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Kurgan
06-22-2000, 01:15 AM
Though not an atheist myself, I did find this article interesting. It presents the ever controversial topic of abortion, and a debate between two self-described atheists, using philosophical approaches for and against abortion.

All you philosophers and moralists out there should find this interesting.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/carrier-roth/

Kurgan

Jedi Calypso
06-22-2000, 04:08 AM
Well, Kurgan....

I've always had somewhat of a vauge view about abortion:

I'm not exactly against it, but then again, i have a penis, and felt i should stay out of it.

Reading just a small excerpt from this case has convinced me to make a somewhat more educated opinion on what seems to be a far more sensitive subject than i thouhgt.

I shall retire to my quarters for the evening (I'm going to bed)I'll read the entire case there, and return with my point of view in the A.M.

Good night everyone!

GOD bless,

-Calypso

[This message has been edited by Jedi Calypso (edited June 22, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jedi Calypso (edited June 22, 2000).]

Kurgan
06-22-2000, 05:19 AM
Well it's an issue that affects us all, not just women, so I think everyone should be educated about it, don't you?

These are just two views on the subject, feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves and/or post your own comments here (please no flaming though).

Kurgan

Jedi Calypso
06-22-2000, 01:48 PM
http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif Good Morning! http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

OK, I've reviewed the case and have returned with my new perspective on abortion.

It is my belief that it should not be illegal. Destroying a human prenate should not be considered "murder" because doing so does not kill an independent, free-thinking organism.

Also, I think that it is the parents' right to decide whether to keep the child or not, and once they decide that they dont want to be parents, the means of getting rid of the child. (i.e. abortion or adoption)

Think of it this way, if a poverty-sticken woman finds herself with child, what is she do do? She barely makes enough money to support herself, and there is no way that she could possably take on the responsiblilies of motherhood. The child would most likely not be able to be givin proper care and treatment, and would have a good chance of dying before it reaches the age of one.

In closing,I would like to re-state that abortion should NOT be considered immoral because it does not destroy an independent thinking mind. You argument to that may be: "but abortion is taking a life out of the world." True, i give it that much, abortion does claim a life, but so swatting a housefly with a flyswatter. In fact, while a prenate is in utero, it could be argued that it's thinking capibilities is no more than that of a housefly, so why should it make a difference?

I'd appretiate hearing your views on this Kurgan.

Cheers,

GOD bless,
-Calypso



[This message has been edited by Jedi Calypso (edited June 22, 2000).]

Vagabond
06-22-2000, 02:03 PM
Jeez, Kurgan, you never give up do you? Always trying to stir the pot http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif

My educated guess on your motives for bringing up this topic again:

1. You truly find debate enjoyable.
2. You want to conjur up some activity on these boards.

Fair enough. My thoughts are that none of our opinions are relevant until or unless we are actually forced to face this issue on a very close and personal level. I've seen people preach and pontificate about the right and moral thing that we should all be doing, taking the high road - this because it was convenient for them and because it didn't affect them in any way. Yet, when forced to face that very same issue in their personal lives, they quite frequently have an epiphany, and embrace the position they'd previously opposed.

Translation: opinions formed without the benefit of actually having faced the issue in question, are likely not representative of your true position.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
06-22-2000, 04:05 PM
Yes, it is my diabolical master plan to stir discussion and present people with challenging ideas.

You saw through it Vaggy, old chum!

I tricked you into responding as well.. muhahaha! ; )

The debate posted didn't change my views on the subject. I still believe in the inherent dignity of all human life that must be respected, whether born, or unborn. I find Roth's arguments very intriuging. I had heard the other side's presentation before, so it was nothing new.

What was neat about the article is that you see another side to the arguments.

Up until this point, I had always heard the views from a JudeoChristian vs. Secularist or J/C vs. J/C POV. Never where both thinkers are putting aside any notion of religious morality. I often wondered how atheists could take stands on certain moral issues, without the presence of a higher moral law.

They tend to put their arguments into three bins:

1) the "Golden Rule" bin, that is, you don't harm others, because you don't want to be harmed yourself, you never know when you may be in the position the other fellow is in.

2) the "dignity of humanity" bin. Many atheists are humanists. That is, they hold the human race as something special, the highest form of life we know, and since they don't believe in God, they elevate the status of humanity almost to that of what others would have God as. Thus, they feel humans need to be treated properly.

3) the "philosophical/logical" bin. Often, just for the sake of argument, or because they feel the scientific or statistical facts support a certain position, they will adopt it.

Of course, what all this means is that just because you're an atheist, you don't automatically have a platform. Even among atheists, there are huge, wide, differences of opinion.

Perhaps the stereotypical view most see on the 'net is the "freethinkers" view, that is, they use the "philosophical/logical" bin almost exclusively, as well as a glaring hatred of all religions and disdain for those who follow them. They are constantly asserting "seperation of church and state" and other legal barriers to support their ideals. This is only but one view (and I have simplified it here, there is much more to it, from what I have seen).

And yes Vagabond, that is an interesting theory. That is, you are saying that a person may have a change of heart in the face of a crisis. With regard to this subject, I think you're saying that people rail against abortion, but once they get pregnant or get somebody pregnant, they "realize" that they want to have an abortion, so they quickly change to a "pro-choice" view.

I do not know if this has ever happened, but I would guess that is has, just as many pro-abortion people have changed to pro-life in the face of guilt, or because they were traumatazed by experiences with abortion.

I'm sure that human experience often does more to change people's minds than simple discussion.

However, as a thinking creature, I assume that I have the right to change my mind in the face of new evidence. I do not selfishly hold to my own narrow views, when they are proven wrong beyond all possible doubt.

Your's is a cynical and I think untestable theory...

While it is true, I have read about people who have converted, and who have switched political parties, etc etc.

In these peoples' experiences, they do not simply say "ALL ALONG, I secretly supported the other side, I just now am admitting it"
they admit freely, instead, that they were WRONG before, and now have CHANGED their position. That is what conversion is, a "change of heart," not an "admission of a hidden agenda."

To say you had the opposite position all along only makes you admit you are a hypocrite, and it shows a huge ego/pride complex in the person. I doubt all people can be stereotyped this way. They changed their position, they didn't simply reveal they were on the other side from the beginning.

This assumes, that anybody who ever changes their opinion is a liar and a hypocrite. This is a slap in the face to any thinking human being. Aren't we allowed to change our minds?

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited June 22, 2000).]

Jedi Calypso
06-22-2000, 04:30 PM
Yes, Vagabond, i suppose you do have a point there, but only to a certain degree.

I believe that we can formulate an opinion on something without experiencing that something personally and in depth.

However, experiencing the subect that you are forming an opinion on in this way can help you to make a more educated point of view.

I'll give you a different example:

Take into consideration the death penalty. You may have a strong opinion on that, and believe that it should be allowed. Now, your brother commits a crime and gets put to death, now your opinion changes because you have experienced it first hand.

So, i agree with you on that to a certain degree.

By the way Kurgan, way to go on this thread, this is the most intelectual discussion I've had since the "CHUCH" thread was deserted.

GOD bless
-Calypso

Ikhnaton
06-22-2000, 04:34 PM
anyone who says that killing a fetus because it is not an "independant, free-thinking" person is on a slippery slope. Is a newborn free-thinking? Is a person who is a vegetable? is an elderly person in a nursing home independant?

the reasons people give for killing fetuses can be logically stretched to include just about anyone who is old or young.

Jedi Calypso
06-22-2000, 05:00 PM
ahh, Toche', Iknaton, Toche'



[This message has been edited by Jedi Calypso (edited June 22, 2000).]

Kurgan
06-22-2000, 08:09 PM
I urge anyone coming to this topic, to read the debate I posted.

While it won't change your mind, it is good, because it challenges the (false) assumption that all opponents of abortion are conservative Christians.

Kurgan

Feilnyn
06-23-2000, 02:38 AM
Ikhnaton said-----
"anyone who says that killing a fetus because it is not an "independant, free-thinking" person is on a slippery slope. Is a newborn free-thinking? Is a person who is a vegetable? is an elderly person in a nursing home independant?
the reasons people give for killing fetuses can be logically stretched to include just about anyone who is old or young."
--------------

You're absolutely right on that Ik. Using that "free-thinking being" argument to justify killing anything is not very sound. Animals are one thing, but a human in any form is still a human. Does a 98-year old person with alzheimer's cease being human?
This argument gives us the right to decide who lives and who doesn't. That's a scary thought. A power that fellow humans do not have over each other. If we are all equals,
then one person certainly cannot hold the life of another in their hand. To say they will not have a happy life or that they aren't happy now and end it for them and save futher misery. That is not a human's place to decide.
Also, if a poverty-stricken woman just happens to "find" herself pregnant (i'm not talking about someone who was abused)without any hope of providing for the infant, then she should give birth and put the baby up for adoption. This "poverty-stricken women who finds herself pregnant" argument is used quite often to defend abortion, while in reality, abortions are so often carried out just for the convenience of the mother. If the mother or parents decide they don't want to be bothered, then just suck it down the sink....

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http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Castle/6462/cut2.jpg
"A jedi needs only his Lightsaber. In battle, he and his weapon become a single fighting unit..."

Vagabond
06-23-2000, 03:52 AM
Consider this:

The body is not the essence of a person, but rather the mind. The body is just flesh and bone...nothing that remarkable really. All creatures of this planet are made of the same stuff. Where we are different is in our minds, for without that we are nothing.

So, is a 98 year old with Alzheimer's disease a person? Well, they definitely have the body of a Human being, but I contend that they are no longer a person. In its advanced stages, this terrible disease robs its victims of all memories and the ability to function. They don't even know who they are anymore. In such a state, a dog can be said to be more a Human that the Alzheimer's disease victim. The merciful thing to do is to let these people die a dignified death, not waste away into an agonizing netherworld of confusion and despair, soley to satisfy some peoples' misguided notion of what is moral. It's a heartless act of selfishness.

Now then, do I think a fetus is a Human being? Certainly, given time it will become one. But I wouldn't call a six-week old fetus a Human. Nor would I call an apple seed a tree. Nor would I call an egg a chicken. But given the time to develop, all these things will take the form of their parents. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? Is a sperm a Human? Is a woman's egg a Human too? How about a woman's monthly period - is a Human dying each month, and if so is that morally wrong too? Let's take it even further...how about the food we eat that sustains us and eventually the nutrients in our food that become sperm and eggs...is our food Human too? How about water and carbon...are those Humans?

Think about it...


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Jedi Calypso
06-23-2000, 04:14 AM
Ok, Feilnyn, perhaps you and Iknaton have a point, but the difference between terminating a person with alstimers or a mentally handicaped person and getting an abortion is that handicaped people have lived lie, alztimers victems have lived life, they have made friends, and they would be missed if they were gone. In other words, it would make a difference.

An aborted fetus has not lived a life, not made any friends, and would not be missed if never born at all. It really wouldnt make a difference.

Now i understand your point of view here,in fact, deciding which side of this argument to take was a very hard decision for me to make. This is such a sennsitive topic, and there is just a fine line between one side and the other.

So, please dont make me out to be a monster because i condone abortion, personally, i think that putting a child up for adoption would be a better choice to make, but then again, if its not my child, its none of my buisiness what the parents do to the child.

Does anyone see where I'm coming from? Because I feel that I'm the only one here who understands the point I'm trying to get across.

GOD Bless,
-Calypso

[This message has been edited by Jedi Calypso (edited June 23, 2000).]

Jedi Calypso
06-23-2000, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by Vagabond:
Consider this:

So, is a 98 year old with Alzheimer's disease a person? Well, they definitely have the body of a Human being, but I contend that they are no longer a person. In its advanced stages, this terrible disease robs its victims of all memories and the ability to function. They don't even know who they are anymore. In such a state, a dog can be said to be more a Human that the Alzheimer's disease victim. The merciful thing to do is to let these people die a dignified death, not waste away into an agonizing netherworld of confusion and despair, soley to satisfy some peoples' misguided notion of what is moral. It's a heartless act of selfishness.

Now then, do I think a fetus is a Human being? Certainly, given time it will become one. But I wouldn't call a six-week old fetus a Human. Nor would I call an apple seed a tree. Nor would I call an egg a chicken. But given the time to develop, all these things will take the form of their parents. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? Is a sperm a Human? Is a woman's egg a Human too? How about a woman's monthly period - is a Human dying each month, and if so is that morally wrong too? Let's take it even further...how about the food we eat that sustains us and eventually the nutrients in our food that become sperm and eggs...is our food Human too? How about water and carbon...are those Humans?

Think about it...




You know, Vagabond, you and I must think alike, because wile i was typing my last post, i was thinking about typing something to that effect, but decided against it,. I'm glad one of us did.

Although I'm not too sure about letting an alztimers victum "die a dignified death" instead of "wasteing away into an agonizing netherworld of confusion and despair, soley to satisfy some peoples' misguided notion of what is moral", i do agree on the analogy you made to not considering an apple seed a tree, so why should we consider a 6 week old fetus a human?

Comments?

-Calypso

Ikhnaton
06-23-2000, 01:46 PM
humans are not horses. you don't put them out of their misery. They have a consciousness of their own. It is not up to any other person, or even them to decide when their life should end. We are the caretakers and stewards of animals, but no human has the right to make judgement on another human's life. No human has the right to decide that they are somehow better than another and can thus make a judgement on their quality of life.

Humans need to stop playing God and leave it to the pro.

Vagabond
06-23-2000, 03:55 PM
Re-read my friend:


...The body is just flesh and bone...nothing that remarkable really. All creatures of this planet are made of the same stuff. Where we are different is in our minds, for without that we are nothing...


No where did I say that people were horses. I said we are made of the same material. This is an undisputable fact.

Where birds are different from us is that they have feathers, which allows them to fly. Where turtles are different from us is that they have a shell, which allows them to safely retreat from danger. Where fish are different from us is that they have gills, which allows them to breathe in water. Where we are different from the other animals is that we have large and complex brains for our size, which allows us a relatively high degree of intelligence.

Now then, on to your rant: yes, I agree that one Human does not have the right to make a judgement on another's life. On this detail we are in agreement. Where we disagree is that I say a 98 year old, with severe Alzheimer's Disease, is no longer technically Human. What remains of them is simply a ravaged shell, stripped of the person they once were - I've seen this first hand, so I know what I'm talking about.

Lastly, I have no designs on playing God, as you so dramatically put it. Rather, I strive to treat other Humans with dignity. A dignified life is not one where one wanders hallways in a bewildered daze, not recognizing anyone, nor oneself - always afraid - always confused - unable to speak because you can't remember how. Defense of prolonging such suffering is selfishly sadistic. You do this, not in the victim's interest, but in your own. True love comes from doing what's best for the one you love, even if it brings you sadness. How can you claim to love someone when you're only thinking of yourself?

Do I think the government should make these decisions? No, but I think the family should have the option of terminating the life of a loved one with a terminal and ravaging illness such as Alzheimer's, especially if that's what the victim wanted before his or her faculties were destroyed.

And back to the topic of this discussion, again, I don't classify a six-week old fetus as a Human...not yet. As I said before, if you don't draw the line somewhere, then the entire Universe is Human. I draw my line toward the later part of the second trimester.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Ikhnaton
06-23-2000, 04:07 PM
the more i read what you wrote, the more i stand behind what i originally said. You insist that you are not playing God, but everything you said after that says otherwise. You're judging another's life as being dignified or not. You're still judging it as less than adequate or something. That is a dangerous thing to do.

Vagabond
06-23-2000, 04:30 PM
You're insisting on continuing a life, soley based on the fact that the shell once housed a Human consciousness. Period.

Your definition of a Human is the body, while mine is the consciousness.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Ikhnaton
06-23-2000, 04:40 PM
how do *you* know that consciousness does not still exist, even though the person walks around babbling like a lunatic? My definition is NOT just the body, but the whole package.

We are put on this earth to love and serve others. By killing off people whose usefulness seems to have expired, how loving is that? It is at those times where they most need our love. Instead we are lazy and just seek to get rid of them because they are an inconvenience.

Personhood never ends. It has a beginning, but it does not end, even if the mind fails in this life.

Kurgan
06-23-2000, 05:45 PM
A woman's unfertilized egg is no more a person or a human being separate from the mother than your stomach, your arm, or a male's sperm cell.

However, once the sperm and egg are united, it is no longer a part of the mother, but the union of the matter of two seperate, independant human beings.

And it is all a process, not a "moment" so in fact, it becomes impossible for a proponent of "ensouled personhood" to determine the "moment" at which it is not permissable to kill the "nonperson."

There are those who say the "mother's rights" overrule those of her unborn child. This is utter nonsenese. The child is innocent, and thrust into this world by biology (and our actions) and so has a right to life, INHERENT to all human beings. If this right can be denied to her (the child), then it can be denied to all humans. Semantics can destroy lives it seems, when we judge a person not to be a person.

Biologically, the "fetus" the "embryo" etc are all human. Just as a chicken's egg is an animal, and a seed is a plant.

"Personhood" is a socially contructed, and philosophically defended, metaphysical term.

Roth's argument is that every human being has an inherent personhood, that is, personhood is not "ensouled" into a being by society.

Thus it would be more proper, not to refer to an unborn fetus as a "potential human being" (it is already a human being by virtue of its genetic makeup), or as a "potential person." It is merely an unrecognized person.

And yet there are those who dare decide that some living human beings, are yet NOT persons, and thus, not human. How can they possibly defend a human person that cannot stand up for itself in society yet?

If you do not believe what you have seen, how can you believe what you have not seen?

One must understand that the scientists have PROVEN what a human being is. We are a species, called homo sapiens distinct and unique from other animals, and from other primates. We are the only race of mammals to create a complex society and civilization (with language, customs, culture, tools, homes, religion, politics, etc).

Some will say that a human embryo is a fish, or a blob of tissue, but that's ignoring biology. We don't "become human" we aren't "born human" we were human from the time of our conception, and we remain human until we become dust. Even a dead corpse of a human being is still a human being.

This gets into debates over the body vs. the mind or the soul. Science seems to support the belief the our minds are created by our bodies, not the other way around. As a religionist, I believe in a soul, but even then, I see the mind and the body as connected. Biologically, a human being is a human being, even if you rip his brain out of his head, he's still a human being.

If you cut off a chicken's head, does it become a dog? No, it's still a chicken. It will soon die, but it will be a chicken, until it is broken down into it's base elements. A chicken doesn't have human rights, because it isn't human. A human is the only animal that possesses human rights. To accord human rights to a non-human is illogical. To attempt to remove human rights assumes that they are not rights at all, but privelages, accorded arbitrarily. And by whom? By God? By the government? By your next of kin?

Even if you don't believe in God, you must admit that human rights must be inalienable, or else they are meaningless. Only the rich, powerful elite have any claim to them.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited June 23, 2000).]

Vagabond
06-23-2000, 06:06 PM
Well, it looks like we all disagree then. No point in further debate http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
06-23-2000, 10:54 PM
(shows Vagabond the door): After you..

; )

But anybody else who wishes to stay and discuss, is free to (and encouraged to).

Btw, did anybody have any other comments on the articles posted? I'm not so interested in everyone's own personal views (which tend to be 50/50 anyhow), as much as your reactions to the content posted.

Kurgan

Conor
06-27-2000, 04:57 AM
Well, science has always proven that we are human from the zygote on. A living growing organism with a human genetic code, procreated by two humans, can only be human. The fetus can't be part of the mother, as it has a different set of chromazones (sp?).

