Democrats better on social issues?

TA:
I agree with JB in that I would be curious to see his take on McCain. To me he is a man who seems truly indifferent and phony on all things spiritual. I know we’re all sinners and all that, but what he did to his first wife was disgraceful. And he called his current wife a c**t publicly, in front of a reporter no less. I don’t know how y’all wives would take that, but rest assured I’d be single if I did that. McCain doesn’t speak about scripture because he has never been remotely interested in such matters. He only engages to the extent that he has to politically; i.e, pro-life, against gay marriage, etc. James E., I won’t pretend to be in the same universe as you in regards to Biblical knowledge, but I recall when I was doing my best to read scripture, it talked a lot about helping those less fortunate. Do the Republicans truly govern in accordance with scripture? And I do remember you telling me that all sins are equal, right? So assume I’m correct in assuming that the Republican party would not pass muster as a  scripture based party, then it seems obvious that it is a Christian person’s duty to vote for who he or she believes is most competent to govern this nation. In issues of war and peace, economics, and strategic planning on issues like energy and America’s antiquated infrastructure, would McCain/Palin or Obama / Biden do a better job. My choice is Obama / Biden. I feel he has the intellectual gravitas and brilliance rarely seen in a public servant, and coupled with Biden’s experience they make a hell of a team. We can’t afford to waste another 8 years being governed by folks that don’t think it’s all that important to do it effectively. I had the fortunate experience of going to China for a week this summer and let me tell you, America may be the most “powerful” nation in the world, but I can’t tell. Shanghai is more advanced than any city in America, period. It’s time for America to get back on it’s game.

James:
All sins are equal in that no matter which kind of sin you commit it is still a transgression against God’s will. However, sins do have certain weights attached to them in terms of seriousness. For example, in the Bible, homosexuality is dealt with by stoning due to the agregious nature of that particular sin; however, there are other sins do not require the immediate death of the transgressor. Therefore, all sins are not equal. There is actually a sin in the bible for which there is no forgiveness available either in this life or in the life to come (the ressurection).
I appreciate your comments about McCain if in fact they are true, however, your argument about the republican party not taking care of the “poor folks” is unfortunately without merit. Both administrations do an equally good and bad job in that arena depending upon where you want to shine the spotlight. I would actually argue that republicans do a better job but that is a converation for another email. The biggest problem with injecting Christianity into the criteria is that the Democratic party in general is overtly an anti-God party. What I mean by this assertion is, despite the fact that God specifically states that he hates the homosexual lifestyle and the killing of millions of innocent babies, and the redefinition of the first institution he created (marriage) etc. the democratic party embraces these sins while at the same time trying to present themselves as “Christians.” Unfortunately for democrats that like to play Christian, most people understand that anyone who calls themself a christian but do not believe in God’s laws (regarding homosexuallity, murdering of the innocent, redefining marriage), is really lying. In scripture there is actually no distinction between believing in God and believing in his Word; the two are really the same thing.

TA:
OK, so I defer to your Biblical knowledge that indeed sins are weighted as evidenced by their punishments. I only asserted that they were equal because I recall you telling me just that but perhaps my memory is inaccurate. In the matter of gays being allowed to marry and keeping abortion legal, I readily admit, from my limited understanding of the Bible, the Democrats are more out of tune that the Republicans are rhetorically. That being said, can a woman have an abortion or not after 8 years of the most conservative administration in this nation’s history? The answer is of course yes. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, I hope all of the people who have been voting Republican all these years based on this understand that abortions will continue legally in this country, at least for those that can afford a bus ticket. Roe v. Wade only deals with the federal “right” to have an abortion. States will still have the final say in it’s legality within it’s borders. Take a look at a US map and you can quickly come to the conclusion that at least half of the states will remain abortion legal. For those women who reside in a state where it’s not, they just catch a bus or plane to one where it is. So in essence, the overturning of Roe v. Wade will only affect those in abject poverty. To truly “ban” abortion, America will need a constitutional amendment. So if pro-life voters really want to save unborn children,they should concentrate their efforts in getting a constitutional amendment passed, which is not contingent on whose President by the way. You can in good faith vote for the more capable executive and pursue the right to life in earnest.
As far as you assertion that “..your argument about the republican party not taking care of the “poor folks” is unfortunately without merit” , you’re so wrong I don’t know where to begin. Suffice it to say that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. The Republican party, at least since Reagan, has been for deregulation and lower taxes for the wealthy, while simultaneously being against programs and policies that fall under the category of “social safety net”. Whether it be welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment benefits, maternity leave, Head Start, after school programs, you name it, the Republicans have been openly opposed to them. Meanwhile they have been for deregulation of energy markets (hence Enron) and of the financial sector (hence the current Wall St meltdown). I cannot remember the name of the law that was passed at this moment, but much of what is happening in the markets right now can be traced back to 1999 and the law that Phil Gramm (“we’re a nation of whiners” guy and top McCain financial advisor) shepherded through congress.  In essence it created the framework for which investment banks could package suspect financial holdings ( like subprime mortgages) and sell them as securities. I can follow this email if you’d like with more evidence to dispute your assertion that the Republicans do better for the less
fortunate. I only ask that you define by what metric we’re measuring. I typically judge this by tax burden as it relates to income, employment security and wage growth, savings, education, and aid for the indigent. I can prove all of these with relative ease. Let me know.

