Which came first, the atheism or the support for abortion?
Polls consistently show that a strong majority of self-identified non-religious Americans call themselves pro-choice. That’s in stark contrast to the American public at large, which is roughly 50-50, though leaning pro-life in recent years.
Some pro-choice atheists use this polling data as evidence that the pro-choice position is correct. The argument, in a nutshell, is that atheists become atheists because they are logical thinkers, and then become pro-choice for the same reason. Pro-life atheists are explained away as being still, partially, under the influence of religion.
While some people do become atheist and then become pro-choice, atheist author and Pitzer college professor Phil Zuckerman suggests that it’s more commonly the other way around:
With an emphasis on seeking to make abortion illegal . . . conservative Christians have found a warm welcome within the Republican Party, which has been clear about its openness to the conservative Christian agenda. . . . What all of this has done is alienate a lot of left-leaning or politically moderate Americans from Christianity. Sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer have published compelling research indicating that much of the growth of “nones” in America is largely attributable to a reaction against this increased, overt mixing of Christianity and conservative politics. The rise of irreligion has been partially related to the fact that lots of people who had weak or limited attachments to religion and were either moderate or liberal politically found themselves at odds with the conservative political agenda of the Christian right and thus reacted by severing their already somewhat weak attachment to religion.
The key here is to understand that while people on the fringes are the loudest, most people don’t take their religion all that seriously. People don’t necessarily take their churches as authorities on moral and political issues, and where church teachings deviate from their personal views, they may leave one religion in favor of another or of none at all. (Zuckerman focuses on liberals, but I note that this works for conservatives as well; in recent years, reconsideration of same-sex marriage by church leaders has threatened schisms in the Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations.)
That’s not to say that logical reasoning doesn’t play a role in what people believe; it absolutely does. I am an atheist myself, and Christianity’s unanswered questions had a lot to do with that. But the decision to publicly identify as an atheist—to lose your church community, expose yourself to scorn from the general public, and possibly damage family relationships—is a highly emotional one. And it’s a lot easier to do if you already disagree with your church about abortion.
Conversely, if you’ve lost your faith in God but remain pro-life, and are part of a pro-life denomination,* there’s less reason to publicly identify as an atheist. You might as well just remain another doubter in the pews, invisible to the pollsters.
*My own secular identification was made easier by the fact that I belonged to the Methodist Church, which disagreed with me both on abortion (pro-choice) and same-sex marriage (opposed).
Of, course, you've handwaved away the rather inconvenient fact, that a very significant number of 'religious pro-lifers' are only 'pro life' in regards to OTHER people, and the moment they are diagnosed with having a Down's Syndrome embryo inside them, they head for the abortion clinic, often going to one out of state so their pro-life friends won't know about it, and after ensuring THEY won't be burdened with a Down's syndrome child 'just because it is inconvenient and unwanted', return to their picketing of others.
A "very significant number"? Do you have any stats for that or is this a "I can make unsubstantiated statements on the internet" type deal?
More than seven in 10 U.S. women obtaining an abortion report a religious affiliation (37% protestant, 28% Catholic and 7% other), and 25% attend religious services at least once a month. The abortion rate for protestant women is 15 per 1,000 women, while Catholic women have a slightly higher rate, 22 per 1,000
Yes, but would most of those women identify as pro-life? There are plenty of religious pro-choicers.
We've known about this for a long time. You can read the essay "The Only Moral Abortion Is MY Abortion" online, or you can look at examples like Rick and Karen Santorum. He's one of your leaders. He thinks an abortion to save his wife's life is "a no-brainer." One of the few times in his entire life I agree with him. It IS a no-brainer. The "pro-life" who choose abortion imagine their case is different. They are only fooling themselves. Pro-choice or no-choice ideology actually plays little role in determining who will abort a Down Syndrome child and who won't. The so-called "pro-life" ideology is rife with hypocrisy.
Yes most people in USA have a religious affiliation, that is all that statistic of yours prove. What she is asking is the Pro Life religious, who go in as Pro Choice when that situation happens, and I would personally add keep with that choice. I know of one who did that and has regretted it ever since.
Using GallUp Polling, there are 38% of Catholics who are Pro Choice, 39% of Protestants and other Christians that are Pro Choice. That is still a lot of people who are religious and Pro Choice, therefore it isn't any surprise when religious folks have abortions.
Do the polls linked to really support the claim that "most people don't take their religion all that seriously"? If I'm interpreting it correctly, the Gallup polls shows more than half of people consistently saying religion in their life is "very important," and in 2013 78% ranked it as very or fairly important.
Thanks for your post. Here —
"That's not to say that logical reasoning doesn't play a role in what people believe; it absolutely does"
— you touch on what may be the deepest part of the question: What, in the absence of religion, shapes our beliefs and opinions? What factors cause us to hold a certain belief or opinion about what is right or wrong, and how far do those factors guide us in a correct determination of right or wrong, if there is any correct determination of right or wrong?
Even in the absence of religion, logic certainly cannot be the only factor.
Logic can tell us that anti-abortion laws will save at least some unborn children from being ripped into shreds. Logic can tell us that rigid anti-abortion laws will force some women to continue pregnancies seriously damaging to their health. But logic cannot tell us in the first place that it is wrong for an unborn (or born) child to unnecessarily be ripped into shreds. Logic cannot tell us that it is wrong for a woman's health to unnecessarily be damaged. Ultimately only our moral intuitions can tell us those things, and can chart a course for us in a complex situation. And yet moral intuitions differ.
Personally, I have thought as best I could about these questions here:
He is NOT one of my leaders. Gross. He and I agree on exactly one thing. Do you have any leaders of your own with whom you agree on one thing and disagree about everything else?
I wonder what percentage of those pro-choice Catholics and Protestants are "personally pro-life" and wouldn't abort, but support legal abortion (making them pro-choice) because they've been led to believe that being pro-life is "forcing their religion on other people" or something. (I mean, in a sense it is, but you could make the same argument about theft or killing born people, but no one gets outraged at laws against those.)
I mean, I'm Christian, and my church is anti-abortion, but I realize that abortion restrictions aren't wrongfully violating the separation of church and state or something….but I think a fair number of people don't realize that. If they did, I suspect more of the "personally pro-life" crowd would be generally pro-life. But it suits abortion advocacy groups to keep pushing the "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" type arguments.
This is always a confusing and interesting dilemma to me. Because I am in the position that I suspect, if I were religious, I'd probably be more open to being pro-choice, it is simply interesting to me how very differently I arrived at where I am at than other pro-lifers or other atheists. I love life, even if life doesn't always love me back. If I thought for a moment that there was a chance to experience, a change to exist after death, then abortion would be a tragedy like getting into your safety school, but not your first choice, which is to say, not much of one. Instead, this is the one life we know we will have. Let's value that life and not end it prematurely except in dire cases.
But I think you have it spot on. It's about community and kinship. That is, it's tribal. I have some amazing, generally, liberal, atheist, pro-choice friends, but what if it was different? What if they decided to oust me for my vocal disagreement on abortion? Would I, at the least, keep quiet about my views? It's a distinct possibility.
I have no leaders, period. I agree with YOU on that one point. Rick Santorum is gross, on multiple levels. However, he is nothing if not consistent. In my opinion, consistently wrong. His ideas all spring from one another, though, if you think about it. The entire Roman Catholic zeitgeist concerning "the sanctity of life." You see it here on this forum. Abortion is wrong, certain contraceptives are wrong. Naturalistic fantasies and hypocrisy abounds. Fetal idolatry and a punitive attitude toward sexuality of women. The fetus deserves life, but the woman doesn't deserve healthcare if someone else has to pay for it, because sex. No, thank you. These ideas are all rooted in denial of reality.
There is really no logical or scientific reason to be pro life. People are pro life because they "believe " unsubstantiated information that is incapable of proof. Religious people "believe" God thinks abortion is murder or God does not think abortion is murder. Pro lifers that are atheist also believe information that is untrue and incapable of proof.
The truth is that a fetus cannot be proved to be human life until it is born. Why because at birth several changes have to take place that confirm the fetus is and was human life or that it never was human life. There is a reasonable possibility just prior to birth that a fetus will be human, but that possibility becoming human life is offset by the fact that in order to force its birth a real live woman has to be abused.
In addition the Scientific Abortion Laws show that abortion in fact leads to more life not less life. And they show that any person that has sex has in fact consented to abortion.
So there is really —NO– reason for any atheist or other thinking person to be pro life.
He has his own twisted logic but a broken clock is right twice a day. To think that you can't come to similar conclusions in very different ways, for very different reasons is, frankly, silly. I agree with Christopher Hitchens on atheism, but I do think he was a war monger, racist and misogynist. One could make the claim that the sum of all of his conclusions "spring from one another", and thus because he was those bad things, atheism must also be a stupid idea. Or I could measure each issue independently, and not base my conclusions on whoever else has those same conclusions. Like, you know, and adult.
"Abortion is wrong". That's the only one of the list you mentioned that I subscribe to, and the only one that SPL promotes. I'm sure there are people who promote those things, but if you want to use that to describe all pro-lifers, you are strawmanning.
Self defense is completely moral.
Childbirth is 14 times more dangerous than an abortion.
A child is a gift.
A woman is justified in remaining childless for life.
Abortion and contraception are human rights.
Discretion is the better part of valor.
You prefer a suppression of open dialogue. Interesting.
Where did I say that? I should have put a snark tag.
Logic can tell us that anti-abortion laws will save at least some unborn children from being ripped into shreds.
We are discussing public health. Logic demands we use generally accepted sociobiological terms. Children are born. There is a fetus in the womb. Disingenous to say one is being logical when one is using hot language.
Acyu's arguments are nothing more than convoluted appeals to emotion, and his big one is that he 'feels' that abortion is morally wrong, so we should all go by his intuition and ban it.
Agree. We are moral if we accept the correct morals.
"Rumors first began churning that the Grammy winner was with child when, earlier this month, she walked the red carpet at the Met Gala . . ."
( http://www.eonline.com/news/418692/beyonce-pregnant-singer-expecting-baby-no-2-with-jay-z-sources-confirm )
This does not refer to a born child.
"Child" means "an unborn or recently born person." You can Google various dictionaries.
You offer a dictionary and a magazine as citations? Laughable. Just stupid.
Do you really think that pro-choice people are immune to hypocrisy? For every anecdote about a pro-life person who aborted, I can give you an anecdote of a so-called "pro-choice" person who either did nothing to help or actively coerced a woman into having an abortion that she didn't truly want, in clear violation of supporting a woman's right to choose (if she chooses anything other than abortion).
It looks like you don't know how to respond to the actual point of what this person posted, so you are trying to change the debate to a pointless argument over semantics.
Changing the term "unborn child" to "Fetus" doesn't change the point of this person's comment.
Something does not become true simply because you assert it is.
What is your basis for asserting that "a fetus cannot be proved to be human life"? If it does not belong to the human species, then what species is it?
What are the changes that "confirm" the fetus is and was human life?
Even if I accept your assertion that childbirth is "abuse", how does it make sense logically to say that someone is not an actual human being simply because their existence causes pain or unpleasantness to others?
For example, playing by your rules, what if I argue that you have caused emotional abuse to me with your negative comment. Does it make sense if I then assert you are less human than I am because your existence has caused abuse to me?
You are not Catholic. You are pro-abortion, plump dumbling.
A member of a species can have genetic mutations. To claim that some human embryos or fetuses are really not human evinces a poor understanding of evolution and biology.
"Laughable. Just stupid."
Describing yourself again, plump dumbling?
Uhm, it's "Down syndrome."
Sorry, plump dumbling, but the right to self-defense is *not* absolute, nor is it 'completely moral.' The degree of force one can use in self-defense, and the concomitant morality of said self-defense, depend on the nature and severity of the harm from which one is defending oneself.
For instance, let's say a toddler is being unpleasant and is slapping your leg gently in an annoying, but not really harmful, manner. You decide to engage in your supposedly "absolute" right of self-defense, place your hands around the child's throat, and choke her to death. (Given how plump dumbling supports the killing of unborn children and her online attempts at bullying others, it's easy to imagine her killing a born child she deems inconvenient to her.)
Guess what, plump dumbling? You'll be charged, and most likely convicted, of at least manslaughter and quite possibly murder, for exercising your non-existent 'absolute' right to self-defense.
Maybe you can hire 'lady_black', with her having taken one undergraduate course about law, to defend you. It would be a funny spectacle of the blind leading the blind, if a child's life had not been lost.
The right to self-defense does exist, but like most rights, it is not absolute. Online bullies like you prey upon the children and weak persons because you can get away with your cruelty towards them. It's really deplorable behavior, plump dumbling.
Yes, and if someone did to you what an unborn human does to a woman, and the *only* way to escape, using the minimum amount of force necessary, resulted in their death, you would be within your rights to do so, because you are not morally or legally obligated to be intimately violated and even painfully tortured on behalf of another.
Oh nonsense, dear. Such a person would be anti-choice. Nobody has abortions because "that's what they truly want." Likely all women who have abortions resent being in that position, whether they wanted the pregnancy or not. For instance, there's a long list of things women who have abortions would rather spend that $500 (or more) on. It's expensive, painful and decidedly not convenient. In other words, not fun. How are you going to "help" someone who doesn't want to be pregnant? As far as I know, there isn't any such help. And even though she might resent having to go through an abortion, ultimately it's her decision. I won't say that coercion doesn't exist. But if you allow someone to bully you into doing something you don't want to do, you probably aren't ready for parenthood anyway.
So tell me something. Are you for contraception that *might* prevent an embryo from implanting, or are you opposed to that?
Actually, medically speaking, a child is a human being between birth and puberty. Legally speaking, between birth and legal majority. "With child" is a euphemism for pregnancy. You know what that word means, right? Sort of like a doctor refers to "your baby" when conversing with a pregnant woman. In the medical record, it's an embryo, fetus or neonate after birth.
There is an organization called Catholics For Choice. And do not use the "True Scotsman" fallacy again. It's weak.
Duh. 'Catholics For Choice' are not Catholics. They are faux Catholic poseurs. They do not accept church teaching, so they are not Catholic.
You're wasting your time tying to educate plump dumbling.
Yes, they are Catholic.
No, they are not. They are counterfeit individuals attempting to clothe themselves in the mantle of the Catholic Church when it suits them. Their actions excommunicate them from the Catholic Church; hence, they are not Catholics. They're a group of pro-abortion bullies of the same kind as you.
"Something does not become true simply because you assert it is. "
What I said was true before I said it and will be true in the future.
"What is your basis for asserting that "a fetus cannot be proved to be human life"?"
Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth there is no proof of human life. Why because the fetal heart must transform into the human heart, the respiratory system, the digestive system and all fetal systems must transform into human systems. The fetal systems are structurally different and functionally than the human systems.
"If it does not belong to the human species, then what species is it? "
70 percent of conceptions do not produce human life. Most life dies before birth and of those that die 60 percent are not genetically capable of producing a born human. The species in not defined. However,
What are the changes that "confirm" the fetus is and was human life?
The changes listed above.
"Even if I accept your assertion that childbirth is "abuse", how does it make sense logically to say that someone is not an actual human being simply because their existence causes pain or unpleasantness to others? "
If they are human, then they are human no matter how unpleasant they may be. The problem is they cannot be proved to be human until they are born.
"For example, playing by your rules, what if I assert that you have caused emotional abuse to me with your negative comment. Does it make sense if I then assert you are less human than I am because your existence has caused abuse to me?"
Don't lie about "my rules". Those are not my rules, they are BS you made up.
All I have done is state what is scientifically true.
An unborn human? You people really need to get your terminology straight. According to your pal, Russell Crawford, the unborn entity might not even be human. So if it's not human, what is it?
No, they are real catholics. They just don't accept current church teachings on certain things, nor should they. The church didn't always proclaim that embryos and fetuses were people with an inalienable right to life…
BTW, by your logic, over 90% of catholics are not catholic because they use contraception, eat shellfish and work on the sabbath.
As lady black said, you can do better – no true Scotsman is a fallacy
Right. So catholics who use condoms, eat shellfish and work weekends are fake catholics too…
Well, you can be pro-life and Pagan.
You can be pro-choice and Christian.
You can be pro-life and non-religious.
You can be pro-choice and loves children.
You can be pro-life and loves nudism.
So on and so on…
Funny, a lot of pro-choice pagans told me that I can't be part of the paganism just because one little disagree…
I am pro life so naturally I am pro choice.
You fantasize about choking toddlers to death. Why are you so angry?
Why are you so angry? You do not know about hierarchy of sources? That is not something you were taught in school?
Words have meaning.
Sources come in a hierarchy. The NYT being a better source than People magazine.
You have an issue with reading comprehension.
And yet, like all zealots, you fancy yourself in charge of meaning and the pregnancies of women you will never know. What a hoot.
Nope. How about you?
"you offer a dictionary for the definition of a word? What's next? Using the constitution to guide government? A textbook on anatomy to determine where your body parts are located? Just stupid." – Plum Dumpling
You think a dictionary is as good a source as a textbook on anatomy? I learned hierarchy of sources in high school honors English. We had to write a researched term paper to graduate. How bad has American education gotten? Damn.
Depends what you mean by "might". There is some misinformation about "Plan B" where some people think it "might" stop implantation. Tests have shown that this is not the case. I support the use of "Plan B".
There is some question about the efficacy of the IUD in preventing implantation. The IUD's first job, though, is to prevent conception. It's only when the IUD gets put in after conception that it has the chance of preventing implantation. I'm still kinda fuzzy on where I stand there, but generally, I'd say IUDs are probably okay, except where they are used as an abortifacent.
Then there is the RU pill (I can't recall that number). That ends a pregnancy hormonally, regardless of if an embryo is implanted or not. I'd go with a flat no there.,
Hope that clarifies.
Do you understand what language is? Language is the process in which individuals within a society convey information to each other. The dictionary helps us to codify that process, thereby making mutual intelligibility possible (and thus, communication possible). The dictionary is the most appropriate source to facilitate general communication. An anatomy textbook is the best guide to facilitating communication about anatomy. Guess what? We are having a general discussion! Do you honestly think that chemists walk around looking at the label on organic produce thinking to themselves "well, I guess this label means that this contains carbon"? Our society, meaning the vast majority, accepts the term "children" for unborn people. Deal with it. It doesn't matter to me. Call it a child, a zef, a little bean or the creature from the black lagoon. It doesn't change that it is biologically, a new, unique human being with its own life and interest in surviving.
