MandM header image 2

No Tears for George Tiller

June 4th, 2009 by Madeleine

Since hearing of the murder of abortionist George Tiller I have been wanting to find some way to express my thoughts on the matter as while I am not sad that Tiller is dead, I do support the prosecution of his killer. Philosopher Ed Feser’s post, “Two monsters,” where he contrasts the murder of Tiller with the murder of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer describes my thoughts precisely (though mine are a bit more protestant). So rather than try to be as eloquent as Feser, I will simply recommend his blog post and paste some extracts below:

On November 28, 1994, notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison by a fellow inmate. Unspeakably heinous though Dahmer’s crimes were, his murder can only be condemned. To be sure, by committing his crimes, Dahmer had forfeited his right to life. By no means can it be said that the injustice he suffered was as grave as what he inflicted upon his victims. But the state alone had the moral authority to execute him, and no private individual can usurp that authority. Vigilantism is itself a grave offense against the moral and social order, and Dahmer’s murderer merited severe punishment.

The recent murder of another notorious serial killer – the late-term abortionist George Tiller – is in most morally relevant respects parallel to the Dahmer case. It is true that Tiller, unlike Dahmer, was not punished by our legal system for his crimes; indeed, most of those crimes, though clearly against the natural moral law, are not against the positive law of either the state or the country in which Tiller resided. That is testimony only to the extreme depravity of contemporary American society, and does not excuse Tiller one iota. Still, as in the Dahmer case, no private citizen has the right to take justice into his own hands, and Tiller’s murderer ought to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

As in the Dahmer case, though, the victim of this crime was himself an evil man and does not deserve our tears.

Do I seriously mean to suggest that Tiller was as bad as Dahmer? No, because Tiller was almost certainly a more evil man than Dahmer was. …

Feser lists several compelling reasons for this conclusion finishing with,

… Tiller added to his already unspeakable crimes the grave sin of blasphemy, insofar as he was (we now know) a churchgoer who evidently regarded his obeisance to Moloch as fully compatible with the religion of Jesus Christ. To my knowledge Dahmer never had the temerity to claim that a good Christian could be a cannibal. …

Tags:   · 44 Comments

Leave a Comment


44 responses so far ↓

  • Is this really fair? What Tiller was doing was legal.

  • Did I miss the memo to stop crying for evil people?

  • Tller committed no crime his work was legal. Nobody went to his clinic who had not made the choice to be there.
    Many of the women he helped wanted children, and for them making their choice was heartbreaking for them. Late term abortions are not performed friviously, despite what the right wing religious zealots proclaim – thebabies will die either before birth or shortly after due to their conditions. The families made their choices for their babiesnot to suffer and I support them to have that choice.

  • There was a memo? What did it say?

    Recent blog post: No Tears for George Tiller

  • Those managing the concentration camps in Nazi Germany were also following the law. So yes it is fair. The law is not a shield for wrongdoing. Laws are set by people, people are flawed.

    Just as each of us is charged to obey the law each of us also has a duty to question, oppose and disobey unjust laws – Tiller was not legally required to abort, he chose to.

    Recent blog post: No Tears for George Tiller

  • Women who kill their children are also wrong. This isn't a competition as to who is more wrong; children shouldn't be killed, those complicit to their killing are all guilty.

    It is not about whether those doing the killing thought long and hard about it or whether some had better reasons to kill than others. The only defence to homicide is self-defence and very few abortions fall into that category.

    So Fergie unless you are going to be consistent and say that a parent can kill their child at any age as long as they have thought it through and its all about their children not suffering, you are going to need to provide a reason as to what feature the unborn lack as to justify their execution that the born do not as your argument assumes that the unborn are not as human as the born without arguement or evidence being offered.

    I maintain that Matt's argument in Some Thoughts on Human Embryonic Stem-cell Researchapplies; if there is a chance it is a human being you are shooting at then you have an obligation to prove that it is not before pulling the trigger, assuming it isn't won't cut it.

