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Hybrid Embyro Research - Approved

Thank God for common sense and forward looking vision. This could really help a lot of lives in the future and I'm so glad that the fundies failed to influence the result. Now let's hope the next one goes through (Saviour Siblings), don't know enough about the following one (Role of fathers in fertility treatment) and certainly don't want the last ammendment to pass (a reduction in the abortion limit).

MPs Back Hybrid Embyro Research (BBC News; Monday 19th May 2008)

Religion should be kept out of politics at all levels in my opinion.

Plus people with religious views shouldn't preach them to others. I really don't mind religion - any religion - as long as the practioners don't try and ram their beliefs down your throat and as long as their practices don't harm anyone. I have friends from a whole variety of religions and friends with no beliefs at all. That's great and they're all great. I have my own beliefs and don't go out converting and shouting at people to change their ways and campaigning to get things changed just because it's my personal belief. I live my life to my belief. Quietly and let others live their lives to their beliefs. I don't feel so insecure that I have to trample any other idea down and force my personal beliefs on everyone else.

Anyway, ranting now. Will stop.

Did anyone else see the documentary on Channel 4 (I think) this evening about the fuindamental Christians? That was scarey.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
timgray
May. 19th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
I think I saw a bit of that documentary. They were holding seminars etc about how Islam is an evil religion all about hate and violence. I think someone might need to revisit their Old Testament... ("I will crush the loins of thy enemies" is one of the Almighty's sayings that has always stuck in my mind.)
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spangle_kitten
May. 20th, 2008 09:29 am (UTC)
Yes, that was my understanding of it as well.

Fundamentalists would be pushing for an outright ban!

As much as I respect a woman's right to say what happens to her body (though personally, even though I've never wanted children if I got pregnant I could never bring myself to have an abortion) when a child is capable of surviving outside the womb, or even feeling pain, the rights of that child are just as important.
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spangle_kitten
May. 20th, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
I've had boyfriends in the past that have visibly recoiled when I've said that if I got pregnant I'd not abort it, (one went goggle eyed and said "but you're an athiest!"...which is a sereotype I hate, just because people don't believe in God doesn't immediatly make them moral-less, especially when it comes to abortion!).

It was a tricky medical ethics/philosophy debate I was involved in once that posed the question that if a baby was born at 20 weeks and lives, do you technically have 4 weeks in which to legally kill it...because if it was still inside you, you still have 4 weeks allowed to abort in?
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
Just to wade into the abortion debate - despite my views that people should have the ability to choose what to do - I would almost certianly opt to keep the baby unless there were extraordinary factors surrounding the situation.
slev
May. 19th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
It made me more angry than scared. I also object to calling them "fundamentalists", when they follow none of the fundamentals of Christ's teachings.

I'm always amused at how they take the same evidence and reach the opposite conclusion to the likes of me...
angusabranson
May. 19th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
I also liked the way that when faced with a trickly question they (or atleast the woman who was the main cmapaigner) asked for the camera to be switched off :p
slev
May. 20th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Indeed. Obviously such a strong faith.

I actually only commonly see this sort of thing from two groups: fundies and a particular breed of materialist atheist raging against religion.
spangle_kitten
May. 20th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
Yes, I know a lot of athiests who are just bad as the fundie Christians in terms of forcing their lack of faith down people's throats and trying to convert them.

It is somewhat hipocritical!
saffrongraphics
May. 19th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately many religious documents (eg, the Bible) tell followers to "spread the good word". My mother's a Christian who doesn't like to tell other people about her beliefs. Her church frowns on this and she's gotten into some trouble over it with friends.

I'm sure she's neglected to tell them that I'm a foaming at the mouth atheist...
sea_cucumber
May. 19th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
I shall remain suspiciously silent! But then I prefer to let people make up their own minds on things rather than me telling them what they should or shouldn't be believing :)
lareinemisere
May. 19th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
The views the people on that programme were espousing were pretty bizarre, and sometimes slightly scary, but I thought the programme over-egged it a bit with the fears of their 'access to power'. They got to speak to one MP and one Lord - who are, of course, supposed to consider the views of members of the public - and managed to get amendments proposed for the house to vote upon. Last time I looked, that's how the democratic process is supposed to work.

As I write, the fundy viewpoints on hybrid embryos and on 'saviour siblings' have lost the vote. We'll have to see how the other two go, but there are people who aren't fundamentalist weirdies who have concerns about the abortion limit, even where they are basically pro-choice. Even if you think it's all about the science, it's a question of which research you believe - on a subject like that, you move into 'lies, damned lies and statistics' territory.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
How can you seperate religion from politics when it has such an influence over your personal beliefs? I'd have far less respect for a politician who simply ignored his personal ethics and views - shaped by religion or not.
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 10:39 am (UTC)
Then maybe they shouldn't be politicians and should be clergy instead. Then they wouldn't have to deal with issues outside of their own faith and beliefs.

Seriously, politicians are elected to carry out the wishes of their voting public. In most areas the voting public who elected them will not be religious or if they are not from the same religion as the elected represntative.

As Britain is not a religious state we shouldn't have religion involved with the primary running of the country.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
Politicians are elected by a public who chooses them to represent them. The public demonstrates that they trust the politician to effectively represent them - and they generally do so with some idea of the politicians views and ethics. That includes their religious views.

