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Old 03-06-2006, 05:24 PM   #41
ET Warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Again, where do you decide that it has cognitive functions?
Can you give me a concrete time, specifically, when any given fetus becomes a person?
When there is a brain and a nervous system capable of performing some manner of cognitive function. I'm pretty sure that I've made that perfectly clear. I've reiterated it. You can bring in your artificial arguments about adults brain activity being stopped, but if a person goes more than a month with zero brain activity they are declared brain-dead. They aren't people anymore. They are a collection of organs that still function autonomously.

However, they're still more of a person than a fetus, because they still HAVE a brain that contains memories and parts of their person inside of it, even if they are incapable of accessing or using these memories. An early stage fetus doesn't have any of that. They are NOT comparable to an unconcious/coma induced/braindead grown person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
What happens when you know, barring rather unlikely circumstances, that the person will recover? Is it still ethical to kill them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
but that is another discussion for another time.



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Old 03-06-2006, 05:34 PM   #42
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@ Dravis: You're citing from a secondary source as if it were the primary source. That's bad scholarship. Please include the secondary source in your bibliography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
I believe that the fetus should be just as protected as the baby because the fetus is a baby at an earlier stage of life (just like a child is basically an adult at an earlier stage of development). I'm asking you to explain to me in some coherent terms why you believe they're different, and why you believe [only] one should be protected
Myelinated nerves.

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A fetus has a heartbeat. That's got to count for something.
A pig has a heartbeat.

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As for South Dakota, here is a nice article I just read. The second page had some quotes about how women feel after an abortion. Take it as you will....
The Mad Biologist has commented eloquently on this 'point' and others.

Personally, I dislike the use of the yuck-factor propaganda tactics that the anti-choice taliban enjoy so much. But I will use them in response to bull**** like the above quote.

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It's the females problem for having sex irresponsibly. So the conquence is raising a baby. [My emphasis]
I think this speaks for itself.


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And of course the baby will likely suffer and lead a life of misery, possibly getting pregnant at a young age themselves because their mother raised them the same way she was raised, and we're in a never-ending cycle. Hooray.
Are you denying personal responsibility? [...] If you think people are not in control of what they do, I'd like to inform you that you are wrong.
False dichotomy.


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Just like menstruation and premature ejaculation.
Except that neither of those instances include another living being
I challenge you and all who argue like you to present a consistent definition of life that:
  1. Includes foetuses (because otherwise your point would fall)
  2. Includes all fully born humans that are not yet permanently deceased (alternatively, you may explain which fully born humans should not be considered alive, and why)
  3. Includes as part of #2 comatose patients (alternatively, you may explain why a comatose patient should not be considered alive)
  4. Excludes braindead patients (alternatively, you may explain why braindead patients should be considered living)
  5. Excludes skin cells (alternatively, you may explain why skin cells should be considered living)
  6. Excludes cancer tumors (alternatively, you may explain why cancer tumors should be considered living)
  7. Excludes sperm and egg cells (because otherwise ET's argument would be valid)
  8. Excludes viable stem cells (alternatively, you may explain why viable stem cells should not be considered living)

Such a definition is a necessary (but not sufficient) step towards making me take your 'point' seriously.

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Code:
				Abortion-Related Deaths[2]
Year	Legal Abortions |	Legal	Illegal
			|
1972	?		|	24	41
1973 	615,831 	|	25 	21
1974 	763,476 	|	26 	7
So there was no significant benefit, health-wise, that came from legalizing abortions.
It is flat-out impossible to do proper statistical analysis based on such a truncated sample. But even a ballpark analysis shows that the numbers you quote don't support your point.

In '72 your numbers claim that 65 women died from abortions. In '74 your numbers claim that 33 women died from abortions. Assuming a conservative relative standard deviation of 1/sqrt(N), the numbers are still significantly (more than two standard deviations - on each figure) different.

Oh, and I've assumed here that the number of abortions is constant in time. That's obviously a very conservative assumption (unless you want to claim that there were at least as many abortions before it was decriminalised as after - which would defeat your entire line of reasoning).

So your numbers don't add up, pal. What else in your post is bogus?


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Old 03-06-2006, 05:57 PM   #43
rccar328
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Of course. I don't think anyone here approves of late-term abortion, or partial-birth abortion. The only circumstance where it would be acceptable is if the mother's life is in danger, or the baby will be born defective and will die shortly after birth anyway.
But that's part of the problem - many laws restricting abortions that have been challenged over the years include provisions for abortions when the mother's life is threatened...but that's not enough for pro-abortionists. They want provisions for the health of the mother, which basically renders any legislation restricting abortion entirely meaningless - all a doctor has to do is say that the mother's 'mental health' would be threatened if she had the baby...which could really mean anything, and doesn't really take into account the long-term mental trauma that could occur should the mother have the abortion.

Also, studies are showing that abortions have negative effects on surviving siblings...and, according to the referenced article, may not be the best thing for victims of rape or incest, either.

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Personally, I dislike the use of the yuck-factor propaganda tactics that the anti-choice taliban enjoy so much. But I will use them in response to bull**** like the above quote.
Or maybe pro-life people use the yuck-factor because abortion is a horrid, disgusting thing, and not as rosey and nice as you seem to think.


Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:38 PM   #44
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Moral relativism is absolutely useless making objective value judgements, [emphasis mine]
Woah, that's profound reasoning! [/stinging sarcasm]

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And the problem with the death penalty is that it gives the government too much power. The power to end a living breathing person's life in something other than self-defense. Let's face it: as long as there is a death penalty, innocent people will be executed. The justice system is part of the government and therefore prone to failure.
For what it's worth, I agree that the death penalty should not be around. It's interesting, though, how you say that the power to kill a living person is too much power for the state, yet it's somehow acceptable to give it to the arbitrary use of a single person, the mother?
Because he quarrels with your definition of 'person'.

