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BPSCG
19th October 2004, 05:50 AM
Trying to help 1inChrist here (see his earlier poll that got pounded with baseball bats and dead cats).

I think most people have little problem with abortion shortly after conception; they probably take the view that while life may begin at conception, killing a two-week-old collection of cells is no more murder than killing a few cells from your kidney for purposes of a biopsy.

I also think most people have serious problems with abortion in the very last stages, that while it may not legally be murder, there's something ethically terribly wrong with crushing an 8-month term fetus's skull and sucking its brains out.

So at what point do you think abortion becomes ethically wrong, assuming bearing the child would be no more risky for the mother than, say, having a hysterectomy?

HarryKeogh
19th October 2004, 06:09 AM
I voted 6 months to 8 months, when brain activity starts.

of course at any time when the mom's health is in danger (however rare that may be) mom takes precedence.

edited to add: please refer to a wonderful essay by Carl Sagan "Is it possible to be pro-choice AND pro-llife". it can be found in his book "Billions and Billions"

MRC_Hans
19th October 2004, 06:10 AM
I think abortion is never good, but it is necessary.

I tend to think it becomes wrong at the time when it is a viable baby. I did not vote because I am not sure when that is, currently. However, I feel it is not just a matter of timing, it is also a matter of reasons.

Finally, there is a difference between what is wrong for the individual and what society should consider wrong.

Very fuzzy, perhaps I should not have posted :rolleyes:.

Hans

Luke T.
19th October 2004, 06:16 AM
I chose "it is always wrong" since there wasn't an option for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, etc.

A collection of cells from someone's kidney won't grow up to become President someday, although the current President forces me to place that in the "Theory" category.

I have no doubt the demographic of this forum will shortly diminish the majority anti-abortion vote in this poll that exists at the moment to a tiny minority.

At some point during pregnancy, it becomes impossible to deny that there is a human being in the womb and not a mass of cells. And medical science is pushing that boundary back further and further.

Human beings are entitled to human rights. A woman's "right to choose" does not supercede a human being's right to life.

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:17 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
of course at any time when the mom's health is in danger (however rare that may be) mom takes precedence. I tried to control for that issue in the last line of the OP. That's been a stumbling block for the politicians all along, the "health of the mother" issue. I think very few people would insist that a mother with a one-month fetus go through the birth at substantial risk to her life, and very few would insist she go through it if she ran substantial risk of being crippled for life. But what about the other extreme? Every medical procedure has some attendant risk; if you don't think so, try having a tooth pulled without signing a waiver of responsibility that informs you you could die from it. So what if the mother is carrying an eight month fetus? Should she be allowed to abort it because if she has the baby, she would run a fever for a few days? I used the hysterectomy risk as a concrete yardstick, to help facilitate the issue, but could have used other ones.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 06:23 AM
An extremely difficult question. And one that causes a wee bit of a fuss occasionally, or so I'm told.

Life begins at conception, say some. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's automatically sacred. It's an unfortunate biological fact that conception happens quite frequently--but the resulting (is it zygote?) doesn't always attach to the uterine wall. Frankly, human lives are getting pissed out all the time, through nobody's fault, even if there are no birth control pills involved. So if you think there are millions of extra baby angels the size of a pinhead up there, feel free. Blame God and his mechanical ineptitude.

The more complicated and intelligent the life form, the more it deserves protection. Most people don't have issues with eating chicken, but would balk at killing dolphins. They're too smart. It's creepy. What's the cutoff point? It's hard to draw an arbitrary line, and say "this life form is intelligent, this one is not". And when you're talking about abortion, you have to decide. Is a group of sixteen cells a baby?

To determine the rightness or wrongness of abortion, you have to first determine the underlying questions:

1. When does life actually begin? You'll have to define "life" to start with, then figure out how many cells you have to have to count as a living entity.

2. If it's okay to take life below a certain level of intelligence, what's the cutoff point? Start by defining intelligence.

Real easy to figure this out, eh? Most people seem to either go with:

The Catholic position that life begins at conception, all abortion is automatically wrong. This position is at least consistent, and dodges the second question entirely. (It also fits into the Church's position against the pill, because the pill discourages fertilized eggs from sticking around.)

Or,

Dodge both questions and leave it up to the mother/potential mother to decide, because she's the one most immediately concerned. If there is a concern about protecting (potential) people under the banner of common humanity, it is made secondary to the mother's rights over her own body. Conflict between the two is troublesome, but the idea of legal intervention to force an unwilling woman to carry a baby is more repellent than the idea of abortion. Compromise is made by creating cutoff dates --three months is okay, four months is not okay, etc. The problem with this position is that it hasn't really answered either of the two questions above, and therefore has inherent inconsistencies that make the position philosophically weak. That doesn't mean the position is wrong, just that it's more difficult to argue.

Personally, I dislike the idea of abortion. I dislike the idea that people aren't allowed to control their own bodies. These are incompatible in an abortion debate. So my position is that the ethical thing to do is prevent unwanted pregnancies at all costs. Making birth control widely and cheaply available, improving sex education so people realize the consequences (and none of this abstinence only crap), and vastly increasing the ease and availability of adoption would at least cut down on the number of abortions. I think it should stay legal, but the women concerned should be given all the other options. But no condemnation should they choose abortion, either. I can't imagine it's an easy choice in any circumstances, and I feel sorry for people faced with it.


Sorry for the length of this. As usual in murky questions, I see validity in both sides, and my attempts to reconcile them lead to muddled abstraction. Also, since I'm male and not planning to impregnate anyone, I sort of occupy the sidelines on conception issues, and am therefore less emotionally attached to either position.

HarryKeogh
19th October 2004, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by Luke T.
Human beings are entitled to human rights. A woman's "right to choose" does not supercede a human being's right to life.

if you consider it a human being why would you be okay with abortion in the case of rape? Why punish the innocent human being in the womb?

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by MRC_Hans
I think abortion is never good, but it is necessary.Qualify that as "sometimes necessary" and I'd agree (I know some of y'all who perceive me as an irredeemable, reflexive, reactionary conservative are going into heart failure reading this...)
However, I feel it is not just a matter of timing, it is also a matter of reasons.True enough, but I was trying to get a sense of when people believed that it's simply too late, regardless of the reason (other than mother's life vs. the baby's).

Luke T.
19th October 2004, 06:26 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
if you consider it a human being why would you be okay with abortion in the case of rape? Why punish the innocent human being in the womb?

I personally would not want my wife to abort a fetus that was the result of rape. My wife and I have even talked about this, and she would not either.

But abortions due to rape are about one tenth of one percent of all abortions. It's like talking about a leaky faucet in your upstairs bathroom when the dam down the street has burst and a tidal wave is carrying your house away.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
if you consider it a human being why would you be okay with abortion in the case of rape? Why punish the innocent human being in the womb?

Or even incest. True, incest is generally regarded with disgust (and I needn't point out that this is an ingrained cultural attitude, and there have been cultures in the past that didn't have problems with it) but the resulting offspring won't be necessarily monstruous of disfigured. It would take multiple generations of such close inbreeding to cause serious defects.

Darat
19th October 2004, 06:32 AM
Originally posted by Luke T.
...snip...

But abortions due to rape are about one tenth of one percent of all abortions. It's like talking about a leaky faucet in your upstairs bathroom when the dam down the street has burst and a tidal wave is carrying your house away.

I don't understand how you can hold this view if you think abortion is wrong. Surely the circumstances of the pregnancy are a total irrelevance if the non-borns' right to a potential life are paramount?

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Luke T.
I chose "it is always wrong" since there wasn't an option for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, etc.See my reply to Hans above; I was trying to get a sense of when people believed it was simply wrong because it was too late in the term, i.e., at what point in the pregnancy would you say that the only justification for an abortion would be to save the mother's life or prevent severe health consequences for her.

A collection of cells from someone's kidney won't grow up to become President someday, Right, but the neither the kidney cells nor the two-week old embryo can feel pleasure, pain, hope, regret, ecstasy, or horror. I think the point at which most people have problem with abortion is when they believe there is a being that can feel those things. They have no problem with abortion before that, in much the same way they have no problem with pulling the plug on Grandpa when his brain is flatlining but his heart is still beating.
Human beings are entitled to human rights. A woman's "right to choose" does not supercede a human being's right to life. So does right to live of the the three-day old embryo inside a twelve year-old girl that was placed there by the father's forcible rape supersede the girls right to not bear the child?

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:41 AM
Wow! Such a touchy subject with such a wide range of views and yet such civilized, rational debate! I'm proud of ya!

Now if we could just get ABCCBSNBCFoxCNNFoxNewsMSNBC to cover this instead of those idiotic demonstrations with people screaming their fool heads off at each other...

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
So does right to live of the the three-day old embryo inside a twelve year-old girl that was placed there by the father's forcible rape supersede the girls right to not bear the child?

Perhaps abortion is an ethical dilemma that will be solved by technology. Suppose we reach the point where we have the means to painlessly and easily remove an embryo of any stage of development and let it live outside the womb and grow to be a normal, healthy human being. The circumstances of the conception would be irrelevant, and the woman would not be required to bear any pregnancy she didn't want.

MRC_Hans
19th October 2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
Qualify that as "sometimes necessary" and I'd agree (I know some of y'all who perceive me as an irredeemable, reflexive, reactionary conservative are going into heart failure reading this...)

I meant, of course, that it is necessary that the option exists.

True enough, but I was trying to get a sense of when people believed that it's simply too late, regardless of the reason (other than mother's life vs. the baby's).

For me, that would be around the point where the foetus is viable. (a point that is moving)

I feel that the life is sacred argument is somewhat hypocritical as long as we accept that humans die because we deem it necessary to have cars, wars, firearms,.....

The basic dilemma of abortion is that we have a conflict of the interests of two lives, and their individual freedom. We have a woman's right to her body, and we have a foetus' right to it's body. True, the woman's life is not (normally) at stake.

I cannot help wonder how a lot of men were to view this, if they were the ones getting pregnant ;).

Hans

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Surely the circumstances of the pregnancy are a total irrelevance if the non-borns' right to a potential life are paramount? What do you mean "potential life"? Is it your position that the just-impregnated egg is not yet alive?

MRC_Hans
19th October 2004, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Perhaps abortion is an ethical dilemma that will be solved by technology. Suppose we reach the point where we have the means to painlessly and easily remove an embryo of any stage of development and let it live outside the womb and grow to be a normal, healthy human being. The circumstances of the conception would be irrelevant, and the woman would not be required to bear any pregnancy she didn't want. That would certainly change it in my eyes. Perhaps even the possibility to move the embryo to an other woman who could not conceive in the normal way, although, of course, logistics would be daunting.

Hans

Darat
19th October 2004, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
What do you mean "potential life"? Is it your position that the just-impregnated egg is not yet alive?

I would give no more thought to the destruction of a just fertilised egg then I would of the destruction of the millions of sperms that didn't get to fertilise that particular egg.

But that wasn't why I used the word "potential". I used it simply because we just don’t know the future of any particular child and therefore any "life" we "save" by not aborting is just a potential life. After all the child could be born normally and yet be dead within a few days of birth. The child may even die during childbirth.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by MRC_Hans
That would certainly change it in my eyes. Perhaps even the possibility to move the embryo to an other woman who could not conceive in the normal way, although, of course, logistics would be daunting.

I was thinking of teleporters, like on "Star Trek". Woman A and Woman B step on the platform, there's an irritating sound and some flashing lights, and then the embryo has a groovy new pad.

It could also be adapted for weight loss.

HarryKeogh
19th October 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
What do you mean "potential life"? Is it your position that the just-impregnated egg is not yet alive?

not to put words in Darat's mouth but perhaps potential human being would have been clearer? (or more specifically, not an embryo or fetus)

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I would give no more thought to the destruction of a just fertilised egg then I would of the destruction of the millions of sperms that didn't get to fertilise that particular egg.

No! "Every Sperm is Sacred"! Lol.

Originally posted by Darat

But that wasn't why I used the word "potential". I used it simply because we just don’t know the future of any particular child and therefore any "life" we "save" by not aborting is just a potential life. After all the child could be born normally and yet be dead within a few days of birth. The child may even die during childbirth.

But the same could be said about anyone at any age. The kid could drop dead at age 8, or 16, or 40. It is alive, however, until it dies, just like the rest of us. A two day life span may be a tragically short one, but it's still life.

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Perhaps abortion is an ethical dilemma that will be solved by technology. Suppose we reach the point where we have the means to painlessly and easily remove an embryo of any stage of development and let it live outside the womb and grow to be a normal, healthy human being. The circumstances of the conception would be irrelevant, and the woman would not be required to bear any pregnancy she didn't want. Some problems with that. But before I address them, I want to say that your first post on this thread is one of the best things I've seen on the subject. Not surprisingly, it parallels my thinking...:D

Anyway, on to the problems:

Right now, we do have the technology to induce labor, and since we're now saving premature babies at five months' gestation, I would think the pain factor for a mother giving birth to a baby you could fit in the palm of your hand would be minimal.

The problems are:

1) The issue isn't can the mother give birth easily. It's whether she wants to have the child at all. Yes, we could induce labor and have her deliver a viable child (might need a lot of special care for a couple of months), but what do you do with it afterwards?

2) What is the justification for expending heroic efforts to save the life of a baby born at five months' gestation while aborting another one at six months?

HarryKeogh
19th October 2004, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I would give no more thought to the destruction of a just fertilised egg then I would of the destruction of the millions of sperms that didn't get to fertilise that particular egg.

but I think it does require more thought because a sperm cell or an egg will never become a person. But a fertilized egg certainly can.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
The problems are:

1) The issue isn't can the mother give birth easily. It's whether she wants to have the child at all. Yes, we could induce labor and have her deliver a viable child (might need a lot of special care for a couple of months), but what do you do with it afterwards?

2) What is the justification for expending heroic efforts to save the life of a baby born at five months' gestation while aborting another one at six months?


For 1) the mother's wishes are irrelevant. The child exists already. Too late--she could have prevented it by preventing conception. She only has choice over the child's fate because it occupies her body. Once it's out of her body, she loses that authority. You can't present her with a living baby and ask if she'd like it killed.

For 2) I agree, things are very odd. A man shoots a pregnant woman and gets charged with two murders. The woman was on her way to the abortion clinic, but the same fetus would not be a murder victim. The flaw in the pro-choice position is that the intent of the mother determines the definition of life for her child.

shanek
19th October 2004, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
I voted 6 months to 8 months, when brain activity starts.

of course at any time when the mom's health is in danger (however rare that may be) mom takes precedence.

I think I can probably go along with this...brain activity might be one good indication (since that is actually how we define death: when brain activity stops), or the viability of the fetus to survive outside the womb might be another. I fully agree with the life/health of the mother exception, or the rape/incest exception.

I'm not comfortable putting a timetable on it, though. I don't know much about foetal development, but I do know that everyone is different and progresses at different rates.

geni
19th October 2004, 07:10 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I don't understand how you can hold this view if you think abortion is wrong. Surely the circumstances of the pregnancy are a total irrelevance if the non-borns' right to a potential life are paramount?

Becuase contiuning with the pregnacy would put the mothers life in danger.

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 07:11 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
if you consider it a human being why would you be okay with abortion in the case of rape? Why punish the innocent human being in the womb?

A different view:

Why reward the rapest with offspring?

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
But a fertilized egg certainly can.

But most won't become human.

Darat
19th October 2004, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey


...snip...

But the same could be said about anyone at any age. The kid could drop dead at age 8, or 16, or 40. It is alive, however, until it dies, just like the rest of us. A two day life span may be a tragically short one, but it's still life.

No disagreement with that however I do think the idea of "potential life" can help to work out what to do under certain circumstances. E.g. for a lot of women childbirth is a very dangerous and an abortion may be necessary for risk to the woman. (Granted this is not that relevant to women in countries such as the USA and the countries of the EU since mother mortality is quite low.)

In this type of circumstance I think the idea that the foetus/embryo/baby only has a potential for life whereas the mother actually has a life it is clear to see which should have precedence. (Well for me of course it is clear.)

Luke T.
19th October 2004, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I don't understand how you can hold this view if you think abortion is wrong. Surely the circumstances of the pregnancy are a total irrelevance if the non-borns' right to a potential life are paramount?

You may be mistaking me for a black-and-white extremist pro-lifer. I am far more pragmatic than that, and have actually wrestled with this issue on a very deep personal level for some time right here and on SC. I had quite a dramatic change of heart recently in a topic on SC about this topic.

I said above that I and my wife personally would not abort a fetus that was the result of rape. That is our own personal belief in action, and therefore I am not being contradictory in my own beliefs. However, I am also pragmatic as to the realities of our society, and would not impose that belief on someone else who has been raped who became pregnant through no fault of their own. A pregnant rape victim is completely without fault. Innocent. Even the Catholic Church has been known to condone abortion in such cases as rape and risk to the mother's life.

Attempting to turn the focus on cases of rape and incest and mother's health is a pro-choice ploy to paint the opposition as extremist nutjobs when I, and I believe most pro-life people, am not. It overamplifies what is actually a tiny fraction of the overall issue. By far, most abortions are done for economic or other personal inconvenience reasons. At least half, and possibly up to 80 percent, of all pregnancies which are aborted are due to a lack of the use of a contraceptive. And that is where the answer to the problem lies.

I do not believe overturning Roe v. Wade would change the number of abortions that occur one bit. I believe that strategy is a complete waste of time on the part of the pro-life movement. I believe a more practical stategy is to encourage birth control prior to pregnancy.

I believe every abortion is a tragedy, it's true. But as someone pointed out the case of automobiles, I would not seek to abolish automobile travel because lives are lost in traffic accidents every day. That would be the extremist nutjob position.

But there is nothing wrong with grieving the losses and seeking a means to bring those numbers down to an absolute minimum.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by Darat
In this type of circumstance I think the idea that the foetus/embryo/baby only has a potential for life whereas the mother actually has a life it is clear to see which should have precedence. (Well for me of course it is clear.)

Oh, it's clear to me, too. But I think "potential life" is just setting up a term that's an easy target. It sounds terrible to say it, but saying that the fetus has a life but that the mother's life has precedence over it anyway is more, well, honest.

Darat
19th October 2004, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by HarryKeogh
but I think it does require more thought because a sperm cell or an egg will never become a person. But a fertilized egg certainly can.

If you consider the advances in cloning then it may not be too far off that every cell (with a nucleus) may be able to become a person. Would that then mean that every cell has to be treated like a "potential" person?

What I find very interesting in these debates is where we start from, I suspect we are all very arbitrary in what we declare is OK or not, if we apply the reasoning we say we do every single time we come to some form of stumbling block.

My starting point is pretty much the biological process. Millions of embryos and thousands of foetuses are aborted everyday (with no outside intervention) I see nothing wrong with a few additional ones being aborted by the aid of some technology.

aerocontrols
19th October 2004, 07:37 AM
I said it is always wrong, because there's nothing in the poll about triage except that part of your text that says we should assume the pregnancy is not risky.

Like many other things that are wrong, (lotteries and other gambling, shooting trespassers, being a mime...) however, I don't support laws prohibiting abortion.

Darat
19th October 2004, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Luke T.
You may be mistaking me for a black-and-white extremist pro-lifer. I am far more pragmatic than that, and have actually wrestled with this issue on a very deep personal level for some time right here and on SC. I had quite a dramatic change of heart recently in a topic on SC about this topic.

I said above that I and my wife personally would not abort a fetus that was the result of rape. That is our own personal belief in action, and therefore I am not being contradictory in my own beliefs. However, I am also pragmatic as to the realities of our society, and would not impose that belief on someone else who has been raped who became pregnant through no fault of their own. A pregnant rape victim is completely without fault. Innocent. Even the Catholic Church has been known to condone abortion in such cases as rape and risk to the mother's life.


Thanks for the detailed explanation, of course I understand that you can consider something wrong for yourself but not for others - most of my own beliefs on matters such as personal responsibility and drugs revolve around that type of distinction.

Just one point, I didn't think the official Catholic stance had changed on abortion, i.e. "under no circumstances"?


Attempting to turn the focus on cases of rape and incest and mother's health is a pro-choice ploy to paint the opposition as extremist nutjobs when I, and I believe most pro-life people, am not. It overamplifies what is actually a tiny fraction of the overall issue. By far, most abortions are done for economic or other personal inconvenience reasons. At least half, and possibly up to 80 percent, of all pregnancies which are aborted are due to a lack of the use of a contraceptive. And that is where the answer to the problem lies.


I don't have any figures to argue with you and my own gut feeling is that you're probably right. However I do think it is right to, when discussing this issue, to look at the extremes - after all these types of “non-consenting” pregnancies do happen.



I do not believe overturning Roe v. Wade would change the number of abortions that occur one bit. I believe that strategy is a complete waste of time on the part of the pro-life movement. I believe a more practical stategy is to encourage birth control prior to pregnancy.

I believe every abortion is a tragedy, it's true. But as someone pointed out the case of automobiles, I would not seek to abolish automobile travel because lives are lost in traffic accidents every day. That would be the extremist nutjob position.

But there is nothing wrong with grieving the losses and seeking a means to bring those numbers down to an absolute minimum.

I agree that reduction is a good goal. However I cannot equate early abortion (under say 9 weeks) as being anything like killing a person.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Darat
If you consider the advances in cloning then it may not be too far off that every cell (with a nucleus) may be able to become a person. Would that then mean that every cell has to be treated like a "potential" person?

Only if action is taken to make that cell into a person. If you don't start the process, the potential remains unfulfilled. It's the same difference as is between using a condom and having an abortion. The latter stops a process, the other prevents it from starting.

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 07:48 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Millions of embryos and thousands of foetuses are aborted everyday (with no outside intervention) I see nothing wrong with a few additional ones being aborted by the aid of some technology. Even when the fetus is 8-3/4 months along, and its birth would present no significant risk to the mother?

BTW, I think I understand what you mean by "potential life", but I also think it's a misnomer. I think almost everyone would agree that the thing growing inside the mother is a life from the moment of conception (Sagan went even further, claiming that life is a continuous process, IIRC); the issue is when does it become a human being, and when does it become a person? I believe from a legal standpoint, personhood doesn't happen until birth. But that embryo becomes a "human being" somewhere before birth, and I think it's that gray area that's so troublesome: when does the embryo become a "human being"? Whatever that is...

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
when does the embryo become a "human being"? Whatever that is...

I think many people hold that the embryo becomes a human being once it becomes "cute"! If it's a clump of cells, then it doesn't count. But once it develops little fingers and toes, awwww.

Tmy
19th October 2004, 08:08 AM
If you havent made up your mind to abort by like 5-6 months. I say too f'n bad, you go to term.

I dont buy too much into the "my body" line. AT a point you owe a duty to the child. Its like when people do drugs or smoke while preggy. Its unacceptable.

I still see the need to have abortions. At the early stages is it really that big o deal.

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
I think many people hold that the embryo becomes a human being once it becomes "cute"! If it's a clump of cells, then it doesn't count. But once it develops little fingers and toes, awwww. Yeah, good luck trying to write "awwww" into a statute regulating abortion...

Darat
19th October 2004, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Only if action is taken to make that cell into a person. If you don't start the process, the potential remains unfulfilled. It's the same difference as is between using a condom and having an abortion. The latter stops a process, the other prevents it from starting.

I thought about that after I posted and realised the ever-so-slight difference.

Kevin_Lowe
19th October 2004, 08:23 AM
I voted for "abortion is never wrong".

For starters, I don't attach any special value to life just because it's human life. You could flush a billion fertilised eggs, and as far as I'm concerned there would be absolutely nothing immoral doing so.

A one month old newborn is not as smart, nor as capable of understanding and enjoying life as a rat. Given time it might turn into a morally significant being, and I certainly would never cause even such a trivial entity pain if I could avoid it, but if it dies I don't really care. Potential is not actuality, acorns aren't oak trees, and newborns aren't human beings in the special, morally important sense.

(Newborns are emotionally important to their parents, of course, just as teddy bears are emotionally important to kids).

As far as I'm concerned that's enough to settle the argument but even if newborns or fetuses were as important as proper people, as JJ Thomson pointed out back in 1971, that wouldn't give them the right to access their mother's body without her consent for nine months. Implantation is not a contract, and any time the mother wants to serve the blob with eviction papers as far as I can see she has a perfect right to do so.

There have been various feeble efforts to cook up some reason to endow the mother with a moral obligation to nourish an unwanted, unintelligent parasite but they all boil down to pretending that blobby little things count as people with the same rights as adult women.

To sum up: Fetuses aren't important for their own sake, and even if they were it would still be the woman's right to ditch them whenever they wanted.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
There have been various feeble efforts to cook up some reason to endow the mother with a moral obligation to nourish an unwanted, unintelligent parasite but they all boil down to pretending that blobby little things count as people with the same rights as adult women.

