Common sense from the Vatican

February 24th, 2010 at 8:42 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Vatican’s top bioethics official yesterday dismissed calls for his resignation following an uproar over his defence of doctors who aborted the twin fetuses of a 9-year-old child who was raped by her stepfather.

Monsignor Renato Fisichella said he refused to respond to five members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life who questioned his suitability to lead the institution.

Fisichella wrote an article in the Vatican’s newspaper in March last year saying the Brazilian doctors didn’t deserve excommunication as mandated by church law because they were saving the girl’s life.

A common sense and humane view from the Archbishop.

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149 Responses to “Common sense from the Vatican”

  1. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    A good example of real life practicality overriding blind ideology.

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  2. Bob (443 comments) says:

    In this sorry saga as usual the Catholic Church is interested only in it’s principles and beliefs. It showed little concern for the young girl. If the pregnancy had been allowed to proceed she might well have ruptured internally losing her life and the babies. In that case no doubt it would have been God’s will.

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  3. big bruv (12,388 comments) says:

    Bloody hell!

    It is not often I would ever offer praise to the bloody Catholic church but on this they have got it right.

    Now, if they could only put aside their stupid superstition and tell their people that condoms are indeed “blessed” and their use encouraged.

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  4. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Bruv, not necessarily “they”, it looks like one person has got it right despite pressure from others. Good on Monsignor Fisichella.

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  5. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    Such a tragedy all round. I hope the evil stepfather gets his comeuppance.

    Obviously saving all lives is the ideal here. However, in the midst of such a bad situation, pragmatism must win out over presumed ideology. To have to choose one or the other (the child or the child’s unborn twins) is a horrible choice to be faced with. To pronounce guilt upon the doctors for using their best medical judgement in this situation is frankly unfair.

    Interesting that the debate rages within the Catholic Church on this issue – and just goes to show that despite a front of official policy on such complex ethical issues there are differing opinions within the Church. Debating these issues is important provided those involved do so with compassion for the individuals concerned, and not some presumed sense of self righteousness, or wishing to create blanket rules to be applied regardless of individual circumstances.

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  6. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    yeah, common sense isn’t very common amongst the catholic leadership. Ratzinger still refuses to own up and fall on his sword for covering up sexual abuse by priests.

    However, the crisis of child clerical sexual abuse is threatening to pose the biggest challenge ever to the Vatican’s moral authority.

    Yet, the late Pope John Paul II, ably and zealously aided by his then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger, was more concerned with removing dissident theologians from being recognised as orthodox Catholic scholars than with defrocking paedophile priests and ensuring full cooperation with the civic authority.

    Rather than let the state authorities know of such foul deeds of errant clerics, the Vatican itself, its representatives in the national churches and the religious orders stealthily avoided being made accountable for the crimes of abusive priests and nuns in courts of law.

    If the church was not too busy switching paedophile priests from parish to parish undetected by the unsuspecting faithful, it reserved chastisement for its worst child molesters in secret church tribunals held in Latin behind closed doors.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/john-cooney-vatican-has-helped-to-spawn-global-scourge-of-sex-abuse-2066353.html

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  7. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    So much for the high moral code of the catholic church!

    They would rather see a 9 year old suffer (more than she already has) and potentially die, just to maintain their dogma on abortion.
    A clump of cells has higher value than a child.

    I am not sure whether this qualifies as a “complex ethical issue”. There doesn’t have to be a conflict with an anti-abortion stand, if you allow abortion in exceptional circumstances. And a raped nine year old would seem to qualify as an exceptional circumstance.

    Unless of course you live on Planet Vatican.

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  8. YesWeDid (1,003 comments) says:

    It’s times like this you need Jesus & Mo….

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/2007/10/22/women/

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  9. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    While I feel for all the people in the story, who says this is the view of “The Vatican”?
    It is the view of one Archbishop, and I do not see that it is “common sense” to end any life.

    That “clump of cells” as eszett puts it, if left alone would have grown into a baby – or two babies as the case may be.

    I have heard people use the reason that rape is a case for abortion, or the age of the girl.
    Yes, she is young but that doesn’t mean she would have had any problems. I remember a doctor saying if a body is able to become pregnant then it is also able to bear the children through to pregnancy – the body knows what it can do.

    As I said, although I feel for the people in the story, I doubt the action has been approved by The Vatican and I also question whether the taking of two innocent lives is the answer.

    Destruction never is.

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  10. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    Fletch – in this case I wonder about the fragility of a nine year old girl going through the whole emotional trip that is motherhood – whether her body is ready for it or not. Although I am usually against abortion, this is one case where I agree with the archbishop.

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  11. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Would tend to agree with this case as the circumstances are exceptional.

    But I would say that the Catholic Church and the Christian Church generally is on the side of the angels on this issue. Abortion is the taking of human life. Liberals who are brought to tears by the clubbing of a baby seal, somehow cannot find in themselves any compassion for the unborn child. Medical techniques now clearly show us that there is a child in the womb. Christians are the ones arguing for the protection of that child, for the saving of human life.

    The godless/secular/Progressive Liberal, like many on this blog, are arguing for killing the child. If there is heartlessness and cruelty around it is surely on their side. You say kill the child, we say save it. Decide for yourself who is being cruel and heartless.

    And by the way DPF if you are worrying about why many of the threads become religious, then perhaps it is because you often blog on religious subjects?

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  12. YesWeDid (1,003 comments) says:

    Scott – two things, firstly the decision should be with the people it affects, not some religious leader, secondly they are not killing a child they are aborting an embryo or foetus, for those of us not burdened by religious dogma there is an important difference.

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  13. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    The godless/secular/Progressive Liberal, like many on this blog, are arguing for killing the child.

    In this case the godless and some godfull people are arguing for saving the child.

    And this case isn’t so much religious as common sense.

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  14. David Farrar (1,812 comments) says:

    I expect threads on abrtion and the Catholic Church to become religious. I do not expect a thread on mobile termination rates to become religious.

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  15. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    they are not killing a child they are aborting an embryo or foetus, for those of us not burdened by religious dogma there is an important difference.

    YesWeDid, aborting an embryo or foetus IS killing a child. Tell me, if it was left alone would it grow into a child? YES. It doesn’t matter where along a lifeline you kill it, you’re still killing it. If you leave those growing “cells” alone – if you don’t interfere with them – then they will become a person.

    I have said before the word “abortion” is something of a misnomer. When NASA aborts a rocket launch the countdown is stopped, the astronauts get out and the rocket doesn’t leave. If we’re talking about sex, a real “abortion” is when two people who were going to have sex decide not to do it; once they do have sex and the egg and sperm are joined, the question then becomes whether to kill or not to kill. The ‘rocket’ of that new person’s life has been launched and the only way to stop it now is to shoot it down. It doesn’t make any difference whether the rocket is shot down 10 seconds after takeoff or halfway to the moon, you are still destroying it.

    I know that it is hard in the case of rape. The Catholic Churches official position on this is –

    As for the Catholic moral teaching on the medical treatment of rape victims, the 2001 document of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, states:
    Compassionate and understanding care should be given to a person who is the victim of sexual assault. Health care providers should cooperate with law enforcement officials and offer the person psychological and spiritual support as well as accurate medical information. A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum. (36)

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  16. YesWeDid (1,003 comments) says:

    Fletch – actually NASA uses the term ‘scrubbed’ or ‘hold’ during the countdown. If a rocket is destroyed after take-off that is then an ‘abort’.

    I’m not aware that NASA seek the blessing of the Catholic Church when ‘aborting’ a launch.

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  17. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Fletch, have you every conceived? Have you ever had an embryo growing inside you, essentially a part of you?

    Did you follow the link here?
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/02/common_sense_from_the_vatican.html#comment-665055

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  18. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    YesWeDid, aborting an embryo or foetus IS killing a child. Tell me, if it was left alone would it grow into a child?

    By that same token spermacide, which is on the end of most condoms, is killing a child.

    I fail to see a two week embryo as a child. On the other hand I can see a fourth month embryo as such. All a matter of degree, although I know we can never see agreement on this.

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  19. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    While I feel for all the people in the story, who says this is the view of “The Vatican”?
    It is the view of one Archbishop, and I do not see that it is “common sense” to end any life.

    I believe it 5 members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life who questioned Fisichella’s suitability to lead the institution because he defended the descicion not to excommunicate the doctors.

    No need to feel for me, feel for the poor girl and the doctors involved.

    And the whole crux of the problem is the definition on where life begins. The two extremes are either at conception and or at birth. Truth is probably somewhere in between and can’t be really pinned down.

    The standpoint of human life begins at conception is very comfortable for all those anti-abortionist. However if you follow their logic, you should be having funerals for every miscarriage and every spontaneous natural abortion of a fetus (happens apparently quite often, around 20% of the time).

    This is purely driven by dogma rather than any kind of reason or logic.

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  20. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    Would the Communist Heathens here object to the step father receiving a death penalty? his actions cost the lives of two unborn children, endangered the mothers and forced a doctors hand.

