans, and prostitutes were being viewed with high esteem.

      Also, that is 7 bad popes out of a little more than 250. Ex cathedra, none of those popes sought to pervert Church teachings (which is the important part because that’s where papal infallibility comes into play). The Holy Spirit is promised to the Church via its church leaders who proclaimed the gospel (apostolic succession starting with Peter), and has protected the teachings of the RCC, and more remarkably even the institution itself, to survive 2,000 years even with such great corruption, theological division, and political pressure. The Church has to have this infallibility because it is made up of flawed sinners. And on that note, “you cannot abandon Peter because of Judas.”

      1. Hold on. Let’s keep this on topic. The point of contention was the ‘chastity’ of mediaeval Catholics compared to the Catholics and Christians of to-day. That Jose Rizal was still writing about the amorous adventures of the clergy, at the very least suggests that sexual abuse by priests persisted well into the 19th century. And that the problem was widespread; far from being limited to Rome, Catholics also had reason to fear their local parish priest.

        Cultural attitudes notwithstanding, the fact remains that too many priests engaged in temporal matters, NOT the spiritual affairs of the Church. In fact that was the criticism leveled against many Popes (whether or not they maintained mistresses).

        ‘…you cannot abandon Peter because of Judas.’

        I’m sorry but that is PRECISELY what happened. History proves this as does the Catholic/Christian bible. Early Christians were divided among those who maintained the Jewish traditions and Gentiles who leaned more towards Hellenic and Roman philosophy. Thanks to a young Pharisee named Paul and his epistles, the Roman Catholic Church is founded primarily on this new religious tradition. NOT the original belief system that evolved out of John the Baptiser’s cult.

      2. “Also, that is 7 bad popes out of a little more than 250.”

        The intention was NOT to dump all sorts of statistics in one comment. The objective was to disprove the previous assertion that mediaeval clergymen were MORE pious. However, that doesn’t mean that ONLY seven Pontiffs were less than holy. The examples cited do not even include the Popes who were sodomites.

        1. @Johnny My mistake, I forgot to mention that the extremely high cost was because Texas had to use a different type of drug – the old type would cost about $90. What I’m seeing is a range of $100-$200 for lethal injection drugs elsewhere in the US. But the cases involving capital punishment involve several hundred thousand more dollars on average.

  15. My message got deleted a while ago. Weird. Anyway, of all this talk of killing unboard children, where’s the bill on death penalty for criminals? It’s appalling that Filipinos seems adamant for abortion and depopulation. Why not start with rapists, thieves, murderers and the like? The prisons are overcrowded anyway. I wonder if the politicians and people who support the RH bill are okay with the death penalty?

    In my earlier post that got deleted, I mentioned that this article is implying that removing the soul from the equation makes it easier to kill a person. But what I want to add now is that removing the soul doesn’t make a person a lesser person. This article brings us humans to the level of cattle.

    1. Agreed; and although I am a Catholic, I slightly support the death penalty, provided that the universal method used is hanging. It is relatively humane (in comparison to how France had been using the guillotine until the 1970s), inexpensive, and quick.

      1. How on Earth is hanging or strangulation a human death? Have you ever attended one? Have you ever seen the grotesque ‘dance’ of a hanged man or smelled the aftermath when the condemned voids his bowels?

        One of the better — more humane — conceptions of capital punishment in the 20th century was the ‘lethal injection.’ The condemned is put to sleep as he is poisoned to death; it causes the least amount of pain.

        1. I think is the most balanced form of capital punishment there is, keeping in mind cost, since we need not spend so much money on what is arguably the lowest part of our citizenry. Lethal injection drugs’ prices have dramatically risen over the years; in Texas one execution via such a method would cost more than $1,000.

          Anyone who dies voids their bowels.

        2. Then the argument shouldn’t be about which method is more humane when your real concern is the financial cost. Incidentally, your position is rather condescending and elitist. As a Catholic do you now diminish the value of a person because he is a condemned prisoner? Recall Matthew 25:31-44. The passage ends with Christ declaring: ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

          “Anyone who dies voids their bowels.”

          Again you are misrepresenting the facts.

        3. “Anyone who dies voids their bowels.”

          Again you are misrepresenting the facts.

          The dying do not empty their bowels or release copious amounts of feces and urine. What moves feces and other material thru your bowels is peristalsis — small muscle contractions in your intestines. These contractions force the digested material thru your bowels. But when you die, obviously, these contractions stop. The muscle at the end of your bowel (sphincter) also stops functioning (looses muscle tone) so some material may, by way of gravity or by moving the body, find its way out. That assumes urine remains in the bladder and that there is feces in the bowel.

