Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Filipino Neo-Atheist barking at the wrong tree once again


Most Filipino Neo-Atheist would like you to believe that there is some nefarious religious plot at work (LOL), calling some running Partylist as Religious Extremist by presenting baseless ground such as (a) Anti-abortion was based purely on religious ground;(b) Atheism and pro-life activism are incompatible and not adhere to the common belief of secular society etc.                        

Anti-Abortion based on purely religious ground?

(Point A) The 1987 Philippine Constitution, written over two decades ago, states that:

ARTICLE II        
xxx Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

Do you see a religious appeal anywhere in here?

(Point B) The anti-Abortion premise:    

(major premise) A fetus is a human being;
(minor premise) all human beings are entitled to human rights;
(conclusion) therefore fetuses are entitled to human rights      

The first premise is scientific and the second is legal.
The scientific premise is that the life of the individual member of every animal species begins at conceptiona. The legal premise is that the law must protect the most basic human rights.1

Not once in this argument have I appealed to the Catholic Bible or the Qur’an; nowhere have the words God or soul appeared, correct?

We can easily deduct that an anti-abortion position is not dependent upon adhering to a specific religion (or to principles of any religious beliefs), this is based solely on social issues not just the church’s suggestion, it is done absent of religious arguments per se!

Clearly, both pillars of the Pro-life thesis that abortion (including the abortifacient contraceptive pills that RH bill is pushing) should be illegal are thus vindicated solely on the authority of Science and the Constitution. 

Anti-Abortion is synonymous to Theism?

This is just a Catholic issue; Atheism and Pro-life activism are incompatible!
Presenting the “We-want-to-be-everything-you’re-not!-attitude” of Filipino Neo-Atheists (LOL)

Many people think that opposition to abortion is a sole religious stance as observed by Ms. Reed. Seeing "Pro-life" and "Catholic Church" as synonymous and exclusive. [or “Pro-life movement” being seen as a religious agenda].        

The question is, is someone who doesn’t believe in God would subsequently have no problem with the killing of an unborn child? Not to all! Is there really such a thing as a pro-life Atheist? Absolutely YES!
Welcome to SecularProLife.org. The pro-life movement is expanding beyond the cathedral walls and we want you to be a part of history. […] who are eager to save lives and fight the media portrayal of pro-lifers as "religious extremists." http://secularprolife.org/

Secular Pro-Life — is a nontheistic anti-abortion group. According to the organization’s website, their mission is to expand the pro-life movement “beyond the cathedral walls”, “eager to save lives” and “to fight the media portrayal of pro-lifers as religious extremists.” They declare themselves “pro-life for a reason”.

They are but one of a number of pro-life Atheist organizations such as:
Atheist and Agnostics Pro-Life LeagueAmericans United For LifeSusan B. Anthony ListCreated4Lifehttp://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html and National Right to Life Committee that consider themselves secular-minded. Arguing against abortion goes beyond the policies or teachings of any religious text. For them, it is not an issue restricted only to the religious but rather an issue concerning human rights and therefore defies the labels of religion, political affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.

Here’s a list of Profess Atheist but holding same position with the Catholic Church on Dignity of Human Life:
Surely, pro-life belief is not esoteric to any single religion, thus it could be that the “Ang Pro-life Partylist” is representing not only the theistic marginalized and under-represented sector of the society but also those [Filipino] (like above-cited groups) who has a “Secular stands”. 

Ignorance of the law really excuses no one!

The crux of the matter.

The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines re-post the “Ang Pro-Life Partylist” declaration on their official website but our Filipino Neo-Atheist friend accuse Katoliban (I don’t know which group he was referring to (LOL)) for being ignorant to the law by citing Comelec Rules on Partylist:

The Comelec may, motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds:
[a]  It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes;

To make it clear, the 1986 Philippine Constitution provides:

[2] The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector; Article VI, Section 5.2

Let me cite the Supreme Court decision on the petition for disqualification filed against Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong, a party-list group backed by El Shaddai - a Catholic charismatic movement:

[I]n view of the objections directed against the registration of Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong, which is allegedly a religious group, the Court notes the express constitutional provision that the religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system.  The extent of the constitutional proscription is demonstrated by the following discussion during the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission:
“MR. OPLE.  x x x
In the event that a certain religious sect with nationwide and even international networks of members and supporters, in order to circumvent this prohibition, decides to form its own political party in emulation of those parties I had mentioned earlier as deriving their inspiration and philosophies from well-established religious faiths, will that also not fall within this prohibition?

MR. MONSOD.  If the evidence shows that the intention is to go around the prohibition, then certainly the Comelec can pierce through the legal fiction.”

The following discussion is also pertinent:

“MR. VILLACORTA.  When the Commissioner proposed “EXCEPT RELIGIOUS GROUPS,” he is not, of course, prohibiting priests, imams or pastors who may be elected by, say, the indigenous community sector to represent their group.

REV. RIGOS.  Not at all, but I am objecting to anybody who represents the Iglesia ni Kristo, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church et cetera.”

Furthermore, the Constitution provides that “religious denominations and sects shall not be registered.” The prohibition was explained by a member of the Constitutional Commission in this wise: “[T]he prohibition is on any religious organization registering as a political party.  I do not see any prohibition here against a priest running as a candidate.  That is not prohibited here; it is the registration of a religious sect as a political party.”

In short, the above-cited constitutional provision on the Party-List System (Article VI, Section 5.2) cannot be faulted in its desire and design, that the separation of Church and State prohibits the registration of religious denominations and sects as political parties BUT the prohibition does not extend to organizations with religious affiliations or to political parties which derive their principles from religious beliefs.

So I suggest if our Neo-atheist friends who share the belief of Ms. Camille Paglia that abortion is murder, and that’s okay (Using murder to improve your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing), want their groups to have a representative at Lower house, go and register your group but make sure that your platform is logically, legally and scientifically sound that adhere to the boundary set by current Philippine Constitution which implore the aid of Almighty God (and not relying on “We-want-to-be-everything-you’re-not!-attitude”)

[Postscript: This article is not intended to show that the "Ang ProLife" Partylist is confined to the Anti-abortion platform and merely an "advocacy" group, rather this was written to rebut those who accuse anti-abortion position as an exclusive ultra-conservative idea of the Catholic Church]

[1] Mr. Peter Kreeft The apple argument against abortion
[a] Scientific evidence on “When human life begins”

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