Not that I don't understand where you are coming from, but your ad hominem attacks on Plum aren't really constructive.
Funny how no one here seems to care what you think. I'm sure berating a 70-year old grandma (she's too cool to be 70 btw) on the internet is the studliest thing you've ever done in your life, good for you.
Are you a poe?
We are discussing public health. Propaganda is inappropriate in such a discussion. I complained about poor sources and hot language in the same post. I will continue to point such out. Sucks to be you. You come off like your hair is on fire.
Down's syndrome is also accepted usage.
We're not public health professionals. The discussion is between the general public. It's not propaganda if it is a generally accepted term. Again, not that it matters to me what you call an unborn human being. But you bring out the ad hominem anyway. Great job. There was a reason why I ignored all your posts. You've got nothing to offer. Think I'm going back to that now.
98% of Catholic women use contraception. Catholic women have a higher rate of abortion than Protestants.
If they threw all of them out of the church, there would be no church.
Pope Frankie told you to STFU about abortion. You think maybe you could stop being angry long enough to do what God's representative on earth told you to do? Catholic my ass.
I recognize hot language and poor sources when I see them. I will continue to point those errors out. You enjoy yourself whatever you do, LoveBoat.
“Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”.
Joseph Ratzinger, 1967
(in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II
70 is the new 40.
The OP presents itself as logical. The OP is not logical. I point that out.
Yep, and you can also be agnostic and politically ambivalent on this issue, as I am.
Percentage of American adults who describe themselves as pro-life: 50
Percentage of American adults who think second-trimester abortion should be illegal: 64
Percentage of American women who abort after a prenatal Down-syndrome diagnosis (typically in the second trimester), according to a review of hospital-based studies: 85.
Unless pro-lifers are some sort of special snowflakes who never get pregnant with Down Syndrome embryos, most of them are getting abortions after getting that diagnosis. 85 % is higher than 50%
More precisely, there IS no pregnancy if an embryo didn't implant. And though an IUD can be inserted after conception as an emergency contraception, it is not an abortifacient. RU486 is an abortifacient. You are correct about that. However, you did not answer the question. Do you approve of contraception that *might* prevent implantation or not?
NO. These people have NOT been excommunicated, furthermore, even if they were, they would still be Catholics. Surely you're aware that members of any church at all may disagree with doctrine.
I'm pretty sure I did. If might means, unscientifically people feel it might happen, like Plan B, then yes. If it has been scientifically documented that yes, it can and will, like some of the literature I have come across on with IUDs inserted after conception, then no.
I can see you saying the same thing when you're 90.
An abnormal conception doesn't result in human life. We've been down this road before. Some abnormal embryos cease to develop and die, and some are rejected by the mother's body because they were abnormal. Some zygotes grow into partial or total hydatidiform moles. None of these are human life. A mutation that is lethal is not a human life. A blank ovum fertilized by a sperm is not human life. An ovum fertilized by a defective sperm isn't human life. And an ovum fertilized by two sperm is also not human life. Though any of these cells may begin to divide, and thus are living, they are an unspecified life form, and are doomed from inception.
Then you have more in common with Santorum than you care to admit. Emergency contraception via IUD is still contraception (it will prevent pregnancy), and a non-implanting embryo is not an abortion. Who the hell do you think you are to tell a rape victim she can't prevent pregnancy by any means necessary if conception has already taken place? Because sex. That's a lot of bunkum and you know it.
**If it does not belong to the human species, then what species is it? **
hard to say. What species does an UNfertilized egg belong to? Pro-lifers keep handwaving and claiming it isn't a 'living potential human being' but it is alive, it isn't a cat or a dog, and the pwecious zygote doesn't appear from the ether.
**To claim that some human embryos or fetuses are really not human evinces a poor understanding of evolution and biology.**
So, are you claiming here that a molar pregnancy is actually a human being after all, or are you claiming that the question of humanity in the case of mutations is determined by cuteness?
See though, the thing about that argument is that theft and murder aren't illegal because they violate religious standards. They are illegal because they violate the rights of another. Mainly the right to exclusive enjoyment of property in the case of theft, and the right not to be killed unjustly in the other. For example, killing to protect oneself or another is generally a just killing and is not considered murder, so long as the killer reasonably believes he is at risk for imminent death or serious injury. In a pregnancy, the only one with rights is the pregnant person. By aborting, she isn't depriving anyone of rights.
** It doesn't change that it is biologically, a new, unique human being with its own life and interest in surviving.**
ok. Since brain function is not possible until the 6th month, you'll now proceed to explain how something with no brain function can have an 'interest in surviving'. Or an 'interest' in anything at all.
Mom is 93 and still trucking. Could happen.
** or actively coerced a woman into having an abortion that she didn't truly want, in clear violation of supporting a woman's right to choose**
Unless this occured in China, I have very extreme doubts that any woman is 'coerced' into having an abortion.
And people do not have an 'obligation' to help pregnant women because you have sad feelies about embryos. Failure to help does not equate to coercion no matter how sad you are.
** You decide to engage in your supposedly "absolute" right of self-defense, place your hands around the child's throat, and choke her to death.**
You are evading two very important point here. One being that a toddler slapping your leg does not have a high risk of injury, disability, or death. The second is that it is generally possible to stop a toddler *IMMEDIATELY* from annoying your leg by less than lethal means.
If you can figure out a way to *IMMEDIATELY* prevent an embryo from using a woman's organs, occupying her body, and possibly disabling or killing her by less than lethal means, we will all be happy to hear it.
and btw. I can only assume that your comparison of pregnancy to a 'toddler gently slapping your leg' is the latest version of myintx's claim that pregnancy is no harder than sitting on a couch and eating a bag of doritos.
**Logic can tell us that anti-abortion laws will save at least some unborn children from being ripped into shreds. **
Logic and history can tell us that the price of saving widdle pwecious embwyoes will be infanticide.
The problem is not if it is a fetus or if it is a child ,because if women have body autonomy,they have the right to evict him from their body.
Misogyny is sadly common among atheists as among religious people.
See elevatorgate, etc. Hence, prolife atheists.
If you weren't an ardent prolifer, I'd expect this comment to be removed for being personally abusive.
As it is, I expect you'll just get a slap on the wrist for revealing too openly that the prolife movement is a network of abusive people.
'Anordinaryguy' is a prolifer, talking to a woman. Ad homs of the 'plump dumbling' sort are only what we expect.
Well said, I wish I had your gift.
"Signed, the person who had a college level reading level when she was in 5th grade."
You are clearly off the charts IQ wise. Very impressive indeed. I have found no pro life counterpart on you level in the years I have spent on the internet. Where are the "pro life geniuses"? They don't exist.
Will the price be infanticide in every case, or will some of the saved embryos get to live out their lives?
And when the outcome Is in fact infanticide — it may be unjustified more often than abortion is, but is it a worse outcome for the child, who at least was given a chance to see the light of day? And might infanticide not also sometimes be more justified than abortion? In some cases of infanticide, it may be true that at least the parents tried. At least they let the child live for a few months, hoping for the best. They really wanted not to kill it.
Infanticide apologists are the scum of the earth.
Neither are yours. You have the sense of humor of a potato.
A fetus is not a human being. A human being does not have to drill into one of my veins and suck my blood.
If the fetus survives to and through birth it becomes a human being and will become a 'child' legally and scientifically.
This is a different topic.
I don't think the answer to the bodily-rights argument is completely simple. My thoughts about it are here:
Nonsense. You do not think. You emote.
Changing the term "unborn child" to "Fetus" doesn't change the point of this person's comment.
It changes the emotional weight of the communication. That is the purpose of propaganda. And it is sociobiologically INCORRECT.
So to you, preventing a brainless zygote from imolanting, or expelling a mindless embryo is worse than
Putting a baby in a microwave
Shooting a baby
Smothering a baby
Drowning a baby
Starving a baby
Yeah. Conscious, FEELING babies can't suffer like brainless DNA.
And in your fevered imagination, we should all follow your "moral intuition" that preventing a zygote from implanting is horrible vs simply torturing an infant to death.
Acyu is from India, where infanticide of baby girls is common. He wants abortion to be banned in India, which will only result in more baby girls being killed.
Lovely. He is truly pro life.
If you believed that dogs went to heaven when Ratzinger was pope, you were not a true catholic. If you believe it now, you are.
If you don't believe that dogs go to heaven as of this moment, you are not a true catholic, according to ordinaryguy.
So, according to AOG, a catholic is someone who ignores the bible and is obedient to the RCC. Full stop
So if the next pope said that abortion was wonderful, then true Catholics would have to agree or no longer be catholic, right?
Well then, I wrote this especially for him. Thanks for the info. We shall see if it has a sane argument. Acyu does not occupy the moral high ground.
Anthropologically speaking, homo sapiens has three strategies for dealing with unwanted reproduction (births): contraception, abortion and infanticide. All three strategies are practiced, historically and currently, in every culture worldwide.
If contraception and abortion are unavailable, infanticide/abandonment becomes inevitable and widespread. We have many in vitro examples of this but the one that troubles me the most right now is this one:
ILLEGAL ABORTION and sepsis and hemmorhage in CHILDBIRTH are the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Abortion and contraception are human rights. How many peaches will you get if you harm the tree?
There was a polish catholic, on Patheos who also argued that infanticide was preferable to abortion.
That seems to be AOG's position. And many Catholics with the religious equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome agree with him.
Stockholm Syndrome. Lots of RCs suffer from it. They start brain washing you at age 6-7 and a lot of folks never find their way out.
You know, this is exactly what drives people from the RCC = the disgusting arrogance and pompous rule making and the sheer narcissism of the RC clergy.
I've yet to find a religious person who does not think that God shares each of his or her moral convictions. That is, religious people tend to be certain that their believes are not only objectively true, but they are objectively true because they agree, in every way, with some omniscient, all powerful, all good being. Its not surprising to me, therefore, that religious belief and the more consistent (or extreme) pro-lifers are overwhelmingly also (very) religious.
There is no way, even a bad faith way, to ground beleifs without relying on a God (who agrees with everything you believe in, of course) to get to the same level of certainity.
Atheists are not obnoxiously certain?
Res ipsa loquitur. /snark
As an atheist, all I can say is that 'I do not know'
Good point, I suppose. But, no, at least not in one meaningful way I'm certainly obnoxiously certain about what path I should tred for myself. But my certainty is purely subjective, I have no allusion that my beliefs are somehow necessarily true for all people in all circumstances.
So I am far from certain that you should be forced to follow my beliefs. I have no idea what you should or should not do to make yourself happy. That is for you to decide.
Well said. Atheists have excellent arguments. I might have been atheist or agnostic if no one had made it a point to teach me about the god concept. I am a mystic by nature. I wonder if there can be atheist mystics?
I love life, even if life doesn't always love me back. If I thought
for a moment that there was a chance to experience, a chance to exist
after death, then abortion would be a tragedy like getting into your
safety school, but not your first choice, which is to say, not much of
one. Instead, this is the one life we know we will have. Let's value
that life and not end it prematurely except in dire cases.
Your writing here gave me the impression that you are very concerned about non-existence, specifically, being prevented from existing because a woman might choose abortion over carrying to term.
Are you as equally concerned about people whose lives are ended prematurely because organ, blood and tissue donations are not government mandated? Or does your concern only extend to abortion?
FWIW, I fall into the pragmatic agnostic camp. I don't think that it matters whether or not god exists. People do what they want. Belief in God seems only to self- validate the beliefs people already have.
And I do, however, find it *unlikely* that the revealed texts of any particular religion reveal anything other than the internal workings of the person (almost always a man) who scribbled the text. Some of it seems like good advice, some of it seems like particularly bad advice.
Works for me.
"Its not surprising to me, therefore, that religious belief and the more consistent (or extreme) pro-lifers are overwhelmingly also (very) religious."
Then why are the more consistent or extreme pro-choicers not also overwhelmingly (very) religious?
"There is no way . . . to ground beleifs without relying on a God (who agrees with everything you believe in, of course) to get to the same level of certainity."
That assumes that you have a high level of certainty about God in the first place. If you can have a high level of certainty about a God who shares your moral beliefs, why can't you have a high level of certainty, for instance, that your moral beliefs are objective, absolute, universal truths, without a God?
Not really. The extreme pro-choice position punts on the issue entirely. Its up to every individual to make their own decision. No PCer, or very few at any rate, wants to mandate situations where women should be forced to have an abortion against their will.
We can argue about which position is most defensible, of course. But that is one place where the PC and PL sides are not mutually exclusive and mutually exhaustive positions.
That should be completely irrelevant if we truly care about people being permitted to experience life. If life is precious, it should not matter if some people are diseased, period.
The end result is still the same = a person is dead because someone else was too selfish to fork over their bodies or their money to save that precious life. I am sure that a dying kid will feel just as much sadness over being deprived of life because someone was too selfish to donate money or bone marrow. If embryos could talk they might say the same thing – preserve life at all costs.
I wouldn't get up on your high horse just yet if I were you. Anordinaryguy hardly has a monopoly on the ad homs. I've been called a moron and equated to a potato in this one comment section alone.
Nonetheless, it is sad if you do expect ad homs out of anyone. Nobody benefits as it ensures that any mutual learning that could have arisen between two people exchanging ideas, is squashed. Ad homs really are a good indicator that the person speaking has nothing constructive or useful to say, and ignoring the commenter seems to be the best course of action. That's my recommendation anyway.
Under your values system, perhaps. I've already detailed to you that I am not an absolutist. Again, death is a part of life, and nothing I do can change that fact. Consequently, the end result of death, though you are attempting to have me hold it as the greatest evil, is not something I can do. It's not consistent with my values. If you are going to tell me "If life is precious, it should not matter if some people are diseased, period." you need to connect some dots there, because that is an assertion I do not see on my own.
What I can do, and generally speaking, society has done, is take a stand against forced premature death from a third party. This is why it is no longer okay or draw and quarter a bread thief to teach the rest of the village a lesson.
It's not selfishness that really concerns me in this matter either. Sure, selfishness is one of those things I disparage, but it is a lesser issue than that of life. If parents decided to get pregnant, but then selfishly decided that when the child was born, they were going to make the state or some other family take care of the child, that would be the preferred outcome to them forcing the end of that individual's existence.
We were not discussing rape, unless I missed something. I also didn't ask you about our opinion on nose jobs or mullet hair cuts, but that is also irrelevant to the topic. Any given fertilized ovum cannot be proven to be an "unborn human" and chances are greatly against it ever becoming an "unborn human." Estimates of pre-implantation loss (and this is under so-called "natural" conditions, i.e. in the absence of hormonal manipulation) range from 50% to as high as 80%. Given that, who could possibly give a damn whether or not any given embryo implants or not? Depending on your particular worldview, this is how either "god" or evolution has wired us. Our sexual activity is not affected by fertility or lack of it, as most mammals are. To compensate for that, our reproduction has a high failure rate. Yet we still have managed to overrun the planet with born humans. Either you don't understand human reproduction, or you are exhibiting faux concern over the fate of unviable early embryos. Get over it.
Logic depends on sound premises.
To be prolife is to begin from the premise that it is always/sometimes/ever morally okay to force the use of another human being's body for your own purposes.
To be prolife is to begin from premises that also justify slavery and rape.
To be prochoice is to begin from the basic premise that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
That is why the abortion rights movement is fundamentally a part of the great human rights movement, and the prolife movement is fundamentally a part of the supports for thr powerfull and the privileged who are against human rights for all and who are consistently defeated.
Nonetheless, it is sad if you do expect ad homs out of anyone
Yes. But the prolife movement is a saddening thing.
P.S. I like that phrase 'pragmatic agnostic.'
You made two arguments. I addressed the first.
You argued that the extreme PC side requires the PCer to be certain about his or her beliefs.
My answer is that is not necessarily the case because the extreme PCer, as we currently understand that position, does not advocate legal rules that mandate that a woman have an abortion she does not want. Rather, the extreme PCer leaves that decision to an individual's conscience. That is, my opinion doesn't really matter at all with regards to whether you have an abortion or not. I don't need to be as certain because I don't need to bend you to my will.
This is different that the pro-lifer generally who thinks that we should legally force women to give birth against her will and significantly different from the extreme pro-lifer who thinks we should always force pregnant women to give birth against their will in any situation where they don't want to do as you say.
What I was trying to say is that these two positions aren't parallel because you need more certainty to compel a person to do X or prevent a person from doing X, than you do to leave the decision to do X to someone else. Or so I claim, at least.
My last caveat is that, the idea of certainty aside, there is still a debate about which position is more defensible. I was merely trying to say that the amount "certainty", while it has a place in the discussion, entails that a particular position is the right one to take.
Thanks! Me too. I wish I could claim with a straight face that I thought of it.
I think the interest in surviving is secondary to the "biologically new human being" part. I agree that including that was a logical error, but it doesn't negate the larger premise. The moral implication of taking a human life is not necessarily contingent on the existence of brain function or their "interest in survival", especially when both can be concluded to be an imminent likelihood. If a human being doesn't explicitly state that they would like to die, it has to be assumed they would rather not. Survival is the most basic primal instinct. Brain function isn't a measure of humanity or the rights associated with it, or stupid people would have less inherent rights than smart people. Are the moral implications of killing a person with brain damage somehow less than killing an intelligent person? If you acknowledge that a fetus is a biological human being (which is difficult to argue biologically, but isn't necessarily a philosophical certainty), you would have to break humanity into classes of moral value to justify killing ANY human being, or base humanity and rights strictly on philosophical definitions of humanity, which are very subjective.
Stupid and brain damaged still have brain function.
Zygotes and embryos do not.
I get that, the point was that if we are using brain function as a measure of humanity, and assigning various levels of value to human life, the logical conclusion would be that higher functioning brains are more human and possess more inherent rights.
No, not at all. Because there is
NO brain function
Which is why we don't keep the brain dead-with-live-body or brainless-with-live-body on feeding tubes indefinitely because no mind = no self = no person. Your self, your personality – YOU – exists in your mind, not your body.
We don't keep brain dead people alive (in most cases) because there is no chance they will regain brain function. The scenario's are not equal. I completely understand the "person" vs. human being argument. I just believe rights are inherent to human beings in the biological sense, not the philosophical sense. Unless you can pinpoint the exact moment that a human being becomes a person, it's just too ambiguous a definition for me. Using brain function which isn't a constant, doesn't seem like a reliable metric to me. When the first synapses fire, there is still no personality, or self. Those develop slowly over the course of an entire lifetime. Even a newborn baby has no real personality or demonstrable sense of self. If no sense of self or personality indicates no rights, do basic rights kick in gradually, like the sense of self and personality, or is it an all or nothing thing?