The only way to justify the inhumanity of the fetus is on a philosphical level (something to do with ambiguous "personhood"). Otherwise it is over-and-done-with foolishness. If one says that the fetus can't be killed outright without violating any rights, then newborns can also be destroyed, probably up to a year or longer. After all, birth is merely a spot in time. The baby is no different 5 minutes after birth than 5 before. Logic demands that newborns be treated as fetuses, as they are really no different after at least the third trimester (and I'm being really generous leaving it that late). Two nobel-winning scientists have actually advocated the legal destruction of newborns up to three weeks old (can't remember their names).

Of course, it is better to back things up with quotes:

The First International Conference on Abortion, held in Washington D.C., 1967, drew experts from around the world in the areas of medicine, law, ethics and social sciences. Their unanimous conclusion (19-1) on the question, "When does human life begin?" was as follows: "The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of the sperm and the egg, or at least the blastocyst stage, at which point we could say that this was not a human life. The changes occurring between implantation, a six-week embryo, a six-month fetus, a one-week child and a mature adult are merely stages of development and maturation." (Taken from Handbook on Abortion, Dr. J. C. Willke.)

"When the sperm and egg fuse, the newly-formed cell has conferred upon it the degree of Homo Sapiens, with all the rights and privileges pertaining." (Peter Amenta, Ph.D. Professor of Embryology, Hahnemann Medical School).

"I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at conception. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence, from conception to adulthood, and any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes the termination of a human life." (Dr. A.M. Bongioanni, professor of obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania.)

"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into existence. This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception." (Dr. Jerome Lejeune, genetics professor at the University of Descartes, Paris).

The legality of abortion is in direct defiance of our laws against murder. If you can kill your baby I should have every right to kill anyone I want to. After all, abortion effectively elimenates the sacredness of human life from modern law.

No, nobody has any right to deliberately murder another human. Which makes this the biggest holocaust in the history of human kind, and it makes the abortionists paid assassins.

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

[This message has been edited by Conor (edited June 27, 2000).]

Vagabond
06-27-2000, 01:55 PM
Well, Conor, you have your opinion, and I have mine, which as usual are in opposition.

Just because you feel you are right does not make you right, just as me feeling that I am right does not make me right. What we have left is the rule of Democracy to guide us through this controversial issue, whether you like it or not.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited June 27, 2000).]

Kurgan
06-27-2000, 09:27 PM
Conor, that information seems to agree with what I have studied.

Apparently science does not support the right of abortion by itself, and thus, those who support it do so from a philosophical/societal/ethical perspective.

Those who are against it do so often (but not always) from a spiritual/metaphysical/religious one, but this recent debate shows opposition from a philosophical viewpoint.

Clearly, science does not show abortion to be justified, and so it is up to the philosophers, the theologians, and the social engineers to fight it out.

That is not to say all scientists and doctors are pro-life (read: "anti-abortion"), many are pro-choice (read: "want to keep abortion legal"). However, the means by which they must defend their arguments lie outside scientific facts.

Of course there are those who have tried to justify abortion scientifically. These people are called eugenecists.

There will always be those who try to misuse science to further their own predjudices and for personal gain. Keep in mind some used Darwinian evolutionary theories to further racial biases. This is pseudo-science, not true science. They have been proven wrong, time and again.

Kurgan

Vagabond
06-28-2000, 03:47 PM
Anyone who would try to justify abortion on racial grounds is a retard.

I support the right for the woman to choose whether or not she wishes to produce offspring.

One can be pro-choice, without being pro-abortion.

In my view, those who are anti-abortion, are actually anti-choice. Those who are pro-choice, are not necessarily pro-abortion. There is a distinct difference.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
06-28-2000, 10:05 PM
I wouldn't say anyone WOULD try to justify abortion on racial grounds.

However, in the past this has happened. I'm sure no "pro-choice" person would wish to use these arguments, or be laughed at or lynched.

Some have said in the past that those who are "aborted" are mostly from poor families (often members of ethnic and racial minorities I might also add in some cases), who, had they brought their children to term, these people would be more likely to get into drugs and crime.

I would simply counter, that this is a "pre-emptive strike" against the unborn. This is killing people based on what we THINK THEY MIGHT DO IN THE FUTURE, not what they have done. I'd hate to be punished for crimes I have not commited, wouldn't you? Also, just because you are poor, does not make you any less human or dignified than a rich or middle class person (regardless of race).

The above arguments were used by a privilaged class as a way of weeding out what they thought of as "those undesirables."

I'm not arguing that today, and I don't expect that you are either, just stating one extreme example.

Some people think that pro-"lifers" are the fanatics.

Also, a person who is truly "pro-life" tends to also be against the death penalty, euthanasia (of humans at least), assisted suicide, etc. All the "death" type issues. In other words, they believe in affirming human life.

To call all people who oppose abortion (ie: people who wish to outlaw most or all abortions) as pro-life is probably not correct. By opposing abortion, you are affirming life, however, you might not be pro-life on other issues. Once I heard a semi-popular commedian say that "pro-life" was a misnomer, because all pro-lifers were against abortion, but pro-death penalty, and they were just anti-woman. I would simply call this guy a bigot, if he doesn't understand the issues, and thinks he can belittle people's beliefs in this way.

"Pro-choice" on the other hand, refers to whether or not a person should have access to abortion. These people are saying that abortion should be kept legal, because people need to have a "choice."

I would argue that the fetus/unborn baby/zygote/whatever you want to call it/human being has no choice in the matter.

Plus, pressure from the government, and big corporations like Planned Parenthood, who will scare the girl into having an abortion, and the media that tells her it's okay to go get laid, but if you get pregnant, you have to get rid of it. And that goes along too with businesses that discriminate against pregnant women (I can't think of any, but I'm sure it must happen).

In this culture, it's viewed as inconvenient and shameful for a person to get pregnant and not be married and/or have money. Society would rather kill than give life.

But, proponents of it will say, the end-all, be-all, is "choice" that the woman's supreme right "control over her body", etc. is supreme, even over the rights of an unborn human being. This I disagree with.

Some say that outlawing abortion is being "puritanical" or "punishing a woman for having sex" but this is another emotional argument that doesn't hold water.

Punishing a human being for being given life, is illogical. The fetus didn't ask to be conceived, and now that that's done, he/she deserves a chance, inspite of somebody else's bad "choice."

It's almost like if some nut, at random, shoots me in the leg in a crowded subway station, and then while I'm in hospitol, he decides to have me euthanized (and they do it). It wouldn't be my fault that he screwed up and did something bad, would it?

It's not forcing somebody's religious views on another. Not every religion is against abortion, and many who claim none are against it, and some members of those same religions who are against it, are in favor of it. So that's another fallacy to claim that it's forcing religion on somebody.

Democracy does not entail infanticide. We've lost the way somewhere. Hey, they do abortions in China.. and there it's often to get rid of female babies, because they have government restrictions on number of children in a family, etc.

My side of the issue, is that it's wrong. We can't treat human beings equally and justly if we don't start with the weakest and most vulnerable of our society first.

Thanks for sharing your opinion Vagabond. It's a deep issue, that has alot more to it than simply terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice."

It's a shame the media (and others) have decided to put it into that kind of black and white issue and force everyone to use those terms as if they were the whole shebang.

Kind of like "liberal" and "conservative."
They don't always work for everyone, but we're sort of stuck with them.

Kurgan

Vagabond
06-28-2000, 11:45 PM
Kurgan,


...I would argue that the fetus/unborn baby/zygote/whatever you want to call it/human being has no choice in the matter...


I believe in a hierarchy of rights:

1. The rights of the living outweigh the rights of the unborn and the dead.

2. The rights of the unborn outweigh the rights of the dead

I belive the woman has a right to decide whether to carry an unborn child to term. This is my opinion, which we obviously differ on.

The reason I mention the dead, is sort of off topic, but is still in my personal hierarchy of rights. In the future, perhaps thousands or even hundreds of years, we will start to run out of usable space on this planet and it will no longer be feasible to have elaborate cemetaries. I, personally, believe they are a waste of space and that peoples' bodies should be creamated in order to make room for those of us who are actually alive.


...Plus, pressure from the government, and big corporations like Planned Parenthood, who will scare the girl into having an abortion...


What in the world are you talking about? We must live in a different country, because I've never seen any evidence to support this claim. Not to ridicule you - this just sounds surrealistically paranoid, and unfounded.


...and the media that tells her it's okay to go get laid, but if you get pregnant, you have to get rid of it. And that goes along too with businesses that discriminate against pregnant women (I can't think of any, but I'm sure it must happen)...


...I'm speechless. These are some of the most absurd things I've ever seen you write - again, with all respect. I suspect that Kansas City is a bit more Liberal than Iowa (that is where you live, right), and the television shows we get to see are nothing like the horror-world you're describing.


...The fetus didn't ask to be conceived...


Agreed. The fetus is not even able to think up until possibly the later part of the third trimester, if even that. I know my first memories didn't begin until I was about one or two years old, and I definitely don't remember being circumsized. Therefore, someone could have tossed me into a wood chipper right after my birth and I'd have never known it.


...Democracy does not entail infanticide. We've lost the way somewhere.


Democracy is morally neutral. Hence, if those utilizing a Democratic government choose to allow infanticide, as you call it, then Democracy does in fact entail it.


...Kind of like "liberal" and "conservative."...


I wish more people were socially Liberal. It's very refreshing and enlightening to be Liberal, and I'm proud to be of this mindset. One might say it's Liberating...


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Conor
06-29-2000, 06:01 AM
Even if I thought Democracy had any authority to decide what is moral and what is not (which I think is bull****) I couldn't support abortion on that perspective, as abortion was legalized without any consent at all.



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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 12:54 PM
No one's asking you to support abortion, but I expect you to obey that laws and rights in our country. If you don't like them, then either try to convince a majority of people to agree with your view, or move to a country more to your liking.

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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

ShadeShifter
06-29-2000, 05:00 PM
It's like Conor said, Vagabond. Democracy didn't play a role in deciding whether or not abortion should be legal. This decision was made by the Supreme Court.



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Come to the TimeSlide (http://timeslide.homestead.com/index.html).

Thanks to Jedi Kanigget for the pic.

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 06:00 PM
No, the decision was made by the USA's founding fathers by their wording of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as the aforementioned were interpreted by the U.S. Surpreme Court.

Sure, religious people are all behind the USA when it comes to freedom of religion, but when it comes to other freedoms, the hypocrisy bit gets flipped, and now you're ready to take away the freedoms you don't agree with from other people. Sorry, but the only way to do that is to pass a Constitutional Ammendment.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Ikhnaton
06-29-2000, 06:05 PM
i love how people think that they somehow have a "right" to terminate a human life.

it absolutely disgusts me.

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 06:33 PM
I love it how people think they can take away my rights because they think they know best.

It absolutely disgusts me.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

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Ikhnaton
06-29-2000, 07:09 PM
vagabond, what makes you think you somehow have a right to take a life?

the only time you have a "right" (i use the term loosely) to take a life is in self defense.

what is your big defense for your belief that you have this "right"?

*note: i am debating points here, and nothing i say should be taken personally*
<font size=1>

[This message has been edited by Ikhnaton (edited June 29, 2000).]

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 07:54 PM
A woman's right to control her bodily functions is paramount. If she wants to have a baby, that is her choice. If she doesn't want to have a baby, that is also her choice.

Ike, if I went up to you and held a gun to your head and said, "Damn it, you'd better run through the middle of the street naked, or I'm going to blow your brains out", you would probably be very angry and feel violated. At that point you would have lost control of your body. I would have violated your basic Human rights.

Some extreme anti-choice people have suggested just this very thing when a woman's life is in danger from her pregnancy. They're saying, "Damn it, you're going to have this baby, even if it kills you." Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her will is a violation of her basic Human rights. Similarly, if one forced her to abort her pregnancy against her will, it would also violate her basic Human rights.

People just can not impose their own personal beliefs on the reproductive rights of a woman, except the woman herself. Period.

The irony is that the people most trying to control women's reproductive rights are white, conservative, christian males.

Ike, don't worry. No offense taken by me, and I hope you don't take any personal offense from any of my remarks.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Ikhnaton
06-29-2000, 08:58 PM
the woman has a choice as to what she does with her reproductive organs, and the choice is whether or not to have sex to have a child. yes, you can talk about rape and stuff all you want, but the choice is there, not after a new life is created.

Kurgan
06-29-2000, 09:00 PM
Vagabond, I don't object to your opinion, (though I disagree with it of course). I merely object to your misuse of certain terms.

"Living" applies to all plants, animals, protists, fungi, and all manner of bacteria, etc. It doesn't distinguish between "born" and "unborn."

I'm not talking about dead people here. A dead person, as far as I'm concerned can't be hurt by anyone living on earth. Sure, you can upset people who KNEW that person, by speaking ill of the dead individual, or denying them a proper burial, etc, but that only tarnishes the memory of the person.

The person's body has ceased to function and no longer feels pain, no longer thinks, and can't have it's feelings hurt in this way.

I never said that was an issue. Back on topic... abortion:

An unborn human or unborn of any other species are "alive" in the same sense that a born individual is.

And the other term you use incorrectly is "human."

A "human" is a mammal of the species homo sapiens. This is a biological distinction which no scientist can disagree with. We are human by nature's decree.

Sure, you have people like the Nazi's and the Klu Klux Klan who say certain groups of creatures within our species (like Blacks, Jews, Gypsies, or Catholics..) aren't "human" but they aren't thinking clearly or they haven't read anything about biology or zoology.

We're all in the same family.

A dead person is human as well. They may not be moving around and "alive" but they still have the same genetics we do. Eventually they will decompose and then return to the elements. Then they will cease to become human, because they will have become the food for worms and bugs, and part of the soil or ash.

But until then, we're all human.

Until our bodies stop working and are beyond recovery (ie: can't be revived by any means) then we are "alive."

A fetus/unborn baby is both "alive" and "human" in the fullest sense of the word. Even the founding fathers would agree.

Kurgan

Kurgan
06-29-2000, 09:08 PM
Oh, and Vaggy, I think you missed the point of this debate.

"Religious people" are not the only ones against abortion.

Maybe you have stereotypes of the anti-abortionists. Are these from TV shows or what you saw on CNN? Somewhere along the line weren't you the one who said the only people who support abortion were "rich, white, Republican Christian men?"

I'm sure many of THOSE people are against abortion, but the aren't the only ones, and they are probably even in the minority of folks who are against it. I'm not talking about this country alone, I'm talking about the WORLD. Obviously the governments of many countries have decided to force the issue on us, but what do the people want? Isn't that what Democracy is all about?

Or is it just what a group of rich and powerful (and unelected, I might add) bueracrats decide is "best for us."

At one time our Supreme Court said that slavery was correct. Guess they aren't infallible after all! ; )

I'm not talking about TV shows, or what any religious group is talking about. I'm talking about the topic itself.

Here we go with terms again. ; )

You like the way the country is because it happens to support your view. But what if it didn't? Then you'd be as upset as the rest of us, and you'd have a right to complain.

Again, I would like to clear up some fallacies.

First off, I am not a Republican, nor do I consider myself a conservative. I don't consider myself a liberal either. Just so you know. I'm not a fundamentalist Christian.

The part about a Constitutional Amendment is a good one. I agree that the laws need to be changed. How on earth could I possibly FORCE you, Vagabond, to NOT have an abortion, and thus "violate your human rights," as you put it? How??! By saying "I am against abortion" how is that taking away the rights of any women, in the world?"

I see it as merely standing up for the rights of the innocent, who cannot protect themselves, in the face of a barbaric set of laws that endanger THEIR human rights.

Nobody said that a woman must be forced to not have an abortion if her life is in danger from pregnancy. The abortions performed to "save the life of the mother" are very very rare. As are the number of abortions performed on woman who were pregnant as a result of sexual assault.

Incidentally, even if the pregnancy was caused by a rape, that does not in any way diminish the need for a human life to be protected (ie: the fetus must be allowed to live). The mother has the option to put her child up for adoption.

Millions of parents in this country would give their right arm for a child, as they cannot have one of their own, and would make good loving, care-givers. Even gay couples want to adopt. Abortion would deny them this.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited June 29, 2000).]

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 09:20 PM
I never said a fetus wasn't alive. True, it has DNA, so technically it is Human. My hair and fingernails have Human DNA as well - none of you seem to get up in arms when you get a hair cut. That's not even the point.

The mother's right to terminate her pregnancy exceed the right of the fetus to impose the pregnancy on the mother. The fetus exists as the discretion of the mother.

And Ike, if you don't want any children, then you can practice abstinence if you want. That's not very realistic and it's not very Human either.

Why is it that all of you conservative christian males think it's okay for you to tell a woman what to do with her body, but you would object to someone forcing you to do something against your will at gunpoint? Explain this please.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Vagabond
06-29-2000, 09:42 PM
...Somewhere along the line weren't you the one who said the only people who support abortion were "rich, white, Republican Christian men?"...


Actually, I said soemthing more along the line that the majority of those who are anti-choice are white, conservative, males. I stand by this statement. Further, this statement does not mean that people who fall out of this stereotype are not also anti-choice.


...I'm sure many of THOSE people are against abortion, but the aren't the only ones, and they are probably even in the minority of folks who are against it...


I seriously doubt it.


...At one time our Supreme Court said that slavery was correct. Guess they aren't infallible after all! ; ) ...


That's quite correct, which is the reason that I never said the Surpreme Court was infallible. It's just the highest court in our land, and that's the way our government works, like it or not.


...You like the way the country is because it happens to support your view. But what if it didn't? Then you'd be as upset as the rest of us, and you'd have a right to complain...


You seem to be implying that I said you didn't have a right to complain, which I never implied.


...First off, I am not a Republican, nor do I consider myself a conservative. I don't consider myself a liberal either. Just so you know. I'm not a fundamentalist Christian...


I never said anything about fundamentalist christians. You are, however a christian male, so I got 2 out of 3 right. You are still a part of the major body wishing to oppress women.


...How on earth could I possibly FORCE you, Vagabond, to NOT have an abortion, and thus "violate your human rights," as you put it? How??! By saying "I am against abortion" how is that taking away the rights of any women, in the world?"...


I never said that you speaking those words would violate my Human rights. But even if a constitutional ammendment was made prohibiting the woman's right to choose, I feel it would be a major step backwards for a free society, making women second-class citizens.


...I see it as merely standing up for the rights of the innocent, who cannot protect themselves, in the face of a barbaric set of laws that endanger THEIR human rights...


I see it as the oppression of women by men.


...Nobody said that a woman must be forced to not have an abortion if her life is in danger from pregnancy. The abortions performed to "save the life of the mother" are very very rare...


The Nebraska law, that the Surpreme Court struck down yesterday, attempted to ban late term abortionns even if the mother's life was in danger. You stand corrected.


...Incidentally, even if the pregnancy was caused by a rape, that does not in any way diminish the need for a human life to be protected (ie: the fetus must be allowed to live). The mother has the option to put her child up for adoption...


No, the fetus must not be allowed to live. The mother may choose to allow the fetus to grow to term, or to terminate it. Yes, the woman also has the choice to give the baby up for adoption, but again, that is her choice and not a goverment mandate.


...Millions of parents in this country would give their right arm for a child, as they cannot have one of their own, and would make good loving, care-givers. Even gay couples want to adopt. Abortion would deny them this...


This is not a justification for forcing unwanted pregnancies on women.

