# The Morality of Abortion: wiploc and thatguysnephew

#### Wiploc

##### Veteran Member
Wiploc and thatguysnephew are looking for a one-on-one thread in which to discuss the morality of abortion, and whatever other topics we may drift into.

I'm not seeing a debate area of the website anymore. Maybe it used to be here and is gone, or maybe I'm remembering Freeratio.org or Internet Infidels. I get no response from management when I request a one-on-one thread for our discussion. So I'm going to start the discussion here, and see what happens.

It may be that managment will lock this thread, keeping out everyone but the two principles. In that case, the peanut gallery thread will be here.

---

Thatguysnephew is curious about atheist morality, what it's like, how it works. I can tell about my own morality. I'm a utilitarian. I think making people happy is good. Making them unhappy is bad, also known as evil. Forcing people to have children is bad; it makes people unhappy. Forcing people to not have children is bad too. Whether to have children is a private decision, not generally to be interfered with by government, or by churches you don't belong to.

In a free country, you could decide for yourself whether to have children. Freedom is good.

#### thatguysnephew

##### New member
Greetings wiploc,

Thank you for taking the time to engage with me on this topic. I apologize for the delayed reply. Sick family on this end. Well mended now, and sleeping.

"Thatguysnephew is curious about atheist morality, what it's like, how it works."

I am! My curiosity stems from the respect I have for my uncle. He is a well-reasoned atheist. The way he thinks attracts me. He believes that the truth can stand up on its own two feet without having to cover it up behind a curtain that should be paid no attention, or by convincing everyone that the king is clothed when he is in fact not clothed.

I consider myself a utilitarian as well. Perhaps that word is worth more than I know, but using your approximate definition ("I think making people happy is good. Making them unhappy is bad, also known as evil.") I consider myself a utilitarian. This conversation may reveal to me that I am not in fact a utilitarian, but so far I think I am.

"I can tell about my own morality."

Thank you for risking sharing your own viewpoint. It is with you I want to relate. Your thoughts matter to me because you matter to me.

"Forcing people to not have children is bad too."

Agreed.

"Whether to have children is a private decision, not generally to be interfered with by government, or by churches you don't belong to.

In a free country, you could decide for yourself whether to have children. Freedom is good."

There is nothing I disagree with here either.

I get distracted easily. If I digress at any point push me back on topic. I understand that the late Justice Scalia and his colleague Justice Ginsburg were friends who sharpened one another in argument and debate. Friendship requires more than an internet discussion, but I am willing to be sharpened. I have co-workers who are atheists. I have other friends who are atheists. I have family who are atheists. I want to know how to love them well even when engaging in topics that seem to defy political moderation.

Two thoughts that will lead to two questions:

1) A clarification of utilitarianism and how I see myself fitting under that umbrella for the sake of discussing the topic at hand.

2) The defining of personhood from a Biblical perspective, and my understanding of personhood as defined from an atheistic perspective (As with the digressions, push back...no, burn any straw men. Like I said, I want to relate to you, not my idea of you.)

1) Clarification of utilitarianism

The utilitarian's general problem (as told to me in a medical ethics course):

There is a riot about to spring into action in a smaller town. There are two main factions within the city. The impending riot was started when an underboss (a leader, but not the main leader) from one of the factions was murdered. The riot will likely result in a blood bath. A large number of people are about to die at the hand's of their neighbors. The sheriff of the city is understandably worried. He's under pressure and time is of the essence. There is a drifter in town. Has been there three days. The underboss was killed two days ago. The drifter is about to leave town. He'll go beg elsewhere; this town is getting scary. The sheriff arrests the drifter. Interrogates him. Plants evidence on him. Blames him for the murder of the underboss. It wasn't the other faction that killed the underboss. The leaders from the factions come together and review the evidence that the drifter killed the underboss. It's very convincing. The sheriff acted alone. No one is the wiser. The drifter is lethally injected. One person dies. The drifter is unhappy, understandably, but the people who didn't die as a result are happy (or maybe think they're unhappy, but they'll never know how unhappy they would have been).

Murder is wrong. Results in more unhappy than happy. Convicting an innocent person is also wrong even though it may hypothetically result in more happiness.

I reconcile this problem by holding that God knows what is best in the long-run. The sheriff, fearing God, wouldn't blame it on the drifter but would instead trust that God would work out a riot that results in a blood bath for the ultimate good even though the result would be proximately very, very bad. Great big proximate unhappiness for ultimate happiness.

First question: How do you reconcile the utilitarian's general problem? I may have butchered that analogy. I hope that won't take away from the idea that utilitarian's have a problem.

2) Defining of personhood

From the Biblical perspective this is simple. God made all mankind in his image. That gives all mankind an irrevocably large amount of value. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." (One digression, more for the other viewers: if your heart rages at hypocrisy after reading that, good. Maybe those "christians" don't know Christ. Maybe they cling to their own self-righteousness instead of the blood-purchased righteousness of Christ).

Mankind. wiploc, I think I'm going to define that word biologically as Homo Sapiens. I might be in error. Hopefully this conversation will bear that out. (Another digression: Could it be that God made other biological image bearers on some distant planet who aren't Homo Sapiens? Yes, I do.)

My understanding of personhood from the atheistic perspective (or any perspective beyond a biblical perspective) is shallow-ish. The atheistic perspective I've heard is from a medical ethics class. I believe personhood boiled down to five different requirements that were all necessary. One was autonomy. I've forgotten the other four. My concern with that standard of personhood was that it left even up to 5 month old babies without all five requirements of personhood. There are some philosophers out there who would argue that infanticide is just fine. That worldview has worked itself out practically in many cultures and histories.

How do you define personhood, wiploc?

Have a good weekend!
thatguysnephew

#### Wiploc

##### Veteran Member
Greetings wiploc,

Hey!

Welcome to Talk Freethought!

Shall we start with some of the mechanics? I clicked on Reply With Quote, and that provides me with your post, here, that I can interject comments into.

Nested quotes happen: You'll be able to see something I posted, and then what you said about it, and then what I said. Only sometimes they don't. That is, the website's software is acting up. So sometimes the nested quotes won't be there when you wish they were.

And, actually, I misled you above when I said I clicked on Reply With Quote. I right-clicked on it, and then selected Open Link In New Window.That way, when looking at the quote tags confuses me, I can instantly alt-tab over to your original post, which is much clearer than what I see in this dialog box.

A note on netiquette: If you're responding to just part of a post, it's polite to delete the parts you aren't responding to. That way, people reading our discussion won't keep reading the same material over and over to no benefit.

There is a useful Split Quotes button above this box that I'm writing in. On my screen, above this box that I write in, there are three rows of icons. The fifth button from the right looks like a speech balloon from a cartoon. The one just to the right of that is another speech balloon, but colored blue, and containing an exclamation point. (Note for people reading over our shoulders: This is his first discussion board.) If you hover over the blue one, it says Split Quotes.

If you see something you want to respond to, you can place your cursor just behind it, and then click the split quotes button, which will give you an unquote tag to end what I was saying, and a quote tag to start my text up again, and a space between for you to write in.

Probably none of that will make sense until you try it.

Thank you for taking the time to engage with me on this topic. I apologize for the delayed reply. Sick family on this end. Well mended now, and sleeping.

That's good news.

"Thatguysnephew is curious about atheist morality, what it's like, how it works."

I am! My curiosity stems from the respect I have for my uncle.

Right back atcha.

He is a well-reasoned atheist.

Well, thank you.

I don't normally make that brag. But I do make this one: When Christians tell me that atheist morality has no logical foundation, I'm quick to say that it is at least as well-founded as religious morality.

The way he thinks attracts me. He believes that the truth can stand up on its own two feet without having to cover it up behind a curtain that should be paid no attention, or by convincing everyone that the king is clothed when he is in fact not clothed.

I consider myself a utilitarian as well. Perhaps that word is worth more than I know, but using your approximate definition ("I think making people happy is good. Making them unhappy is bad, also known as evil.") I consider myself a utilitarian. This conversation may reveal to me that I am not in fact a utilitarian, but so far I think I am.

I assume that, at bottom, everybody is. Psychopaths excluded. Nobody would say that morality requires behaviors that just make people miserable.

...

1) Clarification of utilitarianism

The utilitarian's general problem (as told to me in a medical ethics course):

There is a riot about to spring into action in a smaller town. There are two main factions within the city. The impending riot was started when an underboss (a leader, but not the main leader) from one of the factions was murdered. The riot will likely result in a blood bath. A large number of people are about to die at the hand's of their neighbors. The sheriff of the city is understandably worried. He's under pressure and time is of the essence. There is a drifter in town. Has been there three days. The underboss was killed two days ago. The drifter is about to leave town. He'll go beg elsewhere; this town is getting scary. The sheriff arrests the drifter. Interrogates him. Plants evidence on him. Blames him for the murder of the underboss. It wasn't the other faction that killed the underboss. The leaders from the factions come together and review the evidence that the drifter killed the underboss. It's very convincing. The sheriff acted alone. No one is the wiser. The drifter is lethally injected. One person dies. The drifter is unhappy, understandably, but the people who didn't die as a result are happy (or maybe think they're unhappy, but they'll never know how unhappy they would have been).

A common response to utilitarianism. I've never heard that exact hypothetical before, but the point is a common one.

Another hypothetical involves a healthy patient under anesthesia. If he is killed so we can harvest his organs, several other lives would be saved. Does a utilitarian prefer to kill one innocent person, or to let several (perhaps equally innocent) people die?

Some say that Ursula K. LeGuin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a criticism of utilitarianism. Others, however, say it criticizes the substitutionary punishment of Jesus. (It's a great story. Quite short. The narrator moves are just fascinatingly weird, unique. I'd provide a link, but I'm not finding one that goes to the actual story rather than to comments. Maybe you've read it.)

The utilitarian response to these hypotheticals is that framing people for murder (or harvesting the organs of healthy people) makes people unhappy. That is the point of the hypotheticals. It is always the point. And so we utilitarians just point this out:

A world in which sheriffs falsify evidence will be unhappier than one in which they don't. A world in which people are afraid to go to the hospital because their organs might be harvested would be unhappier than one where that doesn't happen.

Always, the utilitarian's answer to the hypothetical is that the hypothetical situation is objectionable to utilitarians for utilitarian reasons.

And that's why the hypothetical was raised. Opponents of utilitarianism would never raise a hypothetical that would result in people actually being happier. Suppose someone tried to oppose utilitarianism by positing someone who wanted to play golf on a Sunday rather than go to church. He skips church; he plays golf; everybody lives happily ever after. And the utilitarian's response is "So?"

And the anti-utilitarian knows that. So, in every case, the hypothetical case which is supposed to debunk utilitarianism is actually an illustration of how utilitarianism actually forbids bad things.

...

I reconcile this problem by holding that God knows what is best in the long-run. The sheriff, fearing God, wouldn't blame it on the drifter but would instead trust that God would work out a riot that results in a blood bath for the ultimate good even though the result would be proximately very, very bad. Great big proximate unhappiness for ultimate happiness.

So, yes, you are a utilitarian.

First question: How do you reconcile the utilitarian's general problem? I may have butchered that analogy. I hope that won't take away from the idea that utilitarian's have a problem.

Your hypothetical was good. I hope my response was good too.

2) Defining of personhood

From the Biblical perspective this is simple. God made all mankind in his image. That gives all mankind an irrevocably large amount of value. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." (One digression, more for the other viewers: if your heart rages at hypocrisy after reading that, good. Maybe those "christians" don't know Christ. Maybe they cling to their own self-righteousness instead of the blood-purchased righteousness of Christ).

Mankind. wiploc, I think I'm going to define that word biologically as Homo Sapiens. I might be in error. Hopefully this conversation will bear that out. (Another digression: Could it be that God made other biological image bearers on some distant planet who aren't Homo Sapiens? Yes, I do.)

A person has personality. Dogs have personality, so it is wrong to torture puppies. Dogs have hopes and desires and fears. Brain-dead humans have none of these. A brain-dead human is not a person. Nor is a fertilized human egg cell.

My understanding of personhood from the atheistic perspective (or any perspective beyond a biblical perspective) is shallow-ish. The atheistic perspective I've heard is from a medical ethics class. I believe personhood boiled down to five different requirements that were all necessary. One was autonomy. I've forgotten the other four.

Story of my life. So many valuable lists that I remember just part of.

If a tree could talk, and said things to persuade us that it was conscious, hopeful, fearful, had desires, then it would be wrong to cut down the tree for firewood.

I don't leap to accept the autonomy requirement. Conjoined twins come to mind.

How do you define personhood, wiploc?

I don't claim to have a good robust definition. No more than I imagine you claim to know how ensoulment works.

But you can't be a person without opinions and desires. I think I've given this example before in our email exchange: Suppose a woman wanted an abortion, and her husband objected, and they wound up in court, and the court appointed an attorney to act in the interests of the embryo.

I don't think an embryo can have interests. It doesn't want to live. It doesn't want to die. There is no way to violate its rights.

If you cut someone's hair, that's a violation of rights if they don't want it cut. But if they do want it cut, you can charge money for that. Whether it's a crime or a money-maker depends on what the customer/victim wants. An embryo, not wanting anything, has no rights to be violated.

The instinct to protect children is admirable. This instinct has a strong tendency to make people happier. But you wouldn't want to indulge that instinct if people wound up forbidding chastity on the grounds that it harms sperm cells by not letting them survive by fertilizing eggs. That would be a time when we need to let intellect overrule instinct.

It would be harmful to force unwilling people to have children. And it does no harm to a sperm cell to be denied an egg. Sperm cells don't have opinions, fears, aspirations, hopes, desires. Sperm cells aren't people.

It is the same with embryos.

Pregnant women are definitely people. Unlike embryos, they do have rights.

#### Wiploc

##### Veteran Member
I get distracted easily. If I digress at any point push me back on topic.

Have you seen the new translation of Dante's Inferno? Turns out it's really all about grammar:

Second Circle:
The Serial Comma

One half of this circle is populated by souls who are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons and the infernal mistresses of hell. The other half are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons, and the infernal mistresses of hell. The difference between these two situations seems to matter a lot to both halves. Neither side will listen to you when you suggest that they could avoid this level entirely.