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  21. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Jeff: the Catholic church does believe that spermicide is killing children. They believe that condoms are killing children too. I think masturbation (spilling your seed) is also seen as killing potential children.

    Of course, once we start following that logic, it also makes sense that if you see a hot woman walking down the street, and you don’t immediately jump on her and have sex, then you are probably killing a child as well.

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  22. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    @Banana Llama: I would object to him receiving a death penalty for costing the lives to two unborn children. On that basis, anyone getting an abortion would also get the death penalty, and that would seem a bit nonsensical for someone that supports abortion in the first trimester.

    I would support him getting a very substantial punishment (not the death penalty, as I don’t agree with that as a construct) for raping his step-daughter. That must be worth at least 10 years in jail.

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  23. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Of course, once we start following that logic, it also makes sense that if you see a hot woman walking down the street, and you don’t immediately jump on her and have sex, then you are probably killing a child as well.

    Yes, Paul, that also leads to what some men still think they should have, full control over women and sex.

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  24. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Scott (482) Says:

    February 24th, 2010 at 11:04 am
    Would tend to agree with this case as the circumstances are exceptional.

    But I would say that the Catholic Church and the Christian Church generally is on the side of the angels on this issue. Abortion is the taking of human life. Liberals who are brought to tears by the clubbing of a baby seal, somehow cannot find in themselves any compassion for the unborn child.

    So Scott all people who cry at seeing a baby seal clubbed favour abortion? Which survey showed that result? And I guess that since you oppose abortion then you support the clubbing of baby seals? Do we need to club more baby seals for your pleasure?

    Did you ever notice, while out clubbing seals, that they are actually alove, able to move and eat? In other words, a viable life.

    A human embryo is not considered viable, because it cannot survive outside the uterus. Current medical technology does allow an embryo to be transplanted from the uterus of one woman to that of another.

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  25. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    LRO, just because it can’t survive on it’s own doesn’t mean it is not “viable”.

    What about the wanted babies that are in their mother’s wombs growing right now? They couldn’t survive if they were ripped out either – are they not ‘viable’ either?
    Is that the criteria you use to judge whether something should live or not? A new born baby can’t survive either without feeding and changing by it’s parents.

    That was a stupid thing to say.

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  26. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    A new born baby can’t survive either without feeding and changing by it’s parents.

    It can also survive with feeding by any of a few billion other people. That’s different to being physically attached, physically a part of a person, fully dependent on retaining that exact attachment with no possible alternative for at least five months.

    In a few seconds a guy contributes a few chromosomes.

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  27. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Fletch, as Pete G says, yes it CAN survive.

    I loved the episode of “House” where he told a woman patient she had a parasite growing in her, but she’d be OK again in another 7 months.

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  28. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Yeswedid — that is the crux of the matter. The Christians say there is a life there — anyone of any religion can look at a scan and plainly see there is a baby in there.

    Your reference to “religious leaders and the decision being in the hands of the two people involved” is in itself a statement of atheistic dogma. Actually given the existence of God who created all things and is responsible for human life then it is totally within the responsibility of priests and pastors to provide advice on the situation. To say it is up to the two people involved is not correct. If there is an innocent human life there, which I believe there is, there is no right to take that life.

    Despite all this twisting and squirming, the fact of the matter is that godless liberals like many of you people on this blog, seem quite happy that literally millions of innocent unborn children are slaughtered throughout the world each year. Now one can certainly feel compassion in terms of these hard cases like the one mentioned above of rape and incest. However most cases of abortion are not like that. Innocent children are slaughtered in the name of convenience and sexual freedom. The Christian Church is trying to save those children. You are trying to kill them.

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  29. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Left right out — you are plainly losing your mind. I am not in favour of clubbing to death baby seals. I am contrasting the liberal concern for baby seals with the liberal unconcern for abortion of innocent human beings.

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  30. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    No Scott, you were saying, knowingly or not, that everyone who cries at a bay seal being clubbed supports abortion. That is patently untrue. And since when did “liberal” become a pejorative term?

    Actually given the existence of God who created all things and is responsible for human life … So, are you a predestinationist? Does god create every living person?

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  31. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    I shall try once again left right out — Liberals are concerned about baby seals. The environment, the plight of the whale, Greenpeace — all causes supported by Liberals. And that’s okay — I think whales need protection and I am concerned about baby seals as well.

    But I am concerned about human beings more. Liberals don’t seem to be. Abortion seems to be one of the most important causes of the Liberal movement. So baby seals yes — innocent human unborn children no.

    I am using Liberals as shorthand for the secular left-wing progressives that dominate our mainstream media and organs of government. They are in contrast to people of a Conservative and/or Christian persuasion who generally are more concerned about saving unborn children. It’s not that they don’t care about whales, it’s more a matter of priorities.

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  32. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Scott, I really do wish you’d be a bit more accurate in your use of language. I reccommend you read some of Eric Blair’s writing on the subject. “… using Liberals as shorthand for the secular left-wing progressives …” still doesn’t really tell me a lot. Forget labels, discuss the issue. Why not just say “people who favour abortion” and leave the pejoratives and the baby seals out of it?

    When it comes down to priorities, I will almost always favour the living over the dying, the living over the unborn.

    And you didn’t answer my question – Does god create every living person?

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  33. Repton (769 comments) says:

    But I am concerned about human beings more. Liberals don’t seem to be.

    That’s why liberals are pro-war and pro-death penalty … right?

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  34. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Left right out — interesting question (though I suspect there is a verbal trap here). Thinking the issue through — every human being is created in the image of God. God created humanity. Can we say that every human being conceived was totally in line with God’s will? So for example the baby conceived via incest and rape. The rape was an evil act which God does not condone. Actually I have to confess I will have to think about this one more. Because there are some deep theological waters here. So truthfully — I’m not sure of the sound answer to your question at this point.

    Repton — Ahhh,the democracy of blogs where someone can waltz in and just drop some comment out of the blue. But in answer to your no doubt rapier like thrust of argumentation I would say that Liberals generally don’t favour war and generally don’t favour the death penalty. Now I can understand why they might not favour war, because of the death of innocent civilians for example. Fair enough — they want to look after the innocent. How come they never want to look after the innocent unborn child?

    With regard to the death penalty — they seem to be incredibly concerned about the guilty. They are squeamish about taking the life of the guilty murderer but unmoved by the millions of unborn children killed around the world.

    Now when I look at someone like Graham Burton for example, the homocidal maniac that recently tried to murder a third person, I would suggest the death penalty is incredibly appropriate. He is a murderer, no one denies that. He shows no remorse and as long as he is able will try to murder people, in this most recent case aided by an expensive titanium leg thoughtfully supplied by ACC. The judge cannot sentence him to any longer sentences and so basically he can continue murdering while in prison with no additional penalty. Now he is an excellent candidate for the death penalty. He is a guilty double murderer and is also an attempted murderer.

    The unborn infant is not a good candidate for the death penalty. He or she is innocent of any crime. The difference between the guilty murderer deserving the death penalty and the unborn child deserving life makes logical sense to me — I can’t understand why Liberals can’t see it.

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  35. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    I would say that Liberals generally don’t favour war and generally don’t favour the death penalty. Now I can understand why they might not favour war, because of the death of innocent civilians for example. Fair enough — they want to look after the innocent. How come they never want to look after the innocent unborn child?

    I don’t favour war usually (killing other people), but understand that sometimes it is necessary.
    I don’t favour abortion usually (a complex woman with potential life situation), but understand that sometimes it can be justified.
    I don’t favour the death penalty (killing other people), but know I could kill someone if I thought it was justified (in extreme circumstances).

    What sort of label does that earn me?

    A problem with blanket dogmas, and blanket labels, is that it leaves no room for real life situations.

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  36. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Scott, further to that – what is the difference between these?

    A woman who has an abortion, then has two children, then chooses to have no more children
    A woman who has two children and then chooses to have no more children
    A woman who has a miscarriage, then has two children and then chooses to have no more children

    If I understand God correctly he/she/it would have an equal influence in all three scenarios.

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  37. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    OK, Scott, here goes, one more time to apply some logic to the topic.

    The unborn infant is not a good candidate for the death penalty.

    That’s right, they’re unborn, meaning they haven’t been born and have no life outside the womb.

    He or she is innocent of any crime.

    So you don’t subscribe to the christian churches’ doctrine of “Original Sin”?

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  38. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    Jeff: the Catholic church does believe that spermicide is killing children. They believe that condoms are killing children too. I think masturbation (spilling your seed) is also seen as killing potential children.

    PaulL,

    Are you ignorant or are you just intentionally misrepresenting the Church?

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  39. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Good call by the Bish. Know if only the Tikes could get their collective heads outta their collective arses on other matters and join the 21st Century they would lessen their propensity to paint a bulls eye on their collective foreheads

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  40. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    I hope the cathoklic church have plenty of bishops, as here’s another appology they’ll need to make.