Further, and you will no doubt find this surprising, I don't know that I am very comfortable with gay couples adopting children. I have no problem with gay people becoming legally married, but I think that most children would prefer a typical male/female set of parents since most children are born straight.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
06-30-2000, 08:26 PM
Wow, I don't visit the board for awhile, and now I have to join the tail end of page2! I don't expect you to read my response, because I didn't read yours (not enough time right now), so I'm just adding my opinion, not joining the flow of the debate.

Calypso, I read your initial response (but not the others yet). I agree and disagree with you some.

1)A prenate is a human life, and deserves to live. If I wear a condom, and my sperm never reach the egg, a life form was not killed. Once that egg is fertilized and nature takes its course, barring some accident or mishap, it will become a human being. It doesn't matter what brain waves are present or not.

2) "Right to Chose" (IMO) is a misnomer, a cleverly worded propaganda that sets an issue before the voters to gain female votes. You want to know what abortion is about? MONEY! Ladies, you are being told it is about your right to choose, but it's about the incredible amount of money paid to abortionists (federal tax money available for pigs at the money trough!) An abortion is a highly profitable and highly invasive procedure, and can permamently damage a females delicate internal organs to the point of sterility, and I imagine even death. They want nothing more than for you to come back every couple of months for another, and the bank accounts get fatter and fatter. They pay lobbyists and politicians handsomely to keep it legal, and don't take my word for it, take theirs...they admit it!

What does abortion have to do with a woman's right to choose. How many choices are made before the conception/fertilization? (see below for rape) If you don't want to be pregnant and have a child, do whatever can be done to avoid that. If that means abstinence, so be it. And nothing is 100%, so if you're sexually active, even with precautions, you may get pregnant, and knowing that up front, be responsible if you do.

That goes for the male too! Man, if you want to get some, and she gets pregnant, face the consequences like a man and pay the responsibilty tied to fathering. Unfortunately ladies, it'd be nice, but the guy often doesn't stick around and there's nothing you can do to change that other than making sure you do all that you can to avoid getting pregnant. If you get pregnant and he leaves, YOU will carry that baby alone, YOU will raise, care for and support them to adulthood alone, so YOU must, for YOUR OWN SAKE, be responsible. I wish that weren't so, but guys are jerks these days!

3)I don't think abortion should be illegal, but I don't think it should be available as a non-chalant method of birth control. (Ooops...I got pregnant...oh well, I'll just get qa n abortion) It shouldn't be easy so easy to get an abortion. Might the pregnancy, delivery and raising of that being be an inconvenience to the mother? Certainly, but that is a consequence of having sex. If a pregnancy/baby is unwanted, there are plenty of choices that can be made to keep that event from occuring. Again, that is where you can exercise your right to choose.

And in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape, I have no problem with an abortion there. There was no choice invloved there! I would advise against it just because I have friends that had abortions young, only to deeply regret it, to the point of torment, when they had children later and they realized what they kept from being born. But I wouldn't forbid it.

Calypso wrote: <Think of it this way, if a poverty-sticken woman finds herself with child, what is she do do?>

You don't find yourself pregnant, you get pregnant through your choices and his choices(barring rape). What is she to do? Whatever she can to not get preganant in the first place. That's not fun, but it's realisitc.

As far as wanting to avoid the unpleasant circumstances of a poor, impoversished woman becoming a poor impoverished single mom...that is the job of Christians (who I guess are on Sabbatical) and the community/society she lives in. Beware, Calypso, what if your life gets terminated some day because you're old, unwanted and unproductive by some standard...oh well. What if your mother ha said "Oh, I really don't want the responsibility after all...bye-bye son!"

You know what else...none of this would be an issue! A patent was made in, like the 50's, of a gold valve placed in the testes' tubes. A small procedure, the valve is turned to off, no (or at least very, very slight) chance of pregnancy. You get older, want a family, have the valve turned on, here comes the babies. Done with babies, have it turned off, AND you can go back to on if you change your mind later(unlike vasectomy's). Who bought the patent and trashed the idea? Drug companies. Why? So women would have to pay for a pill thay have to take every day, a prescription renewable every month...and if not, than abortions make money too! It makes me sick that they then come forward to lobby for legalized, quick access abortions under the umbrella of "Women, don't let them take your right to choose."

Here's my final thought: "Women, don't let them take away your dignity. Don't let them invade and damage your precious body, Don't let them manipulate you like a sucker. Stand tall, strong and smart, and be responsible for your life."

Kurgan
06-30-2000, 09:20 PM
Vagabond, all the US polls I have seen show abortion is an issue American's are sharply divided on.

Please show me the statistical evidence that "MOST" the "MAJORITY" or even "ALL" of "anti-choice" (those who wish abortion to be illegal/consider it immoral) are "white, conservative christian males."

Stereotyping is a bad idea, is it not?

Many Muslims are against abortion, and most of them are not conservative Christian males. Many women are against abortion.

Even atheists are against abortion. Atheist woman, for goshsakes! How do I spell that out for you?

What if I said all, most, or the majority of pro-abortionists were bleeding-heart liberal, radical feminist, New Agers?

Would that be fair? No, I don't think so.

Stereotypes are bad because they basically say you can predict a person's personality, beliefs, behavior, etc, by the group they were born into, or happen to belong to.

Not every Christian is against abortion, many women are against it as well as for it, and liberals are against it as well as conservatives, and some so-called conservatives support abortion.

Many politicians (and citizens) support the status quo. So whatever is legal, if fine with them. If abortion were banned tomorrow, they wouldn't even blink. But, for many others, abortion is a very important issue.

And you still don't understand the terms "alive" and "human."

You are saying that each of the dead hairs on your head is a human being? Previously you said everything in the entire universe (all matter) was human. A human being is an individual being, a lifeform that shares the genetic characteristics of homo sapiens. There is a difference between my finger, and another person, is there not? A human baby gets nourishment from its mother, but it is not an organ in her body. It is a seperate creature. How hard is that for you to grasp?

Even those who support abortion agree that a fetus is both really and truly alive and really human.

They acknowledge those facts openly.

The way in which they DEFEND abortion, is much in the way you have hinted at. That is, they say the woman's will is greater than that of an unborn human being. That is, she has the power of life and death over her children.

They would also try to defend abortion on philosophical grounds. Or emotional ones.. like saying that a woman can't be forced to put up with something as stressful as pregnancy or whatnot.

Sadly, statistics don't support many of the emotional arguments. Most abortions are not performed in cases of rape. Abortions are not "rare." They are not all performed in the first trimester, and they aren't all done for the benefit of poor women who can't afford kids.

The "Democracy" argument basically boils down to one of two things:

1) Whatever the majority decides in a country is then moral (or there is no morality, there is only law, and the law is final). If you don't like it, move to another country that supports your beliefs.

The trouble with this argument is that it denies due process, justice, and the right to redress grievences.

If the people disagree or change their minds, they have a right to speak up and get the laws changed. Nobody should be forced to obey an immoral law that defies their conscience. Every citizen has a right to have a say in their government. Not just the rich, or the popular. Moving to another country is not feasible or logical for most, free-minded people.

2) The goverment knows what's best, and whatever they decide is the law, in our best interest. That's that.

This argument ignores the fact that the government governs at our consent. We have no obligation to have immoral laws thrust upon us by unelected authorities. That is the whole reason we broke away from Britian in the first place. The founding fathers whole intention was to give us a government OF the people, and FOR the people, not merely "above the people."

The documents that founded our country also stated that if at ANY TIME, the government did not represent the will of the people, and ceased to perform as it ought to, that the PEOPLE had a right to ABOLISH IT and form a new one. Now that would scare alot of buerecrats, and conservatives, but that's what they said. They seem to have believed it to, as they were willing to fight and die for it.

The case of abortion is far from over.. and trying to paint the opponents of it as narrow minded zealouts is a common one, but it doesn't stand up to closer scrutiny.

Recall again, at one time people thought it was okay to deny woman the right to vote, and okay to enslave blacks and discriminate against them. If these things can change, so can this case of brutality against unborn human beings.

Kurgan

Vagabond
06-30-2000, 09:21 PM
quite-gone gin,

Welcome. And I'd urge you to read this entire thread, if you get the chance. Much of what you've stated has already been discussed, so I won't rehash it here.

I will say that I strongly disagree with your opinion that the main reason people want women to have the right to choose is to make the doctors who perform abortions money. That's missing the point entirely.

One more thing: when you wear a condom, and the sperm don't reach the egg, something does die...your sperm, and eventually the egg will die too. The sperm is a cell. The egg is a cell. The combined sperm/egg is a cell. We're composed of a bunch of cells...so what? In any event, I see it as irrelevant anyway. The mother has sole discretion whether to complete her pregnancy or terminate it. If you were a woman you'd likely have a different perspective.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

the13thJedi
07-01-2000, 07:06 PM
This seems to be a heated discussion....

I was raised as a baptist, and that religion told me that killing is killing in any way, shape or form. I am now more or less agnostic, meaning I don't really have a religion, but do believe in something.

Though I can honestly say that I think abortion, in the most general of terms, is wrong... I also happen to believe that in some cases, it could be "acceptable"

Now, here is my explanation:

I happen to see or hear alot about people getting pregnant, not wanting it, and ultimately, getting an abortion... I believe that this is wrong. In my own opinion, Abortion is not a form of birth control.

When someone is careless enough to engage in a sexual activity with someone else, there should be a certain level of compitence and responsibility. If responsible behavior is not present, and the two fool around carelessly, Then they should have to accept the outcome, however extreme, of their actions. Anyone who decides to take extreme measures because they do not want to deal with reality, should be herded into a building, and shot like cattle.

Now, on to why I think that abortion is "acceptable" on only the very rarest of occurences:

I'll start off by giving this example:

In a city not very far from where I live, there was a story about how a mentally challenged, comatose woman was raped by an orderly at the hospital that was caring for her. Now, because this woman was in the condition that she was, there was no way to decide what would be done- Whether she would carry the child full-term, or whether the child would be "destroyed". The decision could not be decided by anyone other that the woman, regardless of her condition, so this woman, even in her condition, carried the child full term. When the term was over, the child was born. The mother, died in labor. The child is severely disabled, both mentally and physically, and will most likely live it's entire life in a hospital.

This is an instance where I believe that abortion would be acceptable. I also belive that in other situations, such as rape, by family member or stranger, would be cause for abortion. That is about my extent for tolerance of it though.

This is all I to say for now. Anyone with questions, feely free to ask.

the13thjedi

Vagabond
07-03-2000, 01:52 AM
13th,


...When someone is careless enough to engage in a sexual activity with someone else, there should be a certain level of compitence and responsibility. If responsible behavior is not present, and the two fool around carelessly, Then they should have to accept the outcome, however extreme, of their actions. Anyone who decides to take extreme measures because they do not want to deal with reality, should be herded into a building, and shot like cattle...


Yes, you're right, there should be a certain level of maturity that comes with having sex. However, the reality of our world is that this is not the case.

I know a woman, who when she was 15, got pregnant by her boyfriend, because she was young and stupid. According to your words, this girl, barely a teenager, would have been forced to give birth and deal with a newborn, when clearly she wasn't even responsible enough to take care of herself. I disagree with you. Girls who get pregnant at such a young age are not close to be mature or educated enough to take care of themselves, much less another life.

Furthermore, this 15-year-old got an abortion, finished out high school, went to college, got married, has a good job, and is planning to start a family soon. According to your words, she should be taken out behind the shed and have her brains blown out. Sorry, but I have to disagree with you again. This woman is now a productive member of society, is mature, and is a good person. She regrets that she had to get an abortion, but it was the best choice for her at that time in her life. You may disagree with her choice, and that is your right, but the fact remains that it was her choice and she made it.

I'm not defending her act of stupidity in getting herself pregnant...that was dumb, and was no doubt a reflection of her young age. But we live in an imperfect world where sometimes the only method of learning is from the teacher of experience. The key is to learn not to repeat your mistakes, and in the case of this woman, she has.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

the13thJedi
07-03-2000, 09:37 AM
I stand by what I said...

There a thousands of people who can not have children who would have been more than willing to adopt that child...

I think that giving a child up for adoption is much more sensible than destroying it...

I'm sorry if you disagree with me Vagabond, But abortion IS NOT a form of birth control, no matter how you slice it...

the13thjedi

Vagabond
07-03-2000, 01:22 PM
13th,


...There a thousands of people who can not have children who would have been more than willing to adopt that child...


This is not justification to force a woman to have an unwanted pregnancy.

Hell, I love a good laugh. That doesn't give me a right to hold a gun to your head and force you to run down the street, naked, squawking like a chicken, just so I can laugh at you. Me doing this to you would violate your Human rights. The government taking control of a woman's reproductive cycle would violate the rights of all women. The government can not legislate a woman's reproductive behavior, period.

You may disagree, but again, that is your right. Further, you may want to try to look at the issue from a female point of view, rather than from the point-of-view of one with a penis.




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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Jedi Calypso
07-03-2000, 07:10 PM
Hey,

Found a site with an article that i thought would stir up the pot a bit:
http://dallasnews.com/campaign/105444_gop_03pol.ART.html

GOD bless;
-Calypso

the13thJedi
07-03-2000, 07:44 PM
This has nothing to do with the government in my oppinion...

And I'm sorry you disagree, But comparing pregnancy with what you compared it to is downright ignorance...

Now I know you may not think so... But you're looking at the situation with a very closed-minded approach towards what seems to be any alternative to abortion...

It may just be the way you think... But I get the impression that you are just attempting to find justification where there really is none to be found.

There is always a choice. And your friend made two poor choices in my humble oppinion:
1) Sexual activity without the use of proper birth control... And just because she was 15 is no excuse... When I was that age, I knew what precautionary measures were.
2) Said person chose to run from reality and make a painfully final decision, for both herself and her unborn child.

Now, you're probably steaming right now... But I just cant make much sense out of what you say... True that no one can force an unwanted pregnancy, But if the proper measures are taken in the first place, the entire problem could easily be avoided...

Once again Vagabond,

I'm sorry if you disagree with me.... But, ABORTION IS NOT A FORM OF BIRTH CONTROL....


And, No Offense, But that is the justification you're trying to make, regardless of wether of not you know it.

the13thjedi

the13thJedi
07-03-2000, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Vagabond:

You may disagree, but again, that is your right. Further, you may want to try to look at the issue from a female point of view, rather than from the point-of-view of one with a penis.


Trust me, I've analyzed this point to death from every possible angle.... what it comes down to is this:

Abortion practiced as a form of birth control is one of the many forms of murder.
If someone is willing to engage in an Adult activity, then they should take the Adult's responsibilty that goes along with it. Bar None.

the13thjedi

Vagabond
07-03-2000, 09:30 PM
Well 13th, we are just going to have to disagree. It all comes down to having control over your own body. I'm very socially liberal, so I'm all for:

* Self-Assisted Suicide
* Right to Choose Abortion
* Right to be Homosexual without fear of discrimination
* Right to burn the American flag in protest

Morality is subjective to one's personal viewpoint, and once you see this truth, you will realize the inherant danger of holding others' up to your own personal standard of right and wrong. Our nation uses Democracy is its method of wading through these muddy waters, and while imperfect is a better method than most. Our nation is one of the freest in the world. Once you start stripping people of their freedoms, you begin sliding down the slippery slope to totalitarian rule, whether you like it or not.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Vagabond
07-03-2000, 09:37 PM
One more thing, 13th. Let me caution you to not take a holier-than-thou stance. Once you place yourself above others, you take on a self-righteous frame of mind, which blinds you to your own Humanity. We are all imperfect and no one should expect us to be.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-04-2000, 12:48 AM
A good lesson to be learned Vagabond, however, we urge you not to forget to heed your own advice. ; )

When it comes to items merely of economic or political difference, or cultural or ethnic debate, or even religious discussion, sure, it's all well and good to take a "relativist" standpoint and say "all things are equal, each to his own viewpoint, all are correct."

However, no matter what, even when we say this very thing, we are making a judgement as to the correctness of our ideas and the wrongness of certain others (any that may disagree).

Yes, it is good that we can disagree. However, I think some are of the opinion that in a "Democracy" (even a limited one, such as ours), those in the minority, or those with unpopular opinions should not complain or disagree openly (or too loudly) with what the establishment has decreed.

The wonderful thing about freedom is that yes, it costs eternal vigilance, but it also is neverending. Our freedom didn't stop with the founding father's, and it hasn't stopped today either.

I get mad when some folks (especially in the media or on certain political publications) seem to imply that while it was okay to protest and get mad at the government in the 60's and early 70's, it's somehow wrong to disagree nowadays. They act like there are no more problems, no more predjudices, etc.

Surely these people are naive at best.

Some old problems have been corrected, some merely ignored, some partially solved, but many new ones exist. And some of the oldest problems still remain unsolved.

I guess my point Vagabond (and others) is that I realize we all have different personal beliefs that shape how we view the world. Some folks believe politics should be left to politicians. I disagree.. I think free discussion is good, even if we don't convert anyone to our viewpoint. At least we know where we stand on important issues.

When it comes to human lives, I think a relativist standpoint is a dangerous, and slippery slope, and I do not support that kind of thinking at all.

On the topic of homosexuality (a pet favorite of debate among liberals and conservatives), it remains to be seen (as per our previous debates on this topic) whether or not homosexuality is an inborn, or socially/culturally/etc created condition. Thus, I do not have a hard stance on whether or not it is "right" or "wrong" or "neutral." However, it is legal, in most places to BE a homosexual, and I do not believe that these folks should be treated any less than other human beings.

As to flag burning, I think it's a disgrace (reminds me of those anti-american demonstrations they have in other countries), but I don't think we should be throwing people in jail for burning a piece of cloth that they paid for. It just isn't that important. It's more important we protect human lives.

Human lives I place above freedom. If we can't live, we can't be free. Once we are allowed to live, then we can enjoy freedom.

To me, freedom is more than a piece of paper that says I can do this or that, or some arbitrary decision of some faceless group of leaders. It's something inherent in a human person, and thus is inalienable.

Now exactly what "freedom" really entails and how far it goes, that's something that's been debated for millenia. The ancient Greeks tended to think it only applied to freeborn males. The Founding Fathers tending to think it only applied to land-owning white men.

The details of what freedom entails is up to debate, but I would say it applies to all of our species, and we must be very very careful when we start saying who should and who shouldn't be denied this freedom.

Good comments people... the only thing I dislike about these discussions is how we seem to never be able to stay on topic for long (even I find it hard). Oh well. ; )

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-04-2000, 02:26 AM
Kurgan,


...Human lives I place above freedom. If we can't live, we can't be free. Once we are allowed to live, then we can enjoy freedom...


Can you see where herein lies the paradox? If the unwanted child is forced upon the unwilling mother, then she is no longer free, and so to live does not nececitate freedom. Same goes with prohibiting flag burning. The flag represents freedom, but to take away the freedom to burn the flag takes away the very freedom that it stands for. We must be free to make our mistakes, to exercise our freedoms, otherwise there is no freedom to enjoy.

I yield the remainder of my time to the distinguished gentleman of the Jedi Knight Council, Kurgan http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

the13thJedi
07-04-2000, 05:44 AM
Originally posted by Vagabond:
One more thing, 13th. Let me caution you to not take a holier-than-thou stance. Once you place yourself above others, you take on a self-righteous frame of mind, which blinds you to your own Humanity. We are all imperfect and no one should expect us to be.

Vagabond,

I am sorry if you recieved the wrong impression as to my stance...

The truth of the matter is this:

Yes, I do disagree with you & probably always will...