    Recent blog post: No Tears for George Tiller

  • Madeline
    Guess your life must be a perfect one, unfortunately the world in which we live isn't. I used to think like you did – was bought up where nothing bad happened everything was black and white. Sadly life isn't.
    If you wish to assign all those women who have made this heart wrenching choice as murderers then that is your choice, but in support of those that have been in that space then I have to say, try living a little in their shoes before you pass such harsh judgement.
    Spend your positive energies on the children that are here, being neglected and abused, that need help. Help educate our teenagers on the need love themselves and protect themselves, and show a touch of compassion for those women who are faced with a child who will have only a short life of pain and agony.
    I pray for the day that abortion is no longer, but I cannot deny a womens' right to choose. Jesus would not have judged them so harshly, why do you feel you have the right to do so ?

  • you seem to agree with your blogger that Tiller was more evil than Dahmer. Good god he even committed the outrageous sin of blasphemy (presumably this is worse than murdering lots of innocent people and eating them).
    It's so easy to understand, after seeing this warped sense of reasoning and morality, how so called upstanding christian people could burn to death thousands of innocent women for the unspeakable sin of witchcraft a mere 500 years ago and think they had done God's will.

  • I find this paragraph from Feser quite interesting:

    Third, and relatedly, Dahmer was apparently fully aware that what he did was evil, while Tiller pretended, to himself and others, that what he did was not evil. Some might think that such self-deception lessens Tiller's moral corruption, but in fact it exacerbates it. A man who knows that what he does is evil but does it anyway is corrupt; a man who has become so desensitized to the evil he does that he can no longer even perceive it as evil is even more corrupt. The sins of the former are likely to be sins of weakness; the sins of the latter, to be willful sins of malice. (Older moralists understood this. The modern cult of “authenticity” and “sincerity” has blinded us to it – and is itself a mark of our own grave moral corruption.)

    I wouldn't have thought this way. I'd be interested to see a discussion of the point.

  • My life has been far from perfect, I came from a violent, abusive and broken home. I ran away from home aged 16 following a violent attack on my by my mother.

    By the time I was 18, I had both a criminal record and was pregnant to a man who was violent to me and was a drug addict. As I sat in the family planning office having just been told I was pregnant and was listening to the doctor recommend an abortion, the one thought that came through my mind was that what happened to me in my life when I was a child living at home was not my fault and was beyond my control, however, my choices since then were my own. I knew that the man I was pregnant to was a bad choice to get involved with, I knew where babies came from and how to prevent them, therefore I had no right to kill someone simply because I had been careless.

    I had my baby shortly after I turned 19. Six weeks later I threw her father out as I had made a pact that if he continued to hit me after she was born it was over, my child wouldn't grow up witnessing violence. I raised her alone in a city away from the one my family lived in. I became a Christian then but I had not been raised as one.

    It was very hard and I didn't always get the support I needed; sometimes people were outright useless like the time I phoned my church telling them I was extremely sick and needed help caring for my by then 18 month old daughter and they sent me a chocolate cake. However, no matter how hard or how useless that particular church person who fielded that phone call for help was would I have been justified in making the difficult, heart-wrenching, choice to drown my 18 month old or to hack her to bits like Tiller did to 8 month gestation fetuses? Would you be all understanding and non-condemning if I had killed her after she was born due to the lack of support and stress I was facing? Would you deny me my woman's right to choose?

    If you think that mothers should not be able to choose to kill their children after they are born then please explain why. Why can they kill them before they are born? What is is about fetuses that make them different from newborns, from 18 month olds that you would deny those mother's the right to choose?

    Offering the hardships women face as a reason does not exclude infanticide from the equation. In fact, as someone who has gone through it, I can assure you that the pregnancy is the easy part, it is much tougher once they are born but sometimes you can do it, you surprise yourself. Surely it would be more accurate to actually wait and see if it was all too much rather than to speculate that it might be before making the decision… why is it ok to apply your reasoning pre-birth but not post-birth?

    Can't answer that can you?

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • Yes I do agree with Dr Feser that Tiller was more evil than Dahmer; however, neither he nor I said that this conclusion was correct simply because he committed blasphemy; blasphemy was the cherry on the top of a string of other reasons. I suggest you re-read what Dr Feser and I wrote.

