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bentheplayer
January 26th, 2017, 03:59 AM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2017/01/25/trump-is-hell-bent-on-punishing-women-with-yuge-global-gag-rule/#5d9891c550ab

I am still surprised that people can claim gender equality when one gender is dictating what the other gender can and can't do with their own body. While it is fair to say that the Church might be against abortion, isn't the state meant to be secular? How is this any different from the religious controls in the Arab countries?

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/24/trump-abortion-gag-rule-health-aid

In any case what rights does USA has to dictate how groups across the world use their money which may well be legal in their own countries. As it is none of that money if used for abortion. This is absolutely draconian and no different from an economic dictatorship. Thankfully, other more progressive countries are stepping in to fill the gap.

It is absolutely despicable to use the pro life charade to push forth their misogynistic ideas.

Voice_Of_Unreason
January 26th, 2017, 02:24 PM
Your statement there is exactly what annoys me from the Left. You seem to think that abortion is clearly just an attempt by the patriarchy to impose inferiority upon women. Would it make you feel better if Trump was a woman mandating that federal funds won't go to support abortions?

bentheplayer
January 26th, 2017, 03:07 PM
Yawn. Quite frankly, I am also tired of people whose thought processes are run by emotions and fail to grasp the intricacies of the political spectrum. It is overly simplistic to think that such views are leftist and you are confusing the issues in this case. Whether it was a male of female who mandated this is inconsequential. This issue has way bigger implications than one's stance on abortion.

Firstly, under US laws and constitution, the Supreme court has long since ruled that women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. Please read Jan 1973 Roe v . Wade decision. Effectively Trump is publicly dissenting against a court ruling and acting above the law.

Secondly, since Thomas Jefferson's time, the state and the church are meant to be separated. This basic concept is enshrined in the First Amendment of the US constitution. Now tell me that the idea of abortion isn't a religious one. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion debate to pro-life and pro-choice but it seems that is the limit of most people's understanding of this issue. From a medical pov, quickening the first sign of life; for Christians life occurs at conception and for Muslims life occurs 40-120 days after conception.

There are also many other points but I won't cover them.

Thirdly, Trump is instituting a global gag order. This is effectively a gross invasion on the Sovereignty of other countries.

Need I say more? All the elephants in the room and yet only the religious issue stands out. Besides I doubt that any women would ever institute such kind of dictatorial policies. Personally, I go to church yet I feel that I keep seeing pharisees all around. It is extremely easy to criticize something that will never affect you and yet turn a blind eye to issue that do. If we were to be strictly biblical about issues, shouldn't adultery be heavily punished and divorce made illegal?

Babs
January 26th, 2017, 03:22 PM
Why does everything have to be a left vs. right thing?

bentheplayer
January 26th, 2017, 03:45 PM
Why does everything have to be a left vs. right thing?

Cos some people are simply too narrow minded. They are more than happy to overlook practical solutions and favor the herd instinct of joining one side.

Bull
January 27th, 2017, 12:19 PM
IMO if you are opposed to abortion, don't get one. Otherwise it is not your problem so butt out!

Voice_Of_Unreason
January 27th, 2017, 04:53 PM
Yawn. Quite frankly, I am also tired of people whose thought processes are run by emotions and fail to grasp the intricacies of the political spectrum. It is overly simplistic to think that such views are leftist and you are confusing the issues in this case.It is over simplistic to assume that any argument that supports a different form of morality than your own is inherently religious. Firstly, under US laws and constitution, the Supreme court has long since ruled that women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. Please read Jan 1973 Roe v . Wade decision. Effectively Trump is publicly dissenting against a court ruling and acting above the law. So disagreeing with the Supreme Court is bad? I guess we should have just kept slavery then, the Supreme Court did rule that it was Constitutional too. I also donít expect you to ever challenge the rulings of a soon-to-be conservative Supreme Court.
Secondly, since Thomas Jefferson's time, the state and the church are meant to be separated. This basic concept is enshrined in the First Amendment of the US constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Do I see anything that implies a direct and strict separation of church and state? No, I donít. Do I see anything that prevents politicians from enacting policies based on a morality that they share with a religion? No I donít. Do I see anything that says that religion cannot influence politics? No, I do not.
Now tell me that the idea of abortion isn't a religious one. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion debate to pro-life and pro-choice but it seems that is the limit of most people's understanding of this issue. From a medical pov, quickening the first sign of life; for Christians life occurs at conception and for Muslims life occurs 40-120 days after conception.
Simple question. Is it wrong to kill humans? Yes it obviously is, but from a medical POV all you are doing is stopping a bunch of electro-chemical reactions. We don't base what is wrong and what is right by science, we do that by a little something called morality, you should try it sometime.

So we know it is obviously wrong to kill people, but why? Is it wrong because someone's death would negatively affect other people's lives? If so, then why is it still wrong to kill hermits? Maybe its because killing people is an unjust infliction of pain? If so, why are painless deaths still wrong? Maybe its because killing deprives someone of their future? That seems to make sense and be the most logical answer, but for the sake of the discussion lets look closer at it.

So we have deduced that killing is likely wrong because it deprives people of a potential future, but some people would say that definition is too broad, so letís look closer. Maybe killing is only wrong if a person values their future? But if so, why is it still wrong to kill mentally ill people and depressed teenagers? Maybe killing is only wrong if people have prior experiences, but if that is true what prevents a genocide of children and babies? What if killing is only wrong when a person has a certain level of consciousness? If that is true, why is killing infants wrong but killing animals like pigs, which have a greater level of consciousness than infants, is absolutely fine? I could go on but I really donít have the time.

So we have deduced that killing might be wrong because you are depriving someone of a potential future, and that there are no logical limitations we can find to restrict that statement. Under that logical definition, killing fetuses would be intrinsically wrong, because we are depriving them of a potential future, which they have.

Now, tell me what part of this argument was religious based. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion argument to religious vs secular but that seems to be the limit of most peopleís understanding of this issue.
IMO if you are opposed to abortion, don't get one. Otherwise it is not your problem so butt out!
(Pro-slavery variation)=IMO if you are opposed to slavery, don't get a slave. Otherwise it is not your problem so butt out!

KKK approves of your logic.

Porpoise101
January 27th, 2017, 07:37 PM
Sure, it's bad. But nothing can be done about it. Trump is not reasonable unless you have his ear.

lliam
January 27th, 2017, 09:12 PM
isn't the state meant to be secular?

As for America, I have had the impression that elections will be won by pretending religiosity to the masses in the manner of an itinerant preacher.

bentheplayer
January 28th, 2017, 01:57 AM
It is over simplistic to assume that any argument that supports a different form of morality than your own is inherently religious.

Seems that you just proved my point on the political spectrum. Since when did I assume that a different form is inherently religious? All that I am saying is that a lot of it has certain roots in religion. This is especially the case when we approach philosophy and morality in biomed ethics. Can you please find out about the origins of morality? Writing replies with so many apparent gaps in knowledge only serves to undermine the weight of your opinions.

It is very tiring to explain the political spectrum and I seem to recall that you intended to do an in depth article on it. Perhaps you should learn more about the various political ideas and the various schools of thoughts within each ideology. All that I was saying is left and right is only useful as a quick way of classifying ideas in the academic realm and has little use in the real world other than to having the snide implication of that person is from the other side, the “dark side”. As such rather than commenting on labelling sides, it would be more constructive to approach the issue on its own. As for me bringing in religion, even the European courts have recognized that religion has a role to play in this discussion so why shouldn’t I? The basis of societal morality usually has its basis from religion and cultural history.

So disagreeing with the Supreme Court is bad? I guess we should have just kept slavery then, the Supreme Court did rule that it was Constitutional too. I also don’t expect you to ever challenge the rulings of a soon-to-be conservative Supreme Court.

In which case did the Supreme Court rule that slavery is constitutional? Just out of curiosity, do you have any form of legal training? This is so that I will know the extent of depth I can go to when I reply you after considering the ruling if you can find one.

Perhaps I am being a bit mean here since I don’t think you can find any judgement on it but maybe there is an off chance that such a judgement was missed during my studies on this topic.

Do I see anything that implies a direct and strict separation of church and state? No, I don’t. Do I see anything that prevents politicians from enacting policies based on a morality that they share with a religion? No I don’t. Do I see anything that says that religion cannot influence politics? No, I do not.

It doesn’t matter whether you see it or not. Please ask a lawyer or someone who has legal training to explain this stuff to you cause I am too tired to do so. It is well understood that the state and the Church are 2 separate entities but the exact extent of separation is still being debated since there isn’t any comprehensive judgement by the Supreme Court. You have clearly not read Roe v. Wade judgement or failed to understand it since nowhere in it mentioned about religion.

Simple question. Is it wrong to kill humans? Yes it obviously is, but from a medical POV all you are doing is stopping a bunch of electro-chemical reactions. We don't base what is wrong and what is right by science, we do that by a little something called morality, you should try it sometime.