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"A moment after conception the genetic blueprint is complete. We have our blood type, our fingerprints, the sex is determined at the moment of conception. We know it is life. What kind of life is it? According to the laws of biogenesis, all life comes from preexisting life. Each species reproduces after its own kind. So human beings can only reproduce other human beings. [my emphasis]"

~ Kathy Ireland, appearing on Bill Maher's television show Politically Incorrect, 2/28/2000
A bottle of beer says she's a creationut or IDiot. Why should we take a representative of the American Taliban seriously? More to the point, why did you take her seriously and where did you find that quote? It most certainly wasn't in any of the scholarly works you claim to be citing. I restate my request for you to provide us with the secondary source that you really cite, rather than a copy of its bibliography (that may or may not bear any resemblance to reality).

Oh, and she doesn't know the first thing about human reproductive biology, either. Fingerprints aren't genetically determined. She's nothing but a Reich-wing hack.

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A fetus has no awareness, no consciousness, no feeling, no independence, no thought, and no ability to survive outside the womb.
I gather it is ok to murder someone you've just knocked out then, because he has no awareness, no conciousness, no feeling, no independence, no thought, no ability to survive unless you let him. Yeah. Why are those cases not treated the same?
Myelinated nerves.

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I think thats progress....abortion is technically murder. It's the females problem for having sex irresponsibly. So the conquence is raising a baby.
It's both parties' problem.
Yeah, right. And pigs fly.

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The basic principle is that the state doesn't have the right to interfere with what is going on inside your body... relax that principle and you open yourself up to a whole heap of trouble...
Abortion is legal now because of the right to privacy, not because of some made-up restriction on interference with citizen's bodies
Dodging the issue.

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You betcha we can, because those cells have absolutely no sense of awareness, no idea of self, no conciousness at all. There is no sense of loss to the cell, it isn't aware that it's dying.
You sound like a Dr. Joseph Fletcher, who argues in his book Humanhood: "Humans without some minimum of intelligence or mental capacity are not persons, no matter how many of these organs are active, no matter how spontaneous their living processes are."


I paraphrase the late, lamented WinAce: Often, these pictures are the only reply worth posting.

Oh, and by the way, I wish to restate my request that you provide the rest of us with your full bibliography.

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Old 03-06-2006, 06:39 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
When there is a brain and a nervous system capable of performing some manner of cognitive function. I'm pretty sure that I've made that perfectly clear. I've reiterated it. You can bring in your artificial arguments about adults brain activity being stopped, but if a person goes more than a month with zero brain activity they are declared brain-dead. They aren't people anymore. They are a collection of organs that still function autonomously.
My point was that your positions were contradictory. You aren't listening: you said that conciousness is the determining factor for personhood. Then you said that personhood is not the determining factor in conciousness. Then you, ah, 'explained' that there is nothing outside of the material realm that encompasses conciousness, contradicting your previous statements and essentially saying that no one is a person, and ergo, no one has any rights whatsoever. I disagree with you, and think most people would.

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However, they're still more of a person than a fetus, because they still HAVE a brain that contains memories and parts of their person inside of it, even if they are incapable of accessing or using these memories. An early stage fetus doesn't have any of that. They are NOT comparable to an unconcious/coma induced/braindead grown person.
Ok. Mind explaining when you determine, scientifically, they have enough nuerons for you to consider them neurologically active? 1? 2? Forty million? You don't know enough to make that decision.

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False dichotomy.
So people have a some sort of halfway ability to make their own independent decisions? What? Give some examples if you expect people to understand what you're trying to say. "No, you're wrong" is not a helpful reply.

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Dodging the issue.
Explain. If you're going to reply, then at least do it by backing up your statements.

I've got class now so I won't be able to finish this, but I will respond to your other points later.


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Old 03-06-2006, 06:46 PM   #46
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You wake up the unconcious man, he is able to think. You let the baby grow, it is able to think. How are those so different?
Myelinated nerves.

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I agree, especially by the 2nd and 3rd trimester I don't see how anyone can justify it (assuming there aren't any lethal health hazards to the mother).
Tjahbom, tjahbom... What Does 'Life of the Mother' Really Mean?

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I am under no obligation to take your word that a fetus is not human as any kind of authority. Likewise, you don't have to listen to my arguments, but you'd better have some way of proving that you know exactly when a fetus becomes a baby, since you're the one that the burden of proof rests on.
Quite the contrary. In a previous post of mine, I made a little list of constraints that a definition of 'living human being' would have to obey in order to make sense. Until and unless you or anyone else provides a consistent definition obeying these constraints, the definition is purely political. And it is you who fail to acknowledge that defining it to be - say - sixth week of gestation is a legitimate political decision.

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If you don't, then you are just avoiding thinking about the problem and giving me kneejerk responses to preserve your ideas, whether they are correct or not.
Says the guy who posts material verbatim and unattributed from anti-choice websites, and who forges his bibliography.



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He specifically said that the fetus was not human "Because there is no concious self in an embryo." The quote was directly related: "Humans without some minimum of intelligence or mental capacity are not persons, no matter how many of these organs are active, no matter how spontaneous their living processes are."
"He specifically said that he believed in God and that 'all morality is derived from God'. The quote was directly related: "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet."


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Old 03-06-2006, 07:14 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by rccar328
Or maybe pro-life people use the yuck-factor because abortion is a horrid, disgusting thing, and not as rosey and nice as you seem to think.
So is war.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:25 PM   #48
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Brain activity can be stopped completely, that is, people can have a 'flat' EEG [and still survive].
Not for a week.

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So yes, a person in the same cognitive capabilities of a fetus should be let to die, but that is another discussion for another time.
What happens when you know, barring rather unlikely circumstances, that the person will recover? Is it still ethical to kill them?
A contrieved example that has yet to happen. But if we are to be consistent, then we should let those who pay for the treatment decide. If the government pays for the treatment, then it is a political decision, if the government doesn't want to pay for it, then it's none of its business.

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A fetus does not just pop into having the ability to think; there is a natural progression of neurological activity that begins at conception
Maybe I should get into the habit of counting the mistakes and misrepresentations I catch you making. Is this the third or the fourth in this thread?