--https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/dantes-nine-circles-of-hell-reimagined-for-linguistic-transgressions

#### thatguysnephew

##### New member
I'm going to try out my netiquette in response to this post...I tried before and it didn't fly.

I find this tweet describing a first date:

The article is about a company that had to pay $5 million in overtime because of a missing serial comma. I was able to watch the video. Fascinating! I couldn't find the article, but that's depressing for the company. In my profession legislation missing the oxford comma actually resulted in patients having only half the amount of money from medicare available for treatments. Another multi-million dollar grammar mistake. Just fiddling: On this page: #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I'm going to try out my netiquette in response to this post...I tried before and it didn't fly. As I said elsewhere, your first post was good. You used color to distinguish your text from mine, and that worked fine. Margo Robbie's body doubles know how to spin. Anytime you wonder how somebody did something in a post, you can click Reply With Quote, as if you were going to reply; but then, instead of replying, you can just look at how the tags were used in that post. Elsewhere, you asked about games. Or you were going to. Offline, I mostly play Splendor and Race for the Galaxy. This is like Puerto Rico, which you're familiar with. But significantly improved. When my wife and I play this one, it's like the card game Spider, a pleasant non-taxing bubblegum pastime. Very nice. Then nebraskacousin#2 visits, and the same game is suddenly about planning ahead and ruthless backstabbing. Nice in a different way. It's just astonishing that a single game lends itself to both of these experiences. - Both games take less than an hour. Splendor is rated at half an hour, which is plausible. Both are quite replayble. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member Probably none of that will make sense until you try it. I imagine there is a delete button if I need it.... We'll see how this goes. He is a well-reasoned atheist. Well, thank you. I don't normally make that brag. But I do make this one: When Christians tell me that atheist morality has no logical foundation, I'm quick to say that it is at least as well-founded as religious morality. Agreed. We all have our presuppositions and the practical implications that they carry. ... 1) Clarification of utilitarianism The utilitarian's general problem (as told to me in a medical ethics course): There is a riot about to spring into action in a smaller town. There are two main factions within the city. The impending riot was started when an underboss (a leader, but not the main leader) from one of the factions was murdered. The riot will likely result in a blood bath. A large number of people are about to die at the hand's of their neighbors. The sheriff of the city is understandably worried. He's under pressure and time is of the essence. There is a drifter in town. Has been there three days. The underboss was killed two days ago. The drifter is about to leave town. He'll go beg elsewhere; this town is getting scary. The sheriff arrests the drifter. Interrogates him. Plants evidence on him. Blames him for the murder of the underboss. It wasn't the other faction that killed the underboss. The leaders from the factions come together and review the evidence that the drifter killed the underboss. It's very convincing. The sheriff acted alone. No one is the wiser. The drifter is lethally injected. One person dies. The drifter is unhappy, understandably, but the people who didn't die as a result are happy (or maybe think they're unhappy, but they'll never know how unhappy they would have been). A common response to utilitarianism. I've never heard that exact hypothetical before, but the point is a common one. Another hypothetical involves a healthy patient under anesthesia. If he is killed so we can harvest his organs, several other lives would be saved. Does a utilitarian prefer to kill one innocent person, or to let several (perhaps equally innocent) people die? Some say that Ursula K. LeGuin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a criticism of utilitarianism. Others, however, say it criticizes the substitutionary punishment of Jesus. (It's a great story. Quite short. The narrator moves are just fascinatingly weird, unique. I'd provide a link, but I'm not finding one that goes to the actual story rather than to comments. Maybe you've read it.) The utilitarian response to these hypotheticals is that framing people for murder (or harvesting the organs of healthy people) makes people unhappy. That is the point of the hypotheticals. It is always the point. And so we utilitarians just point this out: A world in which sheriffs falsify evidence will be unhappier than one in which they don't. A world in which people are afraid to go to the hospital because their organs might be harvested would be unhappier than one where that doesn't happen. Always, the utilitarian's answer to the hypothetical is that the hypothetical situation is objectionable to utilitarians for utilitarian reasons. And that's why the hypothetical was raised. Opponents of utilitarianism would never raise a hypothetical that would result in people actually being happier. Suppose someone tried to oppose utilitarianism by positing someone who wanted to play golf on a Sunday rather than go to church. He skips church; he plays golf; everybody lives happily ever after. And the utilitarian's response is "So?" And the anti-utilitarian knows that. So, in every case, the hypothetical case which is supposed to debunk utilitarianism is actually an illustration of how utilitarianism actually forbids bad things. That response makes sense. Church could kill after all...but golfing may make a person want to kill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfD5My-TSfM) Would you mind defining "happy" for me from your perspective? ... I reconcile this problem by holding that God knows what is best in the long-run. The sheriff, fearing God, wouldn't blame it on the drifter but would instead trust that God would work out a riot that results in a blood bath for the ultimate good even though the result would be proximately very, very bad. Great big proximate unhappiness for ultimate happiness. So, yes, you are a utilitarian. Oh, good! 2) Defining of personhood ... A person has personality. Dogs have personality, so it is wrong to torture puppies. Dogs have hopes and desires and fears. Brain-dead humans have none of these. A brain-dead human is not a person. Nor is a fertilized human egg cell. Torturing puppies is wrong. They have personalities. Agreed. Brain-dead is medically clear. Other scenarios seem more difficult with regard to humans. The fertilized human egg's personhood is the hinge on which this issue swings for a christian. I see from your perspective why a fertilized human egg has no personhood. I have two questions that I think will flesh out your perspective for me. 2a) Does a cow have personality? I'm asking about a commonly killed and eaten animal on purpose. Maybe you can think of a better example to help flesh out your perspective. Maybe some alternate questions would be something like, "Is there a gradient of personhood based on amount of personality in your perspective," or, "Is a human's life worth more than a dog's life, and why is that since they both have personality." 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? This question may be better suited below. I don't leap to accept the autonomy requirement. Conjoined twins come to mind. Ha! I hadn't thought of that. How do you define personhood, wiploc? I don't claim to have a good robust definition. No more than I imagine you claim to know how ensoulment works. Your definition of personhood is more robust than my understanding of how ensoulment works. But you can't be a person without opinions and desires. I think I've given this example before in our email exchange: Suppose a woman wanted an abortion, and her husband objected, and they wound up in court, and the court appointed an attorney to act in the interests of the embryo. I don't think an embryo can have interests. It doesn't want to live. It doesn't want to die. There is no way to violate its rights. If you cut someone's hair, that's a violation of rights if they don't want it cut. But if they do want it cut, you can charge money for that. Whether it's a crime or a money-maker depends on what the customer/victim wants. An embryo, not wanting anything, has no rights to be violated. The instinct to protect children is admirable. This instinct has a strong tendency to make people happier. But you wouldn't want to indulge that instinct if people wound up forbidding chastity on the grounds that it harms sperm cells by not letting them survive by fertilizing eggs. That would be a time when we need to let intellect overrule instinct. It would be harmful to force unwilling people to have children. And it does no harm to a sperm cell to be denied an egg. Sperm cells don't have opinions, fears, aspirations, hopes, desires. Sperm cells aren't people. It is the same with embryos. (I hope I'm not biting off too much of your quote. Not meaning to make the conversation cumbersome to read, but I think it is all pertinent. Suggestions are welcome for how to streamline anything.) It's the soul that gives the embryo personhood from my perspective. I see why a sperm cell and an embryo have the same amount of personhood from your perspective, and why killing an embryo makes sense just like it makes sense to not care one bit about what happens to a sperm cell. Pregnant women are definitely people. Unlike embryos, they do have rights. Women have souls. They're people and have rights. Agreed. This is where the practical tension arises over this issue. Not a tension I want to approach lightly, either. So, if you're reading this and you have had an abortion or were a male who partnered with a woman in making the decision to abort I offer no condemnation to you even as I offer the view that abortion is inherently wrong and makes for the most "unhappy". Your experiences with people who think abortion is wrong may leave you thinking, "That's not possible to not condemn me, but to still condemn my actions." I understand. I wish I could somehow show you kindness from my keyboard, but it would be unkind to try. Words are cheap. (Very small digression: If you're a male who has coerced or pressured a woman into having an abortion so you could continue to live however you want to instead of taking care of her and your child, then for your sake I offer a strong rebuke: Women have rights, stop manipulating or trying to manipulate women.) I think I will return to my 2b) question to flesh out your perspective more. In regard to real-life decisions that flesh and blood are actually making as I write this, I think seeing your perspective on this will help me converse with you and not with a straw man. 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? Maybe kick the age to two months, three months and even 4 or 5 months. Did I get to everything? I'm always concerned I'm going to drop one ball or another. Thanks for engaging with me on this topic, wiploc. Looking forward to seeing you in March. My friend and I like games like you like. Any new games currently on the horizon? #### thatguysnephew ##### New member Regarding what I think was a successful post: 1:00-1:10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtq1EBMe1gQ We have geeked out over Race for the Galaxy before. With oversized dandelions and clear blue water in view. And a large mountain named McKinley. I'd enjoy that one. That I recollect, I haven't yet played a game you suggested that I didn't enjoy. Splendor sounds fun. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Would you mind defining "happy" for me from your perspective? I could look it up in a dictionary, but I think what I should do here is confess that, in this context, the word "happy" is a kind of shorthand for something I'm not too sure of. For instance, Dan Barker (Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist) talks about human "flourishing." And other people use other plausible terms. I'm not disagreeing with any of those terms when I talk about happiness. And I certainly don't mean to suggest that I don't care about unhappiness; one can improve the world by reducing unhappiness just as one can improve the world by increasing happiness. There's a guy who used to hang out here, I think (more likely one of this current site's previous incarnations) who talked about "desire utilitarianism." It was a whole new theory of utilitarianism, that he invented himself. It sounded good, persuasive. But I never read his book. Nor any other book on the topic. Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that happiness is what morality is and ought to be about. It's better to be nice to people than to be mean to them. 2a) Does a cow have personality? I'm asking about a commonly killed and eaten animal on purpose. Maybe you can think of a better example to help flesh out your perspective. Maybe some alternate questions would be something like, "Is there a gradient of personhood based on amount of personality in your perspective," or, "Is a human's life worth more than a dog's life, and why is that since they both have personality." Yes, torturing cows is wrong. Yes, I imagine a gradient of personality. If snails have personality, I doubt that they have much of it. Porpoises may have a lot. Yes, I think humans are more important than dogs. No, I don't have some deep philosophical justification for that. 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? Ah mathematics and chronology. Not my strong suit. Wait, nine months is thirty-six weeks, so forty weeks is four weeks overdue? Anyway, I think of abortion as permissible without justification at any point up to birth. Killing a born person would require extraordinary justification like self defense. If someone wanted to argue that the cutoff point should be later, I wouldn't be interested. Just put me in your camp at that point. In this current political climate, I perceive all efforts to restrict abortion as really part of a larger effort to forbid it entirely for religious reasons. The anti-abortion movement is usurping state power, using the state as an enforcement arm of the church. So I'm not very interested in moving the cutoff in the other direction either. If it seems arbitrary to use birth as a cutoff, I'll ask whether it is any less arbitrary to use conception/fertilization as a cutoff. I understand that that's not a compelling argument, but it's the best that I can think of at the moment. It's the soul that gives the embryo personhood from my perspective. Just going to float an idea here: Even if that were true, abortion wouldn't harm an eternal soul. Did I get to everything? I'm always concerned I'm going to drop one ball or another. Not to worry. If it seems like I overlooked something you want an answer to, you can point that out to me. I'll do the same for you. And now I'll respond to something in the peanut gallery, in part to show you how it's done. If somebody there makes a point you want to endorse, you can say, "Wiploc, what about Joe's question? Can you answer that for me?" "Forcing people to have children is bad; it makes people unhappy." - Wiploc Some of those people are the children concerned. You can't make someone unhappy by not having them come into existence. You can make unhappy children by requiring unloving and inappropriate parents to have children. Spike may choose to comment on this in the peanut gallery, and you or I may choose to respond to that comment. "Which is ironic because a simple volume equation could have shown him I wouldn't fit." #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Originally Posted by thatguysnephew I get distracted easily. If I digress at any point push me back on topic. My wife and I are watching something called Grammar Boot Camp. It turns out that "on accident" is a generational thing. You kids say that, while us regular-age people say "by accident." #### thatguysnephew ##### New member I could look it up in a dictionary, but I think what I should do here is confess that, in this context, the word "happy" is a kind of shorthand for something I'm not too sure of. For instance, Dan Barker (Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist) talks about human "flourishing." And other people use other plausible terms. I'm not disagreeing with any of those terms when I talk about happiness. And I certainly don't mean to suggest that I don't care about unhappiness; one can improve the world by reducing unhappiness just as one can improve the world by increasing happiness. There's a guy who used to hang out here, I think (more likely one of this current site's previous incarnations) who talked about "desire utilitarianism." It was a whole new theory of utilitarianism, that he invented himself. It sounded good, persuasive. But I never read his book. Nor any other book on the topic. Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that happiness is what morality is and ought to be about. It's better to be nice to people than to be mean to them. I agree it's better to be nice to people than to be mean to them. Here are a string of questions I have for myself and for you: "Is happiness something objective (something that doesn't change)? Is happiness a feeling? Is it both? If it is both, does having happiness demand the feeling of happiness?" I'm going to define "happy" as "contentment". I think that happiness/contentment comes from knowing the person of Jesus Christ--God in human flesh. That's my objective definition of happiness. Although, I see how from your perspective that may not be the case. And I welcome your push back on that being my objective definition of happiness. I'm working out a construct here. Not just an ivory tower construct. My contentment and happiness has an enormous effect on my wife and my children...and everyone else I interact with. My being content matters. Yes, torturing cows is wrong. Yes, I imagine a gradient of personality. If snails have personality, I doubt that they have much of it. Porpoises may have a lot. Yes, I think humans are more important than dogs. No, I don't have some deep philosophical justification for that. That's fine. Once our worldviews hit the ground we agree, then. 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? Ah mathematics and chronology. Not my strong suit. Wait, nine months is thirty-six weeks, so forty weeks is four weeks overdue? That really confused me too until my wife was pregnant. Turns out the last few days of the month count (I knew I had to live through them...I didn't know I had to count them) and eventually add up to 4 weeks over a 9 month period. Anyway, I think of abortion as permissible without justification at any point up to birth. Killing a born person would require extraordinary justification like self defense. If someone wanted to argue that the cutoff point should be later, I wouldn't be interested. Just put me in your camp at that point. I like hanging out with you. In this current political climate, I perceive all efforts to restrict abortion as really part of a larger effort to forbid it entirely for religious reasons. The anti-abortion movement is usurping state power, using the state as an enforcement arm of the church. So I'm not very interested in moving the cutoff in the other direction either. I understand your concern. That certainly seems to contain the tension in which we all find ourselves in the U.S. The Bible teaches that stealing is wrong. The state enforces laws that forbid stealing. The state is enforcing a Biblical principle. Not to say the principle is exclusively Biblical, and not to give up on consequentialism. Maybe this question (if you can contain the tension better with a different question, please do. I'm fumbling here.): "Is happiness, as the best (from my perspective) secularism has to offer as a standard of morality, able to allow for human flourishing in the U.S.? I really am fumbling to pour all the tension into a question. But the issue seems worth deliberating. Stealing was a ho-hum example too. Maybe you can kick me a better one. If it seems arbitrary to use birth as a cutoff, I'll ask whether it is any less arbitrary to use conception/fertilization as a cutoff. Good question. From my worldview it's not arbitrary. Once a Homo Sapien is created (egg and sperm make a little embryo) then it's assumed to be inherently valuable as a human being. ...which probably sounds insane from the secular/atheist worldview, and probably brings up questions like, "Then why do so many christians use birth control?" Great question. Probably a mixture of being uninformed, nominal, or taught poor biology lessons. It's the soul that gives the embryo personhood from my perspective. Just going to float an idea here: Even if that were true, abortion wouldn't harm an eternal soul. So true! I think we have a 1 in 5 miscarriage rate too in the U.S (that's hearsay from my co-worker who is married to an OB doctor). While I am concerned for the life of those aborted babies, I'm not concerned for their souls. I'm concerned for the souls of those who allow them to be murdered, or who do the murdering. If the babies didn't have souls then I wouldn't be worried for the souls of those involved in the abortion. I think it would be best if the babies saw daylight and had the choice to make an impact for good or ill on the world. If they make it that far, then I'll be concerned for their souls. "Forcing people to have children is bad; it makes people unhappy." - Wiploc Some of those people are the children concerned. You can't make someone unhappy by not having them come into existence. You can make unhappy children by requiring unloving and inappropriate parents to have children. Spike may choose to comment on this in the peanut gallery, and you or I may choose to respond to that comment. I didn't see Spike's reply in the peanut gallery yet. Maybe I missed it. I'm in the realm of opining now, but I believe there is evidence to support that after a certain age gestation the babies are actually feeling pain when they are cut up, or burned with sodium chloride (I'm speaking in mild ignorance, maybe they use other really humane techniques to kill the babies--humane being defined from a secular perspective). But we'll probably never know about the pain experience of the 6 week gestation baby who is aborted, or the nearly conceived baby that was washed out with the uterine lining due to the use of birth control. So, as far as I know or can imagine, in those instances I would have to agree with your first sentence in reply to Spike. I still hold that you're adding up the most unhappy by not bringing them into existence--it just probably isn't their happiness that is at stake. As for the second sentence--the church will need to grow in number and ability in order to effectively meet the needs of their no longer being any abortions in the United States. I know their are many (usually faith-based) private agencies that reach out to those considering an abortion. What do you think of those agencies? Here in Wichita we have Choices across from the abortion clinic. They offer free ultrasounds to pregnant mothers, and support for them if they decide to keep the baby. Thank you for engaging in all of this with me. I opined more than normal this time, and on things that are factual and not a matter of perspective. I think necessarily, but please push back. If there is a truth, then it's true. I don't want to settle for anything less. See you soon! #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Here are a string of questions I have for myself and for you: "Is happiness something objective "Objective" is often a weasel word. The "moral argument" gets its plausibility by switching back and forth between two different meanings of "objective," just as the first cause argument switches between meanings of "begin." So I mostly ignore the word. If you said, "Is X objectively true?" I would hear, "Is X true?" But in this case you define it: (something that doesn't change)? So you're asking whether happiness changes. Like, does the amount of happiness change? Yes, it does. Does what makes people happy change? Yes, it does. Does the nature of happiness change? I might have to refer you to neuroscience. Is happiness a feeling? Perhaps a feeling. Perhaps a category of related feelings? Is it both? You've lost me. If it is both, does having happiness demand the feeling of happiness?" I don't see how you could be happy without feeling happy. I'm going to define "happy" as "contentment". That seems even flatter and more one-dimensional than "happy." I can experience a much greater degree of happiness than mere contentment. I'm listening to Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape. He talks about well-being. Dan Barker talks about flourishing. These are all ways, in my belief, of referencing a larger-but-ill-defined topic. I think that happiness/contentment comes from knowing the person of Jesus Christ--God in human flesh. In which case I have never been happy. Since I have been happy, that doesn't work for me. Plus, it would mean that nobody was ever happy back in B.C., and that nobody is happy in Heaven. Basically, I'm saying that I don't see the utility of this linguistic move. That's my objective definition of happiness. Again, I don't know what you mean by "objective" in that context. Are you saying that your definition never changes? If that's a definition, then we can't argue about whether it is true, we can only look at implications to see if it is useful: On the assumption that Jesus really existed, we must conclude that some people were happy between roughly 1 A.D. and 36 A.D., but then nobody has been happy since? It's a weird definition--possibly unique to you--that clearly doesn't refer to what other people mean by the word "happiness." I don't see the point of it. Although, I see how from your perspective that may not be the case. And I welcome your push back on that being my objective definition of happiness. I believe I've provided that pushback above. 