But, I never claimed to, in any way shape or form, be "holier" than anyone. Sure, we have been going at it tooth-and-nail, But throughout all I have not in any way claimed that I was superior to anyone. And Yes, I do consider your statement offensive, and also hypocritical, to certain lengths.

I do not have anything against you, but when you point the finger at me for something you yourself are doing, I will take offense.

I realize that you do have your opinions, and that is something I have to respect. But this is a debate about abortion, not about my character as a human being. So if you please, hold your comments on me until you know me better... Which, in all likelyhood, will not occur past this forum.

the13thjedi,

Vagabond
07-04-2000, 01:45 PM
13th,

I wasn't accusing you. Sometimes it seems like the debate starts heading that way, so I wanted to caution both you and I before either of us went there, unintentionally or otherwise http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-05-2000, 04:27 AM
Hey guys, just got back! Sadly I have to go back to class soon too. Oh well...

Yeah, what he said. ; )

Yeah, like I said, I think flag burning is ugly, but I'm not about to prosecute those who do it. I also think the KKK is hateful and wrong, but I am not going to throw them in jail for simply believing other people are inferior.

Fly (or flame) your flag, beat your drum, yell in my face, stomp in the street, just don't kill anyone, that's ultimately where I draw the line, in any case.

The rule is supposed to be that no one is to be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law and justice, and of the ability to redress of grievences. That has not always been honored unfortunately. Though I have many complaints with our system, I would rather improve it than abandon it, and I think it's still one of the best (not perfect of course, never was).

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 05, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-05-2000, 11:16 AM
Off-Topic: Normally I'm pro-death penalty. However, lately too many innocent people have ended up on death row, hence I'm for a moratorium per the state of Illinois. Especially Texas. Something is seriously messed up with their judicial system. When presidential candidate Bush lets a guy get executed when he clearly had incompetant council, and evidence supporting his innocence was not allowed to be presented - well that's just wrong. Plus, George Jr. has made several retarded comments, like, "...of the 300+ please executed in Texas, I am confident none of them were innocent..." Okay, that's just a stupid thing to say under any situation, but especially in light of how screwed up the judicial system is in Texas. Either George Jr. is the worlds biggest, cold-hearted liar, or he's as stupid and pig-headed as his father. Probably a little of both.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-05-2000, 04:50 PM
Vagabond, you missed my point entirely. I know women are fighting for their right to choose. Who would fight under the banner "Let's legalize abortions, so women can have their bodies mauled and the doctors who do it can get rich by either patient payments, insurance payments or federal funding, who then will fund our campaigns, line our pockets and further our political careers. And let's encourage promiscuity so we have repeat customers and some good job security"? But present it as "A right to choose what you want to do with your life and body" and people line up.

I agree, if a sperm dies, so what. If an eggs ovulates, runs its course and never gets fertalized, so what. BUT, once those two join, you have all the genetics needed for a human being, and in 9 months, barring a mishap or a scalpel, a baby will be born.

Tell me this is not a human, albeit unborn : http://www.independent.ie/1999/302/d20a.shtml

I do not think abortions should be illegal, but when people(male or female) go out, aren't responsible with their bodies which are fully capable of child-bearing, and a pregnancy results, hey, face your consequences of your actions...guys, get ready support a mother and support and raise a child, girls get ready to carry, give birth to and raise a child.

I am absolutely against using abortion as a means of birth control, there are too many options to discourage conception. You must, with an adult body, be responsible for it. Once a woman is pregnant, there is another human life to be considered, don't punish it for your irresponsibility. It all seems to me like this: "Do whatever you feel like without forethought of consequences, and if you get pregnant and don't like the idea of having a baby and raising children, abort it and go on your merry way"...that is not good for any society, and if you look at the downfall of every empire/society, you'll see common threads...that's one of them.

[This message has been edited by quite-gone gin (edited July 05, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-05-2000, 05:19 PM
Yes, it's all in the presentation of the statement, and your rather dramatic misrepresentation of the issue is a perfect case-in-point.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-05-2000, 08:07 PM
Yeah, I'd say neither Gore, nor Bush really deserves to be president of the United States... we've got enough corrupt idiots running around grabbing money and power from us already. ; P

I'm against the death penalty. I feel we need to research better means (and no, I don't mean torture or something wicked like that) to rehabilitate criminals, reduce crime, etc). Too many folks are being thrown in prison, and there's too much poverty. Poor people get jailed by the thousands, while rich criminals get slaps on the wrist. That's not justice.

On the abortion debate, I think we need to sort these two things out first:

Myth #1: Those who are against abortion are all fanatical wild-eyed religious zealots who want to bomb and kill anyone who disagrees with them.

Myth #2: Those who are against abortion are all a bunch of Christian, conservative, rich, men. They obviously can't care about women, because they aren't.

Myth #3: Most abortions are rare, and only performed on poor, unfortunate women, to save their lives, after they have been raped, and they can't afford to keep their child and wouldn't make good mothers, so they are being helped out of a bad situation by a caring provider.

Myth #4: The fetus is not human, a blob of tissue, or a non-human animal, and thus has no rights at all.

Even those who support abortion will agree (the intelligent ones anyhow) that the above are myths, not facts.

Those that support abortion do not rely on the above to "prove" their position, or else they end up appearing both ignorant, and pompous. That's my rant...

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 05, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-05-2000, 08:35 PM
Kurgan,

On your point #2, I disagree. The majority group that opposes abortion are conservative, christian, males. This is a fact. Just poll the people opposed to choice in this very thread. Granted, it's not scientific, but it shows my point.

And Kurgan, compared to me, you are a bastion of conservativism. I know you like to consider yourself middle-of-the-road, but from your public statements, you clearly are not. I don't mean that as an insult either, so please don't take it that way. Just call it like I see it.

Here are the facts as I see them:

1. Women are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than men are.

2. Black men are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than white men are.

3. Liberally-minded people are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than conservative people are.

4. Non-zealous people of faith are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than are the zealous people of faith.

All these things are true and obvious, Kurgan. You can't deny it. Since this is true, then the implication is that the converse is also true. Example: men are not more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than women are, etc.

You may choose to disagree with my points, but I am confident that what I have stated is factual and provable...with some accurate statistical polling....done by an independent group.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-06-2000, 05:52 PM
Kurgan and Vag:

I know a man who used to own something like 26 abortion clinics with his partner, they made ludicrous amounts of money from abortions, absurd amounts. He walked away from all of it, even his partner's offer of half the value of their operations, which was in the millions, and he walked away from it...he couldn't reconcile the profit with the loss of life. He's the one who told me about abortions being all about the money, and the political machine behind it. It's his word, as someone from that arena, vs. yours from your stance...I must say his word stands over yours at this point in time.

Kurgan, the same goes for prisons...there is so much money changing hands with the building of many new prisons, and a lot to be made running them, much of it state and federally funded. The telco's make bank from prison phones too.

BTW, have you ever seen an abortion performed, live or on video? If I was a woman, there's no way I'd let anyone do that to my body, nor if there were a similr procedure for men.

Do you ever notice how much people don't like those who take stands for religious reasons? It's almost communistic, religion being the "opiate of the people." (Don't get me wrong, I think in theory that communism is a great idea, but IRL, the ruling party gets what more than "according to their needs.")

quite-gone gin
07-06-2000, 06:49 PM
Vag:

I could just as easily say that your your presentation is nothing more than one who has fallen for the "propaganda" theory I propose.

In response to you comment about the unwilling mother and the unwanted child...I agree. A woman should not be forced to have a child she didn't want, but the only case I would grant that circumstance would be rape.

For clarification, if someone is unwilling to be pregnant and doesn't want a child, you take precautions. My wife and I don't want children yet, so we are careful. When we want children, we'll stop being careful. We are talking about people who aren't ignorant of the facts that sex and only sex (okay some procedures do!) leads to pregnancies, that their bodies are mature enough to get pregnant, and that there are means available to avoid pregnancy even while being active (that's why sex ed exists). There is freedom to have sex, but it may lead to a pregnancy whether you use protection or not. That's the point, who doesn't know that? And this stance has nothing to do with me having a penis.

Should I be able buy a gun, load it, shoot a man dead, knowing full well what happens if you shoot someone, and not be responsible for my actions? When they throw me in prison, and my "freedom" is stripped away, should I be able to say, "No you can't take my freedom." I forfeited it by my free actions. If I, man or woman, have sex (with or without protection), there is a responsibility to the cosequences of my actions, pregnancy included. Is it fair that the woman bears the child and not the man? No, but that's the way it is. Should men abandon their pregnant girlfriends? No, but they do.

Freedom and responsibility must go hand in hand. I am free to do what I want, but I am responsible for what I do in my freedom. That's what's wrong, people want the freedom but not the responsibility. There is no freedom without resposibility...that's anarchy. If I freely get a woman pregnant, I have a responsibilty to her and the unborn child. If a woman freely gets pregnant, she has a responsibilty to the unborn child. IS THIS NOT TRUE? (please answer)

And BTW, I know many women who didn't want abortions, but their boyfriends talked them into it, and they (both) regretted it later. It had nothing to do with "her right to choose" but his not wanting to be responsible for the consequences of their actions. And the same holds true for most abortions..."I/we wasn't careful, but I don't want to face the cosnequences, so let's abort it" (and the only way to justify that is by calling it a lump of tissue).

Do guys manipulate girls into bed? Yes. Will he carry that child? No. Will he stick around and be there for her...maybe! Ladies, be responsible for yourselves, just in case he won't! Exercise your freedom and your right to choose BEFORE you get pregnant...there are options. (My mom wanted a girl and girl and got me, I'm glad she didn't abort me for soemthing I had nothing to do with) If you abort and innocent unborn human, you take away their opportunity to live, and it doesn't matter what situation they grow up in.

Men, be men. Be responsible before pregnancy, and after if it comes to that. And don't leave your lady, be a responsible man and own up to it.

[This message has been edited by quite-gone gin (edited July 06, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-06-2000, 06:51 PM
The doctor's opinion, that you referenced, is no more valid than mine.

I'm not going to enter a discussion on my views of the validity of making stands for religious reasons. Suffice it to say that I am agnostic and place little value on beliefs founded merely on faith. That's my choice.

People who don't believe in a woman's right to choose can exercise their belief by never choosing an abortion. Let those of us who disagree with you follow our beliefs, allowing us the freedom and liberty to choose what course we wish to take.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Conor
07-07-2000, 02:05 AM
So now you know more than 'doctors' performing abortions Vagabond? That man's 'opinion' (which it isn't, it is a varifiable fact I have seen as a result of research, I can get my hands on a list of prices for body parts of fetus' if I want).

I dare you to read the book of The Hand of God if you have any intellectual honesty at all. The author is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who I have mentioned before, and he was in a large way responsible for the legalization of abortion in the US. He presided over 65000 abortions and performed thousands himself. Nobody knows more about it than he does, not even you (although I'd like to see you pretend to). He finally broke down under the slaughter and rejected it.

If you care at all about what this thing you support really is, you will read the book.

Also, if you have any urge to educate yourself whatsoever you should also read Forgiven of Murder, written by Denise Montenay. Most women support abortion? HA! My ass they do. Abortion is the biggest oppressor of women in the history of mankind. She outlines what happened in her abortions and in other women's, the pain and suffering, maltreatment, sterilizations and even some deaths.

In her words, "Abortion is not a black and white issue, it is blood red. There are two victims in every abortion. One dead, and one wounded."

To support it is to oppress women for the financial gain of rich, white men.

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Vagabond
07-07-2000, 03:07 AM
Conor, your theatrics do your cause a grave disservice.

An abortion is an operation, so in a technical sense there is a wound to the mother, but rarely does any long-term physical damage result.

Further, I'm not disputing the fact that the fetus is destroyed. It is. But the mother's rights are greater than that of the fetus.

Let's face it, we have two decisions:

1. The rights of the fetus outweigh the rights of the mother.

OR

2. The rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the fetus.

I vote for the mother, you vote for the fetus. We each have our own opinions, which are equally valid. And no matter which side you choose, someone's rights get trampled on. Either position has a brutal outcome on the spirit of liberty and freedom.

This is a no-win situation, so we have to make the best of it. You follow your conscience, and allow others to follow theirs.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Conor
07-07-2000, 06:06 PM
"All human beings have the right to life..." Is that not part of your constitution? It seems I remember it that way.

As for no long term physical effects, that is nonsense. Read a little some time. The case of an uncomplicated abortion is extremely rare. You probably don't know just how badly the women are treated. Most of the time they are given little or no anesthetic and have their baby ripped to pieces inside them (often damaging the uterus). Then after they laying there crying they are given no help or support and told to get up and go because there are other patients.

Sometimes the baby is killed by poison, and the mother has to go into labor for hours to deliver a perfect and dead little baby (that is after the baby thrashes in his death throes for a while).

Other times in late-term abortions the mother is given a labor-inducing drug and the baby is made to be born (living) feet first. With the head not completely out the 'doctor' jabs a pair of scissors in the back of the baby's skull and widens a hole so that the brains can be sucked out with a vacuum cleaner (this is now not preferred because a baby's brain can be sold for $900).

As for support, talk to any number of groups like REAL Women or Human Life International about the untold millions of women vehemently against abortion for the horror it inflicts on both victims.

Abortion destroys many women physically and mentally. Do a little research. The information exists. I doubt you would though.

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Vagabond
07-07-2000, 06:56 PM
Conor,

I'm sure your sources say exactly what you say they do. The people that I know, who have received abortion, appear perfectly fine, and have had no problems bearing children in the future.

Again, we have two decisions:

1. The rights of the fetus outweigh the rights of the mother.

OR

2. The rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the fetus.

I'm placing my vote with the mother, you place yours with the fetus. If you ever get pregnant, Conor, then I fully endorse your right to choose not to have an abortion.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-07-2000, 07:21 PM
Vag, again you avoid answering a simple question, and hide behind the rhetoric of "Oh, you're just being theatrical." (BTW, if you knew me, you'd know I'm not very theatrical, rather boring and stoic!) And you minimize the issue to "right of mother vs. right of fetus."
Answer this string of questions:
(1)When a man and woman engage in sex, with or without protection, is there a chance that she will get pregnant?
(2)Does the man and woman have access to contraceptives that can prevent an unwanted pregnancy?
(3)Barring some mishap, will that pregancy result in the birth of a vital, fully-functional human being, with all the inherent rights of all other humans?
(4)If they forego precaution, or use precaution and it fails (as they know it might), did their freedom to make choices and have sex lead to the pregnancy, unwanted or not?

Don't skirt answering those questions. If the answers are true, they exercised the right to choose several times, as free people, knowing full well the possibilty of a pregnancy, and the resposibility that comes with a pregnancy.

Now you say, well the father's/mother's right to freedom supercedes the fetus'. On what grounds? The parents already exercised their right to choose, freely engaging in an act that led to the pregnancy. On what grounds do you claim that the fetus has no right to life? An abortion WILL kill that fetus, thus denying him/her the chance to ever exercise rights or experience life as you and the parents have. Having the baby will NOT kill the mother or the father (granted, IF it comes to the life of the mother vs. the life of the fetus, the choice belongs to the woman, whether abortion or not).

So what you are saying, in essence, is the right of the mother to NOT TO BE INCONVENIENCED by a direct result of her free actions takes precedence over the right of an unborn child to be born, live, and pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Substantiate that position for me, and don't hide behind "We disagree, go our seperate ways" because these discussions are the backbone of democracy. Prove yourself right, me wrong, or both, and I will concede. But do engage.

See, there are no grounds UNLESS you de-humanize the fetus, thus stripping its human status and rights. And yes, there is a difference between a cell on your skin, a sperm, an ovum, and a fertilized egg. If there is not, than I should be able to murder freely, since I'd only be destroying a clump of cellular matter (like yourself and myself).

Please note, not one of my arguments is based on faith...I never said "The Bible says so." It is common sense and reason, and not theatrics.

[This message has been edited by quite-gone gin (edited July 07, 2000).]

quite-gone gin
07-07-2000, 07:26 PM
Oh yeah, Kurgan...ultratom/ultratommy says "Hi", we work at the same company.

Vagabond
07-07-2000, 07:48 PM
Looks like I'm just going to have to keep repeating myself, because you keep ignoring the obvious:

we have two decisions:

1. The rights of the fetus outweigh the rights of the mother.

OR

2. The rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the fetus.

You can't have both.

I'm placing my vote with the mother, you place yours with the fetus. We should each be able to exercise our beliefs with respect to our personal lives.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-07-2000, 09:24 PM
I know there can't be both. You have a right to stand where you want on the issue.

This is debating. Since you've boiled it down to the right of the mother vs the fetus, I am attacking the ground you stand on, the foundations of your position. I am pointing out the flaws of your premises as I see them (just as you may point out mine), and you respond to my points. Then you also add the flaws you see in my premises. Then, we both stand back, look at was said, and do one of the following: change our position because the other person's points were irrefutable, or we stand even firmer because our position was challenged and we overcame the challenge. That's the process of debate.

So far, you haven't responded to my previous post, you've just restated what you said before. My last post was in response t your position, please respond to it, (and if you like, ask the same of me) and answer the questions.

I have called you out. If you can answer my questions satisfactorily, and prove why I err in my judgment and your grounds are valid, then I must rethink my position.

If you don't respond, I must assume that you can't refute my last post, but that "you're gonna stand where you stand, even in the face of greater reason that you can't argue against." BTW, if that is the case, then that makes you a man of faith (not very good for an atheist to admit). I can't prove what I believe in to you, and no one "proved" it to me, but I beleive it anyway...and that is my faith. It would appear, then, that you aren't atheistic, you have faith in god, just that you are god, or at least that you have faith not in any god but in your own reason and passsions. (I don't share that to get you riled up, but if I'm wrong please show me).

Vagabond
07-07-2000, 10:09 PM
quite-gone gin,

First, one off-topic, minor correction: I am not an atheist. I am agnostic, which means undecided. In my opinion - and we've beat this dead horse thoroughly in a different thread - to be either an atheist or a believer in God, takes a leap of faith. This since there exists neither any concrete evidence nor any repeatable scientific experiment that can be conducted, which will either prove or disprove the existence of God. That being the case, and being of sound scientific mind, I choose to be agnostic, since I have nothing substantial upon which to base an opinion. Therefore I am as open to the possibility of God, as I am to there being none. But I digress...

The reason I haven't addressed any of your previous points is because I see them as irrelevant to the issue. In my mind the relevant issue is which person you choose to oppress, and which you choose to liberate. Further, a more interesting discussion would be the reasons we've chosen to champion one, while abandoning the other.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-08-2000, 06:02 AM
Okay, millions of woman are against abortion, as well as men.

Many Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are also against abortion.

Worldwide, your conservative, Christian, RICH, men are in the minority.

Even in this country they are the minority.

Again, this line of reasoning is flawed. I assume you have a problem with these guys, as you keep mentioning them.

It would be sort of like if I said, we need to use the death penalty, because the main people who are against it are black men, and we all know black men commit more crimes than white people.

I assume you are not a Rich conservative. Well neither am I. It's obviously a group you have some anger towards.

It's the archetypical "us vs. them" mentality. ; P

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-08-2000, 12:42 PM
Kurgan,

I believe you've misinterpreted what I said. I'll repost to refresh your memory:


1. Women are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than men are.

2. Black men are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than white men are.

3. Liberally-minded people are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than conservative people are.

4. Non-zealous people of faith are more sympathetic to a woman's right to choose, than are the zealous people of faith.


So, having repeated this for you to review, I stand by my points.