Capacity for sentience and sentience are two different things. Unless you can demonstrate it, it's all a matter of potential. Newborns do not express or recognize emotions for at least the first few weeks of life. It takes 7-8 weeks to even express the most basic emotion, fear. People will often project their own emotions or personality onto newborns, but according to the studies I am aware of, and my own experience raising children, they really don't have personalities or emotions right away. Part of the fun of having kids is watching those develop and helping them figure it all out. My take on it is that all biological human life has value. I have to treat sentience and potential for sentience as equal, since there is no credible way to measure it we can only say if it is possible or not. That doesn't mean we should artificially extend the biological life of a person who has lost their capacity or potential for sentience. A brain dead person doesn't usually survive long without brain functions, or external influences. Keeping a body alive artificially is not really preserving their life. Once you lose brain function, it doesn't typically come back.
A fetus does not develop the necessary apparatus for sentience until 25 weeks gestation. A newborn, if the child is conscious, *definitely* has the capacity for sentience. And sentience is not possible until the thalamus and the cortex have reached a certain level of development, and that doesn't happen until 25 weeks gestation.
A person who has suffered upper brain death can survive for up to 30 years on a feeding tube. Terri Schiavo did. And an anencephalic baby can live for two years or more with out a brain.
Your argument is still an argument from potential – that a brainless zygote should be treated as a full person because it *might* gain the capacity for sentience some day. Now, considerung the fact that up to 80% of concepti either fail to implant or spontaneously abort , and the existence of brainless babies, it would be wise to not count your chickens before they are hatched.
Either a zygote is a full person or it is not, regardless of whether or not it will ever develop a functional brain.
Thanks. This version of your post (I am going also by your final "does not entail" version of your last sentence) seems very clear.
"you need more certainty to compel a person to do X or prevent a person from doing X, than you do to leave the decision to do X to someone else."
I do indeed feel that this is a claim that can be questioned. You have a premise, if I understand right, something like "There is a human value that is respected and deserves to be respected, to the effect that society should refrain from compelling a person to do X or preventing a person from doing X."
Therefore to prevent a person from doing X (aborting) goes against that human value. To go against it requires a certainty that can only come from belief in a God of like mind to oneself.
I would agree with that premise. But I would also support another premise, "There is a human value that is even more respected and deserves that greater respect, to the effect that any person whose risk of grave loss of well-being is small should not be allowed by society to kill another who is innocent, particularly one who is weaker than themselves." (This even stronger human value says that for society to REFRAIN from interfering/compelling/preventing in some situations is near-unthinkable.)
I think that the premise I have offered is the essence of the pro-life position: When I see an adult armed with advanced weaponry about to tear my tiny and innocent little sister or brother into shreds, I want to say No! This doesn't require belief in anything. It doesn't even require a verbalized moral principle. It is a primal scream.
The facilitators of this SPL page and many of the commenters do not believe in God, and I suspect that even for many pro-life Christians, this primal scream is the real basis of their certainty. They may feel that to publicly invoke their intuitions would be a weak basis for a stance on public policy, and may somehow feel that invoking God is stronger; but from my interactions with them (I am not a Christian), I feel that their moral sense is mainly primal.
I said above, "This even stronger human value says that for society to REFRAIN from interfering/compelling/preventing in some situations is near-unthinkable." If I am right about this, then is pro-choicers who would have more need for certainty or for a grounding for certainty (which way would you put it?). What their grounding is I won't attempt to guess at this point.
As regards the question of whether certainty entails that a particular position is the right one to take, I have thought about that, and about the roles of intuition and logic in the abortion debate, here —
— and in the latest blog post on that site.
Actually I am not arguing about zygotes at all. I don't personally see any potential until there is successful implantation. To be clear, I am also not speaking of legal rights, but of inherent basic human rights in a stricyly ethical sense. I do not advocate a legislative solution to this debate at all. I simply want people to have an honest discussion about it with the best evidence available. I think people are more effective influences on social and ethical issues than laws.
Well what I wrote applies to embryos and fetuses too, prior to viability.
Well, I have to admit that I am inclined to think that many of our so-called "reasons" for doing something are really just rationalizations where we try to account for our more primal intuitions. So to some degree I'm sympathetic to this line or reasoning (so to speak).
Although if you (and I) are right about the primal nature of our intuitions and the more limited role reason plays, I'm not sure there is anyway to make any progress to resolve our conflict. That is, the idea that you should get to use the police power of the state to dictate something as important as whether or not to bring a child into the world makes me acutely claustrophobic, like someone strangling me. I can reason all I want, but my first intuition is that I would not be your chattel in that way under any circumstance. So we seem to be at a standoff, I suppose.
As for respect, I don't think you can get out of the problem by making Kantian appeals to respect. Because in the end you simply have to use one being as merely being a means to an end, regardless if you side with the pregnant woman or with the unborn child. The whole notion of respect, from a philosophical standpoint, is inconsistent with treating other beings solely as means to an end, especially when your chosen end is chosen against their will.
**When I see an adult armed with advanced weaponry about to tear my tiny and innocent little sister or brother into shreds, I want to say No!**
The problem with your analogy is this. Pro-lifers do not give a shit about the 'tiny innocent vulnerable lives' EXCEPT when pretended concern for such can inconvenience others. They are not holding tampon funerals every month for the pwecious widdle unimplanted embwyoes.
When I see someone whose attitude towards their own tiny innocent vulnerable 'brothers and sisters' dying of mutation, starvation, and disease, is to simply yawn, toss the 'widdle body' out in the trash, and merrily go about their routine, this is NOT someone who has any real concern for 'tiny innocent vulnerable lives' regardless of what they claim, and if they demand that the police act on supposed 'murders' on the other side of town, their motivation is NOT concern for the victim, they don't give a shit about the supposed 'victim', they simply want to punish the supposed 'murderer' for having sex.
All my uses of the word "respect" were intended to apply to values. I was talking about moral values that should be respected, not about persons that should be respected.
You keep using that word. I don't think that word means what you think that word means.
Why should I respect moral values? In particular, why should I respect moral values that do not reduce down to respect for persons? Why would I value moral values that disrespect persons?
Your characterization of my original post (where you rephrased my statements about making or preventing a person from doing some action, X, as a function of respect) is incoherent unless we are talking about respect (or lack thereof) for the person doing or not doing X.
Actually "child" refers to relationship as well. I'm in my early 30's but I am still my mother's child. My sons are little kids right now but they'll always be my children. My 8 year old will still be my child when he is 38. The relationship doesn't begin or cease based on age. He was my child at conception, he will be my child when his hair is gray.
Well Ann, you might want to re-check your facts there. Brain function begins early early early. Brain waves are detectable as early as 40 days. The nervous system is beginning to be laid down before the second month. The brain is functioning well before the 6th month. They used to believe that DREAMING didn't occur till the 6th month (is that what you were really thinking of? Surely you didn't mean to say "brain function" did you?) but now scientists believe dreaming begins as early as the 16th week.
Brain function, btw, does not merit special consideration nor does the lack of it justify destruction, which should cause several folks here to heave a mighty sigh of relief. Our humanity and rights as human beings is inherent to us not something earned by jumping through arbitrary hoops.
Random neurons firing at 6 weeks =/= functional brain
And yes, we do decide who lives or dies based on brain function, since living bodies with missing or dead cerebral cortexes are not kept on feeding tubes indefinitely. Without a mind, which arises from a specific area within the brain, we are just lumps of h.sapiens meat.
He is your son. When he is grown, he is no longer a child.
"Respect" may not have been the best word for me to apply to moral values. "To value" and "to respect" overlap in meaning, so I don't need both. instead of "a human value that is respected," I might better have said "a human moral value on which there is a consensus as to its great importance."
Such editing would render a debate about my use, per se, of the word "respect," irrelevant.
Still, your question would be valid: "Why should I respect moral values that do not reduce down to respect for persons?" Maybe you shouldn't. But doesn't my "any person whose risk of grave loss of well-being is small should not be allowed by society to kill another who is innocent, particularly one who is weaker than themselves" reduce down to respect for the weaker person?
And does it even reduce down to any DISrespect at all for the stronger person, the assailant? I may have great respect for my neighbor, but if I see him in a distraught moment about to kill his 2-year-old, I'll try to restrain him. So I think you'll have to concur that my "any person whose risk of grave loss of well-being is small should not be allowed by society to kill another who is innocent, particularly one who is weaker than themselves," though you apparently disagree with it, is not based on disrespect for anyone.
Suppose there are conjoined twins and one could survive an operation to divide them, the other couldn’t. Does the one who could survive have the right to the operation?
Please do not take this question at this point as an analogy to abortion. I would just like to hear your immediate intuition. Even if your later reasoning leads you to a different conclusion, I would like to hear your intuition, and whether there is any emotion, or any body feeling, as you picture the situation.
If they're not viable they really aren't a consideration in an ethical discussion. If you just don't KNOW if they are viable that's a whole different story. Kinda puts you in a Schrodinger's cat situation. My take on it is pretty simple, if you don't know, you have to assume it is. It's the same sort of situation I was talking about earlier. If a person doesn't kill themselves, you have to assume they want to live. If an organism doesn't self terminate, you have to assume it is viable. If it's not, it requires no action from anyone else, and there are no moral implications. If it is, it requires no action from anyone else, and will become evident on it's own.
Kinda puts you in a Schrodinger's cat situation. My take on it is pretty simple, if you don't know, you have to assume it is
No, you don't. You don't deprive people of their autonomy and subject them to harm, and possibly death, just because something *might* develop sentience one day.
And all of the above is irrelvant anyway, because sentient sapient beings are not entitled to use other people's bodies for their own ends.
Two things then. First, I don't think that respect arguments are very helpful with regards to abortion specifically because you have to use one person as a means to the other's end. So I don't think that you can resolve the issue that way. Rather, I think you have to approach it differently. And more generally I think the "philosophical argument" method of discourse is the way we cloak ourselves in the rhetoric of objectivity in order to wash our hands of any angst we might have over causing someone a good bit of misery.
Second, the conjoined twin example is a good example of this as any, really. Yes, making the decision to kill one of the conjoined twins so the other can live should make you uneasy if you are capable of empathy. It should also make you uneasy that not performing the operation will have consequence for the twins life and long term viability.
I don't think you can philosophize your way to a "right" decision, one in which you shouldn't feel some angst, regardless of what choice you make, unless you rely on bad faith.
So you'll have to take all of the facts at hand and make the best choice you can make. And live with the angst because, at best, you can make the best decision, not a perfect one.
Then explain anencephaly.
No, sentient beings are *not* entitled to occupy and use the bodies as a means to an end, otherwise rape and slavery would be legal, along with mandatory tissue and organ donation.
We seem to agree on a lot, which has to be good. To bring the discussion back closer to abortion law specifically, and see how much we can agree on in that context, could we take this example —
A young woman who faces a very low risk of serious health consequences* from her pregnancy wants to get an abortion because she doesn't want to take on parenting, though it would be economically feasible for her. And as regards adoption or leaving the child somewhere under safe-haven laws, she doesn't want to undergo pregnancy for a baby she will not keep
* In the US, maternal mortality — death caused by pregnancy or childbirth — is about 15/100,000, in Western Europe less; this woman's prognosis is better than average.
— and see if we can agree on the following —
1. As happens whenever there is an unwanted pregnancy, there is not likely to be a completely happy outcome. We should aim for the least of all the evils.
2. We both feel regret/angst/uneasiness to think of an innocent unborn little member of our society being killed with advanced weaponry by a team of its seniors.
3. We both feel regret/angst/uneasiness to think of a woman being legally prevented from doing what she wants with the contents of her uterus, and compelled to take a small risk of serious health problems (there are short-term and long-term risks in abortion also, but probably less than in pregnancy/childbirth).
4. You feel that 2 is the least of all the evils.
5. I feel that 3 is the least of all the evils.
6. Each of us admits that they cannot provide the other with a perfect logical/philosophical proof of the correctness of their position, and admits that their position derives partly from a pre-logical moral intuition. Neither of us really knows why they have the intuition that they do have, and not the other person's intuition.
7. This is not to say that both the intuitions are equally correct and that morality is completely relative; one intuition may be more correct than the other. The absence of a logical proof does not mean that an intuition is incorrect.
8. "Cannot provide a perfect logical/philosophical proof" does not mean that logic is of no use at all. If we were to go on exchanging thought experiments offering situations somewhat analogous to abortion, such as the "conjoined twins" thought experiment, and were to continue with philosophical discussions in other ways also, each of us might be nudged toward a moral intuition that is more correct than our existing intuition, though there is no guarantee of this
Well, Sarah, you might want to get YOUR facts checked, instead of spouting crap from pro-lifer pamphlets, because prior to myelinization of the nerve sheaths in the brain, organized thought is not possible.
**Brain waves are detectable as early as 40 days.**
Uh huh. Ask for technical details on that little factioid, why don't you. Is what they mean by 'brain waves' mere electrical activity, or the sort of organized electrical activity that signifies thought. Because you can detect electrical activity by hooking up some electrodes to a rock and hitting it with a hammer.
**now scientists believe dreaming begins as early as the 16th week.**
**Brain function, btw, does not merit special consideration nor does the lack of it justify destruction**
So, what you are saying here is that if your child needed a kidney transplant from a brain dead motorcycle accident victim, you would refuse. Or are you just babbling?
**Our humanity and rights as human beings is inherent to us not something earned by jumping through arbitrary hoops.**
Oh really? Why exactly is it 'inherent' to US, but not to cattle or bacteria. Did God just 'happen' to spin a roullette wheel and 'human beings' came out on top to just 'happen' to be gifted with rights that descended from the sky in a golden light?
**Brain function isn't a measure of humanity or the rights associated with it,**
If it isn't, then why don't bacteria and cattle have rights?
** or stupid people would have less inherent rights than smart people.**
And again, you are trying to play the forced gestationer game of pretending that poor brain function is in any way comparable to NO brain function.
** If a human being doesn't explicitly state that they would like to die, it has to be assumed they would rather not.**
Umm, no, it doesn't. If something doesn't have a functional brain, they are incapable of preferences. You are assigning qualities and capabilities to the embryo that it doesn't have. Your statement is rather like saying that since a rock doesn't explicitly state that it would like to be ground up in a gravel mill, it has to be assumed that it would rather not. It's pure sad-feelie nonsense, neither a rock nor an embryo has any opinions or interest in any matter, because to do so requires a functional brain.
**Our humanity and rights as human beings is inherent to us not something earned by jumping through arbitrary hoops.**
Since forced gestationers constantly handwave away the rights of a molar pregnancy, I think what you really mean here is that you think rights ARE earned by 'jumping through hoops', but that the standard for YOUR hoop is cuteness.
**Well Ann, you might want to re-check your facts there. Brain function begins early early early.**
Well, Sarah, you might want to recheck your facts. Brain function is not possible without myelinization of the nerve sheaths, and that doesn't occur until the 6th month. In other words – no brain function until late late late.
**Brain waves are detectable as early as 40 days.**
Sorry, no. Brain function cannot begin until the 6th month. Electrical activity is not brain function. I can detect electrical activity if I hit a rock with a hammer.
Some advice – get some technical details on EXACTLY what your sad feelie pro-life pamphlets are referring to when they talk about 'brainwaves'. There is a significant difference between electrical activity that can be picked up by electrodes, and organized thought. Calling the former a 'brainwave' may be technically correct in a very broad sense, but is highly misleading. It's rather like calling the interference you get on your radio from a welder a 'radio signal'. Technically, welding creates 'radio signals' that can be detected, but the 'radio signals' of that sort are completely unorganized, and signify nothing intelligent. All matter has electrical signals, but there simply cannot be any thought or sensation unless there is an organized pattern to them. If you can't grasp this, I can't help you, it would probably take years of remedial education to get you past the point of thinking with your sad feelies and mommy gland so that you could understand the scientific principals involved here.
**but now scientists believe dreaming begins as early as the 16th week.**
**Brain function, btw, does not merit special consideration nor does the lack of it justify destruction, which should cause several folks here to heave a mighty sigh of relief**
So, you're claiming here that doctors who harvest organs from brain dead motorcycle accident victims and fertility centers that discard extra zygotes should be tried for murder?
**Our humanity and rights as human beings is inherent to us not something earned by jumping through arbitrary hoops.**
So, if brain function has absolutely NOTHING to do with rights, then why don't bacteria or fish have rights? Did God spin a roullette wheel and our species just 'happened' to come out on top by random chance, and 'rights' then descended from the heavens in a golden light on every pwecious embwyo?
**"any person whose risk of grave loss of well-being is small should not be allowed by society to kill another who is innocent, particularly one who is weaker than themselves**
Cum Hoc fallacy. the same one that pretends that people don't value the pwecious embwyo 'just because' it is 'small', 'young', or 'can't pay'.
Couple problems here:
1. You haven't explained how something without a brain has any rights.
2. Low risk is not 'zero risk'. Should you be forced to play a 'low risk' game of Russian roullette if doing so meant a dialysis patient would get a free kidney transplant.
3.Enslaving one person because the sad outcome for them means a happier outcome for someone else is not a good principal. Should we remove one of your kidneys' because there is a 'low, low health risk' to save a dialyis patient's life? What if someone could raped with a low, low health risk, and it would make some pervert really really happy? By your principle, both should be allowed.
**Will the price be infanticide in every case, or will some of the saved embryos get to live out their lives?**
So, what you are saying here, is that given the choice between killing 2 brainless zygotes, incapable of thought, sensation and pain, or killing 1 newborn by letting it die in agony of exposure, dehydration, or being torn apart by wolves, you would choose the latter, so long as the other widdle zygote got a 'chance'?
**At least they let the child live for a few months, hoping for the best. They really wanted not to kill it.**
Yeah… they really, really wanted that. They 'hoped for the best'. Like angels descending from the sky with truck loads of food and money to get them out of the situation they were in. And they really, really wanted not to kill it, and then what happened? Some mean person came along and pointed a gun at them and just forced poor them to kill their 3 month old. Even though they really, really, didn't want to do that?