So we know it is obviously wrong to kill people, but why? Is it wrong because someone's death would negatively affect other people's lives? If so, then why is it still wrong to kill hermits? Maybe its because killing people is an unjust infliction of pain? If so, why are painless deaths still wrong? Maybe its because killing deprives someone of their future? That seems to make sense and be the most logical answer, but for the sake of the discussion lets look closer at it.

So we have deduced that killing is likely wrong because it deprives people of a potential future, but some people would say that definition is too broad, so let’s look closer. Maybe killing is only wrong if a person values their future? But if so, why is it still wrong to kill mentally ill people and depressed teenagers? Maybe killing is only wrong if people have prior experiences, but if that is true what prevents a genocide of children and babies? What if killing is only wrong when a person has a certain level of consciousness? If that is true, why is killing infants wrong but killing animals like pigs, which have a greater level of consciousness than infants, is absolutely fine? I could go on but I really don’t have the time.

So we have deduced that killing might be wrong because you are depriving someone of a potential future, and that there are no logical limitations we can find to restrict that statement. Under that logical definition, killing fetuses would be intrinsically wrong, because we are depriving them of a potential future, which they have.

Now, tell me what part of this argument was religious based. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion argument to religious vs secular but that seems to be the limit of most people’s understanding of this issue.

Apart from your poorly worded jibes, let us not kid ourselves and think that your ideas on morality aren’t derived from religion since you are a supposedly practicing Christian. I have already explained the differing views on abortion due to religion or lack of it. Abortion, murder and euthanasia are all 3 very different topics altogether so don’t lump them together as one. In fact I posted on reasons against euthanasia on another thread (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showpost.php?p=3478422&postcount=30). Those arguments were written with Commonwealth countries in mind but most arguments there are fairly transferable.

An embryo and even a foetus depending on age, is generally regarded as something with the potential to become life and is not a human being. Simply by having the potential of becoming a life does not immediately grant it all the rights accorded to a human being. As for the concept and idea of time of personhood, this has been deeply entrenched in religion. As I wrote earlier, from a medical pov, quickening the first sign of life; for Christians life occurs at conception and for Muslims life occurs 40-120 days after conception. This means that beyond quickening, no doctor will carry out an abortion as they believe that since organogenesis has finished and is considered as alive. Others may claim that the foetus is only considered as alive when it can survive outside the womb. The basic point is the potential to become life is not life. However, the church view is not the same. The church views life during conception where ensoulment occurs. For the Muslims, they believe that ensoulment occurs 40-120 days after conception, depending on sect, so abortion is fine till then.

So simply put, a foetus depending on age is not always human being unless you are a Christian. Hence this discussion is obviously inherently religious. Can you tell me of any group that is against abortion but not religious? I would like to know and it would be useful for me to go through their ideologies.

(Pro-slavery variation)=IMO if you are opposed to slavery, don't get a slave. Otherwise it is not your problem so butt out!

KKK approves of your logic.

This statement was not mentioned by me but has some basis in the live and let live ideology of coexisting. Slavery is a totally different issue and is at the extreme end of this ideology. Slavery deny current basic human rights to a human being and if one is so concerned with the rights of a being (embryo) with the potential to become a human, I will be surprised that they will condone slavery. As it is KKK is still present and active in USA.

As for America, I have had the impression that elections will be won by pretending religiosity to the masses in the manner of an itinerant preacher.
That is precisely why they are so easily manipulated. They are being inculcated with great parroting skills but nearly negligible critical appraisal skills. Anyone who deviates from the strict set of ideologies is labelled a traitor? Must be nice to be a politician there when logic isn't critical.

Uniquemind
January 28th, 2017, 04:40 AM
It is over simplistic to assume that any argument that supports a different form of morality than your own is inherently religious. So disagreeing with the Supreme Court is bad? I guess we should have just kept slavery then, the Supreme Court did rule that it was Constitutional too. I also don’t expect you to ever challenge the rulings of a soon-to-be conservative Supreme Court.


Do I see anything that implies a direct and strict separation of church and state? No, I don’t. Do I see anything that prevents politicians from enacting policies based on a morality that they share with a religion? No I don’t. Do I see anything that says that religion cannot influence politics? No, I do not.

Simple question. Is it wrong to kill humans? Yes it obviously is, but from a medical POV all you are doing is stopping a bunch of electro-chemical reactions. We don't base what is wrong and what is right by science, we do that by a little something called morality, you should try it sometime.

So we know it is obviously wrong to kill people, but why? Is it wrong because someone's death would negatively affect other people's lives? If so, then why is it still wrong to kill hermits? Maybe its because killing people is an unjust infliction of pain? If so, why are painless deaths still wrong? Maybe its because killing deprives someone of their future? That seems to make sense and be the most logical answer, but for the sake of the discussion lets look closer at it.

So we have deduced that killing is likely wrong because it deprives people of a potential future, but some people would say that definition is too broad, so let’s look closer. Maybe killing is only wrong if a person values their future? But if so, why is it still wrong to kill mentally ill people and depressed teenagers? Maybe killing is only wrong if people have prior experiences, but if that is true what prevents a genocide of children and babies? What if killing is only wrong when a person has a certain level of consciousness? If that is true, why is killing infants wrong but killing animals like pigs, which have a greater level of consciousness than infants, is absolutely fine? I could go on but I really don’t have the time.

So we have deduced that killing might be wrong because you are depriving someone of a potential future, and that there are no logical limitations we can find to restrict that statement. Under that logical definition, killing fetuses would be intrinsically wrong, because we are depriving them of a potential future, which they have.

Now, tell me what part of this argument was religious based. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion argument to religious vs secular but that seems to be the limit of most people’s understanding of this issue.

(Pro-slavery variation)=IMO if you are opposed to slavery, don't get a slave. Otherwise it is not your problem so butt out!

KKK approves of your logic.


So the conclusion I arrive to is that the taking of life, of anything, isn't inherently wrong, rather the intentions of why that was done would make it inappropriate, or appropriate. So morally depending on a scenario basis, you are on morally and ethically neutral territory.

Therefore the polarized black/white approach to this issue is flawed and the reason why such an issue shouldn't be decided by law and by an individual (in this case the woman) and why it remains a rehashed versus a closed issue in debate is the black/white reaction people have on an emotional level.

bentheplayer
January 28th, 2017, 09:24 AM
So the conclusion I arrive to is that the taking of life, of anything, isn't inherently wrong, rather the intentions of why that was done would make it inappropriate, or appropriate. So morally depending on a scenario basis, you are on morally and ethically neutral territory.

Therefore the polarized black/white approach to this issue is flawed and the reason why such an issue shouldn't be decided by law and by an individual (in this case the woman) and why it remains a rehashed versus a closed issue in debate is the black/white reaction people have on an emotional level.

Actually, I didn't want to talk about the opinion PlasmaHam wrote on killing but since you didn't catch the initial inherent logical fallacies that totally dismisses this line of thought, here it is.

Excluding religious contexts, since when was killing wrong? In fact the idea of killing being wrong is actually a relatively modern context if we were ignore all countries that were religious with leanings towards Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In the past, since the caveman era, it had always been the survival of the fittest.

From a legal point of view, the modern reason killing is wrong is because every human being (not forms that has the potential become a human being) is guaranteed the right to life. This legal right to life is actually a surprisingly new concept with the earliest form occurring around the 13th century with the implementation of Magna Carta by King John of England in 1215(not sure if the date is right cos I hate history dates and there are too many of them to remember anyways). Since then, this right has been adopted, endorsed and later enshrined into the constitution/law of most nations. Another notable document to consider is the UN Declaration of human rights.

When the US constitution was written in the 18 century and became the supreme law in US, it was heavily influenced by the Magna Carta. However, if I am not mistaken, the right of life was only explicitly stated in the fifth and fourteen amendment.

Sometime in 1950, the right to life was codified in the European Convention on Human Rights which was adopted by the Council of Europe with certain exceptions that I can't remember.

So to answer the question of "is it wrong to kill a human?", it is a logical fallacy that appeals to nature. Simply put society and the rule of the law was created so that people can peacefully coexist in society. Since the intent of coexisting peacefully is for the greater good, for a better life for all and for us to be able to be able to life, that is the basis of the right to life. It is the collective believe that everyone should not be denied life in general. However, in most societies, there are situations where they think (ie their laws) that the right to life doesn't hold all the time such as murder. Laws in a society is generally based on what members in that society thinks and is representative of the mutual understanding of how members will act and the punishment members will invoke if they so choose to break it. As I have explained rather extensively, this right to life is generally granted onto to humans. Most non-religious people would not view an embryo as a person and hence abortion at that time is not considered as taking the right to life away from a person. You can't kill a human when it is not even considered one. The idea of person hood at the embryo stage is only adopted by the Church so please stop your spin. In fact as I said in all countries, beyond a certain age when "person hood" is conferred to the fetus, no doctor will ever carry out an abortion. As for animals, no country or society that I know of has given them a protected right to life so killing alright is alright in that sense. In any case this concept of unalienable rights was create by humans for humans and is simply incompatible with animals. Say hypothetically there is a new species of animals that are able to destroy us, can we tell them that we humans have rights too? Obviously not. So the point is no type of rights of any kind exists naturally by virtue of existence(being born) alone. The only "right" that all creatures has on Earth is are things that they can forcibly take and defend from being taken. The humans rights that we are talking about are not exactly natural but rather constitutes the social contract that we are inherently bound to as part of citizenship of both country and the world. The social contract is that the laws will protect you from harm and others from harm at your hands. By doing so you are also given a part of the only true "right" survival of the fittest where you don't kill or pillage your weaker neighbors. Similarly, you are also guaranteed against such treatment by those stronger than you. Simply put these rights are a social construct and it is your citizenship not humanity or morality that guarantees such rights. These rights include the right to life, privacy, equality, due judicial process etc.