    While you are at it, I suggest you read some history texts. "Thousands" of innocent women were not burned to death for withcraft but even if they were what is your point? (You might also read up on the tu quoque fallacy of logic too before you throw terms around like 'warped reasoning')

    Millions of people have been killed in the name of secular belief systems, does that mean that because you are presumably secular that you cannot ever take a dim view of someone for killing another? Of course not. Even if you had personally killed someone in the name of your belief system you would still be correct in saying that killing people was wrong, you might be a hypocrite but you wouldn't be wrong.

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • I thought it was a very insightful distinction. We are more culpable for the actions arising from our calculated choices than we are for those we simply fail to resist doing.

    How would you have approached it?

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • Absolutely Mark. The Church should have booted him out. The fact they did not means that the blood he shed is also on their hands.

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • edwardo: there is a sense in which all sin (and thus the only sin) is blasphemy in Christian theology.

    Why? Well, look at where Christians say sin came from – the serpent told Adam he could be like God.

    You describe this as "warped" but consider that Tiller claimed to be a Christian – he wasn't an atheist/agnostic like you apparently are. He claimed that there was a God, but was happy to ignore that God's commands and pretend that there was nothing wrong with that. He was effectively staying before almighty God and spitting in his face. At least most men who commit such crimes have the decency of either turning their back to God or begging forgiveness. At least they're consistent.

    Recent blog post: Pipe Specification

  • You are all aware that Tiller did third trimester abortions? Can those of you who are posting here as pro-choice please clarify whether you have no issue with this?

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • You must be new here if you make comments like that!

    Recent blog post: Pipe Specification

  • Given the position the Church in the US has on abortion, I wonder why Tiller was even allowed to attend Church. The fault lies not just with Tiller but with every member of the congregation for tolerating his presence.

  • You are right Mark. However, in your research did you manage to find one medical condition a woman pregnant with a viable fetus can face that simply delivering the fetus could not solve equally as well as actively killing the viable fetus prior to delivery? None exist.

    There is never any instance where danger to mental health requires the viable fetus to be killed in order to save the mother. In fact, pausing to kill the viable fetus takes longer and involves more risk to the mother than simply delivering the fetus as chemicals have to be injected into her or birth has to be paused so they can suck out the brain from the base of the skull before the fetus comes out (or else then it becomes a child and they cannot do that to it).

    Given this, surely in instances of fetal deformity it is safer for the woman and more accurate to deliver the child and be certain that it is deformed and then kill it rather than trying to do a risky 8th month termination when pre-natal medical tests can and are wrong. Again unless you can produce an argument that successfully establishes that the 8 month fetus lacks some important feature the newborn does not then that argument is a justification for 'putting down' all severely deformed children. Do you support involuntary euthanasia of severely deformed and terminally ill children? Are they less human with less rights to life than you or I?

    Further, less than 1% is still a relatively large number when you consider the total number it is a percentage of.

    Also let us not forget that killing just one person is wrong, multiple killings are simply multiple wrongs.

    In addition, the "almost all" is the telling part. It tells you that not all instances fit that criteria and the allegations that surrounded Tiller when he was alive also speak to that – he was accused of stretching medical definitions so as he never had to turn anyone away; common complaints alleged against him were very similar to the abuse of our 'danger to mental health' abortion law and in fact he was before the court on charges relating to his abortion services either at the time of his death or immediately prior to it – certainly this year (I wasn't following it closely).

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • Madeleine, thankyou very much for that heartfelt comment. Too often us males are accused of not understanding what women are going through when addressing this issue. The sincere testimony of a woman who has been there is much more meaningful to those who disagree with us. Good on you.

    Recent blog post: I am a right moderate social libertarian, apparantly

  • You are right Mark. However, in your research did you manage to find one medical condition a woman pregnant with a viable fetus can face that simply delivering the fetus could not solve equally as well as actively killing the viable fetus prior to delivery? None exist.

    There is never any instance where danger to maternal health requires the viable fetus to be killed in order to save the mother. In fact, pausing to kill the viable fetus takes longer and involves more risk to the mother than simply delivering the fetus as chemicals have to be injected into her or birth has to be paused so they can suck out the brain from the base of the skull before the fetus comes out (or else then it becomes a child and they cannot do that to it).