**regain brain function.**
REGAIN here being the operative word. The word REGAIN implies that brain function already existed at some point in the past. A pwecious embwyo never had brain function, and rights that are a result of brain function are not retroactive to points in the past prior to any existence of any brain function, no matter how sad you are about it.
**When the first synapses fire, there is still no personality, or self.**
So now you are claiming to have psychic powers. You're also trying to claim that since an adult personality doesn't appear *immediately* when brain function starts, there is therefore no difference between brain function and no brain function, which is rather like claiming that since you don't appear in a city 1000 miles away IMMEDIATELY when the plane takes off, there is therefore no difference between being on the plane and sitting on your ass on the runway.
**Using brain function which isn't a constant, doesn't seem like a reliable metric to me.**
If that's so, then why don't bacteria have rights?
Here's a thought experiment about your 'sacred potential'. Consider the following future possibility:
A 25 year old man is in a motorcycle accident, and ends up brain dead. Now, I am a mad scientist, and I have invented a drug which, when injected into a brain dead patient, will dissolve their old dead brain and grow a new living one, in '9 short months'. Now, being an entirely new brain, this brain will not contain any of the memories or personality of the 25 year old man prior to his sad accident. It will be a tabula rasa, a brain equivalent to that of a newborn infant.
Now, I am willing to donate this drug for free, but it will require as much money to raise and educate the man as it would a child.
Since you have a living, biological human being with the 'potential for a full life' should the family of the man be obligated to accept my drug treatment, and spend the money taking care of the man for the next 18 years, until he is sufficiently educated to live on his own? If not, why does he not have a 'right' to a 'chance' if an embwyo does? Because he's not as cute?
**Autonomy is near the bottom, maybe 2 or 3, if that. Life is the absolute apex of basic human rights**
Then what you are saying is that you advocate people being forced to donate blood, bone marrow, and kidneys?
He once argued that a zygote is more valuable than an infant because the zygote has more life ahead of it
Acyu is REALLY stuck on the sad feelies, and clearly projects his extreme existential angst into those precious zygotes.
I don't think we do agree on all that much. What you've just described is EXACTLY what I think the problem is.
1. I think that both abortion and forced birth, if you thought about them and have any empathy, should fill you with horror.
2. I think that most of us (overwhelmingly) care for our own mental tranquility than any concern for others. So feeling horror about the misery our actions cause is a non-starter. We act first to make ourselves feel better and then, perhaps, out of concern for others. Maybe.
3. So we do two things (a) we think of abortion as resolving a conflict of rights between two OTHER people and absolve ourselves any real responsibilities or obligations; (b) we acknowledge the full scope of what is at stake from ONE side only and gloss over the other with seemingly reasonable "facts" that dismissively understate (at best) the misery our policy choice will cause (and we do this to make ourselves feel better).
4. As evidence of this people on both sides of this issue don't talk about the hard choices that making policy entails. They don't talk about how the have to deal with the anguish of dealing with the misery they've caused. Far from it. Rather they talk with overwhelming sense of righteousness and pride. Because THAT is the REAL goal in the first place.
Bacteria and cattle are not human. My point about brain function was pretty clear, but you seem to have either missed or dismissed the main point. If no brain function means no rights, and we all know brain function develops incrementally, do you believe rights are assigned incrementally as well? At the earliest stages of brain development, preferences and emotions etc. are still not possible. My statement about having to assume a person doesn't want to die unless they say so, was obviously in regards to organisms with existing brain function, but the inability to express a preference. Your analogy about the rock is irrelevant. How many rocks develop brain function?
I'm stating a pretty basic concept. Autonomy is a human right that we routinely deny people. Your autonomy is probably infringed on daily, with little or no notice. The entire concept of government is based on the idea of regulating that right. I'm not stating my personal opinion or preference there, just making a pretty self evident observation.
So you are arguing that human DNA has rights, since brain function is irrelevany?
Yep. So since we don't have complete autonomy, then we shouldn't have any, right? I mean, if you are gonna be forced to get a vaccination, or searched at the airport, then really, what is wrong with rape, or forced kidney donation? All of the above are violations of autonomy, and, as you stated, autonomy isn't a very important right….
"What you've just described is EXACTLY what I think the problem is."
This could be understood in two ways:
– "I understand the problem exactly as you do"
– "Your kind of thinking is exactly the problem, as I see it."
You precede your "EXACTLY" sentence with "I don't think we do agree on all that much," which inclines me to think that your "EXACTLY" sentence means the latter interpretation above. On the other hand, I don't particularly disagree with your points 1-4, and don't particularly see how they relate to me, which inclines me to think that your "EXACTLY" sentence means the former interpretation above.
Overall, I think you mean the latter option above. Am I correct?
If I am correct, then your points 1-4 are a criticism of my thinking, particularly my points 1-8.
The essence of your points 1-4 seems to be "I think that most of us (overwhelmingly) care for our own mental tranquility than any concern for others. So feeling horror about the misery our actions cause is a non-starter."
So in other words, you think that I fail to feel horror about the misery my actions would cause. My actions would lead to unborn child-protection legislation. They would cause "a woman being legally prevented from doing what she wants with the contents of her uterus, and compelled to take a small risk of serious health problems."
I said that I feel "feel regret/angst/uneasiness to think of" this. But you seem to be saying that I fail to feel horror.
Is this the only issue you are raising? Are you saying that my feeling regret/angst/uneasiness is not enough, and that I should feel horror?
(Please note that in writing my points 1-8, I had selected the words angst and "uneasiness" because you had already used them. I was trying to work within a framework that was apparently clear to you.)
Are you just going to ignore the part about consent? I didn't suggest forcing anyone to do anything. Autonomy is surrendered by consent, not taken. Like it or not, getting pregnant is something you have control over. If nobody forced you to get pregnant, the argument about "forcing brith" is moot. You may as well call being required to pay a speeding ticket, strong arm robbery.
Not at all. I don't know how you even drew that conclusion. I am arguing that a human being has rights, at every stage of development. I've been pretty clear about that.
No, you cannot consent to slavery, that is logically impossible. And by your logic, having sex while female = a crime, hence the forfeiture of autonomy. We only forfeit people's autonomy and subject them to torture if they have commited a crime. Having sex while female isn't a criminal or negligent act.
You said this:
Brain function isn't a measure of humanity or the rights associated with it
Then in response to Ann you said this:
Bacteria and cattle are not human
So you are arguing that brain function is completely irrelevant, and that what maters is h.sapiens DNA, so by that logic, it's human DNA that should have rights, full stop.
Oh, since you are arguing consent, then I guess you believe that abortion should be permitted in the case of rape, yes?
Using your numbers,
1. I have tried to explain that here —
— in the posts "Personhood & Citizenship," "Personhood," "Too Young for Rights?" and "Dismantling the Bodily-Rights Argument without Using the Responsibility Argument." In the last-mentioned post, for example, I wrote:
"In thinking of the unborn, some people tend to perceive a still picture, an organism frozen in time, while some tend to perceive a process. If you kill a small clump of cells lacking, perhaps, even a beating heart, is it correct to say that you are killing an organism whose life presently has little value, or to say that you are depriving it of the complete human life which has started as a process? In fact, both statements are correct. Obviously the perception of a process is a more complete perception. If one does perceive a process, then one will also intuit that the unborn is a full-fledged member of human society, and will call it a person. But there is no way to prove logically that the process model is more valid morally than the frozen-in-time model as a basis for deciding the fate of the organism."
2. No, because in the first place, I could give a dialysis patient a free kidney without shooting out my brain as well.
3. I don't think the answer to the bodily-rights argument is completely simple. My thoughts about it are here:
"What if someone could raped with a low, low health risk, and it would make some pervert really really happy? By your principle, [that] should be allowed."
What principle of mine?
It is hard having a real conversation in a comments section so I apologize for being less than clear.
I think you (and everyone else) is guilty of doing exactly what I think the problem is. The problem is that you don't (sufficiently) think of the pregnant woman as a human being in the way you do the unborn child (or vice versa if you are pro-choice).
I'm claiming as well that the reason you are doing that is that you aren't interested in taking ownership over the real misery that your preferred legal rules will inflict upon actual women (not in the abstract) The best way to do that is to just depersonalize the victim. Collateral damage, so to speak. Here is why:
(1) This is how you frame the two sides:
"A young woman who faces a very low risk of serious health consequences* from her pregnancy wants to get an abortion because she doesn't want to take on parenting, though it would be economically feasible for her" VS "regret/angst/uneasiness to think of an innocent unborn little member of our society being killed with advanced weaponry by a team of its seniors"
In the first you make a dry, dispassionate attempt to "objectively' look at (some of) the facts in play. That is, you depersonalize the analysis. In the second you respond emotionally as you grasp the full implications of what will happen (if you permit abortion to happen).
Then you weigh the two positions in a (rigged) cost benefit analysis (never taking into account that the rest of us could just as easily be forced, like the particular woman you want to force, to provide care against our will.).
This is my second point. As soon as someone frames as just being a conflict of rights between two discrete individuals (both sides LOVE to do this) I can tell that the speaker wants to make sure that he doesn't have any obligation imposed upon themselves (the "really important" person). Which we should– the financial hardship of having a child is largely a function of the legal rules and societal commitments we've made.
Hand washing complete!
Who cares if the woman is physical or emotionally harmed? Who cares if her identity is existentially changed against her will? Who cares if she ends up living a diminished life because she can't afford to do the things that she otherwise could have. Not my fault! I had nothing to do with it. Now excuse me, I'm a really good person and I have a flight to Miami to catch!
Look, I can present the pro-choice version of what you did if you'd like, I'm just as familiar with it.
I had said "In some cases." Your sarcasm is directed at the other cases. The other cases are likely the big majority, but I was trying to make a certain point.
Suppose a poor couple consider abortion, but decide that possibly they can manage, and decide to give the unborn a chance. When it is 3 months old, they are unexpectedly turned into refugees and have to cross a desert. They themselves will be lucky to survive the conditions, and for the child there is virtually no way. It is already suffering severely. Rather than let that continue, they decide on euthanasia.
I would say that the abortion would have been a more selfish act than the euthanasia, wouldn't you?
I already said that, as well as that I am not discussing permission at all. I have been more than clear about not advocating a legislative solution. I am simply talking about rights in the ethical sense.
I know. And I give you a thumbs up for that.
Now, I would argue that a loss of bodily autonomy coupled with definite physical harm is an extraordinary burden.
Should parents be ethically obligated to donate body parts to a child that they have given up for adoption? Does the fact that they had sex forever ethically obligate them to donate their body parts to a child that they created?
Not at all. As an adoptee myself, I recognize that my biological parents (particularly my mother) fulfilled their ethical obligation to me. My father got off a little easy, but he absolutely consented to a loss of autonomy when he had sex with my mother. He just happened to escape the repercussions of that decision. Should my mother have decided to keep me, he would have had an ethical obligation to give up a good amount of autonomy (primarily financial). The idea that ONLY the woman is held liable for the shared decision is not entirely true. She consents to a greater burden initially, but also retains greater autonomy. The father has no choice in the matter of abortion (legal or ethical) but he shares the burden should she choose to give birth.
When we are speaking of BODILY AUTONOMY only the woman is held liable.
No man has ever died from pregnancy or had his private parts ripped to shreds or suffered torturous pain for 3 days.
In the case of bodily donation, the toll of pregnancy is too high. It is a supererogatory burden.
And I will point out that you are special pleading for the unborn. Why should a loss of bodily autonomy only be ethically mandated in service of a prenate?
If prenate = newborn = toddler = teen = adult, then both parents should forever be ethically obligated to donate body parts to their child because they had sex
Don't carve out special rules for the prenate.
I should have been clearer with that statement. Rights (autonomy included) aren't ETHICALLY taken, they are surrendered. Of course slavery is unethical. all manner of rights are routinely taken without consent, and it is unethical in every case. I probably shouldn't have used an analogy that involved a penalty either. That's not at all what that was meant to imply. However, the father surrenders his autonomy as well, and in many cases can be criminally prosecuted for not meeting the ethical and legal obligation of providing for the child.The idea that crime is the only way to surrender autonomy is just not true. We surrender autonomy every day that we show up to work, pay taxes etc. We consent to the possibility of surrendering autonomy pretty routinely as well.
Indeed, but the burden imposed upon us is not as great as that of pregnancy. And yes, men do have to pay child support, but your wallet is not the same as your body. You are also ignoring the fact that the woman has to pay as well. And if the man gets custody, she is legally obligated to pay. So, women get hit with a double penalty.
And no, you do not surrender your rights when you have sex. That is absurd.
As I said, the burden on the woman is greater, as is her right to autonomy, which is why she has the final choice in the matter. That doesn't change the ethical conflict between the right to life and the right to autonomy. Clearly the right to life is greater, and there was implicit consent by both parties to surrender some share of their autonomy. She maintains far more autonomy in the matter than the man. If she chooses to give birth and raise the child, he is both ethically and legally obligated to surrender an equal share of his autonomy. Since he has no say in the decision, it's clear who has greater autonomy.
Are we ethically obligated to undergo torture to sustain the life of another?
This is crude, but imagine being viciously punched in the stomach for 20 hours and then having a melon violently inserted into your rectum. That's birth.
Are we ethically obligated to undergo torture on behalf of another?
You consent to the possibility of surrendering rights. Clearly that isn't always, or even usually, the case. The woman's burden is greater, so she has more authority on the matter, that's a given. As for the financial burden not being as great as the physical burden, that is arguable. In most cases if a pregnancy is a real and tangible threat to the woman's life, it will be terminated. The ethical conflict there is between the right to life of one person, and the right to life of another. It's not the same discussion at all as the conflict between autonomy and life.
Only if you consent. I've witnessed several births, most recently my own son. I'm familiar with the process, and you're being a bit dramatic. When my son was born we arrived at the hospital early in the morning, and I was cutting his umbilical cord about 3 hours later. My wife was smiling ear to ear within seconds. Folks don't tend to smile so much after being ruthlessly tortured. Of ofcourse I know that isn't always the case, but neither is your scenario, and if both were possibilities the woman was aware of, she implicitly consented to both.
Not every pregnancy related death or permanent disability can be predicted or prevented – which is why 2 women die per day in the USA. So, you are holding women to a much higher standard than men. The man isn't even obligated to donate blood during or after the pregnancy. His body can and will remain intact.
And birth. Don't erase birth. Do women automatically surrender the right to be free from torture when they have sex?
The problem with DNA is that it cannot be proved to be human until it is expressed.
I am not being overly dramatic. There are no guarantees. Your wife was lucky. Many women have their vaginas ripped to shreds from breach births, they can never pee or have sex normally again, without great pain.
Epidurals are not a sure thing, and sometime they don't take, or its too late. Some women have the misfortune of being cut open by c section with zero pain relief.
Its a game of Russian Roulette.
And regardless of what you say, birth is rated as one of the most painful things a person can suffer through. Don't pretend that contractions and a large object being shoved through a tiny hole = fairy farts and unicorns.
And no, you NEVER imolicily consent to torture, least of all for having sex.
Wtf is wrong with you?
I hate to use the old "the world isn't always fair" line, but it's true, and again it is a matter of consent. Birth is rarely the sort of torture you are presenting, in fact it isn't really appropriate to call it torture at all. I've heard accounts and personally witnessed births that were extremely quick and relatively painless, particularly compared to the genital mutilation, evisceration, and near death experience you are portraying as the norm. Of course there is the possibility of it not going that way, there is life being unfair. Some women will have a quick and easy birthing process, some won't. It has no impact on the ethics of it, until it becomes and issue of a life for a life.
Actually the general public is largely pro choice. The pro life position is that a fetus is a human baby and for that reason killing a fetus is killing a human baby. Most people allow abortion. They just want less abortion. It they believed that abortion was murdering a baby, they would be opposed. Most people would never under any circumstances murder babies.
"It is hard having a real conversation in a comments section"
On the blog that I had linked to, on the About page, there is an email address that you could use if you wish.
We could Skype.
"you depersonalize the analysis. In the second you respond emotionally"
It might be more to the point to compare my 2 to my 3 rather than to my preface about "doesn't want to take on parenting." But anyway, you have a point, at least as far as how my presentation came out.
But if I understand what you're saying overall, you, having detected some unevenness in my treatment of the possible fates of the woman and the child, jumped from there to the conclusion that I "want to make sure that I don't have any obligation imposed upon myself."
In fact, as an example, I was involved a few months back in influencing the choice of a young woman in India (she chose not to abort), and since then I have raised a significant amount of money (significant in terms of both her living standard and mine, at least) to help her, and I plan to continue on this line.
So the conclusion you jumped to was not completely correct. Whether it was completely incorrect, and all your other points, I would be interested in discussing. Your main area of interest seems to be psychological factors that operate once someone has decided to advocate for the position that they have come to on some issue. At this point I'm not sure whether you share what for me is more primary as an area of interest — how someone comes to their position on some issue in the first place.
If you at all share that area of interest, then my first preference as to how to proceed overall would be that we first make clear what relevant points we agree on. You have said, "Look, I can present the pro-choice version of what you did if you'd like . . ." If you are willing to do that amount of work, I would propose that you direct the same amount a little differently. I would propose that you edit my 8 points to be either more dispassionate about the child or less dispassionate about the woman, so that you can look at what remains of the 8 points after any bias has been removed from them. And then tell me how far you agree with those points, and, if you wish, add other points that you think we agree on.
We are never going to agree on that. Talking from personal experience (my wife wasn't the first person I saw give birth). Birth is NOT rated as one of the most painful things a person can endure. I'm not even sure where you read that, or who told you that. Broken bones, kidney stones, migraine headaches, gallstones, root canals, bladder infections and surgery have all been reported to be more painful. Those are just from an article at http://pregnancy.about.com/od/painmedsinlabor/ss/8-Things-That-Hurt-Worse-Than-Childbirth_2.htm#step-heading
My own wife has cited pain from fibromyalgia as being worse.
And your argument is this:
Women implicitly consent to gestate when they have sex because ONLY women can get pregnant
Women have an ethical obligation to give life because ONLY women can get pregnant
Men do NOT have an ethical obligation to give life through bodily donation at any time, because men are not born with uteri.
You're making a biology = destiny argument, or rather, the is/ought fallacy – that because women CAN give birth, they SHOULD give birth, because if a woman has sex, being a woman, she automatically onsents to birth, because she has a uterus.
