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May 4th, 2005

Conversions: Atheism's Climax

A columnist of a popular magazine recently wrote his synopsis of the religious changes occurring in America, and I tend to agree with his opinion. His reflection on the expectations of science and atheism in the twentieth century demonstrate how scholars and analysts, despite their superior intellect and data, could not sway the stupid public to abandon God. To me, the situation in America sounds like a civilian adviser telling military commanders to massacre their foot soldiers. Imagine the university's esoteric faculty gathering for yet another committee meeting, only this time to revise and extend their official statement condemning organized religion for abating wars, crimes, and general depression. Even if every college graduate saw the light and endorsed atheism or agnosticism, the majority of Americans would remain theists. Why?

The top-down approach to change has failed, as the columnists symbolizes with the installment of Benedict XVI. Perhaps the Vatican realizes that it needs neither European secularism nor American freedom. I believe the cardinals chose the head of the department formally known as “The Holy Inquisition” because the spiritual crops in Africa, South America and Asia are ripe with legalistic, masochistic, and ethnocentric members. These converts are changing the Church from bottom-up, and in my opinion, the heretics have reached a climax because society supports only a few elites, whether financial or intellectual. The philosphic structure is leaning like the Tower of Pisa ever since scientists and academics siezed the microphone. This is not to say the priests and ministers are right, only that the foundation supporting the societal structure cares more for stability than truth.

Gandhi realized and achieved fundamental change, although it being more governmental than philosophic, by seeking and embracing those 'backbone of America' type citizens. Jesus sought the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the sick – basically the bottom of the barrel, where the froth on top of this barrel was the skim of elite and the most voluminous content was relatively naive or fully ignorant. A contemporary analogy popped into my head: the movie Antz. Antz was a children's cartoon about a colony of dumb ants, enlightened by one ant who opened the eyes of his brethren to see their strength, and unified the colony to overpower the suppression of mentally and physically superior grasshoppers. The tactic is clear: more than one of a thing is always greater than one of a thing.

The same argument questions SDT (not STD silly, Self-Determination Theory). The easiest coping strategy is denial: talking to ourselves about evidence that reaffirms our belief that nothing exists, for example, outside our perceptual proximity. Some citizens use this reasoning when asked why they do not cast votes, saying “Nothing really changes.” I find my self changing most dramatically when experiencing a moment with another person! and when reflecting upon my interactions with people! Example: I saw intense and vivid imagery guided by music that Peter encouraged me to hear, Matt recommended a play whose writer and director killed esoteric life for me, autistic thinking and relativistic discoveries haunt my acceptance of scientific fact thanks to a book recommended by Adam, et cetera. It is this web of interactions, this infinitely complex relationship between each self, that the atheists underestimated in their attack on religion. I believe the common folk out in the back woods understand quite clearly why they need religion.

Imagine writing to a black woman who raises her convicted son's children, where your words enlighten her that God is a fantastical figure that the priesthood manipulates to squander money; to dilute her from the truth of Darwinian evolution, Self-Determination, or whatever. Your letter, although admonishing a path of 'whatever makes you happy' and 'live in the moment' sounds to me, welll ... like another priesthood trying to convert an embattled mother's allegiance. If I were that woman, I would march over to my church and pray for your sins too; flip the letter over and use it for my grocery list, in hopes that I have enough food stamps to last the week.

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Between Life and Death

Well, I hope to shed some light on the link between my support of the death penalty and opposition to abortion.

At the heart of my opinion is my perception of human life. This is a tough definition, and obviously determines my opinion about abortion. I perceive human life to be a thing very similar to me biologically, and capable of affecting me metaphysically. These affects need not be direct; the biology I speak of is mostly genetic material.

At the moment of insemination, the fertilized egg satisfies my biological requirement for life. The blob contains genetic material very similar to my own, if not partially a copy of me when I am the biological father. It is interesting that this debate overlooks the very term physicians ascribed to the procedure, namely, the premature interruption of the natural cycles necessary for biological, humanoid maturation. However, I will demonstrate later how this biological condition is unnecessary.

My second condition, namely metaphysical affect, is problematic; I surmount it by defining the fertilized egg a potential humanoid lifeform existing within the body of another human. Please note that I grant neither the female egg nor the male sperm the status of "potential humanoid lifeform", nor any other matter, because it is only the fertilized egg that has the potential to become human. Since the blob has the potential to become human, it has the potential to affect me metaphysically, and thus satisfies my second condition.

Both the pro- and anti-abortionists should realize the necessity of the potential for the fertilized egg to affect other lives. If a replicating blob in another human had no potential to. let us say, make me laugh and cry, after it attains its own life, then there would be no need to abort the thing. It is my second condition of metaphysical affection -- ultimately my only condition -- that allows debaters to realize the complications of biologically defending or repudiating abortion.

I will now synthesize my definition of life and potential life with the deprevation of life and preemption of potential life.

Let us assume Locke's utopia protects Americans' life, liberty and property, since property fits in nicely with the feminist argument for abortion. Every citizens' life, liberty and property is protected by the state since the state merely operates on behalf of communal agreement that Locke's three tenants are necessary for America's welfare. A murder occurs when one human deprives another of their life; this is severe because liberty cannot be enjoyed and property cannot be attained. Liberty compliments life in that one is free do choose what to do with their life. Property is subordinate to liberty because one chooses what to attain in life.

The claims by mothers' that the fertilized egg is her property and that her liberty is violated by any infringement on her freedom to sever body parts are both valid. It is the potential life within that body that I believe predicates liberty and property because of its potential to affect members of society, including the mother. A quandary remains when society protects the potential life within the woman at the expense of the mother's life at birth. Should the infant be liable for the death of its mother?

I agree these cases are "capitol", seeing how death is the paramount and intractable change to a human being's life. Here is how I would respond as juror on behalf of the state in a capital case, according to the evidence provided: "I believe..."

1. defendant did not intend to take the victim's life, and the evidence suggests the loss of life was due to faulty mechanics, inhibited perception, etc. I suggest short-term incarceration or long-term community service.
2. defendant did not intend to take the victim's life, but the evidence suggests negligence, where the defendant knew of faulty mechanics that could terminally harm another, was aware of limited perception, etc. I suggest short-term incarceration and long-term community service.
3. defendant acted irrationally when taking the victim's life, that the loss of life was not premeditated, was initiated by a chain of events inducing primal behavior that negatively effected the defendant's normal behavior. I suggest medium-term incarceration and rehabilitation or psychological treatment.
4. defendant acted on behalf of another and took the victim's life in a contractual, verbal, or other agreement. I suggest long-term and rehabilitative or psychological treatment, or a life-long sentence without parole.
5. evidence clearly indicates the defendant intended to kill the victim, that the defendant considered the consequences and effect of the death, such as a future without the victim. I suggest a life-long sentence without parole, or the death penalty.
6. evidence clearly demonstrates the defendant shows no remorse for the victim, or believes the victim deserved death because of various, superfluous reasons. I recommend death.

#6 can be amend either #4 or #5. Basically, #6 is my response to "I hate people and they should die". “Ok, you'll be next then” the state should respond.
Also, #4 is a loophole so the state can bargain with hit-men who rat on their bosses and further reduce organized murder.

I also follow this rational in the severity of punishment for "potential human life." I suppose auxiliary or accomplices to the murder could be spouse or partner, medical professionals, etc.