I hope that I have managed to explain this bit but if you feel that there are any issues that are not well covered please let me know and I will try my best to cover it.

Uniquemind
January 28th, 2017, 06:21 PM
Actually, I didn't want to talk about the opinion PlasmaHam wrote on killing but since you didn't catch the initial inherent logical fallacies that totally dismisses this line of thought, here it is.

Excluding religious contexts, since when was killing wrong? In fact the idea of killing being wrong is actually a relatively modern context if we were ignore all countries that were religious with leanings towards Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In the past, since the caveman era, it had always been the survival of the fittest.

From a legal point of view, the modern reason killing is wrong is because every human being (not forms that has the potential become a human being) is guaranteed the right to life. This legal right to life is actually a surprisingly new concept with the earliest form occurring around the 13th century with the implementation of Magna Carta by King John of England in 1215(not sure if the date is right cos I hate history dates and there are too many of them to remember anyways). Since then, this right has been adopted, endorsed and later enshrined into the constitution/law of most nations. Another notable document to consider is the UN Declaration of human rights.

When the US constitution was written in the 18 century and became the supreme law in US, it was heavily influenced by the Magna Carta. However, if I am not mistaken, the right of life was only explicitly stated in the fifth and fourteen amendment.

Sometime in 1950, the right to life was codified in the European Convention on Human Rights which was adopted by the Council of Europe with certain exceptions that I can't remember.

So to answer the question of "is it wrong to kill a human?", it is a logical fallacy that appeals to nature. Simply put society and the rule of the law was created so that people can peacefully coexist in society. Since the intent of coexisting peacefully is for the greater good, for a better life for all and for us to be able to be able to life, that is the basis of the right to life. It is the collective believe that everyone should not be denied life in general. However, in most societies, there are situations where they think (ie their laws) that the right to life doesn't hold all the time such as murder. Laws in a society is generally based on what members in that society thinks and is representative of the mutual understanding of how members will act and the punishment members will invoke if they so choose to break it. As I have explained rather extensively, this right to life is generally granted onto to humans. Most non-religious people would not view an embryo as a person and hence abortion at that time is not considered as taking the right to life away from a person. You can't kill a human when it is not even considered one. The idea of person hood at the embryo stage is only adopted by the Church so please stop your spin. In fact as I said in all countries, beyond a certain age when "person hood" is conferred to the fetus, no doctor will ever carry out an abortion. As for animals, no country or society that I know of has given them a protected right to life so killing alright is alright in that sense. In any case this concept of unalienable rights was create by humans for humans and is simply incompatible with animals. Say hypothetically there is a new species of animals that are able to destroy us, can we tell them that we humans have rights too? Obviously not. So the point is no type of rights of any kind exists naturally by virtue of existence(being born) alone. The only "right" that all creatures has on Earth is are things that they can forcibly take and defend from being taken. The humans rights that we are talking about are not exactly natural but rather constitutes the social contract that we are inherently bound to as part of citizenship of both country and the world. The social contract is that the laws will protect you from harm and others from harm at your hands. By doing so you are also given a part of the only true "right" survival of the fittest where you don't kill or pillage your weaker neighbors. Similarly, you are also guaranteed against such treatment by those stronger than you. Simply put these rights are a social construct and it is your citizenship not humanity or morality that guarantees such rights. These rights include the right to life, privacy, equality, due judicial process etc.

I hope that I have managed to explain this bit but if you feel that there are any issues that are not well covered please let me know and I will try my best to cover it.

I agree with what you've stated here. It's all about the social contract which varies from country to country, as well as era in time, to era in time. Hopefully we're making progress as time moves forward.

But call me a skeptic, and let me say that I think we have that ideal, and enforcing it and basing actions on it in a clear concise way to the point where people are protected, is beginning to fail.

We haven't protected individual rights, in fact the understanding and interpretation on what that means, and whose rights take precedent over another groups rights in various scenarios on many issues is where the debate is at right now.

People are bad at segmentation of rights, and the definition of what is infringing and what is not. Because there are some real world consequences with gray areas, which need not be treated by a dichotomous public understanding as well as legal understanding.


Such as in this case the "right" to life is a bleed-over from abstract ideology, into what is very clear legal terminology and precedent. That's where the issues arise.

bentheplayer
January 29th, 2017, 01:55 AM
I agree with what you've stated here. It's all about the social contract which varies from country to country, as well as era in time, to era in time. Hopefully we're making progress as time moves forward.

But call me a skeptic, and let me say that I think we have that ideal, and enforcing it and basing actions on it in a clear concise way to the point where people are protected, is beginning to fail.
We haven't protected individual rights, in fact the understanding and interpretation on what that means, and whose rights take precedent over another groups rights in various scenarios on many issues is where the debate is at right now.

People are bad at segmentation of rights, and the definition of what is infringing and what is not. Because there are some real world consequences with gray areas, which need not be treated by a dichotomous public understanding as well as legal understanding.

Such as in this case the "right" to life is a bleed-over from abstract ideology, into what is very clear legal terminology and precedent. That's where the issues arise.

Actually, I think it is hard to say that we already have an ideal situation of rights cos so many people don't even understand the basis of such rights. This can be in part attributed to the lack of education. When people are not aware and don't understand these basis, how can they be expected to understand the limitations of these rights and apply them appropriately? As it is most of it is being left to the courts.

The idea of protected rights is a social construct that is in turn codified in the constitution and bill of rights for the USA. Other countries have something similar but perhaps in a different form. Actually the whole idea of the constitution isnít that difficult to understand and interpret. In some ancient civilisations, to gain full recognition as a full citizen, one had to take a test to ensure that they fully understand they rights and duty that they have as citizens. This was a way of ensuring that citizens would uphold the agreement when dealing with each other. Non-citizens were not according this privilege of ďcivilisedĒ dealings.

It is because most public schools these days donít teach this concept and added with religious/parental/sectarian preaching on morality/ideology that results in these dichotomous views on such issues. A secular society at its basics only needs a constitution to codify the contract of the people to the state, criminal law and contract/tort/property law. Any other issues would be up to the whims of citizens to act as they wished. The ancient Greek/Roman Empire is probably one of the best examples of this where citizens were clear of their duties. Laws on sexual conduct in USA and UK were largely based on religion or the majority Christian faith. However, since the right for one to believe in different religions has been accepted into the constitution, laws that were made on the basis on religion (i.e. religious laws) should naturally become invalid since the constitution is the Supreme law. There is actually no real need to even study law or read those judgements to know the outcome since this is the design of the legal system.

As much as I would like to think that all these issues should be covered and made known to all citizens prior the age of majority/criminal responsibility, I doubt that it will ever happen. If current students canít even handle basic maths forget law or philosophy. The sad part is that this is only usually covered in uni as part of liberal arts education which means that those who are unaware can be easily manipulated by those who do on the basis of emotion/smokescreens.

Anyways how is the right to life an abstract theory? It just simply means that everyone who is deemed to have personhood should not be killed for without reason or due process. The only possible controversy is the definition of who gets the right to life which is heavily influenced by religious ideology and science/philosophy. I can accept all arguments made on those bases but no one here has yet or are willing to admit that their arguments are based on those bases.

Uniquemind
January 29th, 2017, 08:08 PM
You restated it as not "natural rights", so we meant the same thing.

brandon9
February 1st, 2017, 11:19 PM
Firstly, under US laws and constitution, the Supreme court has long since ruled that women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. Please read Jan 1973 Roe v . Wade decision. Effectively Trump is publicly dissenting against a court ruling and acting above the law.

For those who lack knowledge of this decision:

Roe v Wade was a 7-2 decision in the 1973 Supreme Court that effectively stated "a pregnant woman is entitled to have an abortion until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy without any interference by the state."

Now, as far as Trump dissenting the court ruling, it is important to note the idea of judicial supremacy in the US is not at all a full truth; constitutional interpretation is not solely vested in the courts, nor are the other branches required to accept the court's rulings. Constitutional interpretation is one of the divided powers of the Constitution vested to all three branches of the US government. There are several instances throughout history when the legislative or executive branches have rejected/opposed Supreme Court decisions. For example, take the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857; the Court ruled 7-2 that slaves residing in free states were not entitled to freedom, that African Americans were not citizens of the US, and which struck down the Missouri Compromise. This is considered one of, if not the worst, Supreme Court rulings in history. Abraham Lincoln defied the decision by signing a bill that outlawed slavery in federal territories, among other actions. So, in reality, there IS historical and legal precedent for a President ignoring and even acting against a Supreme Court ruling. I would expect, what with the high probability of a conservative majority Court under the Trump administration, that Roe v Wade will be reviewed.

