TCS Daily


Is Persuasion Possible?

By Douglas Kern - June 14, 2006 12:00 AM

Dear Obscure Conservative Legal Guy:

What does a conservative have to do to engage the culture in a substantive argument? I'm a senior editor at a major conservative magazine, and I've just written a book, The Party of Death, that assesses the history, internal logic, and destiny of the pro-death movement in the United States. I wrote the book in a calm, lucid style, backed with scads of scholarly citations and hard facts, all to make a pro-life case in a mature and responsible way. Yet if my reviews are any indication, hardly anyone wants to engage with my right reason and thoughtful rhetoric. Heck, one of the senior writers at my own magazine just wrote a negative review of my book in which he pelts me with such verbal stink-bombs as "Give me liberty, and give me death!" and "Don't tell me what to do with my own body!" When this kind of baby-talk represents the zenith of critical responses to my book, it makes me want to throw in the towel and simply hurl books full of red meat to the conservative masses. Why do I even bother?

Yours miserably,

Dejected in DC


Dear Dejected:

Chin up! You should have known you were on the right track when your chief detractor dubbed his review "A Frigid and Pitiless Dogma." Yes, I know you responded to his criticisms with your usual clarity and intelligence, but I would have responded with: "'Frigid and Pitiless?' 'Frigid and Pitiless?' Oh, say it in a sexy voice, you filthy English rascal, and then kiss me like a stranger!" Those frigid, pitiless dogmas of yours are your book's best qualities. Don't fear the frigidity -- embrace it!

Let us grant your detractors their strongest point: in the best of all pro-life worlds, unwilling innocents would suffer appalling pains in order to affirm an abstract principle whose abrogation creates little to no social harm, and frequently a great deal of social good. The creation and destruction of embryos for stem cell research (for example) could yield massive medical breakthroughs while inflicting no damage to our society's affluence, safety, or reputation. The swift extermination of the massively handicapped would save huge sums of money while relieving the distress of the many blameless people who must care for those poor souls. Make no mistake: the pro-death approach is usually cheaper and more convenient than the pro-life alternative. Similarly, any pro-life progress will require more laws, more prosecutions, more regulation, more bureaucrats, and more mostly harmless people incarcerated at great expense to the public -- all to impose unfair burdens that the bearers don't want and don't deserve. The pro-life position is inescapably a call to suffering, with no hope that such suffering will ever be rewarded or compensated in this life.

Let us further grant that all the great tyrants of the twentieth century have couched their evil in the language of noble suffering. How many wars could have been avoided, how many horrors could have been forsaken if leaders simply left ordinary people to live their lives in peace, free from the insufferable bullying of unachievable utopian morals? Given the extraordinary mischief that tends to follow when dictators inflict suffering in the name of some capitalized good (Equality! The Motherland! Justice!), might we be wise to focus our attention on the small achievable goods of order and prosperity, leaving the rest to individual consciences?

We can concede the compassion inherent in the first objection. We can acknowledge the wisdom inherent in the second objection. But every society rests on some kind of non-negotiable abstract good for which ordinary people can and will be called upon to suffer, even unto death. This bitter truth makes no sense to the comfortable modern mind, or to the reviewers of your book. But wise men know: the question is not if we will suffer without compensation, but when, and for what. And your "frigid, pitiless dogma" answers those terrible questions as well as any named alternative.

As good children of modernity, we can understand suffering in the name of self-defense. We can understand suffering as deferred gratification. We can understand suffering in order to achieve a tangible goal. But -- suffering to achieve a spiritual end? Suffering simply to affirm a point? It's incomprehensible. Oh, we hear about the seminarian who chooses celibacy, or the soldier who seeks out a dangerous combat assignment, but we assume that these men aren't really suffering because they chose their situations. Or we assume that they're just plain nuts. In our society, given the choice, no sensible person would choose to suffer without recompense. Unrewarded suffering for the sake of a capitalized word? Madness!