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Myelination of the nerve fibres begins in the third month, with the first myelination occurring in the cranial nerves that arise from the midbrain and medulla oblongata. The ventricular system (which allows the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the brain and spinal cord) is now largely complete.
Found here

And this tells you why myelination is important. In point of fact, the central nervous system in all animals of 'higher' order than amphibians is made up of myelinated nerves.

I tire of this exercise. I'll be back when you've adressed my most important points:
  1. Why do you provide us only with a truncated biography, and not your full list?
  2. Why do you cut and paste verbatim from fundie websites without providing reference or attribution?
  3. Why do you not provide us with a consistent definition of 'living human' that obeys the criteria I outlined previously?
  4. Why do you claim - untruthfully - that there was no significant public health benefit from legalising abortions, when in fact the very numbers you yourself provided indicate otherwise (even using very conservative assumptions)?

Oh, I'll make one final remark, since you explicitly asked me for an explanation:

ET stated that you have no right to impose your extremist 'moral' code on everyone else. Then you asked whether he thought it appropriate for him to impose his moral code of not mugging people in the streets on muggers. And I pointed out that it was a false dichotomy, since it does not follow that lack of an absolutist moral code means total lack of a moral code.

One of the most important facts of life is that ethics can never be completely consistent, since each decision is based on an individual judgement call. Some people choose to deposit their ethics with an absolutist moral code, but it would be a mistake to assume that that necessarily makes their ethics consistent.

I would even argue that that is an immoral choice to make, since it marks a refusal to make an independent judgement - in effect it deposits your critical thinking with whatever authority you choose to take your absolutist moral code from.

Now I'm off to bed.

Incidentially, the last three paragraphs were written at 2 AM, so they may not make a lot of sense...


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Old 03-06-2006, 07:30 PM   #49
ET Warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
My point was that your positions were contradictory. You aren't listening: you said that conciousness is the determining factor for personhood. Then you said that personhood is not the determining factor in conciousness. Then you, ah, 'explained' that there is nothing outside of the material realm that encompasses conciousness, contradicting your previous statements and essentially saying that no one is a person, and ergo, no one has any rights whatsoever.
You have quite clearly missed the mark on what exactly my argument is. You are putting words in my mouth, and assuming things that I never stated. I didn't say being currently concious makes someone a person. I said having the cognitive capability of concious thought is what makes a person. I wasn't not a person last night while I was sleeping, but if you pulled my brain out of my head and kept the rest of my body alive on life-support I would be not a person. I have no idea where you are getting the idea that I at any point contraticted myself and deduced that nobody is a person.



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Old 03-07-2006, 01:25 AM   #50
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"He specifically said that he believed in God and that 'all morality is derived from God'. The quote was directly related: "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet."
Your quote is not equivalent. Mine was basically a paraphrase of ET's words by someone else, but yours says

'He believes in god and that all morality is derived from god" == "Kill them all, god knows his own."

Those sentences are not even basically the same, they merely deal with related subjects. I guess I should have said that mine were equivalent in the first place to avoid you taking advantage of that to make an unrelated (to this specific discussion) jab at religion.

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Woah, that's profound reasoning! [/stinging sarcasm]
It really is amazing how many people think they can make absolute judgments and still pretend to be morally relative. I showed that edlib was either not morally relative or that his opinions didn't matter because they had no value in relation to other people. He said that everyone's belief should be respected and all beliefs are of equal value and cannot be denied. I deny that statement, but according to him, my belief is valid. Funny thing is, my statement can't be both valid and invalid at the same time; it's either one or the other. Therefore edlib's proposition that everyone's beliefs are equal is absurd, and you should realize that.

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A bottle of beer says she's a creationut or IDiot. Why should we take a representative of the American Taliban seriously?
If you are talking of this page, I do not agree with a single thing said on there, save one: "Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world."

That's the truth, and I'm sure both you and I can agree on it.

Speaking of religion, may I remind you that I have never once brought up any sort of metaphysical explanation for my ideas in this thread? I replied to ET's apparent thought that there is a soul in people giving them personality, but I didn't start the discussion. So, let's keep religion out of this thread, whether you're bashing it or advocating it. It's irrelevant to this debate, and my position as well.

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More to the point, why did you take her seriously and where did you find that quote?
Why should I not take her seriously? She is able to make her own decision as to what she believes, is she not? Or do you only think that persons who agree with you are entitled to judge what is correct?

Source. My original source misquoted her, it seems, and she turns out not to be a right wing hack. I'm sorry for that and I will check them more carefully in the future. My point made with it still stands, however -

True: "At the moment of conception, a life starts. And this life has its own unique set of DNA, which contains a blueprint for the whole genetic makeup. The sex is determined. We know there's a life because it's growing and changing."

True: "What kind of life is it? Each species reproduces after its own kind. So human beings can only reproduce other human beings."

A fetus is a human life, unlike what TK said, and that addresses this quote too:

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Quite the contrary. In a previous post of mine, I made a little list of constraints that a definition of 'living human being' would have to obey in order to make sense. Until and unless you or anyone else provides a consistent definition obeying these constraints, the definition is purely political. And it is you who fail to acknowledge that defining it to be - say - sixth week of gestation is a legitimate political decision.
"At the moment of conception, a life starts. And this life has its own unique set of DNA, which contains a blueprint for the whole genetic makeup. The sex is determined. We know there's a life because it's growing and changing."

Yes, it's a life. It's human life. The Roe vs. Wade decision did not argue that it was not human life because that arguement is untenable. Rather, they decided what 'personhood' means, which is very different from declaring that something is not human life.

Why do you think that you do not need to define the time when cognitive ability starts, when that is the very basis of your judgment as to whether or not the fetus is enough of a person to be spared the axe? You must define it, and you must prove that you're justified in your definition, because the alternative is that you have a distinct possibility that you are killing a being, an innocent person, that has the right to life. If you're ok with that, fine. But you're not going to have a bunch of friends in that club, I assure you.