Secondly, since Thomas Jefferson's time, the state and the church are meant to be separated. This basic concept is enshrined in the First Amendment of the US constitution. Now tell me that the idea of abortion isn't a religious one. I have extreme disdain towards reducing the abortion debate to pro-life and pro-choice but it seems that is the limit of most people's understanding of this issue.

Im going to work in reverse order here: abortion isn't a religious issue. I am a nonreligious conservative and I do not support abortion except in cases where the mother would certainly die as a result of the pregnancy, or in cases of rape. Because many conservatives are religious, there is a common misconception I believe that makes many assume it is a religious issue - it's really an ethical/moral one.

Now, on to the separation of church and state. If I recall correctly, and feel free to fact check me on this as it has been awhile, the first usage of the term "separation of church and state" came in the Everson v Board of Education case which I believe was in 1947. The ruling applied the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof") to the states, where before it only explicitly applied to the federal government. I believe this was accomplished through the due process clauses found in the 5th and 14th Amendments. In regard to the idea that this idea has been around since Jefferson's time, yes, they had a basic ideal of removing religion from government, but it did not really work out that way in early America - documents from that time period contain references to a divine creator, of rights given by God, and many involved in the political process were outspoken religious individuals, as was common in the time period. At any rate, the Constitution and it's contents can be most aptly described as James Madison's baby, not Jefferson's. Alexander Hamilton and John Jay have more claim to the Constitution than does Jefferson, given their cooperation on the Federalist papers with Madison.

If we were to be strictly biblical about issues, shouldn't adultery be heavily punished and divorce made illegal?

Look at the historical case of Henry VIII. He was a member of the Roman Catholic church, wanted to divorce his wife, the church wouldn't allow it, he effectively broke from the Church to marry Anne Boelyn. Back in the same time period, adultery was not taken lightly either. This is just a bit of historical precedent for the idea you're talking about, obviously we've moved forward in time and such views are antiquated even among the religious, for the most part.

In which case did the Supreme Court rule that slavery is constitutional? Just out of curiosity, do you have any form of legal training? This is so that I will know the extent of depth I can go to when I reply you after considering the ruling if you can find one.

Perhaps I am being a bit mean here since I don’t think you can find any judgement on it but maybe there is an off chance that such a judgement was missed during my studies on this topic.

It was effectively rendered in the Dred Scott case, however there were other supporting cases throughout the years that suggested slavery was not inherently unconstitutional. This is in large part because, for a long time, slaves were viewed as property rather than people. Other cases that support the idea of the implied constitutionality of slavery are North Carolina v Mann (1830) and to a somewhat lesser extent, Prigg v Pennsylvania.

I can't speak for PlasmaHam, but I do have legal background. Majoring in criminal justice, taken criminal law classes and I have a very innate understanding of the Constitution. We study a lot of cases in CJ.

It is well that the state and the Church are 2 separate entities but the exact extent of separation is still being debated since there isn’t any comprehensive judgement by the Supreme Court. You have clearly not read Roe v. Wade judgement or failed to understand it since nowhere in it mentioned about religion.

I addressed this above, but wanted to include the quote just for reference's sake.

bentheplayer
February 2nd, 2017, 05:17 AM
Thanks for replying. At least most of your arguments are somewhat coherent.

For those who lack knowledge of this decision:
Roe v Wade was a 7-2 decision in the 1973 Supreme Court that effectively stated "a pregnant woman is entitled to have an abortion until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy without any interference by the state."

Basically, this ruling means that all women have a constitutional right for abortions, and by more current rulings, before fetal viability.

Now, as far as Trump dissenting the court ruling, it is important to note the idea of judicial supremacy in the US is not at all a full truth; constitutional interpretation is not solely vested in the courts, nor are the other branches required to accept the court's rulings. Constitutional interpretation is one of the divided powers of the Constitution vested to all three branches of the US government. There are several instances throughout history when the legislative or executive branches have rejected/opposed Supreme Court decisions. For example, take the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857; the Court ruled 7-2 that slaves residing in free states were not entitled to freedom, that African Americans were not citizens of the US, and which struck down the Missouri Compromise. This is considered one of, if not the worst, Supreme Court rulings in history. Abraham Lincoln defied the decision by signing a bill that outlawed slavery in federal territories, among other actions. So, in reality, there IS historical and legal precedent for a President ignoring and even acting against a Supreme Court ruling. I would expect, what with the high probability of a conservative majority Court under the Trump administration, that Roe v Wade will be reviewed.

The idea of judicial supremacy in the US, as you rightly mentioned, is in fact not the case at all. According to your constitution, the legislative, executive and judicial branches are all equal in power with certain checks and balances. However, what is true is constitutional supremacy. However, Judicial reviews are allowed and other branches are expected to uphold those rulings. In this narrow regard, there is still somewhat of a judicial supremacy as explained later.

Actually, at that time, Dred Scott decision while unpopular was perfectly sound legally. While I can’t remember the exact final judgement, if I am not wrong the court didn’t uphold slavery but rather said that African Americans were not American citizens and hence the court had no rights to hear the case. This is because at that time, only US citizens were allowed to sue in federal court. So while people hated the ruling, there is nothing wrong with that judgement legally actually. That was why the 13-15 amendment was passed in the constitution to establish and extend coverage to African Americans.

In reality, Lincoln didn’t go against the constitution since the courts only said that African Americans have no right to use federal courts and not that all African Americans are slaves. It is this specific distinction that is often overlooked. So while it may seem that a President “acted” against a Supreme Court ruling, he didn’t. This is the intrinsic subtleties of law that I hate and grudgingly like. To clarify the courts power, judicial review is allowed under the constitution but only to a restricted form. Put simply, constitutional judicial review is merely the power to disregard, or refuse to apply a law that that the courts believe to be unconstitutional when deciding a specific case and that the ruling only applies to parties in the case. The Court however has no right to change the law.

This means that ruling interpretation largely depends on the specific case. For example, Dred Scott is ruled in dicta (orbiter dictum) since the court has decided it to outside the realms of its jurisdiction. However, in the case of Roe v Wade, the decision that a woman has a right to decide on abortion was made as a precedent. However, the legality of when the woman can last have an abortion was later stipulated as before fetal viability in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In this case, each time Trump says that abortions should not be allowed at all, he is technically in contempt of court since the courts ruled that it is a constitutional right. The main part of this gag order that disgusts me most is that Trump is in effect infringing on the sovereignty and rights of other poorer countries. Actually the US government is possibily one of the most despicable governments around. Given the Snowden, PRISM revelations and FISA act, evidently there are loads of people in the US govt who think that they are better than the world. I didn't really intend for this to become a discussion on abortion but to point out the failings and implications of Trump's actions. He clearly doesn't care about this issue when he is also cutting funding for planned parenthood which is known to reduce abortion rates.

In fact, one sign that Trump clearly doesn't understand the constitution is when the previous acting AG said she can't defend his current immigration ban in court.

Im going to work in reverse order here: abortion isn't a religious issue. I am a nonreligious conservative and I do not support abortion except in cases where the mother would certainly die as a result of the pregnancy, or in cases of rape. Because many conservatives are religious, there is a common misconception I believe that makes many assume it is a religious issue - it's really an ethical/moral one.

Ok call it misconception if you like because I can’t think of a better term for my pov but I have heard this argument many times where people try to separate abortion from religion. However, what this line of argument only has is that they are not religious but lacks the explanation of why something with a potential to become life is considered as a person at conception. (Given that current US Supreme Court ruling on abortion is that abortion can only be done prior to fetal viability outside of womb.) Why should a fetus that isn’t yet viable outside of womb or even a zygote be deemed as life? Given that many other countries have ruled that something with the potential to become life isn’t life, what other explanation can there be? Personally, I am against extra-marital sex and abortion for religious reasons but feel that these doctrines should only be applied to those who believe in it. Till I can find a sound non-religious argument that a zygote had legal personhood and in turn the right to life then I will change my mind. In fact I would like to but all current secular arguments are still insufficient to convince me. The main problem I have is saying that a ball of cells is life when we constantly shed cells doesn’t sound very logical. Given that we don't define death as when all cells die, how can we define cell(s) as life? I can accept various definitions of person hood such as viability out of womb, start of signs of brain waves, morphologically appearing to be a human, quickening but the idea that a zygote is life is still beyond my comprehension. From a religious pov, some theologists have suggested that life begins with ensoulment and hence life which Christians believe happens during conception. Apart from this line of reasoning, nothing else seems sufficiently logical to me yet. However, since I believe in the secular state, laws on abortions should not be made on this reason but on some other basis. It would be great if you can adequately explain secularly why person hood begins at conception but so far it seems that no one can for now.

Simply distancing yourself from religion doesn't absolve you from the need to defend and explain why life begins at conception rather than other more logical explanations/definitions.