What about the cute blobby things?

Originally posted by BPSCG
Yeah, good luck trying to write "awwww" into a statute regulating abortion...

It's the opposite of the "ewww!" behind the statues on criminalizing sodomy. If we can use "ewww!" as the basis for law, why not "awww!"? I'd say a good percentage of law is simply jargon covering visceral culturally-conditioned feelings.

Darat
19th October 2004, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
Even when the fetus is 8-3/4 months along, and its birth would present no significant risk to the mother?


Let's try to be provocative and say "why not"? Why can't the mother make that choice even at that late stage? If the baby doesn’t have an independent existence without her is it not just a part of her?



BTW, I think I understand what you mean by "potential life", but I also think it's a misnomer. I think almost everyone would agree that the thing growing inside the mother is a life from the moment of conception (Sagan went even further, claiming that life is a continuous process, IIRC); the issue is when does it become a human being, and when does it become a person? I believe from a legal standpoint, personhood doesn't happen until birth. But that embryo becomes a "human being" somewhere before birth, and I think it's that gray area that's so troublesome: when does the embryo become a "human being"? Whatever that is...

I would disagree about the "life" definition, simply on the grounds that it isn’t a word we have an agreed upon definition anywhere. (Personally I don’t think that is surprising since "life" is just matter and energy interacting like everything else in the universe.)

Thinking about some of the definitions of “life” I would say the early embryo isn’t even alive in the sense a bacteria or amoeba is. It's nothing but some cells, granted it may have the potential to become a human being but that does not make it a human being.

Zamzara
19th October 2004, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
As far as I'm concerned that's enough to settle the argument but even if newborns or fetuses were as important as proper people, as JJ Thomson pointed out back in 1971, that wouldn't give them the right to access their mother's body without her consent for nine months. Implantation is not a contract, and any time the mother wants to serve the blob with eviction papers as far as I can see she has a perfect right to do so.

What if a mother wants to stop feeding her 1 year old baby because she can't be bothered, or because it is more convinient for her to kill the child than have to keep looking after it for many years? Do you make any distinction between a 8 3/4 month fetus and a 1 year old baby?

Tmy
19th October 2004, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe

To sum up: Fetuses aren't important for their own sake, and even if they were it would still be the woman's right to ditch them whenever they wanted.

They do have that right to ditch the kid. You can always give up your parental rights to the state. But killing the baby is different that ditching.

You can ditch your wife via a divorce, but you cant kill her. The wife is not your possession, neither is the child.

1inChrist
19th October 2004, 10:10 AM
I believe it's always wrong. If you don't want to have a child keep the semen away from the eggs. DON'T HAVE SEX! It's not that hard. Ask yourself this, would you give up sex once to save a starving person in Africa? Think.

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
I believe it's always wrong. If you don't want to have a child keep the semen away from the eggs. DON'T HAVE SEX! It's not that hard. It isn't...?

Ask yourself this, would you give up sex once to save a starving person in Africa?No. Now what?

BTW, how did you vote?

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
Ask yourself this, would you give up sex once to save a starving person in Africa? Think.

How would refraining from sex once save a starving African? On second thoughts, don't answer. Have you been reading this thread, or did you just jump in at the end? This is a more serious discussion. If you're just going to troll it up with nonsense, don't bother.

Tony
19th October 2004, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
DON'T HAVE SEX! It's not that hard.

Speak for yourself.

1inChrist
19th October 2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
How would refraining from sex once save a starving African? On second thoughts, don't answer. Have you been reading this thread, or did you just jump in at the end? This is a more serious discussion. If you're just going to troll it up with nonsense, don't bother.

What nonsense? It's a simple analogy that I thought a materialist fundamentalist would get.

Refrainging from sex once = saving innocent babie's life.

So my question is would you refrain from sex once to save a starving african child who's crying because their stomach hurts so bad from hunger and are feeling themselves die from lack of food? If so, why not do the same so a fetus doesn't have to get vaporized by doctors?

1inChrist
19th October 2004, 10:18 AM
By the way I voted for it's always wrong.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
What nonsense? It's a simple analogy that I thought a materialist fundamentalist would get.

Refrainging from sex once = saving innocent babie's life.

Um, no. If the sex in question is the sex that would have resulted in that innocent "babie's" life being created, refraining from that sex isn't saving life. It's preventing it. Surely even you can see the difference between saving something and causing it to never exist?

If the baby in question is not the baby that would have been conceived by the sex, then there is no causation. Whether Baby A, in North America, is born, aborted, or never conceived has nothing to do with the nutrition of Child B in Africa. I'm asking you if you hold otherwise, and explain how.


So my question is would you refrain from sex once to save a starving african child who's crying because their stomach hurts so bad from hunger and are feeling themselves die from lack of food? If so, why not do the same so a fetus doesn't have to get vaporized by doctors?

Again, the parallel is nonsensical. Make a case for the food crisis in Africa being the result of birth rates in America.

Also, sex does not always mean conception. Ever hear of birth control? If you mean pregnancy, or birth, or abortion, say so. "Vaporized"? Do you think they use Death Rays?

I'll tell you the same thing I've told Patrick: you do your arguments and positions no service by choosing your words poorly. Inflammatory remarks and nutty vocabularly merely make you seem like a loony crank. If you want to debate seriously, be serious.

El Greco
19th October 2004, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
By the way I voted for it's always wrong.

No way! I don't believe you.

1inChrist
19th October 2004, 10:28 AM
My analogy was right on the money as can be seen by you DODGING it.

fishbob
19th October 2004, 10:31 AM
When Does Abortion Become Wrong?

I'm a guy and am not going to have an abortion, so it is none of my &*(%^ business.

It looks like most of the discussion so far is between guys. It is none of your ^$%%^* business either.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
My analogy was right on the money as can be seen by you DODGING it.

I suggest you read my long post on page 1 of this thread if you wish to see my opinion.

And you have yet to explain how an American baby being born or not born, aborted or not aborted, conceived or not conceived, has anything to do with starving people on another continent. I know you're not used to reasoning, and coming up with arguments, but do exert yourself. I'll even help you a little: you seem to be suggesting it has something to do with the world food supply. But in that case, abortions in North America would actually benefit starving Africans, because North America would have a lower food intake and thereby free up more supplies for Africa.

The only "money" your analogy is on seems to be in Confederate bills.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by fishbob
When Does Abortion Become Wrong?

I'm a guy and am not going to have an abortion, so it is none of my &*(%^ business.

It looks like most of the discussion so far is between guys. It is none of your ^$%%^* business either.

If an embryo is a life, and if it is a human being, and if it deserves the same protections and liberties as born human beings, then it does indeed concern men, as fellow members of the society.

Of course, you'd have to argue the first three conditions, which are all points of contention in the abortion debate. Whether the arguments hold water is a matter for debate, but if they do then men do indeed have valid reason to hold position. As do women who have not conceived.

Cleon
19th October 2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by fishbob
When Does Abortion Become Wrong?

I'm a guy and am not going to have an abortion, so it is none of my &*(%^ business.

It looks like most of the discussion so far is between guys. It is none of your ^$%%^* business either.

My sentiments exactly.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 10:39 AM
I do not have children. Does that mean I shouldn't hold a position that child abuse is wrong? I don't own a home, either. Does that mean I shouldn't have an opinion on the abuse of eminent domain?

fishbob
19th October 2004, 11:04 AM
Your analogies are flawed.

Child abuse has victims. You can look at them and see injury. Eminent domain abuse takes property rights from victims in order to financially benefit other parties. You can see injury to the victims.

Abortion has conflicting interests between a current actual woman and a potential person. What if the group of cells develops, is born, and gains rights. What if the woman's health is at risk? There is no fair way to legislate 'what ifs', so guys especially need to butt out and let the women involved make their own decisions.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by fishbob
Your analogies are flawed.

Child abuse has victims. You can look at them and see injury. Eminent domain abuse takes property rights from victims in order to financially benefit other parties. You can see injury to the victims.

Abortion has conflicting interests between a current actual woman and a potential person. What if the group of cells develops, is born, and gains rights. What if the woman's health is at risk? There is no fair way to legislate 'what ifs', so guys especially need to butt out and let the women involved make their own decisions.

It's not a flawed analogy if you buy into the position that the clumps of cells are deserving of rights. That's the point of contention. If they do have rights, then the society as a whole has a vested interest in protecting them. If not, then it doesn't. You're just summing up the pro-choice position. That doesn't render the other side's argument irrelevant. You have to resolve the point of contention first--is the embryo a human being? If so, when did it become such? If so, does it merit protection or not? If not, why not?

Tmy
19th October 2004, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by fishbob
Your analogies are flawed.

Child abuse has victims. You can look at them and see injury. Eminent domain abuse takes property rights from victims in order to financially benefit other parties. You can see injury to the victims.

Abortion has conflicting interests between a current actual woman and a potential person. What if the group of cells develops, is born, and gains rights. What if the woman's health is at risk? There is no fair way to legislate 'what ifs', so guys especially need to butt out and let the women involved make their own decisions.

You need a guy to get a women pregnant. So it is our biz. Plus its our biz when the kid is born and mommy wants child support.

the abortion issue affects everyone, not just women. Would you say women have no say in the draft, since only men are drafted??

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
You have to resolve the point of contention first--is the embryo a human being? [/B]

Anwser:

Abortion has conflicting interests between a current actual woman and a potential person.

Potential person is not human.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by AWPrime
Anwser:

Potential person is not human.


Which is another point of contention.

The abortion debate will never reach consensus or agreement if both sides refuse challenges to their set definitions.

Darat
19th October 2004, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Zamzara
What if a mother wants to stop feeding her 1 year old baby because she can't be bothered, or because it is more convinient for her to kill the child than have to keep looking after it for many years? Do you make any distinction between a 8 3/4 month fetus and a 1 year old baby?

I make the distinction that the 1 year old child has an independent existence away from the Mother whilst as a foetus it didn't.

That doesn’t mean I'm arguing for the baby to not have rights before the umbilical cord is cut just that a distinction could be argued for based on this idea of independent existence. To me this point of independent existence is the moment when the foetus becomes a baby, in other words a potential human being becomes a human being and therefore the mother no longer can determine if it continues to survive or not, it has rights as a human being.

Grammatron
19th October 2004, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I make the distinction that the 1 year old child has an independent existence away from the Mother whilst as a foetus it didn't.

That doesn’t mean I'm arguing for the baby to not have rights before the umbilical cord is cut just that a distinction could be argued for based on this idea of independent existence. To me this point of independent existence is the moment when the foetus becomes a baby, in other words a potential human being becomes a human being and therefore the mother no longer can determine if it continues to survive or not, it has rights as a human being.

There's not that much difference between 9 month and 1 year old and the baby depends on the mother just as much the only difference being that baby's location has move from inside to outside and the existence is far from independent.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Darat
I make the distinction that the 1 year old child has an independent existence away from the Mother whilst as a foetus it didn't.

That doesn’t mean I'm arguing for the baby to not have rights before the umbilical cord is cut just that a distinction could be argued for based on this idea of independent existence. To me this point of independent existence is the moment when the foetus becomes a baby, in other words a potential human being becomes a human being and therefore the mother no longer can determine if it continues to survive or not, it has rights as a human being.

But then you're stuck with more situations: premature births where the infant requires machines and care to survive. He's outside the mother, but can't survive on his own. And even a regularly born baby still depends on his mother. She's not allowed to kill him through neglect.

It looks to me like the soundest position is that the child does have rights, at least at some point in development, but his rights are trumped by his mother's rights over her own body. Once the baby is out of the body, the mother's choice no longer trumps the baby's rights. That's why I think the whole debate will only be resolved through technological achievement. When we can remove a fetus at any stage of development and nurture it to life, there will be no reason for the mother's rights to trump the child's.

Darat
19th October 2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by Grammatron
There's not that much difference between 9 month and 1 year old and the baby depends on the mother just as much the only difference being that baby's location has move from inside to outside and the existence is far from independent.

Sorry for the confusion what I mean by "independence" is that it is not only the Mother that can sustain the child, a foetus requires the mother in a way a baby doesn’t. (Obviously a 1 year old can't fend for itself - well unless wolves or gorillas bring them up.)

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
It's not a flawed analogy if you buy into the position that the clumps of cells are deserving of rights. That's the point of contention. If they do have rights, then the society as a whole has a vested interest in protecting them. If not, then it doesn't. You're just summing up the pro-choice position. That doesn't render the other side's argument irrelevant. You have to resolve the point of contention first--is the embryo a human being? If so, when did it become such? If so, does it merit protection or not? If not, why not? Y'know TM, I may have to re-evaluate my opinion of you, 'cuz you get so much correct here, almost enough to outweigh all the stuff you get wrong elsewhere :p

Seriously, you raise some hard questions, questions that need to be answered with more than just "It's murder!" / "It's a woman's right!" What rights does a fetus have? It doesn't count as a person in the census, so it obviously doesn't have the right to own property or things like that Does it have a right to its own life? If so, where does that right come from? Our founding documents claim the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come from God; the less-devout would claim they come from the fact of your existence. But do you have to have been born to have the right to your own life? And if you don't have to have been born, then at what point did you obtain that right? Did you obtain it all of a sudden, or was it a right that became stronger as you gestated in the womb? Does an 8-month fetus have more rights than an 8-day one? What rights does the mother have that may conflict with your right to life? How do you decide which right takes precedence, if there's a conflict?

It's easy to dismiss the discussion with "We're guys, so it's none of our business." But to the extent that it makes us examine the nature of what our rights are, and how we treat the most helpless members of our society, both young and old, it's a discussion that involves all of us. Or should.

Tmy
19th October 2004, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
It looks to me like the soundest position is that the child does have rights, at least at some point in development, but his rights are trumped by his mother's rights over her own body. Once the baby is out of the body, the mother's choice no longer trumps the baby's rights.

Since when do our body rights trumpet the rights of others?? Ifa baby is 9 mos, it is viable. Why should it not have rights just because mom is holding it prisoner.

You are not free to do anything you want with your body. You cant run around naked, sell organs, do drugs ect..

I say you draw a line at viability. One side abortion is legal, other side it is not.

Darat
19th October 2004, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
But then you're stuck with more situations: premature births where the infant requires machines and care to survive. He's outside the mother, but can't survive on his own. And even a regularly born baby still depends on his mother. She's not allowed to kill him through neglect.


But the idea of "independence" does still work, the premature baby doesn't require the Mother so she can't any longer make the decision to destroy the foetus.

Originally posted by TragicMonkey

It looks to me like the soundest position is that the child does have rights, at least at some point in development, but his rights are trumped by his mother's rights over her own body. Once the baby is out of the body, the mother's choice no longer trumps the baby's rights. That's why I think the whole debate will only be resolved through technological achievement. When we can remove a fetus at any stage of development and nurture it to life, there will be no reason for the mother's rights to trump the child's.

I almost agree, I just define the moment of when the baby gets its rights to be when it doesn’t require the Mother. However once technically a Mother is no longer needed to gestate a foetus we will have a whole new set of problems to deal with. Damn this technology!

BPSCG
19th October 2004, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by Darat
But the idea of "independence" does still work, the premature baby doesn't require the Mother so she can't any longer make the decision to destroy the foetus.Then if we can save babies born prematurely at five months, it should be illegal to abort an unborn six-month-old?

HarryKeogh
19th October 2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
A one month old newborn is not as smart, nor as capable of understanding and enjoying life as a rat. Given time it might turn into a morally significant being, and I certainly would never cause even such a trivial entity pain if I could avoid it, but if it dies I don't really care.

You need to do some serious introspection. One has an emotional bond to a newborn or is protective of a newborn's welfare not because it's capable of understanding but because it's a human being.

Grammatron
19th October 2004, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Sorry for the confusion what I mean by "independence" is that it is not only the Mother that can sustain the child, a foetus requires the mother in a way a baby doesn’t. (Obviously a 1 year old can't fend for itself - well unless wolves or gorillas bring them up.)

So you are of an opinion that as long as the baby's inside the mother it's her call on whether it lives or dies?

Darat
19th October 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
Then if we can save babies born prematurely at five months, it should be illegal to abort an unborn six-month-old?

In principle yes however practically I don't know enough. I do know there are already concerns about the long term health problems that very premature babies suffer from. It may be that although we could save a baby at 5 months it would end up being extremely disabled and then I am of the opinion that heroic measures are not in the best interest of the baby.

Tmy
19th October 2004, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by BPSCG
Then if we can save babies born prematurely at five months, it should be illegal to abort an unborn six-month-old?

You can "save" an embryo if you wanted too. Thats different than viability. If it can live on its own then its viable. I dont mean feeding and all that, hell mom cant live on her own for long if you toss her neckid onto an icebarge. But she is viable. If baby doesnt depend on mom for basic life support (cant breath on its own) then thats about were you draw your line.

Darat
19th October 2004, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Grammatron
So you are of an opinion that as long as the baby's inside the mother it's her call on whether it lives or dies?

No, just as long as it requires the Mother to survive.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Darat
In principle yes however practically I don't know enough. I do know there are already concerns about the long term health problems that very premature babies suffer from. It may be that although we could save a baby at 5 months it would end up being extremely disabled and then I am of the opinion that heroic measures are not in the best interest of the baby.

Lol. You're walking into a minefield. Whenever people take this position, that it's better to be dead than severely disabled, the severely disabled take offense. It implies that their lives are not worth living, and makes them and their families rather touchy.

I won't deny that life can be terribly cruel and painful for some people, but I'm going to agree with Nietzsche* on this one: it's still worth living. If an individual decides otherwise, that's his choice...but that choice can't easily be delegated. The Spartans used to expose infants with any visible defect, like a club foot or a stunted arm or blindness.



*and since he suffered from terrible headaches, constant joint pain, and bleeding from the eyeballs due to syphilis, I think poor old Freddy had good cause to appreciate life's nastier side.

Grammatron
19th October 2004, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by Darat
In principle yes however practically I don't know enough. I do know there are already concerns about the long term health problems that very premature babies suffer from. It may be that although we could save a baby at 5 months it would end up being extremely disabled and then I am of the opinion that heroic measures are not in the best interest of the baby.

What if the Sciences advances to the point of being able to raise a healthy baby from the point of sperm penatrating the egg, should abortion be illegal all together then?

Tmy
19th October 2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Grammatron
What if the Sciences advances to the point of being able to raise a healthy baby from the point of sperm penatrating the egg, should abortion be illegal all together then?

We're already there. Test Tube babies, invitro and all that. SUre you need a surregate, but who said science has to be limited to machines?

Darat
19th October 2004, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Lol. You're walking into a minefield. Whenever people take this position, that it's better to be dead than severely disabled, the severely disabled take offense. It implies that their lives are not worth living, and makes them and their families rather touchy.

...snip...


I know it does and I understand the reaction, I've bowed out of some debates even here because I know some people find it very offensive.

Just to make one point very clear it is not that I don't think a "disabled" person can’t have a fantastic life that isn’t every bit as good as a "non-disabled" person or that a disabled child shouldn’t receive every possible help and support. My view is simply that since there is no reason to bring a specific child into this world to decide to bring one into the world that you know will have additional problems is wrong. (And I'm also aware of the slippery slope to state controlled eugenics inherent in my viewpoint.) I suggest if anyone wants to discuss this further they start a new thread otherwise it may derail this very interesting thread.

Grammatron
19th October 2004, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Tmy
We're already there. Test Tube babies, invitro and all that. SUre you need a surregate, but who said science has to be limited to machines?

I did, just right now :)

Seriously though machines have to be there to highlight the point that if one does not need a "mother" does that mean abortions should be illegal?

You were talking about viable, what about premature births, should killing those babies be perfectly legal since they are premature/none-viable?

Darat
19th October 2004, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Grammatron
What if the Sciences advances to the point of being able to raise a healthy baby from the point of sperm penatrating the egg, should abortion be illegal all together then?

That then enters into the realms of what I said to TragicMonkey "However once technically a Mother is no longer needed to gestate a foetus we will have a whole new set of problems to deal with. Damn this technology!"

I suspect the changes such a technological advancement would make to society would be immense so I've no idea.

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 12:17 PM
Foetus adoption by the state?

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by AWPrime
Foetus adoption by the state?

I think it would have to be adopted by the state. Once technology reaches that point, then there will probably be corresponding rises in curing infertility. Couples that adopt now because they cannot have their own children....hmm. Perhaps tax breaks to motivate people to adopt existing fetuses instead of having their own?

Darat
19th October 2004, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Grammatron
I did, just right now :)

Seriously though machines have to be there to highlight the point that if one does not need a "mother" does that mean abortions should be illegal?

You were talking about viable, what about premature births, should killing those babies be perfectly legal since they are premature/none-viable?

It may not exactly be killing and it may not be a precedent setting case but this recent story seems to answer your question with an "almost yes".

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3723656.stm

...snip...

Doctors should not resuscitate a premature baby girl if she stops breathing, the High Court has ruled.

...snip...

Doctors told the court during a two-day hearing last week that Charlotte, who has been in hospital since her birth, will not survive beyond infancy because her lungs are so severely damaged.

She was born when her mother was 26 weeks pregnant and is fed through a tube as she cannot suck from a bottle.

...snip...

Tmy
19th October 2004, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Grammatron
I did, just right now :)

Seriously though machines have to be there to highlight the point that if one does not need a "mother" does that mean abortions should be illegal?

You were talking about viable, what about premature births, should killing those babies be perfectly legal since they are premature/none-viable?

At that point the machines are in affect the new mother. Mom cant pull the plug because she has no "its my body argument."
Bilogical mom couldnt force surreagate mom to have an abortion if she changed her mind about having a kid.


In normal pull the plug situations the machines are just maintianing the dying body. But in premies the machines are improving the body, to a point it is viable.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Darat
It may not exactly be killing and it may not be a precedent setting case but this recent story seems to answer your question with an "almost yes".


I'd say that the decision would have been exactly opposite if the case were American. (Until it reached the Supreme Court....which would refuse it on technical grounds of some kind.)

Tmy
19th October 2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Darat
It may not exactly be killing and it may not be a precedent setting case but this recent story seems to answer your question with an "almost yes".

I dont see a problem. You can have a do not resesitate for a very sick 8 year old child. Parents can make those decisions.

fishbob
19th October 2004, 01:16 PM
It's not a flawed analogy if you buy into the position that the clumps of cells are deserving of rights. That's the point of contention. If they do have rights, then the society as a whole has a vested interest in protecting them. If not, then it doesn't. You're just summing up the pro-choice position. That doesn't render the other side's argument irrelevant. You have to resolve the point of contention first--is the embryo a human being? If so, when did it become such? If so, does it merit protection or not? If not, why not? As somebody else said, when it is still a clump of cells, the mother's rights trump. The line of distinction is clearly not clear, so the decision has to revert to the mother.

Does society as a whole really have a vested interest in forcing the birth of unwanted children? If so, then society as a whole has to be ready to take responsibility for caring for and caring about, feeding, raising, clothing, educating, these unwanted children. Society as a whole does not have a good track record in these areas.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by fishbob
As somebody else said, when it is still a clump of cells, the mother's rights trump. The line of distinction is clearly not clear, so the decision has to revert to the mother.

Does society as a whole really have a vested interest in forcing the birth of unwanted children? If so, then society as a whole has to be ready to take responsibility for caring for and caring about, feeding, raising, clothing, educating, these unwanted children. Society as a whole does not have a good track record in these areas.

Um, I think that was me who said that. And I wasn't suggesting the position is the right one, merely that it is, in fact, a position currently espoused. I don't see why an unclear line of distinction means the decision is automatically the mother's. An unclear line is an unclear line, but it's still a line. It should either be defined legally and philosophically, or discarded...which is yet another point of contention.

Society as a whole has an interest in preserving the lives of members of the society. If it didn't, then it fails the social contract. Admittedly, unborn fetuses are not in a position to rebel at such failure, but that doesn't mean it's okay to pick on them because they cannot fight back. (Please note I am not suggesting they are in fact victims or should be covered by the social contract--that is an unresolved point of contention. But if they are, then the society does owe them a duty). As for feeding and raising the kids, whether society's any good at something doesn't mean it doesn't have to try. Society isn't very good at protecting minority views from majority persecutions, but it still has to make the effort.

We're going in circles and will forever until the basic questions underlying the abortion debate are resolved.

eta: which IMO are

1. When does life actually begin? You'll have to define "life" to start with, then figure out how many cells you have to have to count as a living entity.

2. If it's okay to take life below a certain level of intelligence, what's the cutoff point? Start by defining intelligence.

