Responding to whatthemuffin

The HarsH RealiTy blog had a post titled Abortion is Murder.  His primary point was as an adopted child he could never be in favor of abortion since it takes human life.   In the comments section, a poster named “whatthemuffin” responded to his post.  She tells a compelling story of being raped and pregnant at the age of 12 and the traumatic effects of both the rape and subsequent abortion.  She works at Planned Parenthood.  Here comment can be found here.  Her case is not typical when compared to the > 300K abortions performed each year.  The author of the blog responds to her and then she responds to him (and this time I will quote her in full.)

Thank you for not throwing a fit. To some degree, I agree with you, abortions aren’t birth control. On the other hand, it’s not justified to look at a woman and determine whether she ‘deserves’ an abortion or not. Unless one has taken the time to deeply understand her life story, no one can determine just by first glance if she’s a ‘baby killer’ or not. Often, I have seen many women pass by in my clinic that have been raped, but want to go through with the pregnancy. Some do well, and have a great life. Although, you must also consider the emotional toll it takes on a woman to carry not only just a baby, but a baby that has got quite a backstory. When I had my procedure, I had nightmares about not only the rape, but the abortion too, for 8 horrible months. I have NO intentions of trying to convert you whatsoever, it’s just that like you, I’ve got a story to tell, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it.

To which I responded with the following, quoting her:

‘Unless one has taken the time to deeply understand her life story, no one can determine just by first glance if she’s a ‘baby killer’ or not.’
Whatthemuffin is saying that one cannot make a judgement about a person’s actions without listening to their “life story.” The court system does this all the time. We are judged on our actions not the rationale that drove them. There are men in prison right now serving sentences for murdering their wives and if you ask them why they’ll tell you. “The bitch had it coming.” Plus who is this person making this determination at “first glance” or demanding that it be done that way? That’s nothing more than a straw man. You are quite muddled in your thinking and morally confused.

Then her disorganized response:

Although I’m not 100% certain who this comment is directed at, I feel that it’s being fired at me, given the word choice.

If you are in fact, saying that I am “morally confused,” I don’t think it’s necessarily your place to decide whether my values in life are wrong or not. I leave that for the man in the sky to decide. I could claim that you’re leading a bad life based on what you say and do as well, but I choose to allow people to explain their position instead of making rash conclusions.

Many people need to realize that not every person on this planet has a ‘black and white’ story. There are way too many colors in between for one to decide based on initial judgement whether they are “morally confused” or not.

I believe that god tells me what to do, whether I like it or not. Because I listen to him, he thanks me by allowing me to realize that judgement should not be placed on a person because I don’t like them or their values. I can simply disagree. For example, I don’t agree with opinionatedman’s views on abortion. Does that mean I suddenly despise him and will stop following his blog? No. That is a rash judgement.

Again, I’m not 100% certain if this was directed at me, and I’m not overly concerned either way. Except I will not let anyone judge my “values” because you don’t agree.

Whatthemuffin comments only reinforce what I previously stated that she is morally confused and her thinking is muddled.  The fact that she was unable to determine the object of my comment when I quoted her exactly and refer to her by name is just another data point.  There is nothing ambiguous when you quote someone directly.  To be clear when I say she is “morally confused” it is because she appears incapable discerning universal principle or that she is even espousing one.  She puts forth a principle and fails to see how it does not apply when placed into other contexts and domains.   Let’s extract her comments one at time and address them beginning with the original one:

“Unless one has taken the time to deeply understand her life story, no one can determine just by first glance if she’s a ‘baby killer’ or not”

I will restate this sentence as I understand it since the original phrasing is poor.   If it get it wrong she can correct me.  It is impossible to determine at first glance whether a woman is a baby killer unless I take the time to understand her life history.  “First glance” is an odd choice of words.  If by that she means a snap judgement with nothing else to go on but hearsay I would agree.  It could be a lie that you had an abortion.  Of course, if my “first glance” was that I witnessed you killing an infant or I was holding your hand while you had an abortion, my glance is pretty accurate.  Now let us take the case where you tell me you had an abortion and it’s true.  Are you killer?  Yes, you are.  You or the doctor killed something that was living.  Is it murder?  That’s a different question all together.  The universal principle in operation is not all killing is murder.  Traditionally, the life of the mother has been placed above that of the fetus.  It’s a terrible choice to have to make and I truly feel for anyone placed in that situation.  The point that I was making is that in our legal system is is not necessary to hear a person’s life history before rendering a judgement on whether their actions were criminal.  One  just needs to know the circumstances around the crime and this principle extends to moral conduct.