And yet without such suffering a free society can't remain free. Take that hill, Private Snuffy! You'll die on that mission, of course. But if you don't do it, two other men will perish in your place. As a purely rational matter, there's no reason for Private Snuffy to take that hill. Why die for an abstract good? Heroism, Honor, The Country, The Team -- those are big capitalized concepts, the kind that only nannies and schoolmarms enforce. And yet the survival of a free society depends on a great many Private Snuffies taking a great many hills in the name of goods much greater than themselves and their self-interests.

Another example: the Bad Guys have taken control of the government. It irritates you, but you can bear the change; you still have your job, your possessions, and your freedom. Then a family of the Hated Minority appears on your doorstep; they want to hide in your attic. The sane, self-interested decision is to turn them away. Why should you risk your well-being in order to prolong the freedom of these strangers by a few more days? How can you endanger your own family in the name of an abstract good? And yet it is through just such irrational decisions that the dignity of a society is preserved or destroyed.

We tend to forget this fact because enlightened self-interest allows us to coast on moral inertia for a long, long time. Many people (and many societies) can drift along for years and years without confronting the need for sacrificial suffering. But no man knows when the Dies Irae will come. And when it comes, the question of abstract goods will cease to be quite so abstract.

It's not surprising that your chief critic repeatedly accuses you of engaging in crypto-religious apologetics. Lately, the big ideas belong almost exclusively to the holy. Theologians are perhaps the last thinkers in the Western world who can speak with confidence about suffering in the name of a higher good. Time was when honest atheists bristled at the notion that religion held the monopoly on sacrificial suffering. Time was when the noble pagan could say: "I don't need your stinking God and phony mumbo-jumbo to embrace the higher goods. I can suffer and die for Truth, Justice, and Honor without any help from imaginary deities." Now, the less-than noble pagan tells us: "Where do you holy rollers get off telling me to embrace higher goods? Truth, Justice, Honor -- it's all schoolboy fantasy, all the snake oil of bullies and con men. I am the boss of me. Let's go to the Olive Garden." Atheism and philosophy handed religion the keys and the deed to transcendent goods, all in exchange for the right to live exclusively for one's self. Some deal. The garlic bread at the Olive Garden isn't that tasty.

Once the gods of the copybook headings are overthrown and the last priest is hung with the entrails of the last social worker, what's left? With what do we answer our vexing questions of morality and ethics? Emotionalism? ("The little man in my elbow likes stem cell research. So stem cell research is good. Respect my feelings. Why won't you respect my feelings?") Sentimentality? ("What -- antagonize that young, inconveniently pregnant woman who wants to go to college? We mustn't do that, ever, ever, ever, because it's just mean. Let her get on with her life! Her liiiiiiiiiiiife!") Faux realism? ("People will do what they want, and what they want is to snuff out Uncle Freddy when the colostomy bag gets too stinky, and tough-minded souls like us had just better learn to live with it.") Empty tribalism? ("Stem cell research is good for me and mine! Is it bad for you and yours? Poopy on them! It is good for me and mine! Mine, mine, mine!") We traipse through the land of Do As You Please, untethered, unguided, unmoored, incapable of suffering for anything of value, and easy prey for those who will endure suffering to achieve mastery over us. We need an objective good, a polestar by which to navigate in the ocean of our inchoate intuitions and preferences -- which, too often, amount to Do As You Please with a long face. We need something to draw us out of sterile self-interest, so that our future may contain any selves worth any interest. We need careful arguments and shrewd insights -- the kind your book supplies in great quantities, Dejected in DC -- and we need them to be every bit as "frigid" and "pitiless" as your critics find them to be. Bold truths don't come with childproof caps.

The conflict between your worldview and that of your chief critic adumbrates the eternal clash of libertarian visions. The thin version of libertarianism understands itself to be freedom from dogma; it seeks liberation from every unchosen demand and every unwilled outcome. The thick version of libertarianism seeks freedom between dogmas; it strives to create the greatest possible space for virtuous men to balance the competing claims of worthy goods in a world where not every good can be fully realized. Thick libertarianism accepts the possibility of transcendent goods that must prevail over other freedoms; thin libertarianism must worship the god of freedom to the exclusion of all others, even when that freedom eats itself. Thin libertarianism says "I am the boss of me! Give me liberty or give me death!" Thick libertarianism says "I have many bosses; in freedom, I can serve them best."