The fact that you give men an 'out' from bodily donation and risk to life and health shows that you are 1) discriminating against women based on their gender 2) special pleading for prenates, as you do not require men or women to donate body parts once the child is born
"The pro life position is that a fetus is a human baby and for that reason killing a fetus is killing a human baby."
I agree, but it seems to me that you then proceed as follows:
1. You imply that a pro-lifer would never condone the killing of any unborn baby.
2. You say that most people want less abortion, implying (correctly, I think) that those people want to outlaw some abortions, and you speak of those people as "pro-choice."
3. You imply that "killing" is the same as "murdering."
4. Your last sentence seems to conflate people who would murder babies with people who would permit the murder of babies (where "murder" has already been equated by you with "killing").
It seems to me that all of these things can be questioned. Even if we allow for possible semantic disagreements about "pro-choice" and "pro-life," some questions remain.
Stop trying to pretend that because it is difficult for some is difficult for all
Yes, pregnancy takes a toll on the body, this is a fact:
Too many pregnancies will kill a woman, they are that hard on her body. Pregnancy has also been the top killer of women throughout history, and approximately 1% of women have died since h.sapiens has been around.
As I said, since we don't know which women will suffer irreperable harm, and which will not, to say that ALL women must undergo the painful process, just because *some* have it easy is to gloss over the risks, and to deny ALL fertile women the right to be free of slavery and torture, and to basically tell them that their fate = a roll of the dice. And believe me, the fact that some women have it easy isn't going to be a help to the woman who suffers an obstetric fistula and is incontinent for the rest of her life, now is it?
Unless there is nonzero risk, you cannot ethically obligate someone to risk life and health, sorry.
Sex is (biologically speaking) the first step in the process of human reproduction.
Which is incorrect, actually. It starts with the egg:
And once again, consent to sex does not = consent to torture. That is patently absurd.
Should rape victims be ethically obligated to gestate and give birth, yes or no?
Your logic is flawed. To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent. The right to life is the apex of human rights. Autonomy is a lesser right that we all consent to surrender some aspects of on a regular basis. The existence of government and law is proof of that. In the case of consensual sex resulting in pregnancy, the consent to pregnancy was implicit, so long as both parties understood that was possible, and the woman is not the only to surrender any portion of autonomy. Her burden is greater, but so is her autonomy. She has final say in the decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least 18 years. As for using another person's body for our own gain, we ALL do it regularly to different degrees. So long as it is consensual, there are no ethical implications.
There is no 'right to life'. There is only a right to not be unjustly killed. And abortion is not unjust killing because the prenate has no right to the woman's organs.
Autonomy is a lesser right that we all consent to surrender some aspects of on a regular basis
And if that was actually true, blood donation,, which is relatively risk free, would be mandatory. It isn't. In fact, if life trumped all other rights, people's wages would be garnished in order to pay to save every life that needed it. Dollars are placed ahead of lives, sweetie.
already proven wrong a dozen times. Stop using the Gary Busey scientific method (i.e. making crap up and calling it a fact)
The only birth I've been present for was that of my nephew. And in that case it took 36 hours from start to finish. From my point of view, Floid and DeWitt is not being dramatic. Rather, Floid and DeWitt is actually underplaying labor and childbirth.
Be it as it may, it is one thing to voluntarily undergo the process of gestation, labor, and childbirth when you want the end result. It is an entirely different thing to force them on women. Seriously, are you going to go through "being viciously punched in the stomach for 20 hours and then having a melon violently inserted into your rectum" without there being an end goal you really desire? Are you going to be happy about it if someone did this to you against your will? I think not.
If you are like most people, I'm sure you get into your car and drive nearly everyday knowing there is the possibility you will be injured in an automobile accident. So what say you? Do you give implicit consent to being injured in a car accident?
To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.
Nonsense. By definition, prolifers do not believe that girls and women can be allowed to consent to pregnancy and childbirth: prolifers believe that human rights for women can be removed by the state to permit the forced use of human bodies without consent.
In the case of consensual sex resulting in pregnancy, the consent to pregnancy was implicit,
An absurd claim that prolifers are far too fond of. It is ridiculous, because it' s clear that if consent to sex equated to consent to pregnancy, we'd never have developed contraception and abortion.
Yet some of the oldest writings of human civilisation are recipes for contraception, demonstrating that for so long as we have been able to think about sex, we have never equated "consent to sex" with "consent to pregnancy".
Her burden is greater, but so is her autonomy. She has final say in the
decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least
A man, like a woman, has the option of using contraception to prevent himself from accidentally engendering pregnancy. That's up to him, because that's his bodily autonomy.
If a pregnancy is engendered, what the woman decides to do is entirely and exclusively her responsibility: that's her bodily autonomy. Only a rapist would ever think that because a man had sex with a woman he got to control the use of her body thereafter.
If a baby is born, then yes, the man generally has a lifetime responsibility as a parent, same as the woman does: if the man objects to the idea, he really needs to get used to using condoms, each time, every time, and confirming with his sexual partners that they're also using contraception, each time, every time.
As for using another person's body for our own gain, we ALL do it regularly to different degrees.
Yeah, prolifery is really, psychologically close to the white slaveowners….
How many times do I need to answer this. NO. there was no consent. I think there is still a conflict between autonomy and life, but the woman did not consent so she has no expectation of surrendering any autonomy. Personally I think the woman still has a difficult choice to make, and I would still place the right to life above autonomy, but that's not my call. She will have to decide if her autonomy, which was already violated in the most horrible manner, should outweigh the right to life of another human being. I couldn't fault her ethically either way.
How many times do I need to answer this.
You never answered it, for me at least, not even once. I get updates through disqus and in my email, and I never saw a reply.
I think there is still a conflict between autonomy and life, but the
woman did not consent so she has no expectation of surrendering any
Please explain why consent matters so much, if life is so very precious. If the right to life overrides all other rights, it shouldn't matter whether or not the rape victim consented, furthermore, if the prenate has an inherent right to life as you argue, then how it was conceived should be irrelevant. Why does it's value suddenly go up if the woman *chose* to have sex?
Absolute nonsense, and please don't resort to calling an argument you don't like a fallacy. That's Russell's lame strategy. There is no reasonable expectation of a toddler demanding a father's kidney. Sex is ABSOLUTELY part of the human reproduction process. Initiating it is ABSOLUTELY consent to the continuation of it. Notice I don't bother bother trying to dismiss your argument by calling it some form of named fallacy, I just point out the inconsistency in the logic. Calling your opponents argument this fallacy or that fallacy, is probably a rhetorical fallacy itself, but it's more honest to just point out why you find the logic flawed.
To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.
Then the premise is flawed. I may not choose to speak in a given situation, but that does not mean I've waived my right to speak.
The right to life is the apex of human rights.
Is it? Why do we allow so many exceptions then?
She has final say in the decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least 18 years.
Are you seriously saying this is just? Just how many other situations do we force someone to pay for a third party's decisions?
By not speaking in a given situation, you aren't giving consent to deny anything, unless the situation in question involves some "speak now or forever hold your peace" clause. You don't seem clear on my statement. You have human rights in the ethical sense, they are not given to you by law. Law is a means of depriving rights, it CANNOT grant them. We all consent to that by being part of a larger society. The right to life is the most basic and fundamental right there is. Without it no other right matters. We make far fewer exceptions to this than lesser rights like autonomy that we surrender almost unthinkingly on a daily basis.
Don't presume to speak for your opponent. I am prolife, and I assure you, you have no idea what I believe. You don't seem to grasp the basic concept of human rights in the ethical sense, so there's little point in further discussion. You seem to be full of hostility and dogma. A rational discussion would be pointless.
As for the man being held liable for the woman's choice, it is absolutely just. He consented to the same thing she did. He assumes less burden, so has less autonomy regarding the decision.
Well, then, if you don't think the pains of labor and childbirth aren't torture, then I'm sure you would be willing to undergo it.
No, he didn't. All either of them consented to was sex. Period.
It is absolutely a fallacy because you are saying that "nature" creates an obligation, thus exempting men, toddlers, and discriminating against women.
If LIFE is as precious as you claim, then location, age and gender should all be irrelevant.
If the right to life is the most basic and fundamental right there is, they why can't we be forced to keep people alive? Ethically, I am permitted to refuse to donate so much as a drop of blood to someone, even if their lives depend on it. I am not morally required to jump in after a drowning victim, even if the victim will die. I am ethically permitted to kill in self-defense. The right to life has so many exceptions that I can't even begin to list them all.
I'm just glad I voted for Greg Abbott!! Remember when all the people here in Texas said Wendy Davis had it in the bag? That was hilarious.
It would only be a fallacy if calling an argument a fallacy really is a fallacy. And what you are engaged in is special pleading.
What do you mean there is no reasonable expectation of a toddler demanding a father's kidney? If the problem is the result of something the father did, such as begetting a child genetically inclined to kidney problems, is he not responsible? After all, he had sex knowing there is a possibility he would pass on his bad genes. By the terms of your own argument, he implicitly consented to give up his kidney. So why is it that you fail to force him to do so when you require women to give up their entire bodies to prenates? Why does the prenate get special rights that no other person has?
I answered it a few comments prior, at least I thought I did. Consent is the cornerstone that rights are built on and the only means by which they can ETHICALLY be deprived. In the case of rape, the woman did not consent to take part in the reproductive process. The ethical conflict is no longer about her willingness to participate in a process that involves a loss of autonomy. She can't be expected to concede that right. She can make a choice to, but it can't be ethically expected of her. The right to life does override all other rights, in as much as they are irrelevant without it. However, we deny it for many reasons, and some of them have an ethical argument. I'm less inclined to buy any of them. When I say I am pro-life, I included war and the death penalty in the same reasoning, even though there is a consent argument to be made for each. Here's where I differ from someone like Russell, and even a lot of pro-lifers, I don't consider my ethical conclusions empirical. I offer them as something to consider, not as scientific or philosophical law. I certainly don't advocate basing any sort of legislation on them. I believe honest discussion has more impact on society than legislation. Making abortion illegal only makes it unsafe and criminal. Talking about it honestly can have a far more profound effect. That is exactly why Russell's "laws" infuriate me so much. He is trying to change the facts of the discussion to fit his opinion. Stating his opinions as scientific fact is, in MY opinion, a major ethical infraction. He is denying people (or trying to) the right to make an informed decision for themselves, by misrepresenting information that has no scientific merit as fact.
I can't even pretend to make sense of that last part. Again it comes down to consent. If the woman knew the likelihood, and decided to initiate or take part in the process of human reproduction (sex being the first step in that process), she has no legitimate ethical argument to claim that her autonomy supersedes the right to life of the human being that resulted from that process. Since there has never been any expectation of donating body parts to the born child, there is no consent there. No consent means no right to expect either party to forego any right. Personally I think you'd find most fathers would gladly donate an organ, but there is no ethical conflict to resolve.
I am prolife, and I assure you, you have no idea what I believe.
Really? So the comment to which I replied, in which you assert that it's okay to force girls and women through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, removing their basic human rights without their consent, did not represent what you believe?
Glad to hear it, but why did you bother writing it as if it was what you believed?
You are comparing apples and oranges. Consent to sex means you consent to take part in the process of human reproduction. Sex is by EVERY definition the first part of that process. You can make an effort ethically to block conception, because there is no human life to infringe upon at that stage. Once there is, it's ethically unjust to cut the process short. You did consent to gestate, if you understood that it was a likely outcome.
If there is no expectation of donating body parts to a born child, there is no expectation of donating body parts to an unborn one, either.
if the outcome was bringing a child into the world, yes. I've already experienced several of the pains women have listed as being worse than childbirth, and some for more extended periods of time. Broken ribs hurt intensely for months, and nearly every pain chart puts the pain involved above child birth.
Please formulate a complete and coherent statement before replying, or at least read the comment you are replying to. I already addressed that.
I never said anything even remotely like that. Rights aren't removed (ethically), they are surrendered by consent. If you can't make an honest argument, don't make any.
Greg Abbot has a choice also, like you he chooses to let innocent babies die. You are with your kind.
I think it is reasonable to debate anything that anyone says, including me. I think from your perspective you will read into what I say anything that makes you look good and from my position I will do the same t make me look good. The difference is that they are my words and I know what I really mean.
I certainly don't advocate basing any sort of legislation on them. I believe honest discussion has more impact on society than legislation.
I appreciate that Greg.
Consent is the cornerstone that rights are built on and the only means by which they can ETHICALLY be deprived.
Yeah so, if you leave your car unlocked, you have implicitly consented to having it stolen, and should never get it back, yes? You lost your right to your car when you messed up and left it unlocked.
Consent requires knowledge. If the father knew he might be in that position then YES he has an ethical obligation, if he didn't he doesn't. I would also like you to find one time ANYWHERE in any of this discussion where I said anything about forcing anything.
Sex is by EVERY definition the first part of that process
No, it isn't. Zygotes don't come out of nowhere. They come from sperm and eggs. No sperm and egg = no reproduction. And an unhealthy egg = a successful conception, but a spontaneous abortion 100pct of the time, because the zygote will fail to thrive if the egg has certain defects.
You can make an effort ethically to block conception, because there is no human life to infringe upon at that stage
So if a mad scientist goes back in time and kills the sperm that is about to fertilize the Greg Kells ovum, that would be ok, right? No harm done?
You did consent to gestate, if you understood that it was a likely outcome.
A more likely outcome is spontaneous abortion, in close to 80% of cases, so when you have sex you consent to abortion.
When did I ever mention anything about forcing anything? Try to keep up or stop wasting both of out time.
What, precisely, makes you think I haven't read the comment I was replying to? And what, precisely, renders saying what is good is good for the gander incoherent?
Since there has never been any expectation of donating body parts to the born child
Which is, as I stated, irrelevant. Technology exists to help us save lives. If the father had a hand in creating the prenate, then he has also consented to be deprived of his bodily autonomy, and that should apply outside the womb, as a toddler is no less valuable than an embryo. And the man carries the same responsibilities as the woman re bodily autonomy irrespective of the age, size or location of his child.
"1. You imply that a pro-lifer would never condone the killing of any unborn baby."
Pro lifers intentionally murder real life babies.
"2. You say that most people want less abortion, implying (correctly, I think) that those people want to outlaw some abortions, and you speak of those people as "pro-choice.""
Those people allow abortions according to what they think the choice entails. They are pro choice no matter what they call themselves.
"3. You imply that "killing" is the same as "murdering.""
No, I make4 it clear that pro lifers commit "murder by omission."
"4. Your last sentence seems to conflate people who would murder babies with people who would permit the murder of babies (where "murder" has already been equated by you with "killing")."
You need to read the Scientific Abortion Laws. You are confused about my beliefs.
"It seems to me that all of these things can be questioned. Even if we allow for possible semantic disagreements about "pro-choice" and "pro-life," some questions remain.
Ask your questions.
Irrelevant. You are making excuses, and basing the VALUE of the life on OTHER PEOPLE'S actions, and then deciding whether or not those actions qualify on minor technical grounds.
1) men know that sex can result in pregnancy
2) men know that their children can get sick
3) men know that organ and tissue donation exists
It's not that far out, at all.
You are with him too. Sorry.
Nature does create an obligation, but only if you consent to it. Women know their obligation is greater than the man's. They choose to take part in the biological process of human reproduction (sex being the first step in the process). I simply don't see an ethical argument for ending a process you consented to when it takes it's natural course, particularly when the ethical rights of another become involved.
No, I will do what I can to stop his abortion agenda. He a sick puppy that murders babies.
Nope. Nature is irrelevant where life is concerned.
Also: is/ought fallacy.
Sex is the first step in the biological process of human reproduction. So your argument is that they consented to only the first step in the process? The consented to drop a ball, but not to having it fall or hit the ground?
Life is nature, that statement makes absolutely no sense.
What do you think you are advocating by requiring women to go through pregnancy if not forcing them to keep someone alive?
If the man knows that he is genetically prone to creating a situation that require him to donate tissues or organs, then he has an ethical obligation. If he doesn't know, he can't consent.
If the father knew that was a reasonable possibility then sure. If he didn't know or couldn't be reasonably expected to, you can't argue consent.
"Those people allow abortions according to what they think the choice entails. They are pro choice no matter what they call themselves."
If people are in a position to allow or disallow abortions, that clearly shows that it is society, and not the pregnant woman alone, making the decisions.
The key difference between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" as normally used is not about in which cases abortion is appropriate. It is about who will make the decision. "Pro-choice" means the woman should have the right to choose, i.e., the woman alone should make the decision. "Pro-life" means that society should make the decision.
If both parents are responsible for the life of their child, and if bodily autonomy is surrebdred when people have sex, then none of what you wrote matters.
Rights are not based on the actions of third parties. You are arguing that a child has an inalienable right to life, but then creating conditions that will, supposedly, ethically deprive that child of their life. If the right to life of the child is non negotiable, and if the parents surrendered their bodily autonomy when they had sex, then little details like what is natural and reasonable expectations do NOT count.
Think carefully about what you are arguing for Greg.. That a child's life is precious up until dad might be inconvenienced by having to donate bone marrow, which is way way way safer and less invasive than pregnancy.
Whether or not something is natural is irrelevant if we are talking about sustaining PRECIOUS LIVES.
Are toddlers not just as precious as embryos?
Do you know the difference between and ethical obligation and a legal obligation?
So what if sex is the first step? Are we always required to follow through the whole process once we've started something? That we have no right to change our mind once we've started something? Regardless of any intent we had when we started the process? Even if something happens that we didn't intend?
So the precious life of a child is negotiable? So the right to life is not inalienable, especially if dad might suffer a very MINOR inconvenience?
You are ethically obligated to follow through if the process creates a new distinct human life. Intent is not the same thing as consent. You can't say that you knew and accepted the possibility of something, but didn't intend it so shouldn't be held accountable for it happening.
"any person . . . weaker than themselves" is a moral principle that we could argue about, but it is not itself an argument for or against the principle or for or against anything.
Not being an argument, it can't contain a fallacy.
A father can't argue that in this day and age. It has been general knowledge for quite some time now that father's pass their genes to their child and that sometimes those genes cause conditions that might require the father's body parts to fix. If the right to life is such that a woman is required to give up her body parts because she had sex, the right to life demands the same thing of men.
Nothing I said would indicate they weren't. Are you gonna use one of Russell's silly laws here? It all comes down to one simple belief, that I have been completely clear about. Rights cannot be taken ethically, they must be surrendered by consent. If you choose to argue that an embryo or fetus has no claim to rights, argue that. I will disagree, but at least it would be consistent. If you choose to say the mother's rights trump everyone else's I would call you a sexist, and disagree, but at least it'd be consistent. You seem to be arguing two or three different angles, and you keep ignoring the root of my argument. Consent.