    Given this, surely in instances of fetal deformity it is safer for the woman and more accurate to deliver the child and be certain that it is deformed and then kill it rather than trying to do a risky 8th month termination when pre-natal medical tests can and are wrong.

    Again unless you can produce an argument that successfully establishes that the 8 month fetus lacks some important feature the newborn does not then that argument is a justification for 'putting down' all severely deformed or terminally ill children. Do you support involuntary euthanasia of severely deformed and terminally ill children? Are they less human with less rights to life than you or I?

    Further, "less than 1%" is still a relatively large number when you consider the total number it is a percentage of. Let us not forget that killing just one person is wrong, multiple killings are simply multiple wrongs.

    In addition, the "almost all" is the telling part. It tells you that not all instances fit that criteria and the allegations that surrounded Tiller when he was alive speak to that – he was accused of stretching medical definitions so as he never had to turn anyone away; common complaints alleged against him were very similar to the abuse of our 'danger to mental health' abortion law and in fact he was before the court on charges relating to his abortion services either at the time of his death or immediately prior to it – certainly this year (I wasn't following it closely).

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • That less than 1% is about 20,000 per year in the U.S. … and people want to talk about the total numbers of witch burnings.

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • After reading many comments about third trimester abortions and articles opposing the practice I started to conclude there are good reasons for banning third trimester abortions. So I did some research and discovered that on average less than 1% of abortions are performed in the third trimester and almost always in cases where the fetus is severely deformed or the health of the mother is endangered.

  • You and I can correctly make a judgement that what Hitler did to the Jews was wrong even though we are not Jewish and we were not in Germany during WWII.

    Whether you have gone through it or not, whether you posess a vagina or not, you still have a brain, you can still reason, you can still tell right from wrong so you are entitled to express an opinion. One's vagina, or lack there of, does not automatically render one's argument correct. Having been there does give you the ability to speak about what it is actually like but it doesn't make your argument more or less valid.

    If it did then women couldn't object to male on male rape and single people shouldn't speak out on spousal abuse and childless people shouldn't condemn child abusers.

    A lot of what I went through in the first half of my life sucked but it didn't destroy me. Having a child, going through tough times, is by no means the worst thing that can happen to someone. The death of Matt's and my first child was by far worse than falling pregnant at 18, being raised in a broken home, being in violent relationships, being raped, fighting addictions, etc. Abortion is about selfishness and convenience and refusal to take responsibility for one's obligations all this talk about lack of support and how tough it is is a red herring.

    Recent blog post: Christian Blog Ranking Report for May 09 – HalfDone

  • My point was that it seems right and biblical to weep for a lost sheep, whether they 'deserved' those tears or not. I have not closely examined the issue, and would welcome counter-arguments, but I feel that God would give his tears on behalf of every potential child who is lost.

  • "One's vagina, or lack there of, does not automatically render one's argument correct."

    Well put! However, although we know that both our viewpoints are valid, many people will rightly or wrongly listen to yours more intently, as you have been there. So it is great to have you speaking openly about it. Keep up the good work.

    Recent blog post: I am a right moderate social libertarian, apparantly

  • Madeleine are you suggesting that in a litigious country such as the US doctors would recommend a risky proceedure such as a third trimester abortion instead of a less risky proceedure such as letting the pregnancy proceed to term? If a woman suffered complications as a result of the abortion and it could be proven a less risky option was not used, lawyers would have the doctor for breakfast.

    I am not arguing in favour of third trimester abortions, I find the idea repellant, however I do believe there are occaisions when such proceedures are medically necessary.

    As for the "almost all" reference, there are many instances where a woman is not aware she is pregnant untill well into her pregnancy and the anti abortion movement by making it difficult for women to obtain an abortion has forced women to have an abortion when their pregnancy is well advanced.

    Idealy abotions should occur in the first trimester however the reality is that this is not always possible.

  • "[abortion is] clearly against the natural moral law"

    Please explain. If possible with references to:

    (1) before independent brain activity develops, is a foetus a person, or a fleshy lump? Define the transition point.