You, Dejected in DC, are a thick libertarian. (No jokes, please.) You have laid before the world a great banquet of logic and history and reasoning, all in the service of your contention that the balance of our laws and culture should shift more toward the transcendent good of life -- even if freedom is somewhat diminished thereby. The thin libertarians are having a food fight with your banquet. "Theologians, monks, scolds, grad-school debaters, logic-choppers, and schoolmarms!" they cry. It's the intellectual equivalent of John Belushi heaving a plate of spaghetti. Ignore these "critics." They would pillory any commanding idea in this fashion. Those who can be persuaded will join you at the table.

Admittedly, most of the remaining noble pagans already agree with you. In a sense, you are indeed preaching to the choir. So what? To seek to persuade the last reasonable men is a noble undertaking. "Noble" is a suspect word to your detractors. But that's the problem, isn't it?

Yours affectionately,

Obscure Conservative Legal Guy

Douglas Kern is a TCS contributor and lawyer living in Northern Virginia.

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47 Comments

Alive Without a Brain
Sometimes people suffer terrible head trauma from tragic accidents, and while their bodies can be kept alive the brain has ceased to function. It's called brain death. Yes, they're human beings with beating hearts and filling lungs, but they're no longer alive as sentient beings.

By calmly applying the same logic, an embryo is not a sentient being.

-------------------

Neurulation in the normal human embryo
Ciba Found Symp, 1994;181:70-82; discussion 82-9

...At stage 13 (4 weeks) the neural tube is normally completely closed. SECONDARY NEURALATION, which begins at stage 12, is the differentiation of the caudal part of the neural tube from the caudal eminence (or end-bud) without the intermediate phase of a neural plate.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?
cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8005032&dopt=Abstract

-------------------

The Embryonic Human Brain: An Atlas of Developmental Stages, 2nd ed.
by Ronan O' Rahilly & Fabiola Muller
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1999
ISBN: 0-471-25450-9

Stage 12: Closure of the Caudal Neuropore and the Beginning of Secondary Neurulation

Stage 13: The Closed Neural Tube and the First Appearance of the Cerebellum

Stage 14: The Future Cerebral Hemispheres

http://library.primate.wisc.edu/collections/books/embryo.html

I rhampton describing himself again?
If sentience were a requirement before right to life can be respected, liberals as a whole should spend their times looking over their shoulders.

The Noble Pagan knows what Rhampton does not
Rhampton, you silly fellow, you desperately need to read a book that is immeasurably more scientific than Descartes. It's called DE ANIMA in Latin, and it concerns the soul, which is described by Aristotle, a noble pagan par excellence in the estimation of Saint Thomas Aquinas, as that which animates and organizes a biologiical organism. Your embryo has a soul in Aristotelian terms. Your terms are a reduction of the Aristotelian notion to the intellectual function of the soul. Noble Pagans and educated Catholics and Protestants know better.

How does one explain Hampton then?
If Hampton started as we all do does it follow that his intelligence never developed? Obviously the Left's arguments all lead back to the "life not worth living focal point." In this the annointed will tell us who lives and dies. In their little world they are the equals of God. Hence they can justify what is done in the name of mankind. Such was the rationale of Hitler and Stalin.

Who'd expect less of Hampton. By the way if lack of measureable intelligence justifies killing, do you live your life in fear of abortionists discovering you?

Interesting comment...
would you please elaborate on "Your terms are a reduction of the Aristotelian notion to the intellectual function of the soul."?
Thank you

Sentience and Pain
sentience:
1. The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.
2. Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.

----------------

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
At the oversight hearing: "On Pain of the Unborn"
Arthur L. Caplan PhD , November 1, 2005

...A variety of groups and commissions in the U.K. and researchers in the U.S. and other nations have, in recent years, examined the question of WHEN A FETUS CAN FEEL PAIN. None of them has reached a consensus that is reflected in the proposed legislation.