    Amalia (an alias), a 27-year old Nicaraguan woman with a 10-year-old daughter, has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer.

    She is in the hospital and could be treated, but for one thing.

    She is also pregnant.

    And therefore, under the law in Nicaragua, her life is meaningless.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/02/20/pregnant-nicaraguan-woman-denied-treatment-metastatic-cancer

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  41. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Pete — I’m not sure what label to apply to you, I shall leave that job to Redbaiter. If I had to label you it would be “the fellow who blogs far too often”.

    Left right out — well actually the unborn child can often survive outside the womb. That’s why some states in the United States of America have legislation mandating medical care for unborn children that survived an abortion.

    However the point is — there is definitely a human life there. Once again, just simply look at a scan. There you will find little hands, little feet and after just six weeks a beating heart. I think that is something that anyone of any religion can look at and see with their own eyes.

    With regard to innocence — I do subscribe to original sin. However in the case of taking “innocent” human life, I am using the word “innocent” in the sense of being innocent of any crime for which the courts should sentence the person to death. In New Zealand alone we have 18,000 New Zealanders killed per year, in facilities provided by the State, with no recourse to judge or jury.

    Anyway must go — don’t you guys have work to do?

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  42. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    LRO,

    Why should the Church have to apologise for that case? The state passed a law, not the Church.

    And given the obvious bias of that website, it’s hardly worth the bandwidth I used to read it.

    And therefore, under the law in Nicaragua, her life is meaningless.

    What a crock.

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  43. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    Get half way down Scribe the shit burble really starts to kick off.

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  44. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    Whew these theological debates get complex. I see YesWeDid has already recommended Jesus & Mo… might I suggest an even more succinct theological explanation?

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  45. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Scribe, last I looked the Church (like your capitalisation) specifically forbade use of condoms, and specifically forbade it because it prevented children from being conceived. So I think I am reasonably correct in saying that the Church pushes human life right back to the condom, not to the point of conception.

    Scott, human life is usually deemed to end when brain function ends, not when the heart stops beating. Surely, on that basis, human life would also start when brain function starts, not when the heart starts beating.

    What is your philosophy on siamese twins? I believe there is sometimes a situation where both cannot live, and a choice needs to be made by a surgeon to separate in the knowledge that it makes it very likely one will die. Should surgeons not be making that choice?

    Assuming that you agree that one of the two siamese twins living is better than neither, and therefore that the choice is appropriate, then what is your view on the situation where medical opinion is that a pregnant mother will definitely die (along with her unborn child) if the child is not aborted? Is that also forbidden?

    Assuming that you similarly agree that, in my hypothetical situation, it is OK to perform the abortion, then what is your issue with the topic of DPF’s post? My understanding is that medical advice was given that the girl and her unborn twins would die without the abortion. And that therefore there was never a choice for those unborn children to live, only a choice as to whether or not the raped 9 year old girl should die.

    Are you really saying that the Christian thing to do was to let her die, and that was what God wanted? Or are you, along with many of the religious people on this blog, once again turning a discussion into a debate about abortion in general – a debate that is a waste of all our time given that you’ve no intention of changing your minds, and most of those of us of the opposing view see no logic whatsoever in your assertion that your imaginary friend knows more than we do and should make decisions for us.

    By the way, the arbitrary division of people into “Liberals” who are automatically lefty, commie scum, and “Conservatives” who are good god fearing Christians, isn’t very useful for me. I’m not lefty, commie scum, given that I prefer more market and less government in most economic matters. I’m not a god fearing Christian, and I generally prefer the government get right out of my personal life as well, whilst they’re getting out of my economic life. Where do I fit on this arbitrary spectrum? If it makes things easier, I’m also in favour of clubbing baby seals (seems the most efficient way to get their fur off, hardly worth using a bullet on them), and in favour of allowing abortion in the first trimester at will, second trimester with good reason, and third trimester only for genuinely life threatening reasons. Making things any easier for you yet?

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  46. OliverI (125 comments) says:

    The reason for such strong debate one way or the other really comes down to the definition of when life is created.

    Anti-abortionists get upset because their perspective is that life is created, the same as if a child is killed as soon as a child is born.

    Abortionists can’t understand this perspective as they do not see it as life being created yet.

    This makes it very easy to sympothise with one side or the other, and not get too caught up with abuse hurling.

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  47. Don the Kiwi (1,341 comments) says:

    PaulL

    You have a distorted view on what the Church teaches – you are giving your own interpretations when you say that masturbation and artificial contraception is the sam as abortion. That is not correct – the Church does not teach that.

    The Church teaches that if an expectant mother has a life threatening condition, and she has an operation to correct the life threatening condition, and the unborn child dies as a result, that is not an abortion, but a secondary effect.
    However, if the babies are terminated to protect the life of the mother, then that is considered by the Church as morally wrong – as the life of the unborn infant is just as important as the life of the monther, and neither one should be sacrificed to preserve the life of the other.

    In this case, my personal view is that Msgr. Fisichella is wrong, because the expectant mother’s life was not under threat. Pregnancy is not an illness. Th babies could have been carried to – say 25 weeks – when life was viable and have been delivered by C section, without threatening the life of the babies or the mother. Ther are many situations in other than western cultures where 10 year olds have carried babies to term and not suffered any ill effects.

    However, there are grey areas in this case, which may not have come to light. Every case has to be judged on its own situation.

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  48. Lucia Maria (1,996 comments) says:

    Paul,

    Scribe, last I looked the Church (like your capitalisation) specifically forbade use of condoms, and specifically forbade it because it prevented children from being conceived. So I think I am reasonably correct in saying that the Church pushes human life right back to the condom, not to the point of conception.

    The Church forbids condoms and other forms of contraception because any contraception destroys the proper relationship between a man and his wife. IF a couple needs to space out their children, they should abstain from sex. IF however, they choose to have sex, they should accept any child that comes of their act of love.

    Using contraception allows a couple to use sex and each other casually. Women tend to be used as objects and their potential motherhood is not considered acceptable.

    That is why the use of condoms is mortally sinful.

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  49. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    However, if the babies are terminated to protect the life of the mother, then that is considered by the Church as morally wrong – as the life of the unborn infant is just as important as the life of the monther, and neither one should be sacrificed to preserve the life of the other.

    This sort of attitude is why so many people ignore the Church.

    That is why the use of condoms is mortally sinful.

    And this.

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  50. kiki (425 comments) says:

    is this why priests prefer boys? no babies.

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  51. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    The Church forbids condoms and other forms of contraception because any contraception destroys the proper relationship between a man and his wife. IF a couple needs to space out their children, they should abstain from sex. IF however, they choose to have sex, they should accept any child that comes of their act of love.

    Using contraception allows a couple to use sex and each other casually. Women tend to be used as objects and their potential motherhood is not considered acceptable.

    That is why the use of condoms is mortally sinful.

    What a load of bullshit. There is no other way to put it.
    Please explain, how does a the use of a condom destroy the “proper” (whatever that means) relationship between a man and his wife?

    Catholics are just so obsessed with sex, the Catholic god is keen to know where, when and how you stick your willy. It would be comical if it’s not so tragic.

    Beware, you may have fun during sex. That is the greatest sin that you can commit. If the catholic church hates something, then it is you having fun. If you do, it better be so dangerous or so consequential, that you better only have it very, very seldom.

    This sort of pervert morality causes the death of thousands and thousands of people world wide, is the route cause of high numbers of unwanted (teenage and not so teenage) pregnancies, STDs and, by proxy, abortions.

    Literally, millions of lives could be saved if the catholic church would just move away from it’s absurd, unrealistic and anti-human, anti-woman sexual mores and just say: “Yes, please enjoy sex, and please use condoms”

    And what’s with this absurdity: ” Women tend to be used as objects and their potential motherhood is not considered acceptable”
    Are you so blind that you can’t even see the thick irony in that statement? It is you who sees woman as objects, as a mere breeding machine. How dare they have a sexual drive of their own, who dare they desire sexual pleasure without the risk of pregnancy or sexual disease?

    And they still claim to be moral, their obsessive dogma makes them blind to any kind of reasonable argument.

    This idiocy is not only why people ignore the church, this is why so many people are disgusted with the church.

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  52. Don the Kiwi (1,341 comments) says:

    eszett demonstrates with this rant his/her limited rationality and shallow understanding of what he/she is talking about .

    This idiocy is not only why people ignore the church, this is why so many people are disgusted with the church.

    Funny, last time I looked the Catholic church is growing in most places in the world, and more and more people are going along with church teachings, because they have realized that the attitudes demonstrated by the above rant have been tried and found wanting.

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  53. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Last time I looked, census figures in NZ show the proportion identifying as Christian is steadily decreasing, next census it will likely be close to or under 50%.

    And of those, how many go along with church teachings fully, how many partially, and how many are nominal Christians?

    How many regularly go to church? About half a million say they are Catholic – what are the weekly attendance numbers?