    (2) Condoms – also murder?? If not, why not?

    (3) Coitus interruptus – also murder?? If not, why not?

  • Rat, the transition point is clearly conception (from a scientific perspective). I have summarised the reasons for this on my blog here, or if you want some deeper philosophical discussion on that click "abortion" in the Labels column to the right of this page.

    I won't waste my time going into the details here as I suspect you're just trying to stir.

    Recent blog post: I am a right moderate social libertarian, apparantly

  • "Idealy abotions should occur in the first trimester"
    Why? What is so different about the baby in the first trimester than in the second?

    Recent blog post: I am a right moderate social libertarian, apparantly

  • MR Dennis: thanks for that – I'm no Right to life campaigner (as you may have gathered) but those CBR photos you linked to are quite spectacular.

    They do little to move the debate away from the emotional towards the rational, but I imagine they would definitely influence a lot of people who wouldn't want to acknowledge the unborn at all…

  • Madeleine claims in a recent posting that thousands of innocent women did not die by burning for the crime of witchcraft. Does she mean that the number is correct but that they were NOT innocent (ie they were in fact witches)or that the number is incorrect. If she is denying the numbers then she is probably in the same headspace as the great number of christians who deny the scientific theory of evolution or the fact the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. In fact hundreds of thousands perished in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
    My point was that only a mindset who's morality is based on superstitious nonsense could possibly believe that a man who carried out work which was completely lawful could be rated more evil than a mass murderer and cannibal. The same outrageously warped thinking that could put innocent women to death for breaking no law but a supposed moral law (practicing witchcraft).
    The silly arguement that follows is an old one and rather infantile. Sure millions have been killed in secular societies by various tyrants but they haven't been killed in the name of athiesm. They have been killed to instill fear and to control.

  • Edwardo, why not stop pontificating about it and just provide a reputable historical source showing that thousands of women were falsely accused and burned (or burned at all for that matter), and by whom? That way you can silence those who disagree.

    You also let atheist dictators off the hook and don't blame atheism if they were really just killing "to instill fear and to control." Sweet. So if religious leaders were doing that, you wouldn't blame religion?

    I'm curious as to your actual reasons for thinking that legal mass killings of the innocent, sanctioned by the government, are somehow more moral and less corrupt than the killings of much smaller numbers by one murderer. Your thoughts please (assuming, if I may, that calling it "warped" or calling it names is not an argument).

    Thanks

    Recent blog post: David Bain and the meaning of a “Not Guilty” verdict

  • Glen,
    why are you accusing me of pontificating? I have no wish to be seen as resembling the pope in any way that I communicate.
    Do you need to be shown proof that witch burning occured and the names of those who did it before you believe that these outrageously cruel events occured? On the contrary, I don't wish to silence those who disagree, I'm amused by it. These sorts of famous historical events are well documented. Just look up any website or book for the information if you really must have proof.
    For some reason you don't seem to quite get my argument about atheist dictators or any killers who weren't religious. Not only that, you've tried to put your own spin on what I said.
    I don't want to let them off the hook at all. Atheist murderers deserve to be punished as much as christian murderers. The point is that many christians in the past (and now for that matter) have killed in the name of christianity eg, for heresy, moral corruption, blasphemy etc (and also for power and to instill fear). People don't kill in the name of atheism. They kill because they're evil bastards who just happen to be atheists. There's no superstitious nonsense in atheism, no deity's pride or reputation to defend. Is that clear enough?
    As to your third point. My reasons for thinking that every doctor on this planet who has peformed an abortion
    is not as evil as geoffrey dahmer is that I don't regard abortions as murder because the law says it isn't murder.
    To say all these doctors are in dahmers class does indicate to me a "warped" sense of morality.
    Don't be too worried about the warped word please, I know it's not an argument in itself, it's just a descriptor. (and a good one I believe). I won't mind if you use it yourself, honestly.

  • No tears for a man who acted within the law – how about your ex-leader, Graham Capill? Who raped and sexually abused minors?

  • Edwardo, so you've retreated from defending your claims about thousands of innocent women dying as witches.