Point 1: I have no doubt that millions of women are opposed to the woman's right to choose. However, I am confident that a majority of women support a woman's right to choose.

Point 2: I am also confident that more men favor a woman's right to choose, than white men. Although I am quite sure that there are black men who oppose the woman's right to choose, they would be in the minority.

Point 3: I am confident that more liberally -minded people are in favor of a woman's right to choose, than conservative-minded people. You appear to agree, as you didn't dispute this point.

Point 4: Lastly, I referred to non-zealous people of faith. I chose these words carefully to refer to people of all faiths who possess a great deal of devotion for their chosen religion. These people will typically oppose a woman's right to choose as well, and I stand behind that statement.

Now, having said all that, the conversation has moved to crux of the debate, which I'll repeat for your review.

We have two decisions:

1. The rights of the fetus outweigh the rights of the mother.

OR

2. The rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the fetus.

You can't have both.

I'm placing my vote with the mother, you place yours with the fetus. We should each be able to exercise our beliefs
with respect to our personal lives.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Conor
07-09-2000, 12:50 AM
The rights of the baby to live outweigh any rights the mother thinks she has to destroy that life barring iminent danger to her own life.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all humans have the right to life. As do most countries that I am aware of. That right is what is known as an inalienable right, is it not?

So we have a contradiction in law. Our laws state that all humans have the right to life (and only a fool would argue the unborn baby isn't human, as there are no grounds to do so), yet we have legalized the slaughter of a group of humans on the basis of their age alone. We have put all human lives between the ages of 0 and 9 months in the hands of another group of humans, their mothers (and sometimes, perhaps often, their fathers and others). While parents can, do and should exert influence on their children, to suggest parents should have the ability to destroy their own children should they be an inconvenience to them is, well, ****ing nonsense.



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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Kurgan
07-09-2000, 04:06 AM
Please bear with me, this is long. But it's an important and complex issue. Please hear me out on this...

Let me make one thing absolutely clear before I respond. I am not talking about a "woman's right to choose."

Whether or not it is really a "choice" or a "right" are up to debate, and again depends on who you talk to.

Yes, logically speaking, conservatives should tend to be against abortion (via the Republican Party platform) and Liberals (via the Democratic Party Platform) should be more inclined to support it.

I am debating the point of abortion. Not the "right to choose" but abortion itself.

I would argue that in the case of which a woman will surely die if she does not have an abortion, is the only case where abortion could be justifiable, as I consider all human beings worthy of the inalienable right to life, regardless of what some Supreme Court Justice said he thought the Constitution implied on the matter.

Either abortion is legal or it isn't. If it's legal, then you have to decide when and where it is permissable.

The only logical instance I can think of, based on the assumption that all humans have an inalienable right to life is when the mother will die unless she has an abortion.

However, and this is the moral point of conflict. We have two competing choices, as you stated several times.

Either the mother dies, or the child dies. One person will live, one will die. Who gets to live? And who can decide such a thing?

It's a little like this: let's say your mother, passed out in street. A car with a family is driving down the road and is about to his your mother's body and kill her.

You have a bazooka in your hands, and if you are quick enough, you will be able to fire a rocket and blow up the car with the family inside. The whole family will be killed, but your mother will survive. If you do nothing, and you have no chance of saving her otherwise, your mother will die.

Now what would you do?

The family is innocent, they don't know they are about to do harm. Yet if you kill them, you just destroyed some human lives. Granted, they are strangers, but more than one person will die if you hit them.

Now your mother you love very much, but she is only one person. If you save her, others will die, but if you let the others live, she will die, and surely you shouldn't let your mother die.

That is a little like this situation.

It is a tough moral issue because both outcomes are bad.

The unborn child is at a disadvantage because it cannot plead its case to the Doctor(s) to let him/her live. The mother is probably not "all there" but she will definately want to live.

It is a sad case, and I think it will probably end up that the mother will live and the child die. If however, the mother wants to let the child live, then she may freely sacrifice her life for her child.

Perhaps if there is another family member who can make the decision (if she is incapable of doing so) can do so. Still, it's not a black/white issue. It's about as gray as you can get.

So, in short, for this reason, and only this reason, I could argue that abortion could be legal. That is however the only case. Not rape, not incest, not sex selection, not inconvenience, not population control, not "health matters," not political affiliation, not government decree, etc.

If a child is such an inconvenience, then adoption is the answer. The child will live and the mother won't have to worry about raising him/her.

A child concieved in rape is no less human and deserving of protection than a child concieved during consensual sex. The child did not cause the rape, and is innocent of the matter. Again, adoption is the answer.

As to population control, there are many other, far less brutal and life-destroying methods of controlling population. Among them are taxation on number of children a family may have (though I consider this completely un-Democratic and harsh), sex education, birth control (non-abortive of course), and the building of better housing (instead of building more mansions for rich tycoons, golf courses, and shopping malls, maybe we should build houses for people who need it, instead of throwing them in jail and costing us even more money).

According to studies, most cases of Incest are actually consensual, so, while it is illegal, again, the sex itself is not wrong in any way other than social taboo or religious preference, and the child concieved is no less human than one concieved from people who are in no way closely related. The child did not decide to be conceived either, so it utterly innocent of the matter.

Abortion is big business, but we shouldn't let that stand in the way of the cause of humanity. Tobbacco is also big business, but is what they are doing moral? It's destroying lives for a profit, is it not?

A human life is a human life. If there's no danger to the mother's life with delivering her baby, then abortion is not an option.

=======================================
Now, my response to Vagabond's last few posts:
========================================


So Vagabond, your statement about who is for abortion/against abortion is based on a few (what you consider) logical assumptions (which you have posted above).

I'm sure you haven't talked to everyone so you should admit the possiblity that your view is limited.

I could argue that:

Men can't be sympathetic to woman's issues, because they are a different gender (you have said that phrase about "because I have a penis" thing, as if men cannot be feminists, which I don't buy). However, that implies that men only care about themselves and are incapable of understand the differences between men and women. This is debatable. Such a thing called sympathy exists in which people can comprehend what others are feeling, even if they themselves do not have the same problem.

I know for a fact many woman don't believe in abortion. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading about women speaking out against it and polls would show 90% of women in favor of abortion (which they do not).

Most polls I see say that Amercians are divided over abortion. I do not know how it is with the rest of the world. In some countries it's legal, others it's not.

I know for a fact Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders have spoken out against abortion, thus imply that Christians are not the only religion that has members that are against abortion.

I also know for a fact that there are those who are in favor of abortion who consider themselves Christians (and Jews, I don't know about Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists, but I'm sure there must be at least a few that do). So not all Christians are against abortion either.

I have read books and reports by woman, that are against abortion. I have read documents written by woman, some learned, some even doctors or former abortion doctors, or woman who have had abortions, even atheist women, who are against abortion.

Yes, many woman support abortion, and many women do not.

And the stuff about it being RICH men who are against abortion is only half right.

Rich men are not a majority in this country. Last I checked, we were about 51% female, and "rich" is a relative term. If you mean millionaires, then that's something like less than 10%. Many middle class and poor people are against abortion, so I would rule out the possibility that it is only the rich who are against it.

Again, many who SUPPORT abortion are rich and/or powerful, so there are some on both sides.

Most polls seem to show a fairly even split (depends on which side you ask, usually it's a few points towards the side who reports it) among Americans over whether or not Abortion is morally right/wrong and/or if it should be illegal in all or most cases.

Most of the American mass media personalities polled identify themselves as "liberals."

About the only "conservative" news broadcasting I get in my town is Fox News.

Yes, the Republican Party platform is against abortion. However, that does not mean all Republicans are against abortion. There are some that are for it. The same goes for Democrats. Though their party platform is in favor of it, not all Democrats believe in it. Some do not.

The same goes for the Reform Party. While they do not have a specific platform stance on social issues, the party is normally identified with pro-choice folks like Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura. However, there are those in the party who are against abortion, like Pat Buchanan.

The same is probably true of any political party (I think the Green Party tends to be pro-choice, but I only know for a fact that Ralph Nader is that way, not sure about anyone else).

And finally, as to the term "white."

Most people in America (at least last I checked) are non-White, due in part to our massive immigration from Mexico and Asian countries.

However, whites alone makeup the largest single racial group in the US (that will soon change to Hispanics I have read).

So, that does not necessarily mean that all Whites or even most whites support abortion, or are against it. It is probably divided just like it is in most other groups.

Finally, I will say that simply stereotyping those who are against abortion does not help the case for abortion anymore than it hurts the case against abortion.

It's kind of like those people who say those who protest against the WTO are all a bunch of hippie, tree-hugging, pot-smoking, crazy Marxists.

Saddling people with labels is a very serious thing, as it can taint our judgements about people and limit our interaction with them. Every person is a little different, and if you believe in free will, we can be VERY different if we choose to.

I thought the whole point of liberalism was to tolerate diversity (as well as embracing big government, but I don't agree with that). Surely a good Liberal like yourself would want to avoid doing that sort of thing, and be more open to individual differences. ; )

Again, the labels you use, Vagabond, such as "white" "conservative" "christian" and "rich" and "male" can be taken both positively and negatively, depending on who you talk to.

I think your intention was to present the anti-abortion people as a bunch of elitest, small-minded people, who are clearly in the minority.

While a nice emotional tactic (I don't want those White Conservative Rich Christian Men running my life! noooo!) it isn't a good intellectual counter-point, unless you can statistically prove this is so.

And even if that were true, what would be wrong with it? You seem to be saying that whatever these people believe is wrong, or that these people are bad, and so nobody should want to believe what those people believe.

A similar argument would be saying "most people that support legalization of drugs are black" which, unless it was statistically true would be a suspect statement. It would imply that blacks, as a group are bad, and so we don't want to support what they support.

I disagree, based on what I have read and heard, and the figures I've seen, with your labelling of anti-abortionists as mostly conservative, rich, white, Christian men, and that woman are naturally more in favor of abortion than men.

The burden of proof is on you, Vagabond, to show me that the majority of those who are against abortion (even in the United States) are Conservative, White, Christian, Rich, and Male (and that those who are in favor of abortion are not).

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 09, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-09-2000, 01:53 PM
Kurgan,

I will only respond briefly to your questions, because I want to end this direction of debate, because I don't see it useful.

1. I never used the word "rich".

2. My goal was to get you to identify yourself with the labels I was using, and perhaps ignite some small measure of empathy within you for the oppressed women. I failed, so here we are again, same as always.

============================

Now then, no one really seems to be admitting that there are two options.

1. Opress the mother.

OR

2. Oppress the fetus.

Okay, I'll issue a few comments on why I've chosen to oppress the fetus and champion the mother, and perhaps this will get the ball rolling. I mean, hell, we can piss and moan until the cows come home about how bad it is for you mean people to do this bad thing to the group I support. Not productive. No emoting seems to be occuring, so let's just keep this sterile and logical, shall we?

1. I support the mother over the fetus because she is the one who is making the personal sacrifice to bring a new person into the world. Although most women describe this as a joyous time, it's no cakewalk. Make no mistake - there are significant health dangers involved with pregnancy. I should know - my sister nearly died during pregnancy because of a form of diabetes that many women get that only lasts during pregnancy. However, my sister wanted the child and was willing to stick through it. That was her choice - one that could only be made by her, as it should be. It just seems unfair to penalize the mother with such a hardship against her will.

2. Further, I support the mother because the death rates among infants is greater than that of grown adults. So if we want more assurance that one life will survive, the adult is the clear choice. This is why I abandon the fetus: it is a less likely probability of producing a mature adult, than allowing the mother to simply terminate the preganancy and remain an adult.

That's enough for now. Maybe I'll add more later if we can get this discussion more focused. So, I've described why I've chosen to champion the mother over the fetus, and why I've chosen to abandon the fetus. Let's hear your reasons.

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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-09-2000, 08:15 PM
Sorry, I thought you had used rich in there.

My point was, you have not shown that your stereotypical group is representative of all or the vast majority of anti-abortionists, only a few.

I can certainly sympathize with any person in any case, if I try hard enough and thinking about it. It's simply an act of will and emotion.

Leaving out the term "rich" evens it up a bit more, but still, I highlydoubt that you can successfully place all those against abortion (worldwide, or in America) under the category of "white, conservative Christian males" and then claim those who are in support of abortion are not.

Your assumption is that non Christians (or at least those who are "liberal" rather than conservative in their religious beliefs) are more likely to support abortion.

You also assume that non whites are more likely to support abortion than whites.

You say that men are more likely to support abortion than woman.

However, how are those assumptions valid? They all assume that to be white means you are against abortion. To be a man means you are against abortion, etc etc. It makes no logical sense.

Your logic seems otherwise sound, but your first premises are flawed.

A person's biological traits in this case have not been shown to indicate a forfeiture of a person's free will in the case of whether or not abortion is moral/ethical/permissable, etc.

Vagabond, I wouldn't tie a person's political persuasion to their racial category or gender. Both are genetic anyhow.

Some people do this for example, by saying that Blacks are all Democrats, or Jews are all pro-choice. Those are stereotypes.

You might as well say all Irish are drunkards, or all Mexicans are "dirty," or all atheletes and blondes are dumb, and Italians have big, uh, yeah...

I am not "sympathetic to a woman's right to choose."

This is not because I believe woman are somehow inferior to men.

This has nothing to do with race.

I am not arguing in favor of any religious belief's stance on abortion (I have simply pointed out that Christians are not all unanimous in their stance on abortion, and neither are any other group).

This has nothing to do with my political affiliation (I have none).

I believe a woman has no "right" to "choose" to have an abortion. No such right exists.

If no such right exists, then to attempt to defend such a right, is meaningless.

One might as well have a "right to shoot a Jew" or the "right to lynch a Negro."

At various times in history, such "rights" have been brandished by various corrupt and hateful individuals.

I don't think anybody should be deprived of their right to life by another, ever, except in the case where letting them live would cause another to die. Even in that such case, extreme caution must be taken, as you are choosing the between two "evil" outcomes (either way, somebody dies).

Nobody has a right to kill another human being, except maybe in self-defense, but you're still taking a life. Thus the only allowance I would make in the case of abortion, would be if the mother was to die.

Do the rights of the fetus or the rights of the mother have precedence? Neither one do.

They are EQUAL in any moral or ethical sense.

Both are alive, both are human, one will die.

The only bit of advice I could give, not knowing the situation we are talking about (only the vague notion of one that could happen and probably has happened somewhere at sometime), I would say that on a case by case basis this moral issue would have to be examined.

Rather than making a law that says the mother must always have precedence or the fetus must always have precedence, it should be up to the people involved, ie: the Doctor(s), the patient (the mother), and any other people (the woman's spouse, family, social workers). If you write into law that one always has precedence, you have problems in other cases (the slipperly slope again).

Once you say that one human being is superior to another, you have the same problem the Nazi's had, and there's only one final solution they came up with...

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-09-2000, 08:41 PM
As to the woman's sacrifice, yes, a woman sacrifices in a pregnancy. It is a risk. As adults, we realize that most of the things we do in life are a compromise or a sacrifice of some kind.

Those who believe we should never sacrifice or compromise, and only live for personal pleasure are called Hedonists or Epicureans.

Most people agree that to get the things done that you want or need to get done, you have to give up certain other things.

Parents, especially, realize that in order to raise your children, you have to give up certain things you normally enjoy doing.

For example, you can't party all night long like you used to, because you need to make sure the children are looked after.

You need to put aside money for them to get a decent education.

You need to get food that they can eat, so they don't starve, etc.

This is what good parents do of course. There are some bad parents who starve their kids, beat them, etc. but normal people know what's to be done. Logically, children are the parent's responsiblity, and they make sacrifices all the time for them.

But at no time is a parent allowed to say "hell with this, I'm sick of taking care of you, BLAM!" and put a bullet through their brain with a pistol.

If that's the case, then why should a pregnant woman have the legal option to get rid of her baby "terminate her pregnancy" have her offspring ripped from her womb and killed in a barbaric fashion then cast into the garbage or disected and sold for profit and genetic experiments?

People have responsiblity thrust on them all the time.

People who don't accept this responsibility are called immature. They either end up dead or in jail most of the time. Sure a few rich playboys sneak by, but for most cases, people who don't do what they're supposed to do end up suffering for it, because they didn't do their duty.

Incidentally Vagabond, as to pregnancy. Yes, it is dangerous to women.

If a woman is pregnant "against her will" then one of two things has just happened:

1) She was completely ignorant of what sexual intercourse is, and what contraception was, and had sex anyway, perhaps she was seduced when she was very young.

I think most people that have sex realize what sex is. They don't believe a stork brings babies. They know they are taking a "risk" (in fact many risks, pregnancy, rape, std's...) Maybe I'm wrong...?

2) She was raped, and could not use any sort of emergency contraception. I'm sure this happens.

Most woman I think, are not pregnant against their will, as you say. Unless of course they are rebelling against nature.

When people die, they often die against their will. This is because people would rather keep on living. With all their might they wish to live, but they die anyway. Isn't that unfair of nature to do that to them? Often in these cases, all of medical science cannot help them.

If I do not want to breathe, I can hold my breath. It is an act of will. However, eventually, against my will, I am forced to breath again. It is impossible for me not too, unless I choke myself to death with a bag or something (dying). Yet, by a sheer act of will, I cannot stop breathing for long. My will has been violated by biology and nature.

So in the face of this injustice, perhaps we should realize that sometimes our own wills are subordinate to nature's.

Yes pregnancy is dangers.

But so is just about everything we do in life.

Crossing the street, driving, shopping, taking medicine, swimming, eating, drinking, talking, sleeping, breathing, etc etc.

All of these activities have risks. Granted, some are less than others, but people have died from doing all of the above.

The mere presence of "danger" does not justify killing.

Police might as well, when they see some teenagers hanging out on the corner, SHOOT TO KILL, because there is a danger that they might be criminals with guns or they might be about to commit some horrendous crimes like gang rape or a gang war. Why take chances?

One might as well never drive a car.. the risks of an accident can be very high. Millions of people die in auto accidents.

Don't eat or drink anything.. it might be poisoned or contaminated. It might lead to heart disease or obesity! Or you might get addicted to whatever chemicals are in it and have your quality of life reduced!

You might as well never breathe. There's so much pollution in the air, you might inhale some second-hand smoke, or you might breathe in some particles that will give you cancer!

Don't speak, someone might hear you and suspect you are a spy, or a rival gang member, or some crazie thinks you're out to get him. Someone might hear you and try to kill you.

When you go to sleep, who's to say some disaster won't befall you as you slumber? Many people die in their sleep. You might stop breathing, it happens. Somone might kill you, or your house catch on fire and you'd be trapped inside. Had you been awake, perhaps your chances of survival might have been higher.

Don't go shopping, the place you go to might be held up. Or it might catch on fire, or they might sell you a contaminated product! You might get mugged in the parking lot, or have an accident on the way there!

Everything is dangerous to some degree.

We ALL DIE eventually, some quickly, others slowly. Some painfully, some peacefully.

Isn't it unfair that people suffer and die in this world and most of it cannot be prevented?

But isn't life something precious? If this is all we have, shouldn't we try to preserve it? Aren't all human lives worth something?

Shouldn't we try our best, in the spirit of humanity, to better the lives of those we can and try to prevent suffering instead of causing it?

Is killing those who might suffer really the answer?

Rapes are a very small percentage of the cases of abortion in this country. This isn't the dark ages where more woman died in pregancy than lived (or close to it).

In this day and age in this country, the fetus is more in danger of dying (from abortion or complications) than the woman giving birth. Many techniques exist to save the mother, and even prevent the mother from feeling much pain at all during pregnancy.