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 01:34 PM
When we can find definitions for these terms that everyone agrees on, we would be greater than god.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 01:35 PM
Really, the whole abortion question is rooted in the problem of determining what is life, and what is man? Which seem to be two of the fundamental questions that the entirety of philosophy seeks to answer. It's not going to be easy to arrive at a solution, and that's why I distrust the easy-sounding answers on both sides of the debate: I suspect neither side has sat down and thoughtfully considered all the ramifications, explored their definitions and what they necessarily hinge upon, or plumbed the depths of the concepts involved. It seems to boil down to "God" versus "my body, my business", which seems way too simplistic.

But then, I have a tendency to overthink things.

Tmy
19th October 2004, 01:50 PM
Who cares about defining life. We give the death penalty to people. Life dont mean squat.

Its when you're viable, your own self. At that point you make the call on your life/body. Being an infant you dont have that power, so your parents must act to benefit your behalf. Living is seen as a benefit over death.

fishbob
19th October 2004, 01:52 PM
1. When does life actually begin? You'll have to define "life" to start with, then figure out how many cells you have to have to count as a living entity. I don't know when life actually begins. I don't trust anybody that says they do know. Therefore the simplistic "God" versus "my body, my business" is all we have. And the God people claim they know, so are therefore not to be trusted.

AWPrime
19th October 2004, 01:55 PM
When philosophy can't give the anwser, you turn to to what is practical.

TragicMonkey
19th October 2004, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by AWPrime
When philosophy can't give the anwser, you turn to to what is practical.

Lol. What a terrible thing to say! We should all do nothing, until we have attained wisdom enough to know the right thing to do, with absolute clarity and perfect knowledge.

I'm going to hold my breath until then!

epepke
19th October 2004, 04:29 PM
It's fascinating that so few people have voted for the [3, 6) month option, because that's the Roe v. Wade standard.

billydkid
19th October 2004, 05:16 PM
My personal feeling is that it is not so much dependent on the stage of development, but on the earliest possible time that a woman can know she is pregnant. I believe, if you know or even halfway expect you might want an abortion it is your responsibility to have at the very earliest stage possible. I don't know at what point that is, but doctors can easily make this determination. Once it is made I believe a reasonable window of a week or two could be allowed and beyond that point abortions should be illegal. I believe women should have the option of having an abortion, but I do not believe it should be opened ended and I believe they have to take direct responsibility of having it done within that window or not having it at all. This to me seems reasonble and fair. I don't believe a woman should be allowed to go along month after month thinking "oh, I might have an abortion or I might not." and then decide cavalierly (and I'm sorry, but I have known women who have "cavalerly" had abortions) after 4 months that they don't feel like having a baby after all.

Mercutio
19th October 2004, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey

Society as a whole has an interest in preserving the lives of members of the society. If it didn't, then it fails the social contract. Admittedly, unborn fetuses are not in a position to rebel at such failure, but that doesn't mean it's okay to pick on them because they cannot fight back. (Please note I am not suggesting they are in fact victims or should be covered by the social contract--that is an unresolved point of contention. But if they are, then the society does owe them a duty). As for feeding and raising the kids, whether society's any good at something doesn't mean it doesn't have to try. Society isn't very good at protecting minority views from majority persecutions, but it still has to make the effort.
Why should we stop at preventing murder? The same argument should hold true for assault, for instance. If we protect from death, we must protect from abuse as well, just as we would for the one-year-old child. Obviously, we must prevent pregnant women from drinking, as foetal alcohol syndrome is a nasty thing. Smoking? Low birth weight. Cocaine? Spontaneous premature deliveries. No parachute jumping, of course. Hiking or skiing? Dangers of falling. Driving? Too risky.

The only solution is to imprison any woman found pregnant for a term of roughly nine months. As protecting these kids is of such paramount importance, pregnancy tests will be administered on, say, a bi-weekly basis (A-M on 1 week, N-Z the following, and alternating) to be sure we protect as many lives as we possibly can. This will also allow us to find those women who would otherwise flee the country to terminate a pregnancy (or smoke, drink, ski, or drive) in a less protective country.

Oh, and I also support the second-amendment rights of the unborn.*




*this should be seen as the ridiculous statement it is, rather than as any advocacy for some lunatic to shoot up a clinic.

peptoabysmal
19th October 2004, 09:14 PM
Is it my imagination or are most of the people who argue "for" abortion either male or lesbian?

When you talk to a young woman who is considering an abortion, you can be sure that there is a human life at stake no matter what you might think it looks like under a microscope.

Mr Manifesto
19th October 2004, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by peptoabysmal
Is it my imagination or are most of the people who argue "for" abortion either male or lesbian?

When you talk to a young woman who is considering an abortion, you can be sure that there is a human life at stake no matter what you might think it looks like under a microscope.

Uh... What about all the women who actually have abortions? They lesbian? :hit:

varwoche
19th October 2004, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by peptoabysmal
Is it my imagination or are most of the people who argue "for" abortion either male or lesbian? Your imagination. Not a surprise either.

Darat
20th October 2004, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by peptoabysmal
Is it my imagination or are most of the people who argue "for" abortion either male or lesbian?

When you talk to a young woman who is considering an abortion, you can be sure that there is a human life at stake no matter what you might think it looks like under a microscope.

I've known women who have had abortions and I've friends who've had abortions and from that group I'd say there is a wide spectrum of reaction to the thought of abortion. I don't think there is any "standard" female reaction that is markedly different to “male” viewpoints.

fishbob
20th October 2004, 01:32 AM
Is it my imagination or are most of the people who argue "for" abortion either male or lesbian? Not in this discussion - there seems to be a pretty low level of female participation. Probably waiting for the guys to get bored and go see whats on TV. Probably thinking that we don't have a clue and will eventually lose interest and start talking football.

Kevin_Lowe
20th October 2004, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Really, the whole abortion question is rooted in the problem of determining what is life, and what is man? Which seem to be two of the fundamental questions that the entirety of philosophy seeks to answer.


Those are both actually red herrings, sorry. Neither "What is life?" nor "What is man/woman/human" is the pertinent question.

The pertinent question is, "What is it about adult, normal humans that makes their lives special?".

I'm assuming, of course, that our goal is to have a moral view with a basis in observable facts rather than one pulled out of thin air. If normal adults are special and morally valuable, so that we shouldn't kill them, what precise qualities are we basing that judgement on?

As far as I'm concerned, the answer is that adult humans are special because of their complex mental lives. I am also fairly sure most people agree with this if you pin them down on it, since few people have a problem with turning off the life support for human bodies whose mental lives have irrevocably ceased. Extending this view to human bodies whose special mental lives have not yet begun is very hard to avoid, but nonetheless people will do their damnedest to avoid making the connection.


It's not going to be easy to arrive at a solution, and that's why I distrust the easy-sounding answers on both sides of the debate: I suspect neither side has sat down and thoughtfully considered all the ramifications, explored their definitions and what they necessarily hinge upon, or plumbed the depths of the concepts involved. It seems to boil down to "God" versus "my body, my business", which seems way too simplistic.

But then, I have a tendency to overthink things.

I think that's a bad summary, and that if you've overthunk some aspects of this issue you've also underthunk some of them.

The reason this issue is a problem is because our culture has a terribly strong taboo against infanticide. We think that our taboo against it makes us morally superior to other cultures that practised infanticide or still practise it. The fact that I've said this at all will probably pull some well-meaning sort like Harry Keogh out of the woodwork who will feel absolutely compelled to explain that anyone who questions this taboo is a sick, sick subhuman.

Meanwhile (as a society) we are happy to unplug adult "vegetables", and we constantly kill cats, dogs, sheep, cows, chickens and horses because they are unwanted or tasty, despite the fact that by any objective yardstick these creatures are more deserving of respect and consideration than a six month old human poop tube.

So while we can manage (as a society) to be sensible about abortion, since out of sight is out of mind, as soon as the fetus looks like a baby the infanticide taboo kicks in.

Not that I'm actually advocating infanticide for healthy infants: the little poop tubes are in enormous demand for adoption, and it's never a problem to find people who will be enormously happy to take charge of an infant that the mother doesn't want to take care of. I'm just saying that if no one wanted one, killing it would be less morally troublesome than euthanasing an unwanted dog. Which is once again not to say that I'm in favour of it, just that our society tolerates it.

merphie
20th October 2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by 1inChrist
Ask yourself this, would you give up sex once to save a starving person in Africa? Think.

Wha? forget Africa!

:D

Mercutio
20th October 2004, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by peptoabysmal

When you talk to a young woman who is considering an abortion, you can be sure that there is a human life at stake no matter what you might think it looks like under a microscope. I have. I think this is a good point--the women I have spoken with (both close friends and students) are very aware of the magnitude of their decision. One even chose to abort while wishing she did not have the choice to make--it was such an important decision, in her mind.

I have heard (not here, thankfully) people claim that these women treat this decision trivially, and for that reason they should not be trusted with it. Although this may well be true for some, I have not met them. The women I have spoken with who have been faced with this decision know full well what their decision means. I have nothing but respect for these women (admittedly a small sample), and find them the best argument for "it is the woman's choice".

tedly
22nd October 2004, 01:16 PM
Mercutio, I think we have a somewhat larger sample here in Canada. We droppped our laws making abortion illegal. The year before, when a woman and her doctor would do extensive jail time we had on the order of 80,000 estimate of an estimate abortions. The year after we had (order) 75,000.
If anyone cares I can probably harden up those numbers.

Women do take this very seriously, and since they are the ones who have to make and deal with the decision, let them get on with it.

For sample n=1; I have a friend who was working for a pro choice group when she was seduced and left pregnant. She decided to keep the baby - choice means choice.

I'm going to add that I'm not impressed with the level of discussion on this topic. I recommend everybody take a break and read Jonathon Glover's Causing death and Saving Lives for an analysis of :

Is it wrong to kill somebody? Why?

Is it right to spend a million dollars to save three men trapped in a mine when you could put level crossing signs on hundreds of tracks that would each save three lives per year? Why?

Is abortion wrong? Why?

Is infanticide wrong?

When is a life not worth living? Why?

I have yet to finish the book, after 4 years, cause it's just too hard thinking, and when I put it down I have to start all over again.

If life begins at the moment of conception is every women who wears an IUD guilty of murder?

If the life of a foetus is sacred, why do we not hold funerals for miscarriages?

I'm ranting, aren't I? I will stop and cool down.

SRW
23rd October 2004, 10:50 PM
I did not question the right of a woman to have an abortion until I became and athiest. That was when it became clear to me that the aborted fetus was gone for good. It would not go back to heaven to try again. It would not be reincarted and become a new being. It was gone and gone for good. Of course if it indangered the mother then she would be in the same boat. Thats it for her.

But what bugged me is the fact that the vast majority of abortion are for convience. It is not a convientit time for the woman to concieve so the baby has got to go. And most of these abortions are to sex the child. The majority of people in the world happen to believe that male children are better than female children. So women carring a girl will not give a second thought to aborting it so they can try again to have a boy. After all buddists and Hundu's believe in reincarnation, so it may well be the same aborted fetus that will come back as a boy. I don't know how often this happens here in the US but it does happen.

PBS had a series a number of years ago where they stuck a camera in a womans uteras. And followed the development from firtilization to birth. If your looking for that magic point that makes the fetus a human, it was abundantly clear that it happend the moment that the egg and sperm came together. At that point the two seprate beings combined thier DNA and created an other unique being.

In a perfict world I would like to see abortion legal but rare. Women should be able to make the choice, but it should be an informed choice. And then knowing the full truth it is up to the woman to decide if what she is doing is really the right thing to do.

AWPrime
24th October 2004, 02:23 PM
The only way to reduce abortions is through fact orientated sexual education.

tedly
25th October 2004, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by SRW

But what bugged me is the fact that the vast majority of abortion are for convience.
And most of these abortions are to sex the child. The majority of people in the world happen to believe that male children are better than female children. So women carring a girl will not give a second thought to aborting it so they can try again to have a boy.

PBS had a series a number of years ago where they stuck a camera in a womans uteras. And followed the development from firtilization to birth. If your looking for that magic point that makes the fetus a human, it was abundantly clear that it happend the moment that the egg and sperm came together. At that point the two seprate beings combined thier DNA and created an other unique being.



You will have to convince me that "the vast majority of abortion[s] are for convenience".

You will have to convince me that "most of these abortions are to sex the child".

After that "magic point" an IUD will interfere with the ability of the zygote (the human being) to attach to the wall of the womb and it will be expelled. (She's late.)

Is this wrong? Is it abortion? Is it homicide?

tedly
25th October 2004, 10:11 AM
Recently, here in Saskatchewan, a young woman was informed that her baby (foetus) was very badly deformed, likely to die, and likely to have a very low quality of life. She decided to have a late abortion and was flown to Vancouver, BC to undergo the procedure, which does entail some risks to her. In Vancouver she was consulted by a doctor, and convinced to forgo the abortion and have the baby.

The baby was born without limbs, and with some of its organs outside its body. They were flown back to SK where the baby was stabilised (treated for infections) and then released to its mother who took it home to her remote Northern community. She was shown how to treat the baby to reduce the chance of infection and was supported by the nursing station in her community. The baby died in 2 weeks. This might have been prevented by a hospital stay; there would have been no doubt in the minds of the doctors in the hospital that they were sending the baby home to die.
Thou shalt not kill, but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive.
The cost of this birth to our health care system is reliably estimated (by a medical bureaucrat I know) at $100K. Fortunately the socialist hordes got their start in Saskabush, so economics played a minor and unstated role in any of these decisions.

Where was the wrong in this situation if there was any? Would this abortion have been wrong? murder?
When the baby was born, did it have an autonomous meaningful life? a life?
Would a lethal injection (infanticide) have been wrong?
Suppose they had not treated for infection but allowed the fever to carry the baby off? Would this have been any different than infanticide? than a late term abortion?

With respect,
Tedly
A man who has no answers, but is trying hard to formulate the questions.



Sorry for hogging the posts, but this is a new topic.

SRW
25th October 2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by tedly
You will have to convince me that "the vast majority of abortion[s] are for convenience".

You will have to convince me that "most of these abortions are to sex the child".

After that "magic point" an IUD will interfere with the ability of the zygote (the human being) to attach to the wall of the womb and it will be expelled. (She's late.)

Is this wrong? Is it abortion? Is it homicide?

You misunderstand my position, I don't care what you believe, and I don't care to convince you or anyone else.

The only point I made that is relevant is that abortion should be legal and rare.

If you wish to argue that point with me then I would like to hear your arguments.

BPSCG
25th October 2004, 11:37 AM
Tedly, SRW, how did you vote? And why did you vote that way?

thaiboxerken
25th October 2004, 11:42 AM
I think it's never wrong, it's not like a fetus is a productive member of society.

SRW
25th October 2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by BPSCG
Tedly, SRW, how did you vote? And why did you vote that way?

Don't know/don't care/what a stupid question, actually because I do not have an answer.

My personal belief is that abortion is a necessary evil that is going to happen no matter what I believe.

I have had two of my "mistakes" aborted, that I know of. One
I did not know about until after the fact, the second I had to help make the decision. I was for having it, she against, she got her way. I still have mixed feelings about this, a tinge of guilt now and then, a sense of loss at times, but also the feeling that it was what she wanted, so it is not "wrong".

tedly
25th October 2004, 12:25 PM
Dear BPSCG

I didn't vote, because the vote closest to me is too flippant.

I'm fairly sure this is Mark Twain:

"I was pleased to be able to give an answer that was as ready as it was scientifically accurate. I told him 'I don't know'."

I think I can do 'Is this abortion, infanticide, execution, rescue, operation..... right or wrong. I know I can't do is Abortion right or wrong, but I'm working on it. It is kinda mental chewing gum, exercises the same muscles but provides no real satisfaction.

tedly
25th October 2004, 12:28 PM
Dear SRW

Using an IUD is legal and very common. It acts after the moment of conception. Do you consider this an abortion? If not, when does interfering with the devlopment become abortion?

SRW
25th October 2004, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by tedly
Dear SRW

Using an IUD is legal and very common. It acts after the moment of conception. Do you consider this an abortion? If not, when does interfering with the devlopment become abortion?

Do you consider this an abortion?

If what you describe is accurate then technically yes, the same as the "morning after pill" is technically an abortion.

I would disagree with your earlier suggestion that a fetus is a human being. I made the distinction that it is an individual being, not a human being. Calling a fetus a human being gives it legal status which I am not willing to do.

TragicMonkey
25th October 2004, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by SRW
If what you describe is accurate then technically yes, the same as the "morning after pill" is technically an abortion.


Regular birth control pills act the same way. Conception occurs, but the fertilized egg doesn't stick to the uterine wall. That's why the Catholic Church opposes the pill.

shanek
25th October 2004, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by AWPrime
The only way to reduce abortions is through fact orientated sexual education.

Not really. While that is certainly an effective method, reforming the adoption laws and getting the government small enough to end the Income Tax and replace it with nothing are two other ways of reducing abortions. The former would make adoption a more viable option, and kids who are adopted sooner have less of a chance of having an unwanted pregnancy later in life. The latter will make keeping the child a more viable option, and would also allow for more stay-at-home parents, the children of which are statistically less likely to have unwanted pregnancies as well.

shanek
25th October 2004, 01:12 PM
BTW, I have to say, I'm really (pleasantly) amazed that we can have such a great discussion of abortion, considering that this forum has a problem discussing Global Warming without woo-woo politicking, namecalling, etc. from BOTH sides, and has a problem getting a Michael Badnarik thread going for more than 5 posts without people jumping in and making 20 posts each of the same discredited claims.

TragicMonkey
25th October 2004, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by shanek
BTW, I have to say, I'm really (pleasantly) amazed that we can have such a great discussion of abortion, considering that this forum has a problem discussing Global Warming without woo-woo politicking, namecalling, etc. from BOTH sides, and has a problem getting a Michael Badnarik thread going for more than 5 posts without people jumping in and making 20 posts each of the same discredited claims.

That's because Badnarik is a communist who performed forcible abortions in Russia. I can prove it by using homeopathy.

Oh, and accept Jesus or go to Hell.

You really shouldn't issue these challenges!

edited for stupid.

Kevin_Lowe
25th October 2004, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by SRW
I would disagree with your earlier suggestion that a fetus is a human being. I made the distinction that it is an individual being, not a human being. Calling a fetus a human being gives it legal status which I am not willing to do.

I'm not sure what moral difference it makes that the fetus is an individual being.

Every single mouse embryo is an individual being too, just as much as a human embryo is an individual being.

For that matter twins aren't individual beings, since there are two of them. In fact you can even smoosh two twin embryos together when they're at the one-cell stage and you'll get a single normal fetus as a result. Is this an abortion, and if so of which twin? Or you can pull a two-cell embryo apart and get normal twins as a result. Does this create a moral obligation to arrange for each cell to cause a human being to arise, or is it okay to throw one of the two cells away and let the other develop?

My conclusion is that treating fertilised eggs as morally significant entities is silly. They're bacteria that a morally significant entity might eventually arise from. The only moral obligations we have with regard to them is that we shouldn't do anything to them which will cause any person that does arise from them to suffer.

AWPrime
26th October 2004, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by shanek
Not really. While that is certainly an effective method, reforming the adoption laws and getting the government small enough to end the Income Tax and replace it with nothing are two other ways of reducing abortions. The former would make adoption a more viable option, and kids who are adopted sooner have less of a chance of having an unwanted pregnancy later in life. The latter will make keeping the child a more viable option, and would also allow for more stay-at-home parents, the children of which are statistically less likely to have unwanted pregnancies as well.

A few problems. A lot of women don't want to give birth and/or are in a situation that will cause great social pressure/shame.

Mona
26th October 2004, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Regular birth control pills act the same way. Conception occurs, but the fertilized egg doesn't stick to the uterine wall. That's why the Catholic Church opposes the pill.

Well, not really. First, some Pills do act either to prevent ovulation or to create a hostile womb environment for a fertilized ovum. It is not known (last I checked) how often which mechanism works, but it is known that both do in some Pills. Also, some formulations of the Pill are thought never or rarely to do other than prevent ovulation-- at least this was so back when contraception was an issue for me (I got "fixed," and so have not had to worry about any of it since).

And, the Catholic Church opposes any "artifical" method of contraception, whether it be a diaphragm, condoms, spermicides or sterilization. None of these are early abortafacients, but the Church condemns them all as well, for any reason at all. This was the first issue that got me ready to leave the Church and launched into non-theism.

shanek
26th October 2004, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by AWPrime
A few problems. A lot of women don't want to give birth and/or are in a situation that will cause great social pressure/shame.

I said fewer abortions. I never said you'd elimiate them. That's jnust not gonna happen no matter what you do.

The Central Scrutinizer
26th October 2004, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by shanek
BTW, I have to say, I'm really (pleasantly) amazed that we can have such a great discussion of abortion, considering that this forum has a problem discussing Global Warming without woo-woo politicking, namecalling, etc. from BOTH sides, and has a problem getting a Michael Badnarik thread going for more than 5 posts without people jumping in and making 20 posts each of the same discredited claims.

Only "discredited" because you don't agree with the facts.

SRW
26th October 2004, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
I'm not sure what moral difference it makes that the fetus is an individual being.


The moral issue is not where the problem lay. No it is not only a moral issue. If you define a fetus as a "human being" then in is given legal status. Making aborting akin to murder. It is What it is, an individual being.


The question asked in this thread is "When does abortion become Wrong" The argument truly revolved around when does the fetus become legally a human being?

Current here in the states we have a high profile murder case where a man is being tried for the murder of his wife and his eight month old fetus. He is being charged with a double murder.

Is that right? The wife wanted the child, it could have survived on its own. But it had not been born. So is it proper to charge him with murder? And If so what if
she were 3 months on, or six?

AWPrime
27th October 2004, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by SRW

The question asked in this thread is "When does abortion become Wrong" The argument truly revolved around when does the fetus become legally a human being?

No the better question is, when does the fetus become legally a person?

Kevin_Lowe
27th October 2004, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by AWPrime
No the better question is, when does the fetus become legally a person?

A better question still is "When does the fetus become morally a person?".

Since chimps and parrots can emulate the cognitive abilities of a five year old, there is no consistent answer I'm aware of that includes kids under five and excludes Alex the Parrot.

Darat
27th October 2004, 04:24 AM
Originally posted by SRW


...snip...

Is that right? The wife wanted the child, it could have survived on its own. But it had not been born. So is it proper to charge him with murder? And If so what if
she were 3 months on, or six?

And once you start using this argument we're back to the "problem" of a woman who spontaneously aborts an embryo/fetus/baby, which then has to be viewed as "involuntary manslaughter". Then what about the woman who smokes when she is pregnant (which I think increases not only the risk of birth defects but the chances of the woman aborting) and does spontaneously abort the embryo or foetus? Surely she is then culpable (at least in part) for that "person" being "killed"?

SRW
27th October 2004, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by AWPrime
No the better question is, when does the fetus become legally a person?

I tend to use human being and person interchangeably but I think you're correct that the legal term is person. .

thaiboxerken
27th October 2004, 09:04 AM
A fetus is not an individual.

TragicMonkey
27th October 2004, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
A fetus is not an individual.

Exactly. It's a limited liability corporation.

SRW
27th October 2004, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Exactly. It's a limited liability corporation.

Really I though it was a limited partnership.

TragicMonkey
27th October 2004, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by SRW
Really I though it was a limited partnership.

No, the fetus realizes that by incorporating in Delaware, it will enjoy some tax benefits.

SRW
27th October 2004, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
No, the fetus realizes that by incorporating in Delaware, it will enjoy some tax benefits.

I would hate to be at one of the board meetings, I would imagine they really suck.

TragicMonkey
27th October 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by SRW
I would hate to be at one of the board meetings, I would imagine they really suck.

But there's always womb for another vice president.

(Okay, that was quite bad, even for a monkey.)

thaiboxerken
27th October 2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Exactly. It's a limited liability corporation.

I was thinking it was more like a parasite.

TragicMonkey
27th October 2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I was thinking it was more like a parasite.

Like the worm aliens on Stargate SG-1? That would be kinda cool, actually.

thaiboxerken
27th October 2004, 10:11 AM
More like the alien in "Alien".

billydkid
28th October 2004, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I think it's never wrong, it's not like a fetus is a productive member of society.

You are joking right? If that criteria were used as the litmus test to determine whether one deserves to live or not we would be in a lot of trouble.

thaiboxerken
28th October 2004, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by billydkid
You are joking right? If that criteria were used as the litmus test to determine whether one deserves to live or not we would be in a lot of trouble.

Why is that?

TragicMonkey
28th October 2004, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Why is that?

It would be open season to hunt Joan Rivers, pretty much everyone in Hollywood, prison inmates, the clergy, and the entire legal profession.

Hmm. Am I arguing for, or against?

thaiboxerken
28th October 2004, 01:06 PM
Exactly.

billydkid
29th October 2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Why is that?