Now, on to the separation of church and state. If I recall correctly, and feel free to fact check me on this as it has been awhile, the first usage of the term "separation of church and state" came in the Everson v Board of Education case which I believe was in 1947. The ruling applied the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof") to the states, where before it only explicitly applied to the federal government. I believe this was accomplished through the due process clauses found in the 5th and 14th Amendments. In regard to the idea that this idea has been around since Jefferson's time, yes, they had a basic ideal of removing religion from government, but it did not really work out that way in early America - documents from that time period contain references to a divine creator, of rights given by God, and many involved in the political process were outspoken religious individuals, as was common in the time period. At any rate, the Constitution and it's contents can be most aptly described as James Madison's baby, not Jefferson's. Alexander Hamilton and John Jay have more claim to the Constitution than does Jefferson, given their cooperation on the Federalist papers with Madison.

In this I am not sure but at best I can recall from my conversions with those law and history experts, I think they mentioned something about Jefferson coining the term of the separation of the church and state but this was said in his own personal capacity. Not so much in the legal context. It was more of the idea of recognising that there are people from other religious and that religious freedom was part of the liberty guaranteed to all citizens.

Actually US constitutional law has very little meaning to me as it doesn’t affect me so I don’t really purposely remember a lot of those details. However, what I find interesting is that outside of the legal realm, very few in US can agree on what the constitution entails and various parties are always trying to curtail the “liberties” of the other party. At least, I felt that Obama didn’t have any obvious constitutionally incompatible orders during his time. It is all about upholding the idea that the state should be secular and free from religious. I believe that this was somewhat stated in the bible too in the context for the gentiles.

Look at the historical case of Henry VIII. He was a member of the Roman Catholic church, wanted to divorce his wife, the church wouldn't allow it, he effectively broke from the Church to marry Anne Boelyn. Back in the same time period, adultery was not taken lightly either. This is just a bit of historical precedent for the idea you're talking about, obviously we've moved forward in time and such views are antiquated even among the religious, for the most part.

What I said was just an example of selective “moral wars” that the church loves to pick and fight. Why are they interfering in the lives of non-believers when their own flock is astray? USA is not an Arab country that is ruled by religious laws. For most part, I feel that the state should not interfere in the private lives of people. Ultimately, everyone is answerable to themselves or their god(s) in terms of sexual morality/abortion.

It was effectively rendered in the Dred Scott case, however there were other supporting cases throughout the years that suggested slavery was not inherently unconstitutional. This is in large part because, for a long time, slaves were viewed as property rather than people. Other cases that support the idea of the implied constitutionality of slavery are North Carolina v Mann (1830) and to a somewhat lesser extent, Prigg v Pennsylvania.

Precisely why I asked. Pls refer to my above explanation on the Dred Scott case. Dred Scot is often wrongly used as a case justifying that slavery was constitutional. Just because it was not banned in the constitution does not make it necessarily allowable. The concept of slavery as a right was never enshrined in the constitution, past or present. The main issue here is that the Supreme Court never ruled on the constitutionality of slavery itself, just on cases regarding slavery in context of the laws applicable at that time. This seems to be a very common (intentional?) misunderstanding of the laws. The legality of slavery is an issue for congress to decide as part of property laws and slavery was not explicitly banned in the constitution back then.

I can't speak for PlasmaHam, but I do have legal background. Majoring in criminal justice, taken criminal law classes and I have a very innate understanding of the Constitution. We study a lot of cases in CJ.

Do you like studying law formally? I kinda dislike law due to the numerous intricacies and I think you might have missed some as explained above. This is why I will never take it formally willingly and hopefully not do in university. There is no way I am going to waste my life reading and researching on past cases and judgement and argue for the sake of winning. I am more inclined to fact finding than the distortion of truths through legalese. For now I am just simply forced to at least have a rudimentary understanding of legal system of various countries all in the name of a “holistic” education.


Edit add on: After thinking about what you said on Judicial Supremacy I realized that this very much depends on one's understanding of it. This is possibly a more conceptually challenging principle and I think your idea of it might differ from mine.

The concept of judicial supremacy is often used erroneously by people who oppose the Supreme Court as a means to discredit the judicial system. In most countries, the judicial branch is charged with interpretation of the law, the executive branch is charged with day to day running of the country and the legislative branch with writing the law. All 3 are instructed to abide by the constitution. The judicial branch is there to ensure that the Executive and Legislative branches act within the limits assigned to their authority. However, the legislative branch (with input from executive branch) is able to circumvent the judicial judgement in the future by simply changing the law/constitution with due process. At the same time, the executive branch is also held accountable by the legislative branch. It is this concept of check and balances that prevents the abuse of power by any one branch.

In other words, judicial supremacy does not mean that executive and legislative branches are forbidden to engage in constitutional interpretation of their own and oppose interpretations by the courts. My understanding of judicial supremacy is that those branches must obey judicial decisions invalidating their laws/policies/actions and should follow these decisions. If there is a need, these 2 branches are not and should not be allowed to act against the judgement without the due process of changing the law/constitution in such a way that the courts will concur that they(executive/legislative) are legally allowed to do. Simply acting against the court’s decision without due process undermines this check and balances and in turn the constitution. Under this train of thought, the judicial branch does not have a bigger say than the other branches other than to ensure they(executive/legislative) act in accordance to the current laws/constitution. While the term judicial supremacy seems to suggest that the judicial branch can over rule and dictate how the other branches act, it isn't really as sinister or powerful as that. The judicial branch can only interpret/disregard laws but not change the law. In this aspect, I would think that the Judicial and legislative branches are on equal footing in terms of power with the executive branch less powerful and rightfully so.

Also, while I look forward to your opinion on why a zygote should be granted personhood, I can think of many potential issues caused by such a change. The first and most obvious would be on IVF and whether disposal of an artificially inseminated zygote constitutes as murder. If a zygote is deemed as a life, I can easily see many ways that this ideology can be abused to frame people for homicide/murder.

Voice_Of_Unreason
February 2nd, 2017, 01:46 PM
It was effectively rendered in the Dred Scott case, however there were other supporting cases throughout the years that suggested slavery was not inherently unconstitutional. This is in large part because, for a long time, slaves were viewed as property rather than people. Other cases that support the idea of the implied constitutionality of slavery are North Carolina v Mann (1830) and to a somewhat lesser extent, Prigg v Pennsylvania.
^Agreed. I know there wasn't a ruling directly stating that slavery was constitutional, but we can assume from such cases as Dread Scott that the Supreme Court of that time would have ruled slavery constitutional. But if that is not good enough for you, then maybe we could discuss Plessy v. Ferguson case, which directly stated that "Separate but Equal" laws were Constitutional. Do you think the Supreme Court was wrong there? Obviously, the Brown case later reversed that decision. So your statements that it is wrong to dispute Supreme Court decisions is faulty if the Supreme Court itself disputed one of its prior decisions. I can't speak for PlasmaHam, but I do have legal background. Majoring in criminal justice, taken criminal law classes and I have a very innate understanding of the Constitution. We study a lot of cases in CJ.
I do not have any legal background myself, I am actually majoring in Engineering. However, I am an American history buff and enjoy politics and legality on the side. Basically a legal hobbyist.

In this I am not sure but at best I can recall from my conversions with those law and history experts, I think they mentioned something about Jefferson coining the term of the separation of the church and state but this was said in his own personal capacity. Not so much in the legal context. It was more of the idea of recognising that there are people from other religious and that religious freedom was part of the liberty guaranteed to all citizens. Jefferson cited a variation of the phrase in a letter to a minority religious group. He described it as a,"Wall of separation between Church & State" which people later adopted in the 1940s and changed to "separation of Church in State." So technically you are both right in terms of origins.

Side note: The Constitution actually does not say or directly imply that the state governments are under First Amendment regulations. So while historically state governments have obeyed the First Amendment, there is no solid Constitutional basis for them to do such.

Actually US constitutional law has very little meaning to me as it doesnít affect me so I donít really purposely remember a lot of those details. However, what I find interesting is that outside of the legal realm, very few in US can agree on what the constitution entails and various parties are always trying to curtail the ďlibertiesĒ of the other party. At least, I felt that Obama didnít have any obvious constitutionally incompatible orders during his time. Constitutionality is definitely a controversial issue in the USA. However, the Supreme Court did rule against the Obama administration multiple times when they attempted executive power grabs. And we could argue the Constitutionality of some of his Obamacare mandates. So I wouldn't say Obama was the model of Constitutionality.
I believe that this was somewhat stated in the bible too in the context for the gentiles. The Bible does say to respect governmental power and to allow equal freedoms for those of other religions, but I don't see anything that implies separation of Church and State.

bentheplayer
February 2nd, 2017, 05:08 PM
^Agreed. I know there wasn't a ruling directly stating that slavery was constitutional, but we can assume from such cases as Dread Scott that the Supreme Court of that time would have ruled slavery constitutional. But if that is not good enough for you, then maybe we could discuss Plessy v. Ferguson case, which directly stated that "Separate but Equal" laws were Constitutional. Do you think the Supreme Court was wrong there? Obviously, the Brown case later reversed that decision. So your statements that it is wrong to dispute Supreme Court decisions is faulty if the Supreme Court itself disputed one of its prior decisions.