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  54. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    Last time I looked, census figures in NZ show the proportion identifying as Christian is steadily decreasing, next census it will likely be close to or under 50%.

    Christians as a whole are decreasing, but the Catholic population is increasing.

    Sure, Pete, most are nominal. About 100,000 Catholics go to Mass each week. But there is something that makes people tick “Catholic” on the census form even if they don’t go to church on Sunday.

    Kiki,

    Good one. Come up with that all by yourself, didya? Very original.

    And Don’s already given a more gracious response to eszett than I would have, so I’ll leave it at that.

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  55. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi (348) Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    eszett demonstrates with this rant his/her limited rationality and shallow understanding of what he/she is talking about.

    I don’t think anyone defending the Catholic position on the usage of condoms (and contraceptives) should comment on “limited rationality and shallow understandings”

    That position is completely incompatible with the slightest amount of rationality and any kind of understanding of human sexuality. It is completely perverted when you see the consequences of human suffering it causes and deserves nothing but contempt.

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  56. Don the Kiwi (1,341 comments) says:

    eszett

    Got shares in the rubber manufacturers, have you?

    Just another emotive and unsubstantiated rant.

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  57. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Why are catholics so hung up on holes and pegs?

    How can there be so many lunatics opposed to sex education? And apart from anything else, what makes them think a lesson about sex is going to make kids go out and immediately have sex? It’s education about it, not an instruction to get it done before dinner break. Maybe they should demand an end to history lessons as well on the grounds that “I don’t want my fourteen-year-old learning about Napoleon as he’s too young to invade Italy.”

    If the only rule is that they have to teach about sex, but it doesn’t matter if it’s in any way true, the religious schools might as well teach anything they like. They could tell the class “Copy down these facts – 1) Doing it from behind makes your tongue fall out. 2) Masturbation causes earthquakes. 3) Every time you get an erection you poke an angel’s eye out.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-you-can-teach-birth-control-but-youll-end-in-hell-if-you-do-it-1908334.html

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  58. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    That position is completely incompatible with the slightest amount of rationality and any kind of understanding of human sexuality. It is completely perverted when you see the consequences of human suffering it causes and deserves nothing but contempt.

    What exactly are you referring to here? HIV/Aids? Overpopulation of the planet? “The consequences of human suffering” is a broad swipe.

    Why are catholics so hung up on holes and pegs?

    I presume you know a lot of Catholics and whenever you see them they’re always talking about sex. Or you go to a Catholic Church all the time and the priest is always talking about sex? Or are you basing your comment on what the media tells you?

    If you want to look through the Church’s teaching, probably about 2% of what is included has anything to do with sex. Hung up, all right.

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  59. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Seems odd to me that a religion that heavily promotes not interfering with natural procreation also insists on (officially) no attempts at procreation for it’s priests. Abstaining is far from natural, and far from foolproof.

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  60. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    Pete,

    That would seem odd to somebody who looks at things through a secular/atheistic lens.

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  61. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    What exactly are you referring to here? HIV/Aids? Overpopulation of the planet? “The consequences of human suffering” is a broad swipe.

    The spread of STDs and HIV in particular.
    Nothing can stop the spread of HIV (and most STDs) more effectively than the use of condoms. This has been proven over and over and over again. Mind you it is not just the catholic chirch at fault here (see South Africa), but it is one big major player.

    Unwanted pregnancies (in particular teenage pregnancies)
    Again, teenagers will have sex, whether you like it or not. Sex education is the best weapon against pregnancies. Preach abstinence, if you like, nothing wrong with that, but also teach the use of condoms and contraceptives. The American example of the abysimally failed “Pleadge Absinince” amongst teenagers should eb a lesson.

    Overpopulation is not solved by condoms, that would be a silly assumption, nevertheless it is a vital part in it. If you don’t bring this into the equation you will never be able to fight overpopulation and poverty

    Abortion. Want to bring down the number of abortions? Bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies. It defies believe that one cannot see the connection between the two.

    The guilt that it causes in catholics who sensibly defy this dogma. But you wouldn’t put that as a bad thing, would you? After all, that is what the church is all about, make you feel guilty.

    And abut the 2% you mention, not sure where you get that from. Contraception, Abortion, Homosexuality, Sexual practices, Woman rights, all these have relevance to human sexuality and are constant topics are in religious discussion. It is not the amount they teach, it is about the consequences and how often they bring it up.

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  62. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    # Scribe (76) Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Pete,

    That would seem odd to somebody who looks at things through a secular/atheistic lens.

    Yes, it only makes “sense” when you view it through a catholic lens. No other lens will do. That’s the essence of dogma, isn’t it?
    Whereby sense is used in a very loose fashion here.

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  63. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria [February 24th, 2010 at 9:35 pm],

    The Church forbids condoms and other forms of contraception because any contraception destroys the proper relationship between a man and his wife. IF a couple needs to space out their children, they should abstain from sex. IF however, they choose to have sex, they should accept any child that comes of their act of love.

    Using contraception allows a couple to use sex and each other casually. Women tend to be used as objects and their potential motherhood is not considered acceptable.

    That is why the use of condoms is mortally sinful.

    I would just like to qualify the term “The Church”:
    While Lucia Maria’s above comment may reflect the views of the ROMAN CATHOLIC Church, it is not necessarily the views of the Church of Jesus Christ (the Body of Christ – those whom Christ indwells). And nor is it representative of biblical teaching.

    God gave sex BOTH for pleasure between a man and wife, AND for the provision of children. There is no biblical mandate that prevents the use of contraception.

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  64. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Good point Kris.

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  65. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    Nothing can stop the spread of HIV (and most STDs) more effectively than the use of condoms.

    Well, keeping your pants on is much more effective. Why would someone with HIV (or another STI) play Russian Roulette with their partner? You point to South Africa in your comment, the country where hundreds of millions of condoms have been distributed and the HIV infection rates have continued to soar. Condoms are marketed as “safe sex”; they’re anything but safe, especially when it comes to STIs. They’re not even that foolproof for contraception, and women aren’t even fertile 75% of the time. HIV and STIs don’t sleep. They’re looking for new victims 24/7.

    The American example of the abysimally failed “Pleadge Absinince” amongst teenagers should eb a lesson.

    You’ve obviously missed the new report released in the last month or so showing that abstinence education — presented in a non-religious setting — produces much lower rates of teen pregnancy and the other associated outcomes, eg abortion.

    After all, that is what the church is all about, make you feel guilty.

    Another very intelligent, rational comment. Visit a few homeless shelters, hospitals, school for the underprivileged, hospices, orphanages in places like Calcutta or Darfur and you’ll see what the Church is all about.

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  66. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    eszett 9:56 am,

    The spread of STDs and HIV in particular.
    Nothing can stop the spread of HIV (and most STDs) more effectively than the use of condoms. This has been proven over and over and over again.

    I have to agree with Scribe (10:49 am).
    The ‘safe sex’ brigade (Family Planning et al) have spread this lie – I believe to encourage promiscuity, particularly amongst youth.
    And while condoms provide quite good protection against unwanted pregnancy, they provide essentially ZERO protection against viruses (HIV/AIDS and STDs) – as viruses can, and do, easily pass through the rubber membrane.

    I’m surprised you’re not aware of this fact, Eszett – do you work fro Family Planning per chance?

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  67. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    as viruses can, and do, easily pass through the rubber membrane.

    Water molecules can’t pass through the rubber membrane. How on earth do you imagine that things thousands of times larger could fit through it?

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  68. Lucia Maria (1,996 comments) says:

    Kris K,

    You knew what I meant when I referred to the Church, and so do most people. Why the need for qualification?

    Right up until the 1930′s when the Anglicans caved on contraception, all Christians accepted that contraception was contrary to the Bible and gravely sinful. Then one by one they fell, until only the Church that goes back to the beginning of Christianity is left standing firm.

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  69. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    The ’safe sex’ brigade (Family Planning et al) have spread this lie – I believe to encourage promiscuity, particularly amongst youth.
    And while condoms provide quite good protection against unwanted pregnancy, they provide essentially ZERO protection against viruses (HIV/AIDS and STDs) – as viruses can, and do, easily pass through the rubber membrane.

    Wow, I have to say the level of ignorance in that statement cannot to be topped. It is simply preposterous. How can you make a statement like that and keep a straight face is beyond me. Have you ever, just for one second, done some research other than your christian biased propaganda?

    As for the “keep it in the pants” argument, Scribe, did you read my post above? I don’t mind you preaching abstinence. But you have to accept the fact that people will have sex and will want to have sex and no matter how much you dislike it. Preach abstinence if you like, but preach safety as well. You have absolutely no moral justification not to. In fact, you have a moral obligation to do so.

    But you do not, because you see it as more important to impose your sexual mores on others. That is your primary objective.

    This is the problem that I have with you Christians, you are inaccessible to fact, whatsoever, if they contradict your dogma. You will willfully let millions of people die just so you can maintain a stupid rule. You will not only ignore scientific facts (so as condoms prevent STDs, especially HIV), you will spread lies and misinformation just to promote your agenda.