James:
I must admit that your presentation, style and arguments albeit spurious demonstrate a sincere effort to convince and for that I am somewhat impressed. Nevertheless, I think it unwise to reduce the “culture of life” tirelessly promoted by the Republicans (as a whole) to rhetoric. I also think it unwise to suggest that a federal ban on abortions would not affect individual states. This is tantamount to saying that a federal ban on gay marriage would not affect the States responsibility to enforce it. Either of the above assertions is of course without merit. Even a cursory understanding of federal law (the Article VI Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution barrs state laws that contradicts either the Constitution or federal law) suggests that they are efficacious for all states therein. Therefore and unless I am mistaken, this means that federal law supersedes any contradicting state law. For example, even though approximately 15 states still have laws on the books that would ban abortion throughout pregnancy, the Roe v. Wade federal decision prevents these state bans’ enforcement.
In spite of the fact that you misstated the effects of a federal ban, I think you still miss the point about voting Pro-life. It’s about a culture change and not a law change. Laws are like a pendulum, as the culture shifts in one direction so do the laws. Of course, you can’t change the culture overnight as the deterioration to our current state did not occur overnight. As America ‘s Christian foundation and respect for biblical authority eroded so did the culture. We must vote for someone who is more likely to restore a respect for biblical authority and hence honor the biblical mandate that murdering an unborn human is wrong primarily because man is made in the image of God (Genesis 9:6)
As for my comment about both parties and their support or lack there-of for the poor, we must keep in mind that simply living in America affords the dweller with more privileges and means to pursue happiness and health than most citizens of the world outside of the US. Furthermore, the US is the greatest philanthropist nation of all time and statistics show that people of faith (which tend to be republicans more that democrats) are the most generous when it comes to giving. However, regarding the entitlement programs to which you refer (i.e. welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment benefits) I would argue that these programs (at least the way they are currently administered) are a curse to poor people and instead of liberating poverty, actually encourage it. Most of the world empirically understands the biblical admonition that a person who does not work doesn’t deserve to eat, except for the US of course which believes in forcibly nourishing derelicts to their own detriment. Entitlement programs do not deter irresponsible behavior but rather encourage it.

TA:
Yes James, I’m afraid you are mistaken. Federal law does indeed trump state law, but the Feds are limited as to what sort of laws that they can enact, let alone enforce. Think for a minute about medicinal marijuana in state like California which directly contradicts not only federal law, but entire federal agencies like the DEA. Your point, “For example, even though approximately 15 states still have laws on the books that would ban abortion throughout pregnancy, the Roe v. Wade federal decision prevents these state bans’ enforcement”, is confusing branches of government. Roe v Wade is not a “federal decision” in a legislative sense. A Supreme Court decision is a unique situation. The Supreme Court cannot make law, they can only determine an existing laws’ constitutionality. In Roe v Wade, they determined it unconstitutional for states to ban abortion. So there are no such 15 states “with bans on abortion” because they are unenforceable at this moment. By “still on the books”, I’m unclear as to what you mean. However, once Roe v Wade is overturned, these laws to which you refer would again be legal in those 15 states. In the other 35 states abortion would still be legal as I said before. There will never, ever be a “federal law” against abortion. Again, to end legal abortion altogether you will have to pass a constitutional amendment – good luck with that. It’s also worth noting that abortions tend to go down as education and employment opportunities increase. Hence the Clinton administration statistically did better that did Bush in reducing abortions.
As for “..we must keep in mind that simply living in America affords the dweller with more privileges…”, what exactly is your point, your metric, or your evidence? Maybe this is unquestionably true when compared to  a lot of African countries, but how about Europe? And even so, Democrats govern America as well as Republicans and both we be responsible for this American advantage to which you refer. As for “…statistics show that people of faith (which tend to be republicans more that democrats) are the most generous when it comes to giving …”, I dispute your facts. In a nations that is 80% Christian and roughly a few million more registered Democrats, your math doesn’t add up. Also, I bet the folks in the Peace Corps and such agencies would argue with your premise as well, being decidedly left wing. Your statement “Most of the world empirically understands the biblical admonition that a person who does not work doesn’t deserve to eat, except for the US of course which believes in forcibly nourishing derelicts to their own retriment.”, is completely nonsensical. Most governments who do not provide some sort of social aid to their indigent do so because financially it is not possible or they are themselves corrupt. Please name me one Christian nation, who in they sake adherence to scripture, opts to not help the poor with welfare. Just one will do. As for social programs being the cause of perpetuating the very ills they are enacted to help alleviate, I would argue that greed amongst the haves to be more a culprit than social welfare. Take the current collapse of investment banking. Many ordinary folks will spend years and years recovering from the maneuvering of a small, elite sector of our society. And just how does Social Security “nourish derelicts” ?
Your grasp of political and economic matters pales in comparison to you knowledge of scripture. I say this not as an insult, but as a challenge to you to apply as much diligence to fact and context in secular arguments as you do to matters of faith.