Even if I were the judge back then, I would have ruled that slavery wasnít unconstitutional as it wasnít explicitly stated in the constitution back then. However, it is wrong to say that the courts ruled slavery as a constitutional right. The distinction on constitutional right is very important as abortion is ruled as a right but slavery isnít. All that can be said is that slavery is a legislative issue and not a constitutional one, meaning that the court is not saying there must be slavery and by extension Lincoln didnít violate the constitution when he wanted to ban slavery. The Supreme Court is always allowed to have a new opinion if laws change. However, for a Supreme Court to re-rule on a case without any change in the law is generally not allowed in most countries as it undermines the legal system.

As for the Plessy judgement, it was clearly constitutional back then as the provisions of the laws then were as such. That was why the Civil Rights Act was implemented. The Brown case was hardly a reversal of the Plessy decision but a clarification. All the Brown case said was that segregation in a public school is inherently unequal which is incompatible with the ďSeparate but EqualĒ doctrine. It still allowed segregation except in public school where ďequalityĒ is inherently deemed as impossible. So what is your point? I am starting to get confused by what you are saying since I have been agreeing with all the Courtís rulings.

So disagreeing with the Supreme Court is bad? I guess we should have just kept slavery then, the Supreme Court did rule that it was Constitutional too. I also donít expect you to ever challenge the rulings of a soon-to-be conservative Supreme Court.

Going back to the original point of me bring this up is cos you seem to think that one can act against the Supreme Court ruling. This isnít allowed unless there is a change in the law/constitution. Currently, Trump is acting above the law and constitution since there is no provisions in the constitution that allows him to legally act in the manner he is now. The rulings of the court is not inherently bad but are meant to be interpretations of the law. One should not try to influence the courts decisions due to oneís political beliefs but rather interpret the law in accordance to modern legal theories and understandings. In theory, all Supreme Courts around the world should reach the same decision given the same set of framework of laws. The court room is not a place for politics but a place for application of cold hard logic based on the law. If a court rules wrongly then I will say that the judicial branch had failed in their duties of interpretation and are incompetent.

I do not have any legal background myself, I am actually majoring in Engineering. However, I am an American history buff and enjoy politics and legality on the side. Basically a legal hobbyist.

If you donít mind me asking, why on earth do you like law and why do engineering instead of law? It is the deadest and driest subject ever, dwelling on all those stupid intricacies. My legal background is from those horrible conversations/lectures by people with formal legal training but thankfully I donít take it academically. These people could easily be the cure to my insomnia.

Jefferson cited a variation of the phrase in a letter to a minority religious group. He described it as a,"Wall of separation between Church & State" which people later adopted in the 1940s and changed to "separation of Church in State." So technically you are both right in terms of origins.

As I said I am not going to verify if this bit is right and that I got this off some legal expert who I generally trust. However, if what you say is true, this only confirms that the state should be secular.

Side note: The Constitution actually does not say or directly imply that the state governments are under First Amendment regulations. So while historically state governments have obeyed the First Amendment, there is no solid Constitutional basis for them to do such.

Actually you are somewhat right and wrong in this aspect. Strictly speaking, the first amendment taken alone did not apply to state governments at all but only at a federal level or congress. In fact there were past Supreme court rulings that affirmed that the first did not apply to states. However, somewhere during the 1900s(correct me on the date if I am wrong), the Supreme Court found that these previous judgements failed to consider the 14th amendment and following with the incorporation doctrine made the First enforceable against state govts. You can read up on the incorporation doctrine if you are really that interested in law as it is one of the core tenets of constitutional law today. That is also one of reasons on choosing good panel of judges. Interpretation has to be done in an encompassing and impartial manner otherwise people will lose faith in courtís judgements and question the validity of their judgements.

Constitutionality is definitely a controversial issue in the USA. However, the Supreme Court did rule against the Obama administration multiple times when they attempted executive power grabs. And we could argue the Constitutionality of some of his Obamacare mandates. So I wouldn't say Obama was the model of Constitutionality.

Well he had some pretty radical ideas which many oppose. In terms of immigration, while those cases were tried in Supreme Court, if I am not wrong, they had nothing to do with constitutionality but on technicality. This is fairly common when US has a freaking complicated procedural system. The court neither affirms nor rebukes Obamaís authority to exercise executive action.

In the case of Obamacare it is again the wording. A lot of their dissents were based on the extent of what could be construed reasonably from the act. The main disagreement on the individual mandate was based on whether it was an order (unconstitutional) or a tax (constitutional). A lot of it also revolved around the constitutional taxation powers of congress. So in this aspect, I wouldnít really say that Obama is being unconstitutional fundamentally but had various clauses that were contradictory in nature. This is very different from one whom out rightly lies and says things that directly challenge the constitution.

The Bible does say to respect governmental power and to allow equal freedoms for those of other religions, but I don't see anything that implies separation of Church and State.

I donít want to enter this discussion here since there are certain fundamental theological ideologies that not everyone may agree with. However, I would just point you to what Jesus said to Pontius Pilate in John 18:36 and this statement, Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ. Seen contextually with what was said by the apostles, it can be understood that Christians should pursue the kingdom of God and not the state. If you are still keen on discussing this, may I suggest via pm? I donít want to descend into a theology discussion on a public forum.

I am still curious to hear a better alternative explanation from you on abortion and person hood since I have explained why your proposed logic on killing isnít sound.

brandon9
February 2nd, 2017, 08:03 PM
Thanks for replying. At least most of your arguments are somewhat coherent.

I found this to be a particularly interesting thread, I was actually eager to offer my two cents on it. I also apologize in advance for the length of this response.

Basically, this ruling means that all women have a constitutional right for abortions, and by more current rulings, before fetal viability.

Essentially this is correct, I think of the three of us relevant to the discussion, we all have a good understanding of Roe v Wade.

The idea of judicial supremacy in the US, as you rightly mentioned, is in fact not the case at all. According to your constitution, the legislative, executive and judicial branches are all equal in power with certain checks and balances. However, what is true is constitutional supremacy. However, Judicial reviews are allowed and other branches are expected to uphold those rulings. In this narrow regard, there is still somewhat of a judicial supremacy as explained later.

You are correct, however I feel you miss a slight intricacy regarding judicial review. If the court rules a law or what have you unconstitutional, or at least in debatable conflict depending on loose or strict interpretation, the legislature would have to abide by that ruling; in this you are correct. However, and this is hard to place in such basic wording as the idea I'm about to present was explained to me over the course of an hour and a half long seminar, but there are ways for the other branches to circumnavigate a judicial review and still accomplish their original intent. Most of that process has to do with amending small technicalities, or breaking the grander idea into smaller components that together accomplish the same effect whilst still remaining constitutional as individual entities.

Actually, at that time, Dred Scott decision while unpopular was perfectly sound legally. While I can’t remember the exact final judgement, if I am not wrong the court didn’t uphold slavery but rather said that African Americans were not American citizens and hence the court had no rights to hear the case. This is because at that time, only US citizens were allowed to sue in federal court. So while people hated the ruling, there is nothing wrong with that judgement legally actually. That was why the 13-15 amendment was passed in the constitution to establish and extend coverage to African Americans.

I didn't claim Dred Scott to be illegal - that I recall anyhow, if I did it was the result of a mental lapse and I'll retract it. Given the legal situations of the time, the ruling was just, however deplorable in nature it may have been to those who opposed it. The actual verbiage of the ruling is hard to find, in searching the internet I found what would appear to be a transcript of the case, I warn you it is quite lengthy and I myself did not read all of it: https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=29&page=transcript

The very last paragraph supports your claim of jurisdiction and citizenship issues. However, I believe the legality of Dred Scott makes Lincoln's actions all the more interesting, which I'll explain below:

In reality, Lincoln didn’t go against the constitution since the courts only said that African Americans have no right to use federal courts and not that all African Americans are slaves. It is this specific distinction that is often overlooked. So while it may seem that a President “acted” against a Supreme Court ruling, he didn’t. This is the intrinsic subtleties of law that I hate and grudgingly like. To clarify the courts power, judicial review is allowed under the constitution but only to a restricted form. Put simply, constitutional judicial review is merely the power to disregard, or refuse to apply a law that that the courts believe to be unconstitutional when deciding a specific case and that the ruling only applies to parties in the case. The Court however has no right to change the law.

The argument I was making isn't that Lincoln acted against the constitution, but that he acted against the Supreme Court. While the Dred Scott decision was his catalyst so to speak, in taking the actions he did, Lincoln acted in a form of defiance of several rulings made by the court over the years. I think an important distinction to make, which is touched on in the Dred Scott ruling at some point, is that while slaves were not American citizens, they could be recognised as citizens of their owner's state. This concept is in part touched upon as far back as the three-fifths compromise which counted 3/5 of the slave population in terms of representation for the southern states in the House. Bearing this in mind, Lincoln's actions in banning slavery and the like take on a slightly twisted perspective, as he is effectively acting for people who can be argued to be both in his charge and out of his charge legally. So while Lincoln did not go against the Constitution, the precedent can be said to have been set with his dismissal or disregard for their decisions, especially when they were legally justified.

Aside: I find Lincoln to be one of the most fascinating presidents in US history, sorry if I ramble a bit.

