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February 01 2018

When are babies viable out of the womb? When should abortion be legal and illegal?

I’m glad I’ve never had to make this decision. Those who have to make this decision are certainly making what is an incredibly hard decision.
I think we can agree if we can prevent this decision or even from happening—without any impact on the mother—that we’d be better off as a society (specifically fewer negative repurcussions from unwanted pregnancies and abortions, specifically).
Many pro-life supporters accept the limit of rape.
Many pro-life supporters would say these are less than ideal.
One of the usual lines of someone attempting to justify the procedure:

* Its a choice, but that ignores the opportunity of the cost and the inability of the person or organism to speak or defend themselves. This is why the 14th Amendment, which is the equal protection clause has been used to defend the rights of the unborn.

* The second line of thinking often uses it “the women has no other choice.” However, there are alternatives. If they are in a toxic relationship, they can move or get help from the YWCA. They can also work with an adoption agency. They don’t have to raise the kid. So there are in fact other options.

* Or its “just like other health care procedures.” Which isn’t correct. There are unique aspects of the procedure that are distinct to the nature of abortion and how it impacts anothers existence and life without that other having the chance to do anything about it at all.

They would also probably say that life is life.

There is a certain truth to that statement, I tend to use heart beat of the baby or the survivability out of the womb as two middle ground criteria which we don’t usually seem to apply. States seem to have arbitrary justifications for the length of time which have almost nothing to do with the survivability or medical status of the baby.

Its also unfortunate that much of what goes on gets masked in euphemistic rhetoric, such that the brutality of the procedure gets overlooked.

Specifically week 6 a heartbeat is detectable via ultrasound. Many states allow abortions in the 12 week I believe.
And research from the National Institutes of Health points out that a baby can be viable at 20 weeks:

*A **new study* (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1410689)* published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 7 examined how hospitals differ in whether and how they treat extremely premature babies, starting at 22 weeks. Proponents of the bill say this study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, shows that the babies who would be saved through the 20-week abortion ban could now be considered viable. Some media reports also echoed the same conclusions.*
22 weeks presents an even further justification for limits, even as the limit is often at 24 week:
*Researchers found that 22 percent of the babies born at 22 weeks received active treatment, and hospitals varied in their whether and how they gave treatment to babies born between 22 and 27 weeks. There were 78 babies born at 22 weeks who received aggressive treatment. Among them, 18 of them survived (23 percent) to toddler age. Seven (9 percent) of them did not have severe or moderate impairment by the time they were toddlers.*
*That babies can survive at 22 weeks is not a new finding; it has been known for 15 years, Rysavy said.*
Its worth noting that the same criteria we use in climate change discussions, that of the precautionary principle seems to apply here, except to an even greater extent. It would seem that if ANY baby is viable, that that should be the criteria to be on the safe side. So that if 10 to 20% survive, that we should act in the interest of preserving those possible lives.

Source: First Trimester – American Pregnancy Association (http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/first-trimester/)
State regulations on abortion:
1. Abortion laws by state (https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/abortion-laws-by-state/297/)
2. An Overview of Abortion Laws (https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws)

January 31 2018

  1. Question
  2. Story
  3. Culture/Art
  4. History (Data)
  5. Metaphor/Analogy
  6. Defining/Clarifying (the issue, reality).  How do we define Jesus?  How do we define church?  How do we define Christianity?
  7. Purpose
  8. Big picture
  9. Context
  10. Assumption-worldview (including limits)
  11. Wisdom (aka quote)
  12. How the universe works (experience of human life, experience of the human species)
  13. What counts as knowledge (really an assumption/worldview)
  14. Art of distinction/nuance (paying attention to details–paying attention to similarities and differences)
  15. Identify logical fallacy (Strawperson, Misconception, or Myth)
  16. Focus the mind of the listener
  17. Empathy
  18. Confession.  I’m not perfect.  We’re not perfect.
  19. Forgiveness (I need forgiveness, we need forgiveness)
  20. Sensory Experience Visual, Auditory
  21. Position against Pain/Reality of Culture (background of culture)
  22. Implicate/Crystalize/Amplification/Communicate significance
  23. SUCCESS (Example, concreteness).  Concreteness versus abstraction (relativism)

I need an acronymn for a pattern.

I’m not sure.  Thats above my pay grade.  My best guess is.   Thats an interesting question, but periferal.  Sin, Inevitability Judgement, and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

What are the most common misconceptions about Christianity?

Sample Arguments and Objections:


January 15 2018

January 02 2018

Most Important Christian Apologetics Questions Outline

List of important Christian Apologetics questions:

1. How is Jesus unique?
2. How does Jesus prove Christianity to be true?
3. What are the lessons of Jesus’ parables?
4. What are the lessons of Jesus’ sayings?
5. Was Jesus historical? What is the evidence/proof that Jesus was historical?
6. Was Jesus divine?
7. How are miracles possible?
8. Is the Bible we have reliable? Has the Biblical text been corrupted?
9. Which interpretation is correct?

