So it would seem abortion is now a forgiveable sin in this upcoming holy year of mercy...

http://www.koat.com/news/priests-may-forgive-abortions-during-holy-...

Sayeth the Pope himself.

What do you think of this? It's almost more insulting than the original saying that abortion is an unforgiveable sin. This way it's "up to the archdioses" or "up to the priest that they "may" grant forgiveness...." So Woman A may be forgiven, but not Woman B...I wonder what criteria they use to forgive some but not all women for this unspeakable sin, (sarcasm)...

May the Lord be with you.

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If you kill the caterpillar, there will be no butterfly.  They are the same organism, the same life.  That's the genetic and scientific reality. 

As I've said several times, ethical disputes are conflicts over attitudes not over facts. Definitions and facts are put into the service of what one wants to prove (based on one's attitude).

Moral and ethical arguments cannot be settled for that reason. You guys are simply not talking to each other. You're talking to yourself and those holding the same attitude.

I suppose I agree, sort of.

I think no argument or dispute is resolvable unless the parties to the argument share fundamental epistemologies.   It's not just "ethical disputes", it's anything, really.   A scientist and a creationist will just talk past each other over a non-ethical issue like how old a rock is.

Similarly, atheists and theists just talk past each other, because they're starting from different assumptions and have different epistemologies.  I can't convince you to be a theist, nor are you likely to convince me to be an atheist.   At best, we can only "faith-share" and talk respectfully from our different perspectives. 

Within a community, though, ethical disputes are resolvable.  Scientists can come to resolution on an issue with other scientists; Catholics can with other Catholics.  More or less in both cases, over time.

Of course when self-interest comes into play, it's much more difficult.  Try to convince a banker he needs to give up derivatives trading that for now is making him rich, and people will construct the craziest arguments. 

At best, we can only "faith-share" and talk respectfully from our different perspectives.

I may be misunderstanding what you said here, but it looks to me like you are insinuating that atheism is grounded on faith.

If so, you failed the "respectfully" part just writing that very sentence.

Problem of language, @Steve.

In religious communities "faith sharing" refers to just sharing perspectives from your own viewpoint without trying to convince people from other viewpoints that they're wrong.

oops  ,I am guilty of killing gypsy moth caterpillars, because they destroy all the leaves on the tree where their nest is.....I have lost a few trees because of them.....However those who make it to the moth stage, fly away and leave my trees alone... I am sorry if this offends you...

What a life is is only "objective" after one settles on definition of terms, which are subject to stipulation.

Bob, your example, and indeed your whole post is addressing the issue of intent. I did not address that issue in my post. I agree that when we talk about abortion we are talking about a deliberate and premeditated action.

My distinction was not to do with the intent but the recipient of the action. You still keep talking about ending a human life for all abortions. I think we can all agree that terminating a pregnancy two days before birth is taking a human life and is completely wrong. However terminating a pregnancy two days after conception is an entirely different matter. It's chalk and cheese. Let me ask you the following hypothetical to demonstrate:

If you were forced, for some reason, to choose between aborting a pregnancy two days before birth or two days after conception which one would you choose?

If you find the choice is an easy one then you are making the same distinction that I am. If you believe there is no difference between the cases then I submit you are either A) intellectually dishonest or B) you believe a variant on the idea that a human has a "soul" and this "soul" makes its appearance immediately after conception. It is your right to believe that but it is not your right to accuse someone who doesn't believe that of murder when they abort a 2 day old pregnancy.

Incidentally if the soul does appear immediately following conception then God himself terminates many more souls than we ever get a chance to do as the statistics I posted demonstrate.

@SimonM +1

Bob, your example, and indeed your whole post is addressing the issue of intent.

Absolutely.  Homicide is deliberate.  It is an act of intent.

If you were forced, for some reason, to choose between aborting a pregnancy two days before birth or two days after conception which one would you choose?

For me?  Neither.   The outcome is the same in both cases - a human being is destroyed, and my intent was to destroy him/her. 

I don't think there's any need to introduce the idea of a "soul".  All one needs to do rationally is look at outcome and intent.  Anything else is introducing bias and emotion.

You seem to be trying to find some mystical time after conception but before which the child is somehow not real and therefore OK to destroy.  I think that's making a religious/magical/emotional/biased argument about a "soul".    Objectively, she's living, genetically distinct and human from conception onward, so there must be some point when she gets her "soul" and should no longer be killed. 

When would that be?  When she looks enough like us to care about emotionally?  When she reaches the age of Reason at 7?  You've already rejected birth as being a silly and arbitrary point, but any other point you pick is likely driven by agenda, bias, or emotion as well.

It's easier to be rational and just look at outcome and intent.  The outcome is that a human is no more.  The intent was to make that human go away because he/she wasn't wanted.

Dr Bob you are so offensive by this you have no idea. It's very hurtful.

Forgive the good doctor for his Catholic brainwashing into this absolutist stance.

"It's easier to be rational and just look at outcome and intent.  The outcome is that a human is no more."

This is very harsh and I think would have been expressed better as "The outcome is that something that is not human but possibly (given the right set of circumstances) could develop into a human is prevented from doing so."

An outcome that is intentionally produced by many men every day as they surf the internet in the privacy of their bedrooms. ;-)

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