In this case, each time Trump says that abortions should not be allowed at all, he is technically in contempt of court since the courts ruled that it is a constitutional right. The main part of this gag order that disgusts me most is that Trump is in effect infringing on the sovereignty and rights of other poorer countries. Actually the US government is possibily one of the most despicable governments around. Given the Snowden, PRISM revelations and FISA act, evidently there are loads of people in the US govt who think that they are better than the world. I didn't really intend for this to become a discussion on abortion but to point out the failings and implications of Trump's actions. He clearly doesn't care about this issue when he is also cutting funding for planned parenthood which is known to reduce abortion rates.

In fact, one sign that Trump clearly doesn't understand the constitution is when the previous acting AG said she can't defend his current immigration ban in court.

I cut out the paragraph you'd made above this in an effort to control response length, but I'd make a distinction between Lincoln/slavery and Trump/abortion that I feel is relevant - objectively looking at them, the issue of Lincoln/slavery was largely legal in nature, while Trump/abortion is by far a social issue in comparison, despite legal rulings on the matter. Abortion always will be a social issue of the highest degree in the US, regardless of the supposed legality or illegality assigned to it by the courts. In fact, I'd venture to say that over the course of the next 100 years, you're likely to see a back and forth action over abortion in that decisions like Roe v Wade and other such cases will be reviewed, overturned, rereviewed, and reinstated. I doubt one ruling, one way or another, will ever stay the course of more than a handful of decades, because society is so conflicted on the issue.

Ok call it misconception if you like because I can’t think of a better term for my pov but I have heard this argument many times where people try to separate abortion from religion. However, what this line of argument only has is that they are not religious but lacks the explanation of why something with a potential to become life is considered as a person at conception. (Given that current US Supreme Court ruling on abortion is that abortion can only be done prior to fetal viability outside of womb.) Why should a fetus that isn’t yet viable outside of womb or even a zygote be deemed as life? Given that many other countries have ruled that something with the potential to become life isn’t life, what other explanation can there be? Personally, I am against extra-marital sex and abortion for religious reasons but feel that these doctrines should only be applied to those who believe in it. Till I can find a sound non-religious argument that a zygote had legal personhood and in turn the right to life then I will change my mind. In fact I would like to but all current secular arguments are still insufficient to convince me. The main problem I have is saying that a ball of cells is life when we constantly shed cells doesn’t sound very logical. Given that we don't define death as when all cells die, how can we define cell(s) as life? I can accept various definitions of person hood such as viability out of womb, start of signs of brain waves, morphologically appearing to be a human, quickening but the idea that a zygote is life is still beyond my comprehension. From a religious pov, some theologists have suggested that life begins with ensoulment and hence life which Christians believe happens during conception. Apart from this line of reasoning, nothing else seems sufficiently logical to me yet. However, since I believe in the secular state, laws on abortions should not be made on this reason but on some other basis. It would be great if you can adequately explain secularly why person hood begins at conception but so far it seems that no one can for now.

Simply distancing yourself from religion doesn't absolve you from the need to defend and explain why life begins at conception rather than other more logical explanations/definitions.

Part of the reason for my late response to this thread is that I took time to carefully think over this section of your response, as I wanted to form as good a statement as I could. Before I begin this, however, I will point out that the statements I make are from as objective a place as I can go, and that not all the things I say are beliefs I fully share. I am just trying to create what I believe is a potential proof based on scientific information.

Consider the fact that, at it's most basic form on earth, life is found in single-celled organisms. Most of these are bacteria, with some exceptions from what I gather. These organisms typically contain basic cell parts - the nucleus being the focal point. In scientific terms, and in regard to unicellular organisms, the nucleus can be considered the "brain" of the organism; it drives all functions of the cell, though it lacks the ability for "complex" thought, so to speak. These organisms typically reproduce via asexual reproduction, in which the organism divides in half to create new organisms. This is something that I feel a lot of people out of tune with science as a whole miss - bacteria are living, reproducing things. They can live, and they can die.

Now. Take a human in comparison. We are without doubt the most complex life form to exist that we are as yet aware of (I personally believe there are species on other planets that are vastly superior to us, but that is another debate entirely). Now, look at one of the most basic tenets of biological science, the levels of human body organization: cell, tissue, organ, organ system, organism. Note that it begins with the cell, which contains all of our DNA, all the genetic information, same as a bacterium. I would venture to say it can be argued that, because the cell is the most basic block in the tower so to speak, that human life can be defined as existing the moment a functional cell is created.

This is a very condensed version of a very complicated argument, again for length reasons. This could easily be a thread of its own.

What I said was just an example of selective “moral wars” that the church loves to pick and fight. Why are they interfering in the lives of non-believers when their own flock is astray? USA is not an Arab country that is ruled by religious laws. For most part, I feel that the state should not interfere in the private lives of people. Ultimately, everyone is answerable to themselves or their god(s) in terms of sexual morality/abortion.

My belief on religion is that it is a power mechanism, the churches will never be satisfied until they control all aspects of life directly or indirectly. However, I too will refrain from delving deeply into religion, as you said in a later post, its too touchy for public forums. In private, by all means, we can discuss it.

Do you like studying law formally? I kinda dislike law due to the numerous intricacies and I think you might have missed some as explained above. This is why I will never take it formally willingly and hopefully not do in university. There is no way I am going to waste my life reading and researching on past cases and judgement and argue for the sake of winning. I am more inclined to fact finding than the distortion of truths through legalese. For now I am just simply forced to at least have a rudimentary understanding of legal system of various countries all in the name of a “holistic” education.

I find it interesting, however I am most well versed in criminal law specifically, and I am not seeking to work in the legal field. Much of my education in law derives from classes specifically geared toward a strictly criminal justice approach, meaning that we study only certain sections in any great detail (such as due process and procedural laws and such). However, of my own volition and through other courses, I have picked up a good deal of legal knowledge. I am not, however, a lawyer.

Edit add on: After thinking about what you said on Judicial Supremacy I realized that this very much depends on one's understanding of it. This is possibly a more conceptually challenging principle and I think your idea of it might differ from mine.

I read the whole add-on, I just reduced for space. I think you make some valid points there, regarding powers of the branches and such, and I would wholeheartedly agree with your statement above - it all boils down to understanding and personal ideologies of what government and constitutionality are. Also, I would suspect the difference in view might be a byproduct of differing nationalities.

Actually you are somewhat right and wrong in this aspect. Strictly speaking, the first amendment taken alone did not apply to state governments at all but only at a federal level or congress. In fact there were past Supreme court rulings that affirmed that the first did not apply to states. However, somewhere during the 1900s(correct me on the date if I am wrong), the Supreme Court found that these previous judgements failed to consider the 14th amendment and following with the incorporation doctrine made the First enforceable against state govts. You can read up on the incorporation doctrine if you are really that interested in law as it is one of the core tenets of constitutional law today. That is also one of reasons on choosing good panel of judges. Interpretation has to be done in an encompassing and impartial manner otherwise people will lose faith in court’s judgements and question the validity of their judgements.

I realize this was not addressed to me, but I would simply like to point out that the 14th Amendment applied the entire Bill of Rights to the states, the first amendment shouldn't have been exclusionary in this regard. Now, obviously the first was the object of intense debate, for a 1900s example Id cite Everson again, that was the '40s and they were still determining the extent of legal application of the first amendment. Simply food for thought, I'm sure this can be debated all day long.

^Agreed. I know there wasn't a ruling directly stating that slavery was constitutional, but we can assume from such cases as Dread Scott that the Supreme Court of that time would have ruled slavery constitutional.

It's a highly technical issue when considered from all sides. The court of that era was interesting, to say the least.

Jefferson cited a variation of the phrase in a letter to a minority religious group. He described it as a,"Wall of separation between Church & State" which people later adopted in the 1940s and changed to "separation of Church in State." So technically you are both right in terms of origins.

If this is indeed the case, I'll accept it for what you claim. The difference is, again, technical more than anything.

bentheplayer
February 3rd, 2017, 05:35 AM
Essentially this is correct, I think of the three of us relevant to the discussion, we all have a good understanding of Roe v Wade.

Maybe but it is this distinction of constitutional right that makes this ruling extremely difficult to challenge. Once something is deemed as a constitutional right it becomes impossible to remove barring a change in the relevant constitution where such a right was construed from. A supreme court can never and has never ruled in direct opposition to its past arguments. Rulings can only be changed due to an argument that was not considered at that time. Hence in this, it would be extremely difficult to make abortion illegal barring a change in the constitution.

You are correct, however I feel you miss a slight intricacy regarding judicial review. If the court rules a law or what have you unconstitutional, or at least in debatable conflict depending on loose or strict interpretation, the legislature would have to abide by that ruling; in this you are correct. However, and this is hard to place in such basic wording as the idea I'm about to present was explained to me over the course of an hour and a half long seminar, but there are ways for the other branches to circumnavigate a judicial review and still accomplish their original intent. Most of that process has to do with amending small technicalities, or breaking the grander idea into smaller components that together accomplish the same effect whilst still remaining constitutional as individual entities.