For example, five years ago the Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience in the House of Lords found that a fetus may be able to sense some "form of pain sensation or suffering" when the cortex has begun forming connections with the nerves that transmit pain signals. This occurs "AFTER 23 WEEKS OF GROWTH."

A year later another distinguished group of physicians from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists determined that a fetus can only feel pain after nerve connections became established between two parts of its brain: the cortex and the thalamus. This happens ABOUT 26 WEEKS FROM CONCEPTION.

...This year a meta-study -- a review of existing medical studies into fetal pain -- was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The paper concluded that in reviewing all recent published studies that a fetus's neurological pathways that allow for the 'conscious perception of pain' do not function until AFTER 28 WEEKS' GESTATION.

http://judiciary.house.gov/OversightTestimony.aspx?ID=491

Arthur L. Caplan PhD. is Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics, Univesity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania.

Science and the Soul
In measurable terms (Sceince) there is no soul. It's an article of faith and has no legal weight.

I presume this will be what you tell St Peter?
Spoken with all the soulfulness of a lawyer.

Now are we to believe the experts or our lying eyes?
Who has ever watched a fetus in the womb smile or move and say this can feel no pain? Who can say this isn't a person?

Hampton can. But then we all can say that Hampton isn't a person.

Aristotle vs. Descartes on ESCR
'Love to, RSW.

Aristotle, "De Anima." The soul is the animating principle of a biological organism. A plant has a soul of sorts, as does an animal. Look for the soul where something has its own animating principle. A human soul has various functions. Included are nutritive power, a power the human soul shares with a plant soul; locomotive power, which many animals' souls have; appetitive power, which animals also have; and rational power, which only a human soul has. Contrary to rhampant ignorance and confusion on the subject of biology, as serious an early scientist as Aristotle believed in the soul. Contrary to rhampant ignorance and confusion on the subject of religion, Augustine and Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that the soul is in a biological organism.

A major departure from this basic common sense is Descartes. See "Meditations on First Philosophy." The soul is conflated with the intellect, and is assumed to be the self, and is assumed to be fully separable from the body. In Aquinas' mind, the soul is distinct, but not separable in this life, and if it were separate this would not be the self, because the human being is a composite of soul and body.

Something I learned from a guy named Patrick Lee (you can find something by him on Amazon.com) is that the legal justification (from something the federal government did in the 80s) for describing brain-death as the cessation of life . . . is a basically Aristotelian move. Going along with anti-scientists like (ahem) Peter Singer, blokes like our rhampantly confused friend here think: "Brain-death is cessation of life, obviously the legal justification for the cessation of human life means embryos are not living humans!" So they agree with Descartes that the soul is rightly identified with the intellect; but they disagree with Descartes that such a thing exists. It's not an unsurprising move; Descartes separated the soul from what is scientifically observable, so it's no wonder if a non-religious person in the wake of Descartes gives up on the idea of the soul altogether.

But Church history sides with Aristotle in not severing the soul from what is scientifically observable. So does United States law, contrary to rhampant ignorance of the subject. The idea behind the legality of brain-death and cessation of life is more like this: "Brain-death shows that this person's body is no longer animated and organized, therefore this person no longer has a soul." The lack of measurable brain waves in a 2-day old embryo shows no such thing, of course. The embryo has a soul because it is a healthy, organized, animated, growing biological organism. The embryo has a human soul; it has the sort of soul a human being has when that human being is a 2-day old embryo. At that the nutritive power of the soul is in action, and other powers of the soul are yet to awaken; but the soul itself is there and is functioning just as it should be.

That reference to "something the federal government did in the 80s": I can get you more information on that, but not immediately. After a week or so when I return to Waco from Houston, I should be able to track down in my notes the name Patrick Lee gave me of the act or the study or the document or the institute or whatever it was. But you'll have to email me: markboonejesusfreak @ yahoo . com.

One of the worst essays ever published at TCS
What rubbish.

Keeping a being "alive" for the sake of keeping it alive is...heh, it's a pathetic fallacy. There are scores of us who would never value being a Schiavo. In the beginning is the body.