Ignoring the first sentence, we get this:

I don’t think it’s necessarily your place to decide whether my values in life are wrong or not. I leave that for the man in the sky to decide. I could claim that you’re leading a bad life based on what you say and do as well, but I choose to allow people to explain their position instead of making rash conclusions.

Here she states that I (or anyone we can assume) cannot decide if her values are wrong, that it is strictly the domain of “the man in the sky” as she defines him no doubt.  When rendering judgements we do so by some measuring stick, whether natural law, evolutionary history, or God’s law.  The 10 commandments most Westerners were once familiar with are found (plus or minus two) in all cultures on the planet (source).  If you are deviating from those laws, one is safe in saying your values are wrong without the need to bring “the man in sky” down to the earth to hold court.  You are judged by your actions not your intentions as some insane members of society claim.  A shoplifter needing money to support a drug habit could make the same claim about being judged.  I am not sympathetic.

In the next sentence she claims the moral high ground but trips climbing the hill.  I never said she was a bad person.  I said she was morally confused.  That doesn’t make you bad.  It means you lacked something in your education and you are unable to make proper distinctions.   A conclusion is a truth claim and it matters little whether it is made rashly or in haste or through an extended deliberative process.  It is either true or false.

In the next comment from her she claims special revelation.

I believe that god tells me what to do, whether I like it or not. Because I listen to him, he thanks me by allowing me to realize that judgement should not be placed on a person because I don’t like them or their values. I can simply disagree. For example, I don’t agree with opinionatedman’s views on abortion. Does that mean I suddenly despise him and will stop following his blog? No. That is a rash judgement.

That first sentence is pretty ambiguous.  It’s not clear if she has this belief whether she likes the belief or not or god tells her what to do whether or not she likes the idea of god telling her what to do.  We can assume the latter so in this paragraph whatthemuffin claims divine revelation.  The trouble with divine revelation is that so often it merely supports the strange predilections of the receiver.  From what I see most Christian cult leaders in the United States receive some form of divine revelation requiring them to have sex with underage girls.  Whatthemuffin’s revelation is far more ordinary.  God is apparently grateful that she listens to him (as opposed to say,  her being grateful to God) so he permits her this incredible divine tolerance to agree to disagree without judgement of lesser mortals. This is sometimes known as intellectual dishonesty.  She then cites, as an example of her thankful god’s permission to realize, by continuing to follow a blog that she strongly disagrees with the author’s view on abortion.  Anything less would be a rash judgement, which she previously assumed is inherently bad, regardless of its truth value.

Finally she closes out with this:

Again, I’m not 100% certain if this was directed at me, and I’m not overly concerned either way. Except I will not let anyone judge my “values” because you don’t agree.

She is not overly concerned but she did take the time to write a couple of paragraphs.  And she is not permitting me or anyone to judge her values because we don’t agree.  There is, of course, a big assumption in this that there is no universal truth by which one can judge her values and render judgement.  We cannot not judge.  We make judgements all the time.  We prefer this toothpaste over that one, we see and hear of things we judge horrible.  Everyone is judging all the time.  The concept that there are “no universal truths” is self-refuting since it too is a universal claim of truth.  I don’t judge her values because I disagree, I judge them in light of universal principles.  Long ago I used to take the side of pro-choice activists in arguments and say things like “I agree with you, it’s your right to hose that little parasite squid out of your body.  It’s stealing nutrients.”  then make vacuuming sounds, a chop with my hands and pantomiming dropping something in a trash can.   Both sides found that incredibly offensive but why?  Because we know that it’s human life and that life is unique and precious.  Abortion is legal in The United States.  If you are faced with that terrible choice, for all that is good, for all that is right, please choose life for your unborn.

Advertisements

One thought on “Responding to whatthemuffin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s