The only reason I brought this up was because I thought you suggested that the other branches are not required to accept the Supreme Court ruling but it seems that we are on the same page in this. They are required to accept the way the Supreme Court interprets the law but are free to change the wording of the law and hence interpretation to a manner that they want with due process. This is not really circumnavigating a judicial review in the strictest sense but rather a hall mark of a poorly crafted proposed law. The main idea is that Supreme Court will tell them that their actions are currently unlawful and they have to stop doing that unless they make relevant changes to what they propose or the laws that the proposed contravenes. In this regard the judicial branch is supreme but the judicial branch cannot dictate the laws that the other branches propose or change.

I didn't claim Dred Scott to be illegal - that I recall anyhow, if I did it was the result of a mental lapse and I'll retract it. Given the legal situations of the time, the ruling was just, however deplorable in nature it may have been to those who opposed it. The actual verbiage of the ruling is hard to find, in searching the internet I found what would appear to be a transcript of the case, I warn you it is quite lengthy and I myself did not read all of it: https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=29&page=transcript

The very last paragraph supports your claim of jurisdiction and citizenship issues. However, I believe the legality of Dred Scott makes Lincoln's actions all the more interesting, which I'll explain below:

Seems that we are moving further and further from my original intent. The reason I suggested slavery case series was to use it to show the difference between what can be considered as constitutional vs a constitutional right.

The argument I was making isn't that Lincoln acted against the constitution, but that he acted against the Supreme Court. While the Dred Scott decision was his catalyst so to speak, in taking the actions he did, Lincoln acted in a form of defiance of several rulings made by the court over the years. I think an important distinction to make, which is touched on in the Dred Scott ruling at some point, is that while slaves were not American citizens, they could be recognised as citizens of their owner's state. This concept is in part touched upon as far back as the three-fifths compromise which counted 3/5 of the slave population in terms of representation for the southern states in the House. Bearing this in mind, Lincoln's actions in banning slavery and the like take on a slightly twisted perspective, as he is effectively acting for people who can be argued to be both in his charge and out of his charge legally. So while Lincoln did not go against the Constitution, the precedent can be said to have been set with his dismissal or disregard for their decisions, especially when they were legally justified.

That is the main issue here. People still think that Lincoln is acting against the Supreme Court when he wasn’t at all. The Supreme Court is just there to explain interpretation and that is all. All the interpretations were followed from what I was told. Not following the rule of the law would undermine the whole idea of society and no man is above the law. It may sound extremely pedantic but where the legal field is concerned such distinctions are very important. As nowhere did the Courts declare that slavery was a constitutional right, Lincoln was free to act the way he did. If slavery was deemed as a constitutional right then the only way he could ban it was to change the constitution. In essence all he did was to respect the court interpretations but change various laws with due process so that the court interpretation will become such that slavery is banned.

I cut out the paragraph you'd made above this in an effort to control response length, but I'd make a distinction between Lincoln/slavery and Trump/abortion that I feel is relevant - objectively looking at them, the issue of Lincoln/slavery was largely legal in nature, while Trump/abortion is by far a social issue in comparison, despite legal rulings on the matter. Abortion always will be a social issue of the highest degree in the US, regardless of the supposed legality or illegality assigned to it by the courts. In fact, I'd venture to say that over the course of the next 100 years, you're likely to see a back and forth action over abortion in that decisions like Roe v Wade and other such cases will be reviewed, overturned, rereviewed, and reinstated. I doubt one ruling, one way or another, will ever stay the course of more than a handful of decades, because society is so conflicted on the issue.

One can argue that abortion is a social issue and in this I agree too. However, since that you have studied the law you should understand the difference between a right and what is constitutionally allowed. According to the boring legal experts I am forced to listen to, it would be extremely difficult to challenge the Roe v Wade ruling due to the basis it was made. Unless there is drastic change in the right to privacy or perhaps a new addition to the constitution defining personhood, it would be impossible. In fact the definition of personhood is a more feasible option which had been tried by various states. However, due to a lack of a majority this change was not able to be made to their state constitution. This is the same “problem” with same sex marriage too. In other countries, their Supreme Court simply refused to try these cases as they view them to be a legislative function rather than a judicial function. So this is a case of shooting yourself in the foot so to speak.

Part of the reason for my late response to this thread is that I took time to carefully think over this section of your response, as I wanted to form as good a statement as I could. Before I begin this, however, I will point out that the statements I make are from as objective a place as I can go, and that not all the things I say are beliefs I fully share. I am just trying to create what I believe is a potential proof based on scientific information.

Consider the fact that, at it's most basic form on earth, life is found in single-celled organisms. Most of these are bacteria, with some exceptions from what I gather. These organisms typically contain basic cell parts - the nucleus being the focal point. In scientific terms, and in regard to unicellular organisms, the nucleus can be considered the "brain" of the organism; it drives all functions of the cell, though it lacks the ability for "complex" thought, so to speak. These organisms typically reproduce via asexual reproduction, in which the organism divides in half to create new organisms. This is something that I feel a lot of people out of tune with science as a whole miss - bacteria are living, reproducing things. They can live, and they can die.

Now. Take a human in comparison. We are without doubt the most complex life form to exist that we are as yet aware of (I personally believe there are species on other planets that are vastly superior to us, but that is another debate entirely). Now, look at one of the most basic tenets of biological science, the levels of human body organization: cell, tissue, organ, organ system, organism. Note that it begins with the cell, which contains all of our DNA, all the genetic information, same as a bacterium. I would venture to say it can be argued that, because the cell is the most basic block in the tower so to speak, that human life can be defined as existing the moment a functional cell is created.

This is a very condensed version of a very complicated argument, again for length reasons. This could easily be a thread of its own.

The discussion on life does not need to be entirely based on science since there is also a philosophical dimension to person hood so I can accept that line of argument. This is again an argument that appeals to nature but I would like to read an even better developed argument from your angle. This again goes back to the design of society and the constitution. By your line of reasoning, a human cell, be it zygote or shed from a born human, can be both accorded person hood status. This means that each time you defecate and shed intestinal cells, you are effectively committing murder of a “person” multiple times over. From this perspective, this argument still isn’t very sound and is unlikely to hold legally. However, since you said it isn’t fully developed, I would like to hear more.

My belief on religion is that it is a power mechanism, the churches will never be satisfied until they control all aspects of life directly or indirectly. However, I too will refrain from delving deeply into religion, as you said in a later post, its too touchy for public forums. In private, by all means, we can discuss it.

Well this again is due to the corrupt nature of man. It is my belief that true Christianity does not condone the power struggles that many modern Churches love. It is about the relationship with God and the fellowship/priesthood of all believers. The Church is simply meant to be the body of Christ and a place for believers to congregate and worship/grow in the lord.

I find it interesting, however I am most well versed in criminal law specifically, and I am not seeking to work in the legal field. Much of my education in law derives from classes specifically geared toward a strictly criminal justice approach, meaning that we study only certain sections in any great detail (such as due process and procedural laws and such). However, of my own volition and through other courses, I have picked up a good deal of legal knowledge. I am not, however, a lawyer.

That is sure nice, doing stuff you like. You should listen to those horrible legal droning that I am forced to endure. Maybe I need to find a subject that I enjoy doing.

I read the whole add-on, I just reduced for space. I think you make some valid points there, regarding powers of the branches and such, and I would wholeheartedly agree with your statement above - it all boils down to understanding and personal ideologies of what government and constitutionality are. Also, I would suspect the difference in view might be a byproduct of differing nationalities.

The main problem here is that this concept of society is not codified and a lot of it is derived from the ancient classical philosophers. A lot of it is based on innate understanding and usually those with a politics or legal background. This means that there is still no universal agreement on this.

I realize this was not addressed to me, but I would simply like to point out that the 14th Amendment applied the entire Bill of Rights to the states, the first amendment shouldn't have been exclusionary in this regard. Now, obviously the first was the object of intense debate, for a 1900s example Id cite Everson again, that was the '40s and they were still determining the extent of legal application of the first amendment. Simply food for thought, I'm sure this can be debated all day long.

This can be attributed to the fact that courts are “lazy” and don’t want to consider too many arguments. Also, how the case proceed depends very much on the plaintiff’s arguments. The best example where this concept was explained to me was with the anti-miscegenation statute. In Pace v Alabama, they tried the constitutionality of the criminality of interracial sex itself but not the law itself which was later found to be unconstitutional. The problem arose when people thought that constitutionality of criminalising meant that the law itself was constitutional. It is the equivalent of putting the cart in front of the horse.

It may seem odd to us now but that was generally the way interpretation was done back then; very narrowly. This is partly due to the desire to prevent unwanted possible implications when past judgements are often used as precedents to aid judgement in current cases. That is the logic that is used in the legal field.

It's a highly technical issue when considered from all sides. The court of that era was interesting, to say the least.

Was it even technical? It seems very obvious as to what a constitutional right was and what the constitution was silent on. As I explained, slavery is undoubted constitutionally allowed back then as it wasn't banned. This is somewhat similar to why the right to life does not mean the right to die. These are the stuff that bores me to death especially when the conceptual differences are so glaring.