If you cannot define the start of said abilities so they are not so vague as to allow the murder of individuals (which is already illegal), the state has the obligation to outlaw abortions. The primary purpose of the state is to protect those under it, and unless you can give a concrete definition of exactly when life obtains personhood and justify it to the extent there is no doubt, abortions should be outlawed.

No, I don't have to prove that a fetus is a person. I just have to prove that you could be wrong. My position is very safe; I will never have supported infanticide, whether it is or not. Your position is not safe, and I do expect you to prove without doubt that there will be no harm to innocents because of your actions. I expect that out of you because you say you do not wish to impose your views on other people. I expect that out of you as human beings who care about the wellbeing of others around them. I expect that out of you because, without that action on your part, you prove you are a parasite on the human race, a destructive being who cares nothing for other's rights, even to the simple point of finding out what they are, and has no qualms about imposing your will on the unwilling.

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A contrieved example that has yet to happen. But if we are to be consistent, then we should let those who pay for the treatment decide. If the government pays for the treatment, then it is a political decision, if the government doesn't want to pay for it, then it's none of its business.
You did not answer the question. Is it ethical to kill them? You can answer that, so do it.

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Maybe I should get into the habit of counting the mistakes and misrepresentations I catch you making. Is this the third or the fourth in this thread?
So there are no neurons in the fetus at all? Absolutely no neurological activity whatsoever?

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Yeah, right. And pigs fly.
Whether or not they are held accountable, they are accountable.

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It most certainly wasn't in any of the scholarly works you claim to be citing.
I didn't cite her other than as was in my quote. All my citations are noted by a number in brackets, like so: [1].

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You have quite clearly missed the mark on what exactly my argument is. You are putting words in my mouth, and assuming things that I never stated. I didn't say being currently concious makes someone a person. I said having the cognitive capability of concious thought is what makes a person. I wasn't not a person last night while I was sleeping, but if you pulled my brain out of my head and kept the rest of my body alive on life-support I would be not a person. I have no idea where you are getting the idea that I at any point contraticted myself and deduced that nobody is a person.
Because you said it.

"[When does a fetus become a person?] When there is a brain and a nervous system capable of performing some manner of cognitive function."

"We are discussing the termination of a lifeform that has no brain. Nothing there that is capable of any cognitive functions."

"All that we are as people is defined by the memories and functions that occur in our brain. It doesn't matter if my heart keeps on beating, without a brain to run this body I would no longer exist."

Defined by the memories and functions of the brain, eh? I then showed you that even a temporary flat EEG does not mean a person is not still a person, unless you hold your position: remember, you define the person as only the sum of their parts - if there's no function than there is no person, even if that state is temporary. I doubt many would agree with you on that given the same example.

Of course, right after that you said that they are still a person even if they do have a flat EEG temporarily, contradicting yourself and setting up the supposition that you may believe in souls or whatever because you removed the definition of personhood from the function of the brain.

1. Person = brain function
2. Person who has no brain function temporarily = not a person by your above definition
3.Then you say they those without brain function temporarily = person
4. Assuming you meant that they somehow retain personhood even if they are effectively braindead at the moment, and since that contradicts with your original definition, there must be some other way that the personhood is preserved, i.e, a soul, because that's the only thing that would answer your contradiction and not change the material situation. Then, of course, you deny the possibility of the soul, and therefore no one is a person because no one can be a person since there are no such things as souls. It's very easy to see where I got it from.

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When there is a brain and a nervous system capable of performing some manner of cognitive function.
Cognition includes perception. Since you define personhood as cognitive functions, do you propose that every single fetus be extensively tested for pain or any other responses before they are aborted? Even the slightest response is a response, and that would make them people. Remember that science is not perfect as well, and we could be missing something anyway simply due to the level of our technology and understanding.

Again, can you tell me a specific time that a fetus begins to percieve anything? I've asked this quite a few times, but no one seems to be able to give me a clear, concrete answer; no time after fertilization that can be put into a clear law.

Also:

1. Since you claim that everything is explainable by physics, what physics do you mean? Our current physics? Obviously that's false, because science is not in the business of objective truth, it's in the business of what seems like the best truth at the time. Historically this is true, and it will continue to be the true. Theories have been disproven and will continue to be.

2. Since you can't use our current physics to explain everything, do you propose that there is some sort of 'perfect' physics that explains it? But that's a circular argument - all phenomena are explainable by physics because physics is what explains all phenomena. That doesn't sound like a very useful way to explain things to me.

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I restate my request for you to provide us with the secondary source that you really cite, rather than a copy of its bibliography (that may or may not bear any resemblance to reality).

Oh, and by the way, I wish to restate my request that you provide the rest of us with your full bibliography.
Yes, yes, hold on. I will do it tomorrow, as well as answering the rest. It's late.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 03-07-2006, 03:20 AM   #51
ET Warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I replied to ET's apparent thought that there is a soul in people giving them personality, but I didn't start the discussion.
I have never, ever, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever insinuated that people get their personality from a soul. I don't believe in souls, so it would be hard for me to use that as a basis for an argument. You've merely taken my argument repeatedly out of context in some strange attempt to invalidate it without actually debating the actual argument.



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Old 03-07-2006, 03:28 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
I have never, ever, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever insinuated that people get their personality from a soul. I don't believe in souls, so it would be hard for me to use that as a basis for an argument. You've merely taken my argument repeatedly out of context in some strange attempt to invalidate it without actually debating the actual argument.
I showed you exactly how I reasoned. Can you follow it? Did I misquote you? If not, then deal with it - change your argument so that it is no longer vulnerable to that interpretation, but don't say you didn't write what you did. It's not my problem if you don't agree with yourself.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:51 AM   #53
Dagobahn Eagle
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I support abortion, but--

Just a quick intervention of the medical debate:

My personal opinion is that it's depressing how so many pro-choice people detach themselves so fully and completely from abortion and so vehemously argue that fetuses are not in any way human. Sure, you may be right (it all depends on point-of-view as well as facts), but abortion is tragic. It's tragic to the mother, it's tragic to the fetus, it's tragic to the relatives of the mother... I could go on and on. And the final fact is that it's very certain that the cells would have become a human being. A miserable one, probably. But a human being nonetheless.