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? Ah mathematics and chronology. Not my strong suit. Wait, nine months is thirty-six weeks, so forty weeks is four weeks overdue? That really confused me too until my wife was pregnant. Turns out the last few days of the month count (I knew I had to live through them...I didn't know I had to count them) and eventually add up to 4 weeks over a 9 month period. Thanks, that helps. So let's posit twins: One has just been born, and the other as yet not. How can it be wrong to kill one but okay to kill the other? That's a stumper. It's nice to have a brightline: Killing is okay after birth but not before. You think that conception and/or ensoulment is a brightline, but I could pick at that one as easily as you can pick at mine. Is it true that if you poke an unfertilized egg with a needle, thus breaking the "shell," that will cause it to begin growing and dividing without fertilization? Does the needle cause ensoulment? Or does the needle cause a person to be born without a soul? Would that soulless person be fair game for murderers? "No soul, no foul?" I feel like I'm cheating here. Instead of answering your question, I'm asking another question in hopes that you'll find mine as awkward as I find yours. Let me at least admit that your question is uncomfortable. If we weren't in a society where churches try to use the abortion issue to usurp power over people who aren't in those churches, then I might possibly be willing to entertain arguments for prohibiting abortions somewhere before birth--but after the development of a working brain. Before the PoC (zygote/embryo/fetus) develops a brain, it cannot have a personality. Personhood cannot exist before a working brain. I understand your concern. That certainly seems to contain the tension in which we all find ourselves in the U.S. The Bible teaches that stealing is wrong. The state enforces laws that forbid stealing. The state is enforcing a Biblical principle. And Sharia law, right? And, for all I know, the law of devil worshipers. "Is happiness, as the best (from my perspective) secularism has to offer as a standard of morality, able to allow for human flourishing in the U.S.? Two answers: First, yes, I think that utilitarianism is the highest and best standard of morality, the best promoter of flourishing. Second, when Conan the Barbarian was asked "What is the best in life," and he answered, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women," he wasn't answering for theism as a whole, even as I'm not answering for the whole of secularism. Utilitarianism is compatible with both theism and secularism, and secularists aren't all utilitarians. I'll stop here for now, and respond to more later. Last edited: #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I mentioned some threads at dinner. Here's one of them: Wonderful-bits-of-text Christopher Logue's Homeric simile, "See an east African Lion," is probably in there somewhere. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member ... I really am fumbling to pour all the tension into a question. But the issue seems worth deliberating. Stealing was a ho-hum example too. Maybe you can kick me a better one. Theft is wrong anyway. We don't need gods to tell us theft is wrong. Maybe we should discuss things that are only wrong if Jehovah exists? Wearing cloth made of two different fibers, for instance, eating shellfish, suffering witches to live, or failing to honor the sabbath, those would be sins if Jehovah were real, but there isn't anything wrong with doing them. I've mentioned "sin," and you're new here, so let me go off on a tangent: I actually mean something when I say "sin" or "evil." Many people, not so much. I took a class on Western Civilization, and I learned definitions that worked for me. Before that, the words were just noise with negative connotations. I'm not telling you that this is what you should mean by these words. Nor am I claiming to be perfectly consistent myself. But I will tell you what I usually mean by the words; I don't want to be confusing or mysterious, and I don't want us to be talking at cross purposes if these words mean something different to you. So, my definitions: Sin consists of doubting or disobeying gods. Doubt is the bigger part of that. Eve's first sin, then, wasn't when she tasted the apple; it was when she entertained the serpent's argument (the argument that Jehovah hadn't had her best interests in mind when he forbade eating the apple). That was sin. Evil is different. Many people conflate evil and sin, but evil (the sources of unhappiness) is the punishment for sin. There are categories of evil listed in Genesis. I remember pain in childbirth, having to earn our living by the sweat of our brows, having to cope with the misbehavior of weeds. (As Abbie Normal would say in Christopher Moore's Bite Me, "I'm paraphrasing.") When I was a kid, women's clothing was perverse, made for left-handers. One theory I don't particularly believe was that this dated back to when ladies had servants to dress them. So, there's this joke--or there used to be, back when it didn't need this much introduction: We're quoting Jehovah chastising the kids in the garden, telling them the terrible punishments they must suffer, and we get to the part where he's saying they have to cover their nakedness with raiment. "And you," he says, turning to Eve, "gots to button yours backwards!" Evil is defined as the sources of unhappiness. By extension, it can refer to unhappiness itself. Thus, the problem of evil is often called the problem of suffering. Good and evil are often intermixed. If Joe accidentally stubs his toe, and this makes Sara happy and Joe unhappy, then the accident is both good and evil. Sin and evil are easy to conflate because some behaviors ("moral evils," gluttony comes to mind) can be disobedient while also being causes of unhappiness. Some people define sin/evil as not doing what Jehovah wants. That never worked for me. When a sinner tries to be good in order to get to go to Heaven, god hardens his heart and darkens his counsels so that he'll go back to raping and continuing to enslave Moses's people and such. Thus, the reprobate (Hellbound person) continues to deserve Hellfire.) If sin consists of not doing what god wants, then--in circumstances like that--rape and slavery wouldn't be sins. The definitions I learned in Western Civ are the only ones that ever worked for me, the only ones that didn't lead to immediate contradiction. --- And again, I stop for now. Feel free to respond to what I have posted so far, or to wait until I have responded to the rest of your post. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I see the link to the wonderful bits of text thread didn't work, above, so I'll try again here: Wonderful Bits of Text. Once a Homo Sapien is created (egg and sperm make a little embryo) then it's assumed to be inherently valuable as a human being. Let me start with the word "being." I used to think that meant something like "person." But in conversations like this, I've come to accept that it usually just refers to something that exists, something that does be. Lemme go look it up: ... Okay, Dictionary.comm -- I double the terminal mm because this website tries (or used to try) to help me out by automatically changing things that look like links into links, often the wrong links -- offers these definitions among others: 4. something that exists: inanimate beings. 5.a living thing: strange, exotic beings that live in the depths of the sea. The egg and sperm are beings either way. They exist, and they are alive. So sperm and egg cells are beings just as much as zygotes and embryos are. And human eggs and sperm are as human as human embryos are. So, yes, embryos are human beings, but that doesn't distinguish them from eggs and sperm, which are also human beings. Incidentally, I've followed conversations like this for decades, and I've seen many attempts to attach some relevant significance to the moment of conception, but I've never seen one of those attempts succeed. Many anti-abortion people claim that the egg and sperm cells are dead until fertilization, so conception is the moment when life starts. The conclusion I have drawn is that anti-abortion folks don't have any good arguments on this point. If they did, they would have fielded them, and I'd have run across them. That is, of course, a lightly held belief. I'm open to being shown that I'm wrong. You may believe I did a poor job of attaching relevance to the moment of birth, but I'll be surprised if you establish more relevance to the moment of conception. In a way, that's kind of cool; it means we agree on this: The line should be drawn somewhere in the conception-to-birth area. - In this context and all others, I argue against the oxymoronic phrase "inherently valuable." You can't have value without a valuer. If something is valuable, it is valuable for something or to someone. To call something "inherently valuable" is to say that it would be good even if it wasn't good for anything or to anyone. That's a logical contradiction. Note that I'm not claiming that zygotes aren't valuable. I'm just saying that, in my view, the phrase "inherently valuable" doesn't make sense. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Just going to float an idea here: Even if that were true, abortion wouldn't harm an eternal soul. So true! I think we have a 1 in 5 miscarriage rate too in the U.S (that's hearsay from my co-worker who is married to an OB doctor). While I am concerned for the life of those aborted babies, I'm not concerned for their souls. "Aborted baby" strikes me as oxymoronic. It makes as much sense as "aborted professor" or "aborted mechanic." I'm not correcting you; I'm sure your terminology works well for many people. I'm just explaining why it doesn't work for me. Babies start at birth. Before that you have zygotes, embryos, fetuses. If the souls aren't damaged, then there's no harm done, it seems to me. Why would you be concerned for the life of an aborted embryo if you aren't concerned for the life of an unfertilized egg? I'm concerned for the souls of those who allow them to be murdered, or who do the murdering. From my point of view, if abortion is murder then so is chastity. If people who get abortions aren't harming souls, then I don't see the problem. If the babies didn't have souls then I wouldn't be worried for the souls of those involved in the abortion. I think it would be best if the babies saw daylight and had the choice to make an impact for good or ill on the world. Do you think that of unfertilized eggs? It would be best if they were fertilized and saw daylight and made choices? If they make it that far, then I'll be concerned for their souls. The soul of an aborted embryo is safe, but it will be in danger if not aborted. And yet the people who keep the soul safe by having abortions put their own souls in danger by doing so? You can see why this is confusing. ... But we'll probably never know about the pain experience of the 6 week gestation baby who is aborted, or the nearly conceived baby that was washed out with the uterine lining due to the use of birth control. At six weeks, I don't imagine there could be any pain. In the case of a single cell, or two cells in the case of the "nearly conceived," I'm quite confident that there's no pain. Just as I'm confident that there would be much pain in the life a child born to parents who didn't want her. So, as far as I know or can imagine, in those instances I would have to agree with your first sentence in reply to Spike. I still hold that you're adding up the most unhappy by not bringing them into existence--it just probably isn't their happiness that is at stake. I don't understand. As for the second sentence--the church will need to grow in number and ability in order to effectively meet the needs of their no longer being any abortions in the United States. I know their are many (usually faith-based) private agencies that reach out to those considering an abortion. What do you think of those agencies? Here in Wichita we have Choices across from the abortion clinic. They offer free ultrasounds to pregnant mothers, and support for them if they decide to keep the baby. Can I grant that they may do some good work, but still look askance at them because I suspect their motives? #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I think I covered everything, Nephew. The ball is in your court. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Are you planning to post here again, nephew? If not, we can ask for this thread to be locked, and we can go post in the peanut gallery. I'm not pushing; if you want more time, that's fine. In the other one-on-one I'm in, I somehow didn't notice that it was my turn to post until the other guy asked if the discussion was over. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member I am planning to reply! Sorry for the delay. I just sat down to read your replies. I had time about three weeks ago to read them, but they’ve faded from memory. Hope to reply this evening, or in the next week! #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Cool. No rush. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member I write up a reply last Friday, and then it disappeared. I believe you advised me to write up replies in word and then to post. I’ll take that advice now. Will reply in the next week or two. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Sorry about that. I mostly compose here, but if I lost a big one one I'd compose elsewhere. One thing I try to do is copy my post to the clipboard just before posting. Especially if I took a long time or walked away for awhile, to have dinner or something. That way, if the post disapears, I've got it on the clipboard. If I have to go out, running errands, while a post is half finished, then I definitely past a copy of what I have to Word. I've lost some posts over the years, just not lately. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Oh, another way of coping with the disappearing-post phenomenon: After you've typed awhile, and you realize you have enough material that you'd hate to lose it, you go ahead (after copying it to your clipboard) and post what you've got, possibly putting something like "To be continued ..." at the bottom. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member Hello Uncle, It’s been three months since a proper reply. I need to take your advice, but I keep hoping for a two hour chunk of time in which to write an entire coherent response. Hope all is well. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member All is well, yes. We're spending a few days at home, waiting for a generator to be repaired. Then we'll be back on the road. Hope all is well with you. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member It is a comfort to me to know that I can speak with my Uncle with whom I disagree so profoundly while not disagreeing bitterly. Thank you for your kindness in engaging with me, Uncle. Many of my patients are desperate for this kind of dialogue, but most of them don't have friends with whom they disagree that they can engage with beyond the molotov one-liner level. And so they have no outlet...except their soft-spoken physical therapist. Even he is shy to let those conversations start. I had one patient today say something like, "I don't really know anyone I can talk to who believes things that are so skewed." I don't know if I replied to everything that you replied to. Feel free to bring things back up, but I created enough confusion in some of my previous posts that I wanted to streamline what I could. "Objective" is often a weasel word. The "moral argument" gets its plausibility by switching back and forth between two different meanings of "objective," just as the first cause argument switches between meanings of "begin." So I mostly ignore the word. If you said, "Is X objectively true?" I would hear, "Is X true?" But in this case you define it: (something that doesn't change)? So you're asking whether happiness changes. Like, does the amount of happiness change? Yes, it does. Does what makes people happy change? Yes, it does. Does the nature of happiness change? I might have to refer you to neuroscience. I see the confusion I may have created in this poor set up in a search for a definition of happiness, or at least the multiple strands of potential discussion if not confusion. In hindsight I think my intent in defining happiness was two-fold: 1) To illuminate where we differ in defining happiness 2) To illuminate that happiness is not a strong enough idea/construct to effectively determine what is right and wrong I think that happiness/contentment comes from knowing the person of Jesus Christ--God in human flesh. In which case I have never been happy. Since I have been happy, that doesn't work for me. Plus, it would mean that nobody was ever happy back in B.C., and that nobody is happy in Heaven. Basically, I'm saying that I don't see the utility of this linguistic move. So number “1)” above has been well served by the discussion so far. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is very much alive. You believe Jesus is dead. I’ll stop there. Our worldviews divorce even further from there. I imagine what I’ve said so far is unintelligible within your worldview. Not that you can’t understand it, but that our worldviews assume presuppositions that are contrary. That's my objective definition of happiness. Again, I don't know what you mean by "objective" in that context. Are you saying that your definition never changes? If that's a definition, then we can't argue about whether it is true, we can only look at implications to see if it is useful: On the assumption that Jesus really existed, we must conclude that some people were happy between roughly 1 A.D. and 36 A.D., but then nobody has been happy since? It's a weird definition--possibly unique to you--that clearly doesn't refer to what other people mean by the word "happiness." I don't see the point of it. Number “2)” (To illuminate that happiness is not a strong enough idea/construct to effectively determine what is right and wrong) was my purpose for defining happiness in this way. That said, I don’t know how to build a moral framework on that and I’ll leave that to someone smarter than me. My concern is that happiness can’t uphold a moral framework. You never said that it should, but I don’t see what else can do it better without something other than human’s creating that morality. I believe that the Bible within relationship to Jesus Christ provides an effective and attractive morality. But I think you’re addressing that in another thread now, and I’m content to leave the discussion there: https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=911384#911384 Thank you for the pushback. Quite helpful…not comfortable, but I bet Ginsberg and Scalia had several uncomfortable conversations within their friendship. 2b) Does a 40 week old gestation fetus have as much personality as a one day old newborn? So let's posit twins: One has just been born, and the other as yet not. How can it be wrong to kill one but okay to kill the other? That's a stumper…. Let me at least admit that your question is uncomfortable. Thank you for the admission! It's nice to have a brightline: Killing is okay after birth but not before. You think that conception and/or ensoulment is a brightline, but I could pick at that one as easily as you can pick at mine. Would that soulless person be fair game for murderers? "No soul, no foul?" I feel like I'm cheating here. Instead of answering your question, I'm asking another question in hopes that you'll find mine as awkward as I find yours. If we weren't in a society where churches try to use the abortion issue to usurp power over people who aren't in those churches, then I might possibly be willing to entertain arguments for prohibiting abortions somewhere before birth--but after the development of a working brain. Before the PoC (zygote/embryo/fetus) develops a brain, it cannot have a personality. Personhood cannot exist before a working brain. I don’t think you’re cheating! I think your question is helpful, and, yes, awkward. An aside: I wish for the people in the United States to be so unthreatened by one another that they can disagree this intensely, corner one another with their questions, and still manage to be friends. And then elect politicians who can do the same. Digression aside, I would posit the belief that personhood starts before a working brain. At the heart of the God of the Bible is a loving Father. My daughters are valuable to me merely because they’re my daughters. I’d die for them. I work hard for them. I try to tenderly strengthen their hearts, souls, and minds. Which brings me to…what if they had been born brainless? Two reactions. One emotional, one…a dodge/vulnerability/weakness/admission. 1) I feel incredibly sad thinking about my wife giving birth to a brainless baby. Perhaps he or she is a still born. Perhaps he or she is breathing, but that’s it. I don’t want to suffer. But if I do I want to suffer with a worldview that sustains immense levels of suffering. Because suffering is likely to happen no matter the buffers I may construct. Abortion touches on immense levels of human suffering. I imagine that’s why it matters to so many people so much. 2) Brains. Are we talking the reticular formation? The pons? The cerebrum? Hypothalamus? I’m out. I’ll now also refer you to neuroscience…and myself. We have at least established that this topic is complicated. Not so complicated that it can’t be talked about. And not so complicated that something couldn’t be decided upon to protect women and to at least agree with european nations that post mid-second trimester abortions should be illegal. Back to your definition: If a working brain (however we’re defining it) is present upon fertilization (…unlikely?) then I’ll agree with your definition. I understand your concern. That certainly seems to contain the tension in which we all find ourselves in the U.S. The Bible teaches that stealing is wrong. The state enforces laws that forbid stealing. The state is enforcing a Biblical principle. And Sharia law, right? And, for all I know, the law of devil worshipers. Yes, precisely. There are probably endless ways to establish a moral framework (I mean a way of defining what is right and wrong when I say that). But I’ll refer you to your other thread that I posted above on this point. "Is happiness, as the best (from my perspective) secularism has to offer as a standard of morality, able to allow for human flourishing in the U.S.? Two answers: First, yes, I think that utilitarianism is the highest and best standard of morality, the best promoter of flourishing. Second, when Conan the Barbarian was asked "What is the best in life," and he answered, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women," he wasn't answering for theism as a whole, even as I'm not answering for the whole of secularism. Utilitarianism is compatible with both theism and secularism, and secularists aren't all utilitarians. Good distinctions. I apologize if I used ten dollar words too casually. I don’t intend to confuse (as I did with my attempt at defining happiness). …. ... I really am fumbling to pour all the tension into a question. But the issue seems worth deliberating. Stealing was a ho-hum example too. Maybe you can kick me a better one. Theft is wrong anyway. We don't need gods to tell us theft is wrong. Maybe we should discuss things that are only wrong if Jehovah exists? Wearing cloth made of two different fibers, for instance, eating shellfish, suffering witches to live, or failing to honor the sabbath, those would be sins if Jehovah were real, but there isn't anything wrong with doing them. I’m not convinced that theft is wrong because it is wrong. I’ll have to follow your thread regarding whether or not God/gods are necessary to define something like theft as wrong. As for the things that Christians no longer believe Jehovah requires, I can’t explain why “Do not steal” remained, and shellfish and blood eating became fair game, but I know there are people who can. I don’t intend to dodge, I just don’t have time to give a concentrated effort toward answering that question (it’s a really good one) right now. Until I have an answer I am content to let the changes I’ve seen in my own life and the lives of others following Jesus sustain me until I have a more thorough understanding. I've mentioned "sin," and you're new here, so let me go off on a tangent: Sin consists of doubting or disobeying gods. Doubt is the bigger part of that. Eve's first sin, then, wasn't when she tasted the apple; it was when she entertained the serpent's argument (the argument that Jehovah hadn't had her best interests in mind when he forbade eating the apple). That was sin. Evil is different. Many people conflate evil and sin, but evil (the sources of unhappiness) is the punishment for sin. There are categories of evil listed in Genesis. I remember pain in childbirth, having to earn our living by the sweat of our brows, having to cope with the misbehavior of weeds. (As Abbie Normal would say in Christopher Moore's [FONT=&]Bite Me[/FONT], "I'm paraphrasing.”) Thanks for clarifying. I think we’re on the same page here. When I was a kid, women's clothing was perverse, made for left-handers. One theory I don't particularly believe was that this dated back to when ladies had servants to dress them. So, there's this joke--or there used to be, back when it didn't need this much introduction: We're quoting Jehovah chastising the kids in the garden, telling them the terrible punishments they must suffer, and we get to the part where he's saying they have to cover their nakedness with raiment. "And [FONT=&]you[/FONT]," he says, turning to Eve, "gots to button yours backwards!" Haha! "Aborted baby" strikes me as oxymoronic. It makes as much sense as "aborted professor" or "aborted mechanic." I'm not correcting you; I'm sure your terminology works well for many people. I'm just explaining why it doesn't work for me. Babies start at birth. Before that you have zygotes, embryos, fetuses. If the souls aren't damaged, then there's no harm done, it seems to me. Why would you be concerned for the life of an aborted embryo if you aren't concerned for the life of an unfertilized egg? A..an?