Thus, the fetus is the one most in need of protection. A fetus is also innocent. The fetus has done nothing to deserve being given the death sentence. He/she is already alive, and biologically human (virtually identical to other human beings). The fetus is also genetically distinct from his/her parents (inhereting genes from both) and thus a seperate individual.

Thus the fetus has no less right to life than the mother. Obviously, a choice has to be made. Is this the "choice" you speak of?

It is choosing who will live and who will die. That is the choice being made.

A Doctor should try his/her best to make sure both live, as in normal cases, however if that is not possible:

The dire situation (that one of two people must die, but one, and only one can be saved)
has forced us to make a choice.

In that case, and in that case only, would abortion be justifiable.

However there is ONE difference between letting the woman die and saving the fetus, verses aborting the fetus and letting the mother die.

If you abort the fetus, you are ACTIVELY KILLING A HUMAN BEING, and merely allowing nature to run its course for another human being. Compare this to allowing a disease to run its course in a terminal patient. Maybe it sounds heartless, but this is a definiate consideration.

If you deliver the fetus, the mother dies, but you have not killed anyone. You have merely not put forth the effort to save somebody you could have saved.

This can then tie into other issues.

Should doctors use all means necessary to save patients with life threatening or terminal illnesses? Should they use extraordinary means to save others?

If they do not have a moral obligation to use all means necessary, then somehow, letting a person die, is less morally wrong than actually killing them.

Is this true?

If it is, then to answer your question, abortion would never be right. We should just let the mother's die and save the fetus (in those few cases where this happens).

However, to be morally logical, we would also have to say that if we saw someone in danger, we would not be allowed to kill their attacker, or defend ourselves.

I would disagree with this position, but it's another possibility.

What do you think?

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 09, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-09-2000, 09:02 PM
Kurgan,

I never said all the people in the groups I mentioned were against a woman's right to choose. I said they tended to oppose a woman's right to choose, and I stand behind that statement. Let's face it Kurgan, it is a fact that some groups tend to be on one side or the other of this issue. There is nothing wrong with stating what is plainly obvious. Further, if you find yourself within one of those groups, perhaps you should do some self-reflection.

Correction: I believe you said in one of your prevoius posts that, "men were more in favor of abortion than women". I think you probably meant to say that men are more opposed to abortion. Just fyi.

Another note Kurgan: it is Human nature to have sex. Despite the most elaborate precautions, or lack thereof, unwanted pregnancies will occur. Regardless of how it came to be: carlessness, chance, rape, the fact is that no legislation can be passed which forces women to relinquish sovereign control of their own bodies to the state.


...Rather than making a law that says the mother must always have precedence or the fetus must always have precedence, it should be up to the people involved, ie: the Doctor(s), the patient (the mother), and any other people (the woman's spouse, family, social workers). If you write into law that one always has precedence, you have problems in other cases (the slipperly slope again)...


Actually, we tend to be mostly in agreement here. Although I would narrow down those involved to simply the doctor and the mother. I would urge a mother-to-be to discuss such matters with the father of the child and any other close family members, but this shouldn't be mandatory.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Vagabond
07-09-2000, 09:24 PM
Kurgan,

Once a child is born, it becomes entitled to all the rights accorded to a citizen of their respective country. That is the difference, and the reason a mother can't pop a cap in her five-year-old son's brain once she gets tired of caring for him.


...Everything is dangerous to some degree...


Agreed, but we do those dangerous things because we choose to. Not because the government has mandated that we must.


...But isn't life something precious? If this is all we have, shouldn't we try to preserve it? Aren't all human lives worth something?...


I vote for quality over quantity. If the only life the fetus has to look forward to is a world where one's family is legislated by the government, then the quality of life and freedom are bleak. One might even conclude that the aborted fetus was getting the better end of the deal by avoiding such an Orwellian hell.


...Should doctors use all means necessary to save patients with life threatening or terminal illnesses?...


Using all means necessary to save a patient's life is distinctly different than prolonging a patent's life against the patient's will. Again, quality of life if the key. If a patient with a grevious injury or a terminal illness wishes to end one's life, then the doctor should assist with this act of mercy. Dying animals in misery are often put down by merciful Humans. Why should animals receive better treatment than people?

All of this boils down to Freedom of Choice.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-10-2000, 04:00 PM
Vagabond = intellectual coward, IMO. You say you are confident of blah, balh, blah, but won't acknowledge and respond when someone asks you to subsatntiate your claims or challenges you to engage. You just say "Don't want to go there."

Aside from that, sorry to hear about your sister, but glad to hear she did make it. Perhaps that's on of the "reasons" behind your stance you eluded to.

As to my reasons, my stance was just born out of chewing on the tough questions. I did have a freind who was bitter toward Christians because a freind of his was spat on and cussed at on her way into a clinic (back in mid-80s). So I didn't like the militant stance some of my fellow Chritians have, nor the "line in the stand" mentality they have with regards to abortion. I, too, boiled it down to the child's vs the mother's rights. From that point, you can read where I ended up and why. I guess I just can't fathom why someone who seems to be as much a thinker as you are say the slim chances of harm/death that a pregnancy holds towards the mother outweigh the almost certainty that the abortion procedure will kill the unborn. And even though a child might be raised is destitiute circumstances, doctors and olympic athletes have arisen from such childhoods. Sure, that may be a huge rarity, but still, what if the person who would have found the cure to the disease you are die from when you're old never lived due to an abortion? Excuse the hypothetics, but they have as much place as the "opressed women" I keep hearing of.

Not that I expect a response, unless YOU see it as relevant, but who are you referring to when you say the "oppressed woman"...what group are you referring to? I'm just curious.

Vagabond
07-10-2000, 05:41 PM
quite-gone gin, the reason I refuse to keep rexplaining myself is that these arguments simply become circular and are a huge waste of time. I say, I think blah blah blah, because of blah blah blah. Then you reply, well I think yadda yadda yadda, because of yadda yadda yadda. Etc, etc, etc...it's nonproductive.

Besides, as I said, and you seem to agree, the real discussion is which group you want to oppress: the mother or the fetus.

And the group I refer to is any woman who finds herself pregnant. That woman needs to have the free choice to either have her baby, or not. The government has no place legislating her reproductive behavior. This is my opinion, and we can piss and moan about it until the end of time, and waste our lives away in the process. The fact is, we have a difference of opinion. Period.

Call me names, if it brings you some level of comfort.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-10-2000, 09:59 PM
Now now, nobody said you had to be in this debate (that goes for any of you guys who might be getting a little hot and bothered).

Obviously somebody must not think it's a waste of time if they're still here...

In one case you have a woman who feels invconvenienced by a law of nature, in another case, you have a human life snuffed out by an uncaring executioner. Is it justice to side with the one who is simply more powerful in society?

Surely defending the innocent and the helpless is part of what being a true Liberal is all about? ; )

Isn't the government thrusting itself upon us already by forcing us to at least partially fund abortion and fetal research, even if we find it utterly reprehensable?

Yes, of course, I know the answer, if we don't like it (everyone together now) "you can move to another country and become the dictator there!" right? ; )

It's just those evil Republicans, trying to ruin our good time again. They don't want us to have any fun! sniff...

Of course. In a democracy, nobody is allowed to complain. "Our" government made the laws, now follow them or emigrate elsewhere. The status quo is the only way to go. Might makes right, and power is held by those who deserve it, always. The people simply don't know what's best for them, after all.*

*sarcasm(!)

Seriously, it sounds like we're comparing apples to oranges. One person's bad few months verses another person's brutal death.

Can they really be compared? Really.

I know it's a nice liberal thing to say that you stand firm behind a woman's reproductive freedom, but who's freedom are we sacrificing for it, hmm?

Is letting nature run its course really "oppression"? Seems the government is legislating our morality for us, either way.

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-10-2000, 10:05 PM
I think this whole issue actually boils down to this important question:

When and where is it permissable to kill another human being?

The whole "woman's freedom" thing, I feel, is a smokescreen. It is designed to change it into an emotional issue (yes, from a humanistic standpoint it is important of course, but objectively, let's get down to it). We're talking about killing human beings. Does freedom always have to be about endless bloodshed of the helpless?

I have all the sympathy in the world for a pregnant woman who is feeling anxious about having a baby, but telling me she has a right to have it killed so she doesn't have to give birth to it is ridiculous.

This is why I can't say we're really any more morally superior to ancient cultures who practiced infanticide and human sacrifice. From the base level, we haven't changed, we just dress it up with nice words and pretend it has a different meaning.

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-11-2000, 03:15 AM
And here we will have to agree to disagree http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Conor
07-11-2000, 03:48 AM
Maybe, but I will fight abortion to the day I die. So many people did nothing during the Nazi Holocaust. I will not have it said that I did nothing during the Abortion Holocaust.

Did you know that in Canada we are forced to pay for abortion as it is completely funded by the government? Forced to fund the slaughter of babies. It makes me want to vomit.

It is tough today for people who actually believe that all humans have the inalienable right to life.

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Pootie_Fett
07-11-2000, 12:26 PM
I agree with u completely Kurgan http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif.

quite-gone gin
07-11-2000, 08:54 PM
Yeah, I guess so, it's pointless trying to debate with you, Vag, but you're entitled.

You shouldn't use the word "opression", though. Opression assumes that one party is opressing the other, in which case, the silent, innocent fetus's right to live is being oppressed by whomever decides and performs the abortion. A woman, however, is not "opressed" by a pregnancy; she doesn't wake up and "find herself pregnant" against her will (but, as in rape where it may be against her will, I'm open at that point, although Kurgan had a good point I can't refute...the child conceived in rape did had no choice in that matter, and has just as much right to live as the child not conceived in rape...so I'm rethinking that one! See, that's how debating works! but I digress).

If I act, for whatever reasons and in any circumstance, and face a direct consequence of that action, I am not "opressed," I am merely paying my dues...and that is NOT circular reasoning.

It does not boil down to oppressed mother vs. oppressed fetus, it boils down to opressed fetus vs. mother/couple not wanting to face the consequences of their actions, and THAT IS IRREFUTABLE, unless someone is able and willing to prove me wrong at that point (and I would love for someone to at least try to...I'm open to having my reason shot down here, but so far no one here or elsewhere has been able to do so, and this is not a faith/religious stance, it just makes sense to me.)

Vagabond
07-12-2000, 02:28 AM
I disagree with your opinion that women prevented from chosing to either keep the child or not, are not being oppressed.

However, I am disengaging from this debate, so talk amongst yourselves http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-12-2000, 04:50 PM
Bummer, that's what a debate is, disagree AND tell why, not just "Well, I disagree." I never felt engaged in that sense in the first place, but good on ya, mate! See you around the boards.

......annnnnnnd.....CUT! Alright people, that one looked good. That's a wrap. Play's over, players can go home!

Kurgan, you've really chalenged me on that point about a child conceived in rape, and my wife is happy for it because she disagrees with me that rape should justify an abortion...touchee!

[This message has been edited by quite-gone gin (edited July 12, 2000).]

Kurgan
07-13-2000, 01:34 AM
Well it's too bad Vag's leaving (thanks for contributing while you could!).

He's left me hanging.. basically we're left with:

Assumption #1: Woman's rights are violated if she cannot choose to terminate her pregnancy at any time.

Assumption #2: Fetus's rights are violated if an abortion is performed.

Therefore: The subject of abortion comes down to who you want to oppress, the fetus or the woman?

The problem of course is that where does Assumption #1 come from? #2 we established by saying all human beings have an equal claim to a right to life, which is inalienable, except in the case of trading a life for a life (ie: self-defense).

And finally, the last jump is then how do we get from "Either you opress the woman, or the fetus" and he says the woman's rights overrule the fetus's rights be default.

If anyone can explain this to me, I'd be much obliged.. it just doesn't click for me.

I would like a logical defense of it, if possible, or a philosophical one. Please be more specific than "a woman has a right to choose, period."

Kurgan

Darth Prime
07-14-2000, 01:34 AM
Jedi Calypso, I'm TOTALLY against your beliefs. I think abortion IS illegal. I believe that after and egg gets fertilized and starts to grow is living. "Abortion legal" right and animals have common sense.
(Note: I'm using sarcasm, animals are dumber than a box of rocks).

Vagabond
07-14-2000, 01:46 PM
I have to jump in for just a second, on this one topic:

Darth Prime,

You show your ignorance. Depending on the animal, of which Humans are a member, the level of intelligence varies. Bovines are imbecilic, while Apes are quite clever. In some cases, it would seem, certain animals are even more intelligent than certain people.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

quite-gone gin
07-14-2000, 10:33 PM
Hey Vag, thanks for the confession! (Sorry, but I couldn't resist that one...you totally set yourself up for that one.)

Kurgan
07-14-2000, 11:44 PM
Hey I think other animals are great, really, but as a species we have to stick together. At least we aren't afraid of vaccuum cleaners!

Nor do we eat our own feces (well, not unless we get lots of green paper first).
; P

And that's just some of us, I don't think I would for any amount of money...

Again, just because something is legal doesn't make it moral. And just because a group of people say something is moral doesn't automatically make it moral, even if those people have lots of money and power.

That is, unless you believe that might makes right.

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-16-2000, 12:38 PM
As we continue to debate, let's keep in mind that we shouldn't be attacking the PERSON, only their viewpoint or statements.

Keep it polite and civil and we can go along way towards understanding the other fellow.

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-16-2000, 05:46 PM
Kurgan, I try to keep things civil, but I get irritated when people make blanket statements like, "...animals are dumber than a box of rocks..." Clearly that's not accurate. I'm not a PETA member as those people are just a bit too over the edge for me. Besides, I do like meat with my vegetables. However, I do think very highly of animals, and recognize them as having thoughts and feelings not unlike our own.

But you'd probably expect this from me since I view animals as our brothers and sisters in the Animal Kingdom; this view based on the fact that I believe we Humans and all life evolved from a common anscestor.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Commander 598
07-16-2000, 06:07 PM
I view Reptiles as the true rulers of the world...

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Mission Accepted...
http://gundamwing55.homestead.com/files/Deathscythe-Mega_Slash.gif

Darth Prime
07-17-2000, 03:12 AM
'Not accurate'? If animals had a lick of common sense, they stay off the road. For example, my three cats are still nursing off of their mother and they're nearly as big as her. To make things worse, she LET"S them.

Vagabond
07-17-2000, 06:17 PM
Your analogy is illogical as you are comparing education versus intelligence.

Said a different way, you're saying that if someone was plucked out of their home and dropped in the middle of a tropical rain forrest, that a person wouldn't have a lick of sense (as you so eloquently state it) if they didn't know which fruits were safe to eat and which were poisonous. I contend that most people would not know what's safe to eat in an unfamiliar place, however it is clear that Humans as a species are intelligent.

Just because some animals don't instinctively recognize moving vehicles as a threat, does not mean they do not possess a significant level of intelligence. Rather, they just don't know what they are - they are not educated yet as to what to expect.

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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Darth Prime
07-17-2000, 11:51 PM
But if a deer cross' a road in front of a moving vehicle and gets hit, than it deserves it. You think I'm bad, you should meet my Drivers Ed teacher.

Kurgan
07-17-2000, 11:55 PM
So now we go from discussing Abortion.. to animal rights?

It all depends on the animal you're talking about Vagabond.

Our constitution doesn't guarentee them any rights that I know of. Or maybe you can show me where I'm wrong there. ; )

Kurgan

Darth Prime
07-18-2000, 02:17 AM
I'm still sticking with what I said: I think abortion is totally wrong and illegal. I don't care what some of you guys think about me, I'm not changing my mind.

Darth Prime
07-18-2000, 04:26 AM
There's a girl on another talk board(I'm not saying what it is) and she got pregnant. When she told her mother, she told her to go down to a place to be taken care of. She arrives and told the people about her being pregnant. They put her to sleep and when she woke up, she saw a jar that contained what would have been her child. She was in tears and now she's a hard core christian who's totally against abortion. What I tell you is true. A life was taken because people are stupid. People like Vagabon have no concept at all. A fertillzed should have a chance to live, not to be murdered without doing anything about it.

Kurgan
07-18-2000, 12:49 PM
If you want to talk about the true rulers of this world.. that would be the arthropods (especially insects).

I think thus abortion has been shown to be indefensible except in the rare case where a woman will die if her baby is allowed to live. This case is a very gray case to be sure, and I think would depend on the individual situation and the people involved.

An abortion is forcibly taking an innocent human life. In a post-industrialized, "enlightened" society such as our's, I think we should try to overcome our barbaric human past just a little bit and ban abortion. There are many solutions to it that will cure the problems it supposedly "solves."

Examples: Population Control

Birth control and sex education (not just silly "use condoms, ya morons!" type stuff, and not "abstinence only" either. Yes parents should have the right to teach their kids what's right and wrong, but the schools should provide the science to back it up, etc.

Adoption should be implemented as a way to overcome problem pregnancies. This way all the money that is often wasted on fertility problems people have (these people geniunely want to have children, so they spend thousands of dollars trying all kinds of remedies that don't work or are only sporadically effective, etc, then end up having 12 kids all at once). The babies will be taken into loving homes instead of hacked apart for fetal research (where's the logic in killing one innocent human being to save the life of another? Just ask the Nazi doctors!).

The other thing to do is make contraception (real contraception, not posionous drugs that do the same thing as having an abortion) more available to people who want it with information on how it works and the side effects, proper use, etc.

Yes, I realize many folks have issues with contraception, and I understand that. However, for those who find them acceptable, I think we should make that service available. Life is not destroyed, it is only prevented from being fertilized. A sperm and an egg don't matter.. anymore than a person's tonsils or hair matters. A human life does matter, and that's what should be protected.

Quit federal funding of abortion. Sure you'll have protests. The abortion agencies like Planned Parenthood will throw hissy fit. They'll wrangle money around to try to get the laws changed, but if the people have spoken and they get some influential folks behind them, those with money interests will eventually pack up and ship out (hey, it's working with Microsoft, and it's working with the Tobacco Companies.. right?). Without the encouragement, abortion won't be relied on as a "quick fix."

Maybe people, once they realize what sex is and what pregancy is, and that there ARE options, they won't be so eager to go out having casual sex.

I think abortion, next to the silent victim of the baby herself, hurts the woman the most. She's the one having her body messed with and being taken advantage of by an uncaring societal machine. This has to stop before all human beings can be treated with dignity and respect.

Conclusion:

With this plan, woman don't have to be bothered taking care of children they don't want (they can give birth then that's the end of it.. the child goes to be adopted by a loving family). Population doesn't have to explode beyond control (contraception and sex education). Nobody has their freedom trampled on (unborn babies protected and women saved from guilt). Sure abortion agencies lose potential profits, but screw them, right?

And finally, again I will reasert the only possible instance where I can say that abortion would be justifiable is in the case where the mother will die unless the baby is killed. Again, in this case you're trading a life for a life, and it is a gray situation that can't be decided arbitrarily.

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-18-2000, 01:09 PM
[Flames deleted... consider this a warning Vaggy, sorry bud.]

Kid, we've been having a rather intelligent and mature discussion, but if you're just going to resort to bad-mouthing the people who hold different opinions, then just do us a favor and format your C: drive.

Back to intelligent discussion:

So then, if you were stuck in a rain forest and ate a poisonous apple, then you'd deserve it because that would clearly demonstrate that you don't have a lick of common sense.