Ancient religious traditions such as those of the Jewish Essenes and the Mandeans (two of the roots of Christianity) conceived that a fetus is not a human being until it reaches three months old. Stem-cell harvesting would be a perfectly spiritual practice.

Oh, and celibates ARE dis-eased minds. They do not comprehend the roots, rhymes, or reasons behind the advent of the practice of celibacy.

Essenes vs. Aristotle
The medieval era is the story of the great peace between Jerusalem and Athens. Say what you like about the Essenes and the Mandeans, but Augustine and Aquinas followed Aristotle.

The modern secular absolute denial of the soul is a rejection of all three philosophers. Athens just isn't the same any more, as Douglas Kern pointed out. Most of the descendants of the Athenians live in Jerusalem. Or Rome. Or Canterbury. Or Waco.

Legal Souls?
For the soul to have any scientific meaning, it must be demonstratably measurable to any and all objective observers.

So where is the soul when a person's brain dies but their body is alive? Well, that depends on your belief system because the soul is a supernatural concept, much like ghosts or spirts.

Some people do not believe there is a soul, others believe each person has a unique, individual soul, still others believe there is only one universal soul of which we are all a part of. Each one of these people and their beliefs are protected by the Constitution.

So you are free to believe a soul is a created the moment the sperm pentrates the egg, and I am free to believe otherwise. However, I can not force you to make a medical decision based on my ethical beliefs -- likewise you can not force me to make a medical decision based on my ethical beliefs.

That's freedom.

Correction
"likewise you can not force me to make a medical decision based on YOUR ethical beliefs."

Freedom
"The modern secular absolute denial of the soul is a rejection of all three philosophers"

In our Constitutionally protected society, you can believe Aristotle is right or wrong without consequence!

Eyes Without a Face
Can a fetus smile if it doesn't have a mouth or even a face? Of course not! Can a fetus feel pain if it doesn't have a brain? Of course not!

So the question is, WHEN can a fetus feel pain? Do you believe the day-old embryo can "feel" pain? Why or Why not?

No Subject
May I ask what exactly, my stubborn friend, it is that you believe is the right criterion by which a civilized society should identify human life and human death?

Brain Activity.
The criterion IS the presence of brain activity, because that is a measurable phenomena, AND because no one has ever been revived once all brain activity had ceased, AND because most (if not all) of the U.S. States have passed 'brain death' legislation.

Thus, brain activity MUST be present for a sentient human to be considered alive.

Angels on the head of a pin
Unfortunately there are too many cases of people who seem to have no brain activity who suddenly regain brain function, sometimes after years in coma. What we see hear is nothing less than an appeal for the "life not worth living" doctrine. Unfortunately we have seen medical authorities in various jurisdictions make decisions that would not have been unusual in the Third Reich. This is hardy an ethnical standard to aspire to nor ethical beliefs to boast of nor defend.

No Subject
Rhampton,

You have only answered half of my question. You speak of the criterion for identifying the cessation of the life of a human of mature years, but you are rhampantly unclear as to the criterion for identifying human life.

"Thus, brain activity MUST be present for a sentient human to be considered alive." Please be more precise.

Perhaps you suggest that sentience must be present for a biological organism to be considered alive? But then what of the lovely jacaranda tree? Is it alive, or is life to be identified with consciousness?

Perhaps you mean that brain activity must be present for an organism to be considered human? But then what of the 2-day human embryo? Is a human being merely a stage in the cycle of the life of a biological organism, or is a human being a biological organism?

Or do you mean no more than that brain activity must be present for a living human to be considered sentient? But then you acknowledge human life in the embryo.

Or do you mean no more than that brain activity must be present for a human of mature years to be considered alive? Again, you acknowledge human life in the embryo.

Duh?
One has to respond then how can we consider you a human if you developed from the same object you say is incapable of these things. Ergo, you since you did develop from this you cannot think, feel or see. Hence there is no reason not to kill you.

There is however a penalty for the taking of life
And we wondered where Hitler recruited the personnel to man the ovens. Can anyone doubt that the Totenkopf guards muttered the same chant as Hampton?

Hogwash
There have been several cases of individuals in coma for years and declared brain dead reviving.