…a human embryo has been given the image of God to bear. The unfertilized egg hasn’t been given that to bear. I think this is where our worldviews divorce. When I use the word baby there’s no difference for me between embryo/fetus/infant/toddler. In your definition the word baby refers to a human being. So it doesn’t apply to an embryo or fetus. Is that why “Aborted baby” strikes you as oxymoronic? I’m not trying to corner you. I really want to know how to communicate with other people who disagree with me on this issue. No sense in accidentally arguing with someone you agree with. I'm concerned for the souls of those who allow them to be murdered, or who do the murdering. From my point of view, if abortion is murder then so is chastity. If people who get abortions aren't harming souls, then I don't see the problem. This has come up a couple of times…if not in this thread, then maybe when we were face to face. Can’t recall. I want to flesh out my confusion with how you see chastity as murder in my view of human life. I believe that once a sperm and egg unite and form an embryo a human bearing the image of God has been formed. How does chastity…the prevention of the making of a human life (as defined above) constitute murder in my view? I’m willing to believe it does, but I’m guessing this is a matter of mixing worldviews inadvertently. I think you addressed this more with your discussion on the word "being". I'd like to f Can I grant that they may do some good work, but still look askance at them because I suspect their motives? Yeah, that’s fair. I skipped some stuff from the posts above. If there’s anything you want to bring back up you may. I got confused and it looked like you were too…so I dropped it to avoid the confusion. Perhaps it will gain better clarity later. In a way, that's kind of cool; it means we agree on this: The line should be drawn somewhere in the conception-to-birth area. - In this context and all others, I argue against the oxymoronic phrase "inherently valuable." You can't have value without a valuer. If something is valuable, it is valuable for something or to someone. To call something "inherently valuable" is to say that it would be good even if it wasn't good for anything or to anyone. That's a logical contradiction. Note that I'm not claiming that zygotes aren't valuable. I'm just saying that, in my view, the phrase "inherently valuable" doesn't make sense. I like it. We agree! I will fully yield to your argument on the use of oxymoronic phrases like "inherently valuable". Those adverbs are just too tempting sometimes! I see the confusion they birth. Let me try my sentence again: Once a Homo Sapien is created (egg and sperm make a little embryo) then it's assumed to be valuable as a human. Is that better? Thanks again. Generator fixed? Would you be opposed to me posting a link to this on facebook? I imagine other people would be encouraged by seeing a model for civil familial discourse. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I tried to reply a couple of days ago, and this time I'm the one who lost his post. It is a comfort to me to know that I can speak with my Uncle with whom I disagree so profoundly while not disagreeing bitterly. Thank you for your kindness in engaging with me, Uncle. A pleasure for me too. I don't know if I replied to everything that you replied to. Feel free to bring things back up, but I created enough confusion in some of my previous posts that I wanted to streamline what I could. Likewise, if I leave out something you want addressed, raise the issue again. And now, having lost my post last time, I'll post what I have here and then continue in a new post. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member My left shoulder hurts. I've given the pain two or three months to go away, but it's getting worse. I have to sleep on my right side all night now, since I can't sleep on my left (I have no familiarity with sleeping on my back or front). I've been to a chiropractor a couple of times, no joy. You can't diagnose anything from there, but maybe you can point me in a direction. Should I go to a doctor, a physical therapist, or what? My dentist suggests getting a personal trainer at a gym. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member 2) To illuminate that happiness is not a strong enough idea/construct to effectively determine what is right and wrong I don't know whether I said this in an earlier post, but "happiness," when I use it in conversations like this is a kind of shorthand for an ill-defined larger notion. For instance, reducing unhappiness is just as important as increasing happiness. Other people might talk about people growing, developing, having appropriate challenges. I just talk about happiness, because it's a simple familiar word that I know how to spell, not because it covers the entire area. I don't know what the entire area is. But I don't know of anything else one could base a morality on. Suppose we were told that people are miserable in Heaven; would anyone want to go there? Suppose honesty caused sadness; would it still be good? And what other test is there? We can say that honesty is good because it tends to increase happiness. What other test is significant and makes sense and would be at all useful? I imagine what I’ve said so far is unintelligible within your worldview. Talk about fertilized eggs bearing the image of god puzzles me. How can a fertilized egg look more like a god than an unfertilized egg? There's an old joke: Question: What does the "H" in "Jesus H Christ" stand for? Answer: "Haploid." Because Joseph didn't fertilize the egg, see? So, really, the unfertilized egg would have to be said to look more like Jesus. And Jehovah didn't come from an egg at all. I'm torn about whether to leave this part of the post in, because I don't want to give offense, but it makes my point that the "image of god" language isn't coming across as meaningful. My concern is that happiness can’t uphold a moral framework. You never said that it should, but I don’t see what else can do it better without something other than human’s creating that morality. I don't get that at all. I believe that the Bible within relationship to Jesus Christ provides an effective and attractive morality. Isn't a world with Hellfire the worst of all possible worlds? I don't see how anybody could want that to be true. Thank you for the pushback. Quite helpful…not comfortable, but I bet Ginsberg and Scalia had several uncomfortable conversations within their friendship. Yes, I'll bet they did! #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Personhood cannot exist before a working brain. We have at least established that this topic is complicated. Not so complicated that it can’t be talked about. And not so complicated that something couldn’t be decided upon to protect women and to at least agree with european nations that post mid-second trimester abortions should be illegal. I may have been unclear. I was saying that we don't get to forbid abortions before there is a working brain, not that we do get to forbid them after that point. I want to flesh out my confusion with how you see chastity as murder in my view of human life. I believe that once a sperm and egg unite and form an embryo a human bearing the image of God has been formed. How does chastity…the prevention of the making of a human life (as defined above) constitute murder in my view? I’m willing to believe it does, but I’m guessing this is a matter of mixing worldviews inadvertently. If the argument is that killing a person is murder, and therefore preventing a person from coming into existence is murder, then chastity--because it prevents people from coming into existence--is as much murder as abortion is. If, instead of the prevents-a-person-from-coming-into-being argument, we use the fertilized-eggs-have-the-image-of-god argument, then I'm just stumped. I don't know what you mean by "image of god"; I don't know why you say that fertilized eggs have it but unfertilized eggs don't; and I don't know why it's supposed to matter. From here, the "distinction" (between things that do and don't have the image) seems arbitrary and meaningless. Some paintings have images of gods, but destroying paintings isn't murder. I'm just unable to understand your reasoning. Let me try my sentence again: Once a Homo Sapien is created (egg and sperm make a little embryo) then it's assumed to be valuable as a human. Is that better? Well, it's not an oxymoron. But I don't share your assumption, and I don't know why you make it. You can think of a fertilized egg as "a human" but you can also think of an unfertilized egg that way. You can think of a embryo as a reproductive organ. You aren't going to be either right or wrong if you do so, because how you think of something is a matter of viewpoint, not a matter of truth. I think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. Many disagree. It would be a mistake for proponents of either flavor to criminalize the other. Likewise it would be wrong to criminalize abortion because of how you like to think about fertilized eggs. Generator fixed? Yes. And the next day the slide broke. We tried to run the slide in in the morning, and one end came in but the other didn't. Stopping here so I can walk dogs. Back shortly. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Generator fixed? (Having recently lost a post, I was unwilling to walk away from an unposted draft, so I just posted what I had, and now I've come back to it.) Yes. And the next day the slide broke. We tried to run the slide in in the morning, and one end came in but the other didn't. A sheer bolt was missing, so I beat up on a piece of pegboard hardware with a hammer and two wrenches, until I had something I could put where the sheer bolt had been. Then, when Toni pushed the button, both ends of the slide came in. Yay! I called the shop that had given the slide a clean bill of health the day before, and told them "I'm coming in." I didn't care whether I was on their schedule; I wanted service now. Got there. They sent a guy out to look. I got down on the ground and pointed up at my jury-rigged fix. The guy said he couldn't see it, and he had bad knees; if he got down to where he could see it, he wouldn't be able to get back up. At some point he pointed out that he was a parts man, not a mechanic. I said, "But you have mechanics, right?" He said, "Not on weekends." So I pulled the bolt from the other end of the slide. He said, "That's hardened steel. We don't have hardened steel." He sent me to an Ace Hardware, which did have the right bolts. And I fixed the slide. We ran it in and out, in and out. Both ends moved, and both arrived at their destination at the same time! It was cool. I didn't have to pull the bolt, give the shaft a half-turn, and put the bolt back in. It seems fixed. That would be nothing to you, but I call a plumber to replace a flapper valve, so I feel like I got a merit badge. Would you be opposed to me posting a link to this on facebook? I imagine other people would be encouraged by seeing a model for civil familial discourse. Sure, that'll be fine. I've been telling people we're on the shore of Lake Superior, but Toni tells me this is some lesser body of water. Some hot days, but presumably not as hot as you're getting. Records setting in Denver, 105 degrees one day. We've got a nice shady campsite. We've rendezvoused with our daughter and granddaughter, who came from Africa. So, good times. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I don't know why I was talking about Moral Tribes. I mean, it's good and I like it and I tend to agree with most of it ... but I'm listening to The Righteous Mind again when we're on the highway, and it's just so good and amiable and illuminating. I agree with it less, but it's a better read and I learn more from it. It's awesome. Within a couple of days of talking to you, my shoulder was 98% better. Every few days I may get a twinge to remind me that I used to have a problem, but that's all that remains. New joke: "Humans are 90% water. Basically we're just cucumbers with anxiety." At least I think it's a joke. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Here's a bit of Jonathan Haidt on Youtube. Delightful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uogEbb0WOJE Universities have "institutional disconfirmation." You as an individual argue for what you believe, and your confirmation bias blinds you to disconfirming arguments, but, at a university, people who disagree, and who have their own confirmation-bias-induced blindness, interact with you in such a way as to help each other see past their blind spots. A university without this diversity would not be fit to give advice on public policy. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member I don't know whether I said this in an earlier post, but "happiness," when I use it in conversations like this is a kind of shorthand for an ill-defined larger notion. For instance, reducing unhappiness is just as important as increasing happiness. Other people might talk about people growing, developing, having appropriate challenges. I just talk about happiness, because it's a simple familiar word that I know how to spell, not because it covers the entire area. I don't know what the entire area is. But I don't know of anything else one could base a morality on. Suppose we were told that people are miserable in Heaven; would anyone want to go there? Suppose honesty caused sadness; would it still be good? And what other test is there? We can say that honesty is good because it tends to increase happiness. What other test is significant and makes sense and would be at all useful? I think we are in agreement on happiness being a good test for morality, and that the construct of happiness is ill-defined. I'm not sure how to clear it up. We are both seeking happiness. Me as a Christian Hedonist, and you as an Atheist. On this we agree? Talk about fertilized eggs bearing the image of god puzzles me. How can a fertilized egg look more like a god than an unfertilized egg? There's an old joke: Question: What does the "H" in "Jesus H Christ" stand for? Answer: "Haploid." Because Joseph didn't fertilize the egg, see? So, really, the unfertilized egg would have to be said to look more like Jesus. And Jehovah didn't come from an egg at all. I'm torn about whether to leave this part of the post in, because I don't want to give offense, but it makes my point that the "image of god" language isn't coming across as meaningful. I disagree with the assumptions made by the joke. But that doesn't make it less funny. I'm unoffended. And I understand and share your confusion on the concept of the "image of god". I don't know exactly what it means to be made in "...the image of God." But I am not confused by the implications of bearing that image. It places unremovable value on every human being. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." Born and unborn. I believe that the Bible within relationship to Jesus Christ provides an effective and attractive morality. Isn't a world with Hellfire the worst of all possible worlds? I don't see how anybody could want that to be true. No, I think a world without ultimate justice would be worse. I don't like living under the assumption of hell existing, but it is far better to be able to extend forgiveness now knowing that it is God's to avenge. Hell existing (God being a just god) frees me up to seek proximate justice in a way that makes for more happy now while I wait for ultimate justice. That's a whole can of worms, Uncle. I'm happy to keep talking about it...if you're willing to keep waiting months for me to reply. :s #### thatguysnephew ##### New member I may have been unclear. I was saying that we don't get to forbid abortions before there is a working brain, not that we do get to forbid them after that point. I gotcha. If the argument is that killing a person is murder, and therefore preventing a person from coming into existence is murder, then chastity--because it prevents people from coming into existence--is as much murder as abortion is. I have trouble seeing that. Help me out. The uncreated human has never existed, and can't be made to not exist (can't be murdered). The human embryo exists, and so it can be made to not exist (murdered). But I think I'm confused about your point. Let me try my sentence again: Once a Homo Sapien is created (egg and sperm make a little embryo) then it's assumed to be valuable as a human. Is that better? Well, it's not an oxymoron. But I don't share your assumption, and I don't know why you make it. You can think of a fertilized egg as "a human" but you can also think of an unfertilized egg that way. You can think of a embryo as a reproductive organ. You aren't going to be either right or wrong if you do so, because how you think of something is a matter of viewpoint, not a matter of truth. I think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. Many disagree. It would be a mistake for proponents of either flavor to criminalize the other. Likewise it would be wrong to criminalize abortion because of how you like to think about fertilized eggs. I make the assumption because of how my life has changed following Jesus. Because it's been changed I give all my doubts and confusion to the Bible. Meaning, I assume what it says is true. In this case that all humans are created in God's image. It's a pleasant truth. Regarding the killing of a human being, I think we only disagree about the pre-partum portion of a human's life. Glad you got the generator fixed...I think we spoke on the phone about that. But, for the sake of the peanut gallery. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member Generator fixed? Yes. We ran it in and out, in and out. Both ends moved, and both arrived at their destination at the same time! It was cool. I didn't have to pull the bolt, give the shaft a half-turn, and put the bolt back in. It seems fixed. That would be nothing to you, but I call a plumber to replace a flapper valve, so I feel like I got a merit badge. Oh, no, there are many good reasons I find myself drawn to you as a friend, Uncle. We share more than just our pre-30 year old beardlessness. I've been telling people we're on the shore of Lake Superior, but Toni tells me this is some lesser body of water. Some hot days, but presumably not as hot as you're getting. Records setting in Denver, 105 degrees one day. We've got a nice shady campsite. We've rendezvoused with our daughter and granddaughter, who came from Africa. So, good times. I am still deliberating about whether or not to post this on facebook. I think I would if I could be sure that I would resist putting out fires or starting them. I've neglected my family before over a facebook tiff. May still follow through. I imagine 105 would feel good right now? Or is it a pleasant day in Denver? - - - Updated - - - I don't know why I was talking about Moral Tribes. I mean, it's good and I like it and I tend to agree with most of it ... but I'm listening to The Righteous Mind again when we're on the highway, and it's just so good and amiable and illuminating. I agree with it less, but it's a better read and I learn more from it. It's awesome. Within a couple of days of talking to you, my shoulder was 98% better. Every few days I may get a twinge to remind me that I used to have a problem, but that's all that remains. New joke: "Humans are 90% water. Basically we're just cucumbers with anxiety." At least I think it's a joke. Happy to hear your shoulder is better, er, that you forgot you had a shoulder problem as you put it. I look forward to reading A Righteous Mind someday. Haha! Good joke. I'm working up my dad-joke steam. So my daughters won't miss out once they can understand. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member Here's a bit of Jonathan Haidt on Youtube. Delightful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uogEbb0WOJE Universities have "institutional disconfirmation." You as an individual argue for what you believe, and your confirmation bias blinds you to disconfirming arguments, but, at a university, people who disagree, and who have their own confirmation-bias-induced blindness, interact with you in such a way as to help each other see past their blind spots. A university without this diversity would not be fit to give advice on public policy. That was really good. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for having this thread. It's certainly been beneficial for me. #### thatguysnephew ##### New member What did the oyster say to her brother as he ate the last piece of cake? #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member What did the oyster say to her brother as he ate the last piece of cake? I give up. But while I'm waiting for the answer to that one, I'll tell this one: The rabbit said he was thinking of crossing the road. The chicken said, "You'll never hear the end of it." #### thatguysnephew ##### New member What did the oyster say to her brother as he ate the last piece of cake? “That was shellfish.” But while I'm waiting for the answer to that one, I'll tell this one: The rabbit said he was thinking of crossing the road. The chicken said, "You'll never hear the end of it." Hahaha! Nice! #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I think we are in agreement on happiness being a good test for morality, and that the construct of happiness is ill-defined. I'm not sure how to clear it up. We are both seeking happiness. Me as a Christian Hedonist, and you as an Atheist. On this we agree? Works for me. I disagree with the assumptions made by the joke. But that doesn't make it less funny. I'm unoffended. And I understand and share your confusion on the concept of the "image of god". I don't know exactly what it means to be made in "...the image of God." But I am not confused by the implications of bearing that image. It places unremovable value on every human being. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." Born and unborn. I assume that the image of god was originally literal. Gods walked on two legs back in those days. These days, I don't think it means anything at all. I believe that the Bible within relationship to Jesus Christ provides an effective and attractive morality. Isn't a world with Hellfire the worst of all possible worlds? I don't see how anybody could want that to be true. No, I think a world without ultimate justice would be worse. I don't like living under the assumption of hell existing, but it is far better to be able to extend forgiveness now knowing that it is God's to avenge. Hell existing (God being a just god) frees me up to seek proximate justice in a way that makes for more happy now while I wait for ultimate justice. I don't see the justice in Christianity. Everybody is condemned. Nobody can possibly be worthy. The only difference is whether you worship Jesus. Hitler is in Heaven if he worshiped at the end. Mother Teresa is in Hell if she had a bad thought at the end. The most vicious people can wind up in the good place while the best people wind up in the bad place. That system isn't about justice. That's a whole can of worms, Uncle. I'm happy to keep talking about it...if you're willing to keep waiting months for me to reply. :s Hey, I'm not a hair-trigger poster either. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member I have trouble seeing that. Help me out. The uncreated human has never existed, and can't be made to not exist (can't be murdered). The human embryo exists, and so it can be made to not exist (murdered). But I think I'm confused about your point. Unfertilized eggs exist just like fertilized eggs. Unfertilized eggs are human eggs, as human as fertilized eggs. If killing a fertilized egg amounts to "uncreating a human," then so does killing an unfertilized one. There's no difference that I can see. Neither egg is a person with cares and wants and fears. #### Wiploc ##### Veteran Member Oh, no, there are many good reasons I find myself drawn to you as a friend, Uncle. We share more than just our pre-30 year old beardlessness. is it a pleasant day in Denver? Denver is remarkably mild. Cool summers and the winters are comfortably warm. - I look forward to reading A Righteous Mind someday. I had to give my class a two-minute pitch last week: • Book. Jonathan Haidt wrote it: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. • You need this book. It’s fun, easy, and full of ideas you never had before. • You need this book unless you’re in my class. We’ll have lecture, discussion, video, but no homework—and no disputes. No disputes because we won’t be there to decide who's right. We’ll be there to learn how people think. • The name of the class is: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. • Liberals care about harm and fairness. Conservatives care about harm, fairness, hierarchy, purity, and sanctity. If we don’t understand this about each other, then we can hardly hope to have productive conversation. • For instance, liberals wonder What’s the Matter with Kansas. They don’t understand that Kansas votes its moral interests ahead of economic. And if liberals don’t understand that, how can they hope to frame an argument that Kansas understands? • Want conservatives to support national parks? Point out that these parks are part of the American way of life. Want liberals to support burying nuclear waste in salt mines? Point out the scientific consensus that it’s safe. • If you’re tired of thinking some of your friends and relatives—and half of your country—are hate-filled weirdos, if you’re tired of coming across as a hate-filled weirdo yourself, if you wish you were better at seeing the good in people who disagree with you, then this is the class for you: • Monday afternoons. