Debate: Human rights and religion
Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on October 8, 2008
ok the debate started of like this
Jingo, apologies for this belated reply (been rather occupied with work). Much like a mosquito in a nudist colony, I don’t know where to begin…….Brief snippets like these cannot begin to scratch the surface of these complex issues, and we ought really to talk more when we meet next time.
When is an embryo defined as human? Well, very simply when it is conceived. Within the zygote is an already fully programmed individuality, like eye colour etc. After all, to grow a human brain, one must be a human.
Your next statement(“If it is free unprotected sex a result of pregnancy even with sex education, then I believe it is wrong to terminate pregnancy.”) is rather curious. Why is it wrong to terminate a pregnancy in that situation and not others? What makes that act wrong? Murder, by definition is the willful termination of a human life. Period. (of course, in the case of pregnancy, the woman wouldn’t have her period). Maybe we shouldn’t call it “termination of pregnancy”, but rather “Final Solution to pregnancy”
If morality is relative, I gather that you don’t have any right to attack the Christian right. After all, by what common standard can you judge their actions? What’s wrong with discrimination? You may not like it……but are we to base our morality on your feelings?
Human rights a luxury? In that case, I guess abortion is fine, since we can arbitrarily decide who to extend rights to(pregnant women, yes, unborn fetuses, no). But who makes that decision? And why not get rid of rights for some other classes of citizens too, like homosexuals? If it’s all based on consensus, then its fine for a majority to eradicate the minority. I suppose Hitler’s only crime was losing the war.
Philosophically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with the beliefs of the Christian right. That was the point of my earlier comment. The problem is the Right has not formulated a public philosophy. As one rabbi said, Christians speak of “Justice” but they really mean “Just-us”. One of the hallmarks of true biblical faith is the fact that one has the free-will to follow one’s conscience, whether that leads you to God or away from him. Therefore, the Christian ought to agree with Voltaire when he said “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to death your right to say it”.
I could ramble on, but I think this will suffice for now. The issue of moral relativism will crop up I’m sure, and I’ll be happy to refute it then.
Let the slug-fest begin….
Anand, at which stage of the embryo or foetus do you think the being starts to have consciousness or a sense of self?
When a pregnant mother has health problems whereby it might lead to the death of either the mother, the child or both, what is the mother suppose to choose? By choosing to abort, by your definition, the mother is committing a murder. If the mother chooses to have the baby but the casualty happens to be the mum instead, the mum has now committed a ‘sin’, which is a suicide. In the worst case scenario it could end up leading to death of both, hence it will now be a combination of suicide and murder! Doesn’t a dogmatic absolutist moralist find himself in a self-perpetuating paradoxical cycle of moral dilemma? Mind you, the mum has prior knowledge of what are the HIGHLY possible consequences.
I am not attacking Christian right. Read carefully, what I have to say and what I have said before. I am merely using a ‘constructive approach’ in critisizing religious fanatism and dogmatism. I am not against progressive practitioners. Christianity has undergone great transformation since it was founded two millenia ago. In the days of old, Galileo and Darwin had been regarded as heretic for going against the common misconceptions (as encouraged by fanatic dogmatism) that the universe DOES NOT revolve around the earth, and that the earth has much more history to it than mere 5 millenia. So if you think dogmatic absolutistism is absolutely correct, think again….. In fact, capitalism which YOU ARE PART OF now has its roots to reformed chrisianity or to be more specific Calvinism. It is about accumulating and creating wealth through hardwork (while not using the wealth for own selfish purposed) to seek reassurance with God to go to heaven. You would have been a heretic yourself in the dogmatism of the middle ages. Really, has Christianity itself been absolutist throughout its 2000 years histroy?
Just another example what harm can absolutism do: Zealots here I mean religious fanatics who are ever so bombastic with their strict aspects of interpretation of the holy script be it Bible or the Quran or anything else. In Islamic world in the past, the various interpretation of the Quran by Muslims scholars had served to limit the absolute power of Muslim monarchs or dictators, bringing to a balance and prosperous society. It is only in recent years where people start adhering to the strict form of (Wahhabism) intepretation (becoming a coded law) of the Quran where the balance is tipped in favour of Muslim dictators hence its current political conflict.
In fact it is to my believe than human rights and survival of the community is greatly interlinked and dependent on each other. Neither is completely right or completely wrong. Homosexuals deserve equal rights because they do no harm to the long term survival and welfare of the collective community. Human rights are pyramidical arrangement of (generally) self-interests for a long term survivability. The base of the pyramid is shelter and food, our fundamental instinct to survive. That is the most important of all. Yes, relatively speaking, human rights further up the pyramid is a luxury (for example freedom of speech or one’s right to what path of spiritaulity) IF AND ONLY IF we have shelter and food in our stomach. Would you think of freedom of speech when you are close to starvation? Also if you can turn back time, would you eliminate Hitler before the horrors of world war 2, for the sake of collective welfare? By doing so, aren’t you violating Hitler’s human rights?
One problem that I tend to frown upon is the individualistic nature of some religions. The relationship with the community is usually at the top of the pecking order relative to the individual relationship between the practioner and God. That is detrimental to the survivability of a community at the cost of an individual. But the problem is that usually many of these individualists fail to see is that if the community fails, there wouldn’t be any individuals at all. Can you honestly be where you are without an electrical engineer running the power station to power-up your electrical appliances or a farmer farming the food that you need for your own sustenance?
Like you, I thrive in controversy and i get adrenaline rush from the thrill.;) Be careful of what you wish for
Feel free to contribute. Ciao