    You're incorrect about whether I "got" your argument about atheist killers. Your claim was that in spite of the fact that they were atheists, they killed to control and instill fear, but Christians killed because they were Christians. I got it. I note however that you're so dogmatic that you've assumed that even if those Christians were motivated by the desire to instill fear and control, they were nonetheless acting in accordance with Christian values anyway. Nice double standard you have going there. I suppose you just don't care about those atheist dictators who did carry out atrocities to purge religion?

    And your third point is incredible. You think something is not evil if it's legal? Seriously? Wow. I gues the holocaust was hunky dory then.

    Recent blog post: David Bain and the meaning of a “Not Guilty” verdict

  • You clearly didn't read the media release where Matt and I stated that in a just society Capill would have faced the death penalty for what he did.

    You also clearly didn't hear the radio interview Matt gave on the subject.

    You also clearly were not privy to the efforts Matt and I went to to persuade Capill's friends who had incriminating emails from him to hand them over to the prosecution.

    Finally, you are clearly not aware of how majorly we fell out with some people in some circles who refused to condemn his actions appropriately.

    Regardless your comments are a red herring. People who wrong children are wrong independantly of whether you or I think so.

    Recent blog post: David Bain Not Guilty

  • Some thoughtful words from Frank Schaeffer:

    <blockquote>My late father and I share the blame (with many others) for the murder of Dr. George Tiller the abortion doctor gunned down on Sunday. Until I got out of the religious right (in the mid-1980s) and repented of my former hate-filled rhetoric I was both a leader of the so-called pro-life movement and a part of a Republican Party hate machine masquerading as the moral conscience of America….The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as "murderers." And today once again the "pro-life" leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I'd like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words. I am very sorry.</blockquote>

  • Madelein, I’m sorry to hear your life story and I’m glad you feel you did the right thing wrt your pregnancy.

    I understand that you think some choices which are legal may be immoral. I agree. In a democracy we have ways to change legislation but terrorism is not one of the accepted means. Many people oppose capital punishment and lobby for its abolition but assassinating prison officials or judges for doing their jobs is not the way to bring about a change in the law.

    Abortion is a difficult/divisive issue. I’m amazed at people who are absolutely confident of their views, either way. But I think the Shaeffer quote is wise and I hope it will convince people to abandon emotive language because it certainly doesn’t win arguments and it can do a lot of damage.

  • "Madelein, I'm sorry to hear your life story and I'm glad you feel you did
    the right thing wrt your pregnancy."
    This is why testimony should not be used in the place of reason.

  • Edwardo, you write that In fact hundreds of thousands [of women] were burnt for witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries and these sorts of famous historical events are well documented. Just look up any website or book for the information if you really must have proof. actually, current scholarly estimates for the number of people (of both sexes) killed is between 40,000 to 100,000 for the entire period between 1450-1750. In fact historians who have examined the original records such as Levack (1995) Briggs (1998) and Katz (1995) have concluded that the number was not greater than 60,000 and Hutton suggest they have over estimated and the number is closer to 40,000. So your suggestion that hundreds of thousands of one sex died in two centuries is false. Moreover, you seem also uniformed about the facts, as numerous scholars of the witch trial phenomena such as Trevor-Roper and Rodney Stark have pointed out, the witch hunts gained much of their support from the scientists and sceptics of the day such as Bodin and Hobbes. In fact the only real significant opposition during the time came from the Church, particularly the Inquisition which condemned witchcraft trials and prevented the craze taking a hold in Spain. Canon law had condemned belief in witches as superstition for centuries prior to this time, based on the work of Augustine in 400 AD (see also Henry Kamen’s work on the Spanish Inquisition for documentation of this) the witch hunts occurred during the renaissance and the enlightenment not the middle ages or so called dark ages where Christian theology was dominant.

    You go on to write My point was that only a mindset who's morality is based on superstitious nonsense could possibly believe that a man who carried out work which was completely lawful could be rated more evil than a mass murderer and cannibal. and I don't regard abortions as murder because the law says it isn't murder. Here you contradict yourself, in the sixteenth century it was completely lawful to execute witches, hence by your reasoning only a stupid superstitious fool would declare witch burning to be mass murder.

