Abortion on Demand

Life is precious.

This is an important phrase. Anti-abortion campaigners use this phrase to try and force us to see a foetus not only as an example of “life” but also as something “precious”. I’m not going to rebut these implications, many others have done so and probably in much better fashion than I could. I find, however, that this phrase is one of the most compelling arguments in favour of abortion. Life is indeed precious. Precious things require a lot of dedication, a lot of resources, a lot of time and often a lot of love to protect them and nurture them. Love, time, dedication and resources are not simply things that can be plucked from the air on a whim, however. These things come from other people, and at a higher level of abstraction, they come from society. Life is precious, yes, but life is also a burden, one most often borne by other people.

So why, then, do we insist upon forcing more and more burdens upon not only other people, whose lives we should have very little say over, but society as a whole? This oh so wonderful country we live in likes to utter the phrase “Abortion on Demand” with such bile and vitriol that one would be forgiven for assuming this act they were speaking of was akin to raping a child while forcing it to watch it’s parents bleed and die. I’m not being reactionary or sensationalistic, one need only listen to the many debates that have been had over the years in the Irish media to hear the implied horror and disgust infused into the phrase.

It’s interesting to deconstruct the thinking behind these utterances. The common criticism of widespread provision of abortion as a family planning option is that if there were Abortion on Demand, Irish women would be having abortions every other week and it would promote promiscuous and unhealthy behaviour. The reality, however, is that Irish education standards where sex and sexuality is concerned are shockingly lacking and it all boils down to the pervasive attitude in Irish society that sex is dirty and wrong and anything to do with sex that is not a beautiful bouncing baby (or a half dozen) is immoral. The reality is that an estimated 10 Irish women (and their partners, in some circumstances) every day travel to England for the express purpose of having an abortion. I was on a plane to Manchester with some of these women in 2011. They were quiet, they looked anxious and they seemed deeply saddened by their situation. The reality is some of those potential babies were deeply wanted.

The reality is pregnancy and delivery and nursing and diaper changing and teething and potty training and childcare and medical bills and all the hundreds of other complications that bringing a child into the world thrusts upon a parent, these are not things that everyone can survive and more importantly these are not things that everyone wants to go through. The reality is many women end up unwillingly sacrificing their dreams, their careers, their education, their financial stability and their happiness in order to go through a pregnancy they do not want or cannot handle. Because other people give them no other choice. Because any other choice would make them cast out and ostracized. Because they can’t afford to travel outside the country. Because society tells them what they want is not the important. Because society tells women “once you get pregnant, there is no way out.”

The reality is Abortion on Demand does not end lives, it saves lives. It saves the lives of women from situations they do not want or cannot cope with. The reality is if Abortion on Demand is what the women of Ireland deserve after so many decades of religious and patriarchal domination at the hands of men who think they can tell women what to do with their own bodies. The reality is, Abortion on Demand is the future of Ireland.

Peace,
dj357

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The Trouble With Porn…

…is that even smart people like to misrepresent and attack it. Taslima Nasreen says “Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure” and that she is against pornography in that she is against abuse and degradation. She is, however, for erotica and provides the contrasting definitions of pornography and erotica, attributed to Diana Russell.

Pornography: Material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.

Erotica: Sexually suggestive or arousing material that is free of sexism, racism, and homophobia, and respectful of all human beings and animals portrayed.

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In Focus: The Bible

A lot of the time Christians will point to the Bible and say, “look, Jesus said if we believe in Him, and accept the rest of the stuff regarding how we live our lives etc… we’ll be rewarded with eternal life at His side.”

If I took you aside and said, “Look, I have this magic door, okay? Now, imagine the most utopian situation you can. Naked, buxom women everywhere, money, fame, whatever you like. Right, now if you just believe in me, when you walk through that door, it will all be waiting for you there.”  You get that look on your face like it’s all far too good to be true, but your reticence is tempered by your imagination and desire. You hum and haw and you spend a few minutes trying to peek behind, around and even through the magic door but all to no avail and so then you cunningly ask me what the catch is. To which I smilingly respond, “Well, if you don’t believe in me and you walk through that door, you’ll find eternal pain, torment, damnation and suffering with no hope of any form of reprieve. Ever.”