James:
You need to familiarize yourself with the concept of “staw man arguments.” Well, perhaps you are already familiar with this fallacy as you have erected them all over the place and seem content setting fire to them and watching their demolishment meanwhile my real arguments remain untouched.
Try to find (in my original response) where I assert any of your following straw men. If you can’t then perhaps you should ask yourself why you feel the need to so feverishly demolish them.

  1. the Feds are not limited as to what sort of laws that they can enact and enforce.
  2. there are 15 states “with bans on abortion” that are enforceable at this moment.
  3. Republicans alone govern America as such are solely responsible for the American advantage (of privilege etc.)
  4. there are Christian nations, who in adherence to scripture, opt to not help the poor with welfare.
  5. Most governments who do not provide some sort of social aid to their indigent do NOT do so because financially it is not possible or they are themselves corrupt.

Another logical fallacy you commit is to assume a necessary correlation between an administrations educational policies and the overall number of abortions, as if lack of education and employment opportunity are the primary reasons for for abortions.

I could list more but why try?

When you use illogical arguments to communicate a prudent audience is compelled to discount your points.

TA:
Perhaps you should do some further reading on what exactly constitutes a straw man argument as well as Ad hominem, Appeal to authority, Appeal to emotion, Appeal to motive, and all Red Herrings for that matter.
Exactly which of your positions have I misrepresented or exaggerated? Here is the evidence you reuquest:

1. You said – “I also think it unwise to suggest that a federal ban on abortions would not affect individual states.” So my explanation of the limits of federal law were a direct retort to this mythical federal law you reference.

2. You said – “For example, even though approximately 15 states still have laws on the books that would ban abortion throughout pregnancy, the Roe v. Wade federal decision prevents these state bans’ enforcement.” I was clarifying your reference to the “federal decision” and attributing it properly to the Supreme Court and not any law per se.

3. You said – “As for my comment about both parties and their support or lack there-of for the poor, we must keep in mind that simply living in America affords the dweller with more privileges and means to pursue happiness and health than most citizens of the world outside of the US.” In the context of our discussion of political parties and their effectiveness in aiding those less fortunate, you present this sentence. So either it’s just filler or in goes to your point of Republican superiority in matters of governance. I also qualified my retort with “…what exactly is your point…”, as it was not clear to me what you were attempting to assert.

4. You said – “Most of the world empirically understands the biblical admonition that a person who does not work doesn’t deserve to eat, except for the US of course which believes in forcibly nourishing derelicts to their own detriment.” If you were not talking about governments then you must be talking about the general populations of the world which would make sense unless you too believe in “forcibly nourishing derelicts”. We you used “US” I assume we are talking about governments. Assuming that’s correct and “Most of the world empirically understands the biblical admonition …” with the exception of the “US”, then show me proof. Unless of course you mean to say that “Most of the world empirically understands the biblical admonition …” but chooses not to do anything to act on that understanding.

5. Please reword because it doesn’t make sense. Two negatives form a positive and I find it hard to follow.

It’s funny that you really heavily on fallacy as a persuasive technique and even quote others, namely Ann Coulter, to debunk arguments you claim are fallacious. (Guess which fallacy I just used in the last sentence).

James:
The technique (“of [relying] heavily on fallacy”) loses it’s persuasiveness when the opponent doesn’t commit any.

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