    But ironies aside, as I pointed out Tiller performed 3rd trimester abortions, this means he killed foetuses. Viability is currently around 23 weeks, hence there alive today numerous premature infants which are the same level of physiological and psychological development as a 6-9 month fetus. If someone were to walk into a neo natal ward wards and kill these new born infants few would doubt a human infant had been killed. Your welcome to suggest its “superstitious nonsense” to believe that killing a being that is physiologically and psychologically identical to a human infant is killing a human being. But don’t pretend your doing anything but attempting to disguise an absurdity by calling those who disagree with you names.

    Recent blog post: Sunday Study: Did Christ Abolish the Old Testament Law? Part 2

  • Edwardo, you write that In fact hundreds of thousands [of women] were burnt for witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries and these sorts of famous historical events are well documented. Just look up any website or book for the information if you really must have proof. actually, current scholarly estimates for the number of people (of both sexes) killed (by any method) is between 40,000 to 100,000 for the entire period between 1450-1750.

    In fact historians who have examined the original records such as Levack (1995) Briggs (1998) and Katz (1995) have concluded that the number was not greater than 60,000 and Hutton suggest they have over estimated and the number is closer to 40,000. So your suggestion that hundreds of thousands of one sex died in two centuries is false. Moreover, you seem also uniformed about the facts, as numerous scholars of the witch trial phenomena such as Trevor-Roper and Rodney Stark have pointed out, the witch hunts gained much of their support from the scientists and sceptics of the day such as Bodin and Hobbes. In fact the only real significant opposition during the time came from the Church, particularly the Inquisition which condemned witchcraft trials and prevented the craze taking a hold in Spain. Canon law had condemned belief in witches as superstition for centuries prior to this time, based on the work of Augustine in 400 AD (see also Henry Kamen’s work on the Spanish Inquisition for documentation of this). The witch hunts occurred during the renaissance and the enlightenment not the middle ages or so called dark ages where Christian theology was dominant.

    You go on to write My point was that only a mindset who's morality is based on superstitious nonsense could possibly believe that a man who carried out work which was completely lawful could be rated more evil than a mass murderer and cannibal. and I don't regard abortions as murder because the law says it isn't murder. Here you contradict yourself, in the sixteenth century it was completely lawful to execute witches, hence by your reasoning only a stupid superstitious fool would declare witch burning to be mass murder.

    But ironies aside, as I pointed out Tiller performed 3rd trimester abortions, this means he killed foetuses. Viability is currently around 23 weeks, hence there alive today numerous premature infants which are the same level of physiological and psychological development as a 6-9 month fetus. If someone were to walk into a neo natal ward wards and kill these new born infants few would doubt a human infant had been killed. Your welcome to suggest its “superstitious nonsense” to believe that killing a being that is physiologically and psychologically identical to a human infant is killing a human being. But don’t pretend your doing anything but attempting to disguise an absurdity by calling those who disagree with you names.

    Recent blog post: Sunday Study: Did Christ Abolish the Old Testament Law? Part 2

  • CT

    So because some people condemned abortion in the 80 and know in 2009 someone kills an abortionist the former are To blame.

    I take it then that when peadophiles get beaten up and attacked, anyone who has criticised child molestation must be to blame.

    In fact if what Franky says is true and merely expressing an opinion that abortion is homicide makes you to blame for a murder, and seeing murder is illegal, presumably expressing the opinion that abortion is homicide should be illegal.

    Recent blog post: Sunday Study: Did Christ Abolish the Old Testament Law? Part 2

  • maybe "testimony should not be used in the place of reason" but it sure can be a powerful supplement to reason

    if nothing else it is evidence that the logic has been thought through not only in theory but also in the context of real and relevant experience

    Recent blog post: Reminder: Topic Specific RSS Feeds Expiring

  • "In a democracy we have ways to change legislation but terrorism is not one of the accepted means."
    I agree. I don't think anyone is arguing here that Tiller's murder was perfectly just. But while being disgusted at Tiller's murderer, we are still more disgusted at the actions of Tiller himself.

    Recent blog post: I am a right moderate social libertarian, apparantly