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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd May 2010 at 11:39 AM
Default Abortion
The topic had come up in the culture thread, and I thought I'd bring my reply to another thread so as not to hijack the other:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
I hesitate to go farther into this because it is off-topic, but I do want to address this.

On the first point, I doubt that we will agree. We seem to have different assumptions about what constitutes life, so that particular point will remain a stalemate.



I think it is right on topic, because it has to do with morality and the "decline" or not, of values. But I moved it anyway.

And I respect your right to disagree about when life begins.

Quote:
On the second point, calling it a mark of an oppressive society is an opinion.


Unfortunately, no. Historically, one of the easiest ways to tell if a society is oppressive is to see if they try to limit, in any way, women's reproductive choices.

Check out this list, for example:

http://www.pregnantpause.org/lex/world02.htm

Most of the countries who ban abortion are oppressive to women, and most who allow it are not (China is on the list for a different reason--of course there will be exceptions)

Then look here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...velopment_Index

These are the countries, in order, of the best places to be a human. (I've seen a list that ranks specifically based on women's rights but can't find it now--but it's pretty similar, although I seem to recall Iceland was number 1 on that list)

But bottom line--generally countries that ban abortion are not nice places to live.
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Scholar
#2 Old 2nd May 2010 at 11:59 AM
I'll make it short:

The fetus is a parasite. This is a fact; it requires sustenance from a host in order to survive. That is what a parasite is.

"Oh it's murder!" Yeah, and I guess a woman is a murderer if she aborts it naturally, too, I guess, eh? Just be thankful it's a hell lot safer now than it used to be. And I really love the ones who say abortions should -never- be done, even if the mother's life is at risk. Why? You're indirectly causing someone to die! Think about that, you are letting someone die. Sounds a lot like...murder?

Look, I see fetus more as a thing than a person. It hasn't had any experiences, it isn't self-aware, it's not even fully developed usually.

I could say more in regards to certain political ideals and laws *coughOklahomacough*

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 2nd May 2010 at 12:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
I'll make it short:

The fetus is a parasite. This is a fact; it requires sustenance from a host in order to survive. That is what a parasite is.


That is pretty much my exact definition--it is my feeling that abortion should be legal until such time as the fetus can live independently without massive life support. (Very late term abortions tend to be dangerous for the mother, so i don't support that)

Quote:
I could say more in regards to certain political ideals and laws *coughOklahomacough*


What about Oklahoma?
Scholar
#4 Old 2nd May 2010 at 12:10 PM
There was two bills that went through the Oklahoma Senate, which is Republican-held. The Democrat Governor vetoed, saying they were unconstitutional, and the Oklahoma Senate overturned the vetos.

"Under the ultrasound legislation, doctors would have been required to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done."

"The new law also calls for a vaginal transducer ultrasound to be used in early-term abortions."

"The second abortion bill that the governor vetoed Friday was one that would have prohibited pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold important information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy. Supporters of that measure said it was an attempt to keep pregnant women from discriminating against fetuses with disabilities."

"In Oklahoma, the monitor must be put in front of the woman. While she can still avert her eyes, she must listen to a description of what the doctor sees, then sign a declaration she received the information before obtaining an abortion. If a doctor performs an abortion knowing the woman did not hear the information, he could be charged with a felony offense and lose his license."

Oklahoma House Bill 2780

Oklahoma House Bill 2656

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Mad Poster
#5 Old 2nd May 2010 at 12:20 PM
^^ That is exactly how I feel about it too, and I believe is also the stance taken in legal cases. If a foetus cannot survive independently of the mother then it is not a 'life'.

People cannot say that abortion is murder, simply because murder is illegal and abortion is legal:
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefreedictionary.com
Murder - The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.


It is also unrealistic to think that abortion would be unnecessary if everyone took precautions, because precautions fail. Out of the three women I know who have had abortions, they fell pregnant because of failed contraception (and yes, they were using it correctly).

If a woman doesn't want children and she finds herself pregnant then she should be allowed to choose whether she wishes to continue with that pregnancy. Accidents happen and it is preposterous to expect a woman to have to bring up a child that she does not want, and is cruel to force that life on the child.

There are so many misconceptions about abortion, so many negative opinions on it are due to such misconceptions.