Under your argument, what's the difference between the politician holding a religious opinion or holding *any* opinion?

Human beings deal with issues outside of their own faith and beliefs on a daily basis. You do, I do, whether our beliefs our religiously held or not. Our own personal ethics influence our decisions. As do politicians own ethics, and rightfully so.
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
But my views do not conform to an organised agenda that would prefer the world to believe in the same views and for everyone to live their lives following a certain set of guidelines and beliefs.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
The very fact of raising this discussion demonstrates that you do, though. You're merely arguing that your set of guidelines and beliefs are superior to theirs.
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
I don't try and have my *guidelines and beliefs* forced onto others though. I'd be very happy to let everyone live the lives they want to lead as long as they don't inflict harm (mental or physical) or try and control others through whatever means.

Religion is fine and I fully understand why people have a need to believe in something. But religion stops being fine when those people start trying to get their religion in the lives - or affect the lives - of others who do not have the same belief system.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
But you already are, because you're forcing a belief in moral relativism on those who believe that there is a more universal moral standard. There's no reason why they should accept that any more than you should accept their argument that morals are objective.

To reduce it to the specific the post was initially about. If your moral outlook is that abortion is murder, then should you just suck it up and not do anything about it because other people believe differently? If it were you, do you equally respect someone's belief that killing the disabled is legitimate, or would you consider it murder and do whatever you could to stop it happening?
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)
**But you already are, because you're forcing a belief in moral relativism on those who believe that there is a more universal moral standard.**

I'm not trying to get laws changed which will affect them though :p

**If it were you, do you equally respect someone's belief that killing the disabled is legitimate, or would you consider it murder and do whatever you could to stop it happening?**

The disabled person is a living person who is being interacted with on a daily basis. They have a consciousness, awareness and personality. Plus they had probably not committed any crime worthy of the death penalty - thus the situation is different. Killing someone when it's not in self-defence is murder or manslaughter.

Abortion is an issue as to when conciousness starts and the baby becomes self aware. That's a very tricky issue, I'm not claiming otherwise. But I very firmly believe in the right of the mother to be able to choose whether or not to have the child and fulfil the pregnancy.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
"I'm not trying to get laws changed which will affect them though :p"

Sure, but from their point of view it's the changes in the past which affected them (or society) in a way they believe is negative. Therefore they are trying to reverse some of those changes.

"The disabled person is a living person who is being interacted with on a daily basis. They have a consciousness, awareness and personality. Plus they had probably not committed any crime worthy of the death penalty - thus the situation is different. Killing someone when it's not in self-defence is murder or manslaughter."

The point being that you're making a moral judgement call yourself. And I do likewise my opposition to abortion (which doesn't stem from any particularly religious viewpoint) is based on a similar judgement call. I believe that abortion is morally wrong and am more absolutist, your opinion on abortion is relativist and based on balancing issues of awareness, viability etc. Now I can understand that belief and respect your right to hold it, but were I in a position to change things then I would still likely move towards addressing what I consider to be a moral wrong.
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
...and I'm perfectly happy with people who don't like the idea of abortion not having them. I'm not saying that keeping the baby is wrong in any shape or form.

I just feel that should a mother want to abort she should have the right to be able to do so.

I don't think that people should force their views on others and take away that freedom of an individuals choice. If you don't like it - don't do it. Just because something is considered legal and is available doesn't mean that everyone has to do it.
silver_blue
May. 20th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
If it was merely the case of a woman having control over her own body then that's cool. But in regards to abortion I don't think that's the case. The "right to choose" suggests its an entirely personal choice, but I don't think that's the case. It's a choice that directly impacts another person, in the most ultimate way.

I don't believe it's legitimate for one person to end another person's life, and that's fine so long as I can choose not to do it. And I ultimately believe that a baby (viable or not) is a life.
adders
May. 20th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
I don't think that people should force their views on others and take away that freedom of an individuals choice. If you don't like it - don't do it.

But that statement leads to you imposing your view (that a 24-week fetus is not a human being yet in any practical sense) on theirs (that it is a human being, and that terminating it is murder).

Why does that fact that your views do not derive from a religious source make them more valid than theirs?

The "religious people should stay out of this" all too often boils down to "people who disagree with me should stay out of this, and I've found an excuse for excluding them".
angusabranson
May. 20th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
It's not a case of "religious people should stay out of this" more of "people should make their individual choices".

If someone wants to have an abortion then it should be up to them. If someone does not want an abortion then that is also their personal choice.

I don't think anyone should have a blanket opinion that controls the lives of others. Each person is responsible for their own decisions and should be allowed to make those choices.

My views are no more or less important or correct than anyone else's. The big difference being is that I am happy to let other people make their own choice and not try and alter laws restricting that choice.

If someone wants an abortion within a timeframe that science has allowed then that's fine with me. If a gay couple want to get married that's also fine. If someone wants multiple partners or wives that's also fine in my books.

As long as the people involved are happy and not harming anyone then I really don't see the need to get involved.
spangle_kitten
May. 20th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
Fundamental Christians are bizarre - I had a fundie stalker once which was very upsetting at the time but I can look back with a certain ammusement that someone really believed that God sent me to Earth to be his bride and it was his mission to make me see this and join him in faith and matrimony.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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