Once again we witness the nonsense that attempts to separate the body and mind into two different entities. What Hampton hasn't said is where this leads. Please refer to Holland and "lives not worth living." This is the abyss that you stare into with such criteria, which presumes man has the right to take the life of an innocent being against their will.

The last society that adhered to this standard was Hitler's Germany. A society that will not defend the weakest amongst us has degenerated beyond the point of redemption. Hampton is one of those without a moral compass who demonstrates persuasion is not possible where ethics and morality have died.

Thank you...
for taking the time to do a fine job of explaining your statement. I studied econ in college and graduate school and only took a cursory philosophy course in my junior year. As such my only exposure to Descartes was via mathematics.
Thanks again for your kind reply.

Me, Myself, and "I"
There was a time I could not think or feel. "I" was only a tiny collection of cells. As weeks passed, my brain developed in stages and at some point a sentient being became self-aware -- a consciousness capable of concieving the notion of "I."

That's when "I" became "alive".

In time yet to come, my brain will cease to function and I will no longer be able to conceive of the notion of "I" or even be minimally self-aware. That's the point at which "I" die, even if my body is kept alive for organ donation.

When do you leave the unthinking stage?
One has to shudder at where this leads ciovilization.

I Think, Therefore I Am
Yes, as I've said before a human embryo is alive -- and so is the body of a brain dead accident victim kept alive on a respirator.

But a human being (and all mammals for that matter) are more than a bunch of living organized cells -- there has to be minimal brain activity. It is the brain which orchestrates a colony of interdependent cells (each gifted with a unique life of their own) to be capable of conceiving itself as one.

But cells, like trees and other plants, do not have a consciousness -- thus we do not view their life and death in the same way. That's why killing trees for Christmas celebrations or killing brain cells for an alhoholic "buzz" is legally and culturally acceptable.

Gray Matters
A person in a coma is NOT brain dead, because their brain still has minimal electrical activity.

What Is Coma?
by Mihai D. Dimancescu, M.D.
Chairman of the Board, Coma Recovery Association, Inc.

COMA REPRESENTS THE LAST AND LOWEST LEVEL OF FUNCTION OF THE BRAIN PRIOR TO DEATH. As a general rule, if a patient in a coma survives the first seven to ten days following the injury to the brain, then long-term survival can be expected. The quality of that survival remains a subject of the debate.

http://www.comarecovery.org/whatiscoma.shtm

Legalized Brain Death
We're already there, TJ. As I've said before, brain death is a legal concept accepted in most, if not all, states.

Defining Death
President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research
July 1981

Florida in 1980 became the 26th state with a statutory "definition" of death. Its statute also draws on the ABA model and Uniform Brain Death Act in only explicitly recognizing "IRREVERSIBLE CESSATION OF THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ENTIRE BRAIN," but draws on the Capron-Kass approach by implicitly acknowledging the cardiopulmonary standard. It provides that the brain-based standard is to be used' 'where respiratory and circulatory functions are maintained by artifical means of support so as to preclude a determination that these functions have ceased." The Florida statute also specifically requires that determinations of death be made by two physicians, including one specialist, and that the family be notified of the procedures used to determine death; the statute also draws on Sections 2 and 3 of the AMA model in insulating from liability those acting in accordance with its terms.

http://www.bioethics.gov/reports/past_commissions/defining_death.pdf

Dictionary.com
A person in a coma is NOT brain dead, because their brain still has minimal electrical activity.

What Is Coma?
by Mihai D. Dimancescu, M.D.
Chairman of the Board, Coma Recovery Association, Inc.

COMA REPRESENTS THE LAST AND LOWEST LEVEL OF FUNCTION OF THE BRAIN PRIOR TO DEATH. As a general rule, if a patient in a coma survives the first seven to ten days following the injury to the brain, then long-term survival can be expected. The quality of that survival remains a subject of the debate.

http://www.comarecovery.org/whatiscoma.shtm

Sad, just as in Holland we get those who follow in Himmler's footsteps
How does this differ from Holland or Himmler's Third Reich?

You quote an article that mentions a week
We are talking about comas lasting years. But again you choose to play God. And that about sums up the Left's position.