Assumptions in the discussion:

1. Is relativism a legitimate answer?
2. What kinds of proof are legitimate?
3. How should we approach decision-making and critical thinking?

How can we communicate this effectively?

1. Reason
2. Emotion
3. Historical Example
4. Human Experience
5. Scenario/Example
6. Personal story (contains principle, values, wisdom, lesson)
7. Wisdom/Quote
8. Questions (self-reflective)

How did Jesus communicate?


1. What are the limits of relativism?
2. What are the limits of naturalism?
3. What are the limits of materialism?
4. What are the limits of scientism?
5. What are the limits of skepticism?

Why Entrepreneurs Fail

Why Entrepreneurs Fail: O.M.C.

Lack of organization

Lack of Mindset/Fear

Lack of collaboration.  Poor collaboration & coordination.

January 01 2018

How can I avoid making logical fallacies

Be able to directly connect your premise to data, evidence, or proof. (aka why is that true? or why is that the case? what is the evidence for that claim?) Claim and warrants and data go together.

Limit conclusions to data available. This is argument 101. All good critical thinkers and scientists provide the limits of their conclusions based on available data.

Going beyond the available evidence or data only makes your argument a weak argument. For instance, if I get data from 10 people in San Diego. Its hardly the basis for expanding to all Californians or all people in the US. Over-generalization.

Pay attention to the distinctions that make a difference. Humans are prone to conflation. Pay attention to important analytical categories.

Care about the truth. Be more concerned about the truth than “winning” a discussion or argument. Its about truth, not power. If you’re just about winning arguments in conversation you’ve turned from a critical thinker into Trump.

Clearly identify inferences that go beyond the data. Be explicit or self-reflective about any generalizations.

What it the best and truest and most credible take on this issue. What ultimately gives up the best perspective on the truth.

Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective–the Best Leadership and Productivity Quotes

The Best Quotes of Steven Covey from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Start with the end in mind. ”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habits are the backbone of our lives.

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

What does this meaning in the real world?

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

It goes a bit beyond respect, to love.  Covey unpacks what love is:

“Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“My behavior is a product of my own conscious choices based on principles, rather than a product of my conditions, based on feelings.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“There’s no better way to inform and expand you mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“[W]isdom is the child of integrity—being integrated around principles. And integrity is the child of humility and courage. In fact, you could say that humility is the mother of all virtues because humility acknowledges that there are natural laws or principles that govern the universe. They are in charge. Pride teaches us that we are in charge. Humility teaches us to understand and live by principles, because they ultimately govern the consequences of our actions. If humility is the mother, courage is the father of wisdom. Because to truly live by these principles when they are contrary to social mores, norms and values takes enormous courage.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Independent will is our capacity to act. It gives us the power to transcend our paradigms, to swim upstream, to rewrite our scripts, to act based on principle rather than reacting based on emotion or circumstance.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Power of potential:

“Through imagination, we can visualize the uncredited worlds of potential that lie within us.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“We not not our feelings. We are not our moods. We not even our thoughts.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“When you engage in a work that taps your talent and fuels your passion — that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet — therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code.”

Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

December 22 2017

Why atheism is self-contradictory and not rational as a worldview

So thats at least 7 different reasons that atheism is self-contradictory under a rationalist framework. Atheism, materialism, and naturalism undermine rationality, not add to it. I would think those would be seven red flags—which would cause me to question the underlying foundation of materialism and naturalism, which is the basis of most forms of modern atheism.

Finally, here are some questions that might help you “Know thyself” with respect to the ideology of naturalism, materialism, and atheism:

Nathan Ketsdever’s answer to What critical thinking, skeptical, or self-reflective questions should atheists ask about atheism?

August 27 2017

Christianity and Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

1) Virtue/Wisdom/Leadership (culture & team)
2) Goal Setting
3) Time Management and Productivity
4) Conflict Resolution
5) Attitude & Mindset & Fear
6) Developing Quality Relationships
7) Developing Community
8) Persuasion/Communication (key, along with some critical thinking)
9) Ethical/Virtuous communication
10) Servant Leadership (service experience & consciousness awareness)
11) Self-reflection (self-coaching)
12) Passion/motivation (including quotes)
13) Innovation & Creativity
14) Problem Solving
15) Decision-making & Critical thinking

August 26 2017

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Bibliography and Resources

Articles on Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence: What it is and why it matters (link)

Compassion at Work (link)

Books on Emotional Intelligence:

Emotionally Intelligent Workplace (link)

How to Be Happy at Work (link)

Other Emotional Intelligence Resources:

Article Reprints (link)

Reports (link)

More than Sound (link)

Emotional Intelligence Store (link)

Emotionally Intelligent Consortrium (link)

James Bailey

Arnauldo Comuffo

Jane Dutton

Olga Epitropaki

Cary Cherniss

Dennis Encarnation

Lynda Gratton

Margaret Hopkins

John Kotter

Kathy Kram

Peter Kuriloff

Babis Mainemelis

Tom Malnight

Janet Patti

Ken Rhee

Greg Shea

Kenwyn Smith

Robert Stern

Scott Taylor

Susan Wheelan

Jane Wheeler



August 19 2017

A great tip on using identity categories that increases truth and decreases stereotypes.