This is Christianity’s offer. Would you seriously consider it? Seriously…? Or would you realise that it is not quite the “offer you can’t refuse” it appears to be and simply tell me to go fuck myself?

Peace,
dj357

Imagine…

…if we treated sports like we do sex. Only HBO would regularly show scenes of people playing sport in their shows, ESPN subscriptions would be listed anonymously on credit card transactions, late night tv would have adverts for sports chat lines where women naughtily talked of goals and tackles, men would frequent footie bars where fully dressed women kick balls around, it would be illegal in some countries for a fan of one sport to play with a fan of another sport, and in most countries they definitely couldn’t get married. It would even be illegal to wear a team jersey in public in most civilised countries. Not that hard to imagine though is it?

Objectivity means caring about Truth

This, however, has clearly flown right over the head of Fr. Vincent Twomey, a retired Professor of Moral Theology. He prepared a series of course work for Hibernia College, a teacher training college in Dublin, and his course notes in the religious education module dealing with non-religion made claims such as “What bothers very few of its latter-day exponents is the fact that atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, Fascism and Marxism…” and “Atheism has had, historically speaking, a negative effect on society.”

Listening to this clip of Mr. Twomey speaking with Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland, one may notice that Mr. Twomey makes a large effort to try and claim that both his course work and Catholicism in general are, indeed, objective. As the title of this blog post says, however, being objective means caring about truth and claiming that “atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, Fascism and Marxism…” means throwing truth out the window, thereby discounting any form of objectivity.

As mentioned by Michael in the audio clip Nazism, Fascism and Marxism are all unique ideologies entirely distinct from both atheism (itself not an ideology) and humanism. Furthermore, humanism is an ideology that is exquisitely focused upon preventing large-scale suffering, which is completely at odds with the results of Nazism and Fascism. I won’t delve into the issue of atheism in Nazi and Fascist parties and states as Michael covered enough relevant examples in the audio clip and in many of his recent debates, but I will reiterate that neither Stalin nor Hitler committed their crimes against humanity on the back of a lack of belief in God/god(s)(aka atheism).

To be objective one must favour truth and fact above all else, and Mr. Twomey’s thinking is cleared clouded by his Catholic education. It would be hard, I’d imagine, to be a Catholic Priest and a Professor of Moral Theology and be wholly objective and critical when discussing religion.

Peace,
dj357

C.O.D. Modern Warfare 3 Review

Having read reviews of MW3 and finding a few of them (and a lot of internet people) saying that it was shit because it’s no different than the others I decided I would check it out for myself and try to be objective about it (in so far as that’s possible for an opinionated gamer such as myself).

The first thing I have to say is, yes, it is no different from MW and MW2 and in a lot of ways no different from any other “AAA” FPS in the last 5 years. The story isn’t terribly immersive and the characters, while pithy, tend to spew over-used cliches. It works for the whole ‘action movie’ aspect of the Call of Duty series but it can be a bit grating at times. The other major thing I have to say is shame on Activision and Infinity Ward. The Gaming Liberty‘s review of MW3 says:

“The story is hardly inspiring, the characters are as transparent as ever and it’s just as throwaway as you think it is, but who cares?”

They then go on to give the game a score of 9/10. I’m sorry but the story and characters in a game are worth FAR more than a measly 10%. If the story and characters of a Legend of Zelda game or an Uncharted game or any other game worth spending hours and money on were worth that much then they would not be the great games they are. Story and characters are there to immerse you in the world, without that you are simply working some buttons and levers to achieve some random objective which may or may not be fun. Even cutesy, small-scale games like Patapon and Mad Blocker Alpha have the story and characters being far more than a measly 10% of the entire game as that pretty much IS the game.
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World Atheist Convention: Day 2 (Super, Super Late Edition)

As I haven’t been blogging for months, I completely missed the fact that I never actually posted this piece. While it’s remarkably out of date (back in June for cripes’ sake!) it’s still got enough content in it that I can’t leave it sitting in my drafts. Enjoy!

[08/06/2011]
Unfortunately due to a lack of internet access and other things during the weekend I wasn’t able to keep hugely up to date with blog posts on the conference and I also missed the early sessions on Sunday morning, which is a shame as I missed the awesome Maryam Namazie who I hear was on form as ever, but I’m here to add my voice to the many others reporting from the event.
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