There is, in my opinion, one final argument, however: Abortion cannot be stopped. Ban it, and people either go out-of-town to do it legally, or do it illegally and unsafely. If you want to save lives, join the Red or Blue Cross, Amnesty International, your local volunteering group, a fire department, or some other organization that supports volunteers. It's by far superior as you will then actually make a difference.


Last edited by Dagobahn Eagle; 08-19-2006 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:11 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
It really is amazing how many people think they can make absolute judgments and still pretend to be morally relative. I showed that edlib was either not morally relative or that his opinions didn't matter because they had no value in relation to other people. He said that everyone's belief should be respected and all beliefs are of equal value and cannot be denied. I deny that statement, but according to him, my belief is valid. Funny thing is, my statement can't be both valid and invalid at the same time; it's either one or the other. Therefore edlib's proposition that everyone's beliefs are equal is absurd, and you should realize that.
Really? Just because my last post was eaten by a crashed browser, and vanished forever into the ether, and I haven't gotten around to re-creating a response it took me almost an hour to type out in the first place... please don't take it to mean I have conceded the point.

I was going to just forget it all, let the point rest on my part, and let others take up the battle, however... since a detailed discussion of moral relativism and moral absolutism seems to be getting a bit far afield of the purpose of this thread. There are also deep discussions of "Free Will," the meaning of "privacy," and the role of the state in enforcing individual morality on people that we could get into while on the subject... but all of that seems a bit outside the main thrust of this thread.

But you have successfully goaded me into making a response now.

Unfortunately, I'm in the process of getting ready for work at the moment, and simply don't have anywhere near the time it will take to go back over what I covered in my missing post. It will have to wait for tonight.

I will say this right now, though: There is one, and only one person that I have any power to make moral judgements for; and that is myself. I am the only person whom I have any control over in terms of spiritual salvation... if you wish to call it that.

I also don't feel I have the power or the authority to judge any other person in moral terms, having never been in their shoes. For example: never having been a young girl faced with the prospect of a life-altering unexpected pregnancy, I cannot state with any certainty exactly how I would react in that situation.
Therefore, I can't judge her on the actions she chooses to take at that point. That is something she has to work out on her own, based on the moral and ethical background she has been raised with.
I am not God, and have no way of seeing into her heart. Any decision she makes at that point will have to worked out between her and her deity.

EDIT:

(Hmmm... this is my 3rd attempt in a row to edit this post. My browser keeps crashing when I hit "Save Changes"
I just switched browsers... let's see if that works. I'm really not having any luck with this forum these days...)


I read a good op/ed piece on Slate.com yesterday while thinking about all this. I agree with many of the points the writer makes:

http://www.slate.com/id/2137436/nav/tap1/


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Last edited by edlib; 03-07-2006 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:37 AM   #55
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Really? Just because my last post was eaten by a crashed browser, and vanished forever into the ether, and I haven't gotten around to re-creating a response it took me almost an hour to type out in the first place... please don't take it to mean I have conceded the point.
Yes, really. I don't see how your views are logically consistent (I assumed you would do something in the mugging example), and you should have to explain yourself if you want to be taken seriously.

Quote:
I was going to just forget it all, let the point rest on my part, and let others take up the battle, however... since a detailed discussion of moral relativism and moral absolutism seems to be getting a bit far afield of the purpose of this thread. There are also deep discussions of "Free Will," the meaning of "privacy," and the role of the state in enforcing individual morality on people that we could get into while on the subject... but all of that seems a bit outside the main thrust of this thread.
I'm glad you decided to stick with it, because I think the defense of your positions would be interesting to see. Those are all perfectly fine discussions within the context of the thread, as it deals with the moral consequences of abortions. Go ahead if you feel like it.

Quote:
I will say this right now, though: There is one, and only one person that I have any power to make moral judgements for; and that is myself. I am the only person whom I have any control over in terms of spiritual salvation... if you wish to call it that.
Yes, you've said that before, and I asked you if you would do anything about a person being mugged. Since I think that most people are what is generally accepted as 'good,' I assumed you would do something. If you'd like to correct me, then do it. Again, I'm not interested in your spiritual salvation and it has nothing to do with this topic.

Quote:
I also don't feel I have the power or the authority to judge any other person in moral terms, having never been in their shoes. For example: never having been a young girl faced with the prospect of a life-altering unexpected pregnancy, I cannot state with any certainty exactly how I would react in that situation.
Therefore, I can't judge her on the actions she chooses to take at that point. That is something she has to work out on her own, based on the moral and ethical background she has been raised with.
I am not God, and have no way of seeing into her heart. Any decision she makes at that point will have to worked out between her and her deity.
You don't have to be God to determine if it's morally correct to protect other's rights to their own independent decisions. Indeed, if you really feel that no one has a right to protect that, ok. Just remember that you cannot condemn or interfere with anything that any other person does, and it is actually immoral by your standards to do so. That means you cannot say, for example, that people who commit genocide in Africa are 'bad', 'evil', 'wrong', etc., because that implies moral judgment and you cannot render moral judgment.

Do you believe that the people who commit genocide in Africa are wrong to do so?

I reject moral relativism, not because it doesn't sound good (it does, I agree), but because it is useless in determining how I should act and react in relation to other people. You could be morally relative if you're the only human being that exists, or if everyone in society never, ever took decisions for others upon themselves, but those are pure hypotheticals, much the same as perfect institutions of government. They don't take into account imperfection and cannot be applied in practice the same way as they are in theory. Theoretically, communism is a good idea. Realistically, people do not act in a way that allows communism to work, and it ends up historically as worse for the people than the alternatives. You may pay lip service to relativism, but you must base your decisions about others on some objective view (it's impossible to prove your objectivity is correct, but you must choose one to be able to justify preventing the mugger from hurting the woman).