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Lab Assistant
#6 Old 2nd May 2010 at 5:27 PM
How can fetus be a parasite, if you are guilty that he is in belly.
If for you fetus is just a thing, is then a tree thing for you or any other plant?
(things are dead, fetus has a heart)

Abandoned account...
Scholar
#7 Old 2nd May 2010 at 5:32 PM
From the last thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
I don't understand what you mean. Of course you can choose to murder! How is any action (whether you deem it moral or immoral) not a choice? Every action we take is a choice... isn't it?


This view is partially based in personal...psychology, I suppose, and partially based in Kant's ethical theory. I suppose I should explain that, after all.

Kant's underlying concepts are non-contradiction and universality. He points out that rationality is what gives us the power of choice, so we must logically preserve rationality in order to be able to make choices. Anything that destroys rationality is contradictory because that choice would not be possible if it weren't for rationality. This includes destroying the rationality of other beings because, if this were morally allowable, everyone would be allowed to destroy the rationality of others, and rational beings would have ceased to exist long before you would have been able to make the "choice" to destroy another's rationality. Therefore, the only rational choices you may make are those that preserve rationality or are not involved in rationality. Anything that you do that destroys rationality is irrational, and therefore not actually a choice, but something your baser nature drives you to do.

I don't follow this philosophy to a T for several reasons, but it is something that when I started taking philosophy, I found matches my own philosophy pretty well.

As to the matter of choice: I think my definition of choice is somewhat different from yours, and that is where the confusion comes from. One can, in a weaker sense, "choose" to do anything. What I basically mean when I say that murder is not a choice is that it is an action that is restricted by universal moral law, meaning it is not something a free person can choose. There is no freedom to defy universal law, meaning that murdering someone is not within the set of actions allowed to a moral being, but it also isn't a restriction on freedom because a moral being simply wouldn't choose to do so. This is rather difficult stuff to express; I hope I have explained it so you understand what I mean.

Quote:
I have to disagree. Contraceptives are not 100% effective. Only abstinence is. And we already know that teaching kids not to do it doesn't work!


Even in those few cases where contraceptives don't work, it is still the responsibility of the individuals involved. Pregnancy is caused by sex, a well-known fact about the nature of our biology. This means that when an individual has sex (at least of the sort that is able to cause pregnancy) they are aware of the potential consequences and it is their moral responsibility whatever comes of it. I'm not saying that people should be abstinent. For those who are able, that is best, but I understand that people have strong sex drives. What I am saying is that an adult should be prepared to deal with the consequences if the contraceptives fail. Abortion, like murder, is not a free choice because it encroaches on the rights of a developing human being, that you were perfectly aware could be caused by your actions. If you are aware of the potential effects of your actions, you should always be prepared to take responsibility for them.

From this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy_otter
Unfortunately, no. Historically, one of the easiest ways to tell if a society is oppressive is to see if they try to limit, in any way, women's reproductive choices.

Check out this list, for example:

http://www.pregnantpause.org/lex/world02.htm

Most of the countries who ban abortion are oppressive to women, and most who allow it are not (China is on the list for a different reason--of course there will be exceptions)

Then look here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...velopment_Index

These are the countries, in order, of the best places to be a human. (I've seen a list that ranks specifically based on women's rights but can't find it now--but it's pretty similar, although I seem to recall Iceland was number 1 on that list)

But bottom line--generally countries that ban abortion are not nice places to live.


No society is ever fully wrong about everything or fully right about everything. During the period of British colonialism, the best places to live were part of the British empire. This doesn't mean that they were right about everything; in many ways they were very oppressive. If you use the best places to live now as your standard for moral correctness, you are ignoring the complexity of society in favor of judging one particular trait. It may be that they are wrong on this particular trait, as no country is perfect. There are so many other factors that play into an advanced society that you can't always know which traits caused that society to be advanced. Some are obvious, such as medical technology. Others, not so obvious, like gay rights and abortion. Gays have few rights in the US, a trait that I would see as oppressive, yet it is on the list of most developed countries. I don't think that means it is an accurate barometer of what is morally correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
I'll make it short:

The fetus is a parasite. This is a fact; it requires sustenance from a host in order to survive. That is what a parasite is.