And to my esteemed colleague, Kurgan, animals are really no different than us, other than the fact that we are more intelligent than they are. The only rights we have are the ones we've given ourselves. We don't have any inate or natural rights that are unique to us in the Animal kingdom - only those that we've decided we should have due to our perceived view of our own specialness.

This topic actually does tie into the topic of this thread: I view Humans as just another animal, while many here tend to view Humans as quasi-divine in some way. Obviously I'm more fond of Humans than say, those in the Porcine species, but our only differences lie in our genes - our DNA. That being the case, I don't view the termination of an early to mid pregnancy as a genocidal event. Further, I view the killing of an adult animal of any species as more significant than the death of an early-stage fetus.

Have you ever visited a slaughter house? I have. I used to work for a company called Excel, the meat-packing division of Cargill Foods. Even though I worked as a software developer at their corporate HQ in Wichita, KS, we had occasion to visit the beef and pork plants during the course of our duties. They march the cattle up a long ramp; toward the top a man shackles one hind leg with a chain, which is attached to an overhead rail; at the ramp's summit stands a man holding what looks like a mini-jack hammer; the cattle down the ramp see what's happening ahead and their eyes get big; they're scared but they can't move due to tight, confining walls; they can't go backward as the ramp's conveyor moves them closer and closer to that which they fear; in their final moments the man does his best to place the tool flush against their writhing skull; he depressed the trigger and a six-inch metal rod is thrust into their skull, a high powered ejection of air blasted into their skull cavity; often a fountain of blood squirts out the wound; on a cold day one can see a trail of billowy steam streaming from their skull cavity; next the conveyor pushes them off the other side of the ramp, and the leg chain catches them, hanging them upside down, kicking; often they urinate and deficate all over themselves; sometimes they vomit; a man, with a sharp blade attached to a long pole, jabs the cow in the neck to bleed it; they're supposed to be dead by the time they reach this point, but from my observations this didn't always seem to be the case, which resulted in animals being cut apart while they're still alive.

As you're standing at the top of the stairway to heaven, and you watch the assembly line death of 1000 pound animals, unbrilliant as they might be, you can't help but feel profound sadness. You can sense their extreme fear. You can almost sense their lives being extinguished. All they want is to just stand around in green fields and eat grass, and be happy. One seriously questions what authority we have to submit any living thing, much less an entire species, to such barbarious treatment.

As we toured the rest of the plant, I saw hoof guillotines that would slice the feet off the legs; I saw bodies sliced open and the intestines eject themselves onto a huge, waiting table; I saw sides of beef, still warm, with muscles still reflexively twitching; I saw heads on hooks, striped of hide, again with muscles twitching, the eyes staring at me; I waded through dark hallways, flooded with warm blood. It was Hell.

My eyes have seen a sureal world of fear and carnage on an industrial scale, and given me new insight to the depths of Human arrogance and ignorance.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited July 19, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 19, 2000).]

Conor
07-19-2000, 01:17 AM
That is a big consideration, that Christians at least do believe people are beloved of God (enough to make us His spiritual children and heirs anyway) and that every single human life is sacred. Abortion is impossible to support in any logical way if one believes this.

But if you don't...what do you respect? The law I suppose. Well then, abortion is also impossible to support if you accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the UN (they themselves contradict it, but they are a rather incompetent and stupid organization most of the time).

So, Vagabond, how do you justify in your mind which laws you are going to follow? The laws put forward by the UN as well as the US that state every human has the right to life, or the laws that say some humans can be destroyed en masse simply because of their age?

If you consider democratic law to be paramount, you have a dilemma I cannot see a way out of, save to reject your belief that the law is final. I would like to 'hear' how you have solved this dilemma, because I am stumped by it (of course I have no problem rejecting a man-made law as immoral and unacceptable, as I consider man incapable of deciding morality for himself, that is God's job).

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

Conor
07-19-2000, 01:21 AM
And Darth Prime, please be patient. I know how you feel, and I have trouble sometimes not blowing up on people who stick with abortion in defiance of (how I see it) all logic.

It doesn't help to call people names, nor to get angry. Even though I have almost punched through a wall or my monitor (seriously) when I think about what abortion is doing to humanity, I always cool myself down. It is better in the long run.

Vagabond
07-19-2000, 03:15 PM
Conor, the solution is simple, although I'm confident you won't agree with my assessment.

When I clip my fingernails, the clippings are composed of Human DNA. However, no one would classify such a clipping as a Human Being. Likewise, an early-to-mid-stage Human fetus is a collection of Human DNA, but not what the nations of the Earth have chosen to classify as a Human Being. The developing fetus is analogous to the fingernail clipping and is key to the solution. This is where I expect you'll most disagree with me.

Lastly, the world has chosen to bestow Human Rights to an individual at the event of birth. This is how the delima is currently handled, which is acceptable. Further, we must keep in mind that this is consistent with legal and biblical law. Recall that children do not possess full rights - they are commanded to obey their parents, and do not possess their full rights until the age of 18 in the USA. This same model applies to the fetus, except in reverse.

Personally, I accept extending those rights to the fetus at the mother's consent. For example, if someone assaulted a mother causing a miscarriage, then that assaulting party could be charged with murder for the death of the fetus. But this extension would be dependent on the mother's choice to complete or terminate the pregnancy. If she was on her way to have her pregnancy terminated, then filing murder charges would not apply.

These are my views, which I'm sure you're probably very familiar with by now http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-19-2000, 05:17 PM
Okay, now I think we're getting a bit off topic yet again (do we ever stay on topic)?

On the subject of animal rights, I must say I am in favor of species loyalty.

Some animals rights groups (not to stereotype, I'm sure not all share this view) are strong supporters of radical population control programs (ie: force sterilization, abortions), in order to check human growth to protect animal life.

However, how can these people justify the MURDER OF THEIR OWN GENETIC BROTHERS AND SISTERS (sure, it's always those "other people" over there.. the poor, the undesirables.. they would change their tune if it meant their own families or they themselves had to die for some cows, pigs or bugs) to save some animals they think need saving, even when there is NO CLEAR HUMAN BENEFIT to protecting the other animals.

I'd rather see a bug, a pig, a dog, a horse, a bull, a snail, a lizard, a spotted owl, etc etc die before a fellow human being.

I think it is natural that as a species, we should have some kind of loyalty. Have we sold out our own race (the human race?) in favor of some sentimental fascination with nature? Isn't nature "red in tooth and claw"? Isn't survival all about just that.. survival ? Surely species suicide (as some seem to be advocating.. ZPG type groups) is not the answer.

Why do I feel that other animal lives aren't worth as much as human lives? Because I'm a human being that's why.

This has nothing to do with any "semi-divinity" that humans have.

This isn't talking humans in regard to God or any other spiritual sense. Only in the sense of Humanism.

Human beings by nature are special. Sure, one can try and say that no, we aren't. True, we have many limitations biologically. True, we are a member of the animal kingdom.

However, we have things like Free Will, culture, civilization, politics, economics, science, religion, etc etc.

Do other animals have these things?

We do not really know if other animals are capable of independant thought and have "minds" as we concieve of them. We do know that human beings have minds. How then, we can we defend animals life, which we do not know has intelligence, when we cannot defend human life, which we KNOW has intelligence?

Fingernail clippings are not the same things as fetuses at all.

If I cut off my arm, it doesn't turn into another person. No, it is part of my own body, and has no intelligence. It is genetically part of me, not another being.

A fetus however, shares genetic matieral inherieted from both parents. It is a seperate being. It is something NEW. It is not simply a piece of the woman's body. To say that it is, is to ignore biology.

Vagabond, the fetus is a human being. That is an undeniable fact. Either the fetus has inherent human rights, or, you seem to be saying, that actually "human rights" do not exist, and it's only whatever we want to call them.

In your mind apparently, Human Rights are only a metaphysical belief, that is relative to every person. Or maybe you are trying to say that human beings do not exist (ie: there is no such thing as a "human being"?).

I am not quite sure where you are applying it, but it has "doublethink" written all over it.

You seem to be saying three conflicting things:

1) Yes, the fetus is a human being, but so what, human rights can be applied to anything, so they are meaningless.

2) The fetus is not a human being, because the term "human being" is just whatever people want it to mean.

3) The fetus is a human being, but for some reason an pregnant woman has the power of life and death over it.

Which is it, Vagabond?

The fetus is human by virtue of biology.

Human Rights, by definition, suggest that they apply to us as a SPECIES, and are not based on stipulations of race, age, wealth, etc.

If, as Vagabond says, human beings are essentially "minds" and therefore we have rights, does this mean that animals do not have rights, because their minds are clearly not capable of the kinds of things we have produced? Yes, you may argue that other animals think for themselves.. they just can't tell us, etc. Their intelligence is theoretical. We have proof of human intelligence.

I ask you, where is their science, their culture, their religion, their politics, their civilization?

Where is anything they have produced beyond mere instinct and a few tricks we have taught them?

I'm not calling for hunting any species to extinction or torturing any dumb beast for pleasure or profit.

All I'm saying is that Human beings are my concern, not the other creatures of this world.

When it comes to our survival and our benefit, we should respect nature. For its aesthetic value we should respect nature (not getting into any Religious notions of what nature means, etc, this is on a purely Humanistic Philosophical level here).

However, we should not respect nature at the COST of human lives which have inherent value.

If the "value" of human life is only something we dreamed up, and really has no meaning or existence, then we might as well do whatever we want, and people like the Nazis are just as right and good as people like Mother Teresa. I don't see this as a very practical, or logical point of view.

Abortion, by nature, destroys innocent human lives. Eating a hamburger does not (not unless you have a real problem with cholesterol that is..).

I love animals, but if we're going to kill humans to save them, then screw 'em.

Would you want your loved ones to die because of some non-intelligent beast that's below you on the food chain? Sacrifice your rights to your potential next meal?


To those who would freely sacrifice human lives for the sake of "dumb beasts:"

If you care so much for other animals, and so little for humanity, maybe you should do us all a favor and set the good example.. by biting the dust yourself, thus freeing up space for those with whom your loyalties lie.

I'm not a mean guy, but that's about as blunt a point I can make in answer to the radical animal rights advocates who seem to hate their own kind. Again, not all animal rights folks are like that, I'm speaking only to the extremists.

I'm not calling you an extremist Vagabond, but I am disagreeing strongly with your position and your line of reasoning. Apparently there are others who think as you do, and I also disagree with them. It puzzles me how they come to their conclusions and it frightens me how they tend to misuse logic and ignore scientific facts when it suits them.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 19, 2000).]

Darth Prime
07-20-2000, 01:15 AM
The Bill of Rights says that there should be equal rights among men. Does that also mean that a fetus has a right to live? If it does, then I say we should get rid of abortion.

Vagabond
07-20-2000, 02:55 PM
Kurgan,


...Fingernail clippings are not the same things as fetuses at all.

If I cut off my arm, it doesn't turn into another person. No, it is part of my own body, and has no intelligence. It is genetically part of me, not another being...


You are wrong, my friend. With today's technology, your fingernail clippings, your hair, your dead skin all have the potential to become adult Human Beings.

On the subject of animal rights:


...Would you want your loved ones to die because of some non-intelligent beast that's below you on the food chain? Sacrifice your rights to your potential next meal?...


First of all, I'm not sure where you got the idea that people should die, rather than animals. Secondly, animals are intelligent. Thirdly, I'm contending that people should have more respect for all life forms, regardless of how you perceive their level of intelligence.

You know, Kurgan, you actually made my point for me. I've contended all along that what sets Humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability for complex thought. You underscored my position with your veiled insult of ...some non-intelligent beast.... So, even though Humans have culture, civilization, etc, all these things are an effect of our level of intelligence, not the cause of it. Hence, our intelligence is what makes us Human...our DNA.

Based off of your position that (paraphrased) "we're at the top of the food-chain, so we should milk it for all it's worth", then if some more advanced life form ever encountered our remote little world, then they would have every right to send Humans to the slaughter house since we'd be relatively non-intelligent beasts in their eyes (assuming they have eyes). They could say this by claiming, "...they haven't even mastered telepathy, faster-than-light travel, or even universe-tunneling...these are the real measures of intelligent life...".

Remember the phrase "...absolute power corrupts absolutely...". The real measure of a civilized and intelligent life form is one that has the power to exploit, enslave, and exterminate other life forms, but has the wisdom and soulfulness not to, rather choosing to live in harmony. There is nothing divine or attractive about a species that is so selfish and short-sighted that it choses the path of tyranny, simply because it can.

Now, I'm not saying we should all become Druid-Wiccans and run around naked in the woods. We need some meat to live...but we don't need to fish the oceans populations to near collapse as they are now. Nor do we need to chop down thousand-year-old forests to make particle board. Nor do we need to use such barbaric methods to kill the animals that we eat; surely a more Humane method can be devised; if a death-method is unacceptable for a Human, then it's unacceptable for an animal; we definitely don't need to eat Lobster if the only way to eat them is by boiling them alive; with today's new biotechnology, hopefully animal flesh will be able to be grown on lab-farms in huge sheets so that no actual animals will ever have to be killed; and we will have a renewable, tasty food-staple.

And to the original topic of this thread, some day the technology will exist, which will enable surgeon to remove a live fetus from the mother and transport it to a tank where it can finish out its gestation period. Once born, it could then be adopted by all the people you say want children. This is the ultimate compromise, where the rights of both the mother and fetus can be protected. It's a win-win. Do you agree? If so, then perhaps a movement should begin to promote more research in this area.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...


[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited July 20, 2000).]

Kurgan
07-20-2000, 05:18 PM
I would then simply say our achievements are not what make us human, but a reflection of it.

If I bulid something, it is not the building that makes me a human being worthy of life. Such a merit system would mean all of us would be up for execution until we "did something good." No, anything I create, thus would be a reflection of my inherent intelligence as a human being. I would say not all of us actualize or express that intelligence in the same way, but we all possess it, and certainly the achievements of our species reflect that.

That is, these are the signs of our intelligence, not our intelligence itself.

Otherwise, we could, in theory, justify killing everyone who hasn't invented a language, culture, religion, political system, etc. Kill all the non-inventors, architects, etc.

No, as a species we are merely CAPABLE of these things, thus we are what we are.

Other animals are not capable of these things, not to the degree that our species is.

Eugenicists will say that those who are not considered by society to be productive and intelligent should be eliminated, to cleanse the gene pool and free up resources for the "superior" members of our race. I think that kind of thinking is what plays into the whole abortion debate on the pro-side.

Abortion is perfectly justifiable to these people, and in fact is mandated by their beliefs. That is, we should weed out those undesirables to perfect our species.

I don't think as human beings, in the spirit of compassion and love, can possibly advocate these kinds of things. It is against science, and against the principles of human love and order.

That is why abortion is wrong. Not because some God told me to in some old book, or what not. I'm arguing this only on the principle that we are a unique species, and arguably the only intelligent species on this planet, and so have a duty to respect each other, regardless of what we perceive as personal achievement.

In short: don't kill our babies, they're just like us. You can kill the animals, they aren't like us, but that doesn't mean be cruel or make them extinct either.

I see your point Vagabond, but your continual comparisons, which seek to trivialize human life are most insulting.

When I seek to compare human lives vs. animals lives, I was merely showing my opposition to what some extremists believe. I was also reacting to your seeming presentation of how horrible killing animals is, yet how harmless and beneficial killing humans can be.
<hr><ul>

My point: Abortion, by nature, destroys human lives (which have inherent value) needlessly, and thus abortion is inherently bad. If it is inherently bad, it should not be purposely continued.

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-20-2000, 05:19 PM
You are wrong, my friend. With today's technology, your fingernail clippings, your hair, your dead skin all have the potential to become adult Human Beings.

I was not aware that cloning technology had advanced to the point of that portrayed in the Star Wars universe.

Perhaps you can point me to these science fiction references that prove your claim.

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-20-2000, 05:31 PM
Sorry, a couple of things to add to this list (for some reason the network isn't showing my posts, so I'll have to go back and edit this later).

- As to future alien races that will invade us and use us as food. Perhaps. But does that really mean that we should kill our own young? Maybe we should become vegetarians, as you say. Many other animals have not had the foresight to overcome their evolutionary genetics and become vegetarians (human beings are ominvores, according to science and biology). Still, if your dream of a future vegan utopia is to be realized, we must first stop the barbaric destruction of our own fellow human beings. So we still have to get rid of abortion, sorry. ; )

I'm not going to get into Frankensteinian genetic manipulation procedures at this time. At this point, most of these procedures are still in their infancy. They have yet to be perfected and practical. Certainly, they can be afforded on a mainly experimental basis by the very rich, but I hardly see it as a solution for our small planet at this time. Certainly when the time comes it should be discussed at length. But, that probably won't stop them.. but that sort of thing didn't stop "the bomb," either.

As to the "potential to become human" really has no bearing on the abortion issue, because, as biology tells us, human fetuses are already human. Even if you could clone a human being from dead tissue (say, your hair or your fingernail clippings) that isn't comparable to killing a fetus.

You are trying to say: throw away a hair clipping.. you just killed a potential human!

I say: no, because the hair clipping isn't a human right now. You aren't killing anything.

you say: isn't abortion the same thing?

I say: no, because the fetus is a human already, and you're outright killing it, not simply preventing a human being from coming into existence.

The same would be true even if you could turn a stone into a human with some kind of "Super Ray." The stone isn't alive (yet), so NOT turning it into a human isn't murder. But killing a human being is.

That is why I could easily defend contraceptive methods, but not abortion.

In one case you are merely preventing sperm and egg from combining to form a human being.

In the other case you are taking a human being that has already formed and destroying it.

The fact that a fetus doesn't look and act like an adult human being doesn't mean a thing. Not all adults act and look the same and neither do children. Everbody's body is constantly "growing" and "developing." We gain new memories, our cells divide, etc. It's a continual process from conception to death. Human life thus begins when the sperm and egg combine. Once that happens, you have a human life, that needs to be protected.

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-20-2000, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by Kurgan:
I was not aware that cloning technology had advanced to the point of that portrayed in the Star Wars universe.

Perhaps you can point me to these science fiction references that prove your claim.

Kurgan

Come on, Kurgan. Don't be like that. You know very well that large mammals have already been cloned. Sheep, cows, etc. Biomechanically, Humans are no different. Perhaps science can't clone from a fingernail just yet, but one could take a life cell from you and make another Kurgan. It's only a matter of time before clones can be created from any complete strand of DNA, regardless of it's source. The only thing holding us back will be those who have ethical issues with pursuing this research.

I don't have any problem with it.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Vagabond
07-20-2000, 06:28 PM
...The fact that a fetus doesn't look and act like an adult human being doesn't mean a thing. Not all adults act and look the same and neither do children. Everbody's body is constantly "growing" and "developing." We gain new memories, our cells divide, etc. It's a continual process from conception to death. Human life thus begins when the sperm and egg combine. Once that happens, you have a human life, that needs to be protected...


I completley disagree. You're saying that one cell is a Human being. That's no different than taking a biopsy from your arm and saying that's a Human Being. Absurd. Even two cells in the zygote is not a Human. 16 cells. 32 cells. Sure, left to bake for several months, they'll begin to form a Human, but they're not at the moment of conception.


...Maybe we should become vegetarians, as you say...


I don't say. Like I've said, I love a good steak, and I do eat steak. However, I have an ethical conflict with mass murder of a species to sustain me, when there are other ways I can survive. Since I do in fact enjoy eating meat, my solution is to grow meat so on a lab-farm.


...You can kill the animals, they aren't like us, but that doesn't mean be cruel or make them extinct either...