"If people are in a position to allow or disallow abortions, that clearly shows that it is society, and not the pregnant woman alone, making the decisions."
No it doesn't.
The key difference between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" as normally used is not about in which cases abortion is appropriate. It is about who will make the decision.
No it is not.
"Pro-choice" means the woman should have the right to choose, i.e., the woman alone should make the decision. "Pro-life" means that society should make the decision.
No matter what happens the woman will make the choice and if she is forced, the
State must let a baby die to save the fetus.
Why not? This is something we do all the time! In fact, you are already doing it when you exempt parents from following through with their body parts once a child is born.
Greg, I think that you are reading more into my arguments than is there. It is pretty simple:
If a man and a woman have sex, they surrender their bodily autonomy to their child
If the above principle is true, then men are as obligated as women to donate their bodies to their children, even if through unnatural means
The principle – that parents owe their bodies to their children – should not change based on the location or age of the child, or on the method of donation. What matters is that a donation is made to sustain the life of the child. Full stop.
Either the child is ethically entitled to the bodies of its parents or it is not. Full stop.
Bear with me Greg, been typing on my phone, so brevity is my goal.
Of course I do. You do realize that saying someone must do something is saying they have an obligation that is enforceable? You may not be willing to enforce it with the law, but that hardly means you are unwilling to enforce it at all.
The melon example is crude but…it gets the point across.
Have you been reading about the torture report? Forced rectal feeding…and many things that are actually less physically damaging than pregnancy but are still torture due to pain, discomfort and psychological distress.
Why should the outcome matter? If you really think labor and childbirth aren't torture, then I'm sure you'd be willing to go through it just for shits and giggles.
Your argument, however, is that having sex implicitly means consenting to pregnancy. But by using birth control, one is explicitly saying that they do not consent to pregnancy.
One time I hurt my chest so bad because I took an anti histamine for the flu. I coughed every 15 seconds for two whole days, and after that, for the next six months, I felt like I was getting stabbed every time I breathed. Really weird, and very very painful.
The other time, I severed my ulner nerve, and the doctors poked around inside my elbow for hours without painkiller. I was 5 years old.
I have zero tolerance for pain.
I never said anything even remotely like that
Really? So all that wordy stuff about how you believe that once a woman consents to sex she's "consented to surrender her autonomy" was actually intended to be understood as "I believe all women should have free access to safe legal abortion" ….and you absolutely oppose all laws that prevent women having access to safe legal abortion on demand?
Just checking. Because while it's possible I misunderstood you, I did not read the comment to which I initially replied as a ringing endorsement of women's basic human rights, which include the basic human right of safe legal abortion.
Clearly you didn't understand a goddamn thing I said, and I'm not interested in clarifying for the sake of someone so obviously devoid of reason and commone sense they would equate an elective medical procedure for a basic human right.
once again you are ignoring consent, and confusing ethical for legal rights.
You know, I have learned that one thing bad communicators always do is get really, really angry at people who are better communicators than they are, and who restate what they said in shorter, clearer language – especially when this restatement betrays the brutality of the thinking that could hide behind bad communication.
If you believe in free access to safe legal abortion, it's simple to say so.
Abortion is a medical procedure, true. It is "elective" because women get to choose it, true. Abortion is the means by which girls and women get to decide how many children to have, and when.
Free access to safe legal abortion is a basic human right because anything less means human beings are being subjected to forced use of their bodies.
Only someone devoid of reason, common sense, and basic humanity would suppose that forced use of another human being's body was compatible with basic human rights.
He's a great man full of compassion for his fellow human beings. He will lead our state well. He will curb the slaughter of helpless unborn humans at the sick hands of people like you.
He will murder real babies in an attempt to force the birth of fetuses that are not even human. You are a murderer and he is a murderer. It is proven by scientific law.
You know what I've learned about bad readers, and folks whose dogma overrides their reason. They usually have no idea what they are talking about. My language couldn't be clearer. You are just dumb as shit. Don't mistake that for anger, I find you hilarious, and a little sad at the same time. I just happen to not be super nice person to people who've demonstrated they aren't worth the trouble. As for access to safe legal abortions, the point is irrelevant to my argument. If you knew how to parse a simple statement, you could tell the difference between an ethical and legal argument. There are plenty of things I find ethically repulsive that I don't advocate a legislative solution to.
Mayhaps Greg Kells would be more willing to undergo that if he really thinks the pains of labor and childbirth are not torture?
Pro lifers have a choice. They can save toddlers or they can let the toddlers die and save embryos. They make the intentional choice to let innocent toddlers die from lack of medical care, starvation and sometimes, child rape and murder. Pro lifers are genuinely sick. They have a mental block that denies them the ability to understand the fact that they could actually save human life and not just pretend to save human life.
Pro lifers are cold blooded, blinded by religion and set upon intentional murder. They will never admit to the murders they commit. But they cannot avoid the responsibility for the children that die.
That's what we are insisting on–consistency.
No, you're jumping into a rather long discussion, and apparently not reading the whole thing. I have been consistent through the entire discussion. Rights, including autonomy cannot be ethically taken, they must be surrendered by consent. The entire discussion could be summed up in that single comment, which has not changed.
BTW, I'm not accusing you of this particularly, but I think you might have been on the cusp of it a couple times. Argumentum abusi fallacia actually is a thing. I suspected as much, considering how often people claim fallacy without being able to explain how they came to that conclusion. It is in fact a form of fallacy.
Thanks Greg, I appreciate it.
I don't always enact the labour to explain in detail when I am on my mobile, as too much typing = pita.
BTW, IMO, you are being uncharitable. EdinburghEye is clearly a highly intelligent individual, as is Timothy Griffy. Cut them some slack, please.
Sex is consent to abortion, not to pregnancy. So you are wrong there. 70 percent of conceptions end in natural abortion, so any consent to sex is consent to abort 70 percent of any life created. . And if the sex was intentional, then the abortion was intentional.
**Bacteria and cattle are not human. My point about brain function was pretty clear**
Epic fail. You specifically stated that brain function was not the measure of humanity or rights. If that is the case, exactly what are your grounds for denying rights to bacteria and cattle?
**. If no brain function means no rights, and we all know brain function develops incrementally, do you believe rights are assigned incrementally as well?**
As a matter of fact, yes. So do you, unless you think a 3 year old has a 'right' to get a job as a hooker at the Mustang Ranch.
**At the earliest stages of brain development, preferences and emotions etc. are still not possible**
That's because the brain isn't functioning at the earliest stages. As for the early stages of when it IS functioning, you really can't make the statement that you did unless you have psychic powers.
**Brain function doesn't have to be the measure of humanity to exclude bacteria and cattle from (now pay close attention to this next word) H U M A N ity.**
You are still handwaving, like most forced gestationers. Fine, we will play that game. Admittedly, bacteria and cattle are NOT the same species as homo sapiens.
That said, what reason OTHER than BRAIN FUNCTION, do we have for not giving rights to bacteria and cattle? Did God spin a roullete wheel, and 'humans' just 'happened' to come out as the winner?
**BTW, brain function is able to be detected and monitored at 20 weeks,** Probably true.
**the necessary equipment is present a little earlier.** Debatable, and you're deliberately being fuzzy. What do you mean by a 'little earlier'? A few days? Or handwaving back to the time of conception.
** About the only basic human right that is incrementally increased with capacity for reason is autonomy,** Provably false, or it would be illegal to harvest organs from brain dead patients and deny care to anencephalic infants.
**The basic right to life trumps the right to autonomy, providing the person understood that there was a reasonable chance of that being the result of their actions.**
Sorry, no, or you would be required to donate blood and bone marrow, unless you could prove that you were unaware that being in decent health meant you produced more of both substances than you require. You would also have to give up any extra money you had beyond that needed for survival in a crowded shelter on a subsistence diet.
Where do I try to pretend that?
Oh, don't think I haven't been paying attention to the whole thing. As it so happens, I've been finalizing a blog post of my own responding to arguments like the one you are making, while responding to you and to posts on another blog. That part is finished, and I now have time to reply more fully to you and your argument. For the blog post, see http://tagriffy.blogspot.com/2014/12/bodily-rights-vs-responsibility-argument.html.
Now then, let's take some of the specifics of your particular argument. You're not exactly proposing anything new. Your "tacit consent" argument has already been dealt with by Holly Smith in her "Intercourse and Moral Responsibility for the Fetus" (http://philosophy.rutgers.edu/dmdocuments/Intercourse_and_Moral_Responsibility_for_the_Fetus.pdf). David Boonin also dealt with it in his A Defense of Abortion, p. 148-167. I've have relatively little to add to their arguments. At the risk of repeating myself at certain points, here are some things to think about when it comes to your tacit consent argument.
1. Granted your argument that autonomy can only be surrendered by consent, you are reserving to yourself the right to determine what, exactly constitutes consent.
So, you assert that the act of having sex constitutes implied consent to pregnancy. But, as of the time I started working on this post, you haven't answered my question about whether driving constitutes consent to being injured in a car accident, I could very well just gratuitously deny your gratuitous assertion.
2. "Implied consent" only obtains when the action can be clearly recognized as intending to grant consent to something–as clearly as if one gave explicit consent. For example, when my sister gets home from work before I have to leave, she will often simply hand me the keys to her car. I think there would be near-universal agreement that her action does constitute permission for me to use her car.
This is not the case with having sex, particularly when birth control is being used. The most we can say about someone consenting to sex is that they consented to sex. This applies to both parties.
3. You have failed to consider the scope of consent, even assuming tacit consent has been given for something. By giving me the keys to her car, my sister is granting me permission to use it. Is that also permission to drive the car through the house and kill her with it?
4. You are also arguing that consent cannot be revoked. That is a big assumption to be making when we are talking about explicit consent, let alone when we are talking about tacit consent. All you've done is to assert, not prove, that an action that "creates a new distinct human life" serves as a valid exception to the rule that consent can be revoked.
5. Can one tacitly waive their rights to someone who does not exist? Perhaps, but that is something that has argued, not assumed.
Are you drunk like myintx? READ YOUR OWN POST!!
'Innocence' does not magically create rights. Neither does being 'small', 'weak', or 'vulnerable'. If it did, Christmas tree ornaments would have more rights than any human being alive.
You must understand "continuum fallacy" differently than I do. What is your definition of it?
We do give animals some rights, though not many, and none for microscopic organisms at all. But we are talking about HUMAN rights in this discussion. We don't give HUMAN rights to anything that isn't human. There are a number explanations for why only humans have human rights, but the easiest is probably the best. We look out for our own. God has nothing to do with anything in my book. I don't have anything against deists, but I am not one. I wasn't waving anything. I was stating an incidental point. It's just to say that brain function isn't something we have set in stone exactly, but it's definitely earlier than 6 months in. It's not really a big point in my argument, since I don't make the argument that brain function is tied to the right to live. The right to live is an absolute, there is no incremental option. You either have it or you don't, and without it you have no rights. It's by that virtue, the most important and first basic human right.
Hey didn't Watson & Crick come up with some of that DNA stuff before you? IF so, why did you rename it, capitalize it, and say you authored it?
I hate to interrupt but this one is approaching Russ in the lunacy dept. She doesn't have her own set of Laws made up, but she does refer to unborn humans as "widdle embweyos " to emphasize her disdain for unborn babies.
**We don't give HUMAN rights to anything that isn't human. There are a number explanations for why only humans have human rights, but the easiest is probably the best. We look out for our own.**
So, what you are trying to claim here, is that if aliens with an average IQ of, say, 105 or so landed tomorrow, it would be just fine to kill them without provocation? Or are you just desperately trying to avoid mentioning brain function with your handwaving about 'looking out for our own'?
** but it's definitely earlier than 6 months in.**
**The right to live is an absolute, there is no incremental option. You either have it or you don't, and without it you have no rights. It's by that virtue, the most important and first basic human right**
In which case you would have to advocate forced kidney donation, since dialysis patients need a kidney for their 'very lives' and you can get by just fine with one kidney.
My language couldn't be clearer. You are just dumb as shit.
Aw, bless. Abuse is the last resort of those who know they lost the argument.
As for access to safe legal abortions, the point is irrelevant to my argument.
You're on a prolife site, claiming to be prolife, and you think access to safe legal abortions is "irrelevant"? No, Greg. Women's lives, health, and wellbeing are never "irrelevant".
Russell Crawford asserts (based on his 6 Laws) that a consent to have sex is a consent to abortion. What do you think about that?
I think he is wrong, at least in the form he makes that assertion. Consent to sex is just that: consent to sex.
You are attempting to avoid the subject.
You have a choice, you can choose to save innocent babies or you can let them die and save a fetus instead. Your choice is to let innocent babies die. You are a murderer.
According to your fictional "laws". There is nowhere else in the known universe that you could find that ridiculous claim, and it doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny. You seem to be using the Goebbels method of just repeating the lie until it's true.
Sorry Russ, but once again, saying something over and over in your head doesn't make it a scientific law. Consent requires knowledge. Unless a woman knows the rate of early term miscarriages (which many don't since they go undetected in most cases) AND knows that in some medical texts those are referred to as spontaneous abortions, AND equates a spontaneous abortion with just "abortion" (typically meant to represent a MEDICAL abortion), there was no consent to abortion. At best you could argue consent to miscarry, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who considers miscarriage and abortion the same. Calling your half baked idea a scientific law doesn't make it true. Even if you changed the wording to be less ambiguous by using the correct term for the specific type of abortion you claim consent to, you'd need to show evidence that a good majority of women knew and accepted that as fact before you could establish any form of consent.
I don't know why you continue to debate with Greg. He is a proved liar and bails when the going gets tough.
Why not just drop him?
The fact is that he is willing to lie and deceive. Why put up with that?
Russ seems to think she's a genius because she finished an inane comment with a self aggrandizing statement about her slightly elevated reading level in the 5th grade. I'm seeing no evidence of that here, but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure that even with her predisposition to one argument, she'd dismiss Russ's "laws", as everyone else has. Maybe that would be worthwhile since Russ seems to think her IQ is "off the charts".
Don't let Greg get too you. It is an ad hominem fallacy to avoid conversation by inserting personal opinion of a person's character. If a discussion has merit, the a person must discuss the merit and not try and win points with personal attack. Here is a clarification from a reputable site:
The ad hominem attack is usually fallacious, and becomes reasonable only when the consideration being advanced is directly relevant to whether the other person is generally truthful or reliable, or whether he is telling the truth in this instance, or whether he is engaged in a logical fallacy of his own. The usual case occurs when the other person is engaging in special pleading. Exposure of special pleading is a valid counterargument–so long as the accusation itself is valid. Technically, this is not an example of ad hominem, because it is an attack on the specific argument and/or the evidence advanced to support it.
In the modern legal system, most judges allow the prosecutor to attack the credibility of those who testify on the stand; such witness impeachment can call into question the character, impartiality, honesty, or competence of a witness. Again, however, this is not technically an ad hominem argument.
When Greg makes disparaging remarks and uses them to bolster his argument, he has offered an ad hominem fallacy. If he had a real valid argument he would not have to depend on personal attack.
I just noticed Greg jumped in again to debate with himself. I do not put up with his lies and distortions. I don't even read his posts anymore.
It is a fact that whatever comes out of his mouth will be a lie.
Consent to sex is consent to abortion in every case. Greg knows that and is guilty of consenting to abortion on a frequent basis. He knows that it is a Scientific Fact that any choice to have sex will result in the abortion of 70 percent of all conceptions that occur. He has no problem murdering what he believes are "babies" so long as he get to have sex.
His arguments on this page are meant to confuse people and have them ignore that he murders babies by his own definition.
I don't know why anyone debates with Greg.
Sure, the abuse originated from my side. It couldn't possibly have been your insistence on projecting your own interpretation over my statements and your refusal to engage in an honest dialogue. You have no idea what my beliefs are, maybe in the future you should ask people instead of projecting your own definition of the argument on to them. If you bothered to ask, you would have known that I do not advocate any laws restricting abortion. I advocate sound ethical reasoning, believing that people can and do create more social change than laws. MOST people are capable of coming to their own decision if we get rid of the dogmatic bullshit arguments from both sides. Those who aren't capable wouldn't be swayed by laws either, so they are pointless. You seem too caught up in the dogma of the "pro-freedom and choice vs. the forced birther" bullshit to have a reasonable discussion, so I decided not to waste my time.
Judging by the bullshit dogma "No.Greg.Women's lives. health, and wellbeing are never irrelevant" I wasn't wrong. You really are dumb as shit.
Close, but not quite. I don't recognize sanctity in anything. I do believe in personal responsibility and sound ethical reasoning. I'm not really concerned with protecting children as much as you would think. It's just plain ethics. I have kids, and I love them, but I don't place any greater ethical value on a person based on their stage of development.
Why is it "bullshit dogma?'
*Is* it true that female health and life are irrelevant?
So its all about holding people responsible for their actions?
I didn't say they were, I said "access to safe legal abortions is irrelevant to my argument", because I never argued to limit it. That was clear dogmatic bullshit. I didn't say anything ANYWHERE in ANY of this discussion about denying women access to anything. She is trained to recognize and counter one argument, I didn't give it to her, so she went ahead and argued it anyways.
I can't seem to find the post with the blog link. If you repost it, I'll respond there.
Though I agree with you line of reasoning, the issue is not that complex. The primary result of sex is natural abortion. Pregnancy is a secondary possibility. With any consent to sex comes the attached fact that most likely (70%) the product of conception will abort. Therefore, any person that consents to sex consents to abortion. Intentional consent is intentional abortion.
That assumes conception actually occurs. But as I'm sure you are well aware, sex, though perhaps necessary, is not a sufficient for conception to occur. At most, when one has sex, one only foresees that conception and the resulting processes that will end in either birth or abortion will occur. Only if one intends for conception to occur can it plausibly said that one consent to the results of the process that then plays out.
Thanks. The blog is http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/
Most relevant to things we have been discussing, and therefore most appropriate for continuing our discussion, are the latest post, "Moral Intuition, Logic and the Abortion Debate," and section 7 of "Dismantling the Bodily-Rights Argument without Using the Responsibility Argument."
Correction: section 5, not section 7.