Quote:
I read a good op/ed piece on Slate.com yesterday while thinking about all this. I agree with many of the points the writer makes:
Your article says nothing about the morality or immorality of abortions nor tries to prove it one way or another, so why is it relevent?

Quote:
Abortion cannot be stopped.
Crime cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Violence cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Abuse cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Murder cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.

Yes, that's an incredibly useful idea on which to base your actions. I noticed the author of edlibs' article used it too. It wasn't that effective there either.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 03-07-2006 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:32 AM   #56
ET Warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I showed you exactly how I reasoned.
And it was a complete mis-interpretation based on taking my words out of context and running in the exact opposite direction. It's not MY fault if you cannot understand my argument, it

Your entire argument against me is a strawman. There is absolutely NO correlation between somebody who is braindead for 5 seconds and a fetus that doesn't have a brain to be DEAD. Yet you continually insist that that's exactly what I've been saying the whole time, when I quite clearly have made a distinction between the two.


@degobahn eagle: I never meant to imply that abortion is nice, or that it is easy, or that is doesn't have consequences. I think it's easily the hardest decision a woman could ever make in her entire life, and it will have emotional and psychological consequences for the rest of her life. I also think having people stand outside the abortion clinic screaming murder and calling her a whore makes the entire process MUCH worse than it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
and I do expect you to prove without doubt that there will be no harm to innocents because of your actions.
Well in this case I'm going to need YOU to prove to me that innocents will not be harmed if abortion IS made illegal. Prove to me that women won't go to back alley abortion clinics where they're just as likely to die themselves, prove to me that women won't go at themselves with coat hangers, and throw themselves down staircases to prevent having a baby that they don't want and cannot possibly care for.

The problem with making abortion illegal is that it isn't going to DO anything, except make anti-abortionists feel like something was accomplished.

If they REALLY wanted to help, they would take the time and money invested in trying to illegalize it and put that into safe-sex programs, counciling programs, and programs intended to assist single mothers. THOSE would help get to the crux of the problem, instead of making it illegal so you can ignore it.



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Old 03-07-2006, 10:47 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
And it was a complete mis-interpretation based on taking my words out of context and running in the exact opposite direction. It's not MY fault if you cannot understand my argument, it
It's somehow my fault you stated contradictory things as your beliefs?

Quote:
Your entire argument against me is a strawman. There is absolutely NO correlation between somebody who is braindead for 5 seconds and a fetus that doesn't have a brain to be DEAD. Yet you continually insist that that's exactly what I've been saying the whole time, when I quite clearly have made a distinction between the two.
But there is. Neither one has any brain function whatsoever. You defined personhood by brain function, and therefore neither one is a person. That opens the door to killing people because they have no brain function, even if you know they are likely going to survive it. If that's acceptable to you, you're entitled to your opinion, but don't ask me to respect your decisions based on it.

Quote:
Well in this case I'm going to need YOU to prove to me that innocents will not be harmed if abortion IS made illegal. Prove to me that women won't go to back alley abortion clinics where they're just as likely to die themselves, prove to me that women won't go at themselves with coat hangers, and throw themselves down staircases to prevent having a baby that they don't want and cannot possibly care for.
I asked you for a very simple thing, just a time that can be put into law so that we know when a person exists and when it doesn't. Care to answer?

Yes, the woman is making a concious and independent decision to go to a back alley clinic. She accepts those risks to her life implicitly by doing so. She is responsible for her actions.

Quote:
The problem with making abortion illegal is that it isn't going to DO anything, except make anti-abortionists feel like something was accomplished.
It will ensure that no innocent dies, the same as a ban against the death penalty. That's doing something.

Quote:
If they REALLY wanted to help, they would take the time and money invested in trying to illegalize it and put that into safe-sex programs, counciling programs, and programs intended to assist single mothers. THOSE would help get to the crux of the problem, instead of making it illegal so you can ignore it.
I have been and still am active in organizations that do these things. I am actually in the middle of a fundraiser for a pregnancy resource center. Your assumptions are not necessarily correct and I suggest you qualify them. I'm not ignoring any part of the issue.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:06 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I asked you for a very simple thing, just a time that can be put into law so that we know when a person exists and when it doesn't. Care to answer?
You can't have an exact time table, but it IS possible to test a fetus for brain activity, and if that's there, then it's clearly too late into term for an abortion, barring extreme physical danger to the mother.

And I've revised my argument to eliminate the ambiguity, you simply refuse to let go of your assertion that I'm saying it's okay to kill a person whose brain stops working for 5 seconds, which I haven't said, and am not saying now. A fetus has never HAD brain activity, and it isn't going to have brain activity in the next 10 minutes, or even 10 days. A person who goes 10 days without brain activity would be declared brain-dead. There would be almost zero expectation of recovery, they are no longer a person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
It will ensure that no innocent dies, the same as a ban against the death penalty. That's doing something.
Just like marijuana being illegal has ensured that nobody ever smokes it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
1. Since you claim that everything is explainable by physics, what physics do you mean? Our current physics? Obviously that's false, because science is not in the business of objective truth, it's in the business of what seems like the best truth at the time. Historically this is true, and it will continue to be the true. Theories have been disproven and will continue to be.
I honestly have no idea when I've said that everything is explainable by physics, or where you're pulling THIS from. It seems you're once again putting words into my mouth... Because physics certainly doesn't explain biology, or chemistry. Obviously our current physics cannot even explain everything in it's own field, or we wouldn't be studying it anymore.
I do believe that there IS a physics that would explain how everything works, but we're nowhere near to understanding it. I also don't have the slightest idea HOW this applies to this discussion at. all.



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Old 03-07-2006, 11:20 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
You can't have an exact time table, but it IS possible to test a fetus for brain activity, and if that's there, then it's clearly too late into term for an abortion, barring extreme physical danger to the mother.
Why can't you have a timetable if it's just a physical occurance? Surely there is some point that a fetus can be certain not to have perception?