I apologize. I don’t know the speaker in this case. Humans use identity categories. Ideally, we use them humbly and continently. Perhaps in the orginal post Dev could have added something that noted the specific contingency of the identity category he was using, but the alternative is zero talking about people as more than individuals and that ultimately neglects community and speaking to larger trends. That kind of nuance can add to our discussions and even our logical appeals. My debate background draws me to the notion of the use of qualifiers, that point to the limits of our arguments and assumptions, to make the argument stronger. For instance, clearly the argument “all X are Y” has the potential to have lots of counter arguments. You make it a stronger argument by narrowing the focus and/or providing qualifiers. So, nuance, qualifiers, and humility are all a way forward.

August 07 2017

Famous Quotes on Courage, Creativity, and Leadership

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

Harriet Tubman

For it’s not light that is needed, but fire; it’s not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind and the earthquake in our hearts.

Frederick Douglas

“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”

Kate Chopin

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”

Soren Kierkegaard

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless, the awakening of resistance. Life may grow from it as from a seed.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy kind of delight.”

Y.B. Yeats

July 26 2017

Is truth relative?

The Practical Implications:

Truth is the basis of justice. Truth is also the basis of survival. If there is no such thing as truth libraries, books, the internet, reference texts, and school and the university are a waste of time.

Math is also pretty objective: 2 + 2 = 4. I don’t think that ever changes. Thats pretty objective. Are you saying math isn’t true? Is 2 + 2 equal to something else today or right now?

Lets look at the issue contextually and more concretely:

A good example might be apple pie. People make apple pie differently. People have different conceptions about what an apple pie is, but we still have shared agreement. In fact this applies to cooking almost across the board: steaks, hamburgers, pizza, chicken tenders, chicken pot pie, etc.. (almost ad infinitum).

Every dictionary definitions is an area where there is some disagreement, but also some pretty amazing clarity, because they are printed and no one launches critiques about the latest version of Webster’s beyond a word or two—certainly not all say 10 million words. No, that would be absurd, but thats the kind of absurdity that a relativist proposes.

Its worth noting that there is a difference between the ideal and the real, but you don’t give up on the real or the ideal just because the real is always going to be partially imperfect.

The map never fits the territory exactly, but we don’t stop using maps, because they help us move forward. Maps are imperfect, but useful in reaching the truth.

The assumption behind the relativist’s argument is that if we can’t perceive objective truth it doesn’t exist or it doesn’t matter. Those are both false assumptions and false dilemmas.

The above proves there is not really such a thing as a relativist, because everyone lives as if there is some notion of the truth and that other beings on this planet should in some sense agree with your definition—that is they have notions of expectations about other individuals.

In fact, in a world of subjectivity, where humans don’t agree, we need that Objective truth that only a God can provide. That is you need someone higher to appeal to when there are differences of perspective or opinion.

A World without Ethics:

Truth relativists ultimately have to be moral relativists and thats a dead end, because it undermines our ability to have rights, justice, or a US Constitution. It undermines the ability to have duties, responsibilities, and ultimately civilization. Ethical objectivity (or something very akin to it) is the glue of relationship and civilization. We need shared understandings to have common ground and enough commonality and tranquility to have a peaceful community.

And if we look at the cultures which lack an understanding of respect for life or rights or human dignity—its precisely those societies that are falling apart. So the evening news is a rather large manifesto to not only the value of truth, but also the value of ethical virtue, ethical objectivity, and ultimately fairness and justice. When we sacrifice objectivity—the bottom falls out of the overall security of the people and rule of law—and with it goes pretty much everything we hold dear as a people.

July 25 2017

12 Logical Reasons to Reject Naturalism, Materialism, and Scientism

Active denying.  Active denying that:
1) yields irrational and contradictory premises and principles
2) destroys all purpose and meaning
3) destroys all thought, ideas, decision-making and discovery
4) destroys ethics
5) destroys free will
6) destroys truth
7) destroys identity
8) greater majority of no one lives like this (profoundly anti-human and anti-progress and anti-reality)
9) self-fulfilling process
10) what it ignores
11) expertism and scientism
12) Naturalism and scientism and materialism/physicalism

June 10 2017

Articles on the problem of evil and suffering–A Bibliography

May 31 2017

Spiritual Calling and Christian Strengths and Bibliography
Raymond Tallis’ Critique of Neuro-scientific Reductionism

May 24 2017

Christian, Biblical, and Small Group Coaching Questions from Tim Keller

May 18 2017

36 Bible Verses on the Purposes of Suffering

May 10 2017

Best Southern Food Restaurants in Nashville, TN
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