    I cannot even begin to describe how disgusting and immoral your willful ignorance on this matter is. Willful, because you could and should know better, but you deliberately choose not to.

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  70. Don the Kiwi (1,341 comments) says:

    eszett.

    Go and get a mop and bucket. Your rants are so fraught through with lies and uneducated and uninformed exagerations that you have no credibility.
    Do some proper research and get some objective facts – not the liberal crap you are dribbling here.

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  71. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Right up until the 1930’s when the Anglicans caved on contraception, all Christians accepted that contraception was contrary to the Bible and gravely sinful. Then one by one they fell, until only the Church that goes back to the beginning of Christianity is left standing firm.

    Good to see that most keep up with changing times and new knowledge.

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  72. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    [Part 1]

    Ryan Sproull 11:20 am,

    “as viruses can, and do, easily pass through the rubber membrane.”

    Water molecules can’t pass through the rubber membrane. How on earth do you imagine that things thousands of times larger could fit through it?

    HIV virus: 180 nm
    hXXp://www.hiv-info.org/hiv-virus.hXm

    Water molecule: 0.278 nm
    hXXp://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_size_of_a_water_moleculeXX

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  73. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    [Part2]

    Ryan,

    Human sperm cell: dia ~3 microns = 3000 nm
    hXXp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpermatozoonXX

    [Change 'XX' to 'tt' to activate links]

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  74. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Kris, you’re losing me there. Water is smaller than HIV, water doesn’t pass through condoms, but HIV does? Am I missing something?

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  75. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    [Part 3a]

    Ryan,

    From the link:
    http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-articles/how-condom-prevents-aids-488310.html

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  76. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    test

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  77. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    [Part 3b]

    Ryan,

    From the link:
    hXXp://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-articles/how-condom-prevents-aids-488310.hXml

    “So compelling is the evidence that since 1987, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has let manufacturers list a roster of diseases that condoms, when used properly, can help prevent: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and AIDS,” Consumer Reports added.

    This protection increases when latex condoms are used with a vaginal spermicide. Combined with nonoxynol-9, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter spermicides, latex condoms prevent pregnancy by about 95 percent and protect couples from STDs, including hepatitis B.

    So while we’re told that “condoms, when used properly, can help prevent: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and AIDS”, and we are then told “This protection increases when latex condoms are used with a vaginal spermicide. Combined with nonoxynol-9, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter spermicides, latex condoms prevent pregnancy by about 95 percent”, my question is this:

    Why, if we ONLY have 95% protection against pregnancy when condoms are used (and this with spermicide and nonoxynol-9) when the human sperm cell has a diameter of 3 microns (3000 nm), and yet we somehow have almost foolproof protection against HIV/AIDs when the HIV virus diameter is 180 nm; 6% the size of a human sperm cell diameter?

    It just doesn’t stack up, Ryan – someone is telling lies.

    I stand by my claim that condoms privide minimal protection against sexually transmitted viruses.

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  78. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    eszett,

    You will willfully let millions of people die just so you can maintain a stupid rule. You will not only ignore scientific facts (so as condoms prevent STDs, especially HIV), you will spread lies and misinformation just to promote your agenda.

    Have you heard of Edward C. Green? He’s the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at — what’s that place called again? — oh, that’s right, Harvard.

    He used to be a staunch promoter of condoms to fight HIV. Then he actually looked at the facts — something you accuse “you Christians” of refusing to do.

    Check him out here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html

    An excerpt:

    In theory, condom promotions ought to work everywhere. And intuitively, some condom use ought to be better than no use. But that’s not what the research in Africa shows.

    Why not?

    One reason is “risk compensation.” That is, when people think they’re made safe by using condoms at least some of the time, they actually engage in riskier sex.

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  79. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    [Part 3]

    Ryan, (from the link that won’t allow me to submit)

    “So compelling is the evidence that since 1987, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has let manufacturers list a roster of diseases that condoms, when used properly, can help prevent: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and AIDS,” Consumer Reports added.

    This protection increases when latex condoms are used with a vaginal spermicide. Combined with nonoxynol-9, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter spermicides, latex condoms prevent pregnancy by about 95 percent and protect couples from STDs, including hepatitis B.

    So while we’re told that “condoms, when used properly, can help prevent: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and AIDS”, and we are then told “This protection increases when latex condoms are used with a vaginal spermicide. Combined with nonoxynol-9, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter spermicides, latex condoms prevent pregnancy by about 95 percent”, my question is this:

    Why, if we ONLY have 95% protection against pregnancy when condoms are used (and this with spermicide and nonoxynol-9) when the human sperm cell has a diameter of 3 microns (3000 nm), and yet we somehow have almost foolproof protection against HIV/AIDs when the HIV virus diameter is 180 nm; 6% the size of a human sperm cell diameter?

    It just doesn’t stack up, Ryan – someone is telling lies.

    I stand by my claim that condoms privide minimal protection against sexually transmitted viruses.

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  80. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Kris, I see you logic, but I think you have a fallacy. You’re assuming that the 5% failure rate of condoms is because 5% of the time sperm manage to pass through the pores (and therefore logically HIV would come through more often). I suspect the 5% failure rate is because of one of the following:
    – breakage of the condom, in which case they would fail 5% of the time for HIV as well
    – incorrect usage or failure to use in some circumstances, again same percentage would apply to HIV

    I think the 5% failure rate is something like “5% of couples using condoms as their sole contraceptive method will get pregnant in a year” – not 5% of the times I have sex my partner will get pregnant. Hell, if that latter was true, then condoms would actually be increasing the chance of getting pregnant, and all couples having trouble conceiving should use them!!

    My recollection is that a lot of the failures were people forgetting to use them or getting carried away, and then a chunk that were breakage. That is very different than a discussion about sperm passing through the pores. Condoms are water tight, sperm and HIV are hardly going to get through.

    So, whilst I respect that you’re doing some independent thought, I think you’re on the right track. Are there any studies that support you?

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  81. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Ryan et al,

    Please read my Parts 1, 2 & 3 as ONE comment.

    That link for Part 3 still won’t allow me to submit – apologies.

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  82. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    That was “I don’t think you’re on the right track”. Which was hopefully clear from the context.

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  83. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Uh, there it is (finally appeared) in my 1:37 pm comment.

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  84. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    My recollection is that a lot of the failures were people forgetting to use them or getting carried away, and then a chunk that were breakage. That is very different than a discussion about sperm passing through the pores. Condoms are water tight, sperm and HIV are hardly going to get through.

    And people with STIs/HIV don’t have breakages? Forget sperm/HIV etc passing through pores; why have sex when you have HIV/STIs?

    I’ll say it again: KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!!

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  85. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    God wants gays dead. Well, so says Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley.

    “If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

    What a loving god.

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  86. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    I’m not sure if I’m more offended by that story as a journalist — stunned that a sub-editor could write such a misleading headline — or as a Christian.

    Here’s what she actually said.

    “The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ms Ashley told Fox News.

    “In Leviticus it says: ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’

    “The Bible is pretty black and white.

    “I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone.

    “If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

    That’s not even close to “God wants gays dead”. That headline is grounds for a Press Council complaint (if it appeared in print in Aussie).

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  87. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    PaulL 2:07 pm

    I think the 5% failure rate is something like “5% of couples using condoms as their sole contraceptive method will get pregnant in a year” – not 5% of the times I have sex my partner will get pregnant. Hell, if that latter was true, then condoms would actually be increasing the chance of getting pregnant, and all couples having trouble conceiving should use them!!

    So, whilst I respect that you’re doing some independent thought, I think you’re on the right track. Are there any studies that support you?

    Perhaps the condom porosity is a red hearing, and I should have focussed on the “5% of couples using condoms as their sole contraceptive method will get pregnant in a year”. So while this wouldn’t necessarily translate into a 5% pregnancy result for condom use in general (the woman’s fertility, etc being a factor), I think it highlights at least the Russian roulette nature of expecting condoms to protect any better then ~5% for sexually transmitted viruses.

    Therefore sex outside that of a committed, monogamous relationship is putting the participants potentially in harms way in this regard. And why aren’t the likes of Family Planning, et al highlighting this potential danger – especially to those that they promote the ‘safe sex’ message to – primarily youth.

    And I don’t know of any studies that support my view – just thinking out loud based on the evidence at hand.

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  88. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    I’ll say it again: KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!!

    and maybe you should read your own link:

    “Don’t misunderstand me; I am not anti-condom. All people should have full access to condoms, and condoms should always be a backup strategy for those who will not or cannot remain in a mutually faithful relationship.”

    - Edward C. Green

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  89. Scribe (84 comments) says:

    eszett,

    He’s saying KEEP YOUR PANTS ON, unless it’s with your wife/husband who you know is clean. It’s a backup strategy because, as he says, distributing condoms in Africa to fight HIV simply doesn’t work. Some people are just irresponsible, heartless clowns who’d rather get one away than worry about infecting whoever it is they’re sleeping with.