"Oh it's murder!" Yeah, and I guess a woman is a murderer if she aborts it naturally, too, I guess, eh? Just be thankful it's a hell lot safer now than it used to be. And I really love the ones who say abortions should -never- be done, even if the mother's life is at risk. Why? You're indirectly causing someone to die! Think about that, you are letting someone die. Sounds a lot like...murder?


A parasite is still a life form, and it just so happens that the earliest stage of human life is parasitic. That doesn't make it's value any less.

It isn't murder if a woman's body naturally aborts the fetus because it wasn't something she consciously did. It is an act of nature, so it isn't in her hands.

I should clarify and say that there are some instances in which I think abortion is still wrong, but potentially the lesser of two evils. Rape, underage pregnancy, and, depending on the circumstances, when it would be harmful to the mother. Pregnancy due to rape is encroaching on the rights of the woman, so it becomes a matter of the woman or the fetus having their personal rights violated. I personally think that it is still better to keep the fetus because it is a matter of impacted rationality vs. destroyed rationality, but I acknowledge that this is a grey area. Underage girls may not have the knowledge about sex and pregnancy, and in many cases are unable to make a rational choice about sex. If the woman knew that getting pregnant would be harmful to her and chose to be incautious anyway, she is wrong if she chooses to have an abortion. If there was no indication that the pregnancy would be harmful, again it is the lesser of two evils.

Quote:
Originally Posted by el_flel
If a foetus cannot survive independently of the mother then it is not a 'life'.

People cannot say that abortion is murder, simply because murder is illegal and abortion is legal:



It grows, has a metabolism, at some point in its life cycle will be capable of reproduction, it is composed of cells. How is it not a life? Any other parasite is still considered a life, simply a life that we don't want around. How is it that the early stages of human development are even less valued than a tapeworm?

When I say that abortion is murder, I am speaking from moral law and logic. Human law can be wrong.
Scholar
#8 Old 2nd May 2010 at 5:45 PM
I wasn't intending that it be devalued.

Anyhow, I find the idea that if it's natural, it's not murder, to be nothing more than semantics. For example; let's say she was sick and refused to take medicine, which ended up killing the fetus. Some would argue, oh, now it's murder. But illness is natural. So it's not really murder now, then is it? Or if it's a child, or even an adult in some cases. See, semantics.

Abortion is closer to having a tape worm removed than having a child; because it's not even completely human usually (unless it's a late-term abortion), nor does it have any real experience or anything of the like.

Abortion is murder, yet we don't complain when we kill insects or rodents, when we hunt and fish. We call it "murder" because we assume a fetus is a "person." I do not define it as a person. Human, yes, but not a person, not until later.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Scholar
#9 Old 2nd May 2010 at 5:56 PM
Illness is something that's in her power to control, though. If she is able to get medicine and refuses, then part of the blame of the fetus's death is on her.

Insects do not seem to be sentient. Rodents, I would say we shouldn't kill, unless it is for food, because they seem to have some degree of sentience. Hunting and fishing (and raising livestock) for food are perfectly fine because it is an unavoidable imperative. If we can develop the technology to create compounds that provide all of our nutritional necessities without killing animals and this is available to all, then it will be immoral to kill animals. Life should be preserved wherever possible.
Mad Poster
#10 Old 2nd May 2010 at 6:17 PM Last edited by iCad : 2nd May 2010 at 6:19 PM. Reason: Pseudo-HTML fail!
I will usually stay out of abortion debates because...because. But what the hell? Here's my deal.

1) I am completely philosophically pro-life and believe that life begins at conception. I, personally, would not have an abortion even if my life was in danger. (Which is quite a rare thing, you know. Most pregnancies that might endanger the woman's life are miscarried early. That's nature's way.) HOWEVER, I am not at all "politically" pro-life nor am I at all activist about it. I do not advocate making abortion illegal because all that will result from that is "do it yourself" abortions, which alarmingly often will end with the death or maiming of the woman as well as the death of the child, and what possible kind of purpose does that serve? (This is what I ask the more politically-motivated pro-lifers that I know. It will often shut them up when they get in my face about not being "activist enough.") So, I prefer to limit my activities, on the very rare occasions that I engage in them at all, to advocating alternatives to abortion, namely adoption. And I should also note that my philosophical pro-life stance actually has nothing to do with my being a Christian. I was practicing Buddhism when my mindset shifted in this direction.