          The suddenness of a hanging (the sudden relaxation of the muscles) is more than likely to produce this kind of effect because of gravity acting on the body. That method of execution is going to be messier than one where the condemned is lying flat with the gradual administration of the poison.

        4. Texas has a problem with keeping costs down because it has the MOST number of inmates on death row. Compared to other states in the union they would consequently have to spend more. Incidentally, Texas also appears to have the most number of inmates still incarcerated who were previously on death row but were subsequently proven to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.

  16. I’m against Organized Religion, that imposes their religious ideologies to people who don’t believe in their religious ideologies. You can worship your God, in the way you want…Please don’t take the Power of Choice of people…it is their inherent birthright…

    Politicians removed the Death Penalty; so that they can steal and plunder, at will. Plunder is punishable by death…

    Christian religion had also their share in violence. Nazi Germany was Christian. Hitler was an Austrian Christian Catholic. The SS Nazi soldiers that murdered people in those Death Camps, were either : Christian Catholics or Christian Protestants.

    Pope Benedict the 16th, was a former Hitler Youth; and a German Nazi soldier…

    The Ethnic Cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, were done by Orthodox Christians and Christian Catholics….Suicide bombers and Jihadists in Islam, are just the replication of the Knight Templars, and the Christian Crusaders…

    1. Hydie, Hydie, Hydie – pull yourself together, man. You need to unknot your knickers and breathe deeply; you know it’s unbecoming of someone who thinks they’re making a serious contribution to the discussion to be as hysterical as you.

      You say that you’re “against Organized Religion, that imposes their religious ideologies to people who don’t believe in their religious ideologies.” That’s OK – “convert or die” never really was a sure way to build membership; and all that happened when it was tried out was to drive the oppressed underground or to make people practice their religion secretly. But then you plead (with whom?) not to “take the Power of Choice of people…it is their inherent birthright…” But, dear boy, no one has taken their ability to choose! If someone has, tell us who and how. And please, enough of this “inherent birthright” silliness: if choice is a “birthright,” then it’s a right, which means that it has a guarantor. In this case, you need to clarify who guarantees the right to choose. The there’s that slight problem with “inherent” – when you can explain how a right is inherent – and to what – then maybe we can act as if what you have to say can be taken seriously.

      And then you have to go off like a loose cannon writing such silly things as “Nazi Germany was Christian.” Are you saying the state religion of Nazi Germany was Christianity? Pinoy please, get your facts straight. If you even took a glancing look at the tenets of National Socialism, you’d realize how far off the mark you are. “Hitler was an Austrian Christian Catholic”? That’s not even worth a serious response. Then you trail off into an incoherent rant with absolutely no point! One would have reason to think that you were horribly drunk when sharing your “thoughts,” or carried away with the idea that you could strafe us with “facts,” as if that would constitute an argument – an argument that we would buy. Sorry, dude – no sale.

      Check yourself before you wreck yourself, Hydie. And show a little more respect for the rest of us who enjoy this blog. We do have brains, and we do not take bullshit.

      1. Hitler was from Austria. He was brought out as Roman Catholic. The Nazi symbol swastika was originally a Hindu symbol. That Swastika is decorated in the altar of the Church, where he went to mass…look at your history. Or visit the birthplace of Hitler in Austria.

        My power to Choose is mine…I don’t believe in Organized religion (period)…I’m old enough to be told what to do…

        1. Hydie, Hydie, Hydie… I’m glad to read that you’re “old enough to be told what to do” – because you need to go back to the kiddie table where you belong and then come back when you have something better than nonsense to share with us.

      2. @Ben:

        You yourself is professing to be wise; but you are an ignorant idiot…why not check your history book, before blogging…Germany is a Christian country, much more like Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country…you are twisting my blog to humiliate me…you idiot!!!

        1. Oh Hydie, Hydie, Hydie… take a deep breath and calm down! No need to be an angry windbag!

          The first thing you can do is make sure that you can write grammatically correct English: “You yourself is professing to be wise”? Really? I never said any such thing. “You are an ignorant idiot”? That’s just childish. My dear little boy, you need to do better than that if you want any of us not to laugh at you. Because believe me, you’re definitely not being taken seriously.

          Pinoy please, have the good grace not to parade your ignorance so shamelessly to this blog’s readers. A little ignorance is endearingly funny (it shows how much of a clown you are), but when you start throwing out your howlers like they’re going out of fashion, it just looks bad.

          So, to save face, you can start by backing up your “facts,” such as where Hitler went to Mass, as well as Germany being a theocratic state (that last I checked, there actually was a separation of Church and State in place there, and even in the Nazi period), etc. Look, Hydie, you’re being offered a ladder out of the hole you dug yourself – don’t turn it down now – that’d be stupid.