    People like you who bash the Church and the Pope for his comments relating specifically to Aids in Africa need to face the facts. Here’s a guy who says he’s not against condoms making the case against their distribution. And, as far as I know, he’s not religious. He’s a scientist. I thought we were supposed to listen to them — they’re the good guys, aren’t they?

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  90. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Kris – two ways to look at things. Abstention and sex within a marriage are good things. But not everybody is going to do those things, particularly teenagers, who aren’t overly given to thinking about long term consequences.

    If you think that all teenagers will abstain, then your plan makes sense.

    If we accept that many teenagers won’t abstain, the next question is whether we’d prefer they had unprotected sex, or sex with condoms.

    It’s pointless arguing that abstention is better than condoms. Lets assume that all those who will abstain are already doing so. Abstention is no longer a likely option for those remaining, what would you like to do for them?

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  91. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria 12:06 pm,

    Kris K,

    You knew what I meant when I referred to the Church, and so do most people. Why the need for qualification?

    While I knew what you meant (only because I also know you’re a Roman Catholic), when most people say “The Church” I think of the Body of Christ (those whom Christ indwells); the biblical definition, not some independent group that may happen to call itself “The Church”, and may or may not be a subset of the biblically defined ‘church’.

    If you mean the Roman Catholic church, then say so – don’t mislead others by using some generic term when in fact you mean anything but the generic meaning.

    Much in the same way as the ROMAN CATHOLIC crusades are apportioned to the entire Body of Christ (biblical church) because people instead call them the ‘Christian Crusades’, or the crusades carried out by ‘The Church’.

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  92. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Much in the same way as the ROMAN CATHOLIC crusades are apportioned to the entire Body of Christ (biblical church) because people instead call them the ‘Christian Crusades’, or the crusades carried out by ‘The Church’.

    How many other xian churches were there at the time? You are, i am sure, well aware of when the reformation occurred and the ruthlessness with which the curch put down any “heresies’ prior to then.

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  93. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    PaulL 2:43 pm,

    If you think that all teenagers will abstain, then your plan makes sense.

    If we accept that many teenagers won’t abstain, the next question is whether we’d prefer they had unprotected sex, or sex with condoms.

    It’s pointless arguing that abstention is better than condoms. Lets assume that all those who will abstain are already doing so. Abstention is no longer a likely option for those remaining, what would you like to do for them?

    But that’s kind of my point:
    How much of the so called ‘safe sex’ practiced by teenagers is a direct result of them being told of the inherent safety if a condom is used?

    I mean, if we said that there was a 5% chance, say, of receiving a sexually transmitted virus EVEN when a condom IS used, then perhaps this may in fact curtail much of the modern trend of promiscuous youth, and its associated risks.

    At least then they could make a more informed choice – surely that’s a basic human right?

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  94. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    At least then they could make a more informed choice – surely that’s a basic human right?

    Yes, at that includes kids at Catholic schools and other religious schools being taught the FACTS about sex and contraception, not the myths the churches like to peddle.

    And it is also a basic human right to fuck who we want, with consent, and not have some blue nose poking into our private lives and telling us some bloke who died 2000 years ago will die again if we don’t stop fucking.

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  95. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    LeftRightOut 2:47 pm,

    How many other xian churches were there at the time? You are, i am sure, well aware of when the reformation occurred and the ruthlessness with which the curch put down any “heresies’ prior to then.

    Have you heard of the Anabaptists, Waldenses, et al who were amongst the many Christian victims of the Roman Catholic crusades? The reason the RC church was so dominant was that it surgically removed MOST other Christian voices. If you are really interested have a read of Foxes Book of Martyrs – it documents many of those Christians burned at the stake, etc for their rejection of the teachings of Rome.

    And just as an aside; modern day Baptists are not a product of the reformation, but rather are of the remnant that survived RC persecution, and do in fact trace their lineage back to the Anabaptist, et al; not the RC church.

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  96. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    LeftRightOut 3:06 pm,

    At least then they could make a more informed choice – surely that’s a basic human right?

    Yes, at that includes kids at Catholic schools and other religious schools being taught the FACTS about sex and contraception, not the myths the churches like to peddle.
    And it is also a basic human right to fuck who we want, with consent, and not have some blue nose poking into our private lives and telling us some bloke who died 2000 years ago will die again if we don’t stop fucking.

    In my discussion with Ezsett, Ryan, and Paul I have nowhere introduced any biblical teachings, etc.
    You are the one who has attempted to turned this thread by drawing in my comment to Lucia Maria where I was pulling her up on the issue of tarring the biblical church with those beliefs and practices carried out by the RC church.

    But then that’s your ‘style’, so why should I be surprised.
    I could argue purely from a secular point of view and you drag in the “Oooh, the Christian’s talking – quick attack his faith”.

    You need to ‘grow up’, LRO. (or is that Borker?)

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  97. Lucia Maria (1,996 comments) says:

    Foxes book of martyrs, that wonderful tract of propaganda. Yeah, I have gone through it a while back and it makes for vile reading. But to regard it as a serious work of historical fact is just a leap too far.

    From Ex-Classics

    John Foxe or Fox (1518-1587), a staunchly Protestant divine, wrote his book as this story seen from the Protestant point of view. The Acts and Monuments of the Christian Church, better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, was first published in English in 1563. (see Bibliographic Note). In this enormously long history of the Church from the death of Christ to the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, he is anxious to prove firstly the complete hatefulness, evil and corruption of the Catholic church, the papacy and the monastic orders, and secondly to assert the right of the monarch to appoint bishops and clergy, and to dispose of church property and income at will. Everything (and that means everything) which supports this view goes in; everything which does not is either left out, glossed over, or rejected as ipso facto untrue because asserted by his opponents. For example, his treatment of Savonarola is breathtaking in its omissions. To read Foxe’s account, one would think that Savonarola was a humble monk, plucked from his cell and burned for preaching a few sermons — there is not a word about his capture of the government of Florence, theocratic rule (with bonfires of vanities,) nor of his inciting a French army to invade Italy and occupy Florence; still less of his claims to possess miraculous powers. If his sources support his prejudices, however, his credulity knows no bounds; he is as ready to peddle the myth of Jewish blood-sacrifices of Christian children as he is to believe in the foundation of the church in England by Joseph of Arimathea. When he gets closer to his own times, however, his accounts are in most cases taken from eye-witness evidence or official documents and must be accepted as basically factual. There is no doubt that Protestants were savagely persecuted by Henry VIII and especially by Mary I and that this contributed to the fear and hatred which animates the book. The gruesome and enormously detailed accounts of the martyrdoms of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and all the other victims of Bloody Mary’s tyranny are sober fact. Nonetheless, any students tempted to regard the book as a work of history are warned to check anything Foxe says with some more even-handed historian before reproducing it. (We recommend Reformation: Europe’s House Divided by Diarmaid MacCulloch)

    That bit on the Jewish blood sacrifices of Christian children is a real doozie. Are you sure you want to be associated with endorsing this book?

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  98. Lucia Maria (1,996 comments) says:

    Also, I looked up the Anabaptists. They were a bit on the sexually depraved side.

    I don’t Kris why you want to be associated with such people.

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  99. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria 5:29 pm,

    From your quote from Ex-Classics:

    John Foxe or Fox (1518-1587), a staunchly Protestant divine, wrote his book as this story seen from the Protestant point of view. The Acts and Monuments of the Christian Church, better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, was first published in English in 1563.

    In this enormously long history of the Church from the death of Christ to the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, he is anxious to prove firstly the complete hatefulness, evil and corruption of the Catholic church, the papacy and the monastic orders …

    He wouldn’t be alone in that assertion.

    When he gets closer to his own times, however, his accounts are in most cases taken from eye-witness evidence or official documents and must be accepted as basically factual.

    “Eye-witnesses evidence or official documents” – hard to wriggle on that one, then?

    There is no doubt that Protestants were savagely persecuted by Henry VIII and especially by Mary I and that this contributed to the fear and hatred which animates the book. The gruesome and enormously detailed accounts of the martyrdoms of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and all the other victims of Bloody Mary’s tyranny are sober fact.

    Sobering FACT, indeed.

    [LM:] That bit on the Jewish blood sacrifices of Christian children is a real doozie. Are you sure you want to be associated with endorsing this book?

    I can’t recall seeing the bit about the “Jewish blood sacrifices of Christian children” when I read it.
    Even if he got some of the bits wrong, or enhanced them a bit (I’m not necessarily saying he did), the bits which your cited review admits to are more than enough to condemn much of the activities of the many representatives of Rome.

    If you want something more current try reading Dave Hunts ‘A Woman Rides the Beast’ – he’s another Christian author that many RCs have a strong dislike for – but his scholarship is excellent, and it’s hard to refute many/any of his claims.

    But whatever your views on Fox or Hunt, Lucia Maria, please refrain from using the term “The Church”, when you in fact mean the ROMAN CATHOLIC church – us non Catholics (Christians) would appreciate it – well this one anyway.