2) I was violently gang-raped when I was 18. The circumstances are a long story and are not important. But I was a virgin, and not on birth control, and the timing was just right. Or wrong, as the case may be. So guess what happened to me? And here's the other kicker: I didn't abort, even though, at the time, I was very "politically" pro-choice. I decided to carry the baby to term and, while pregnant, I arranged to have the baby privately adopted. (For those who care: My son was adopted by a wonderful couple with a lot of money but for whom no fertility treatment had worked. He is a doctor now, works in Africa with AIDS patients. He contacted me when he was 16, and we've remained in close contact since. He got married this past summer, and I just got word a few days ago that his wife is pregnant, so I'm going to be a grandmother. Yipes!)

So, all that said...I don't know what else to say. This is not a subject I can really debate effectively because I'm too close to it. But I want to address a couple of things here.

1) Obviously, I have mixed feelings about thinking it "OK" to abort a baby conceived in rape. I decided not to, and I had and have no regrets about that decision at all, especially not now that I know the person that that rape-conceived child became. Sure, it was hard sometimes, the baby being a constant reminder of what had happened, but ultimately the baby gave the rape an odd kind of purpose. The rape was evil, but the baby turned out to be a blessing for the couple who adopted him, and I was the vessel for that blessing. Had I aborted, all I would have been left with was the evil that was done to me, with no "bright side." For me, personally, that would have been far more devastating than dealing with the hard emotional and physical times during the pregnancy. But I realize that my experiences would not be the same as another person's experience. People are individuals, and we don't all react to the same situation in the same way, obviously. So I would never say that every pregnant-via-rape woman should make the same decision that I made. But I don't believe that every rape-conceived baby should automatically and unthinkingly be aborted, either. Private adoption DOES work, if one doesn't want to/can't keep the child.

And I'll tell you one thing that happened that was...disconcerting. As I said, I was politically pro-choice at the time, in a loud and somewhat activist sort of way. So, too, was my circle of friends because, you know, birds of a feather flock together. When I decided to carry the baby to term, you would not BELIEVE the backlash I received from the politically pro-choice community of which I was a member at the time. They were outraged that I'd be OK with carrying to term a baby conceived in rape. The nicest thing that was said to me was that I was setting back "women's rights" because I chose (Meaning, I wasn't coerced) not to kill the child that I was carrying. So on the surface, these people were all about "choice" and compassion for women, but I discovered that this group, at least, was only about compassion for women who agreed with them and/or who made the "choice" that they advocated. If you didn't...look out. This, naturally, was the start of my disillusionment with abortion-as-political-issue and was also the start of my path toward being staunchly pro-life, though not politically, as I said.

2) Be careful with the claim that a baby is only a "life" when it can survive outside of the womb. That threshold is being constantly pushed back. My daughter was born 2.5 months prematurely and required medical intervention to survive, but survive she did. Should she not have received that intervention since she wasn't a "life" because she couldn't survive outside of the womb? How about full-term babies who are born needing medical intervention to survive, for there are a good number of them? If our definition of what life is is based on whether or not a baby can survive outside of the womb, then I daresay that there might even be people who are posting in this thread who weren't "alive" when they were born. Just food for thought.

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
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Scholar
#11 Old 2nd May 2010 at 6:49 PM
@Oaktree

But that's my point. We'll blame someone for refusing medicine, when illness is natural, not medicine. But as soon as they make a choice to abort, now its murder?

I find it hypocritical. You are saying in one case, natural is bad, but then saying in another case, natural is good. A fetus is under her control just as much as illness. In one point, you're saying control is good. But on another, control is bad, when essentially, both are about the core principle of "preserving life."

I find abortion has nothing to do about children at all. It's about choice and projection personal morals onto others. What if they don't want the kid? Well now they have an unwanted child, you can damn well bet that's going to leave a psychological scar, all because someone didn't like the thought about abortions. Or social issues; all against abortion, it's bad! But as soon as government assistance programs or something, now it's welfare and they're all against it because it's a government takeover! In spite of the fact it could help families.

I've always found the abortion issue to often be nothing more than a facade. Caring about the fetus, but as soon as it's born? Fuck it! Damn socialism! Where are we living, Soviet Russia!? Because they just don't want available choices they may agree with, just like gay marriage, even though it has no significance to themselves personally.