So you think we should set up a Ministry of Determining Who is and Who is Not a Contributing Member of Society and weed out those folks who aren't? Say those old folks soaking up tax dollars and such in old folks homes? Or those mentally defective folks who are such a drain? Or what about those members of society who are flat out not only don't contribute, but actually leach deliberately - say car thieves and tax lawyers. I think this contributing member of society is not a far cry at all from Hitler's basic approach - weeding out those who are leaches and don't contribute. Yes, lets dispose of all those folks that someone or other (you?) deems not to be contributing members of society. It's just being sensible.

Mona
29th October 2004, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by billydkid
So you think we should set up a Ministry of Determining Who is and Who is Not a Contributing Member of Society and weed out those folks who aren't? Say those old folks soaking up tax dollars and such in old folks homes? Or those mentally defective folks who are such a drain? Or what about those members of society who are flat out not only don't contribute, but actually leach deliberately - say car thieves and tax lawyers. I think this contributing member of society is not a far cry at all from Hitler's basic approach - weeding out those who are leaches and don't contribute. Yes, lets dispose of all those folks that someone or other (you?) deems not to be contributing members of society. It's just being sensible.

Yeah. They put an ultrasound stethoscope on my belly and I heard my son's heartbeat. But, he's no person.(That metaphysical construction.)

I was wrong. I decided not to kill him, so I'm in league with Pat Robertson. No skeptic am I.

Kevin_Lowe
30th October 2004, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by Mona
Yeah. They put an ultrasound stethoscope on my belly and I heard my son's heartbeat. But, he's no person.(That metaphysical construction.)

They're living examples of human genetic material in action, sure enough. So are permanently comatose people on life support: they have heartbeats too. I'm morally untroubled by killing either of those two examples of human life, fetuses or vegetables. Neither of them, to my mind, have the characteristics that make a life morally important.


I was wrong. I decided not to kill him, so I'm in league with Pat Robertson. No skeptic am I.

People keep fetuses all the time, and it doesn't make them non-skeptical.

If you kept the baby because you thought keeping the baby would make you happy than that was a perfectly rational decision.

If you decided that the little throbbing blob should be kept because it had a soul, or because it had some objectively identifiable property that made it morally wrong to kill it, well, I'd disagree with you. I might even, depending on your reasoning on the matter, say that you weren't being a skeptic on that issue.

That would be okay though. We aren't at our most rational when we're drunk, or horny, or depressed, or pregnant and doped to the gills with insidious love-the-baby hormones, or in fact at any time when our cognitive processes are impaired chemically.

thaiboxerken
30th October 2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by billydkid
Yes, lets dispose of all those folks that someone or other (you?) deems not to be contributing members of society. It's just being sensible.

Of course, we'd have to come up with an objective way of determining who is productive.

thaiboxerken
30th October 2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Mona
Yeah. They put an ultrasound stethoscope on my belly and I heard my son's heartbeat. But, he's no person.(That metaphysical construction.)

I was wrong. I decided not to kill him, so I'm in league with Pat Robertson. No skeptic am I.

Well, that line of reasoning isn't one of critical thought. No, you weren't skeptical at that moment. You made a decision based on emotion, which isn't bad, just not skeptical.

Mona
30th October 2004, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
They're living examples of human genetic material in action, sure enough. So are permanently comatose people on life support: they have heartbeats too. I'm morally untroubled by killing either of those two examples of human life, fetuses or vegetables. Neither of them, to my mind, have the characteristics that make a life morally important.



People keep fetuses all the time, and it doesn't make them non-skeptical.

If you kept the baby because you thought keeping the baby would make you happy than that was a perfectly rational decision.

If you decided that the little throbbing blob should be kept because it had a soul, or because it had some objectively identifiable property that made it morally wrong to kill it, well, I'd disagree with you. I might even, depending on your reasoning on the matter, say that you weren't being a skeptic on that issue.

That would be okay though. We aren't at our most rational when we're drunk, or horny, or depressed, or pregnant and doped to the gills with insidious love-the-baby hormones, or in fact at any time when our cognitive processes are impaired chemically.

I didn't kill him because he was alive, and had to be human, since I had mated with a human male. Whether he had a soul I did not know or consider, and neither do I make decisions based on metaphysical notions of "personhood." What I did know was that he had a heartbeat.

I wasn't raped, and I knew that having sex carried a chance of pregnancy, despite precautions. So, I had invited him into existence and, as I see it now, I was contemplating making him pay with his life for my gamble.

Also, I disagree that as a female only I and other women are entitled to have an opinion on this subject. Males are equally able to discuss the various aspects of this very vexing ethical issue.

Finally, I am disgusted by notions that only "productive" members of society have a right to live. I'm involved in multiple aspects of a program for developmentally disabled adults, many of whom cannot work and require extensive assistance running their lives. I would not care to live in a culture that kills them and other "useless eaters."

Kevin_Lowe
30th October 2004, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Mona
I didn't kill him because he was alive, and had to be human, since I had mated with a human male.


In that case I'm not sure your decision was rational.

If someone is completely, irreversibly comatose, do you oppose "pulling the plug" or do you think we should keep them alive as long as possible by life support?


Whether he had a soul I did not know or consider, and neither do I make decisions based on metaphysical notions of "personhood." What I did know was that he had a heartbeat.


I think you're doing an injustice to rationalist morality by calling personhood a metaphysical notion. As far as I'm concerned, and I think most modern bioethicists are on my side, personhood is based on perfectly concrete capabilities and qualities. Rocks aren't non-persons because of some kind of airy metaphysical notion of rockness, they're non-persons because they have none of the qualities persons do that make persons important.

This is a touch like the "atheism is a religion" canard. Morality doesn't have to be arbitrary or metaphysical, and I try to make sure my morality isn't. Whereas a morality that says an early-term fetus is a person and Alex the Parrot isn't is both arbitrary and almost certainly based covertly on some metaphysical premise that privileges humans.

("Persons", as philosophers use it, is meant to refer to regular humans, aliens with similar cognitive faculties, possibly parrots and chimps and dogs, and anything else that has the same qualities that make it morally important).


I wasn't raped, and I knew that having sex carried a chance of pregnancy, despite precautions. So, I had invited him into existence and, as I see it now, I was contemplating making him pay with his life for my gamble.


As I see it, fetuses have no particular claim on us that we provide them with the facilities they need to develop, and the whole point of medical technology is to insulate us from the consequences of risky behaviour. I know that eating out carries a risk of food poisoning despite precautions, and going to the shops for chocolate carries a risk of getting hit by a car despite precautions, but in neither case to I feel morally obliged to turn down medical help if the worst happens.

Eating out, buying chocolate and having sex are all optional. We could abstain from them if we wanted. Still, I'm glad I live in a society where I can have restaurant meals, chocolate and sex and the medical establishment will be there to help me if things go wrong.


Also, I disagree that as a female only I and other women are entitled to have an opinion on this subject. Males are equally able to discuss the various aspects of this very vexing ethical issue.


On this we agree completely.

I'd go so far as to say, though, that there's a strong argument that men should not force their opinions on the matter on women. Historically speaking, laws against abortion have been passed by people who will never want an abortion and I'm not sure that's coincidental.


Finally, I am disgusted by notions that only "productive" members of society have a right to live. I'm involved in multiple aspects of a program for developmentally disabled adults, many of whom cannot work and require extensive assistance running their lives. I would not care to live in a culture that kills them and other "useless eaters."

That's TBKs particular bit of nazi ideology (yes, I Godwinned, but nazi Germany is the only first-world state in recent history to have systematically murdered its unproductive citizens), not mine.

If you're walking and talking I agree completely that it would be monstrously immoral to kill you, disability or no.

On the other hand, the disability lobby has always had a colossal blind spot when it comes to the distinction between killing existing people, and preventing future people from arising. I'm perfectly happy to say that if you're disabled and need extensive assistance that you have every right to life but it would be better if you had never been.

I'm in the same boat in my own opinion, having hereditary shortsightedness. I don't think anyone should kill me, but I think it would have been better had I not existed and someone else who hadn't inherited that vision disorder had come into existence instead. That person would have a slightly but significantly happier life than me all else being equal, since they could snorkel, play contact sports unimpaired and wouldn't have to pay for optometry and spectacles.

Edited for snorkle.

Mona
30th October 2004, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
In that case I'm not sure your decision was rational.

If someone is completely, irreversibly comatose, do you oppose "pulling the plug" or do you think we should keep them alive as long as possible by life support?


I think you're doing an injustice to rationalist morality by calling personhood a metaphysical notion. As far as I'm concerned, and I think most modern bioethicists are on my side, personhood is based on perfectly concrete capabilities and qualities. Rocks aren't non-persons because of some kind of airy metaphysical notion of rockness, they're non-persons because they have none of the qualities persons do that make persons important.

This is a touch like the "atheism is a religion" canard. Morality doesn't have to be arbitrary or metaphysical, and I try to make sure my morality isn't. Whereas a morality that says an early-term fetus is a person and Alex the Parrot isn't is both arbitrary and almost certainly based covertly on some metaphysical premise that privileges humans.

("Persons", as philosophers use it, is meant to refer to regular humans, aliens with similar cognitive faculties, possibly parrots and chimps and dogs, and anything else that has the same qualities that make it morally important).



As I see it, fetuses have no particular claim on us that we provide them with the facilities they need to develop, and the whole point of medical technology is to insulate us from the consequences of risky behaviour. I know that eating out carries a risk of food poisoning despite precautions, and going to the shops for chocolate carries a risk of getting hit by a car despite precautions, but in neither case to I feel morally obliged to turn down medical help if the worst happens.

Eating out, buying chocolate and having sex are all optional. We could abstain from them if we wanted. Still, I'm glad I live in a society where I can have restaurant meals, chocolate and sex and the medical establishment will be there to help me if things go wrong.



On this we agree completely.

I'd go so far as to say, though, that there's a strong argument that men should not force their opinions on the matter on women. Historically speaking, laws against abortion have been passed by people who will never want an abortion and I'm not sure that's coincidental.



That's TBKs particular bit of nazi ideology (yes, I Godwinned, but nazi Germany is the only first-world state in recent history to have systematically murdered its unproductive citizens), not mine.

If you're walking and talking I agree completely that it would be monstrously immoral to kill you, disability or no.

On the other hand, the disability lobby has always had a colossal blind spot when it comes to the distinction between killing existing people, and preventing future people from arising. I'm perfectly happy to say that if you're disabled and need extensive assistance that you have every right to life but it would be better if you had never been.

I'm in the same boat in my own opinion, having hereditary shortsightedness. I don't think anyone should kill me, but I think it would have been better had I not existed and someone else who hadn't inherited that vision disorder had come into existence instead. That person would have a slightly but significantly happier life than me all else being equal, since they could snorkle, play contact sports unimpaired and wouldn't have to pay for optometry and spectacles.

Taking your points seriatam (I've never been to slick with interspersing my own comments within your quotes, so I don't try to do it piecemeal).

I believe every man and woman has a right to dictate when they want life support to end. I do not support maintaining individuals in an irreversible coma in that state, and in prior eras they would die a natural death. Not all medical intervention is a blessing.

The situation with unborn human offspring, however, is different. We were all once there, and they are moving toward full awareness, and will usually get there if not killed. So, aborting them is more analogous to killing someone who is in a coma, but who will almost certainly come out of it shortly.

As to "personhood" this is a fiction, and a largely metaphysical one. Indeed, the entire notion of human rights is a metaphysical construct rooted in natural law, but happens to be one whose consequences I like.

And about whether it would be better to have never been: if you mean better to be aborted, this begs the question. Reasonable people argue that a fetus with a disability has, in fact, come into being. Is it moral to kill him or her at some time prior to live birth, but not after? Why not permit the killing of neonates up til, say, 2 mos.? We could catch a lot more disabilities that way.

Some bio-ethicists have argued that sometimes infanticide ought to be permitted. Given rationales such as you have set forth in defense of abortion, could you consistently disagree with them?

The disability rights lobby is right, in my view, to be alarmed by opinions such as yours.

Kevin_Lowe
30th October 2004, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by Mona
I believe every man and woman has a right to dictate when they want life support to end. I do not support maintaining individuals in an irreversible coma in that state, and in prior eras they would die a natural death. Not all medical intervention is a blessing.

The situation with unborn human offspring, however, is different. We were all once there, and they are moving toward full awareness, and will usually get there if not killed. So, aborting them is more analogous to killing someone who is in a coma, but who will almost certainly come out of it shortly.


I think there's a really important problem with that analogy you propose. That is that the temporarily comatose person had an ongoing life with hopes, goals and so forth which has been suspended. The fetus has no such previous life.

It's also worth saying that fetuses aren't people in the same way that acorns aren't oak trees. Even if most acorns will usually become oak trees given the right environment, that doesn't seem to mean that we should give an acorn in the right environment the same consideration as we would give an oak tree. I wouldn't cut down an oak tree just because it was on a spot I wanted to build a house on, but I'd be relaxed about paving over an acorn.


As to "personhood" this is a fiction, and a largely metaphysical one. Indeed, the entire notion of human rights is a metaphysical construct rooted in natural law, but happens to be one whose consequences I like.


Personhood is not metaphysical, any more than the distinction between animal, vegetable and mineral is metaphysical. The group of persons is a definable group of real, existing entities. If personhood is a fiction then redness, sourness and velocity are fictions.

Please don't try to drag rationalist morality down to the level of social conformity or religious conformity. I'm not making arbitrary or metaphysical distinctions, I'm making distinctions based on observable facts.


And about whether it would be better to have never been: if you mean better to be aborted, this begs the question. Reasonable people argue that a fetus with a disability has, in fact, come into being. Is it moral to kill him or her at some time prior to live birth, but not after? Why not permit the killing of neonates up til, say, 2 mos.? We could catch a lot more disabilities that way.


As far as I'm concerned killing a fetus before it has a functioning brain and consciousness is completely morally unproblematic, and you can kill it because it's disabled or because it's male or because it's got blue eyes. I just don't care. (Something like 98% of abortions in the real world are in this category).

If you scroll back you'll find the bit where I said that I don't think infanticide is a good thing, but that I can't see any consistent moral position in which it's tolerable to put down an unwanted dog but intolerable to put down an unwanted baby. In an ideal world where we had unlimited resources and unlimited altruism we'd keep everything alive whose life was not unbearably painful, of course.


Some bio-ethicists have argued that sometimes infanticide ought to be permitted. Given rationales such as you have set forth in defense of abortion, could you consistently disagree with them?


I don't think you can, if you put sufficiently heavy emphasis on that magic word "sometimes".

The truth is we actually engage in infanticide by neglect routinely in the first world. We just pretend it's not infanticide by chanting a magic formula like "treatment was discontinued as it was not in the best interests of the patient" or something, as if it's in the patient's best interests to die slowly of neglect rather than being put down humanely.


The disability rights lobby is right, in my view, to be alarmed by opinions such as yours.

I see their point, I just don't agree that it is important enough to take seriously.

As an analogy, I read a while ago about a primitive society somewhere in which the mentally ill were considered touched by the gods and thus kind of sacred. So unless they were a danger to the community they were allowed to do what they wanted and were taken care of by the community. (This society could even be fictional, it doesn't matter).

In that society, it would probably be bad for the mentally ill if skeptics came along and said "There are no gods and these people aren't blessed. They just have malfunctioning brains". After all, it might well turn out that once the public realised this was true they'd stop taking such good care of the mentally ill.

I wouldn't refrain from debunking belief in gods on that basis though. That debunking won't necessarily lead to worse treatment for the mentally ill, and belief in gods has all sorts of other negative consequences that society would be better off without.

In the same kind of way I think we should have a rational approach to morality, even if an irrational approach serves the (wholly worthy) purposes of some interest groups. Doing right by the disabled doesn't necessarily mean we have to be irrational, and being rational doesn't necessarily mean not doing right by the disabled.

Mona
30th October 2004, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
I think there's a really important problem with that analogy you propose. That is that the temporarily comatose person had an ongoing life with hopes, goals and so forth which has been suspended. The fetus has no such previous life.

It's also worth saying that fetuses aren't people in the same way that acorns aren't oak trees. Even if most acorns will usually become oak trees given the right environment, that doesn't seem to mean that we should give an acorn in the right environment the same consideration as we would give an oak tree. I wouldn't cut down an oak tree just because it was on a spot I wanted to build a house on, but I'd be relaxed about paving over an acorn.



Personhood is not metaphysical, any more than the distinction between animal, vegetable and mineral is metaphysical. The group of persons is a definable group of real, existing entities. If personhood is a fiction then redness, sourness and velocity are fictions.

Please don't try to drag rationalist morality down to the level of social conformity or religious conformity. I'm not making arbitrary or metaphysical distinctions, I'm making distinctions based on observable facts.



As far as I'm concerned killing a fetus before it has a functioning brain and consciousness is completely morally unproblematic, and you can kill it because it's disabled or because it's male or because it's got blue eyes. I just don't care. (Something like 98% of abortions in the real world are in this category).

If you scroll back you'll find the bit where I said that I don't think infanticide is a good thing, but that I can't see any consistent moral position in which it's tolerable to put down an unwanted dog but intolerable to put down an unwanted baby. In an ideal world where we had unlimited resources and unlimited altruism we'd keep everything alive whose life was not unbearably painful, of course.



I don't think you can, if you put sufficiently heavy emphasis on that magic word "sometimes".

The truth is we actually engage in infanticide by neglect routinely in the first world. We just pretend it's not infanticide by chanting a magic formula like "treatment was discontinued as it was not in the best interests of the patient" or something, as if it's in the patient's best interests to die slowly of neglect rather than being put down humanely.



I see their point, I just don't agree that it is important enough to take seriously.

As an analogy, I read a while ago about a primitive society somewhere in which the mentally ill were considered touched by the gods and thus kind of sacred. So unless they were a danger to the community they were allowed to do what they wanted and were taken care of by the community. (This society could even be fictional, it doesn't matter).

In that society, it would probably be bad for the mentally ill if skeptics came along and said "There are no gods and these people aren't blessed. They just have malfunctioning brains". After all, it might well turn out that once the public realised this was true they'd stop taking such good care of the mentally ill.

I wouldn't refrain from debunking belief in gods on that basis though. That debunking won't necessarily lead to worse treatment for the mentally ill, and belief in gods has all sorts of other negative consequences that society would be better off without.

In the same kind of way I think we should have a rational approach to morality, even if an irrational approach serves the (wholly worthy) purposes of some interest groups. Doing right by the disabled doesn't necessarily mean we have to be irrational, and being rational doesn't necessarily mean not doing right by the disabled.

Personhood is a metaphysical construct; it is a value philosophy and the law ascribe to some entitites, and not others. In law, even corporations can be "persons." At one time, slaves were not. I do not base my ethical decisions on such arbitrary notions whose genesis is in (religious) natural law; being a discrete human entity is enough for me to decide not to kill said entity, unless s/he poses an unreasonable threat to me or others.

As for a person in a coma having a social history, so? The unborn usually will, too, if you do not kill them. My point was that the fetus is in a normal stage of development common to us all, unlike the person in an irreversible coma. The person in the coma is done, kaput, no there there, and never will be again. The fetus is exactly where s/he is normally supposed to be, and can be expected to socialize with us a few months after birth. But even hermits have a right to live; I reject socialization as a means of determining who has a right to live.

As to the acorn/tree issue. Chopping down a tree OR squashing an acorn are generally no big deal. Killing a human being is. The entity in a pregnant human woman's womb is animate, and is treated as a patient by fetologists; surgery can be performed in the womb, on the unborn, and is. The unborn are not like acorns; they are like small trees.

You hold views on the disposability of people that I find troubling. While I do not adhere to Xian notions of the "sacredness" of life, I generally prefer the consequences that flow from such beliefs over the consequences of your beliefs. (I'm a pragmatist.)

Kevin_Lowe
30th October 2004, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Mona
Personhood is a metaphysical construct; it is a value philosophy and the law ascribe to some entitites, and not others. In law, even corporations can be "persons." At one time, slaves were not. I do not base my ethical decisions on such arbitrary notions whose genesis is in (religious) natural law; being a discrete human entity is enough for me to decide not to kill said entity, unless s/he poses an unreasonable threat to me or others.


We already know that's not quite true though, don't we? You agreed that it would be okay to switch off a permanently comatose person's life support, and the reason you gave was exactly the right one. A permanently comatose person does not have the special mental life we're looking for. So you've already agreed that it's okay to kill some discrete human entities that pose no threat to us, and for the same reason I'd give.

By the way, in the philosophical literature a "person" is an entity with the kind of special mental life that makes humans morally important. Slaves absolutely qualify as persons, and corporations absolutely do not. Where we draw the line with highly intelligent animals and seriously mentally disabled humans is up for grabs. Intelligent aliens would qualify, as would true artificial intelligence. That's the sense in which I'm using "person".

The idea of this definition is to capture everything that has that special mental life, and exclude everything that doesn't.

Now why is this way of designating the special, morally important entities better than yours? Because being a discrete human entity doesn't necessarily make an entity anything we should care about. The examples of the permanently comatose and of ancephalic babies demonstrate that for most people. Whereas anything with an adult-human-like metal life is something we should care about, and I think I can show that.

I strongly suspect that if I prodded you a bit with hypothetical scenarios about genetically engineered chimps that were as smart as humans, and genetically engineered humans with no heads (cloned as organ donors), you'd end up admitting that what is really important to you is what the entity is like, not whether the entity is a discrete human entity per se.


As for a person in a coma having a social history, so? The unborn usually will, too, if you do not kill them.


Sure, but no one will suffer and no one will miss them if the fetus never develops into an adult. I don't find that "loss of potential" any more morally troubling than the "loss of potential" that occurs any time an egg fails to implant properly, or for that matter when a sperm dies without fertilising an egg.


My point was that the fetus is in a normal stage of development common to us all, unlike the person in an irreversible coma. The person in the coma is done, kaput, no there there, and never will be again. The fetus is exactly where s/he is normally supposed to be, and can be expected to socialize with us a few months after birth. But even hermits have a right to live; I reject socialization as a means of determining who has a right to live.


No one (except possibly TBK, who we should all ignore) is advocating killing hermits.

I don't see why the fact that we were all fetuses at one time is either here or there. If I'd been aborted, no one would miss me now. For that matter if a different one of my father's millions of sperm had fertilised the egg I arose from, there would have been a completely different person in the world and no one would miss this me.


As to the acorn/tree issue. Chopping down a tree OR squashing an acorn are generally no big deal. Killing a human being is. The entity in a pregnant human woman's womb is animate, and is treated as a patient by fetologists; surgery can be performed in the womb, on the unborn, and is. The unborn are not like acorns; they are like small trees.


Certainly they are in the sense that they look like miniature, deformed human beings. To me, though, what's morally important isn't what they look like at all. It's what is or isn't going on between their ears.

There really is no comparison between what's going on between a fetus' ears and what's going on between your ears. That to me is what makes humans morally important in the first place, and that's why you are morally valuable in your own right and a fetus, or a permanently comatose person, is (in your words) disposable.


You hold views on the disposability of people that I find troubling. While I do not adhere to Xian notions of the "sacredness" of life, I generally prefer the consequences that flow from such beliefs over the consequences of your beliefs. (I'm a pragmatist.)

I'm sorry, what do you see as being the consequences of my beliefs?

merphie
31st October 2004, 08:18 AM
Kevin_Lowe, That's a pretty cold definition.

Who determines who has the "special mental life"? Do animals exhibit some sort of personallity? Does that not qualify? Do they not feel pain as we do?

I could not image making the choice to end the life (Breathing etc) of my wife even if she didn't response or was declared Brain dead. They may never talk but it would be so hard when you have a breathing warm person to hug. Dirt doesn't carry these qualities.

Any baby or fetus that is capable of becoming a human would be just a valuable just from their potential. I suspect that being pregnant would carry a special meaning to women. I have known women who had an abortion and lived to regret it for the rest of their lives.

A description of genetic chimps or headless humans is far beyond our current technology. I don't see how it pertains to the subject because you are talking about hypothetical senarios.

I don't see the abortion as a simple matter of no one missing you. How would you feel about a woman who uses abortions as a method of birth control? Lets say every month this woman has an abortion because she got pregnant again from a new guy?

If the deciding factor is how their brain works, then would it be ok to kill mentally retarded people? Who would decide what qualifies as mentally acceptible and who does not?

The question still comes down to where the line is drawn.

CFLarsen
31st October 2004, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by merphie
I could not image making the choice to end the life (Breathing etc) of my wife even if she didn't response or was declared Brain dead. They may never talk but it would be so hard when you have a breathing warm person to hug. Dirt doesn't carry these qualities.

But is it a person? With no brain functions whatsoever, she would never come back. Ever.

So, who are you keeping her "alive" for, yourself or her?