Also my theory about the responsability objection:
To some extent. It's really more about getting people to recognize their responsibility. I don't have the authority to hold anyone to anything, and I don't presume to say my ethical conclusions are the only valid ones. I just make an attempt to explain my own conclusions and encourage people to form their own without prejudice. Of course I would like it if their beliefs coincided with my own, and like to think a lot of them will. I am crass and not particularly compassionate sometimes, but I am not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers, or liberal enough in my view of government to think more laws are a solution. I see too many people making the same arguments about abortion being simply a woman's choice about her body and nothing else. I am just trying to show a reasonable argument to the contrary.
You mean getting "women" to recognize their responsibility.
If a woman has an ethical obligation to 1) permit a prenate to use her organs 2) support that child once born
Then by all rights, a man should have the same responsibilities. If his child needs his organs or tissues, he has the same responsibilities as the woman – bodily donation along with financial support.
To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.
So do you think that voluntary slavery is ethically right?Since you believe that rights can be surrendered by consent.
"Autonomy is near the bottom"
— I came to a similar conclusion by a deductive process. Would appreciate your opinion.
Slavery by the normally accepted definition isn't voluntary. If you are talking about indentured servitude, as long as the terms are clear and agreed to it's not an ethical conflict. If you consent to surrender your rights, even temporarily, you have no claim as long as the terms were cleat and agreed to. Of course there are situations where a different ethical conflict comes up. If the person is deprived of other basic human rights and consents to surrender autonomy to gain other rights that should have been inherent to begin with, it's a different story.
We've been over all of this. It's all a matter of consent. If he knew that there was real likelihood of his tissues or organs being required, he consented, if not he didn't. And YES the man has ethical responsibilities, including but not limited to what you mention. Even if there were no consent, I would gladly surrender any organ or tissue necessary to any of my children, including the two that I assumed responsibility for by marrying their mother. Fathers assume a lot more responsibility than just financial ones. We are ethically obliged to guide, protect, and provide for them in ANY way required, even at the expense of our own fundamental rights. Our rights immediately become secondary. Granted not all fathers live up to that. But I sincerely believe they are ethically obliged to. The mother shares that burden, but that in no way diminishes the obligation of the father.
If he knew that there was real likelihood of his tissues or organs being required, he consented, if not he didn't
I know we have, and that is irrelevant. If parents create a child, they create a being that is needy – that will need either their bodies, tissues and/or their financial support to survive.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
If women are ethically obligated to provide bodily donation + wallet, then the same should be asked of men, it is only fair.
I don't necessarily disagree, but the terms of the arrangement aren't equal, and can't be. Women have the greater burden when it comes to pregnancy. That is a natural fact, and one that both the man and woman are aware of when they initiate the reproductive process. The woman consents to a different set of terms than the man, but retains a greater deal of control over the situation. If she doesn't feel those terms are equitable, amend them or don't agree to them. You can't fault nature for the inequity.
I don't necessarily disagree, but the terms of the arrangement aren't equal, and can't be.
No, but if called upon to donate his organs and tissues to sustain the life of his child, he should be just as ethically obligated as the woman.
You can't fault nature for the inequity.
Which is why we override nature through technology.
We don't really ever override nature. Technology is human, humans are nature. We attempt to subvert nature, but speaking strictly philosophically, I don't think we ever do. Personally, my take on tissue or organ donation is simple. If you can prevent your child from preceding you to the grave, you should even if it means heading there early yourself. Honestly it's probably more of a selfish belief than an ethically pure belief. I couldn't imagine burying one of my kids. As big of an asshole as I am already, I would an absolute sociopathic nightmare, and of no practical use to the world. If my son needed my heart or lungs, I'd cut them out myself. Aside from saving him, it would save me from losing him, and the world from having another raging sociopath to deal with. In my opinion it would be the only logical and ethical route. I can't expect everyone to share my conclusion.
We don't really ever override nature. Technology is human, humans are
nature. We attempt to subvert nature, but speaking strictly
philosophically, I don't think we ever do
Indeed, it can be argued that our technology is really just an extension of nature, as we are a part of nature.
But, we do 'override' it in the sense that if we get an infection, we take antibiotics to kill it. If we ingest a parasite in a burrito, we take an anti-parasitic to kill the parasite, and so on.
In my opinion it would be the only logical and ethical route. I can't expect everyone to share my conclusion.
I can't fault you for that.
We kill infections in the same manner that apes pick lice from each others body. We're just better at bending nature to our whims than most animals. Or at least we like to think we are. Of course every action has a reaction. We kill viruses or parasites, and they evolve. We can stave them off for so long, but we wind up creating drug resistant strains like MRSA. Each attempt to subvert nature comes with a consequence. In the end it's hard to say we really change the equation much. We keep several thousand people from getting a mild to moderate staph infection, in exchange for several hundred getting a deadly serious one that doesn't respond to treatment. Don't ask me what the answer to that conundrum is, I couldn't begin to guess.
Each attempt to subvert nature comes with a consequence.
I wish people would realize that. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that we should just let nature take it's course, either, as that can also have dire consequences. But, for example, overuse of antibiotics can have unintended consequences.
Overuse of HAND SANITIZERS can have dire consequences. Overuse of antibiotics has produced near catastrophic consequences. I have to take a Bloodborne Pathogen, Infection Control, and Universal Precaution (aseptic technique) course every year. Each year there is a new strain of Hepatitis, Staph or some other form of infectious disease to worry about. When I first took the course 15 years ago, it took a couple hours and there was a ten minute exam to get certified. It's an all day affair now and the exam takes as long as the course used to.
This may be totally inappropriate, and is not intended as a jab at anyone, but I wonder how long it will take for humans to evolve abortion resistant fetuses. There have been abortion survivors. If they breed, it's just a matter of time. Of course we will probably be wiped out by skynet before that happens.
You mean like, embryos that can survive and grow without the use of a uterus?
I am totally OCD about germs, but I stopped using antibiotic handwash when I learned about antibiotic resistance. You want clean hands, a good thorough wash will remove any germs. Also, antibacterial tends to give people a false sense of confidence, which isn't good.
There's a pretty major difference between the scenarios, aside from one being biological and the other not. The reproductive process has a specific design. The entire purpose of the reproductive process (biologically speaking) is to create a new organism. Regardless of why you choose to initiate the process, you do so knowing the biological design. The reproductive process is MEANT to make more people. Driving typically has an intended design as well. We drive to get where
we want to go. The type of consent is not the same. In one scenario you're hoping to avoid the outcome the process is meant to produce, in the other you are hoping to avoid an outcome that is not the purpose of the process.
Also, it kills bacteria that is meant to be present. We were told that it could lead to faster colonization of unwanted bacteria like staph as well as increased risk of contact dermatitis.
The supposed "purpose" of an act is irrelevant to a discussion of what acts can be presumed to constitute consent to what consequences. If the only function of sex was reproduction, then you might have a case for saying consent to sex implies consent to the loss of body or property rights. But sex does not, and therefore it cannot be assumed that having sex constitutes consent to the loss of body or property rights on all the grounds I've already discussed–most of which you didn't actually address.
There is only one objective purpose for sex. You can cite love, recreation or other motivations, but they are not the purpose. The purpose is and always has been procreation. Before we had elaborate constructs about love and marriage or the time to do anything recreational we had sex. Animals that lack the cognitive ability to have complex emotions or recreational activity have sex. There is only one legitimate, objective purpose for sex, reproduction. The rest of your argument hinges on a belief that there is, so I didn't address it.
Nonsense. If sex were only for procreation, humans would go into heat and only have sex when they were fertile, just like every other animal.
Nonsense. As Jennifer pointed out, if the only purpose for sex among humans was reproduction, then we'd only have sex when the female is fertile. The fact is that sex among humans serves a number of legitimate, objective purposes. To single out any one of those purposes and call it the only legitimate function is completely arbitrary. Hence, the rest of my argument still stands.
The entire purpose of the reproductive process (biologically speaking) is to create a new organism.
No, not at all. Again, you could say that this is true for animals that go into heat, but in humans reproduction is so fraught with flaws that it would appear that the *design*, for lack of a better word, is to NOT get pregnant 99% of the time. This is because sex is primarily for social bonding. We are a lot like the bonobos in that regard. Human females, and bonobo females, are always receptive, because sex builds social bonds within the group.
And in fact, simply reproducing is not a positive net gain. People often say 'the best thing that an organism can do is reproduce', but that is hogwash, because until your offspring is of reproductive age, your genes will have gone *nowhere*. Simply being able to shit out babies all the time = worthless, and in fact, can kill off your entire group if you outbreed the carrying capacity of your environment.
In humans, reproduction is so iffy precisely *because* we are not meant to have a baby every time we have sex, as that would be disastrous. Sex has two roles – social bonding and reproduction, and when people have sex, they can certainly consent to one or the other.
You're claiming that a member of a species can change its species. That's mildly interesting, but stunningly unpersuasive.
It's all about your anti-life feelies, 'Ann'.
Ah, an 'unspecified life form'. How convenient. You claim to be a nurse? That's a laugh.
I never claimed that a member of a species can change it's species. Either show where I claimed that, or apologize and retract.
I didn't read that. You are bringing up false facts in an effort to cover up for your murders. You are a murderer of innocent born babies.
You have a choice, you can save babies or you can let those babies die and save a fetus instead. Your choice is to look at and support the rape and murder of months old children and help the rapist. You could choose to look at the poor bloody baby and stop the rapists. But you don't. In fact when it comes to the rape of adults, you want to force the birth of the rapists baby so that it can be raped as well.
Now you have that pesky choice that won't go away. You could choose to save the babies and stop the rapist and abort the fetus of the rapists so they are not rewarded, but you won't. You will continue to murder innocent babies and help rapists. —–AND CLAIM TO BE PRO LIFE—-
You are an ordinary pro life guy.
Actually, I can see why exactly someone might support infanticide in the hypothetical event of a shortage of qualified adoptive parents. Frankly, I would *not* consider such an individual to be scum as long as he or she also supported legalized abortion.
"Logic and history can tell us that the price of saving widdle pwecious embwyoes will be infanticide."
This does *not* appear to be a good justification for legalized abortion, though.
"Nobody has abortions because "that's what they truly want." Likely all women who have abortions resent being in that position, whether they wanted the pregnancy or not. For instance, there's a long list of things women who have abortions would rather spend that $500 (or more) on. It's expensive, painful and decidedly not convenient. In other words, not fun."
I think that you might be missing the crux of the anti-abortion argument here; any decent anti-abortion person would *not* have any program with, say, removing a dead fetus from a woman's uterus even though I am presuming that no woman would want to undergo that either. Rather, anti-abortion people are concerned about prenatal lives, which is probably something that some/many pro-choicers don't care much about (just like I don't care much about the deaths of, say, amoebas) considering that I have heard some pro-choicers refer to embryos and fetuses as "oblivious collections of tissue and cells."
That's the most coherent argument I've heard to counter my belief, but I still contend that reproduction is the primary role, and sole purpose (biologically anyways) for sex. There are many motivations for sex, social bonding, pleasure, status, etc. I don't consider those the purpose, but the motivation. The fact that our reproductive process is so inefficient is precisely why we need motivators. I don't think either argument can be considered empirically correct, and yours is certainly as valid as mine. I just see it a bit differently. We are programmed to procreate. Our roles in the process are certainly not the same. A man can easily get two or more women pregnant at the same time. From a biological perspective, his sex drive should be higher to produce more of the species. Nature tends to make that the case. Men have an innate need to copulate that begins as soon as they are able. Of course the result of every copulation doesn't result in reproduction. If it did our planet would be overrun by human/sock hybrids in a matter of days. Men are driven by nature to copulate. Women have an innate need to form social bonds. Women are receptive to sexual intercourse that doesn't lead to reproduction for the same reason young men masturbate relentlessly. I'm sure someone is gonna jump on that and call me a sexist or worse, but it's not a value judgement or a stereotype, and it isn't meant to imply men have NO desire for social bonds or that women have NO desire for sex for pleasure alone. Let's be honest about it though. Men are piggish about their sex drive far more often than women, and women are more likely then men to nurture close interpersonal relationships. It's part of the process, not the reason for it. As far as I can tell the only actual reason is still reproduction.
American Indians who made long treks routinely killed infants that were born at the wrong time of year.
I have sex to get an orgasm. I never in a long lifetime have had sex to get pregnant.
I covered that in another comment to Floid and Dewitt. I'll give you the abridged version. There are several motivators for sex, but only one purpose. The fact that the process is so inefficient is exactly why we need motivators. Men tend to be driven to copulate as often as possible, women tend to be driven to form social bonds. Those aren't the purpose for sex, they are the motivation that makes sure it happens frequently. BTW, humans (or our distant ancestors) did have a estrus cycle at one time, and evolved away from it. There are a number of theories on why. I tend to think it's for precisely the reason Floid mentioned about bononos and humans forming social bonds. However, studies have shown women have a higher sex drive when fertile, and men are more attentive to fertile women. Most people attribute it to pheremones or the ability to subliminally detect minor physiological changes. Regardless, men seem to know when a woman is fertile. Men are also more likely to revert to alpha male behaviors when their partners are fertile. They tend to view other men as a threat to their dominance etc. As much as we like to think we are so removed from the animal kingdom, we really are just smart apes. The only purpose of ANY species is to propagate. We all live so that we can pass life on, there really is no other purpose to anything.
What does a basketball have to do with my vagina?
Or the law of gravity with sex and orgasm?
What a crappy analogy.
I mean it might work if you got pregnant every single time you do the nasty. But we do not.
Already covered that in two other comments, but here's a short version. Humans have motivations for sex, but motivation is not purpose. Women ARE more sexually active when they are fertile, and men are drawn naturally to women who are fertile. Men become territorial around fertile women, and so on. We are smart apes, that's all. To think otherwise is arrogant. Just like any other species, we are programmed to procreate. Men are driven to copulate, and women to form social bonds. They are innate drives that guide the reproduction process. Sure sex is fun, and it creates bonds, but those aren't the purpose, they are part of the process.
BTW, Jennifer stated in a previous comment that she agreed with Russell Crawford's "laws". So it's kinda hard to take her serious here. His "law of consent" states that consent to sex that may result in pregnancy is consent to abortion. I'm not sure how you read that, but it seems to imply consent to the pregnancy as well. No pregnancy=no abortion. Her comment about the estrus cycle is noted, and addressed. I just wonder if her argument is based more on a predisposition to disagree with me based on her own "us vs. them" mentality.
Orgasms are a motivation, not a purpose. People are motivated to have sex for all sorts of reasons, but the human reproductive process only has one purpose, and sex is the first step in the process.
If you really want to see me work to make my point, bring up homosexuality. That's where my argument might have a hole. I'm still trying to figure out the objective way to address that. It's clear that homosexuality isn't an aberration, it isn't unethical, and is consistent with the behavior of other species. I just have yet to figure out it's biological purpose. It clearly isn't reproduction. I'm surprised nobody else brought that up.
I'm not going to make the obvious "your vagina is like a basketball because…" joke here. You're welcome.
I think this is where I lost you, I'm backtracking because I think we have a fundamental difference of opinion (which is fine) but we aren't communicating exactly where it is. This is it. I do NOT believe that all people are held to a universal set of ethical obligations. I believe they have to come to their own conclusions on some matters of ethics, and then be consistent (or at least make an honest effort) in living up to their code of ethics. I may disagree with their logic, and attempt to explain why, but I do not believe in an absolute and immutable code of ethics. There are certain matters that have a widespread consensus, but that's typically only the most base principles like theft, murder etc. More complex issues like abortion don't have a single universal conclusion. Yet another reason I find Russell's "scientific natural laws of abortion" so completely ludicrous.
You did not answer my question.
The only purpose I have in mind when I do coitus is orgasm.
I never once had the purpose of getting pregnant. Not once.
I have done I would say about 100 different men, many of them more than once. My purpose is doing them was orgasm. The women I did were for orgasm too.
Orgasm is the purpose of sex. Pregnancy is an occasional side effect. Kind of like booze. Hangover is only an occasional side effect. I only drink for the orgasm, so to speak.
Why do you think young boys are prone to masturbating relentlessly?
You asked two questions, I assumed both to be rhetorical. Unless you really want to know what a basketball and your vagina have in common (lots of guys dribble it for a while and throw it away), or why I chose an analogy you didn't like. If you mean I didn't address your statement, I did, in detail. Your motivation for engaging in the human reproduction process is NOT the purpose of the process. The process (including sex as the first step) is called HUMAN REPRODUCTION for a very explicit reason. The fact that is horribly inefficient requires added incentive, like orgasms, heightened sex drives, expectations of bonding, love, status or even money. None of those are the REASON for the process they just ensure it happens.
And if I arrange it well and/or I am infertile, I can have lots of orgasms and no reproduction.
Because orgasm is the only purpose and motivation I have in mind when I have sex.
Once again you are addressing your motivation, not the purpose. The purpose of drinking is to get drunk. Some people will tell you they drink to be social, or to relax, or just like the taste but the actual and only purpose to drink alcohol is to get the intoxicating effect. The only objective purpose to put a penis inside of your vagina and stimulate it to ejaculation is to fertilize your eggs. Granted, that rules out a lot of sex, and probably most of the good sex, but it is still a fact. It is the first step in the human reproductive process. If you consent to start the process, you consent to the possibility of it continuing.
I see where our problem is. I'm not concerned with what you have in your mind. That is your motivation. The purpose of the process is not determined by what you have in your mind, it's determined by what you have in your vagine.
Nope. Maybe you are led around by your twig and berries. I know who, what, when, where and why I have sex. Orgasm.
This might be true if every time I had an orgasm, I got pregnant.
That's all fine and good, but it doesn't change the purpose of the human reproduction process. Hell, it's in the title. I'm a little old, and way too tired from raising kids to be led around by my twig and berries, but I assure you as a younger man I wasn't just led by it, I was absolutely dominated by the relentless drive to ejaculate. I got a little chuckle out of you previous comment about having 100 partners. I learned to play guitar, started a band, recorded an album and went on tour, with sex being the primary motivation (drugs and booze a close second, but probably directly related). Practically everything a young man does can be attributed to
his desire to ejaculate into someone else. That's the strength of the biological drive to procreate. Of course I didn't think blasting a trail of semen from Cleveland to Tulsa was me trying to procreate. I thought I was having sex because to get off. In reality, I was having sex because it was my biological design. I was a young man, I had sex because it felt good, which ensured that I had lots of sex. That's the natural design, regardless of what I thought my reasons were.