Oh, and I didn't mean to direct any of that at you personally. It was a generalization rather than anything personal. Apologies if I came off in any other way than that.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Site Helper
#12 Old 2nd May 2010 at 7:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
Even in those few cases where contraceptives don't work, it is still the responsibility of the individuals involved. Pregnancy is caused by sex, a well-known fact about the nature of our biology. This means that when an individual has sex (at least of the sort that is able to cause pregnancy) they are aware of the potential consequences and it is their moral responsibility whatever comes of it.


In cases of rape, it is not a matter of responsibility at all. I don't think a woman should be forced to carry a baby that was conceived in that way. It's not fair to either of them. (If she wants to carry the baby to term, that's fine. But if she doesn't, she should have the choice to terminate the pregnancy.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
A parasite is still a life form, and it just so happens that the earliest stage of human life is parasitic. That doesn't make it's value any less.


Then are we supposed to start fighting for tapeworm rights?

For someone who wants a baby, they're not going to view the fetus as a parasite (even though, technically, that's kind of what it is). Someone who doesn't want a baby, on the other hand, might have a different opinion. The value placed on the fetus is going to be different, depending on the woman who's carrying it. And I think that's her right to assign that value... not the government's. After all, she's the one who has to deal with the thing growing inside her... not her local congressman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
Be careful with the claim that a baby is only a "life" when it can survive outside of the womb. That threshold is being constantly pushed back.


Yes, it is. But I think we're going to hit a plateau at some point. If a fetus is born with organs so underdeveloped that they haven't even started to function yet, no amount of artificial respiration and incubators and feeding tubes is going to help it survive. There are some bare minimum requirements that need to be met for survival to take place... and I think we're starting to reach those. In any case, those requirements arrive on the scene a while after most abortions (the responsible ones, anyway) take place.
Instructor
#13 Old 2nd May 2010 at 7:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
when an individual has sex they are aware of the potential consequences and it is their moral responsibility whatever comes of it.


True. And an abortion is sometimes the most responsible option.
Scholar
#14 Old 2nd May 2010 at 7:37 PM
Not to mention of the condom breaks, or contraception just happens to fail that one time. I mean, unexpected shit happens. Going to blame them for being irresponsible when they weren't even expecting the unexpected?

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Mad Poster
#15 Old 2nd May 2010 at 7:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
Yes, it is. But I think we're going to hit a plateau at some point. If a fetus is born with organs so underdeveloped that they haven't even started to function yet, no amount of artificial respiration and incubators and feeding tubes is going to help it survive. There are some bare minimum requirements that need to be met for survival to take place... and I think we're starting to reach those. In any case, those requirements arrive on the scene a while after most abortions (the responsible ones, anyway) take place.


Well, yes. That's the current line between a miscarriage and a premature birth. But it's currently a moving goalpost. Not so long ago, my daughter would have been considered a miscarriage.

I guess it just troubles me when people define the point that a baby is alive by whether or not it can survive outside of the womb. It's as if they think that at the moment of birth a baby is magically imbued with "personhood" (when a few weeks before it wasn't a "person" at all), and it's the "personhood" that earns one the right to be protected from being killed. Really, we have no real idea when a developing baby becomes a "person," which most people take to mean when it can "think." From the reading that I've done on the subject, that doesn't actually happen until well after birth. That's the trouble with the human necessity to give birth to babies who actually aren't fully developed yet, physically, due to the large size of their brains/heads and the relatively small size of the birth canal. We're sort of like marsupials that way.

Now, most people I know don't think it's right to kill a baby that's been born. And, you know, that's encouraging at least. But some of these same people will argue that abortion is perfectly OK because the unborn baby isn't a "person" yet. I just think we need to define what a "person" is before we make decisions about whether or not it's ethically all right to kill something that may or may not be one.

In the end, I choose to take the easy way out, so that I can avoid thinking about such things. To me, even a human zygote is a "person," if only because, if left to its own devices and barring any mishaps, it will most certainly become one at some point, even if that "some point" is two years down the road.

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
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Site Helper
#16 Old 2nd May 2010 at 8:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
In the end, I choose to take the easy way out, so that I can avoid thinking about such things.