Quote:
And I've revised my argument to eliminate the ambiguity, you simply refuse to let go of your assertion that I'm saying it's okay to kill a person whose brain stops working for 5 seconds, which I haven't said, and am not saying now. A fetus has never HAD brain activity, and it isn't going to have brain activity in the next 10 minutes, or even 10 days. A person who goes 10 days without brain activity would be declared brain-dead. There would be almost zero expectation of recovery, they are no longer a person.
I said that in my analogy there is a very reasonable expectation of recovery, just as the fetus has a very reasonable expectation of being able to think. Both are technically braindead, and you said that means they're not a person.

Quote:
Just like marijuana being illegal has ensured that nobody ever smokes it.
Simply using marijuana does not risk an innocent dying. I don't think it would be all that bad to legalize it for home use. When your decisions start affecting other people, however, yes you will be responsible, same as DWI. The consequences must be commensurate with the thing being risked, and the thing being risked is an innocent human person. I'm interested in if you oppose the death penalty, and if so, why?

Quote:
I honestly have no idea when I've said that everything is explainable by physics, or where you're pulling THIS from. It seems you're once again putting words into my mouth... Because physics certainly doesn't explain biology, or chemistry. Obviously our current physics cannot even explain everything in it's own field, or we wouldn't be studying it anymore.
That was my point. You said that physical reality (i.e., brain activity) does not denote personality, because a person who has a flat EEG is still a person during that state. Then you said that nothing exists that can hold the personhood that is not in physical reality. According to you, both physical reality and any sort of soul are not definitions for personhood, making the ability to be a person impossible through your definition of personhood. You don't know if your current physics is correct, so basing your actions on assumptions should be done a little more carefully than you are.

Quote:
I do believe that there IS a physics that would explain how everything works, but we're nowhere near to understanding it. I also don't have the slightest idea HOW this applies to this discussion at. all.
My second point was that you have no way of defining physics other than by itself, and because of that you have no way of knowing that all there is to physics is really all there is to know. Therefore, you do not have a way to prove that a fetus is not a person by science. You're making an assumption, not a statement of absolute truth as you present it, and you're not even trying to determine if the fetus is a person or not if you don't support every single test we have the ability to make, and even then you could be wrong.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 03-07-2006, 12:57 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Yes, really... you should have to explain yourself if you want to be taken seriously.
Ha ha... dude, are you serious?

Do you really think I care that much about what a stranger that I've never met in person on an internet bulletin board thinks about anything I say?
I don't give much of a damn if you take me seriously or not. Debating things on this forum are an interesting diversion for me. A time-killer... but hardly anything that will ultimately mean anything to my life or yours.
I stated my personal opinion, for the record. You have problems with it. If I get more time at a later date, I'll try to clarify my stance on the matter, but I'm sure as hell am not going to put other parts of my life on hold for it.

I've never expected that either of us will change our point of view on the matter. If anything, stating our viewpoints in this way will only cause us to become even father entrenched.

How about this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis

Crime cannot be stopped, so we should try to reduce the causes that lead to it.
Violence cannot be stopped, so we should try to reduce the causes that lead to it.
Abuse cannot be stopped, so we should try to reduce the causes that lead to it.
Murder cannot be stopped, so we should try to reduce the causes that lead to it.
All those things you described are part of our evolutionary heritage in the form of the reptilian part of the brain that houses all of our competitive instincts, and refuses to be civilized. We can attempt to control it, but without an evolutionary change, those darker parts of us will never fully go away.

Reducing the causes that lead to these actions through education, counseling, and social programs is what I believe what will ultimately reduce these problems. But only in a utopia could they ever truly go away. there will be some that always resort to violent measures despite how "perfect" society tries to make things.

I'd post more, but my break at work is over.


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Old 03-07-2006, 01:29 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Why can't you have a timetable if it's just a physical occurance? Surely there is some point that a fetus can be certain not to have perception?
There isn't an exact TIME-table because development occurs at varying speeds. However, as I said in my last post, you CAN test for neurological activity, and that is the basis. This is different from your analogy that you refuse to let go of, despite the fact that it is a STRAWMAN analogy, because the fetus can't have neurological activity because there isn't a nervous system there. Your braindead patient could in theory start brain activity at any point, because the necessary equipment is there.

If you take the CPU out of this laptop I'm typing on, it's not a computer anymore. It's got most of the hardware necessary, but it can't do anything. I couldn't be typing on it, it's not a computer. This is different than if I had my cpu sleep(5000). It's still got a CPU that can function, it's just out of comission for 5000 seconds, but it is STILL THERE.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Simply using marijuana does not risk an innocent dying.
That wasn't my point. The point is that making it illegal doesn't stop it from happening. You're not saving any lives by making abortion illegal, you're sending the people who were going to get abortions into the back alleys and across state/country borders to make it happen. And when they go to the back alleys there is a MUCH higher chance that the mother is ALSO going to die. ALL you accomplish is making yourself feel better because it's not in the public eye anymore. If you don't see it happening it's not a problem anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I'm interested in if you oppose the death penalty, and if so, why?
Absolutely, I'm very against killing people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
You don't know if your current physics is correct, so basing your actions on assumptions should be done a little more carefully than you are.
I didn't say my current physics is incorrect, merely that my current physics is incomplete. And my assumptions aren't being based on physics, so much as they're being based on biology. They're different sciences. And while biology itself is also an incomplete science, that doesn't mean it is an incorrect science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
My second point was that you have no way of defining physics other than by itself, and because of that you have no way of knowing that all there is to physics is really all there is to know. Therefore, you do not have a way to prove that a fetus is not a person by science.
And you have no way of PROVING that the fetus is even of the same species as I am. Sure, it's got the right genetic material, but maybe our theories of genetics are WAY off of what reality is. You can't prove that, so maybe abortion is killing an infant chimpanzee that's going to mutate into a human at some undetermined point. You are assuming that you know what it is that makes a human. Sure, science has shown that it's very likely, but there's no such thing as a verified theory, there is ALWAYS room for falsification. So maybe we should just give up on science? Not make our judgements based on the most recently accepted data and theories and knowledge? Sounds like progress to me.