If you equate "life" with "personality", then you have to end her no-life. She has no personality whatsoever.

Originally posted by merphie
Any baby or fetus that is capable of becoming a human would be just a valuable just from their potential.

But your wife could never come back. Ever. She has no "potential" whatsoever.

Originally posted by merphie
I suspect that being pregnant would carry a special meaning to women. I have known women who had an abortion and lived to regret it for the rest of their lives.

So have I. But when asked if they thought it was the right decision, they have all without exception said "Yes".

Originally posted by merphie
A description of genetic chimps or headless humans is far beyond our current technology. I don't see how it pertains to the subject because you are talking about hypothetical senarios.

Given the progress of genetics, it is not a very hypothetical scenario anymore. We will very soon be able to grow body parts, and create animals that far surpass what we can imagine today. Why back down from facing the issue? Surely, it is better to be prepared than to be taken by surprise?

Originally posted by merphie
I don't see the abortion as a simple matter of no one missing you. How would you feel about a woman who uses abortions as a method of birth control? Lets say every month this woman has an abortion because she got pregnant again from a new guy?

I'd like to see a study that shows that women use abortion as a method of birth control. Contrary to what some claim, women do not use abortion as contraception.

Originally posted by merphie
If the deciding factor is how their brain works, then would it be ok to kill mentally retarded people? Who would decide what qualifies as mentally acceptible and who does not?

The question still comes down to where the line is drawn.

Yep. Is a brain dead person still a person?

thaiboxerken
31st October 2004, 12:09 PM
A fetus is not a baby, it is not an individual, it is not a person, it's not even a member of any society. Why is it such a big deal to have an abortion? Mona, if you don't like abortions, don't have one.

billydkid
31st October 2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
A fetus is not a baby, it is not an individual, it is not a person, it's not even a member of any society. Why is it such a big deal to have an abortion? Mona, if you don't like abortions, don't have one.

I have to believe that you do not advocate killing those notorious noncontributors, newborn infants. But how about an infant two minutes before birth? Is it your argument that an infant, or fetus if you prefer, is fair game up until the very moment of birth? If not, the obvious question becomes what exactly is your criteria for determining when a human life is worth not ending? I don't buy the religious right's argument that a fertilized egg is human being. On the other hand, I do not accept the notion that unless baby is breathing on its own it is not a person and should not be accorded some of the basic considerations we afford to all other human beings. This whole notion of having to be a "contributing member of society" in order to have the right to live I find genuinely frightening and I confess I originally believed you must be pulling our legs.

I also don't accept the notion that getting pregnant is something that simply happens to you and that the choice to become pregnant does not carry with it a certain amount of responsibility. I do not believe women should be forced to bear children they do not want. However, not doing that is well within the power of any woman in this country with or without abortion. Yes, I believe women should have the right to have and abortion, but I do not believe it should be an open ended option. I believe it is irresponsible to become pregnant if you do not want to have a child, but I would not eliminate a woman's right to have an abortion if she should choose to.

I do believe there should be a narrow window - starting as soon as a woman is medically able to have an abortion and ending, say, a month after after that time. At a certain point a woman has to take responsibility for her own life and her actions and the life she has allowed to be created and carries within her.

thaiboxerken
31st October 2004, 04:14 PM
I have to believe that you do not advocate killing those notorious noncontributors, newborn infants.

You are correct, an infant is an individual.

But how about an infant two minutes before birth?

Yes, it is not an individual until after it is out of the mother.

Is it your argument that an infant, or fetus if you prefer, is fair game up until the very moment of birth?

Yes.

On the other hand, I do not accept the notion that unless baby is breathing on its own it is not a person and should not be accorded some of the basic considerations we afford to all other human beings.

Why not?

This whole notion of having to be a "contributing member of society" in order to have the right to live I find genuinely frightening and I confess I originally believed you must be pulling our legs.

I was.

I also don't accept the notion that getting pregnant is something that simply happens to you and that the choice to become pregnant does not carry with it a certain amount of responsibility.

Most choices and actions carry a certain amount of responsibility.

I do not believe women should be forced to bear children they do not want.

I agree.

However, not doing that is well within the power of any woman in this country with or without abortion.

How does a woman avoid giving birth to a child, once she's pregnant, without abortion?

Yes, I believe women should have the right to have and abortion, but I do not believe it should be an open ended option.

I do.

I believe it is irresponsible to become pregnant if you do not want to have a child, but I would not eliminate a woman's right to have an abortion if she should choose to.

I agree, but I don't have the same qualifiers about abortion that you do. I draw my arbritrary line at birth. You draw it somewhere else.

I do believe there should be a narrow window - starting as soon as a woman is medically able to have an abortion and ending, say, a month after after that time.

The reason being?

At a certain point a woman has to take responsibility for her own life and her actions and the life she has allowed to be created and carries within her.

Having an abortion is a responsible choice.

merphie
31st October 2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
But is it a person? With no brain functions whatsoever, she would never come back. Ever.

So, who are you keeping her "alive" for, yourself or her?

The same question applies for the other side. Who are you kill them?

If you equate "life" with "personality", then you have to end her no-life. She has no personality whatsoever.

Is that what life is?

But your wife could never come back. Ever. She has no "potential" whatsoever.

If you think we are so close to growing body parts then why couldn't they find something in the future that could make such a person well again?

So have I. But when asked if they thought it was the right decision, they have all without exception said "Yes".

You have met different people than I.

Given the progress of genetics, it is not a very hypothetical scenario anymore. We will very soon be able to grow body parts, and create animals that far surpass what we can imagine today. Why back down from facing the issue? Surely, it is better to be prepared than to be taken by surprise?

I have not read anything that great. Unless you need a new bladder then you are out of luck.

I'd like to see a study that shows that women use abortion as a method of birth control. Contrary to what some claim, women do not use abortion as contraception.

I don't have a study. I have known at least two women who have done so. I am not saying it is wide spread.

Yep. Is a brain dead person still a person?

I guess not. Surely their soul goes somewhere, eh?

Kevin_Lowe
31st October 2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by merphie
Kevin_Lowe, That's a pretty cold definition.


I realise a lot of people find rationalist morality threatening, because in our society we're very used to associating love with the highest morality. We see people as being at their best when they are making enormous sacrifices for the people and/or things that trigger our protect-the-herd hormones.

Dying to defend your country? Highly moral. Fighting to defend your family? Same. Sacrificing everything to get treatment for your sick child? Same.

Where this trips us up, though, is in cases where our instincts lead us astray. Although these instincts incline us to do good things they are inherently chauvinistic. They have evolved to make us want to protect things that look like fellow humans first and foremost, especially things that look like babies, but not so much to want to take care of non-human entities that might be just as deserving of protection as a baby.

So when I say that babies aren't anything morally special, the instant response from a lot of people is "How could you be so unfeeling? If your moral views aren't dictated by warm fuzzy feelings about babies, I bet you don't have any real morals at all".


Who determines who has the "special mental life"? Do animals exhibit some sort of personallity? Does that not qualify? Do they not feel pain as we do?


We all do, all the time. Some of them, absolutely, some not. Absolutely. Absolutely.

It's just unfortunate that the diet of humans at the moment is in large part based on doing horrible things to animals, and that too pushes people away from rational morality.

Asking Joe Average to accept that babies aren't special is a big ask. If you ask Joe to accept at the same time that cruelty to animals is a morally important issue, which you do more or less have to ask at the same time, it's much easier for Joe not to think about it. Joe just goes home, eats a hot dog made from a sow that never saw the sun in its life, cuddles his baby and believes that all is right in his moral world.


I could not image making the choice to end the life (Breathing etc) of my wife even if she didn't response or was declared Brain dead. They may never talk but it would be so hard when you have a breathing warm person to hug. Dirt doesn't carry these qualities.


Try asking a kid to set fire to their teddy. It's just the same. Teddy has no moral value in and of itself, and neither would my girlfriend's meat and bones if she was rendered permanently comatose. It's just painful to overcome our instincts in cases like those of teddy and comatose life partners.

I have enormous sympathy for people placed in those kinds of situations, but I still think the moral case is totally clear cut. If the mental life has left the building, there's no point preserving the rest of the bits.


Any baby or fetus that is capable of becoming a human would be just a valuable just from their potential.


I just don't see that. All of my sperm have potential. Every egg has potential. Every egg that fails to implant has potential. Every egg that implants has potential. If we get cloning working, and we'll both probably live to see it, every skin cell on my bottom has potential. I simply do not see how potential matters.


I suspect that being pregnant would carry a special meaning to women. I have known women who had an abortion and lived to regret it for the rest of their lives.


They're unusual. Most women who have abortions go on to have the same number of children they would have had anyway, they just have them at better times. Apart from unfortunate infertile people nowadays almost every woman's potential reproductive capacity is much greater than the number of children she actually wants to bear.


A description of genetic chimps or headless humans is far beyond our current technology. I don't see how it pertains to the subject because you are talking about hypothetical senarios.


Okay, I'll explain what I was getting at in more detail.

Suppose I spliced together some chimp genes and some human genes and created a critter that was not human in any sense (it can't reproduce with humans and it doesn't look human) but which could read Joyce's Ulysses and discuss it intelligently, pass a driving test, and balance accounts. Would you be inclined to treat it as your moral equal, or would you be inclined to say that it can morally be treated as property? A slave, experimental subject or food source depending on our desires?

If you are inclined to treat it is as morally equal to a human, you've just agreed that being a discrete human individual is not necessary for a being to be as morally important as you or I.

Suppose I find a chemical which, if you inject it into a fertilised egg cell, causes a fetus to arise which is exactly like a normal one down to the DNA except that it doesn't have a head. Kind of like 100% effective thalidomide for heads. Would euthanasing a headless baby be wrong? (Assume we can keep it alive a good long time with life support, despite the fact it has no head).

If you are inclined to say that this headless thingy is not morally equivalent to a human, you've just agreed that being a discrete human individual is not sufficient for a being to be as morally important as you or I either.

Now if A is neither necessary nor sufficient for B, any relationship between A and B can be nothing more than an interesting correlation. Which is what I think the case is here. Generally being a discrete human being correlates with being morally important, but we shouldn't get too hung up on the "discrete human being" aspect because it's neither necessary nor sufficient. The fundamental issue must lie elsewhere.


I don't see the abortion as a simple matter of no one missing you. How would you feel about a woman who uses abortions as a method of birth control? Lets say every month this woman has an abortion because she got pregnant again from a new guy?


I say she's doing it the hard way, and she's wasting medical resources, but I don't care either way about the fetuses as long as they're early-term.

If she keeps aborting late-term fetuses because she's disorganised or dumb, she goes in the same moral category in my mind as people who let their pets reproduce freely and then have to have the resulting animals put down. I don't consider them as morally bad as serial killers, but I really wish they'd clean up their act.


If the deciding factor is how their brain works, then would it be ok to kill mentally retarded people?


I'd be relaxed about painlessly killing a mentally retarded person who was as smart as, say, a goldfish or a chicken. I'd be relaxed about painlessly killing a mentally retarded person who was as smart as a dog, cat or chimp if they had some affliction that meant there was no way of preventing them from suffering greatly if they lived. As soon as you're intelligent enough to understand what's going on and express an opinion about it, I think your opinion should carry the day.

That might place me as more individualistic than the medical mainstream, just by the way. As I understand it, children usually can't overrule their parents and refuse medical treatment. While little kids aren't smart enough to be given that responsibility, I think teenagers are. Your mileage may vary.


Who would decide what qualifies as mentally acceptible and who does not?


That's a genuine practical problem but not a moral one. We have figured out ways to decide who gets to rule us, and who gets to pass sentences on criminals, and who gets to continue or discontinue medical treatment. I'm sure we can figure out tolerable ways to decide whether a given entity goes in the "goldfish" bin or the "person" bin.


The question still comes down to where the line is drawn.

For what it's worth, trying to draw lines in ongoing natural processes that simply do not have lines in them is always going to generate screwy results. Whether it's drawing a line and saying that this line divides life from death, or adulthood from childhood, you're always going to get individual cases where the line is drawn in the wrong place.

SRW
1st November 2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


I'd like to see a study that shows that women use abortion as a method of birth control. Contrary to what some claim, women do not use abortion as contraception.





I know for a fact that women in the U.S. have and do use abortion as a method to determine the sex of their children. Can I cite a study? No, are there studies to cite, yes however they are mostly from religious and far right nut cases that are not worth posting. As they try to use this as a reason to outlaw abortions, a position I do not agree with.

The only reason I know that this happens for sure is that I am married to a Chinese woman, and am privy to conversations that are mostly kept in the family.

I did find one article from India.


Sex-selectivity (http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=305802)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
It all started when I posted an article that appeared in the October 24, 2002 edition of The Hindustan Times. The article titled Death of an Unborn Girl was written by Arundhati Roy Chaudhury. Citing “the dramatic drop in the sex ratio of the girl child population in the 0-6 age group, from 962 girls per 1,000 boys in 1981 to 945 girls/1,000 boys in 1991, and 927 girls/1,000 boys in 2001” as one of the “disquieting trends” that surfaced in the 2001 census, she asks the question: “Are girls being deliberately eliminated? Is technology (ultrasonography, amniocentesis, chorion villi biopsy, foetoscopy, material serum analysis, etc.) assisting in this systematic elimination?” Her reply: “To a great extent, yes.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a very good article that does not necessarily lead one to draw the conclusion of the above paragraph.

rikzilla
1st November 2004, 10:24 AM
An acorn has the potential to be an oak tree....but an acorn IS NOT an oak tree.

IMHO an abortion must be legally available to women until the start of the last trimester. During the last trimester a fetus becomes viable outside the womb. Once viability occurs the fetus becomes an individual....the killing of which is murder.

Therefore, legal abortion for any reason up to the final trimester. Any abortion after that time should be prosecuted as pre-meditated murder.

Also, I would place a threshold on abortion....say 20 abortions... any woman going over 20 abortions should be sent to live in Yemen.

-z

thaiboxerken
1st November 2004, 11:05 AM
I don't think a fetus is an individual until it is actually no longer part of the woman.

merphie
1st November 2004, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
I realise a lot of people find rationalist morality threatening, because in our society we're very used to associating love with the highest morality. We see people as being at their best when they are making enormous sacrifices for the people and/or things that trigger our protect-the-herd hormones.

snip

So when I say that babies aren't anything morally special, the instant response from a lot of people is "How could you be so unfeeling? If your moral views aren't dictated by warm fuzzy feelings about babies, I bet you don't have any real morals at all".

We all do, all the time. Some of them, absolutely, some not. Absolutely. Absolutely.


Here's where the problem is expressed. It comes down to choice. If people do not believe the way you do does that mean you are superior? Should your opinion be law?

It's just unfortunate that the diet of humans at the moment is in large part based on doing horrible things to animals, and that too pushes people away from rational morality.

I see. So we should all be vegetarians because you believe it is morally superior? You sound more like those people you condemmed in the first paragraph.

Try asking a kid to set fire to their teddy. It's just the same. Teddy has no moral value in and of itself, and neither would my girlfriend's meat and bones if she was rendered permanently comatose. It's just painful to overcome our instincts in cases like those of teddy and comatose life partners.

There is quite a bit of difference between a stuffed animal and a person no matter their condition. It should be a choice of the person whom is effected. In the US we have a "No Code" which means they can not put you on life support.

I have enormous sympathy for people placed in those kinds of situations, but I still think the moral case is totally clear cut. If the mental life has left the building, there's no point preserving the rest of the bits.

The moral case is clear for you.

I just don't see that. All of my sperm have potential. Every egg has potential. Every egg that fails to implant has potential. Every egg that implants has potential. If we get cloning working, and we'll both probably live to see it, every skin cell on my bottom has potential. I simply do not see how potential matters.

I would suspect the question is where the potential exist. The sperm and egg by themselves have little potential.

They're unusual. Most women who have abortions go on to have the same number of children they would have had anyway, they just have them at better times.

I suspect that is your opinion. Without statistics this part of the debate is pointless. I don't even think they track this aspect.

Suppose I spliced together some chimp genes and some human genes and created a critter that was not human in any sense (it can't reproduce with humans and it doesn't look human) but which could read Joyce's Ulysses and discuss it intelligently, pass a driving test, and balance accounts. Would you be inclined to treat it as your moral equal, or would you be inclined to say that it can morally be treated as property? A slave, experimental subject or food source depending on our desires?

If you are inclined to treat it is as morally equal to a human, you've just agreed that being a discrete human individual is not necessary for a being to be as morally important as you or I.

Suppose I find a chemical which, if you inject it into a fertilised egg cell, causes a fetus to arise which is exactly like a normal one down to the DNA except that it doesn't have a head. Kind of like 100% effective thalidomide for heads. Would euthanasing a headless baby be wrong? (Assume we can keep it alive a good long time with life support, despite the fact it has no head).

If you are inclined to say that this headless thingy is not morally equivalent to a human, you've just agreed that being a discrete human individual is not sufficient for a being to be as morally important as you or I either.

Now if A is neither necessary nor sufficient for B, any relationship between A and B can be nothing more than an interesting correlation. Which is what I think the case is here. Generally being a discrete human being correlates with being morally important, but we shouldn't get too hung up on the "discrete human being" aspect because it's neither necessary nor sufficient. The fundamental issue must lie elsewhere.

I believe all life should be respected. Would you kill a dog for no reason because you are superior to it because you are human?

I say she's doing it the hard way, and she's wasting medical resources, but I don't care either way about the fetuses as long as they're early-term.

If she keeps aborting late-term fetuses because she's disorganised or dumb, she goes in the same moral category in my mind as people who let their pets reproduce freely and then have to have the resulting animals put down. I don't consider them as morally bad as serial killers, but I really wish they'd clean up their act.

I don't agree with you, but I understand what your position is.

I'd be relaxed about painlessly killing a mentally retarded person who was as smart as, say, a goldfish or a chicken. I'd be relaxed about painlessly killing a mentally retarded person who was as smart as a dog, cat or chimp if they had some affliction that meant there was no way of preventing them from suffering greatly if they lived. As soon as you're intelligent enough to understand what's going on and express an opinion about it, I think your opinion should carry the day.

That might place me as more individualistic than the medical mainstream, just by the way. As I understand it, children usually can't overrule their parents and refuse medical treatment. While little kids aren't smart enough to be given that responsibility, I think teenagers are. Your mileage may vary.

Again, I don't agree with you.

That's a genuine practical problem but not a moral one. We have figured out ways to decide who gets to rule us, and who gets to pass sentences on criminals, and who gets to continue or discontinue medical treatment. I'm sure we can figure out tolerable ways to decide whether a given entity goes in the "goldfish" bin or the "person" bin.

For what it's worth, trying to draw lines in ongoing natural processes that simply do not have lines in them is always going to generate screwy results. Whether it's drawing a line and saying that this line divides life from death, or adulthood from childhood, you're always going to get individual cases where the line is drawn in the wrong place. [/B][/QUOTE]

We can not impose our beliefs on other people. That's why the issue is such a hot topic. People don't agree. From your descriptions, I would never agree to guidelines you set.

csense
1st November 2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by rikzilla
...an acorn IS NOT an oak tree.


And when it is in the ground germinating, what category would you assign it then: acorn or oak tree.

What about when it breaks the soil, is it an oak tree or is it an acorn.

What about when it sprouts leaves and is able to photosynthesize, surely by then you would call it an oak tree, but then, what about in the winter when it has shed it's leaves...is it still an oak tree?

You tell me, what is an oak tree.

Kevin_Lowe
1st November 2004, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by merphie
Here's where the problem is expressed. It comes down to choice. If people do not believe the way you do does that mean you are superior? Should your opinion be law?


It shouldn't be that easy for me. People who disagree should have the chance to explain the bases for their disagreement. Start whenever you feel comfortable. :)

I'm even willing to say that in some cases what is morally right might not be legally efficient. An obvious example is "age of consent" law. Certainly there are some (X-1) year olds who are emotionally mature enough to make their own decisions in areas where the legal age is (X), and some (X+1) year olds who shouldn't be trusted with the use of their genitals. Try figuring out a way of writing that into law that isn't going to do far more harm than good, though!

At the moment I'll settle for being morally right. That's really all I want right now. Once we've nailed that down we can begin a productive discussion of how best to rewrite the law to reflect my rightness.


I see. So we should all be vegetarians because you believe it is morally superior? You sound more like those people you condemmed in the first paragraph.


I'm not a vegetarian. I'm against inhumane treatment of animals. There's a difference. My partner raises beef cattle, in fact.

You are making things up about me which aren't true, and then using them as a basis to attack my character rather than address my arguments. Bad form.


There is quite a bit of difference between a stuffed animal and a person no matter their condition.


Okay. Why? Please explain further the bases for this claim. What are the morally relevant differences?


It should be a choice of the person whom is effected. In the US we have a "No Code" which means they can not put you on life support.


If someone's expressed a preference I generally feel that their preference should be respected. Everyone is happier if we think our preferences will be respected, even after our deaths, so I think it's a very positive social institution that we respect such wishes.

That makes no difference to the question of whether or not a person who is irretrievably comatose has any qualities that make it immoral to switch them off.


The moral case is clear for you.


On that issue, yes. If you feel differently, you are welcome to explain the bases for your different opinion.


I would suspect the question is where the potential exist. The sperm and egg by themselves have little potential.


If any coherent thought on the issue strikes you, you are (as always) welcome to share.


I suspect that is your opinion. Without statistics this part of the debate is pointless. I don't even think they track this aspect.


I could track down the study if I really felt like it, but I don't. It's the fact so far as I'm currently aware. If you've got contrary evidence I'll look at it.


I believe all life should be respected. Would you kill a dog for no reason because you are superior to it because you are human?


For no reason? Certainly not.


I don't agree with you, but I understand what your position is.

Again, I don't agree with you.

We can not impose our beliefs on other people. That's why the issue is such a hot topic. People don't agree. From your descriptions, I would never agree to guidelines you set.

Are you going to explain why you feel this way?

My opinions aren't a popularity contest, Merphie. You're welcome to just indicate disagreement, but unless you have some reasoning to back it up I'm not sure why you bother.

rikzilla
2nd November 2004, 05:24 AM
Originally posted by csense
And when it is in the ground germinating, what category would you assign it then: acorn or oak tree.

What about when it breaks the soil, is it an oak tree or is it an acorn.

What about when it sprouts leaves and is able to photosynthesize, surely by then you would call it an oak tree, but then, what about in the winter when it has shed it's leaves...is it still an oak tree?

You tell me, what is an oak tree.

You are the one confused....figure it out for yourself. My opinion has been expressed in my previous post, and I was quite specific. Abortion laws need to be specific...the whole thing is a grey area and definitions, even arbitrary ones, need to be made.

At the age of eighteen my daughter will be a legal adult...but she still acts like a teenager. Will she suddenly act like a mature adult on her 18th birthday? Why 18? Why? Because someone had to draw a line...and that's where they drew it. Someone needs to do the same with abortion so that it will continue to be legally available and safe.....and so that it will not be abused as a method of sex selection, or retroactive birth control.

Keep abortion safe, legal, and limited.....send serial abortion abusers to Yemen. This is my opinion. I'm Rick Robinson...and I approve this message.

-z

CFLarsen
2nd November 2004, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by merphie
The same question applies for the other side. Who are you kill them?

Don't answer a question with a question.

Who are you keeping your wife "alive" for, yourself or her?

Originally posted by merphie
Is that what life is?

Wasn't that your point?

Originally posted by merphie
Who determines who has the "special mental life"? Do animals exhibit some sort of personallity? Does that not qualify? Do they not feel pain as we do?

Originally posted by merphie
If you think we are so close to growing body parts then why couldn't they find something in the future that could make such a person well again?

Address the issue, please.

Originally posted by merphie
You have met different people than I.

I am very sure of that.

Originally posted by merphie
I have not read anything that great. Unless you need a new bladder then you are out of luck.

So, you do not want to face the issue, before it is reality. Why not?

Originally posted by merphie
I don't have a study. I have known at least two women who have done so. I am not saying it is wide spread.

Oh, great, you know at least two women! Gee, golly, I am so impressed!

Originally posted by merphie
I guess not. Surely their soul goes somewhere, eh?

If a brain dead person is not a person, why not switch off your brain dead wife?

merphie
2nd November 2004, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
It shouldn't be that easy for me. People who disagree should have the chance to explain the bases for their disagreement. Start whenever you feel comfortable. :)

I think I have made my opinion know.

At the moment I'll settle for being morally right. That's really all I want right now. Once we've nailed that down we can begin a productive discussion of how best to rewrite the law to reflect my rightness.

:rolleyes:

I'm not a vegetarian. I'm against inhumane treatment of animals. There's a difference. My partner raises beef cattle, in fact.