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. I figure a single page of doublespace text takes two and a half minutes to deliver out loud. Haha! Good joke. I'm working up my dad-joke steam. So my daughters won't miss out once they can understand. Hmm. I may have around here somewhere. I wonder if the arachnophobia support group has a website. Does anyone know what sliced bread was the best thing since? A husband and wife who work for the circus go to an adoption agency. Social workers there raise doubts about the living conditions in a circus, but the couple produces photos of their 50-foot luxury motor home, which is clean and well-maintained and equipped with a beautiful nursery. The social workers also raise concerns about the education a child would receive while in the couple's care. "We've arranged for a full-time tutor who will teach the child all the usual subjects along with French, Mandarin and computer skills." Then the social workers express concern about a child being raised in a circus environment. "Our nanny is a certified expert in pediatric care, welfare and diet." The social workers are finally satisfied and ask, "What age and gender child are you hoping to adopt?" "It doesn't really matter as long as the kid fits in the cannon." Carnak the Magnificent joke: The answer is: Mine shaft. Question: What’s the name of Hitler’s book about his divorce? Mixed metaphor is a two-edged sword from which we shall all hang. My pet snail was doing poorly in the neighborhood snail races. I thought he might do better if I removed his shell, but it turned out that made him even more sluggish. No matter how much you push the envelope … it’s still stationary. I used to go out with a woman who lived on a houseboat. Unfortunately we drifted apart. “True friends stab you in the front.” -- Oscar Wilde The rabbit said he might cross the road. The chicken said, “You’ll never hear the end of it.” People who can’t distinguish etymology from entomology bug me in ways I can’t put into words. A couple days ago, my wife asked me to hand her her lipstick. I accidentally gave her a tube of contact cement. She still isn’t talking to me. Humans are 90% water. Basically, we’re just cucumbers with anxiety. I just had acupuncture for my bad back. When I got home, my voodoo doll was dead. In 1967, Israel fought Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the 6 Day war. The Arab countries were assisted by Soviet advisors. On the first day of the war, as Israeli forces pushed into Egypt, the Soviet advisor suggested that Egyptian forces fall back and regroup. The next day, as the IDF rolled deeper into Egypt, the advisor again suggested a retreat. This continued for another four days, at which point the IDF was on the outskirts of Cairo. The Egyptian generals spoke to the Soviet again. “We’ve fallen back to the capital! We can’t go any farther! What now?!?” The Soviet advisor smiled confidently and said “Now? Now we wait for winter.” There are two kinds of people in this world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data. Communist jokes aren’t funny unless everyone gets them. I told a chemistry joke once, but there was no reaction. Two white actors in Black Panther also played Gollum and Bilbo Baggins. They were the two Tolkien white guys. I, for one, like Roman numerals. A gorilla goes into a bar and orders a martini. This totally amazes the bartender, but he thinks, "What the heck, I guess I might as well make the drink." So he mixes the martini. He then walks back over to the give it to the gorilla, and the animal is holding out a twenty-dollar bill. Well, now the bartender is just at a loss for words. He can't believe that a gorilla walked into his bar, ordered a martini, and then actually had a twenty-dollar bill to pay for it. So, in amazement, he takes the twenty and walks to the cash register to make the change. While he's standing in front of the cash register he stops for a second and thinks to himself, "Let me try something here and see if the gorilla notices anything." So he walks back over to the gorilla and hands him a dollar change. The gorilla doesn't say anything, he just sits there sipping the martini. After a few minutes the bartender just can't take it anymore. "You know," he says to the gorilla, "we don't get too many gorillas in here." And the gorilla says, "At nineteen dollars a drink I'm not surprised." I love irony. It’s the opposite of wrinkly. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother. I'm a die hard atheist: I don't believe in Bruce Willis. I bought a guitar amplifier off Craigslist. The ad said it was half price because the volume was stuck on 10. I thought, "I can't turn that down." Three conspiracy theorists walk into a bar at exactly the same time. Probably just a coincidence. You can distinguish alligators from crocodiles by noting whether they see you later or after awhile. Q. How do you measure a snake? A. In inches. Cause they don't have feet. Kilt: What happens to anyone who calls it a skirt. I was in the park this afternoon, when a rather irate woman came up to me and asked "Excuse me, are you taking photos of my kids on your iphone?" I said, "Well, yes I am taking pictures, but it's not what you think." "Oh really?" she said, "What is it, then?" I said, "It's a Galaxy S5." A man and his wife went to the check in desk of a budget airline. " Do you have reservations? " asked the check in clerk. " Of course we have reservations ," said the man. " But we're flying with you anyway," I just ordered a chicken and an egg through Amazon. I'll keep you posted. Knew a guy named Dave who lived in the same apartment-building as a drug dealer. He got really pissed at the number of people going in and out of the building. So he renamed his wifi “police_surveillance_van4”, and after about a week the dealer moved away. Two Irishmen flew to Canada on a hunting trip. They chartered a small plane to take them into the Rockies for a week hunting moose. They managed to bag 6. As they were loading the plane to return, the pilot said the plane could take only 4 moose. The two lads objected strongly. "Last year we shot six. The pilot let us take them all and he had the same plane as yours." Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all six were loaded. The plane took off. However, while attempting to cross some mountains even on full power the little plane couldn't possibly handle the load and went down. Somehow, surrounded by the moose bodies, only Paddy and Mick survived the crash. After climbing out of the wreckage, Paddy asked Mick, "Any idea where we are?" Mick replied, "I think we're pretty close to where we crashed last year." [Note: I've discovered that I can tell jokes like this if I tell them on myself. Instead of two Irishmen, I make this one about me and my brother.] Where is the best place to start to learn programming/coding? Two resources that I started with: 1. Greenfoot and BlueJay programming tutorials. These two tutorials teach you the very basics of programming in Java. It's super simplified, yet helps you develop that “programmers state of mind”. It helps you understand the difference between a human language, and a computer language. 2. Coursera has some excellent python courses. Introduction to programming in Python by Rice University. This program is fantastic for two reasons: first, you'll be writing lots of fun code. Second, you'll be reviewing other people's code, and likewise they will review yours. Peer reviewing is perhaps THE best way to quickly accelerate your learning. - Try Teach Yourself Computer Science, it’s one of the best. (Expect it to take a lot of time - the site estimated 1,000–2,000 hours.) [Okay, that's not funny. But, the name of this file is Jokes and Notes, so some of it won't be.] My father once happened to be sitting next to a Navy SEAL on a flight. Being the charismatic gentleman that he is, my dad struck up conversation with this SEAL. Naturally, the SEAL started to divulge a bunch of cool war stories that impressed my old man. One of these involved being dropped into Grenada during the fiasco in the 80’s. Eventually, as the conversation progressed, my father noticed something odd about the SEAL. He was acting uncontrollably nervous, sweating bullets (no pun intended), stammering and not to mention he had hammered down about 3 Scotches, on a morning flight no less. My father was perplexed that this elite warrior was suddenly acting so jittery and unsettling out of nowhere. It sort of diffused the whole Navy SEAL demeanor. Finally, my dad asked the SEAL: “Hey man. I've noticed you've been acting very nervous. For a guy like you that’s been on the frontlines of battle, that has been all over the world, that is at the top of the top of all soldiers, what on earth has you so uneasy???” His response: “I'm on my way to my wedding.” Two guys in the woods found some tracks. One guy said they were bear tracks. The other guy said they were deer tracks. If they'd looked around, they'd have seen what kind of tracks they were, but they didn't. Instead, they just stood there arguing so fiercely that they were hit by the train. What has four legs and one arm? A Rottweiler. 1. I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don't know what he laced them with, but I've been tripping all day. 2. I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised. 3. Two clowns are eating a cannibal. One turns to the other and says "I think we got this joke wrong" 4. My wife told me I had to stop acting like a flamingo. So I had to put my foot down. 5. What's the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted. 6. I bought my friend an elephant for his room. He said "Thanks" I said "Don't mention it" 7. I have an EpiPen. My friend gave it to me when he was dying, it seemed very important to him that I have it. 8. I poured root beer into a square glass. Now I just have beer. I have a fear of public speaking, and a poor imagination; so I need you to take off your clothes now. An anthropologist walks into a bar and asks, "Why is this joke funny?" They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. They're not laughing now. I'm not a nihilist, I'm a hypocrite. At least I have standards. [When I was a kid, that would have been a semicolon rather than a comma.] A cop came up to me the other day and said: " where were you between four and six?" I said: " primary school." A lot of conflict in the old west could have been avoided if they'd just made their towns big enough for everyone. I have a stepladder. . . . I never knew my real ladder. My mother asked me to help plan my brother's surprise birthday party. I guess I know which twin is her favorite. “Profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.” [Yes, you get to edit this file yourself.] Forty-five billion dollars found in Nigerian man's flat. He'd spent ten years trying to give it away, but no one would answer his emails. These two guys were on death row and scheduled to be executed on the same day. The day came and they were led to the gas chamber Warden (to first guy): Do you have a last request? First guy: To play Achey Breakey Heart on the bagpipes. Warden: Sure we can arrange that. (to second guy) and do you have a last request? Second guy: That you kill me first. 100 favorite books of David Bowie: Interviews With Francis Bacon by David Sylvester Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse Room At The Top by John Braine On Having No Head by Douglass Harding Kafka Was The Rage by Anatole Broyard A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess City Of Night by John Rechy The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Iliad by Homer As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Tadanori Yokoo by Tadanori Yokoo Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art by James A. Hall David Bomberg by Richard Cork Blast by Wyndham Lewis Passing by Nella Larson Beyond The Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes In Bluebeard’s Castle by George Steiner Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd The Divided Self by R. D. Laing The Stranger by Albert Camus Infants Of The Spring by Wallace Thurman The Quest For Christa T by Christa Wolf The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodieby Muriel Spark Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Herzog by Saul Bellow Puckoon by Spike Milligan Black Boy by Richard Wright The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot McTeague by Frank Norris Money by Martin Amis The Outsider by Colin Wilson Strange People by Frank Edwards English Journey by J.B. Priestley A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West 1984 by George Orwell The Life And Times Of Little Richard by Charles White Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn Mystery Train by Greil Marcus Beano (comic, ’50s) Raw (comic, ’80s) White Noise by Don DeLillo Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick Silence: Lectures And Writing by John Cage Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews edited by Malcolm Cowley The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete Octobriana And The Russian Underground by Peter Sadecky The Street by Ann Petry Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr. A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz The Coast Of Utopia by Tom Stoppard The Bridge by Hart Crane All The Emperor’s Horses by David Kidd Fingersmith by Sarah Waters Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos Tales Of Beatnik Glory by Ed Saunders The Bird Artist by Howard Norman Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey Before The Deluge by Otto Friedrich Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia The American Way Of Death by Jessica Mitford In Cold Blood by Truman Capote Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence Teenage by Jon Savage Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin Viz (comic, early ’80s) Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s) Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara [Only The Lunch Poems] The Trial Of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes Maldodor by Comte de Lautréamont On The Road by Jack Kerouac Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders by Lawrence Weschler Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton Transcendental Magic, Its Doctine and Ritual by Eliphas Lévi The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels The Leopard by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa Inferno by Dante Alighieri A Grave For A Dolphin by Alberto Denti di Pirajno The Insult by Rupert Thomson In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg I was in Tesco's and I saw this man and woman wrapped in a barcode. I said, ''Are you two an item?'' I backed a horse last week at ten to one. It came in at quarter past four. I tried water polo but my horse drowned. Remember how great nostalgia used to be? Did you know that when a duck grows up ... it grows down. What do you get when you drop a nuclear bomb on a herd of cows? Udder destruction. You know why they only eat one egg for breakfast in France? Because, in France, one egg is an oeuf. [Pronounced pretty much as, "an egg is enough." ] Many men assume that the larger a woman's breasts are, the less stupider she is. They've actually got it backwards: the larger a woman's breasts are, the stupider men are. Q: Did you hear about the mechanical genius who built a combination television and microwave oven? A: Yes, he can watch Gone with the Wind in seventeen minutes. An old couple is on a walk, when a pigeon flies by and relieves himself on the woman's head. "Yech!" says the woman. "Get some toilet paper." "What's the point? He must be half-a-mile away by now." WHAT'S AMORE? (Five bad jokes, followed by one that’s ruinous.) When the moon hits your eye Like a big pizza pie That's amore. When an eel bites your hand And that's not what you planned That's a moray. When our habits are strange And our customs deranged That's our mores. When your mule’s eating lunch And you bring ‘nother bunch That's some more hay. When Othello's poor wife She gets stabbed with a knife That's a Moor, eh? When a Japanese knight Used a sword in a fight That's Samurai. "For a list of the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three." Adam Rabbinovitz goes to confess to the priest. "Father, at 78 years of age I am an elderly man and although I've always kept kosher and observed all the holidays I have sinned. I've been having an affair with a beautiful 25 year old woman." The priest was surprised but said nothing. "To top that off, I've also been sleeping with her younger sister." The priest interrupted him and said, "yes, but why are you telling me this?" "Hey," Adam replied, "at my age I'm telling everybody." What do you get when you take the circumference of your jack-o-lantern and divide it by its diameter? Pumpkin Pi. Q: Have you tried our new kosher cheesesteak on Wonder Bread? A: It's a blasphemy wrapped in an atrocity. Why don’t elephants bury their dead? Because that would be a huge undertaking. Why does Mike Tyson cry during sex? Mace just does that to you. Why do men find it difficult to make eye contact with women? Breasts don't have eyes. Did you hear about the shipment of Viagra that was hijacked? The police are looking for a gang of hardened criminals. I liked "Slaughterhouse 5", but I can't find the first four anywhere. 16 Reasons Why God Never Received Tenure at the University Author Unknown He had only one major publication And it was in Hebrew And it had no references And it was not published in a refereed journal And some even doubted that He wrote it Himself. It may be true that He created the world, but what has He done since then? His cooperative efforts have been quite limited. The scientific community has had a very rough time trying to replicate His results. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects. When one experiment went awry, He tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects. When subjects did not behave as predicted, He often punished them, or just deleted them from the sample. He rarely came to class: He just told students to read the book. He has his son teach the class. He expelled His first two students for learning too much. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed His tests. His office hours were infrequent, and usually held on a mountain top." I xeroxed my watch. Now I have time to spare. I'm as confused as a baby in a topless bar. Quayle, Gingrich, and Packwood are traveling in a car together in the midwest. A tornado comes along and whirls them up into the air and tosses them away. When they come to and extract themselves from the vehicle, they realize they're in the Land of Oz. They decide to go see the Wizard of Oz. Quayle says, "I'm going to ask the Wizard for a brain." Gingrich says, "I'm going to ask the Wizard for a heart." Packwood says, "Where's Dorothy?" - A pirate walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened, you look terrible!" "What do you mean? I'm fine." "What about that wooden leg? You didn't have that before." "Well," said the pirate, "We were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball hit my leg but the Doc fixed me up, and I'm fine, really." "Oh yeah? Well what about that hook? The last time I saw you had both hands." "We were in another battle and we boarded the enemy ship. I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off but the Doc fixed me up with the hook, and I feel great, really." "Oh," said the bartender, "what about that eye patch? The last time you were in here you had both eyes." "One day when we were at sea some birds were flying over the ship. I looked up and one of them crapped in my eye." "You're kidding," said the bartender, "you couldn't have lost an eye just from some bird crap!" "Ah, well, I really wasn't used to the hook yet." A network executive was interviewing a young blonde. He asked, "If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?" The blonde thought for a minute, then replied, "The living one." [Again, I tell this on myself. I thought a minute, and then said, "The living one."] The original version of this appeared in Roger Zelazny's collection of stories, CREATURES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS, Avon paperback edition, 1970, page 40, edited somewhat, to make it useable on more occasions. "Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that we be forgiven for anything we may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which we may be eligible after the destruction of our bodies, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure our receiving said benefit. I ask this on behalf of all people present in my capacity as our chosen intermediary between ourselves and that which may not be ourselves, but which may have an interest in the matter of our receiving as much as it is possible for us to receive of this benefit, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen." What do you get if you divide the circumference of your Jack-O-Lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin Pi The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ---Lynn Lavner A student essay stated, "The girl tumbled down the stairs and lay prostitute at the bottom." In the margin of the paper, the professor commented, "My dear sir, you must learn to distinguish between a fallen woman and one who has merely slipped." Why I Still Play Poker: A guy was playing 10-20 holdem and was stuck about 300 dollars when he looked down beside the table and saw a little green leprechaun. "Quit playing poker forever right now and I'll give you a pot of gold worth a million dollars.", said the little fellow. The player replied, "Let me get even first." Tom Swifties I’m going to have to send this telegram again, said Tom remorsefully. A little girl goes to the barbershop with her father. She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a TipTop creme filled snack cake. The barber says to her, "Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your Twinkie." She says, "Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too." I just got some horrible news: My new coworker is S.O.B. positive. My mother always told me I wouldn't amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, "Just wait." Being a hypocrite is better than having no values at all I'm not a nihilist, I'm a hypocrite. At least I have principles. My doctor said I was paranoid. Well, he didn't actually say it, but I could tell he was thinking it. A little old lady is playing Lo-Ball and her husband is standing behind her and watching her play. After a while she picks up a pat wheel. All fold but one player brings it in and she calls. He draws one and she stands pat. He bets and she calls and of course wins. Later, her husband asked her why she hadn't raised him. She answered.. "Screw him. He never gives ME any action!" A man went to his doctor, who informed him that he would be dead by morning. He went home and told his wife. She asked him how he would like to spend his last few hours on earth. He replied, "I want to spend my last night making passionate love to you." She refused, saying, "I have to get up in the morning. You don't." I used to eat all natural foods until I found out 80% of people die from natural causes. My doctor says I have something called "natural causes." Should I be worried? I read that ten out of two people are dyslexic. Did you hear about the furniture polisher who died? He had a lovely finish. What do you call a snowman in the desert? A puddle. A Buddhist monk walks into a pizzeria and says "Make me one with everything." Why don't blind people like to skydive? It scares the heck out of the dogs. what do we want? Procrastination. When do we want it? Uh . . . Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of. Televangelists: The Pro Wrestlers of religion. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. Guy joins a monastery that requires a vow of silence. He is allowed to speak two words every year. At the end of the first year, he goes to the head monk and says, "More blankets." At the end of the second year, he goes to the head monk and says, "More food." At the end of the third year, he goes to the head monk and says, "I'm leaving." "Good," says the head monk, "you've done nothing but complain since you got here." The joke about the camel driver who could tell time by lifting his camel's balls. ' "You see that clock over there?" Q. What happened to the passengers when the red ship collided with the blue ship? A. They were marooned. A good friend will bail you out of jail. A great friend will be sitting in the cell beside you saying, "Damn, that was fun." Two guys were playing golf. One guy sliced his ball into the woods. He went looking, and saw his ball down in a steep depression. He climbed down to it, whereupon he saw another ball, and a golf club, and, holding the golf club, the badly decayed corpse of another golfer. He shouted up to his friend, "Hey, Joe, would toss down my wedge? It looks like you can't get out of here with a three iron." Grocery store clerks make you pick paper or plastic because baggers can't be choosers Notice: The strong force will be turned off in the plant this weekend for annual maintenance. Plan your schedules accordingly. Wayne realized he needed to purchase a hearing aid, but he felt unwilling to spend much money. "How much do they run?" he asked the clerk. "It depends on quality," said the salesman. "They run from$2.00 to $2,000." "Let's see the$2.00 model," he said.

