Pitchguest wrote: Brive1987 wrote:
Must say I laughed when I read PZ had paid life membership for an organisation run by a BraveHero who owns a couple of guns, is a fiscal conservative, pro military and suspicious of Obama and is lukewarm on free choice on abortion.http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... resenting/
Ahahahahaha! Silverman didn't say he thinks abortion should be illegal, PZ, you blithering idiot!
Hahaha, what the fuck. Can he be anymore of a numpty? Shaking my damn fucking head.
That article is ridiculous.
The figures that Peezus presents completely support Silverman and yet Peezus tries to make it sound the opposite.
In the wake of David Silvermanâ€™s claim that the case for abortion rights is â€œmaybe not as clean cut as school prayer, right to die, and gay marriage,â€ the American Secular Census asked atheists what their views on those subjects were. Now of course, these numbers donâ€™t say which answer is right, but only what the majority of atheists, those people American Atheists are supposed to represent, think is right. We have a decidedly liberal bias.
Which of these statements best describes your opinion about abortion?
55.4% Abortion should be legal without any restrictions beyond those applied to any other medical procedure.
43.0% Abortion should be legal but with reasonable restrictions on gestational stage.
00.9% Abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the womanâ€™s life.
00.2% Abortion should be legal only to save the womanâ€™s life.
00.0% Abortion should be illegal.
00.5% Undecided / other
Which of these statements best describes your opinion of school-sponsored prayer in public education?
76.6% School-sponsored prayer has no place in public education.
22.8% School-sponsored prayer should not occur, but official minutes of silence when students can pray/meditate privately are fine.
00.2% School-sponsored prayer should be accommodated but only at special events such as graduation.
00.2% Parents and/or student bodies should be able to vote whether to have school-sponsored prayer.
00.1% School-sponsored prayer is fine.
00.2% Undecided / other
Which of these statements best describes your opinion about gay couples marrying?
97.3% Gay couples should be able to marry in all states.
01.0% States should be able to decide whether to perform gay marriages and whether to recognize marriages performed in other states.
00.6% Gay marriage should not be recognized in any state but all states should allow gay couples to enter into civil unions.
00.2% States should be able to decide whether to formalize civil unions and whether to recognize civil unions from out of state.
00.0% Gay couples should not be able to marry or enter into civil unions in any state.
00.9% Undecided / other
Both the school prayer question and the gay marriage question reveal that atheists are almost universally agreed on these issues - religious school-sponsored prayers are opposed by over 99% of atheists and gay marriage is supported by over 97%.
In contrast the abortion question is very mixed.
Both options provided are a little unclear
"Abortion should be legal without any restrictions beyond those applied to any other medical procedure."
I'm unsure exactly what that means but I take it to read that there should be no time limits whatsoever up until the moment of birth - although I can also see people reading different meanings into that answer (in other words it is a vague option - and thus a bad choice for such a survey)
Even so, just 55.4% of people agreed with it.
The next option is clearer, although not without problems:
"Abortion should be legal but with reasonable restrictions on gestational stage."
Isn't this what in reality most moderate religious people believe?
Isn't it also how modern western societies mostly deal with the question of abortion?
The cruz of the issue is how we define 'reasonable'.
Some people will claim that since the wellbeing of the pregnant woman is paramount and far outweights the rights of the fetus, 'reasonable' means up to the moment of birth.
Others will say that it is reasonable that since a fetus can survive (with modern medical intervention) outside the womb when it is 24 weeks old this is a good cut-off point and any later than 24 weeks is unreasonable.
Others still will give earlier timepoints, for example in the first trimester.
But, to cut through the complexities we might simply view the question as referring to what society now views as the reasonable cutoff point for non medical emergency abortions (medical emergency abortions, I presume, will be universally accepted by atheists.)
In other words we can define 'reasonable' as meaning between the first trimester and somewhere before the 24 week point.
Note that this is very different that the first option - which defines no limit.
43% of atheists seem to fit into this category - which roughly divides the atheist community into two camps - one which doesn't see the need for a time limit on (non medical emergency) abortions, and the other that does.
Since I've indicated the problems with the questions being too vague, there will be some degree of overlap - it would be better to get clearer questions if you want a firm grasp of atheists views on this matter - but even so it is nonsense to suggest that Silverman is wrong on this matter - he is clearly correct that atheists views are nowhere near as univerally agreed on this question compared to questions of school prayer and gay marriage.
Peezus, taking this sort of 'World News Daily' style tabloid objectivity to the question shows why he never made it as one of the horsemen and why the panel of likely candidates to succeed Hitchens as atheist leaders, never included him.