          Oh, and I’m reassured to learn that your power to “Choose” is yours; if it was someone else’s, there would’ve been some serious cognitive dissonance.

          No one is twisting your blog and no one is humiliating you – I’m only responding to what you said, which, dear boy, leaves a lot to be desired. That, Hydie, is your fault. Please accept responsibility for that and grown a pair instead of displaying so much butthurt. And as you should know by now, I’m no idiot.

          Get Real, Hydie!

        2. Hello, Hyden –

          don’t mean to be rude, but Ben has lots of valid points. Could you please explain yourself?

          Thanks!

          Pedro

        3. Hello, Hyden –

          Are you done being a little crybaby bitch yet? Stop being such a chickenshit mother fucker and answer my question. *Can you explain yourself?* It might help if you crawl out of your mother’s cunt before you speak. Watch out for those ping pong balls in there that time forgot as you make your exit, shithead. And wash your face first, too. Not only do those juices smell like old patis and spam gone bad but given the old whore’s HIV status, they’re a fucking biohazard.

          Yellowtard? Have you seen your skin, you little fucktard? You’re the only fucking yellowtard here. Come on, bitch, get your game on. Or is that all you’ve got?

          Look at you. You’re a little bitch.

          Maraming salamat po. Have a nice day!

          Pedro

    1. Hello, Hyden –

      I don’t understand why you have to call me a yellowtard idiot. I wasn’t rude with you. All I was asking for was some clarification. And you were rude to me in response. Is it because I didn’t agree with you or take your side? That’s no reason to be rude.

      But let me reply to you now. You only understand rudeness. So I will be rude to you. You only want people who agree with you and who think how you do. So, candy ass, you should go find your AIDS-riddled whore of a mother at the Angeles City titty bar where she works and climb through her diseased cunt back into that septic tank of a womb she shat you kicking and screaming out of. That would be the perfect echo chamber for you. It should not be too hard for you to burrow your way back through her dusty pussy after all the sex tourist cock that’s split it so wide open you could drive PNoy’s presidential motorcade right through and still leave space for a crowd of yellow tards to howl and dance about like bitches in heat.

      Fuck you, Hyden, you thin-skinned little emo bitch. Fucktard half dicks like you have no place among people.

      So, to get back to business: answer my fucking question if you can, bitch. I dare you. I double dare you, mother fucker.

      Maraming salamat po! Have a nice day!

      Pedro.

      P.S. Next time, please don’t be rude.

    2. Hydie, Hydie, Hydie, what have you done? On the one hand, Pedro really crossed the line there, talking about your momma like that; on the other, he didn’t go far enough. He could have (should have?) said there was enough space left over to have another EDSA revolution down there. Given your love for Yellowtards, that would have hit the spot. Well, even with insults, there’s always room for improvement… I imagine he’ll do better next time.

      Have you been a good boy and checked your claims yet? Can you back them up now? Do you even know how to do that?

      Get Real, Hydie!

  17. “Philippine society is being held hostage by an irrational fear of the “wellbeing” of the “soul” — what is essentially an unknowable unknown.”

    BULL****!

    If Filipinos really have such fear then there won’t be a need for the RH bill because everything will be just fine: Married couples will be loyal to each other, their children won’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant, government officials would do their tasks with all honesty, employers won’t be jerks to their employees and will pay them a just salary (case in point: labor groups demanding a wage hike. If they do raise it it’s barely any help). The truth is we don’t have any fear of anyone and thus we think we can do whatever we want regardless of the consequences. And this includes giving ourselves authority to decide if an unborn child can live or not.

  18. @Johnny: About my ‘condescending’ view of serial killers: a just (governmental) authority has the right to “defend and promote the common good of civil society” according to CCC. Pope Pius XII also said: “Even when it is a question of the execution of a condemned man, the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. In this case it is reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned person of the enjoyment of life in expiation of his crime when, by his crime, he has already disposed himself of his right to live.”

  19. There is a fine line between what is morally right, and what is rational. When it comes to abortion these two meet only when the life of the mother is in danger, and the only way or the best way to save her life is with abortion, we call it therapeutic abortion.

    The Philippines, will never embraced to legalized abortion, we are the largest christian country in Asia. The church values life, that is why they are against it, but the question is where does life begins?

    Life begins at the moment of conception, meaning when the sperm have reach a fertile ovum and became an embryo. So to removed the murder/killing part, why not try to prevent conception from happening.

    Wait, we already have that. It is called the RH bill. Still why are so many Filipinos against it, if it does not harm nor kill anyone?

  20. I am also pro choice, but this is a rather idiotic argument. By your logic, it’s also okay to kill a live infant. There are a lot of good arguments for abortion. This is not one of them.

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