The clerk put the device around Wayne's neck. "You just stick this button in
your
ear and run this little string down to your pocket," he instructed.

"How does it work?" Wayne asked.

"For $2.00 it doesn't work," the salesman said. "But when people see it on you, they'll talk louder!" A Jewish grandmother is watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave comes and takes him out to sea. She pleads, "please God, save my only grandson. I beg of you, bring him back." And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new. She looks up to heaven and says: "He had a hat!" Upon the Advice of My Attorney, My Shirt Bears No Message at This Time. Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice. If I'm right 90% of the time, why quibble about the remaining 3%? Is a strumpet a guitar player's girl friend? More than five million Americans are overweight. Of course, these are just round figures. Bachelor: A man who is footloose and fiancee free. The handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them awhile. Take your hands off the car and I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document I don't believe in the electric chair. I believe in electric bleachers. AIBOHPHOBIA - the fear of palindromes. "Welcome to the psychotherapy hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press '1' repeatedly. If you are co-dependant, please have someone else press '2' for you. If you have multiple-personality disorder, please press '4', '5', and '6'. If you are paranoid, don't press anything, we know where you are and what you want." Passenger: Why did it take us so long to get into the air? Stewardess: The pilot refused to take off unless the engine was repaired. It took us an hour to find a replacement pilot. There's a parrot on the plane On reaching his plane seat a man is surprised to see a parrot strapped in next to him. He asks the stewardess for a coffee where upon the parrot squawks "And get me a whisky you cow!" The stewardess, flustered, brings back a whisky for the parrot and forgets the coffee. When this omission is pointed out to her the parrot drains its glass and bawls "And get me another whisky you idiot". Quite upset, the girl comes back shaking with another whisky but still no coffee. Unaccustomed to such slackness the man tries the parrot's approach "I've asked you twice for a coffee, go and get it now or I'll kick you". The next moment, both he and the parrot have been wrenched up and thrown out of the emergency exit by two burly stewards. Plunging downwards the parrot turns to him and says "For someone who can't fly, you complain too much!" parachute A man learning to parachute jumps out of an airplane. He pulls the main ripcord, but nothing happens. He pulls the backup ripcord, and again nothing happens. Having thus completed following his instructions, he doesn't know what to do next. He sees a guy going the other way, so he says, "Excuse me, do you know anything about parachutes?" The guy says, "No. Do you know anything about gasoline camp stoves?" With so much turmoil in the world, God decided to pay a visit to earth to check things out. He strolled into a bar and approached the first man he saw. "If you believe in me enough to give me$50," he said, "I will grant you eternal life."