You are making things up about me which aren't true, and then using them as a basis to attack my character rather than address my arguments. Bad form.

I wasn't making anything up or trying to attack you. It was a reasonable assumption from your comments. You made it sound like eating meat was bad.

I'm against inhumane treatment of animals as well. I don't consider most hunters or others to be inhumane.

Okay. Why? Please explain further the bases for this claim. What are the morally relevant differences?

One is a toy that was never alive, never could be, or will be.

If someone's expressed a preference I generally feel that their preference should be respected. Everyone is happier if we think our preferences will be respected, even after our deaths, so I think it's a very positive social institution that we respect such wishes.

If someone didn't specify no code shouldn't we assume they want to live?

That makes no difference to the question of whether or not a person who is irretrievably comatose has any qualities that make it immoral to switch them off.

Not for you. Another person may not feel that way. So if the parents want their child to live, should the spouse have the right to pull the plug?

On that issue, yes. If you feel differently, you are welcome to explain the bases for your different opinion.

Stated above.

If any coherent thought on the issue strikes you, you are (as always) welcome to share.

What more can I say? An egg and sperm will never be anything by themselves. A Fetus left to develop would most likely become a live birth at some point.

I could track down the study if I really felt like it, but I don't. It's the fact so far as I'm currently aware. If you've got contrary evidence I'll look at it.

I don't think it's needed. The question is more of a personal beliefs. I am for the choice although I don't believe I could do it myself. This is due to emotional reasons on my side. I also am very "Pro-Freedom" and would never impose my will on others.

For no reason? Certainly not.

Then why would that not apply to a human? (Fetus)

Are you going to explain why you feel this way?

My opinions aren't a popularity contest, Merphie. You're welcome to just indicate disagreement, but unless you have some reasoning to back it up I'm not sure why you bother.

I already have. My position is based on the Freedom of choice. I don't believe I can impose my ideals on others. I wouldn't not be a part of an abortion myself. Although I would not stop my Girlfriend/Wife from having one if that were her choice. I am trying to understand your position.

The objection I have on your reasoning is that people have different beliefs. We must try to accomodate everyone without infringing on the freedoms of others.

I certainly believe if you are against Abortion (Or anything else) then don't have one.

Otherwise I was simply stateing that I don't agree with you. Nothing more.

thaiboxerken
2nd November 2004, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by rikzilla
You are the one confused....figure it out for yourself. My opinion has been expressed in my previous post, and I was quite specific. Abortion laws need to be specific...the whole thing is a grey area and definitions, even arbitrary ones, need to be made.
-z

You are correct, the line should be drawn at birth.

thaiboxerken
2nd November 2004, 08:14 AM
One is a toy that was never alive, never could be, or will be.

The difference only looks to me like one toy was alive at one point, the other never was.

csense
2nd November 2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by rikzilla
You are the one confused....figure it out for yourself. My opinion has been expressed in my previous post, and I was quite specific. Abortion laws need to be specific...the whole thing is a grey area and definitions, even arbitrary ones, need to be made.

At the age of eighteen my daughter will be a legal adult...but she still acts like a teenager. Will she suddenly act like a mature adult on her 18th birthday? Why 18? Why? Because someone had to draw a line...and that's where they drew it. Someone needs to do the same with abortion so that it will continue to be legally available and safe.....and so that it will not be abused as a method of sex selection, or retroactive birth control.

Keep abortion safe, legal, and limited.....send serial abortion abusers to Yemen. This is my opinion. I'm Rick Robinson...and I approve this message.

-z

Well, my post wasn't meant to insult you. I was only trying to get you to think.

You obviously have strong and solidified views on this, so, what more can I say.

Kevin_Lowe
2nd November 2004, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by merphie
I think I have made my opinion know.


You have, but a bald statement of opinion is useless. What is useful is a statement of the bases on which your opinion rests, which we might then discuss to see why our opinions differ.


I wasn't making anything up or trying to attack you. It was a reasonable assumption from your comments. You made it sound like eating meat was bad.


You were, and it wasn't, and I didn't. I said that a large chunk of our diet depends on horrible cruelty to animals, which is true. I didn't say that all meat depended on horrible cruelty to animals. You did exactly what I said. You jumped to some rhetorically convenient assumptions about me, and addressed those assumptions rather than what I actually wrote.


One is a toy that was never alive, never could be, or will be.


We're on the same page so far, then. How do you see this making a difference to how we should behave towards these two things?


If someone didn't specify no code shouldn't we assume they want to live?


If living with any kind of quality of life is possible, certainly. I find it hard to imagine anyone saying otherwise. The question is what we do with the difficult cases. No one really differs about what to do with the easy cases.


Not for you. Another person may not feel that way. So if the parents want their child to live, should the spouse have the right to pull the plug?


You're talking about an irrelevancy here. I'm not currently discussing whose decisions should carry the day. It's an important point in the larger picture but not in the smaller picture I was discussing. I'm just talking about what is right.


What more can I say? An egg and sperm will never be anything by themselves. A Fetus left to develop would most likely become a live birth at some point.


I'd like to dig into this a bit more. Why do you see this as being a morally important point?

Also, isn't this a circular argument? You're saying that a fetus that is not aborted will become a person (often, anyway) so it's a potential person. But a fetus that is going to be aborted will not become a person, so it's not a potential person. Right? There seems to me to be a problem with assuming that a fetus will not be aborted to get to the conclusion that a fetus should not be aborted.


I don't think it's needed. The question is more of a personal beliefs. I am for the choice although I don't believe I could do it myself. This is due to emotional reasons on my side. I also am very "Pro-Freedom" and would never impose my will on others.


We all know this, I'm asking you why you feel this way. Unless it's just an irrational viewpoint based on social or religious conditioning, in which case I don't really care.


Then why would that not apply to a human? (Fetus)


You have helped yourself to the ridiculous assumption that people have abortions for no reason. I don't see any point in a discussion based on a premise that silly.


I already have. My position is based on the Freedom of choice. I don't believe I can impose my ideals on others. I wouldn't not be a part of an abortion myself. Although I would not stop my Girlfriend/Wife from having one if that were her choice. I am trying to understand your position.


What's unclear? Help me out.


The objection I have on your reasoning is that people have different beliefs. We must try to accomodate everyone without infringing on the freedoms of others.


Sorry, but these issues are to a meaningful extent zero-sum games if you count fetuses and the brain dead as players. If we pretend for a second that fetuses and the brain dead "count", then any extension of the ability to abort and unplug counts as a loss to the freedoms of fetuses and vegetables, and any reduction of the ability to abort and unplug counts as a loss to the freedoms of women and relatives/doctors/society.

In other words, the noble goal of accomodating everyone without infringing anyone's freedom is impossible (if and only if you count fetuses and the brain dead as having interests).


I certainly believe if you are against Abortion (Or anything else) then don't have one.


I agree to an extent, although I do fear that some people are emotionally blackmailed into bearing children that are bad for them, and creating families that are bad for the children, by arguments like yours that are irrational. I put freedom ahead of rationality by a nose, but I'd rather people exercised their freedom in sensible and principled ways.

merphie
3rd November 2004, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
You have, but a bald statement of opinion is useless. What is useful is a statement of the bases on which your opinion rests, which we might then discuss to see why our opinions differ.

Try asking questions. I don't know what else to add.

You were, and it wasn't, and I didn't. I said that a large chunk of our diet depends on horrible cruelty to animals, which is true. I didn't say that all meat depended on horrible cruelty to animals. You did exactly what I said. You jumped to some rhetorically convenient assumptions about me, and addressed those assumptions rather than what I actually wrote.

Honestly I was not trying to attack you. I know what you said, but name one way we can kill an animal for consumption that is not cruel. Is there a good way to die? You simply classified all of it horrible. You didn't offer any suggestions on how we could better the process. You comment sounded just like something PETA would say. I apologize if I am mistaken.


We're on the same page so far, then. How do you see this making a difference to how we should behave towards these two things?

I dont' see how I could explain it any differently. Something that is alive can not be replaced. (generally) A toy or car can be destroyed and replaced with an identical one. As in hunting i was always taught to never kill anything unless I intend to eat it. A stuffed animal can not feel pain or morn the loss of another.

If living with any kind of quality of life is possible, certainly. I find it hard to imagine anyone saying otherwise. The question is what we do with the difficult cases. No one really differs about what to do with the easy cases.

Of course not. Who sets the threshold of quality of life? If sometime in the future we determine that people at a certain level could be revived wouldn't this change the morale standard?

If your spouse is declared brain dead but can breath on their own would you hold out hope that this person could be revive with some medical advance or someday may wake up? If you pull the plug then there is never a chance of either happening.

Should it not be up to the person in the situation? (IE 'No Code')

You're talking about an irrelevancy here. I'm not currently discussing whose decisions should carry the day. It's an important point in the larger picture but not in the smaller picture I was discussing. I'm just talking about what is right.

Exactly! What is right and wrong is defined by your beliefs. What is right for you may not be acceptible to someone else. Should your version of what is right be forced on others?

I'd like to dig into this a bit more. Why do you see this as being a morally important point?

I have had a terrible time defining this for my personal view. I lean toward if the fetus is healthy with no danger to the woman or baby then an abortion should not be allowed. I would make exceptions for those who became pregnant due to a crime.

If the baby is merely unwanted then an abortion could simply be considered a method of birth control.

Also, isn't this a circular argument? You're saying that a fetus that is not aborted will become a person (often, anyway) so it's a potential person. But a fetus that is going to be aborted will not become a person, so it's not a potential person. Right? There seems to me to be a problem with assuming that a fetus will not be aborted to get to the conclusion that a fetus should not be aborted.

A naturally aborted fetus doesn't included human intervention. That is referred to as a misscarriage. An abortion is basically a forced pregnancy termination.

We all know this, I'm asking you why you feel this way. Unless it's just an irrational viewpoint based on social or religious conditioning, in which case I don't really care.

I am an athiest and fairly anti-social. I struggle with my own personal viewpoint because I can not accept either side (pro-Choice or Pro Life) based on my principles.

You have helped yourself to the ridiculous assumption that people have abortions for no reason. I don't see any point in a discussion based on a premise that silly.

I said I would allow medical concerns or victims of crimes. What other reasons would be acceptible to you?

What's unclear? Help me out.

The exact situations you would consider an abortion acceptible. It's just like you saying you wouldn't be against the killing of mentally retarded people. Hitler did exactly that. I mention Hitler because I find the idea of such a practice disgusting and morally irresponsible.

Sorry, but these issues are to a meaningful extent zero-sum games if you count fetuses and the brain dead as players. If we pretend for a second that fetuses and the brain dead "count", then any extension of the ability to abort and unplug counts as a loss to the freedoms of fetuses and vegetables, and any reduction of the ability to abort and unplug counts as a loss to the freedoms of women and relatives/doctors/society.

The idea of freedom doesn't apply to aborted fetus or vegetables. Someone other than the person most directly affected by unplugging doesn't make the choice. In a "brain dead" case they may have a "no code" status which means they made the choice. A fetus is never given the choice to live or die.

Do we only draw the line there? Who would determine when someone should be put down. Should Christopher Reeves have been killed because he would never be a productive member of society again? In the very least because his potential for such was extremely low?

In other words, the noble goal of accomodating everyone without infringing anyone's freedom is impossible (if and only if you count fetuses and the brain dead as having interests).

So who decides? Do we justify the killing of someone because someone else thinks it's a good idea? I wasn't counting on the fetus or "brain dead" as having interest.

I agree to an extent, although I do fear that some people are emotionally blackmailed into bearing children that are bad for them, and creating families that are bad for the children, by arguments like yours that are irrational. I put freedom ahead of rationality by a nose, but I'd rather people exercised their freedom in sensible and principled ways.

You see them as irrational because you do not agree. However since this is an opinion based concept my ideas are no more irrational than yours.

What circumstances would someone be blackmailed into having a family? Isn't sex a voluntary act? (Unless under a crime which I covered previously) Pregnancy is the natural result of sex. If they don't want kids then they should be sterilized through a voluntary procedure. They should not use abortion as a method of birthcontrol.

If someone is pressured emotionally to have kids or sex then they should seek another relationship. Again, I can not justify abortion as a method of birthcontrol.

thaiboxerken
3rd November 2004, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by merphie
[B] They should not use abortion as a method of birthcontrol.

Why?

merphie
3rd November 2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Why?

For the reasons I have stated. I believe it is wrong because it is killing a human life for convenience. If they don't want kids they shouldn't have sex. If the want sex and no kids then they should practice some prevention method or get sterilized.

Does a fetus or baby mean so little to us that we can freely throw them away at will?

CFLarsen
3rd November 2004, 02:13 PM
merphie,

I'll summarize for you:


Who are you keeping your wife "alive" for, yourself or her?
Wasn't it your point that life is personality?
Why don't you want to face the issues of genetic engineering before it becomes reality?
If you have no study about women using abortion as contraceptive, why should we take this argument of yours seriously?
If a brain dead person is not a person, why not switch off your brain dead wife?

merphie
3rd November 2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
merphie,

I'll summarize for you:


Who are you keeping your wife "alive" for, yourself or her?
Wasn't it your point that life is personality?
Why don't you want to face the issues of genetic engineering before it becomes reality?
If you have no study about women using abortion as contraceptive, why should we take this argument of yours seriously?
If a brain dead person is not a person, why not switch off your brain dead wife?


Do you expect me to take you seriously? Why don't you read previous post where many of these issues have been discussed.

thaiboxerken
3rd November 2004, 10:45 PM
For the reasons I have stated. I believe it is wrong because it is killing a human life for convenience.

Why is it wrong to kill a human life that is not an individual?

If they don't want kids they shouldn't have sex.

This is just silly. Sometimes sex isn't consentual. Sometimes mistakes are made where a consequence can be pregnancy.


If the want sex and no kids then they should practice some prevention method or get sterilized.

This is, again, just silly. Contraceptives sometimes fail.

Does a fetus or baby mean so little to us that we can freely throw them away at will?

It does to me. However, why should anyone feel different?

CFLarsen
4th November 2004, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by merphie
Do you expect me to take you seriously? Why don't you read previous post where many of these issues have been discussed.

I expect you to take the questions seriously. If you refuse to answer them, just say so.

Kevin_Lowe
4th November 2004, 02:51 AM
Since this subthread has been badly sidetracked by merphie, I thought I'd prune it back to the supposed core issue.

Originally posted by merphie

I have had a terrible time defining this for my personal view. I lean toward if the fetus is healthy with no danger to the woman or baby then an abortion should not be allowed. I would make exceptions for those who became pregnant due to a crime.


Interesting.

Okay, what's the moral basis for that distinction regarding rape? If we're keeping fetuses alive because they have moral value in their own right, are you saying that they have less value if they are the product of rape rather than a torn condom or something? How does that work? If it's a matter of emotional suffering for the woman, would that mean that women should be able to get an abortion if they really want one, but not if they only kind of want one?

To sum up, what's the actual basis for your position?

For the record, I do not feel it is ever appropriate to deny an abortion to a woman who wants one.

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Why is it wrong to kill a human life that is not an individual?

Why are they not an individual?

This is just silly. Sometimes sex isn't consentual. Sometimes mistakes are made where a consequence can be pregnancy.

I've allowed for crimes. What mistakes? Like two naked people tripping and just happen to land right?

This is, again, just silly. Contraceptives sometimes fail.

I know. My wife was on the pill when my son was conceived. So abortion is a good method for birth control?

It does to me. However, why should anyone feel different?

If that is the case then what meaning does an adult have? Why not kill anyone whom you don't like?

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I expect you to take the questions seriously. If you refuse to answer them, just say so.

I never take you seriously. I have already discussed most of your questions and it is not my fault you can't keep up in the conversation.

Any answer given to you is pointless because you don't read it.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 09:55 AM
Why are they not an individual?

An individual being is not directly dependant on another for nutrition and respiration.


I've allowed for crimes. What mistakes? Like two naked people tripping and just happen to land right?

I'd say a crime is a mistake. Also, sometimes people just like to hump. Sometimes they realize that it was a mistake.


I know. My wife was on the pill when my son was conceived. So abortion is a good method for birth control?

It's more reliable than the pill.


If that is the case then what meaning does an adult have? Why not kill anyone whom you don't like?

Adults are individuals.

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
Since this subthread has been badly sidetracked by merphie, I thought I'd prune it back to the supposed core issue.

Nice one. You are such a willing party.

Okay, what's the moral basis for that distinction regarding rape? If we're keeping fetuses alive because they have moral value in their own right, are you saying that they have less value if they are the product of rape rather than a torn condom or something? How does that work? If it's a matter of emotional suffering for the woman, would that mean that women should be able to get an abortion if they really want one, but not if they only kind of want one?

To sum up, what's the actual basis for your position?

For the record, I do not feel it is ever appropriate to deny an abortion to a woman who wants one.

A pregnancy due to rape was forced on the woman against her free will. Anything else is a product of her actions and free will. People must take responsibility for their actions. It is well known a condom is not 100%. People must realize there is an effect from their action. Should people be allowed to drink an drive? Is emotional stress a good reason for doing it? At this point I feel it's all about responsibility for one's actions.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 10:04 AM
We're on the same page so far, then. How do you see this making a difference to how we should behave towards these two things?

I think the toy that was alive should be discarded, as it's no longer alive and is just taking up resources.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 10:06 AM
I think it's rather silly that Merphie thinks a fetus is an individual being that deserves to live.. unless it was concieved by a crime. I guess bastards are not worthy of life in his eyes.

Weird.

merphie
4th November 2004, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I think it's rather silly that Merphie thinks a fetus is an individual being that deserves to live.. unless it was concieved by a crime. I guess bastards are not worthy of life in his eyes.

Weird.

How nice. You complain about my view point and state something is weird when you would advocate the destruction of any fetus.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 01:00 PM
My position is consistent, though. Yours is not. You are trying to equivolate abortion with infanticide. Now, you are basically saying that infanticide is ok, as long as the child was concieved by a criminal act.

You really do have weird beliefs.

CFLarsen
4th November 2004, 01:19 PM
merphie,

Do you really think that there is a difference between a fetus conceived in a benign way and a fetus being conceived by rape?

Why do you blame the fetus?

merphie
4th November 2004, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
My position is consistent, though. Yours is not. You are trying to equivolate abortion with infanticide. Now, you are basically saying that infanticide is ok, as long as the child was concieved by a criminal act.

You really do have weird beliefs.

that is your opinion of the matter. I would make an allowance for someone who is a victim of a crime. You think because I support one idea I should support everything? Why would it matter to you? You are saying "infacticide" is OK no matter what the circumstance. You beliefs are stranger than mine.

I don't believe people should use abortion as a means of birth control. People should take responsibility in their actions.

merphie
4th November 2004, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
merphie,

Do you really think that there is a difference between a fetus conceived in a benign way and a fetus being conceived by rape?

Why do you blame the fetus?

I am not blaming the fetus. I think it is a right thing to do for the sake of the woman. She didn't willingly participate in the creation. I would hope she would chose another method.

For you and thaiboxerken there is no grey area. You are saying you are either for it or against it. So all abortions should be allowed in any circumstance.

Would the same apply to adults? Do you support the death penalty? If so, why does one person deserve death and others don't? Why don't we execute people for any crime committed?

cajela
4th November 2004, 03:25 PM
I really hate those arguments where people say "you had sex, you know the risks." They seem to think that having a baby is a punishment for the evil naughty sex. I think you should have a baby because you *want* to. Whether you decided that you wanted it before or after conception is up to you. But having a baby because you have to face the consequences of having sex is a terrible reason.

The problem is that it's a process of development from blob'o'cells to baby, with no very clear distinguishing line. Even birth isn't that clear a line - a good friend of mine never technically "gave birth" because she had a caesar a couple of weeks early because of blood pressure problems. How you'd distinguish that from a 8.5 month abortion is beyond me.

My opinion on what should be, given that one has to have arbitrary lines, is a 3-stage process.
up to 3 months - woman's choice, pure and simple.
3-6 months - woman's choice, in consultation with a counsellor and her doctor.
over 6 months - requires approval from a medical panel.

Since 6 months is survivable, and there's brain activity, I think it's wrong around about there to arbitrarily kill the fetus. If you waited that long, you passed the choice cut-off, development has gone too far. If you don't want a kid, then adoption is your remaining option.

merphie
4th November 2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by cajela
I really hate those arguments where people say "you had sex, you know the risks." They seem to think that having a baby is a punishment for the evil naughty sex. I think you should have a baby because you *want* to. Whether you decided that you wanted it before or after conception is up to you. But having a baby because you have to face the consequences of having sex is a terrible reason.

Is my opinion not as valid as yours?

My opinion on what should be, given that one has to have arbitrary lines, is a 3-stage process.
up to 3 months - woman's choice, pure and simple.
3-6 months - woman's choice, in consultation with a counsellor and her doctor.
over 6 months - requires approval from a medical panel.

Since 6 months is survivable, and there's brain activity, I think it's wrong around about there to arbitrarily kill the fetus. If you waited that long, you passed the choice cut-off, development has gone too far. If you don't want a kid, then adoption is your remaining option.

So someone else should be given the responsibility past 3 months?

So you are saying infantcide is ok as long as everyone agrees and there is no brain activity?

I hate those arguments where people say you waited too long and should have thought about it ealier.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 06:33 PM
that is your opinion of the matter.

My opinion is that it's weird. It is a fact that you are inconsistent. You want us to believe that a fetus is a baby and that killing babies concieved of rape is ok.

I would make an allowance for someone who is a victim of a crime. You think because I support one idea I should support everything? Why would it matter to you? You are saying "infacticide" is OK no matter what the circumstance. You beliefs are stranger than mine.

I'm saying that a fetus is not a baby, so it's not infanticide at all. However, if I did think a fetus was a baby, I would think killing it would be wrong regardless of how the baby was concieved.

I don't believe people should use abortion as a means of birth control. People should take responsibility in their actions.

Ad-nauseum. You haven't explained WHY you feel this way, only that you do.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 06:37 PM
I am not blaming the fetus. I think it is a right thing to do for the sake of the woman.

You are saying it's ok to kill a fetus, as long as it's a bastard. Nice.

She didn't willingly participate in the creation. I would hope she would chose another method.

It doesn't matter, if you think a fetus deserves a right to life, you are really just being inconsistent with which fetus' do deserve this right based on how it was concieved. That's just illogical and silly.



I don't know about the CFL, but that's how I feel.

[quote]Would the same apply to adults? Do you support the death penalty? If so, why does one person deserve death and others don't? Why don't we execute people for any crime committed?

The death penalty isn't even close to being a similar issue, let's stick to the topic of a fetus. Adults are established as individual persons, a fetus is not.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 06:41 PM
I really hate those arguments where people say "you had sex, you know the risks." They seem to think that having a baby is a punishment for the evil naughty sex.

It is rather strange that anti-abortionists want people to birth babies as punishment for having sex. Where do they come up with such silly ideas? (church)

merphie
4th November 2004, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
My opinion is that it's weird. It is a fact that you are inconsistent. You want us to believe that a fetus is a baby and that killing babies concieved of rape is ok.

That is you opinion on the matter.

I'm saying that a fetus is not a baby, so it's not infanticide at all. However, if I did think a fetus was a baby, I would think killing it would be wrong regardless of how the baby was concieved.

What makes a baby so special? They can not survive outside alone. Why draw the line there?

You haven't explained WHY you feel this way, only that you do.

Yes I have. We are discussing it at the top of this post.

merphie
4th November 2004, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
You are saying it's ok to kill a fetus, as long as it's a bastard. Nice.

I never gave that general of a description. It can't be any worse than sanctioning the death of any fetus because it's an inconvenience.

It doesn't matter, if you think a fetus deserves a right to life, you are really just being inconsistent with which fetus' do deserve this right based on how it was concieved. That's just illogical and silly.

If you want to use that logic then you have been inconsistent as well. You believe a human has no right to life based on how old it is.

I don't know about the CFL, but that's how I feel.

And you put me down because I have a different opinion.

The death penalty isn't even close to being a similar issue, let's stick to the topic of a fetus. Adults are established as individual persons, a fetus is not.

Think outside the box. I am trying to establish where you draw the lines.

merphie
4th November 2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
It is rather strange that anti-abortionists want people to birth babies as punishment for having sex. Where do they come up with such silly ideas? (church)

It's really strange when people who call themselves skeptics resort to name calling and assuming unsupported ideas about other people.

thaiboxerken
4th November 2004, 08:10 PM
That is you opinion on the matter.

It's a fact that your logic is flawed.

What makes a baby so special? They can not survive outside alone. Why draw the line there?

A baby is an individual, it no longer directly depends on the mother to survive.


Yes I have. We are discussing it at the top of this post.

Ad-nauseum is not discussion.

