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PostPosted: May 29 19, 12:27 pm 
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G. Keenan wrote:
In case anyone wants to read a level-headed, longish analysis of the abortion debate that is grounded in evolutionary and social psychology:

Why the Fight Over Abortion Is Unrelenting


That was a pretty good article. Don't usually see that kind of article go to the lengths he goes to and his conclusions don't seem invalid to me.

That said, this article does represent one of my annoyances from a methodological perspective. The author falls into a common trap that I consistently see and fall into as a researcher myself. The author deliberately and extensively sought out high level academic research in the sociological and psychological disciplines to make his arguments. That's fantastic. But, he pits them against largely non-academic and more "popular" level statements -- such as the Southern Baptist Convention and a 25 year old statement by First Things. He does give some space to studies that somewhat disagree with his research toward the end of his article, which is good form. But, in the end, he takes a scientific approach to address a popular cultural view and concludes with an ethical/philosophical judgement. Attacking a popular view is easy pickings from an academic or scientific approach. Better would have been to compare or contrast the popular/non-academic view of conservatives with his extensive scientific research AND the extensive discipline of ethical theology, particularly since his ultimate conclusion was an ethical one. The author could have had an excellent broad view understanding of the subject from a full social science perspective if he had balanced it out by including material from, for example, Richard B. Hayes or Stanley Huerwas. Why didn't he do that? Space is probably the best answer. A NYT's article has to have a narrow focus. But, beyond that, it seems to me that it's common practice for academics to partake of the disciplines they appreciate while ignoring those they don't. I would just really like to see less time and space given to popular views, which are obviously hypocritical and easily brushed aside academically but well entrenched culturally, and more time given to the many brilliant theologians Christian ethicists, psychologists, and social sciences and the spectacular righting and research they are doing.


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PostPosted: May 30 19, 2:11 pm 
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Fat Strat wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:
In case anyone wants to read a level-headed, longish analysis of the abortion debate that is grounded in evolutionary and social psychology:

Why the Fight Over Abortion Is Unrelenting


That was a pretty good article. Don't usually see that kind of article go to the lengths he goes to and his conclusions don't seem invalid to me.

That said, this article does represent one of my annoyances from a methodological perspective. The author falls into a common trap that I consistently see and fall into as a researcher myself. The author deliberately and extensively sought out high level academic research in the sociological and psychological disciplines to make his arguments. That's fantastic. But, he pits them against largely non-academic and more "popular" level statements -- such as the Southern Baptist Convention and a 25 year old statement by First Things. He does give some space to studies that somewhat disagree with his research toward the end of his article, which is good form. But, in the end, he takes a scientific approach to address a popular cultural view and concludes with an ethical/philosophical judgement. Attacking a popular view is easy pickings from an academic or scientific approach. Better would have been to compare or contrast the popular/non-academic view of conservatives with his extensive scientific research AND the extensive discipline of ethical theology, particularly since his ultimate conclusion was an ethical one. The author could have had an excellent broad view understanding of the subject from a full social science perspective if he had balanced it out by including material from, for example, Richard B. Hayes or Stanley Huerwas. Why didn't he do that? Space is probably the best answer. A NYT's article has to have a narrow focus. But, beyond that, it seems to me that it's common practice for academics to partake of the disciplines they appreciate while ignoring those they don't. I would just really like to see less time and space given to popular views, which are obviously hypocritical and easily brushed aside academically but well entrenched culturally, and more time given to the many brilliant theologians Christian ethicists, psychologists, and social sciences and the spectacular righting and research they are doing.


Good points. I think because the article is basically a political op-ed. The religious pro-life arguments presented are those belonging to political figurehead types (I am not familiar with these people on the right), as opposed to religious or conservative scholars who may be making more sophisticated pro-life arguments. That said, if they are just more sophisticated arguments that make the same point -- life begins at conception -- the secular academics/evolutionary psychologists might still be able to say to them, essentially, -- "on the surface your argument is about protecting human life, but drill down and you'll find that their moral frameworks are derived from patriarchal thinking which has a self-interest in controlling female reproduction." Basically, the very idea that life begins at conception serves male interests for a variety of evolutionary reasons.