    Thankyou in advance.

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  100. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria 6:01 pm

    Also, I looked up the Anabaptists. They were a bit on the sexually depraved side.
    I don’t Kris why you want to be associated with such people.

    Also, I looked up Roman Catholocism. They were a bit on the sexually depraved side.
    I don’t know Lucia Maria why you want to be associated with such people.

    No doubt we could find examples of many Christian sects that contained “sexually depraved” individuals – but do you really want to go there, LM? I mean if you want to talk about SEXUAL DEPRAVITY you have to go a long way to get past those things practiced/committed by ROMAN CATHOLICS throughout the entire RC church’s history.

    People in glass houses …

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  101. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    Are you two arguing about the 9 year old girl, or which one of you has the best fairytale?

    You’d think for a bunch of people who talk to God on a daily basis, some of this stuff would be resolved by now…don’t people get burning bush FM anymore?

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  102. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    I don’t often agree with Lucia, but at the least, she plays fair and has a degree of knowledge on the topic. Kris K, OTOH, argues from ignorance and reinforces with bullshit, attempting to put the formationn of the Anabaptists either prior to or concurrent with the crusades.

    Yep Kris, there’s a helluva lot of sexual deparavity in the RC church, mainly because it is composed of humans, and any large group of humans will find the sexually depraved, the entirely moral and the whole gammut of humanity in between.

    Yes, Kris, even amongst YOUR fellow believers there will be all sorts of dirty little secrets lurking…maybe you even harbour some yourself.

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  103. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Chthoniid 6:35 pm,

    Are you two arguing abut the 9 year old girl, or which one of you has the best fairytale?

    Don’t get me started on who’s got “the best fairytale”, Chthoniid.

    You’d think for a bunch of people who talk to God on a daily basis, some of this stuff would be resolved by now…

    Just goes to show how different ‘authorities’ gives one a different perspective.
    Perhaps not a lot different to our diversity of views on origins, Chthoniid.

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  104. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    As an old Darwinist I will pray for you Kris.

    You never know it may do some good just in case you are wrong about the meaning of life the universe and everything. :)

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  105. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Kris, at last you admit it, your god is a fairytale.

    Now, just accept that human knowledge has advanced a lot in the last 2000 years and a dead Jew is simply that, a dead Jew.

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  106. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “As an old Darwinist I will pray for you Kris. ”

    Then you more than anyone should be speaking out against the promiscuity of youth in our country.

    So tell me, if screwing everything that moves has been a long part of human evolutionary history, why haven’t we evolved resistance to sexually transmitted disease?

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  107. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    …because diseases evolve too.

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  108. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    LeftRightOut 6:44 pm,

    I don’t often agree with Lucia, but at the least, she plays fair and has a degree of knowledge on the topic. Kris K, OTOH, argues from ignorance and reinforces with bullshit, attempting to put the formationn of the Anabaptists either prior to or concurrent with the crusades.

    Prior to, actually.
    There were always Christians from the time of Christ who practiced baptism for believers ONLY; in accordance with the scriptures – this by definition excluded infants, who were too young to understand and therefore believe on Christ.

    The Anabaptists never came out of the RC church, and can trace themselves back to first century Christians and thus are pre the establishment of the RC church.

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  109. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Shunda, you may as ask why we haven’t we haven’t evolved immunity to the common cold. Humans are not the only life that evolves.

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  110. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Now, just accept that human knowledge has advanced a lot in the last 2000 years and a dead Jew is simply that, a dead Jew.”

    Knowledge of what? technology? yes I would agree with that, socially? no way.

    There are huge cracks developing in the way we live our modern lives, our “knowledge” is becoming dominated by blind experiments with ideology and social “progressives” are doing anything but.

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  111. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Kris, all xians, even RC’s can “can trace themselves back to first century Christians”, big deal, so what? You cliamed that the Anabaptists were persecuted at the time of the crusades, history shows that they did not exist then.

    I can trace your genetic inheritance back to a fish, doesn’t mean you are still a fish.

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  112. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Chthoniid 7:02 pm,

    Was that:

    “…because they evolve to … [?]”

    or

    “…because they evolve toO”

    ? :mrgreen:

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  113. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Shunda, you may as ask why we haven’t we haven’t evolved immunity to the common cold. Humans are not the only life that evolves.”

    We have, I have recovered from every single cold I have had, what a poor example.

    So which sexually transmitted viruses have evolved to infect a couple that mate for life? do you catch a sexually transmitted disease from your wife 2 -3 times a year like the common cold?

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  114. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    Don’t get me started on who’s got “the best fairytale”, Chthoniid.

    Tell you what, you guys sort out which of the various 38,000 Xtian sects is the real Xtian one, then get back to us.

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  115. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Quick on the re-edit, eh Chthoniid?

    [but I saw it]

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  116. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Tell you what, you guys sort out which of the various 38,000 Xtian sects is the real Xtian one, then get back to us.”

    Read the bible and figure it out for yourself.
    I’m not your friggin pastor.

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  117. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda 7:11 pm,

    So which sexually transmitted viruses have evolved to infect a couple that mate for life? do you catch a sexually transmitted disease from your wife 2 -3 times a year like the common cold?

    That question may be a bit too close to the bone in LRO’s case – he and his wife may have an ‘open’ relationship – and therefore the answer would be, “Yes”.

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  118. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    We have, I have recovered from every single cold I have had, what a poor example.

    No, you develop an immunity to a previous variant of the cold, but not to subsequent mutations.
    That’s why most people get reinfected every year.

    So, what’s this got to do with a 9 year pregnant Brazilian again?

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  119. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Fine Shunda, you don’t think the cold example is a good one, even though the cold virus continues to mutate. Then, you may as well ask why we haven’t evolved immunity to cancer, dental decay, heart disease, etc.

    Kris, nice of you to bring in my wife. Thank you for reminding me of her, and the way she died from cancer, just one more gift to humanity from a “loving god”. And just one more example of why I prefer the company of liars, drunks and thieves to those who profess to be “Christians”.

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  120. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “No, you develop an immunity to a previous variant of the cold, but not to subsequent mutations.
    That’s why most people get reinfected every year.”

    You are talking about a fundamentally different mechanism of viral infection.
    The fact of the matter is that according to evolutionary theory, human beings are one of the forms of life that tend to mate for life. Modern society is going against the this theory by actively promoting promiscuity and the resultant disease is the inevitable result.
    Sexually transmitted disease does not affect people that mate for life.

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  121. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Then, you may as well ask why we haven’t evolved immunity to cancer, dental decay, heart disease, etc.”

    The incidence of these disease’s are directly related to modern food, lifestyles and general indulgence.
    Historical incidence is a lot lower.

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  122. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Tell that to the Egyptians of old. Life expectancy is higher now than at anytime in history.

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  123. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “Historical incidence is a lot lower.”

    Come on now Shunda if your life expectancy was about 35 historically its a bit of a stretch to equate incidence of degenerative diseases to todays life expectancies of 75/82!

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  124. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    Modern society is going against the this theory by actively promoting promiscuity and the resultant disease is the inevitable result.

    Yeah, we need to go back to an era where polygamy, concubinage, slavery and the rape of female war prisoners was the norm. Like the bible said.

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  125. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    Oops, looks like I have read that bible afterall.

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  126. Chthoniid (1,967 comments) says:

    Hey, when Lot tried to pimp his teenage daughters to be raped by the Sodomites (the righteous Lot preserved by God of course), wasn’t that a bit on oh, the promiscuous side?

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  127. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    Pimping his teenage daughters! bloody disgusting they should all have been married off by the time they were 13.

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  128. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Yeah, we need to go back to an era where polygamy, concubinage, slavery and the rape of female war prisoners was the norm. Like the bible said.”

    What the hell are you talking about? I am not having a religious conversation with any of you guys.
    Have human beings evolved to mate for life or not? it is a simple question.

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  129. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    The fact of the matter is that according to evolutionary theory, human beings are one of the forms of life that tend to mate for life.

    I’d like to see those facts. Last research I saw on the topic was a study of testes size v’s body weight. Logic being that naturally monogamous species only need small testes, species that tend to have multiple partners need large testes. My interesting interpretation is that the large testes are so that the male can compete with the other males who have been having sex with the female – more sperm in the womb. The study indicates that humans are at the multiple partners end of the spectrum – indicating that in the past it was common for women to have multiple partners.

    Of course, if you don’t believe in evolution, then it’s possible that god just gave us large testes because he didn’t want us feeling inadequate.

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  130. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Come on now Shunda if your life expectancy was about 35 historically its a bit of a stretch to equate incidence of degenerative diseases to todays life expectancies of 75/82!”

    Who’s talking about life expectancy? Modern society has caused an increase in these diseases, are you fella’s a bit thick?

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  131. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    “Have human beings evolved to mate for life or not? it is a simple question.”

    It’s a question you can answer yourself with some quite simple observation.