That's certainly your right. But some people don't shy away from thinking about the tough questions... even if the answers aren't always ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
To me, even a human zygote is a "person," if only because, if left to its own devices and barring any mishaps, it will most certainly become one at some point, even if that "some point" is two years down the road.


This is where we differ. I don't consider a human zygote a "person". It is a potential person, but that's not the same thing. Ten years from now, a scraping of skin cells combined with advances in cloning and DNA technology could be a potential person. Does that mean that exfoliation will have to become a capital offense? (And I disagree that "left to its own devices and barring any mishaps, it will most certainly become one at some point". 10-25% of women who know they're pregnant will miscarry. And it's estimated that up to 50% of miscarriages occur in women who didn't even know they were pregnant. That sounds like quite a bit of uncertainty for that zygote.)
Test Subject
#17 Old 2nd May 2010 at 8:39 PM
I know that I never post and none of you know me but...one thing can fix all of this...USE A CONDOM AND TAKE A BIRTHCONTROL PILL! USE SOME SPERMICIDES INCASE THE CONDOM BREAKS! IF U DO THIS YOU WON'T NEED ABORTION!
Scholar
#18 Old 2nd May 2010 at 8:37 PM
Absolutely incorrect.

Condoms can break, and contraception can fail. They are absolutely not sure-fire protections; they just make it considerably less likely.

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#19 Old 2nd May 2010 at 8:52 PM
Not to stir the pot a little but... how about a situation where a woman was absolutely convinced they could not become pregnant?

I know someone close to me (no, it's not me) who was told by her doctor, after having her first child and having some other health complications, that she was completely infertile, unable to conceive a child again naturally. She went years without using birth control (as a married woman) without conceving a child. 16 years later, she got pregnant - with twins - which was supposed to be impossible.

Now, she didn't abort, but all the yelling about contraception, I would think, wouldn't apply in this case. So, assuming this semi-hypothetical situation, what would one have to say about terminating an unwanted pregnancy that the mother thought -completely impossible- because of what she'd been told by a medical professional, and had seemed to be true for 16 years? In this particular case, the pregnancy, especially twins, was potentially life threatening.

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Mad Poster
#20 Old 2nd May 2010 at 8:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
That's certainly your right. But some people don't shy away from thinking about the tough questions... even if the answers aren't always ideal.


Hmmm. Perhaps I should have used a smiley; I'm trying to cut down on them. The last part of what you quoted was meant to be more self-deprecating. I think it should be quite obvious from what I generally post in this forum that I don't mind thinking about tough questions.

It is, all jesting aside, a decision that I made. I tried drawing lines. As in, "anything on this side of the line is a person, anything on that side isn't." But it didn't work for me. When stuff like that doesn't work for me, back to basics I go. Accepting a zygote as a person because it will invariably become one if it isn't already one all by its self is pretty darn basic. I realize people don't agree. They're free to. That's the decision I made, and that's the decision that I go by in terms of whether or not I, personally, would ever have an abortion. The difference between me and your stereotypical pro-lifer, I guess, is that I don't think my beliefs on the subject should be mandated into law, nor do I tend to preach others on the subject. The issue, to me, is an intensely personal one and should remain so, especially by law. I don't count myself as "pro-choice," because the implication of that is that I think is abortion is "OK," and I don't think that at all. I just don't get in people's faces about it, is all.

Quote:
This is where we differ. I don't consider a human zygote a "person". It is a potential person, but that's not the same thing. Ten years from now, a scraping of skin cells combined with advances in cloning and DNA technology could be a potential person. Does that mean that exfoliation will have to become a capital offense?


No, because a skin scraping isn't the same as a zygote, which will develop all on its own, without any technological intervention whatsoever. I don't think the two are comparable. The process of cloning isn't at all the same thing as reproduction the "old-fashioned way."

Quote:
(And I disagree that "left to its own devices and barring any mishaps, it will most certainly become one at some point". 10-25% of women who know they're pregnant will miscarry. And it's estimated that up to 50% of miscarriages occur in women who didn't even know they were pregnant. That sounds like quite a bit of uncertainty for that zygote.)


Well, a miscarriage would most certainly fall under the umbrella of "mishap," don't you think? Some miscarriages are the result of a genetic "oops." Some are caused by physical problems with the mother. What I meant was that, in general, if there's no miscarriage and no other issues that impedes its natural development, a zygote will most certainly become a person at some point. Now, what/when that point is is debatable, of course. But unless and until we are able to figure out without doubt what that point is, I'm going to stick to the "bottom line."