"Sorry, I'm an atheist," the fellow replied, "and have never believed in God."

God walked up to another man and made the same offer. "Well, I'm an agnostic and not really sure if I believe in you or not," the guy said, "but here's 50 bucks, just in case."

As the Lord turned away, a third man ran up to him. "I'm Pat Robertson and don't really care if you're God or not," he said excitedly. "Just teach me the trick you did with the agnostic and I'll give you $100." An octogenarian who was an avid golfer moved to a new town and joined the local Country Club. He went to the Club for the first time to play, but was told that there wasn't anybody he could play with because they were already out on the course. He repeated several times that he really wanted to play today. Finally, the assistant Pro said he would play with him and asked him how many strokes he wanted for a bet. The 80 year old said, "I really don't need any strokes as I have been playing quite well. The only real problem I have, is getting out of sand traps." And he did play well. Coming to the par four 18th, they were all even. The Pro had a nice drive and was able to get on the green and two-putt for a par. The old man had a nice drive, but his approach shot landed in a sand trap next to the green. Playing from the bunker he hit a high ball, which landed on the green and rolled into the cup. Birdie, match and all the money! The Pro walked over to the sand trap where his opponent was still standing in the trap. He said: "nice shot, but I thought you said you have a problem getting out of sand traps?" Replied the octogenarian "I do, would you please give me a hand." A tale is told about a small town that had historically been "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in the power of prayer and the Christians do not." The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the naughty girls live. ============================================== When you stop believing in Santa Claus you start getting clothes for Christmas. I bid on the grilled cheese sandwich with Jesus' picture on it at eBay. I didn't manage to buy it. But then I found something even better. I bought a bag of candy-coated chocolates with Mary Magdelene's initials on each one! Did you hear about the new Website dedicated to morse code enthusiasts? It's www........... My oldest daughter is academically number one in her class, President of her class and she is prom queen. Homeschooling pays off. Ole, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist. His name grew and soon people from all over the country were coming to him for paintings. One day, a beautiful young woman pulled up to his house in a stretch limo. She asked Ole if he would paint her in the nude. This was the first time anyone had made this request. The beautiful lady said money was no object; she was willing to pay$50,000.

Not wanting to get into trouble with his wife, Ole asked the lady to wait
while he went in the house and conferred with Lena, his wife. In a few
minutes he returned and said to the lady, "Ya shoor, you betcha. I'll
paint ya in da nude, but I'll haff ta leave on my socks so I'll have a
place to wipe my brushes."

It was a stifling hot day and a man fainted in the middle of a
busy intersection. Traffic quickly piled up in all directions,
and a woman rushed to help him.

As she knelt down to loosen his collar, a man emerged from the
crowd, pushed her aside, and said, "It's all right honey, I've
had a course in first aid."

The woman stood up and watched as he took the ill man's pulse and

At this point she tapped him on the shoulder and said, "When you

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who are familiar with binary numbers and those who aren't. And those who didn't expect this joke to be told in base three.

A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: "Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says: "OK, now what?"

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?" The man below says: "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.

"You must work in Information Technology," says the balloonist. "'I do," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well" says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's no use to anyone."

The man on the ground says, "you must work in management." "I do" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?" "Well", says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were before we met, but now it's my fault."

==============================================

One morning I was called to pick up my son at the school nurse's office.

When I walked through the main entrance, I noticed a woman, curlers in her
hair, wearing pajamas. "Why are you dressed like that?" I asked her.

"I told my son," she explained, "that if he ever did anything to embarrass
me, I would embarrass him back. He was caught cutting school. So now I've
come to spend the day with him!"

> These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are
> things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now
>
> Q: Are you sexually active?
> A: No, I just lie there..
> __________________________________
>
> Q: What is your date of birth?
> A: July 15th.
> Q: What year?
> A: Every year.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
> A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
> A: Yes
> Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
> A: I forget.
> Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that
> you've forgotten?
> _____________________________________
>
> Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
> A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
> Q: How long has he lived with you?
> A: Forty-five years.
> _____________________________________
>
> Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he
> woke up that morning?
> A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
> Q: And why did that upset you?
> A: My name is Susan.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in
> voodoo or the occult?
> A: We both do.
> Q: Voodoo?
> A: We do.
> Q: You do?
> A: Yes, voodoo.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his
> sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
> A: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
> ___________________________________
>
> Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
> _____________________________________
>
> Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
> A: Yes.
> Q: And what were you doing at that time?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: She had three children, right?
> A: Yes.
> Q: How many were boys?
> A: None.
> Q: Were there any girls?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
> A: By death.
> Q: And by whose death was it terminated?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Can you describe the individual?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a
> deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
> A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead
> people?
> A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people..
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
> A: Oral.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
> A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
> Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at! the time?
> A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
> ______________________________________
>
> Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check
> for a pulse?
> A: No.
> Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
> A: No.
> Q: Did you check for breathing?
> A: No.
> Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you
> began the autopsy?
> A: No.
> Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
> A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
> Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
> A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
> practicing law somewhere.

The Top 5 Quotes We Wish Were
in the "Lord of the Rings" Movies

5> "Go not by that path, Aragorn! For my young companion Osment

3> "You sure you ain't never been just a wee bit curious,
Mr. Frodo?"

2> "Ha! Let the dark armies of Saruman come! It would take
an entire brigade of giant mutant four-tusked elephants
to conquer our... well, son of a bitch!"

and Number 1 Quote We Wish
Were in a "Lord of the Rings" Movie...

1> "Run, forest, run!"

I believe this is originally from Dave Barry

This is a test for men only, and all "real men" will answer C to
all of these questions. However, women will also benefit by
reviewing them, so that they get to understand men and thereby
enrich their own lives.
*****************************************

1. Alien beings from a highly advanced society visit the Earth,
and you are the first human they encounter. As a token of
intergalactic friendship, they present you with a small but
incredibly sophisticated device that is capable of curing all
disease, providing an infinite supply of clean energy, wiping
out hunger and poverty, and permanently eliminating oppression
and violence all over the entire earth. You decide to:

A. Present it to the President of the United States.
B. Present it to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
C. Take it apart.
*****************************************

2. As you grow older, what lost quality of your youthful life do
you miss the most?

A. Innocence
B. Idealism
C. Cherry bombs.
*****************************************

3. When is it okay to kiss another male?

A. When you wish to display simple and pure affection without
regard for narrow-minded social conventions.
B. When he is the Pope (but not on the lips)!
C. When he is your brother and you are Al Pacino and this is the
only really sportsmanlike way to let him know that, for business
reasons, you have to have him killed.
*****************************************

4. In your opinion, the ideal pet is:

A. A cat.
B. A dog.
C. A dog that eats cats.
*****************************************

5. You have been seeing a woman for several years. She's
attractive and intelligent, and you always enjoy being with her.
One leisurely Sunday afternoon the two of you are taking it
easy. You're watching a football game; she's reading the papers
when she suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, tells you that she
thinks she really loves you, but, she can no longer bear the
uncertainty of not knowing where your relationship is going. She
says she's not asking whether you want to get married; only
whether you believe that you have some kind of future together.
What do you say?

A. That you sincerely believe the two of you do have a future,
but you don't want to rush it.
B. That although you also have strong feelings for her, you
cannot honestly say that you'll be ready anytime soon to make a
lasting commitment, and you don't want to hurt her by holding
out false hope.
C. That you cannot believe the Broncos called a draw play on
third and seventeen.
*****************************************

6. Okay, so you have decided that you truly love a woman and you
want to spend the rest of your life with her, sharing the joys
and the sorrows the world has to offer, come what may. How do
you tell her?

A. You take her to a nice restaurant and tell her after dinner.
B. You take her for a walk on a moonlit beach, and you say her
name, and when she turns to you, with the sea breeze blowing
through her hair and the stars in her eyes, you tell her.
C. Tell her what?
*****************************************

7. One weekday morning your wife wakes up feeling ill and asks
question to her is:

A. "Do they need to eat or anything?"
C. "We have three of them?"
*****************************************

8. When is it okay to throw away a set of veteran underwear?

A. When it has turned the color of a dead whale and developed
new holes so large that you're not sure which ones were
B. When it is down to eight loosely connected underwear
molecules and has to be handled with tweezers.
C. It is never okay to throw away veteran underwear. A real guy
checks the garbage regularly in case somebody, and we are not
naming names, (but this would be his wife) is quietly trying to
*****************************************

9. What is the human race's single greatest achievement?

A. Democracy.
B. Religion.
C. Remote control.
*****************************************

10. What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable explanation
for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place
for forty years before they finally got to the Promised Land?

A. He was being tested.
B. He wanted them to really appreciate the Promised Land when
they finally got there.
C. He refused to ask for directions.
*****************************************

THE CREATION OF PETS

Where do pets come from?

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the
answer to "Where do pets come from?"

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us
every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it
is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will
be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you
will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or
childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as
you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

And it was a good animal.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his
tail.

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the
Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

And God said, "No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be
a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own
name, and you will call him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved
them.

And they were comforted.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said,
Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen
like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has
indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

And God said, "No problem! I will create for them a companion who will
be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind
them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's
eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.

And they were greatly improved.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat didn't care one way or the other.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show
you a flat minor.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully
recovered.

The following was overheard at a recent high society party...

"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady.
She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go
back?"

"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the flood."

============

"I had the strangest dream last night," a man was telling his psychiatrist.

"I saw my mother, but when she turned around to look at me, I noticed that
she had your face. You can imagine, I found this very disturbing, and in
fact I woke up immediately, and couldn't get back to sleep. I just lay
there in bed waiting for morning to come, and then I got up, drank a Coke,
and came right over here for my appointment. I thought you could help me
explain the meaning of this strange dream."

The psychiatrist was silent for a full minute before responding:

"A Coke? You call that a breakfast?"

A three year old boy in his bath examined his testicles and asked,

"Mommy, are these my brains?"

Mom said, "Not yet, honey."

Our article about Jewish burial customs contained an error: Mourners'
clothing is rent -- that is, torn -- not rented.

Just to keep the record straight, it was the famous Whistler's Mother, not
Hitler's, that was exhibited. There is nothing to be gained in trying to
explain how this error occurred.

From a California Bar Association's newsletter to lawyers: Correction -- the
following typo appeared in our last bulletin: "Lunch will be gin at 12:15

To err is human, to moo is bovine.

My doctor just said I have something called
"natural causes." Should I be worried?

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while
they drew.
She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she
got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the
drawing was?
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl
replied, "They will in a minute."

Bill Gates has observed that the payoff of technology is always overestimated in the short run and underestimated in the long run.

An Alsatian went to a telegram office, took out a blank form and
wrote: "Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof."

The clerk examined the paper and politely told the dog: "There
are only nine words here. You could send another Woof for the
same price."

"But," the dog replied, "that would make no sense at all."

David G. Contact me soon!
Bring three rings:
Engagement, wedding, and teething.
Have news.
Debbie.

A red sign on the door of a physics professor: 'If this sign is blue, you're
going too fast.'
============
Seen on the Physics Dept. notice board...

WANTED:
Schroedinger's Cat.

============

Heisenberg is driving down the autobahn. A police officer pulls him over.
The officer says, "Excuse me, sir, do you know how fast you were going?"
Heisenberg says, "No, but I know where I am."
---

Q: What do you get when you cross a mosquito with a mountain climber?
A: Nothing. You can't cross a vector with a scaler.

============
I think it was a Ziggy strip (who knew Ziggy could be funny?), but it was a
picture of him looking at a map of the "Heisenberg Science Institute"... and
there's about thirty arrows, pointing all over the map, which are marked,
"You may be here."
A similar joke was a sign outside a motel in Las Vegas during a physicists'
convention:
"HEISENBERG MAY HAVE SLEPT HERE"

A blonde decided she needed something new and different for a
winter hobby. She went to the bookstore and bought every book she
could find on ice fishing. For weeks she read and studied, hoping
to become an expert in the field. Finally she decided she knew
enough, and out she went for her first ice fishing trip. She
carefully gathered up and packed all the tools and equipment
needed for the excursion. Each piece of equipment had its own
special place in her kit.
When she got to the ice, she found a quiet little area, placed
her padded stool, and carefully laid out her tools. Just as she
was about to make her first cut into the ice, a booming voice
from the sky bellowed, "There are no fish under the ice!"
Startled, the blonde grabbed up all her belongings, moved further
along the ice, poured some hot chocolate from her thermos, and
started to cut a new hole. Again the voice from above bellowed,
"There ! are no fish under the ice!"
Amazed, the blonde wasn't quite sure what to do, as this
certainly wasn't covered in any of her books. She packed up her
gear and moved to the far side of the ice. Once there, she
stopped for a few moments to regain her calm. Then she was
extremely careful to set everything up perfectly -- tools in the
right place, chair positioned just so. Just as she was about to
cut this new hole, the voice came again, "There are no fish under
the ice!"
Petrified, the blonde looked skyward and asked, "Is that you Lord?"
The voice boomed back, "No, this is the manager of the skating rink!"