    And Paul, yes, you are right with testes size. Also, the head of the penis is shaped to work like a scoop, the thrusting in and out is designed to remove sperm from a competitor before ejaculation

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  132. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    Paul sorry dude but that is a load of crap.
    Human evolution shows a species that developed strong traits of family and community, these traits being essential to survival.
    I don’t give a rats what some revisionist liberal has to say about it to make it fit with “progressive” thought.
    Why do people get sick that screw around Paul? why do we need to protect ourselves ?

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  133. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    Well now who’s being thick Shunda. Its fairly likely if you live to say 70 you are more liable to contract cancer or heart disease than if you die young and healthy at 30 from the black death or a battle axe in the skull.

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  134. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “the thrusting in and out is designed to remove sperm from a competitor before ejaculation”

    Designed? That sounds like intelligent design to me, you’re a whack job!

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  135. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    Nah if he was a whacker-offer he wouldn’t have developed the scoop shaped penis. :)

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  136. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Well now who’s being thick Shunda.”

    You are.

    Tooth decay: direct link to high sugar diets- modern construct.

    Cancer: direct link to human behaviour, smoking, poor diet, sexual promiscuity, also linked to human caused changes to our environment.

    Heart disease: poor diet, smoking, fatty foods, over indulgence, lack of exercise, you get the picture.

    So progressive as a society aren’t we.

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  137. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “It’s a question you can answer yourself with some quite simple observation.”

    Yeah, as the family unit gets weaker society turns to shit.

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  138. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    People never died so much from those diseases (cancer/heart) in proportion Shunda because they never lived long enough to contract them so much.
    Tooth decay was quite common though in olden times due to a complete lack of any knowledge of dental hygiene.

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  139. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “Yeah, as the family unit gets weaker society turns to shit.”

    Cant argue with that, but somehow I have managed to stay married for 39 years and my two daughters have for 19 and 13yr and none of us are what you would call Christians. Just sensible I guess. :)

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  140. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Cant argue with that, but somehow I have managed to stay married for 39 years and my two daughters have for 19 and 13yr and none of us are what you would call Christians.”

    That is fine, I am not really arguing from a Christian perspective here!!
    In fact on all of these moral issues I don’t usually go for the “God has said” angle, I see that there is often a logical argument to be made other than simply moralising the issue.
    I have seen too many peoples lives (non Christian friends and family) wrecked by rampant promiscuity.

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  141. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    And back on topic, of course the girls life should be saved, what a hideous incident.

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  142. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “I have seen too many peoples lives (non Christian friends and family) wrecked by rampant promiscuity.”

    Thank God there is no such thing as a rampantly, promiscuous Christian then. :)

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  143. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Thank God there is no such thing as a rampantly, promiscuous Christian then. :)”

    Ha! I re read my post and I knew you were going to say that!

    In reality there is no less sexual “sin” among Christians, in fact due to an often taboo culture it can cause a lot more problems.

    I was at this meeting once and the preacher was talking about “marital aids” I was pondering this possibly new infectious disease when I realised he was actually talking about sex toys! :)

    Marital aids! :roll:

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  144. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Sorry Shunda, I’m not sure there is any good reason for blaming all of societies ills on the breakdown of the family. I can understand why you see things through that religious lens, but I just don’t believe it.

    In the same way that the greenies claim that the environment is consistently getting worse despite evidence to the contrary, I hear you claiming that society is getting worse despite evidence to the contrary.

    My view is that 200+ years ago, society was basically non-existent. There were a few people at the top of the pyramid (the kind of people you read about in history books) who had time for art and culture, and who generally shagged around / had mistresses / got up to all sorts of shenanigans. Then there were a large group of people at the bottom of the pyramid who were dirt poor, had nothing to aspire to and nothing to own, died young, and basically were out of luck if anything bad happened to them. If I couldn’t control what position in society I had, I’d definitely choose now over then. In fact, probably even if I could control what position, I reckon living as joe blow in the western world today would still be better than being the bloody king back then.

    50-100 years ago, people were wealthier than 200+ ago, and people had more prospects. But by and large society was straight laced. People in failing relationships had few options, women were seriously discriminated against and often abused, children were often treated abominably. For anyone who isn’t “normal” life today is much better – gays, those handicapped/disabled, those with health issues, anyone who doesn’t fit societies norms is far better off today than in the past, as society is far more tolerant. Our culture is also far more accessible, particularly in terms of accessing the culture of other countries. People are encouraged to think and analyse where in the past they were encouraged to rote learn (other than a lucky few).

    Sorry, where you see disease and decay, I see diversity and excitement. Different perspectives on life I guess.

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  145. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    Paul I think your perspective has a lot of merit, but who else has your perspective? You are obviously a person that ponders these things and has at least some knowledge of history, most people don’t do this.
    My angle is more that we are squandering the position you have described and actually beginning a regression back into some pretty ugly stuff.
    Talk to any Cop and they will tell you that there is an increasing amount of offending from people from the “right side of the tracks” why is this?

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  146. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    It just doesn’t stack up, Ryan – someone is telling lies.

    I stand by my claim that condoms privide minimal protection against sexually transmitted viruses.

    Kris,

    Sperm cells are not teleporting to the other side of waterproof surfaces any more than HIV is. Condoms can break, they can be used incorrectly, etc – explanations for the transfer of single-celled organisms from one person to another. The claim you made that I was objecting to was that viruses “can, and do, easily pass through the rubber membrane”. Do you stand by that claim?

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  147. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    shunda, I have “screwed around”, as you put it. One night stands, prostitutes, long term affairs and have NO STDs. Explain that. Maybe I HAVE evolved an immunity to STDs.

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  148. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    “Maybe I HAVE evolved an immunity to STDs.”

    Yeah and maybe you were lucky.
    You do realise that a male has approx half the chance of getting sick as a female.
    And I would bet you did the majority of this before the current STI epidemic.

    There is nothing in human evolutionary thinking that suggests we have evolved to screw like rabbits, there is massive evidence that we are social creatures with an emphasis on caring for our own genetic offspring from one mate.

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  149. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Shunda, I’ll readily agree that things could be better. So long as we understand what we’re comparing against, and aren’t making fake comparisons. Things are better than they were, there is still room for improvement. That is also true of the environment.

    In the environmental space, the environmentalists often find it very counter intuitive that increasing wealth actually leads to better environmental outcomes. When people have the ability (through wealth, information and education) to make a choice, they often make a good choice. Not always, and we can always point to examples of what we consider to be bad choices. I’d argue they are often driven by poor information or education, but I guess sometimes they are also driven by the fact that someone is an idiot. Or, arguably, just because their definition of a good choice doesn’t agree with mine.

    In the environmental space then, rather than endless rules and regulations, I believe in strong property rights, making people wealthier, and giving them good information about the impacts of their choices.

    So, take society. Are there similar dynamics? If we give people better education about the choices, the consequences of those choices, and also the freedom to exercise that choice, do we get better outcomes? It sometimes seems counter intuitive to those with a strong religious or conservative outlook, but are we sure that being strict and forbidding things really gets a better outcome?

    My parents weren’t religious, and nor am I. But I believe they did instill reasonable values from first principles. They always explained why not to do something, they didn’t prohibit it. In my teenage years they didn’t really apply too many rules – I was allowed to drink, I could stay out as late as I liked so long as I called in if it was very late or told them beforehand, they didn’t really go out of their way to prohibit drugs either. As a result, I didn’t really get excited about staying out late, getting drunk or doing drugs. I got drunk a few times, but didn’t like the hangovers, so it became a once in a while thing (long enough apart to forget the pain). Drugs weren’t very interesting, and I didn’t really get into much trouble.

    Conversely, I know people who forbid all sorts of things to their kids. So far as I can see, that makes them want to do those things. It seems counterintuitive, but does all this forbidding really help? Does keeping information away from kids in the hope that somehow they won’t work out that sex is fun really work?

    I realise not all my values probably align to yours – you clearly feel strongly about abortion, and I conversely feel strongly about a woman’s right to choose. I’d argue whilst she has that right, she should exercise it very carefully – you seem to be arguing she doesn’t have that right at all. We differ there. But lets start the discussion by agreeing what we’re trying to achieve.

    I’d definitely like to see fewer abortions. However, I’d argue that the best way to achieve that is to have fewer unplanned/unwanted pregnancies, not to either force women/girls to carry to term an unwanted baby, or to deny them information about contraception. I’d argue that those actions increase the abortion rate, and the risks of that abortion to the woman/girl concerned.

    I’d like to see abortions that are performed being carried out earlier than later. In some theoretical world all foetuses are equal, but I draw a big distinction between a first trimester abortion (well before brain function) and late term abortions where a baby is almost (or is) viable. To make them earlier, we need to give better information, better access, and help women/girls/families to make the decision quickly and well – rather than drawing out indecision and making a decision very late. Again, restricting access will, to me, make a late abortion much more likely.

    Anyway, my random thoughts on the matter on a Thursday evening.

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