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Old 03-14-2006, 10:36 AM   #186
ShadowTemplar
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1,068
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I have not found your argument that an objective moral cannot be enforced on others in this situation to be convincing. Any relative measure can easily be contradictory (and has been) in the past.
All moral codes are inconsistent, whether they are relative or absolute. Indeed, one might argue that the claim to an absolute moral code is hypocricy, since such codes rarely if ever specify which rules take precedence over which other rules in cases of conflict, thus leaving the resolution to an individual (relative) judgement.

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This first assumption, well, I never assumed it! I don't hold that a person becomes a human at some stage in their development after being concieved
That was not the point that I was making. You do hold that personhood arrives - lock, stock, and two smoking barrels - at some specified point.

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So I asked "to you, at what point does a fetus become human [enough to warrant protection]?" I think that's a reasonable question, because you need the answer to make good laws.
Not really, no. We accept that traffic might kill someone by accident. Why should we not accept that abortions can kill someone by accident?

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I find that the unwillingness to even check for the signs that are held by pro-choicers to mark the personhood of a fetus (brain activity, nerves) is the absolute height of irresponsibility,
In principle, I agree with you.In the Ideal UniverseTM, such procedures would be rutine.

But that is kinda beside the point. The point is that it is impossible to make a law saying that 'this-or-that lifesign means that abortion is no-go under all circumstances.' Precisely because there is no marked discontinuity in foetal development, the ethicality of an abortion can only be judged on an individual basis.

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even if I accepted your idea that a fetus is less of a person at an early stage than a later one, which I do not.
Try taking that view to the logical conclusion: A minute before the sperm makes contact with the egg, the sperm and egg are nothing more than chemicals that can be disposed of at your leasure. A minute after they have made contact, they are fully as worthy of protection as an adult human... What happens during those two minutes that can make such a major difference?

For that matter, most methods of prevention (the pill, copper spirals, etc) work by preventing the fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. By your logic those methods would be unethical - nay, homicidal. Can that really be right?

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Essentially my argument that you cannot place it somewhere other than the beginning of the individual - conception.
\begin{tounge-in-cheek}

Then clones aren't real humans?

\end{tounge-in-cheek}

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If an innocent does die as a result of accidental causes, there is some justification - the soldier did either did not know or the action killed the innocent while preventing the enemy from killing more. The actual killing must not be the goal.
I believe that you are missing the point. The objective of an abortion is not the killing of the foetus. The foetus is collateral damage. Just like the Iraqis in Fallujah are collateral damage. We are willing to accept collateral damage in war, in traffic, in building levees...

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I find that the self-evident right of the fetus to life trumps the woman's self-evident right to be unhampered by her decisions.
That is your decision. And that's a decision you're perfectly entitled to make. But are you really willing to make that decision for other people as well? These people believed that as well. For all I know, many of them still do.

God, if she exists, must have a wierd sense of humor.

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I find that the value of a person stays the same over time, from conception to death.
An interesting perspective. What's so special about conception and death? What makes those two different from all other biological processes?

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There are other ways of controlling the population that were not available to prehistoric societies. We do not live a prehistoric society.
Not the point.

The point I made - and judging from your response, a point that you concede - is that there are situations in which abortions are certainly acceptable - there are even situations were infanticide is acceptable.

The point is that I have showed that there exists an example. Since - and I supose that we are in agreement here - infanticide is not acceptable in modern society, this means that the morality of abortions depends on the context, something that you (and other anti-choicers - the example was not directed solely at you after all) have so far been unwilling to concede.

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I think you ought to think of providing contraceptives to Africa first though; doubtless that method would be more effective, and it would be a lot less problematic by avoiding my reasons for objection.
I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, Dubya doesn't think so. Nor does the Rat in Rome...

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I give the fetus and mother equal weight as persons,
And this, I believe, is where we have reached an impasse.

Seriously, though, I don't think you've taken that statement to the logical conclusion: If I presented you with a pregnant woman, telling you that if she gave birth, there'd be a 50 % chance that the mother would die and the infant live and a 50 % chance that it would be the other way about, would you really argue that she should carry to term? If yes, would you argue that she should be forced to carry to term?

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If I'm here talking to you, that might indicate I'm listening, even just a little bit.
I feel that I owe you an apology. I did go over the top in that post, and most of it was really directed at mister Troll. So I'm sorry some of it splashed (hey - what was I saying about collateral damage =)

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You've made some good points, but they mostly apply to a simplified view of what I think. I've no doubt that some believe that, but I do not. It is not as black and white as that, I admit. By the way, I appreciate you stating your views in this manner; I respect you more for it.
I appreciate that. Mutual respect is a good thing. While I most emphatically do not agree with your assumptions (or your conclusions), you've put more thought into your argument than most anti-choice activists. I appreciate that.

Enough for today.

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