I do not give a shit why an asexual pedantic person has sex. I have sex to get an orgasm.
Whatever you say, I guess you aren't subject to the normal hormonal or natural influences the rest of world has to deal with. Must be nice to exist outside of the natural world. Thats probably why your vagina had it's own waiting room.
Talk about my vagina all you like. Come anywhere near it and I will hurt you.
In your case they are both a let down.
and it's just sheer coincidence that the product of that orgasm is reproductive material?
The analogy was to illustrate a process, not an inevitability. Get past it already. The point was that you can't consent to begin a process but not the possibility of it continuing.
Correct. Pregnancy is not inevitable. I can consent to sex. I can end a pregnancy at will.
I'll give you pedantic, it's not something I'm actually ashamed of. That's like complaining about someone being too organized or meticulous. Asexual though? I just see sex for what it is biologically. I'm a 42 year old father of three, sex isn't my priority anymore. I've already ensured my genetic material has been passed on.
When did I say that?
I am not interested in your issues getting wood. They have pills for that.
Did I express any interest in spelunking? I'll take you at your word, I'm sure your vagina is very menacing.
That was a question, hence the question mark at the end.
"If you bothered to ask, you would have known that I do not advocate any laws restricting abortion."
Well, since that's the exact reverse of the prolife position, and since you began by claiming to be prolife…?
You see the difficulty?
If you believe girls and women should get to choose for themselves whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy, and that they should have free access to safe legal abortion so that they can make that choice… well, then you're not prolife at all: you are prochoice.
Welcome to the human rights side of the fence.
Sure, push the poison blue boner pills knowing full well that your voice is the only antidote.
Nope, you are just caught up in dogma. You have an 'us vs. them" mindset and make wild assumptions based on your own bigotry. I am pro-life in EVERY regard. I oppose abortion on ethical grounds and apply those same ethical principles to the death penalty, war and violence in general. The fact that I don't think laws are the solution to all of our problems does NOT make me pro-choice. It isn't an issue of choice at all. The whole "pro-choice" or "pro-life" argument is juvenile. EVERYBODY is pro-choice and EVERYBODY is pro-life. The argument against abortion from a legal standpoint isn't about choice anymore than the argument against theft is anti-choice. They see it as a moral absolute. I just happen to disagree with absolutism, and even more so with legislation based on it. It sure as heel doesn't put me in camp with you. Your "welcome the human rights side of the fence" is yet another example of your raging dogmatic idiocy. Sorry, you are still dumb as shit.
I rest my case. Unless you have given up sex entirely, you are not having sex to get pregnant.
Thank you. About time.
You have no argument. Pregnancy is natural. To which I say, so what? So are hemmorhoids.
hemmorhoids? Come on. Try a little harder than that. I apoligozed already for making crude jokes, you just keep setting them up. I'm not taking the bait this time. Talk about lame analogies though. Hemmorhoids have NOTHING in common with pregnancy, unless you got them from consensual sex, and expect them to grow up and become hemmorbabies. Look, we are never gonna find any common ground here. I'm not some dumb kid with half formed ideas, and neither are you. I can't stand the empty platitude about "agreeing to disagree", but I think we can both agree that the one of us is wrong, and neither of us is likely to convince the other one it's them. As much fun as it is making ignorant jokes (becuase your provide ample ammo) I have to bow out of this discussion, it's going nowhere.
**This does *not* appear to be a good justification for legalized abortion, though.**
Unless you propose to explain exactly how and when angels are going to descend from the sky, and reverse what has been historically true, which would involve, btw, curing all genetic defects, drastically altering the psychology of most human beings, eliminating all medical problems involved with pregnancy. eliminating all poverty, causing the Earth to have an infinitely large land area and produce an infinite amount of food, I'd say it IS a 'good justification'. It is not, however, the only justification. Learn to deal with the disappointment.
Your analogy does not work because humans are not slaves to their biology. You have a mind so literal that you cannot understand humor nor see inferences.
But you want, nevertheless, to be in charge of my pudenda. Like all zealots.
I tried to be nice. Trust me nobody wants anything to do with your rotten old pudenda. Why would I want to be in charge of a dirty sock with no elastic stuffed full of month old roast beef? I picked up your inferences, they were about as subtle as a festering cold sore. I just tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. Humans are absolutely constrained by biology, just like every other animal and every other living thing. The fact that you think we (and you in particular) are special is your own hubris. Have fun, and please try to stay downwind.
Why not? As I pointed out before, we do it all the time.
Tell that to a bulimic.
When I say "can't" I mean that in the ethical sense, but I'm pretty sure you knew better. As for "we", no "we" don't. Maybe you do. We've been over all of this, and it's not getting anywhere. You have a fundamentally different interpretation of ethics than I do. That's fine, but don't expect me to bend mine to fit yours. You've made your case, and I explained in detail where my reasoning and yours will not reconcile. I find it ironic that so many folks who generally consider themselves open minded, enlightened and pro-choice tend to only tolerate someone else's ideals if they are a carbon copy of their own.
The motivation doesn't exist just so reproduction can occur. The motivation arises because sex = social and emotional bonding. Plum seeks an orgasm because it feels good because feeling good is an end in itself because it is healthy for her to feel good.
Sexual pleasure = end in itself.
And right there is the roadblock in our conversation. I just don't believe that. The biological impulse to procreate is innate, the external motivating factors are just that. Social bonding isn't necessary for the survival of the species, it's a bonus and it helps, but it isn't necessary. If anything it just promotes more breeding. I know you're probably thinking, "Greg's wife is one lucky woman to have such a romantic son of a bitch," but she knew going in that I was a pragmatist, not a romantic. Notions of orgasms as an end in itself, or romantic love and social bonding as the purpose for sex just make no biological sense. Orgasms certainly serve no purpose biologically other than motivation to have sex. I sincerely believe that every aspect of the human reproductive process is designed, or rather left over through the process of weeding out, by natural forces (evolution) to produce more people. The innate drive to procreate exists in EVERY species. We are not special, not even a little bit. At any rate. I respect your opinion on the matter and think you've made an honest and reasonable case for it. I don't think you are wrong necessarily I just disagree. I don't think there's credible science to prove either case empirically so it just comes down to what makes sense to you I suppose.
Greg, if you must know, this very discussion about sex, and it's role, and reproduction, and homosexuailty etc, has interested me for quite some time.
To be honest, we don't yet know all that there is to know, and I would still be careful, if I was you, to unequivocally say that the purpose of sex is reproduction therefore we are bound to it should we engage in the behaviour. There is still a lot we need to learn, not just about *why* and *how* sex evolved, but about why internal gestation, specifically, evolved, and why fun from sex is, in fact, an end in itself.
Here are some links that you might find interesting, and if you have the time, I would advise that you check them out:
How pregnancy evolved:
Evolution, adaptation, exaptation – it is all terribly complicated, and it could even be argued that social bonding came before the reproductive process, and was in fact necessary, at least in humans, because human offspring cannot be raised without help. There is another article about this, somewhere, but I have to find it, type it out, and I am lazy atm:P
Social bonding isn't necessary for the survival of the species, it's a bonus and it helps, but it isn't necessary
It is though, at least in humans, because, as I stated, if your offspring are incapable of reaching reproductive age, your genes will go nowhere. And there is a lot more to survival than simply shitting out kids. The social bonding role of sex is hugely important, and it could be argued, that without that social bonding and healthy side effects of sex that humans could simply drive themselves to extinction.
BTW, any ideas on why rape isn't the preferred method of reproduction amongst humans?
I don't think there's credible science to prove either case empirically
so it just comes down to what makes sense to you I suppose.
Yep, as I just explained, we have a *lot* more to learn about the evolution of pregnancy/sex and so on.
Meh, Plum's vagina is like a football field!
Bullshit. We all know you've got like 500 kids locked up in a basement somewhere.
Women ARE more sexually active when they are fertile, and men are drawn naturally to women who are fertile.
Selfish genes in action.
Hey, how familiar are you with genomic imprinting?
I just got home to 200 disqus updates in my inbox and am reading everything back to front!
At any rate, I have found it interesting that semen will trigger women to ovulate, which is one reason why women can get pregnant from rape, even if not fertile. Selfish genes in action, I say. I asked you about genomic imprinting in another comment, so just ignore this if you want.
I don't presume to say my ideas are set in stone. If I come across a better idea, or just something that can add some clarity to the ideas I already have, I am more than open to it. Like I said, homosexuality still presents a trouble for my biological imperative philosophy. I can't make an argument (and wouldn't want to) to call homosexuality unnatural or unethical, but it certainly doesn't fit neatly in my philosophy. I'm still working on that part. I wonder if there is a correlation between population and homosexuality, maybe to indicate that homosexuality is a natural form of regulation or something. I don't know. Like I said it's the weakest link in my philosophy right now. The easy was around it, and why I suspect it has been used so often, would be to simply say it's unnatural or unethical. I don't buy that.
I'd rather have a small hole in my ideals than a big hole in my integrity and logic. At any rate. I'll check the links out. Thanks.
I disagree, because sentient children can suffer. Zygotes, embryos and fetuses, not so much.
Not very, but I'll read up on it.
If you are in the USA and the CBC one doesn't work, you may want to try Netflix or *cough* do a creative internet search…
So should we legalize painless infanticide if this will hypothetically reduce the number of children who are abused and/or painfully killed later on?
I have a pretty "creative"
computer. It can be in whatever country it wants to be, while I am in the US. The CBC one should work. I'll check it when I get my youngest to bed. Right now it's Daddy time. Have a good night, or day whichever applies.
I still need to hook myself up with a 'creative' computer, but have been too lazy as of late to get that going..I will need to set up an extra machine for it too….
Babies can suffer, just like animals.
Sure, but they wouldn't suffer if they are painlessly euthanized, would they? Plus, even if they will suffer a little, wouldn't it be better than them suffering much more later on in their lives?
Well, they ARE oblivious tissue.
You know what? Your own side doesn't like you. I don't like you. Yes, I claim to be a nurse, and so does the Commonwealth of PA claim I'm a nurse. An abnormal conception, for whatever short time it lives, isn't a human life, and in the case of molar and partial molar pregnancy, decidedly NOT human life. Even though the mole is alive, and may or may not contain fetal tissue, nobody considers it human life. It is a NEOPLASM!
All of them in chains, rolling cigars, and starving. Muah ha ha!
I tried to be nice.
'Tried' being the operative word. Epic fail – just like when you tried analogy. And tried humor. I stopped reading right there. I wonder what you wrote.
yeah, I can't read anything past "epic fail" sorry, I didn't realize I was talking to time travelling preteen girl from 2010. Are you a belieber?
Yes; however, my point here that some/many (but obviously not all) pro-choicers don't have a problem (or at least much of a problem) with killing non-viable prenatal lives (which is the aspect of abortion which politically anti-abortion people dislike the most by far) appears to remain a valid one.
Hemmorhoids have NOTHING in common with pregnancy.
It is an analogy. We know you do not get how analogies work.
There is no right to life. If there were a right to life, the state could execute no one.
"Some philosophers have criticised rights as ontologically dubious entities. For instance, although in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, the utilitarian philosopherJeremy Bentham opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts." – wikipedia
I mean it in the ethical sense as well. Let's look at some of the processes we begin without consenting to the possibility of it continuing. We mow lawns and trim trees we planted. We breed wolf bitches to mate with any male that comes around when they are in heat, but prevent them from doing so except with sires we choose. We spray poisons and set traps to keep out pests we invite. We treat diseases and cancer even though it is often our actions that caused us to have them. We mend broken bones, broken hearts, even broken genes. And yes, we interfere with the biological process of reproduction–both before and after conception–in order that sex serves the purposes we choose. Most of these practices are considered ethically neutral. In some cases, it would be considered unethical not to do so. Human beings are not slaves to biological processes, and in fact it could be argued that it is the very nature of being human to not allow ourselves to be slaves to biological processes.
I've already stated in this very thread where and why I disagree with Russell's argumentation. If Jennifer wants to take me up on the topic, she is free to do so. You know, just like Russell himself did.
Of course you can disagree with some aspects of what I say, but the laws are really not debatable. Even if you think they are not laws, they are universally true and meet the definition of what is a law according to the vast majority of people. The theories I propose are in fact theories and are always open to debate. Theories are often as valid a description as a law.
So lets take up the topic.
The "Law of Charity" states there are more people dying than can be saved.
Could you link to your conversation with me. I am having trouble finding it.
It is very hard to see how one can apply that logic to consent to abortion and withhold it entirely from consent to pregnancy. Can you elaborate on how that works?
Humans have not only evolved away from estrus cycles, they have evolved away from reproduction being the only purpose for sex entirely. You have cited homosexual sex as a major hole in your theory, but even considering heterosexuals, your theory still has plenty of holes. Many of our sexual practices are not just inefficient for sexual reproduction–they are downright wasteful. We engage in oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation, none of which serves the biological purpose of reproduction. We have sex when we are not fertile. And I'm not just talking about having sex when the woman is not (about to) ovulate, either. Males have sex when they are not fertile. Women continue to have sex after menopause and after having hysterectomies or bilateral oophorectomies. And last, but not least, we employ devices, chemicals, and other means in order to prevent pregnancy when we have sex.
Meanwhile, a healthy sex life is increasingly regarded as essential to a human's total well-being, regardless of whether it leads to reproduction. A sudden decrease or loss of libido is now known to be a symptom of a number of ailments. Not having (enough) sex can play havoc on an individuals psychological health, not to mention the toll it takes on our relationships. We also employ devices, chemicals, and other means to enhance sexual pleasure (not to mention our libidos) without any regard to whether it will aid reproduction. Indeed, birth control itself is one of those means.
I've no doubt that I've only scratched the surface of the functions sex serves for human beings. I could also add the physical (though non-reproductive) and economic benefits of sex. Certainly those functions will aid the process of reproduction if pregnancy results from sex. But, again, to pick out reproduction and say that it is the only purpose for sex among human beings is arbitrary. Humans have simply evolved beyond that.
And to get back to your original argument, even if we grant that the only legitimate purpose of sex were reproduction among humans, that stipulation would still say nothing about what kinds of acts can be presumed to constitute consent to what what kinds of consequences.
Then why don't we invite a prospective partner back to our place for 'the human reproductive process'? Instead of saying that, we say 'lets have sex', with the intention 99.9% of the time being to avoid 'the human reproductive process'.
If it were reproductive material then your world of human / sock hybrids would exist. Greg Kells has asserted, however that it does not, and I have no reason to disagree with him. You are trying to say that one of the possible outcomes of orgasms is material, which in rare occurrences (relative to the amount of orgasms) can be a part of 'the human reproductive process'.
…except, by your own statements, when they don't.
I had thought that your remarks were in response to my response to Ur the baggee here: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/secularprolifeblog/secular_pro_life_perspectives_which_came_first_the_atheism_or_the_support_for_abortion/#comment-1738413650. I seem to have been wrong about that. However, that is where I stated I thought your argument was wrong, at least in the form it took.
I don't know about the "Law of Charity." That there are more people dying (assuming those deaths can be prevented) than can be saved is simply a matter of limited resources.
Pretty much everything I've argued against Greg will apply to your basic argument as well. Consent to risk does not imply consent to the undesired result should it occur.
Funny you mention that…
I was doing some research this morning that backs up what you and I have been saying..
Someone makes a good point…running and sports. The original *purpose* of running was to chase down prey, which is what indigenous tribes currently do in Africa – they will chase some prey for days, until it wears out and eventually die. In the modern world, running is done for sport. Are we not perverting nature??
And I believe that Ann Morgan pointed out that our mouths originally evolved for eating – talking is a secondary purpose.
"I don't know about the "Law of Charity."
The law is based upon an observation of the fact that everyone dies and the impact that fact has on the human race. I apply it later to abortion and saving life in general. You must read it all to understand what the impact is.
For example, because no life can be saved, either born or unborn, one must choose which life to save —- if they chose or claim to save life.
"That there are more people dying (assuming those deaths can be prevented) "
The law reflects the observation that no life can be saved eternally and that any saving is only temporary.
"than can be saved is simply a matter of limited resources."
No, resources have nothing to do with —my — point.
All people die so the number of resources do not matter. If a person is destined to die, no amount of resources will save them.
My wording is admittedly confusing if you do not read the supporting data. But that is not unusual for a law. The operation of a law must be explained in nearly every instance. If it were excessively obviously it would not be a law.
Sorry, I never saw this reply.
"That assumes conception actually occurs."
You are right. Conception that does occur, however, aborts 70 percent of the time. And for that reason consent to sex is consent to abortion.
"But as I'm sure you are well aware, sex, though perhaps necessary, is not a sufficient for conception to occur."
However, knowing that abortion will be the most likely outcome of conception makes it clear that consent to sex itself is consent to abortion.
"At most, when one has sex, one only foresees that conception and the resulting processes that will end in either birth or abortion will occur. Only if one intends for conception to occur can it plausibly said that one consent to the results of the process that then plays out."
If one intends for the conception to occur, they still consent to abortion. If one does not intend for the conception to occur but is aware of the possibility of abortion occurring 70 percent of the time they also are consenting to abortion. If a person is using birth control and does not thin conception is likely, they still understand that abortion is the most likely outcome should an accidental conception occurr and are therefore consenting to abortion.
Can you link to your reply to Greg. I do not want to read all his BS.
Of course you are right in a sense. The "intentional consent" is only to sex. There are obvious consequences that are -sometimes- not anticipated that accompany any sexual act. For example there may be an impact on relationships or STD's or even abortion. People that choose to have sex are aware that these possibilities occur. They are real and they impact our actions. It is a fact that any choice to have sex will result in a 70 percent chance that there will be an abortion in the first trimester and an additional 25 percent chance of an abortion before birth occurs. That chance includes the chance of a late term abortion.
Regardless of whether a person is capable of understanding that fact, it exist. Therefore any choice to have sex is consent to abortion, whether or not the person "admits" to that fact.
In one sense you are correct. There is no admitted consent. The consent occurs because the pro lifer knows any that with any sexual act there are accompanying unwanted consequences. For example sexual activity is not intentional consent to an STD, but it is a possible consequence on occasion. And if the sex was intentional the consequence was intentional as well. The same with abortion. A person may not admit that they know there will be an abortion and hence consent to abortion, but the consent is part and parcel to the intentional sex. Any consent to sex is consent to abortion.