I never gave that general of a description. It can't be any worse than sanctioning the death of any fetus because it's an inconvenience.

A fetus is not an individual or a person. If it was, I wouldn't support abortion. I wouldn't make exceptions just because of the nature of the conception.

If you want to use that logic then you have been inconsistent as well. You believe a human has no right to life based on how old it is.

Strawman. I believe individual persons have rights. A fetus is not an individual or a person.

And you put me down because I have a different opinion.

Because your opinion is based on emotion and woo-woo nonsense.

Think outside the box. I am trying to establish where you draw the lines.

Think rationally and use relevant analogies.

It's really strange when people who call themselves skeptics resort to name calling and assuming unsupported ideas about other people.

Weirdo.

cajela
4th November 2004, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by merphie
So someone else should be given the responsibility past 3 months?

So you are saying infantcide is ok as long as everyone agrees and there is no brain activity?

I hate those arguments where people say you waited too long and should have thought about it ealier. [/B]

Well, there's a complete failure to comprehend the point. You cunningly snipped out the part where I remark that fetal development is just that, DEVELOPMENT. There are no clear lines between a blob of cells, which are not remotely people, infant or otherwise, and an actual baby. However, the law makes us have clear lines, so I choose an arbitrary 6 months.

No, I don't approve of infanticide. Abortion up to three months is not remotely like infanticide. Between 3 and 6 months it's still not infanticide, but the process is a bit of a way along and I think it's a good idea to have some counselling and medical advice required. I don't think this is too onerous. Abortion after 6 months is skating very close to the edge, so there needs to be a decent evaluation, and a good reason.


As for that quip where you "hate those arguments where people say you waited too long and should have thought about it ealier (sic)", I imagine that's supposed to be a parody of my claim to hate the arguments where people see a baby as a punishment for sex. Now, it's not a very good parody, is it? Because the ickiness of seeing a baby as a punishment pretty much speaks for itself. Whereas "it's too late now" is a very common human experience. Not to mention that it seems to be mostly *your* argument anyway. "She should have thought about it before having sex, it's too late now..."

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
It's a fact that your logic is flawed.

From your perspective because you refuse to accept any opinion other than your own.

A baby is an individual, it no longer directly depends on the mother to survive.

Really? Do you have kids? A baby or child would not survive on it's own till 1 or 2 years of age. So by your definition it should be allowed to kill off the kids younger than 2. If a baby is premature and requires great medical assistance to live then it should be OK to pull the plug.

Ad-nauseum is not discussion.

I understand If you can't defend your opinion. You are the one who keeps repeating the same thing.

A fetus is not an individual or a person. If it was, I wouldn't support abortion. I wouldn't make exceptions just because of the nature of the conception.

Spoken like a true man.

Strawman. I believe individual persons have rights. A fetus is not an individual or a person.

So it takes 9 months to be an individual? Your definition is fuzzy at best. What about 8 months? What about 6 Months? What defines an individual?

Because your opinion is based on emotion and woo-woo nonsense.

Only because you don't agree with it.

Think rationally and use relevant analogies.

I did. Are you refusing to answer? Where do you draw the line and why?

Weirdo.

Ad-Hominem is not a discussion either.

Kevin_Lowe
4th November 2004, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by merphie
A pregnancy due to rape was forced on the woman against her free will. Anything else is a product of her actions and free will. People must take responsibility for their actions. It is well known a condom is not 100%. People must realize there is an effect from their action.


I'm trying to get this straight here. What difference does the woman's conduct make?

If we're endowing the fetus with moral value, I do not see how that value could possibly depend on whether it was conceived by accident or by force. There is no way of physically differentiating a fetus that is the product of rape from a fetus that is the product of consensual sex. If one fetus is an individual human with moral value then so is the other fetus.

On the other hand, if the fetus isn't the locus of moral value then I don't see how it makes any sense to say that a women is obliged to carry it around because she had sex. That would be like saying I'm not entitled to trauma care because I voluntarily got into my car, knowing that car accidents happen despite the best precautions. If the fetus is not a person, and pregnancy is just a medical condition, then we should be able to treat it like any other medical condition.


Should people be allowed to drink an drive? Is emotional stress a good reason for doing it? At this point I feel it's all about responsibility for one's actions. [/B]

If you were in a car accident on your way to the shops for ice cream, I don't think you would refuse medical assistance on the grounds that you knew car accidents happened and you should have exercised self-control. Even if the accident was clearly your fault you would presumably accept responsibility and get medical help. We usually do not consider that accepting medical help is incompatible with taking responsibility for one's actions.

What about this specific case makes it impossible to take responsibility and simultaneously get medical help?

You really have to grasp one of these two nettles. Either the fetus has value in and of itself and your stance on pregnancy due to rape is incoherent, or the fetus has no value in and of itself and your stance on accidental pregnancy is incompatible with everyday morals.

Edited for typos

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by cajela
Well, there's a complete failure to comprehend the point. You cunningly snipped out the part where I remark that fetal development is just that, DEVELOPMENT. There are no clear lines between a blob of cells, which are not remotely people, infant or otherwise, and an actual baby. However, the law makes us have clear lines, so I choose an arbitrary 6 months.

it was not my intention to leave out important parts of anything. A human develops for long period of times. If you want to say because the law defines it as such I will accept that answer.

No, I don't approve of infanticide. Abortion up to three months is not remotely like infanticide. Between 3 and 6 months it's still not infanticide, but the process is a bit of a way along and I think it's a good idea to have some counselling and medical advice required. I don't think this is too onerous. Abortion after 6 months is skating very close to the edge, so there needs to be a decent evaluation, and a good reason.

Good reason like what? Drop the labels for a minute. Let's call it a human. From conception to adulthood. Explain you position with no labels other than "human"

As for that quip where you "hate those arguments where people say you waited too long and should have thought about it ealier (sic)", I imagine that's supposed to be a parody of my claim to hate the arguments where people see a baby as a punishment for sex. Now, it's not a very good parody, is it? Because the ickiness of seeing a baby as a punishment pretty much speaks for itself. Whereas "it's too late now" is a very common human experience. Not to mention that it seems to be mostly *your* argument anyway. "She should have thought about it before having sex, it's too late now..."

I never said a baby should be punishment. How about adoption for unwanted pregnancies? Yes it was a parody of your comment because I don't appreciate the labels.

So it's not ok to think about what will happen if you have sex. It is ok to not think about it until after 6 months unless you have a green light from medical doctors.

According to thaiboxerken the baby/fetus is not an individual and has not right to life until the baby is born.

I think people should take responsibility for their actions.

merphie
4th November 2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
I'm trying to get this straight here. What difference does the woman's conduct make?

If we're endowing the fetus with moral value, I do not see how that value could possibly depend on whether it was conceived by accident or by force. There is no way of physically differentiating a fetus that is the product of rape from a fetus that is the product of consensual sex. If one fetus is an individual human with moral value then so is the other fetus.

On the other hand, if the fetus isn't the locus of moral value then I don't see how it makes any sense to say that a women is obliged to carry it around because she had sex. That would be like saying I'm not entitled to trauma care because I voluntarily got into my car, knowing that car accidents happen despite the best precautions. If the fetus is not a person, and pregnancy is just a medical condition, then we should be able to treat it like any other medical condition.

The dispute we seem to have is when a baby becomes a person. It's like Poof! It's a person! Before then it's benign tumor.

If you were in a car accident on your way to the shops for ice cream, I don't think you would refuse medical assistance on the grounds that you knew car accidents happened and you should have exercised self-control. Even if the accident was clearly your fault you would presumably accept responsibility and get medical help. We usually do not consider that accepting medical help is incompatible with taking responsibility for one's actions.

What if you were drinking and killed someone as a result of your car crash?

What about this specific case makes it impossible to take responsibility and simultaneously get medical help?

I define a human a little more important than just a medical condition.

You really have to grasp one of these two nettles. Either the fetus has value in and of itself and your stance on pregnancy due to rape is incoherent, or the fetus has no value in and of itself and your stance on accidental pregnancy is incompatible with everyday morals.

No I don't. You are telling me I have to accept your opinion because you don't agree with my position. I don't expect you to understand. You are answering the abortion rape idea from a man's perspective. A product of a rape could have serious consequences on a woman's health as a result of the trama. Therefor falling under my exception for medical issues.

Would it be ok for a woman to abort every baby she didn't like? Like if she didn't want a boy? In that example what if there was 10 or 20 abortions?

CFLarsen
4th November 2004, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by merphie
I never said a baby should be punishment. How about adoption for unwanted pregnancies?

Why should a woman be forced to carry the child of her rapist? Why should she be punished (even more)?

You put the "life" of a blob above the life of a grown woman.

Kevin_Lowe
5th November 2004, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by merphie
The dispute we seem to have is when a baby becomes a person. It's like Poof! It's a person! Before then it's benign tumor.


I'll go along with this for a bit and assume it's not just a non sequitur. What opinion do you hold on this issue, and how is it relevant to what I just said?


What if you were drinking and killed someone as a result of your car crash?


What if you discussed what I said?


I define a human a little more important than just a medical condition.


Okay. Is it correct to say that you define a fetus to be more important than mild emotional trauma but less important than serious emotional trauma?


No I don't. You are telling me I have to accept your opinion because you don't agree with my position. I don't expect you to understand. You are answering the abortion rape idea from a man's perspective. A product of a rape could have serious consequences on a woman's health as a result of the trama. Therefor falling under my exception for medical issues.


I'm the one in favour of giving women an abortion on request no matter what, but I'm also looking at it from a man's perspective? I don't think that makes sense.

Is it correct to say that you think a fetus' continued existence has moral value, but that avoiding serious emotional pain has greater value? If so, does the emotional pain have to have a serious impact on a woman's health before it's more important than the continued existence of a fetus or not?

Second question. I assume that you probably aren't in favour of killing babies or adults to avoid emotional pain. Am I correct in inferring this means that to you fetuses are a kind of second-class human being, more important than warts but less important than babies or adults?


Would it be ok for a woman to abort every baby she didn't like? Like if she didn't want a boy? In that example what if there was 10 or 20 abortions?

As far as I'm concerned yes, yes and it makes no difference. I place roughly zero value on fetuses, and considerable value on the woman's right to decide whether or not to bear a fetus.

thaiboxerken
5th November 2004, 09:09 AM
From your perspective because you refuse to accept any opinion other than your own.

False, I have changed my opinions based on logic, reason and evidence plenty of times. I used to be of similar opinion to yours about abortion, I've grown up since then.


Really? Do you have kids? A baby or child would not survive on it's own till 1 or 2 years of age. So by your definition it should be allowed to kill off the kids younger than 2. If a baby is premature and requires great medical assistance to live then it should be OK to pull the plug.

The key word here is "directly". Your children and baby are indirectly dependant on you to feed them, clothe them and safekeep their well being. A fetus is directly dependant on the mother to digest food for it, breath oxygen for it and keep it warm within her body. A fetus is not an individual, it is part of the mother.


I understand If you can't defend your opinion. You are the one who keeps repeating the same thing.

Pot-kettle-black.

Spoken like a true man.

Ad-hom based on gender. My gender doesn't play any role on the validity of my arguments.

So it takes 9 months to be an individual? Your definition is fuzzy at best. What about 8 months? What about 6 Months? What defines an individual?

It takes a seperation from the mother to be an individual, a physical seperation.

Only because you don't agree with it.

No, because it is a fact. You obviously invest alot of emotion into this.

I did. Are you refusing to answer? Where do you draw the line and why?

You did not, and reasons were listed.

Ad-Hominem is not a discussion either.

That's not ad-hom, it's just an insult.

I never said a baby should be punishment. How about adoption for unwanted pregnancies? Yes it was a parody of your comment because I don't appreciate the labels.

So you don't want to punish them with babies, just with the burden of birth?

So it's not ok to think about what will happen if you have sex. It is ok to not think about it until after 6 months unless you have a green light from medical doctors.

No one is making this argument at all, dumbass.

I think people should take responsibility for their actions.

Abortion is a responsible choice.


I define a human a little more important than just a medical condition.

So now you want to call it a human and not a fetus? Ok, you think it's ok to kill a human as long as it's the product of rape?!

jj
5th November 2004, 10:50 AM
Abortion is OK until one justice retires and we get a new Roe V. Wade.

That's the fact, jack.

merphie
6th November 2004, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Why should a woman be forced to carry the child of her rapist? Why should she be punished (even more)?

You put the "life" of a blob above the life of a grown woman.

You never read anything do you?

merphie
6th November 2004, 06:24 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
I'll go along with this for a bit and assume it's not just a non sequitur. What opinion do you hold on this issue, and how is it relevant to what I just said?

It's the difference we have in opinion on the matter. You definitionseems to be that a fetus doesn't become a person until a certain point. I don't have a time table.

What if you discussed what I said?

I am. I see you logic as falwed because no one died in your example.

Okay. Is it correct to say that you define a fetus to be more important than mild emotional trauma but less important than serious emotional trauma?

For the health of the woman. I feel an allowance must be made.

I'm the one in favour of giving women an abortion on request no matter what, but I'm also looking at it from a man's perspective? I don't think that makes sense.

Sure it does. In the case of rape I don't think men would have the same perspective on the issue. Of course, we can have an opinion on the matter, but I disagree with the automatic dismissal of the idea that rape is no different than "normal" conception.

Is it correct to say that you think a fetus' continued existence has moral value, but that avoiding serious emotional pain has greater value? If so, does the emotional pain have to have a serious impact on a woman's health before it's more important than the continued existence of a fetus or not?

Emotional trauma can have disasterous effects on a person's health. I think in case of rape the suffering of the woman is a big issue. So for the health of the woman an allowance should be made.

Second question. I assume that you probably aren't in favour of killing babies or adults to avoid emotional pain. Am I correct in inferring this means that to you fetuses are a kind of second-class human being, more important than warts but less important than babies or adults?

Killing babies and adults? In what circumstances? I don't understand what you are talking about.

I don't see fetus as a second class anything. They are human.

As far as I'm concerned yes, yes and it makes no difference. I place roughly zero value on fetuses, and considerable value on the woman's right to decide whether or not to bear a fetus.

I understand your position.

merphie
6th November 2004, 06:44 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
False, I have changed my opinions based on logic, reason and evidence plenty of times. I used to be of similar opinion to yours about abortion, I've grown up since then.

You put down anything that doesn't agree with your reason. I will also change my opinion based on facts, but I don't agree with your logic.

The key word here is "directly". Your children and baby are indirectly dependant on you to feed them, clothe them and safekeep their well being. A fetus is directly dependant on the mother to digest food for it, breath oxygen for it and keep it warm within her body. A fetus is not an individual, it is part of the mother.

Without the mother a baby would die unable to survive on it's own. A baby only understands the very basics and it not a productive member of society and can be a terrible burden. Part of your definition earlier was that a fetus was not important because it could survive on it's own. I maintain a baby could not survive on it's own either. So killing this baby would be acceptible.

The fetus is in no way part of the mother. The fetus is in a cavity of the mother with a small cord that supplies oxygen, food, and water.

Pot-kettle-black.

Ad-hom based on gender. My gender doesn't play any role on the validity of my arguments.


It wasn't meant as any attack. You deny there is a difference between a man and woman and their view on rape.

It takes a seperation from the mother to be an individual, a physical seperation.

Why is a physical attatchment so important? What difference does it make? So the fetus becomes a baby the moment the cord is cut?

No, because it is a fact. You obviously invest alot of emotion into this.

No it's your opinion. You are making assumptions about me without knowing the first thing about me.

You did not, and reasons were listed.

You just dismissed the question.

That's not ad-hom, it's just an insult.

Yes, "Against the man" It's ad-hominem plan and simple.

So you don't want to punish them with babies, just with the burden of birth?

You want to punish the fetus?

No one is making this argument at all, dumbass.

Ad-Hominem. Perhaps you should read what other people are saying.

Abortion is a responsible choice.

Not if it is used irresponsibly.

So now you want to call it a human and not a fetus? Ok, you think it's ok to kill a human as long as it's the product of rape?!

I think human is a good term. Is it not? Fetus is a stage in development. I've already defined my stance on the issue. My view can't be any worse than you thinking it is ok to kill a human because someone has a "responsible choice"

CFLarsen
6th November 2004, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by merphie
You never read anything do you?

You have a funny way of debating. Not a very convincing way, but still....funny.

merphie
6th November 2004, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
You have a funny way of debating. Not a very convincing way, but still....funny.

So do you. You apparently haven't read anything. You have no idea who is supporting what.

thaiboxerken
6th November 2004, 10:45 AM
Without the mother a baby would die unable to survive on it's own.

This is false, other members of society can raise the baby. There are plenty of cases of abandoned babies that survived with the help of people that are not the mother. The baby is getting indirect help to eat and stay warm and protected. A fetus is directly dependant upon the mother to have the same things. A fetus is part of the mother, it grows inside the mother and is directly connected to the mother.

Those are facts, not opinions.

You deny there is a difference between a man and woman and their view on rape.

It doesn't matter, gender does not validate or invalidate an argument. Differences come from genders, religious values, education and many other sources. Believe it or not, two people of the opposite genders can have the same view on rape and abortion.

Why is a physical attatchment so important? What difference does it make? So the fetus becomes a baby the moment the cord is cut?

It's important to make a distinction of what an individual is. Yes, once the cord is cut the fetus becomes an individual.

You want to punish the fetus?

If the fetus was an individual, I might consider it punishment. It is, however, not an individual. But let's suppose that it is, you want the option to punish the fetus if it was concieved by rape?

Not if it is used irresponsibly.

Begs the question, you think abortion itself is inherently irresponsible.

I think human is a good term. Is it not?

No, it's not. It totally ignores what we are actually talking about. A dead person is still a human, but I don't think dead people should have rights either.

Fetus is a stage in development.

Yes, and it's important to note that a fetus is not a person, not an individual.

I've already defined my stance on the issue. My view can't be any worse than you thinking it is ok to kill a human because someone has a "responsible choice"

Better or worse is simpy a value judgement. Your view, however, is inconsistent. You want to convince me that a fetus has moral value, unless it was concieved by rape. That is just silly.


If I believed a fetus was a person or an individual, I would think it has a right to life no matter what the circumstances of it's conception is. I don't value people less for the crimes of their parents, apparently, you do.

shanek
6th November 2004, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
You have a funny way of debating. Not a very convincing way, but still....funny.

To you, the only convincing people are those you already agree with.

CFLarsen
6th November 2004, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by shanek
To you, the only convincing people are those you already agree with.

To me, the only convincing people are those with facts.

Kevin_Lowe
7th November 2004, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by merphie
It's the difference we have in opinion on the matter. You definitionseems to be that a fetus doesn't become a person until a certain point. I don't have a time table.


Okay.


I am. I see you logic as falwed because no one died in your example.


That was the example to deal with the position that a fetus is not a person. Okay, you feel a fetus is always a person even when it's an invisible blob. Great. What's your response to the other example, the one that assumes (as you do) that the fetus is a person? Don't answer just yet, I break it down for you in detail in just a minute.

[/quote]
Emotional trauma can have disasterous effects on a person's health. I think in case of rape the suffering of the woman is a big issue. So for the health of the woman an allowance should be made.

Killing babies and adults? In what circumstances? I don't understand what you are talking about.

I don't see fetus as a second class anything. They are human.
[/QUOTE]

You would not kill an innocent adult human just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

You would not kill an innocent baby just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

You claim to think fetuses have the same status as every other human, right? That's what you just claimed.

But you would kill an innocent fetus just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

You can't logically reconcile those positions. You cannot be consistent on this issue unless you are either willing to kill innocent people to avoid some suffering, or you are willing to declare fetuses second-class citizens with a lesser right to life than regular humans.

evildave
7th November 2004, 02:11 AM
I'll go on out on a ledge and say abortion is always wrong, but only because people (both sexes) should be infertile until both consenting adults in the equation decide to have a child together. Ideally, they will get some extra counseling and training before they're ever allowed to have a baby.

A simple enough fix: Make sure all humans are infertile unless they take a drug (or eat something specific, or have a specific procedure done) to become fertile.

This will eliminate virtually all unwanted pregnancies, and virtually all abortion.

Of course, the same folks who claim they fight abortion because it is 'evil' almost never seem to want to go for this.

About 20 to 30 years of dedicated research should produce the exact thing you'd want with almost perfect reversibility.

Actually it can be done surgically right now, but not at a high enough success rate.

Microsurgical reversal of female mechanical sterilization techniques
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=3168447&dopt=Abstract

Sterilization Reversal
http://www.engenderhealth.org/wh/fp/csterrev.html

Apparently, 'tubal occlusion' that does not sever or excessively damage the relevant anatomy is generally reversible. Surgery designed to be reversible would make the success rate higher. Collecting samples of reproductive material before a sterilization would also help. Better R&D into this could make a simple "OFF" switch for fertility possible that can be switched back "ON" again. Orthroscopic doohicky through her navel, and vasectomy like thing through his scrotum. Both cases, a pair of simple clips are 'installed'.

A simple one-time chemical sterilization could eventually be devised that (Pay attention fundies!) could even postpone sexual desire until people are a legal adult and take another course to activate it (if they want to). So you moms and dads that can't stand the thought of your son or daughter humping (or even masturbating) can exercise even more control over them. Why force women to take prescription drugs NOT to become pregnant? Make sure man AND woman take prescription drugs in order to BECOME pregnant. Safer, simpler, more effective. Son won't jack off. Daughter won't 'bleed'. I could see a lot of women not wanting to have a period until they want a baby.

If you truly despise abortion, then make sure nobody will have children before they want to, and there will almost never be a need for abortion.

Problem solved.

Cain
7th November 2004, 03:03 AM
I haven't been reading this thread. Abortion is cool; a good idea in general, but especially for women looking to lose five or ten pounds fast.

Edit to add:

Peter Singer's entry in the _Oxford Companion to Philosophy_ on abortion is worth quoting. In a short blurb he clarifies (I think) how participants should conduct this debate.

Those who defend women's rights to abortion often refer to themselves as 'pro-choice' rather than as 'pro-abortion'. In this way they seek to bypass the issue of the moral status of the foetus, and instead make the right to abortion a question of individual liberty. But it cannot simply be assumed that a woman's right to have an abortion is a question of individual liberty, for it must first be established that the aborted foetus is not a being worthy of protection. If the foetus is worthy of protection, then laws against abortion do not create 'victimless crimes' as laws against homosexual relations between consenting adults do. So the question of the moral status of the foetus cannot be avoided.

The central argument against abortion may be put like this:

It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
A human foetus is an innocent human being.
Therefore it is wrong to kill a human foetus.

Defenders of abortion usually deny the second premiss of this argument. The dispute about abortion then becomes a dispute about whether a foetus is a human being, or, in other words, when a human life begins. Opponents of abortion challenge others to point to any stage in the gradual process of human development that marks a morally significant dividing-line. Unless there is such a line, they say, we must either upgrade the status of the earliest embryo to that of the child, or downgrade the status of the child to that of the foetus; and no one advocates the latter course.

The most commonly suggested dividing-lines between the fertilized egg and the child are birth and viability. Both are open to objection. A prematurely born infant may well be less developed in these respects than a foetus nearing the end of its normal term, and it seems peculiar to hold that we may not kill the premature infant, but may kill the more developed foetus. The point of viability varies according to the state of medical technology, and, again, it is odd to hold that a foetus has a right to life if the pregnant woman lives in London, but not if she lives in New Guinea.

Those who wish to deny the foetus a right to life may be on stronger ground if they challenge the first, rather than the second, premiss of the argument set out above. To describe a being as 'human' is to use a term that straddles two distinct notions: membership of the species Homo sapiens, and being a person, in the sense of a rational or self-conscious being. If 'human' is taken as equivalent to 'person', the second premiss of the argument, which asserts that the foetus is a human being, is clearly false; for one cannot plausibly argue that a foetus is either rational or self-conscious. If, on the other hand, 'human' is taken to mean no more than 'member of the species Homo sapiens', then it needs to be shown why mere membership of a given biological species should be a sufficient basis for a right to life. Rather, the defender of abortion may wish to argue, we should look at the foetus for what it is - the actual characteristics it possesses - and value its life accordingly.

Donks
7th November 2004, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by evildave
A simple enough fix: Make sure all humans are infertile unless they take a drug (or eat something specific, or have a specific procedure done) to become fertile.

So your solution is to give control to someone else (who, the government?) over who can and can't reproduce? Yes, that'll solve everything.

merphie
7th November 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
This is false, other members of society can raise the baby. There are plenty of cases of abandoned babies that survived with the help of people that are not the mother. The baby is getting indirect help to eat and stay warm and protected. A fetus is directly dependant upon the mother to have the same things. A fetus is part of the mother, it grows inside the mother and is directly connected to the mother.