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
I caved and made myself a Simblr. Woe is me. But hey! There's already stuff there that isn't here at MTS. :)
Instructor
#21 Old 2nd May 2010 at 9:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
No, because a skin scraping isn't the same as a zygote, which will develop all on its own, without any technological intervention whatsoever. I don't think the two are comparable. The process of cloning isn't at all the same thing as reproduction the "old-fashioned way."


I just fail to see how there is any relevant difference between the two. They're both potential lives, but one requires technology and the other requires a natural process - so what? In the beginning neither are developed persons they just have potential. And in the end they would both be fully conscious humans so they'd both be the same in the end. So what does the process itself have to do with anything? There's no moral difference between applying a natural or artificial process to come to the same result.

What matters is whether it's a person right now or not. Not whether it can be, or whether it was, or could have been or who knows.
Lab Assistant
DELETED POST
2nd May 2010 at 9:15 PM
This message has been deleted by Wojtek. Reason: No pain no gain
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#22 Old 2nd May 2010 at 9:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
I will usually stay out of abortion debates because...because. But what the hell? Here's my deal.


This is usually how I feel about abortion debates, so I'm not 100% sure what's possessing me to respond here... Oh well.

I think, for the most part, that I feel the same way about abortion as iCad and Oaktree do. I have a very difficult time justifying abortion to myself. I am not at all comfortable with the idea that there are people who consider themselves qualified to determine at what point a human becomes a human, and it's something I would prefer not to tamper with. What if we're choosing the wrong cut-off line?

As far as the whole argument about the fetus not really being any different from a tapeworm... well, no matter how lovingly you take care of your tapeworm, it will never develop into a human being. And I understand that a baby does, in fact, start life as a parasite, but so what? It's a stage in the process of developing.

I also have a problem with the argument that says "Oh yeah? Well... someday we'll have advanced cloning technology and scraping off skin cells on the floor will be the same thing as aborting a baby!" No, it won't. Scraping skin cells into the FetusMaker-O-Tron 9000 (TM) and then proceeding to abort whatever comes out of that would be the same thing.

There's always money in the banana stand.
Mad Poster
#23 Old 2nd May 2010 at 9:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jooxis
I just fail to see how there is any relevant difference between the two. They're both potential lives, but one requires technology and the other requires a natural process - so what? In the beginning neither are developed persons they just have potential. And in the end they would both be fully conscious humans so they'd both be the same in the end. So what does the process itself have to do with anything? There's no moral difference between applying a natural or artificial process to come to the same result.


Cloning and sexual reproduction are fundamentally different processes, even though they each create new lives. Still, to me, a developing offspring whether it was created through cloning or the "old-fashioned" way, should be protected as "persons" from the very start, either once the cloned cell is viable or once a zygote is formed in the old fashioned way. (Actually, the "wasted embryos" caused by certain fertility procedures tend to creep me out for this reason...but that's a different story.)

But the same doesn't apply to the "raw material" used, in either case. Sperm cells can't and don't produce life by themselves. Egg cells in humans can't and don't, either. (At least, I've never heard of a case of human parthenogenesis.) Neither can skin cells or any other kind of cell in the human body. So, although any non-gamete cell in the human body has the full complement of DNA required to create an entire copy of the human that they belong to, they won't do it all by themselves. They are "raw material," potentially, but they are not yet (or ever, if cloning is not attempted) viable. That's the difference. To me, at least.

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
I caved and made myself a Simblr. Woe is me. But hey! There's already stuff there that isn't here at MTS. :)
Site Helper
#24 Old 2nd May 2010 at 10:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
Sperm cells can't and don't produce life by themselves.


Tell that to the Church!

What's the big deal about masturbation and "spilling your seed", then?
Mad Poster
#25 Old 2nd May 2010 at 10:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
Tell that to the Church!

What's the big deal about masturbation and "spilling your seed", then?


I answered this here, since I don't think this thread needs to be dragged off into more "religious" discussion. But I still wanted to address it, so....yeah.

So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
I caved and made myself a Simblr. Woe is me. But hey! There's already stuff there that isn't here at MTS. :)
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