[Again, funnier if I'm the fisherman.]

She was only the whisky maker's daughter, but he loved her still.

A rolled up newspaper can be an effective training tool when used properly.
For instance, use the rolled-up newspaper if your dog chews up something
inappropriate or has a housebreaking accident. Bring the dog over to the
destroyed object (or mess), then take the rolled-up newspaper... and hit
yourself over the head as you repeat the phrase,"I FORGOT TO WATCH MY DOG, I
FORGOT TO WATCH MY DOG!"

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of
him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a
unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured
the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
your favorite passions-- things that if everything else was lost and only
they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,

The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the
things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are
critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get
medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There
will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no
matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of
beers."

While driving along the back roads of a small town, two truckers
came to an overpass with a sign that read CLEARANCE 11'3".

They got out and measured their rig, which was 12'4".

"What do you think?" one asked the other.

The driver looked around carefully, then shifted into first.
"Not a cop in sight. Let's take a chance!"

Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi
-2000 pounds of Chinese soup: Won ton
-1 millionth of a mouthwash: 1 microscope
-Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond
-Weight an evangelist carries with God: 1 billigram
-Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour: Knot-furlong
-365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because it's less filling: 1 lite
year
-16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone: 1 Rod Serling
-Half of a large intestine: 1 semicolon
-1000 aches: 1 megahurtz
-Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 hoarsepower
-Shortest distance between two jokes: A straight line (think about it for a
moment)
-453.6 graham crackers: 1 pound cake
-1 million-million microphones: 1 megaphone
-1 million bicycles: 2 megacycles
-365.25 days: 1 unicycle
-2000 mockingbirds: two kilomockingbirds (work on it....)
-10 cards: 1 decacards
-1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton
-1000 grams of wet socks: 1 literhosen
-1 millionth of a fish: 1 microfiche
-1 trillion pins: 1 terrapin
-10 rations: 1 decoration
-100 rations: 1 C-ration
-2 monograms: 1 diagram
-2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University
Hospital:
1 I.V. League

Why is trick or treating better than sex?
10. People won’t think you’re kinky if you wear a batman costume.
9. The uglier you are, the easier it is to get something in the sack.

8. If you don’t like what you get, it’s okay to go next door.

Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit with
crashing thunder and severe lightning. As I came into my bedroom about 2
a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, apparently scared by the
loud storm. I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night. The
next day, I talked to the children, and explained that it was O.K. to sleep
with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don't
sleep with Mom that night. They said OK.

After my next trip several weeks later, my wife and the children picked me
up in the terminal at the appointed time. Since the plane was late, there
were hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving passengers, also. As
I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running shouting, "Hi,
Dad! I've got some good news!" As I waved back, I said loudly, "What's the
good news?" "Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!" Alex
shouted. The airport became very quiet, as everyone in the waiting area
looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched the rest of the area to
see if they could figure out exactly who his Mom was.

A midget, a bodybuilder and a porn star walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "What is this, an election?"
<The above was funny back when Schwarzenegger, H. Ross Perot, and somebody I forget were running. >

The Smartest Dog in the world?

A man walks into a bar and notices a poker game at the far table. Upon taking a closer look he sees a dog sitting at the table. This peaks his curiousity and he walks closer and sees cards and chips in front of the dog. Then the next hand is dealt and cards are dealt to the dog. The dog acts in turn with all the other players, calling, raising, discarding, everything the other human players were doing.
However, none of the other players seemed to pay any mind to the fact that they were playing with a dog, they just treated him like any other player. Finally the man could no longer hold his tongue, so between hands he quietly said to one of the players, "I can't believe that dog is playing poker, he must be the smartest dog in the world!"
The player smiled and said, "He isn't that smart, every time he gets a good hand, he wags his tail."

A Call for More Scientific Truth in Product Warning Labels
by Susan Hewitt and Edward Subitzky from the Journal of Irreproducible Results, Vol. 36, No. 1

As scientists and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend towards legislation that requires the prominent placing of warnings on products that present hazards to the general public. Yet we must also offer the cautionary thought that such warnings, however well-intentioned, merely scratch the surface of what is really necessary in this important area. This is especially true in light of the findings of 20th century physics.
We are therefore proposing that, as responsible scientists, we join together in an intensive push for new laws that will mandate the conspicuous placement of suitably informative warnings on the packaging of every product offered for sale in the United States of America. Our Suggested list of required warnings appears below.
 Warning: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity. Warning: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them. Caution: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. Handle with Extreme Care: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles per Hour. Consumer Notice: Because of the 'Uncertainty Principle,' It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving. Advisory: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Known as 'Tunneling,' This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result. Read This Before Opening Package: According to Certain Suggested Versions of a Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting This Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years. This is a 100% Matter product: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result. Public Notice as Required by Law: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe. Note: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a 'Gluing' Force About Which Little Is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed. Attention: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer Is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space. New Grand Unified Theory Disclaimer: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are 'Rolled Up' into Such a Small 'Area' That They Cannot Be Detected. Please Note: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. Component equivalency notice: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied. Health Warning: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User. Important Notice to Purchasers: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot be Guaranteed.

Back to main humour page.

"All things dull and ugly, all creatures short and squat;
All things rude and nasty, the Lord God made the lot.
Each little snake that poisons, each little wasp that stings
All things sick and cancerous, all evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous, the Lord God made them all.
Each nasty little hornet, each beastly little squid.
All things scabbed and ulcerous, all pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous, The Lord God made them all. Amen."
[Monty Python, "The Meaning of Life" movie]

That stupid liquor clerk won't sell me a bottle
of Scotch until I turn 21. Doesn't he read
the newspaper? I was tried as an adult!

(Brian Jones)

REASONS WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS HARD TO LEARN

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture ..

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was
time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.!

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple
nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in
England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while
sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we
find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and
a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is
it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce
and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth
beeth?

One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend,
that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one
of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?!

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to
an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people
recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send
cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How
can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man
and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be
opposites,
while
quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot
as hell one day and cold as hell another? Have you noticed that
we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you
ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung
hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who
was combobulated,! gruntled, ruly or peccable?

And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who
WOULD hurt a fly? You have to marvel at the unique
lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which
an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people,
not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race
(which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the
stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out,
they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start
it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

****
JD

Visiting St Patrick's Cathedral on a tour of New York City,
my daughter and her children were awed by the sight.
The kids were especially curious about the votive candles,
so my daughter asked if they'd each like to light one.

She explained that is it customary to say a prayer of
petition or thanks, and she was careful to tell them
that these are not like birthday candles.

"Do you have any questions?" she asked.

"No," said the 5-year-old, "but if there's a pony
outside, it's mine.

********
I don't do drugs anymore 'cause I find I get the same effect
just standing up really fast.

> A Hymn to Heteronyms
>
> Please go through the entrance of this little poem.
> I guarantee it will entrance you.
> The content will certainly make you content,
> And the knowledge gained sure will enhance you.
>
> A boy moped around when his parents refused
> For him a new moped to buy.
> The incense he burned did incense him to go
> On a tear with a tear in his eye.
>
> He ragged on his parents, felt they ran him ragged
> His just deserts they never gave.
> He imagined them out on some deserts so dry,
> Where for water they'd search and they'd rave.
>
> At present he just won't present or converse
> On the converse of each high-flown theory
> Of circles and axes in math class; he has
> Many axes to grind, isn't cheery.
>
> He tried to play baseball, but often skied out,
> So when the snows came, he just skied.
> But he then broke a leg putting on his ski boots,
> And his putting in golf was in need.
>
> He once held the lead in a cross country race
> Till his legs started feeling like lead.
> And when the pain peaked, he looked kind of peaked
> His liver felt liver, then dead.
>
> A number of times he felt number, all wound
> Up, like one with a wound, not a wand.
> His new TV console just couldn't console
> Or slough off a slough of despond.
>
> The rugged boy paced 'round his shaggy rugged room
> And he spent the whole evening till dawn
> Evening out the cross-winds of his hate.
> Now my anecdote winds on and on.
>
> He thought: "Does the prancing of so many does
> Explain why down dove the white dove,
> Or why pussy cat has a pussy old sore
> And bass sing in bass notes of their love
>
> Do they always sing, "Do re mi" and stare, agape
> At eros, agape, each minute?
> Their love's not minute; there's an overage of love.
> Even overage fish are quite in it.
>
> These bass fish have never been in short supply
> As they supply spawn without waiting.
> With their love fluids bubbling, abundant, secretive
> There's many a secretive mating.
>
> (From "Crazy English" by Richard Lederer)

One day, after a man had his annual physical, the doctor came out
and said, "You had a great checkup. Is there anything that you'd

"Well," he said, "I was thinking about getting a vasectomy."

"That's a pretty big decision. Have you talked it over with your
family?"
"Yeah, and they're in favor 15 to 2."

... Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing
section in a swimming pool?

Microsoft decided at a meeting that their best engineer should improve
his skills and discipline by going to the military for a while.

At the shooting range he got a little instruction, a rifle and some
bullts. He fired at the target until there where no more bullets. The
message from the other end at the target was that he didn't hit the
target at all.

The Microsoft engineer looked at the rifle and then at the target.
"Hmm..." he thought, I think that I can solve this problem very
quickly. He looked at the rifle again and then at the target. He aimed
with the loaded rifle into the ground in front of him and then fired a
shot. The result was a cloud of dust and a little hole in the ground.
"yep, it works!" he concluded.

The engineer yelled at the people at the target: "The rifle works fine
and the bullets seems to leave the rifle as they are suppose to so the
problem must be at your place.

Scavenger Hunt
---------------
A woman answered her front door and found two little boys
holding a list.

"Lady," one of them explained, "we're on a scavenger hunt,
and we still need three grains of wheat, a pork-chop bone
and a piece of used carbon paper to earn a dollar."

"Wow," the woman replied. "Who sent you on such a challenging
hunt?"

"Our baby-sitter's boyfriend."

WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THREE WISE JEWISH WOMEN HAD
GONE TO BETHLEHEM INSTEAD OF THREE WISE MEN????

Arrived on time.
Helped deliver the baby.
Hired someone to clean the stable.
And what would they have said to each other after they left?
"Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that shmatta?"
"That baby doesn't look anything like Joseph!"
"Virgin? I knew her in school!"
"Can you believe they let all of those disgusting animals in there?"
"I heard that Joseph doesn't have a job."
"And that donkey they are riding has seen better days!"
"We'll just see how long it will take to get your brisket dish back."

I'm so unlucky that if I fell into a barrel of nipples I'd come out sucking my thumb.

If you ever remodeled a house----you recognize the truth in this one.

Within two weeks of moving into their new house, Roxanne and her husband
that required calls to an electrician, a roofer, a plasterer and a
carpenter.
One afternoon Roxanne's husband returned early from work and seeing a
plumber's truck in the driveway, he pleaded, looking skyward,"Lord,
please let her be having an affair."
===========================

The psychiatrist asked me a few questions, took some notes then
sat thinking in silence for a few minutes with a puzzled look on
his face.

Suddenly, he looked up with an expression of delight and said,
"Ummmmm, I think your problem is low self-esteem. It's very
common among losers."

A guy walks into a doctor's office. He has a sausage coming
out of his ear, a waffle coming out of his nose, and bacon
coming out of his other ear. He says worriedly, "Doc, what's
wrong with me?!?"

The doctor replies, ''You're not eating properly.'

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Ice cream soda
Ice cream soda who?
I scream soda people can hear me.
(Marsha Coleman)

Little known terrorist organizations:
7> Balsamic Jihad -- fundamentalist food critics

Two youngsters were walking home from Sunday School, each deep in his own
thoughts.

Finally one said, "What do you think about all this devil business we
studied today?"

The other boy replied thoughtfully,

"Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. This is probably just your Dad,
too."

******

A pair of Irish ditch diggers were repairing some road side damage
directly across the street from a house of ill repute when they
witnessed a Protestant Reverend lurking about and then ducking into the
house.

"Would ya look at that Darby!" said Pat. "What a shameful disgrace,
those Protestant Reverends sinning in a house the likes of that place!"
They both shook their heads in disgust and continued their work.

A short time later they watched as a Jewish Rabbi looked around himself
cautiously and then darted into the house when he was satisfied no one

"Did ya see that Darby?" Pat asked the other in shock and disbelief.
"Is nothing holy to those Jewish people? I just can't understand what
the world is coming to these days. A man of the cloth indulging
himself in sins of the flesh. 'Tis a shame, I tell ya!"

Not long had passed when they saw a third man, a Catholic Priest,
lurking about the house looking around to see if any one was watching
and then quietly sneaking in the door.

"Oh no, Darby look!" Said Pat removing his cap. "One of the poor girls
musta died!!"

{This joke is useful to point out certain fallacious arguing styles.}

Lyrics
© 1996 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music

Well Jesus was a homeless lad
With an unwed mother and an absent dad
And I really don’t think he would have gotten that far
If Newt, Pat and Jesse had followed that star

Refrain: So let’s all sing out praises to

When Jesus taught the people he
Would never charge a tuition fee
He just took some fishes and some bread
So let’s all sing out praises to....

He healed the blind and made them see
He brought the lame folks to their feet
Rich and poor, any time, anywhere
Just pioneering that free health care
So let’s all sing out praises to....

Jesus hung with a low-life crowd
But those working stiffs sure did him proud
Some were murderers, thieves and whores
But at least they didn’t do it as legislators
So let’s all sing out praises to....

(Modulate to A)

Jesus lived in troubled times
the religious right was on the rise
Oh what could have saved him from his terrible fate?
Separation of church and state.
So let’s all sing out praises to....

Sometimes I fall into deep despair
When I hear those hypocrites on the air
But every Sunday gives me hope
When pastor, deacon, priest, and pope
Are all singing out their praises to

They’re singing out their praises to..oooo..oooo..

On beheading drug dealers: “Morally, there’s no problem with that at all. I used to teach ethics – trust me.”
Drug Czar William Bennet

100 Years Ago...

The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three minute call from
Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily
populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents,
California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour. The average
U.S. worker made between $200 and$400 per year.

[I don't know when this was published, but this stuff is no longer 100 years ago.]

> An old man was laying on his death bed.
> He had only hours to live when he suddenly
>
> He loved chocolate chip cookies more than
> anything else in the world.
>
> With his last bit of energy, he pulled himself
> out of bed, across the floor, and to the stairs.
> Then down the stairs and into the kitchen.
>
> There his wife was baking chocolate chip cookies.
> As he reached for one, he got SMACKED across the
> back of his hand by the wooden spoon his wife was
> holding.
>
> "Leave them alone!" she said, "They're for the funeral!"

I gaze at the brilliant full moon. The same one, I think to myself, at which Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato gazed. Suddenly, I imagine they appear beside me. I tell Socrates about the national debate over one's right to die and wonder at the constancy of the human condition. I tell Plato that I live in the country that has come the closest to Utopia, and I show him a copy of the Constitution. I tell Aristotle that we have found many more than four basic elements and I show him a periodic table. I get a box of kitchen matches and strike one. They gasp with wonder. We spend the rest of the night lighting farts.

EARTH FIRST! We'll strip-mine the other planets later.

Three engineers and three accountants are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each buy a ticket and watch as the three engineers only buy one ticket. "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answered an engineer. They all board the train. The accountants take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into a rest room and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Tickets, please!" The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The accountants see this and agree it is a clever idea. So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they buy one ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed accountant." Watch and you'll see," answered an engineer. When they board the train all three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Tickets, please!"