Technology has been able to save a fetus six months or older. So today it would be wrong to abort a baby older than 6 months.

Those are facts, not opinions.

It's your opinion they make a difference.

It doesn't matter, gender does not validate or invalidate an argument. Differences come from genders, religious values, education and many other sources. Believe it or not, two people of the opposite genders can have the same view on rape and abortion.

You could have. I doubt very seriously you have the same view on rape and pregnancy from rape as a women would. You are the potential rapist.

You just assume everyone would agree with you. When they don't you call them names and say their ignorant. In this situation the right and wrong of abortion is purely an opinion.

It's important to make a distinction of what an individual is. Yes, once the cord is cut the fetus becomes an individual.

Interesting. So you would be for killing the fetus up until the cord was cut?

If the fetus was an individual, I might consider it punishment. It is, however, not an individual. But let's suppose that it is, you want the option to punish the fetus if it was concieved by rape?

Begs the question, you think abortion itself is inherently irresponsible.

I don't agree with your statement. If you think I am trying to punish the fetus for being conceived in rape then I could say you would want to punish the fetus for being conceived at all.

No, I don't think it is inherently irresponsible. I perfer to put responsibilty on the person doing the action. In some circumstances abortion would be an irresponsible choice.

No, it's not. It totally ignores what we are actually talking about. A dead person is still a human, but I don't think dead people should have rights either.

Yes, and it's important to note that a fetus is not a person, not an individual.

That is obviously your opinion on the matter.

Better or worse is simpy a value judgement. Your view, however, is inconsistent. You want to convince me that a fetus has moral value, unless it was concieved by rape. That is just silly.

Only in your opinion. I view your view the same way as you view mine.

If I believed a fetus was a person or an individual, I would think it has a right to life no matter what the circumstances of it's conception is. I don't value people less for the crimes of their parents, apparently, you do.

What difference would it make to you? You will kill the fetus no matter the method of conception. Your Ad-hominem attack is completely without any merit.

merphie
7th November 2004, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
That was the example to deal with the position that a fetus is not a person. Okay, you feel a fetus is always a person even when it's an invisible blob. Great. What's your response to the other example, the one that assumes (as you do) that the fetus is a person? Don't answer just yet, I break it down for you in detail in just a minute.

You would not kill an innocent adult human just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

You would not kill an innocent baby just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

What are we talking about here?

You claim to think fetuses have the same status as every other human, right? That's what you just claimed.

But you would kill an innocent fetus just because doing so would avert someone's emotional trauma, right?

You can't logically reconcile those positions. You cannot be consistent on this issue unless you are either willing to kill innocent people to avoid some suffering, or you are willing to declare fetuses second-class citizens with a lesser right to life than regular humans.

I consider it an exception in the case of crime. According to you, I have to support all abortions or no abortions. What difference does my opinion make to you when you would kill any fetus no matter what the circumstance?

I am consistent in my position. The main difference is in rape the woman never made a choice by her own free will. In everything else she made the choice. I don't think abortions should be used as birth control.

The problem is when you consider emotional trauma. How exactly do you define it? In a simple definition if a woman gets cold feet then should could have an abortion. I don't agree with associating a baby or fetus as something with no more value than a used pair of socks.

All this being said I don't believe abortions should be outlawed. As a society I think we should come up with some alternative in the situation.

Darat
7th November 2004, 12:25 PM
Thread moved by request.

thaiboxerken
7th November 2004, 12:38 PM
Technology has been able to save a fetus six months or older. So today it would be wrong to abort a baby older than 6 months.

Ok, let's go with this. A woman does not want a child, so she should be allowed to abort before the 6 month time. If it's past the 6 month period, she should be allowed to immediately have the baby removed from her womb and placed in an incubator. How's that for a compromise?

You could have. I doubt very seriously you have the same view on rape and pregnancy from rape as a women would. You are the potential rapist.

Eat fecal matter, twit. I am of the same opinion of most people about rape, in that it is WRONG. Many people agree that a pregnancy resulting from rape should be allowed to abort, including you, where we differ is that I think any pregnancy should be allowed to abort. However, the my big problem with your logic is that you think a fetus is a morally valued human life as long as it wasn't concieved by rape. Sorry, but that's just retarded. Would you think an adult has less value if he was concieved by rape? Why make an exception for a younger human, one that is in the fetus? You are not consistent with your "morality". If I'm a potential rapist, you are a potential murderer, one that kills people concieved by rape.

So you would be for killing the fetus up until the cord was cut?

Yes.

I don't agree with your statement. If you think I am trying to punish the fetus for being conceived in rape then I could say you would want to punish the fetus for being conceived at all.

Yes, you can say this and it is somewhat true. However, i place no moral valud on a fetus and you do, unless the fetus was concieved by rape. Do you have something against people that were concieved by rape?

merphie
7th November 2004, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Ok, let's go with this. A woman does not want a child, so she should be allowed to abort before the 6 month time. If it's past the 6 month period, she should be allowed to immediately have the baby removed from her womb and placed in an incubator. How's that for a compromise?

Wow! Your journey to the dark side is almost complete. It doesn't fit in your definition. Who's inconsistent now? Since we are not making law I thank you for the idea but it's irrelevant.

I am of the same opinion of most people about rape, in that it is WRONG. Many people agree that a pregnancy resulting from rape should be allowed to abort, including you, where we differ is that I think any pregnancy should be allowed to abort. However, the my big problem with your logic is that you think a fetus is a morally valued human life as long as it wasn't concieved by rape. Sorry, but that's just retarded. Would you think an adult has less value if he was concieved by rape? Why make an exception for a younger human, one that is in the fetus? You are not consistent with your "morality". If I'm a potential rapist, you are a potential murderer, one that kills people concieved by rape.

Tsk. tsk. I didn't mean to say that you think rape is right or that you would even do so. Honestly it was not an attack. My point is that I don't believe it is possible in any way for you to know what rape is like to a woman. You are hung on this one idea because you don't agree with my position.

I wouldn't look down on someone who was a child resulting from rape. Now you are putting words in my mouth. I have been consistent with my idea, but you don't agree. What gets me is you seem to be arguing that abortion should not be allowed for rape. If I am a potential murderer then so are you. You would kill any baby no matter what. So you are a potential murderer as well. Welcome to the club. You whole argument is based on Ad-hominem. You say I am morally inconsistent and therefor my opinion is wrong.

I do not agree with your position because I don't believe abortion should be used as birth control.

Perhaps we should end it here and just agree to disagree?

Yes, you can say this and it is somewhat true. However, i place no moral valud on a fetus and you do, unless the fetus was concieved by rape. Do you have something against people that were concieved by rape? [/B]

I've already answered this many times. We just keep going in circles.

Kevin_Lowe
7th November 2004, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by merphie
What are we talking about here?


It's becoming obvious that you aren't even trying to respond to the specific things I say. You're just reiterating your position over and over again and ignoring what everybody else says.

I'm not interested in chasing you. So I'm putting you on notice. I won't reply further unless you actually engage with what I'm saying. I'll just let the discussion up to this point stand.


I consider it an exception in the case of crime.


You have not explained why this makes a difference, given that you think all fetuses are humans with moral value.


According to you, I have to support all abortions or no abortions.


According to me you have to support a consistent position, otherwise you are just talking nonsense.

Allow me to provide an example of a consistent position that allows some abortions but not others: "It is best for society if we save every life we can consistent with a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, so it is wrong to abort independently viable fetuses but not wrong to abort fetuses that are not yet viable". A lot of people subscribe to that notion. I don't, but I can't accuse them of being inconsistent.

In blunter language, you're once again attacking a straw man.


What difference does my opinion make to you when you would kill any fetus no matter what the circumstance?


This is for your benefit, not mine.


I am consistent in my position. The main difference is in rape the woman never made a choice by her own free will. In everything else she made the choice. I don't think abortions should be used as birth control.


Once again you are failing to explain how this distinction overrides the fetus' (claimed) right to life. I'll ask you one more time: If a given entity has a right to live, what possible difference do the circumstances of its conception, or the feelings of some other person, make to whether or not it is okay to kill it?

You keep dodging that question.


The problem is when you consider emotional trauma. How exactly do you define it? In a simple definition if a woman gets cold feet then should could have an abortion. I don't agree with associating a baby or fetus as something with no more value than a used pair of socks.

You're the one using emotional trauma as a factor in decision making. It's not up to us to define your terms for you. If you want to argue that emotional trauma makes a difference the onus is on you to specify (when called upon to do so) precisely what the heck you mean by that, and why it matters.

Darat
7th November 2004, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by merphie


...snip...

I do not agree with your position because I don't believe abortion should be used as birth control.


...snip...

But this isn't what you’ve been posting. Your position (according to what you've already posted) can be summed up as:

I believe abortion may be used as birth control.

or

I believe that a Mother has the right to decide to abort a foetus.

You'll probably disagree with my summary of your position by saying that it depends on the circumstances. However that does not remove the fact that you consider abortion has a legitimate use as a form of birth control.

If you did not think it is a legitimate form of birth control then you could not condone its use under any circumstances. Preventing a birth of a baby through abortion even though it was conceived through rape is still birth control.

I'm not trying to play word-games here since using abortion as a form of birth control (i.e. allowing abortion under some circumstances) is intrinsic to your stated position on abortion.

I'm curious what you do base your position on. I can see it is not that you believe a foetus has any fundamental right to life (otherwise you wouldn't think that abortion is OK in the case of conception by rape) nor does it seem to be based on any fundamental right a woman has to decide if a foetus is aborted (else a woman would be able to decide to abort in other circumstances then just conception through rape).

I just can't (from what you've posted) understand what are the underlying premises for your stated position.

thaiboxerken
8th November 2004, 08:45 AM
Wow! Your journey to the dark side is almost complete. It doesn't fit in your definition. Who's inconsistent now? Since we are not making law I thank you for the idea but it's irrelevant.

I am hardly being inconsistent here, my position doesn't depend on when a fetus can survive outside of the womb, it depends on when the fetus becomes an individual. As long as the fetus is in the womb, it it not an individual. My "compromise" was merely an illustration to show you (censored) (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=1870531930#rule8) absolutely retarded your argument is.

You say that a fetus can live outside the womb after the 6-month perioud. Ok, then let mothers who don't want the baby anymore have the fetus removed and placed for adoption at that point. Oh, I'm sure you probably wouldn't want that option available to mothers either, would you?


Tsk. tsk. I didn't mean to say that you think rape is right or that you would even do so. Honestly it was not an attack.

You called me a potential rapist, it was an attack no matter how you try to spin it now. "F" you, biatch, you are scum.

My point is that I don't believe it is possible in any way for you to know what rape is like to a woman. You are hung on this one idea because you don't agree with my position.

Men can, and are often victim to rape. STFU. It also is irrelevant to the topic. Rape is bad, it's wrong. However, you think a fetus ok human, as long as it wasn't concieved by rape. That's inconsistency not based on reality. No matter how the fetus was concieved, it is still a fetus.

I wouldn't look down on someone who was a child resulting from rape.

But you'd allow them to be killed. After all, your position is that a fetus is a child.

Now you are putting words in my mouth.

Ok, you won't look down upon them, but you give them no moral value.

I have been consistent with my idea, but you don't agree.

Your premise, in itself, is inconsistent with your other premise. That's where your problem is.

Your basic argument against abortion is:

All fetus are human.
Abortion is killing a human.
Killing a human is wrong.
Abortion is wrong.

However, you say that abortion should be allowed in the case of rape. So, now I can draw a new statement from your statements. Here is what you are now saying.

Killing a human is wrong, unless it was concieved by rape.

What gets me is you seem to be arguing that abortion should not be allowed for rape.

No, I'm saying that if you were to be consistent, you would be fighting against abortion no matter how the conception occured.

If I am a potential murderer then so are you. You would kill any baby no matter what.

Hardly, a fetus is not a baby or a person. You, however, think that a fetus is a person or individual, unless it was concieved by rape. For you to be consistent, that premise should carry over from fetus, to baby, to adult. You think it's ok to kill a person that was concieved by rape.

You are not just morally inconsistent, you are logically inconsistent as well.

I do not agree with your position because I don't believe abortion should be used as birth control.

Unless it's pregnancy from a crime, right?

Perhaps we should end it here and just agree to disagree?

Sure, you can concede.

I've already answered this many times. We just keep going in circles.

Yes. Here is what I can conclude.

You think a fetus is a valuable asset unless that fetus was concieved by rape. Somehow, the conception by rape produced something that wasn't valuable, but will become human if birthed.

My position is that no fetus is a valuable asset, unless the mother wants to give birth to it.

merphie
8th November 2004, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by Kevin_Lowe
It's becoming obvious that you aren't even trying to respond to the specific things I say. You're just reiterating your position over and over again and ignoring what everybody else says.

I'm not interested in chasing you. So I'm putting you on notice. I won't reply further unless you actually engage with what I'm saying. I'll just let the discussion up to this point stand.

I am not interested in running. I am not intentionally ignoring anything. That is why I asked what you were talking about. In the statement you jumped from fetus/baby to adults. Am I not allowed to ask for clarification?

You have not explained why this makes a difference, given that you think all fetuses are humans with moral value.

I don't know how to explain it. You guys seem to make some distinction of a baby in the womb and a baby outside of the womb. I personal do not make such a distinction.

According to me you have to support a consistent position, otherwise you are just talking nonsense.

I do support a consistent position. You make a distinction I do not and therefor you do not see my reasoning. I do not agree with your reasoning either, but that doesn't mean my position is any less valuable than yours. Otherwise this is just Ad-Hominem.

Allow me to provide an example of a consistent position that allows some abortions but not others: "It is best for society if we save every life we can consistent with a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, so it is wrong to abort independently viable fetuses but not wrong to abort fetuses that are not yet viable". A lot of people subscribe to that notion. I don't, but I can't accuse them of being inconsistent.

So there are no exceptions? You believe you should support all abortions or none at all?

In blunter language, you're once again attacking a straw man.

With your Ad-Hominem we are just having fun.

This is for your benefit, not mine.

My benefit? So I should believe exactly as you do?

Once again you are failing to explain how this distinction overrides the fetus' (claimed) right to life. I'll ask you one more time: If a given entity has a right to live, what possible difference do the circumstances of its conception, or the feelings of some other person, make to whether or not it is okay to kill it?

I have answered this. I see it as a question of the woman's health. (Mental or physical) Now are you going to argue that I am inconsistent because I believe abortions should be allowed when the pregnancy has serious health consequences to the mother? Why should we care if the mother dies or not.

You keep dodging that question.

I am not dodging the question. I have answered many times over. I have had to repeat myself and give an explaination the best I know how. You won't agree with any answer I give unless it agrees with your opinion.

You're the one using emotional trauma as a factor in decision making. It's not up to us to define your terms for you. If you want to argue that emotional trauma makes a difference the onus is on you to specify (when called upon to do so) precisely what the heck you mean by that, and why it matters.

I already have. Emotional trauma from rape could affect the mothers health and therefor abortion should be an option for that woman. I have explained this so many times. The problem is you believe a fetus is nothing of importance so my definition will never be acceptible to you no matter how many times I explain it. Do you not know what emotional trauma is? Do you not understand what kind of experience it is for the woman?

KingMerv00
8th November 2004, 09:01 AM
Let's say life begins at conception. It doesn't but let's pretend.

Right now there are thousands and thousands of frozen human beings in fertility clinics all over the world. You can't imprison fully grown humans in ice. The same rights need to apply here too. Seems to me that the only logical conclusion would be to find the mothers and FORCE them to carry these "humans" until birth. This of course would be multiple children for one parent in most cases.

Can you imagine the fertility police coming to your neighborhood?

I can't see why more religions don't take this point of view.

thaiboxerken
8th November 2004, 09:30 AM
. Emotional trauma from rape could affect the mothers health and therefor abortion should be an option for that woman.

How does this emotional trauma differ from the emotional trauma of giving birth to ANY fetus that the mother does not want to give birth to?

merphie
8th November 2004, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Darat
But this isn't what you’ve been posting. Your position (according to what you've already posted) can be summed up as:

I believe abortion may be used as birth control.

or

I believe that a Mother has the right to decide to abort a foetus.
You'll probably disagree with my summary of your position by saying that it depends on the circumstances. However that does not remove the fact that you consider abortion has a legitimate use as a form of birth control.

If you did not think it is a legitimate form of birth control then you could not condone its use under any circumstances. Preventing a birth of a baby through abortion even though it was conceived through rape is still birth control.

I'm not trying to play word-games here since using abortion as a form of birth control (i.e. allowing abortion under some circumstances) is intrinsic to your stated position on abortion.


So you think that is ok to support abortion or not support it? Anything else is stupid and illlogical? That's Ad-Hominem at it's best.

I'm curious what you do base your position on. I can see it is not that you believe a foetus has any fundamental right to life (otherwise you wouldn't think that abortion is OK in the case of conception by rape) nor does it seem to be based on any fundamental right a woman has to decide if a foetus is aborted (else a woman would be able to decide to abort in other circumstances then just conception through rape).

I just can't (from what you've posted) understand what are the underlying premises for your stated position.

I have said it so many times I have lost count. The only exception I make is consideration for the woman's health. I include rape under that because of the lasting effects it can have on the woman. I don't agree that we should trivialize such an events on the woman. I think it is wrong for a woman to have an abortion just because. This doesn't mean I would support a law to ban all abortions nor support a law with restrictions I believe in. I have stated my person belief.

merphie
8th November 2004, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I am hardly being inconsistent here, my position doesn't depend on when a fetus can survive outside of the womb, it depends on when the fetus becomes an individual. As long as the fetus is in the womb, it it not an individual. My "compromise" was merely an illustration to show you (censored) (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=1870531930#rule8) absolutely retarded your argument is.

I made the example of how lose and arbitrary your definition is.

So anyone who doesn't agree with your position is retarded or stupid? Nice.

You say that a fetus can live outside the womb after the 6-month perioud. Ok, then let mothers who don't want the baby anymore have the fetus removed and placed for adoption at that point. Oh, I'm sure you probably wouldn't want that option available to mothers either, would you?

You just said the fetus is not a individual until it is outside the womb. So it's all a matter of how the baby is born. Why should you change you position now? You consider my position illogical and retarded.

Does your definition just natural birth or does it include c-Section? If the fetus is so worthless why put it up for adoption at all? Just throw it in the trash. If the parents decide at birth (before the cord is cut) they don't want it, just cut the cord without tying it off. You said killing the fetus before the cord is cut would be accceptible. So it would not matter how the fetus is killed because it has no rights.

You called me a potential rapist, it was an attack no matter how you try to spin it now. "F" you, biatch, you are scum.

You can take it however you want. My intention was to illustrate you couldn't possible know what rape is like to a woman. I know a woman who was raped and have seen the effects. My comment was to illustrate that you are male and therefor could not know. I would be a potential rapist as well. There's no spin to it.

Men can, and are often victim to rape. STFU. It also is irrelevant to the topic. Rape is bad, it's wrong. However, you think a fetus ok human, as long as it wasn't concieved by rape. That's inconsistency not based on reality. No matter how the fetus was concieved, it is still a fetus.

Yes they can, but men are not subjected to rape as often. Since men and women are not the same the rape would not have the same effect.

A fetus is trash to you anyway so what difference would it make to you?

But you'd allow them to be killed. After all, your position is that a fetus is a child.

To you a fetus is an inconvience to the woman. You would kill them all on a whim. At least I value the majority of children.

Ok, you won't look down upon them, but you give them no moral value.

And you give no morale value to any of them under any circumstance. So you must look down on all humans. We are all fetus that slipped through the crack.

Your premise, in itself, is inconsistent with your other premise. That's where your problem is.

Your basic argument against abortion is:

All fetus are human.
Abortion is killing a human.
Killing a human is wrong.
Abortion is wrong.

However, you say that abortion should be allowed in the case of rape. So, now I can draw a new statement from your statements. Here is what you are now saying.

Killing a human is wrong, unless it was concieved by rape.

Again you believe that your either have to support your side or you are retarded?

So for you killing a human is wrong unless it's less than 9 months old.

No, I'm saying that if you were to be consistent, you would be fighting against abortion no matter how the conception occured.

You're saying that anyone who doesn't agree with your view is retarded or illogical.

Hardly, a fetus is not a baby or a person. You, however, think that a fetus is a person or individual, unless it was concieved by rape. For you to be consistent, that premise should carry over from fetus, to baby, to adult. You think it's ok to kill a person that was concieved by rape.

To you a fetus is worthless. What do you care? You would kill it if the mood hit you.

You are not just morally inconsistent, you are logically inconsistent as well.

Only because I don't agree with you.

Sure, you can concede.

I don't concede anything. You won't ever agree with anything unless it fit into your beliefs. We are just going in circles because everyone who disagrees with you is illogical or retarded.

Yes. Here is what I can conclude.

You think a fetus is a valuable asset unless that fetus was concieved by rape. Somehow, the conception by rape produced something that wasn't valuable, but will become human if birthed.

My position is that no fetus is a valuable asset, unless the mother wants to give birth to it.

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it just as I am entitled to my opinion. You would kill any fetus for any reason. I believe You said you would advocate killing retarded people as well. I don't agree with you. I've tried to explain my reaoning but you will never accept anything that doesn't follow your belief system.

merphie
8th November 2004, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
How does this emotional trauma differ from the emotional trauma of giving birth to ANY fetus that the mother does not want to give birth to?

If you don't understand the difference then I would never be able to explain it to you. Normally, I would probably not understand any difference either. I have seen the effects of both situations first hand.

merphie
8th November 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by KingMerv00
Let's say life begins at conception. It doesn't but let's pretend.

Right now there are thousands and thousands of frozen human beings in fertility clinics all over the world. You can't imprison fully grown humans in ice. The same rights need to apply here too. Seems to me that the only logical conclusion would be to find the mothers and FORCE them to carry these "humans" until birth. This of course would be multiple children for one parent in most cases.

Can you imagine the fertility police coming to your neighborhood?

I can't see why more religions don't take this point of view.

I didn't know they kept frozen fetus?

They do have such police in China.

thaiboxerken
8th November 2004, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by merphie
If you don't understand the difference then I would never be able to explain it to you. Normally, I would probably not understand any difference either. I have seen the effects of both situations first hand.

So basically, I'm to believe you because you say so, because you have experienced it first hand?

KingMerv00
8th November 2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by merphie
I didn't know they kept frozen fetus?

They do have such police in China.

I take it you are talking about population control laws in China.

I wasn't talking about a frozen fetus but sure I guess my insane devil's advocate POV would include that too.

For the record I believe a fetus CAN be alive. All a matter of development.

merphie
8th November 2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
So basically, I'm to believe you because you say so, because you have experienced it first hand?

No, by all means, go to a woman's center and question them. I wouldn't say all woman would suffer from the experience no more than I would suggest all veterans suffer from post tramatic stress.

I think it's ignorant of you to assume it is nothing more than just a bad day.

merphie
8th November 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by KingMerv00
I take it you are talking about population control laws in China.

Yeah I work with a couple of chinese people and some of their stories are borderline insane.

[QUOTE][b]For the record I believe a fetus CAN be alive. All a matter of development.

Careful! On this thread you either have to believe in unlimited abortion or none at all! They'll attack you next.

Darat
8th November 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by merphie
I didn't know they kept frozen fetus?

They do have such police in China.

Well certainly frozen embryos are kept and the scientific line between calling something an embryo and a foetus is just an arbitrary line.

And they have police in China making sure women give birth to children they don’t want? That’s the same for any country that has anti-abortion laws in place or controls birth control.

Darat
8th November 2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by merphie
Careful! On this thread you either have to believe in unlimited abortion or none at all! They'll attack you next.

That is certainly not true. You are being "attacked" (I wouldn’t categorise most of the discussion you have been involved in as “attacks”) to explain the premises you use to come to your position. The apparent lack of understanding is that so far your position appears to be logically inconsistent.

merphie
8th November 2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by Darat
And they have police in China making sure women give birth to children they don’t want?

Just the opposite. They force abortion on women who want the child. State mandated birth control.

merphie
8th November 2004, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by Darat
That is certainly not true. You are being "attacked" (I wouldn’t categorise most of the discussion you have been involved in as “attacks”) to explain the premises you use to come to your position. The apparent lack of understanding is that so far your position appears to be logically inconsistent.

What a cold world you must live in. No definition I could possibly give would satisfy any of you. You regard a fetus as something that has no importance. So any reasoning I give for placing a value of that object would be meaningless to you. You would never see my point of view.

It's my opinion. I have given my reasons for my opinion. To be acceptible to people I either have to support all abortions or none at all. Then you would clearly say I am logical because it would fit your view of the world.

I wouldn't not agree with someone who was completely anti-abortion. However I would respect their view of the matter. This is purely a moral issue which relies on the opinion individual.