I got to thinking about a response from my cousin on last night's post, and I can't help but be reminded of my mathematical reasoning course at UH (think sophomore high school geometry proofs that the college makes you run through again). In addition to the sorority chicks that surrounded me because they didn't feel like studying, it taught me to analyze things from every angle before coming to a conclusion and to do so in a step-by-step process.
Applying this technique, let's look at something here. A "murderer" is a person who takes the life of another living person without legal justification. A "serial murderer" is a person who takes the life of more than one person, using the same modus operandi, over an extended period of time.
If you are of the opinion that a fetus without a functioning frontal lobe (and, therefore, has no possible way to even realize its own existence on the most basic of levels) is still a "person", then receiving a therapeutic abortion is tantamount to MURDER. To do this on two or more occasions would make the impregnated woman (and her doctor, who was legally licensed to perform such a procedure) a SERIAL MURDERER.
So yes, if you are of the opinion that a fetus is a person, you are also of the opinion that my mother is a SERIAL MURDERER. It matters not how you dress it up, mince your words, or think that it might be different if it involves someone you know. There is no "grey area" here. Either it is, or it isn't. It's cut and dried. That's just the way it is. You may not use those exact words, but the meaning of words do not change depending on a particular random situation. Either it is, or it isn't.
Moving right along, let's talk about our "correctional" institutions and our law enforcement officers. If a person declares that a policeman needs to "protect himself", especially against people like me, you are insinuating one of two things...either I am out to harm police officers because I am a criminal, or police officers are needing to protect themselves against "people like me" because I might not sit idly by while my rights are violated. Which is it? In either scenario, one party is a criminal. Is this person calling me a criminal, because I feel no regret or remorse about doing what is morally and legally justified in defending my inherent rights as a member of the human race? Is this person declaring the police officers who point guns at my head for no valid reason to be criminals, because even though I have committed no crime and have no desire to harm random people, they still need to "protect themselves, especially against people like me"? It's one or the other...and, judging by the constant talk of how supposedly ignorant I am on the subject, I can't help but think this person is declaring me to be a criminal...especially when he uses the phrase "Society has a place for you. It's called JAIL." Am I wrong here? If so, please enlighten me. If I'm not mistaken, this person has declared me to be a CRIMINAL.
So if I'm a criminal, and my mother is a serial killer, am I not the criminal son of a serial killer? Words do not hurt me, but they still have meaning. That's also something to think about...
And for the "unanswered questions", I'm still wondering what my cousin was talking about. Was it the question about the mentally challenged, or the question about dogfighting?
Self-awareness, on its most basic level, is merely the ability to recognize the fact of "I am". It's not the ability to understand geometry or astrophysics. It's not the ability to say hello or tell someone where it hurts. It's merely the ability to understand the concept of "I am here, these are my surroundings as I understand it, whatever the level of understanding may be".
Those who do not possess this ability are referred to as, typically, DEAD. A conscious self-awareness is what separates the animal kingdom from a stem of broccoli. You have it, or you don't.
You can read about basic cognitive self-awareness here. Even dogs and cats have it. Hell, even the "slowest" of our society has a basic modicum of self-awareness. It has nothing to do with being able to speak, move, eat, shit, solve algebraic equations, or screw. It's merely the ability to think, even on the most basic of levels.
If "I think, therefore I am", then "I think not, therefore I am not". It's that simple, and it doesn't matter how much one thinks, it only matters if one does or does not...and that's why I didn't bother to answer these questions about special olympians or dogfights. It's because they are irrelevant to the conversation at hand...and are only used by those who either wish to divert attention from facts, or by those who do not understand them.
Edit: If understanding any of this makes me "arrogant" or "immature", then by God, call me the most arrogant little prick in the entire rosebush. Personally, I think it's just basic simplicity.