So, you're saying it's okay to kill things that aren't like you. To what degree? I'm not like you in that I don't share your views. Is it okay to kill me? How about black people or homosexual people. They're notn like you...is murdering them okay? How about Muslims?

Here's a basic rule of thumb: it's not okay to kill any creature that has a basic instinct for self-preservation. If it wants to live, it has a right to live. This is a natural tendency, as you'll notice that most species don't kill or eat others of their own species. True, it does happen in certain situations, but it is the exception rather than the rule.

Lastly, let me end on what will likely be viewed as a controversial note.


...Eugenicists will say that those who are not considered by society to be productive and intelligent should be eliminated, to cleanse the gene pool and free up resources for the "superior" members of our race. I think that kind of thinking is what plays into the whole abortion debate on the pro-side.

Abortion is perfectly justifiable to these people, and in fact is mandated by their beliefs. That is, we should weed out those undesirables to perfect our species...


I think it must be clear that these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with my support of a woman's right to choose. I find the aborting of so-called undesirables as repulsive. Undesirable being those of certain races, social statuses, etc. I can see the aborting of severely deformed or retarded fetuses...I'm sure you don't agree.

However, that's not the controversial thing I want to bring up...this is it: have you noticed that as medical technology increases that Human life-spans have increased? Sure you have. Have you also noticed that people who would have normally died due to disease or genetic abnormality are now living long enough to produce off-spring? I've noticed an alarming event happening. Essentially, the Human species has stopped evolving in the industrialized world, and the argument can even be made that it is devolving. Not because of the mixing of races, which I personally view as a good thing. I say that Humanity has begun to devolve because rather than becoming hardier as a species, we are being made weaker and sicker due to the reproduction and sustainment of people with genetic health problems. If you keep technology frozen and ran a simulation out 100,000 years, most of the planet would probably have genetic heart problems, diabetes, cancer, sickle cell anemia, etc, etc, etc.

Humanity is no longer the survival of the fitest, but in general, it's the survival of everyone. I'm not saying that genetically diseased people should be killed, but if I had a genetic disease, I wouuld choose not to have children so that my kids wouldn't be cursed with my health problems, as well as the rest of the world population.

Now, since the Human genome has recently been mapped, perhaps there will be a way to use gene therapy to repair all these peoples' defective genes. That would be ideal, and would eliminate the problem that Humanity would get weaker and more frail with each generation.

I know this must sound very Nazi, but it's actually quite true. It's a problem, with an ethical solution lying with recent scientific breakthroughs.

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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited July 20, 2000).]

Kurgan
07-20-2000, 07:47 PM
My point, Vaggy, was that your example was incorrect.

We cannot clone human beings from dead matter currently.

By your definition, our minds make us human. So I assume then by your definition, we would need to clone a person's "mind" as well as his body. A clone of me would be an embryo that would grow independant of me, and I would be old before he would be grown to my current age. He would have different memories and experiences than me, and probably be a very different person as a result (consult identicle twin studies for evidence of this fact).

People like yourself who are so worried about population control would probably be against cloning humans anyhow, right? Not that it would be practical to clone very many folks. And they would be just as human as everybody else. Nobody says that one Twin is any less human than his brother or her sister, so why should it be any different than with clones?

Fingernail clippings and hair samples are useless for human cloning.

That technology does not exist yet, so it is incorrect to say that it does. You don't see me talking about interplanetary teleportation, telekenesis or Death Stars do you? No, because those things only exist in the realm of fiction.

And no, I am not talking about just Muslims or just homosexuals, I'm talking about Human Beings. When I say "different from us" I mean other non-intelligent species.

By human standards, we are the only intelligent species on earth. Yet we think it's okay to kill off members of our own species, who are just as intelligent as ourselves? That makes no sense.

Is that so hard for you to grasp?

I'm talking about our SPECIES. You are the one who is saying we have to decide that some human beings are not human beings (unborn babies for example) and are ascribing human status to non-living material (ie: fingernail clippings, hair).

Human beings are a biologically distinct species of animal.

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. Didn't you learn any of that stuff in school? Let's get that straight once and for all here.

Again, Vagabond, your arguments are going off into two different directions.

1) Abortion is okay because the term "human" has no meaning, and thus human rights do not exist. The fetus is human, but so are my toenail clippings.

2) Abortion is okay because the fetus is NOT human. We "become human" when we develop "minds," or what our society thinks a mind is.

These two views are contradictory.

If you define "human" is someone with a mind, how do you prove that something has a mind? Do your toenail clippings have "minds"?

Are you saying a cow has a mind, but a human fetus does not?

You have been saying two different things...

So which one is it, Vagabond?


And btw, if a group of predatory alien conquerers with superior technology and intelligence than us were to invade.. I'm sure they would use their own logic to determine that we are inferior and destroy/eat/exploit/eat us.

But what relevance is that to our debate? I have no control over what those alien warlords (or "WarZordZ" as they like to be called) decide to do to us, as they are so powerful. They will certainly not ask our opinion on the matter if they are convinced we are dumb beasts. So debating it is pointless at this time. We'd be better off trying to invent Planetary Defense Systems (PDS) to stop them before they arrive. ; )

Kurgan


[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 20, 2000).]

Kurgan
07-20-2000, 07:59 PM
Btw, I'm glad I piqued your interest enough to keep ya around for a bit longer than you wanted to, Vagabond. ; )

Kurgan

Vagabond
07-20-2000, 10:11 PM
...We cannot clone human beings from dead matter currently...Fingernail clippings and hair samples are useless for human cloning...


True, I am not aware of scientists stating that they can clone creatures from the DNA extracted from fingernail clippings or hair samples. The fact is that these body parts do contain intact DNA, and based off of the rapid development of cloning technology I am confident that it is only a matter of when, not if.


...By your definition, our minds make us human. So I assume then by your definition, we would need to clone a person's "mind" as well as his body...


No, the mind is a product of the brain. All creatures have minds, and are dependent on the complexity of their brains. Tape worms will be extremely simple-minded. Cows a bit more intelligent. Dolphins quite a bit more clever. Lastly on Earth, Humans currently have the most complex minds.


...A clone of me would be an embryo that would grow independant of me, and I would be old before he would be grown to my current age. He would have different memories and experiences than me, and probably be a very different person as a result (consult identicle twin studies for evidence of this fact)...(a clone) would be just as human as everybody else...


I totally agree. A clone is a distinct individual, with it's own mind and thoughts, etc. What's the argument about here?


...People like yourself who are so worried about population control would probably be against cloning humans anyhow, right?...


What the hell are you talking about? I've never said anything with regard to being concerned about population control. Is this an assumption you've made?

Although it is true that the Earth only has the capacity to support a finite amount of life. I don't know where that limit is, but we must all be cognizant of it.


...When I say "different from us" I mean other non-intelligent species...


That description is so relative that its usefulness is utterly meaningless. This is what a species, who views itself as superior, says to justify the exploitation of the weak.


...we think it's okay to kill off members of our own species...Is that so hard for you to grasp?...


This simply illustrates our difference of opinion. At a fundamental level we are in disagreement, so every other debate that spawns from this fundamental point is meaningless. The fundamental point?

I do not classify an early-to-mid-stage fetus as a Human Being. You do.


...You are the one who is saying we have to decide that some human beings are not human beings (unborn babies for example) and are ascribing human status to non-living material (ie: fingernail clippings, hair)...


You have misunderstood. My point in bringing up the fingernail clippings was not to illustrate that fingernail clippings have Human status. It was to show that a fetus, which is analogous to fingernail clippings DNA-wise, does not have Human status. You got it backwards. My hope was that once you made the connection, the absurdness of hair and fingernails being classified as Humans would prompt you to realize that a one-celled fetus is not a Human Being either.


1) Abortion is okay because the term "human" has no meaning, and thus human rights do not exist. The fetus is human, but so are my toenail clippings.

2) Abortion is okay because the fetus is NOT human. We "become human" when we develop "minds," or what our society thinks a mind is.


Actually, as I've already stated, point (1) should be ammended to say, "My toenails are not Human, and neither is a fetus".


...Are you saying a cow has a mind, but a human fetus does not?...


I am confident that an adult cow has a mind. I am equally as confident that a one-celled fetus does not have a mind. It probably doesn't develop something remotely resembling a mind until the brain actually starts to form. However, just as you stated in your speach about, "We're at the top of the food chain and we have a right to live it up", the mother has the overriding right to terminate her pregnancy if she chooses. That's my view.


...And btw, if a group of predatory alien conquerers with superior technology and intelligence than us were to invade.. I'm sure they would use their own logic to determine that we are inferior and
destroy/eat/exploit/eat us...


Well, unless we change our ways, then we have it coming. What goes around comes around, right?

My point, which I'd hoped you would have arrived at on your own is that being more intelligent does not grant one the right to decide the fate of others. Just because you have the power does not mean you must use the power.

If an technologically advanced-civ discovered us and then devoured us, I'd contend that they weren't actually any more advanced than us. Perhaps technologically, but not spiritually. Not intelligently.


...But what relevance is that to our debate? I have no control over what those alien warlords decide to do to us, as they are so powerful. They will certainly not ask our opinion on the matter if they are convinced we are dumb beasts...


Exactly my point. I think you're beginning to see that we have no more right to exploit less intelligent life, than some advanced civilizaiton would have to exploit us. We all have a right to exist.

So, Kurgan, please comment on my idea of removing the fetus from the mother and growing it in a tank, so that it can be made available for adoption.

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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...


[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited July 20, 2000).]

Conor
07-21-2000, 01:31 AM
I see that you have rejected science in order to justify supporting abortion. Why don't you just say you don't believe humans have the right to life? At least that position is pseudo-supportable. I don't see what base you can argue from when you reject any scientific classification of species or organism.

It seems you believe that what makes us human is how convenient we are to those that hold power over our lives.

There is simply no argument against the humanity of the unborn baby. Not on a scientific, rational or logical level. Is he a thinking human? No. A mind interacting with other minds? Not yet. A living human in the first stages of growth and maturation? Undeniably. If humans have any rights, unborn babies have them too.

I challenge you to come up with any actual evidence of your beliefs besides asinine comparisons with fingernails of all things. I know I have never heard any scientific defense of the inhumanity of the unborn baby, which is because it is quite impossible to do so.

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"To believe anything at all is to believe it true. To believe something true is to believe that whatever is incompatible with it must be false. And to believe somebody else's belief false is implicitly intolerant. Therefore, if intolerance is an evil, belief itself-in anything-is an evil. So the only way we can get rid of intolerance is to prohibit belief. Which, of course, would be very intolerant indeed."
-Ted Byfield

[This message has been edited by Conor (edited July 20, 2000).]

Vagabond
07-21-2000, 02:32 AM
Conor,


...I see that you have rejected science in order to justify supporting abortion...


I see that you only accept what you want to hear in order to support your view. I've provided a very clear and convincing argument that a one-celled fetus is not a human being, any more than a cell in your arm is a human being. This is undeniable, and you know it. You're so infatuated with the divinity of Human-ness that you're incapable of conceiving anything contrary to that view.

Your loss.

But make no mistake, I view Humans as a very special life form, and am quite fond of them. Where the difference lies between you and I is that I view all life as precious. You, on the other hand, think the universe revolves around the Human Being, much like ancient people thought the universe revolved around the Earth. How backward your views will be seen thousands of years from now.

That said, and because of what I just said, there is nothing divine or special or miraculous about a couple small cells with Human DNA. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nothing that's any more or less special than any other developing life form.



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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Darth Prime
07-21-2000, 02:45 AM
I've had with Vagabond. Remember this, 'pal': Don't get in my way.

Vagabond
07-21-2000, 01:48 PM
LOL! What are you gonna do if I do get in your way? Hit CTRL+AL+Delete?! ROTFLMAO!!!

Kid, if the only thing you have to add to this discussion is cyber-threats, then maybe you should go visit this site: http://www.teletubbies.com/ ...it's more to your maturity level.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Kurgan
07-21-2000, 05:27 PM
Vagabond, the accusation you make could easily be pointed back at you.. that you will only agree with evidence that supports your claim that abortion is justified. Your first premise is that as a Liberal, you must be in favor of women's rights. You are convinced that the ability to seek an abortion is a woman's right.

Thus, in your mind, inherent to all women is the 'right' to have an abortion.

I have tried several tactics to try to get you to come to terms with what I see as faulty premises.

First of all I don't see abortion as a right that women (or anyone) is entitled to. Second, I see abortion as in violation of the rights of others.

As an American, I subscribe the belief that all human beings are entitled to certain inalienable rights: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I do not limit this right to people who are in the womb or in a hospital bed, etc.

I also think that human rights are philosophically defensible, but only if they are applied universally. Otherwise you lapse into relativism. From a relativist prespected, no such rights exist, because everyone simply believes what they want to believe and will fight for what they want. Nobody can enforce any rules or laws or rights by this ideology, because none exist. This is why if I were a Relativist, I would not be able to defend the rights of women OR unborn human beings, or anyone for that matter. I could only say they are cultural differences that no authority can decide who is right.

Accusing your opponent of ignorance/hypocrisy/narrow mindedness is a classic defense mechanism used in reaction to criticism, however, it doesn't make for very healthy debate. It is much better to SHOW in a way they can understand, the error of their ways, not by merely hurling an insult their way.

So now you say the fetus is NOT human. Good, while still incorrect, at least you are now being consistent. ; )

However, I will ask you now, to please clarify again for me, what makes a human being a human being, and at what point in our lives we BECOME human beings, since you obviously believe that we are not human beings in the initial stages of our physical growth.

Am I to understand you support "right to die" assisted suicide and euthanasia (for the terminally ill or incapacitated)?

Do your positions on these other issues have any bearing on the "what/when is a human" question?

Or are you just following the "party line" on the these social issues regarding human lives and human rights? I'm asking this because you consider yourself a Liberal, and generally Liberals seem to follow a set of guidelines, granted not all Liberals agree on everything, but it sounds to me like you fit the bill. Tell me if I'm wrong, because I don't want to be holding onto any negative stereotypes...

Do 'human rights' exist or not?

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 21, 2000).]

Darth Prime
07-22-2000, 04:08 AM
THAT"S IT!!!!!!!! I HAVE Had It WITH YOU. If I had my way, I'd get rid of scum like you. You don't even know who I am. And don't you dare talk to me about maturity, I'm not the one for some stupid thing that forcibly takes human lives brfore they get a chance to be born. It's monsters like you who go and do something so idiotic. That teletubbies thing is something suitedalbe for you.

Darth Prime
07-22-2000, 04:47 AM
Oh,and another thing, I think that abortion is part of another thing: COMMUNSIM!

the13thJedi
07-22-2000, 04:50 AM
I've been watching this topic for a long time now, and haven't participated for a reason.

This is getting way out of hand.

Listen People, Everyone is going to have their own opinions about abortion no matter what anyone else says. That is something you can not change.

I have my own definite ideas about abortion. I expressed them and stopped posting. In the short time that I did take to post however, I was already getting the first signs of flaming. That is why I stopped.

This Thread is for discussion, and what is turning into seems to be a Flame-fest. Everyone needs to realize that flaming someone else because of their ideas or beliefs doesn't change a thing and never could.

And as long as you continue to flame, you close your mind to the ideas of others. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to agree or even like the others ideas, But it does mean that your willing to listen.

I'm sure you can all agree that approaching a situation with an open mind gets you much farther than screaming at someone who can't hear you...

Food for thought...

the13thjedi

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http://www.starwars.com/episode-ii/select/2000/28/img/select_one.jpg

dreddnott
07-22-2000, 06:21 AM
Mind or no mind aside, Vagabond, you forget the simple fact that a fetus has, from a single cell, different DNA than either its mother or its father.

This is the point where we should consider something human.

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I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.

Kurgan
07-22-2000, 02:39 PM
Words of wisdom 13thjedi..., words of wisdom.

Yes, I feel the reason for this debate is also about a desire on the parts of the folks here to get others to at least UNDERSTAND their differing point of view, not merely to share their opinion.

If this were just a place to dump your opinion on the board (which is perfectly fine too if you want), then we just would have had one post from each person and that would be it.

Granted, just talking on a message board isn't going to change 99.9% of most people's opinions on any topic. Even if somebody "loses" a debate, they can still walk away from their computer and say "well I know I'm right, I just can't prove it to these guys." And that's how it goes.

I find it interesting to debate with others who are as certain of their rightness as I am. ; ) Obviously they and I have some different ideas, and it's good to share those ideas. Learning how the other guy thinks is important in this world... even if you don't agree with him.

Good point. Yes, there is no reason to flame in here. Vag and Prime got pretty close to it, and they should hold back a bit I think.

Otherwise this thread has been fairly successful.

Now if I REALLY wanted to start a flame war (hehe, well not necessarily, but there certainly would be alot more replies) I could introduce religion into it...

a few stray comments here and there have mentioned religion, but in all, I figured it would be a NEW discussion, if we left religion out of it mostly. I mean anybody can turn on the news or read a newspaper and see the religious debate if they want to.

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-22-2000, 02:41 PM
DarthPrime, Vagabond, that's a warning for each of you in case you don't recall...

Keep the flames out of this thread or I'll have to give you a "spank" (temporary ban).

Surely we can express our disagreement without hurling personal insults back and forth!

Kurgan

Kurgan
07-22-2000, 05:58 PM
Okay, that aside, here's a comment:

Where the difference lies between you and I is that I view all life as precious. You, on the other hand, think the universe revolves around the Human Being, much like ancient people thought the universe revolved around the Earth. How backward your views will be seen thousands of years from now

However, aren't you the one who was into comparing an unborn human being to a fingernail clipping? Weren't you the one who said it was okay to kill a baby, as long as a woman wasn't being inconvenienced?

Isn't that just a little bit hypocritical?

A fingernail clipping isn't alive.. a human fetus is.

At least be consistent. ; )

As to the "backwardness" I figure in the far future, assuming we haven't degenerated into an army of mutant, drooling barbarians (in a post-apocalyptic 'Road Warrior' world, no doubt), they will look back at this country and this time period and say:

"Wow, they had alot of great technology, but they still had alot of problems. They thought they were intellectually and morally superior to the rest of the world, yet they still practiced infanticide, imperialism, and kept much of their population in poverty or in prison."

The truth is, no matter how far we progress, we never seem to shake the problems we began with. The only thing that really changes is the size of our own egos.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited July 22, 2000).]

Darth Prime
07-23-2000, 12:35 AM
You can ban me if you want, but I offer one thing: if Vagabond takes back all the things he/she said about me, I'll take back what I said about him(or her). This doesn't not mean I'll change my mind about abortion. So, Vagabond, I apolgize.

Kurgan
07-23-2000, 01:19 AM
If you guys have further issues to work out that are off topic, please feel free to settle them OFF THIS FORUM. Thanks again guys. ; )

Kurgan

Darth Prime
07-23-2000, 03:33 AM
There's one problem with that: this forum is the only way I can talk to Vagabond, and the same probabaly goes for him or her. Another thing is that I don't know where Vagabond lives, nor do I know if Vagabond knows where I live.

Darth Prime
07-26-2000, 02:41 AM
I can't believe this. It's been three days since I got online and no one hsa poasted a reply to this topic? I figured Vagabond or someone else (no offense to Vagabond)would have posted a reply.

Kurgan
07-26-2000, 03:01 AM
Well I guess we can all go home now.. nothing to see here.

*Disperse* *Disperse*

Was nice debating with y'all!

Come back now, ya here?

Kurgan

Darth Prime
07-26-2000, 03:04 AM
Go home? What are you talking about?