This is how the world winds up looking into the abyss. Do we wonder how the Germans justified murdering so many millions? No wonder they tried to eliminate God in favor of the secular policies of the National Socialists.

Google.com
Please, before you embarrass yourself any further, learn the meaning of the words you are using incorrectly.

You're confusing PSV (persistent vegetative state) with brain death. For example, Terri Schiavo DID HAD minimal brain activity, that's why she was NOT DECLARED BRAIN DEAD at anytime during her 14 year coma.

Tell Me TJ
What are the laws regarding brain death in your state?

Can't say, we have a brain dead gov
If the people can elected a brain dead politician I suspect they do not tolerate the brain dead clause you promote. I would suspect your state is in a like state.

Before you embarass yourself further I suggest
you not use articles which demonstrate the bankruptcy of your positions. Further you clumsy attempt to change the focus of this tread only reinforces the persistent attempt to distort the issue at hand. How does any thinking individual think he can replace God's authority? How does any moral individual believe he can supplement or replace the wisdom of God?

We have seen the examples of this type of thinking before, in the gulags, the ovens and as Hampton advocates in partial birth abortions. Tell us Hampton do those babies feel pain as a knife is inserted into their skulls and their brains are sucked out?

Would you object to using this method for the execution of convicted murderers?

Unintelligent
Your state does not have a "brain dead" governor -- no state does. You must mean you have an unintelligent governor, which is very different.

Unintelligent (adjective)
without much intelligence; "a dull job with lazy and unintelligent co-workers"
[synonym: stupid | antonym: intelligent]

Sorry, there is no way even a Philadelphia lawyer would win that argument
Our gov. is so brain dead zombies ignore him and wander on mumbling "brains."

Redundant
I do not advocate partial birth abortions because said fetus are LATE-TERM -- meaning the fetus has an advanced brain that is electrically active.

Furthermore, brain dead indivuals can not be executed because they're ALREADY DEAD.

redundant (adjective)
1. Exceeding what is necessary or natural; superfluous.
2. Needlessly wordy or repetitive in expression: a student paper filled with redundant phrases.

Illogical
Regarding an unintelligent Governor vs. a brain dead Governor:

illogical

1. Contradicting or disregarding the principles of logic.
2. Without logic; senseless.

I believe both your definitions fit either category
And apply to most politicians today. Care to ask the readers their opinion?

But you'd have no problem with it if there was no brain activity correct?
In other word you are using repetitive expressions to hide the fact that you are willing to place yourself in the role of God. That you reserve for yourself the role of judge and executioner.

Your argument is a hack job turned in by a fourth rate logic student at a third rate school. Try again.

You might answer the question would you have a problem with partial birth abortion if there was no brain activity?

Would you sanction the same form of execution on others in the same condition?


Let's see Hamption either avoid answering or scurry off.

Brain Death Means No Activity
Correct, I have no problem with it if there was NO brain activity -- that's the definition of brain death. See, you can understand, if you try!

I have little faith in instruments that are imprecise and less in people that play God
However anyone who could sanction such a procedure, whatever the circumstances, has all ready defined himself.

No Subject
Is a human being a biological organism, or a stage in the life of a biological organism?

Sentient Beings...
Even if one concedes that embroys are not yet sentient beings, it is clear that this is merely a temporary condition. The proper comparison is not to a brain-dead person, but to a person in a coma who may one day come out of it. The odds are that an embryo will one day BECOME sentient, which are actually better odds that most in long-term comas.

So the question becomes: What right have you to take away the future sentience of the embryo, clearly a human-to-be just for convenience sake? Answer that one, R?

-Bob

Exactly how is this determined?
By the same methods which physicians admit are less than perfect? But this is trite, what we have here is the imposition of the "life not worth living" plan last implemented by the ***** and cuirrently in use in the Netherlands, where doctors can overule parents, spouses, and other relatives about matters of life and death.

If you ever wondered what kind of man it takes to man the ovens just read Hampton's comments. Especially those supporting partial birth abortion. The milk of compassion runs through his veins by the........

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