Personally, I don't always buy into "evolutionary psychology." A lot of the time it seems like looking at the way things are, and then searching for some explanation for why that behavior is evolutionarily beneficial to the person displaying it. Can complex behaviors really be boiled down to just genes wanting to pass themselves along? I don't want to have children, for example, so what does that mean? Are my genes suicidal? I'm a pro-choice male, as are most men in the USA according to polling, so how does that jive with an evolutionary explanation for latent patriarchal control of female sexuality? Are we just smarter than our genes now? Like, we know that this sex won't lead to reproduction, but our genes don't?


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PostPosted: June 2 19, 2:48 pm 
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Make a case for why churches should be tax exempt.


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PostPosted: June 2 19, 3:23 pm 
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lukethedrifter wrote:
Make a case for why churches should be tax exempt.

I'm just guessing, but back in the day I'll bet the assumption was they would be providing social support and services to the community they were a part of. Now there is still some of that but as political as some of these churches are, maybe its time to rethink.


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PostPosted: June 2 19, 4:40 pm 
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Fat Strat wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:
In case anyone wants to read a level-headed, longish analysis of the abortion debate that is grounded in evolutionary and social psychology:
Why the Fight Over Abortion Is Unrelenting


That was a pretty good article. Don't usually see that kind of article go to the lengths he goes to and his conclusions don't seem invalid to me.

That said, this article does represent one of my annoyances from a methodological perspective. The author falls into a common trap that I consistently see and fall into as a researcher myself.
Spoiler: show
The author deliberately and extensively sought out high level academic research in the sociological and psychological disciplines to make his arguments. That's fantastic. But, he pits them against largely non-academic and more "popular" level statements -- such as the Southern Baptist Convention and a 25 year old statement by First Things. He does give some space to studies that somewhat disagree with his research toward the end of his article, which is good form. But, in the end, he takes a scientific approach to address a popular cultural view and concludes with an ethical/philosophical judgement. Attacking a popular view is easy pickings from an academic or scientific approach. Better would have been to compare or contrast the popular/non-academic view of conservatives with his extensive scientific research AND the extensive discipline of ethical theology, particularly since his ultimate conclusion was an ethical one. The author could have had an excellent broad view understanding of the subject from a full social science perspective if he had balanced it out by including material from, for example, Richard B. Hayes or Stanley Huerwas. Why didn't he do that? Space is probably the best answer. A NYT's article has to have a narrow focus. But, beyond that, it seems to me that it's common practice for academics to partake of the disciplines they appreciate while ignoring those they don't. I would just really like to see less time and space given to popular views, which are obviously hypocritical and easily brushed aside academically but well entrenched culturally, and more time given to the many brilliant theologians Christian ethicists, psychologists, and social sciences and the spectacular righting and research they are doing.

The author chose the Southern Baptist convention as a counter-example, because that is the winning predominant argument from that side.

A target of some scholarly babble (pardon my editorial comment) would be disingenuous.

Though, yeah you may be right, you should choose the best opposing argument in an op-ed, to defeat. I guess in a debate over validity of human evolution one would have to defeat creationism instead of literal Book of Genesis "Earth is 6000 years old "view, even though Creationism is spinoff of the original view.

Still. You have to defeat the root counter-argument overall, even if it gets a makeover.


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PostPosted: June 2 19, 9:45 pm 
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Another not a real Christian.


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PostPosted: June 3 19, 5:26 am 
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Another not a real Christian.


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PostPosted: June 3 19, 3:32 pm 
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PostPosted: June 3 19, 3:48 pm 
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I'm no expert, but if there are such things as demons, pretty sure that guy is a demon.


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PostPosted: June 3 19, 4:04 pm 
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Holy [expletive]!


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