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Old 03-07-2006, 01:57 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by edlib
Ha ha... dude, are you serious?
Is there a reason I should not want to take you seriously?

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Do you really think I care that much about what a stranger that I've never met in person on an internet bulletin board thinks about anything I say?
I don't give much of a damn if you take me seriously or not. Debating things on this forum are an interesting diversion for me. A time-killer... but hardly anything that will ultimately mean anything to my life or yours.
I stated my personal opinion, for the record. You have problems with it. If I get more time at a later date, I'll try to clarify my stance on the matter, but I'm sure as hell am not going to put other parts of my life on hold for it.

I've never expected that either of us will change our point of view on the matter. If anything, stating our viewpoints in this way will only cause us to become even father entrenched.
If you state something in a debate forum, yeah, I suspect people might expect that you back your statement up. Imagine that. If you just want to say something in a debate without justifying it, become a politician or something.

I don't have a problem with you explaining your position later, but you can't expect me to be able to represent your argument for you when you wait until everyone's gone to start talking.

For the record, I have taken every argument seriously, and why not? That's what the forum is for. I haven't called anyone names, I haven't ignored large parts of other people's posts, I haven't tried to demonize anyone, and I haven't even laughed at your or anyone else's views. I just find my reasoning more convincing than yours, and have been attempting to show that.

Quote:
All those things you described are part of our evolutionary heritage in the form of the reptilian part of the brain that houses all of our competitive instincts, and refuses to be civilized. We can attempt to control it, but without an evolutionary change, those darker parts of us will never fully go away.
I will tell you right now that I have not performed any of those acts and I intend not to. I will not blame my actions on something I cannot control because it's convienent. I can control myself, and I expect others to do the same with themselves.

Quote:
Reducing the causes that lead to these actions through education, counseling, and social programs is what I believe what will ultimately reduce these problems. But only in a utopia could they ever truly go away. there will be some that always resort to violent measures despite how "perfect" society tries to make things.
No argument, save your inference that people are not responsible for their decisions.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:31 PM   #63
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Well... ultimately, where is all this debating getting us? I don't think we can be accused of changing any policies with all these posts going back and forth. It doesn't ever really seem like any of us are changing our minds about anything we discuss here. So if anything I choose to post here is ever really taken seriously, and succeeds in altering anyone's views on ANYTHING I would be truly, truly surprised.

But I'll make an attempt...

OK... Here goes then. I'll try to remember everything I typed out the other night... plus now I have a few other new things to address at the same time. (I'm doing this all offline this time, however. )

(My gut feeling is that I won't be able to address everything tonight, since I'm such a slow typist, so I may have to break it up into multiple parts and finish tomorrow.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
So anything is acceptable according to you, as long as you don't do it yourself. You'd let people murder others, even though you think it's a sin. The only thing that matters is what they believe is the truth. If they thought they were doing good by killing innocents, well, good for them! We should encourage that behavior, yes?No, I think you're wrong. Moral relativism is absolutely useless making objective value judgments, and it shows in your apathy. If it's wrong for you, why is it not wrong for other people under the same physical circumstances? Opinion? Then you accept that, if someone believes something is morally right, then it is right, regardless of any other consideration. For instance, would you stand by and do nothing if a robber violently mugged a woman right next to you, provided the robber thought he was doing the right thing - the right thing for himself? Keep in mind that the woman cannot defend herself, because that would be projecting her own subjective sense of right and wrong on the robber and that's just not acceptable behavior according to relativism.If you answered yes, then any opinion of yours is irrelevant because you would be unable to render judgment on anything. If you did interfere in any way, however, you are not practicing what you preach, and you're just pretending to be morally relative; perhaps to feel or come across as more tolerant. You can't pick both, however; they're mutually exclusive.
Meh... works for me. [/apathy]

There are many stances that if you ask a thousand people about their position, you will get pretty much the same answer a thousand times. The murder of a fully formed and aware human being is one of those subjects. Everybody will most likely give you the same position on it, in that they feel it is always wrong. Your mugging scenario will most likely garner the same response. These are things that have been ingrained in us since the very earliest days of civilization, and seem to be a universal ethical code that is practiced around the world, despite drastic differences in culture and religion.

But there are obviously some topics that there will cause debate over. The one we currently are having shows that not every human, even those born and raised in the nearly identical cultures and moral/ religious/ ethical backgrounds will share the same point of view on what equates to a moral judgment over it. The Terri Schiavo case is another potential case for review. So is assisted suicide. No two people you ask will have precisely the same position on any these subjects.

The fact that we can debate these issues is evidence enough for me that the world is nothing but a mottled shade of grey. Some darker spots, some lighter... but no pure white or black anywhere. And depending on your point of view, where you stand on the issue, what seems the darkest grey to another person can seem just off-white to you. The circumstances the debate is framed in is often the deciding factor.

I was also taught from a very young age to never judge the actions of another person since I can never see into their heart. Just because something I see someone doing seems wrong to me, how can I ever truly be sure of their motivations for doing it. The hypothetical situations I propose later in this post may give you some idea of the way I believe that 2 people can see the same situation from completely different perspectives. (By the way: If you believe my grey-scale philosophy on life is dishonest... well, all I can say is that it will take probably some 30-odd years of convincing me to turn that perspective around. Good luck with that )

Does someone who commits what I call evil always do so with truly evil intentions? Or do some commit evil believing they do good? Did Saul (later the Apostle Paul,) of the New Testament believe he was committing greats acts of evil by slaughtering the early Christians? Did the average Nazi foot soldier really think he was bringing horrific evil on the world? Did the 9/11 terrorists believe what they were doing was a truly evil act?

Or did their backgrounds. upbringings, and/ or conditioning lead them to believe that what they were doing was for the greater good? Could we be causing evil to others right now, believing we are doing what's best for the people of the world? How about in the past? How do the Japanese view our decisions to use the A-Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Could that be a case where we believe we were truly doing good where those on the receiving end see the act as evil?

So... I personally feel abortion is wrong. If I ever found myself in a position that the subject of abortion came up as something that seriously needed to be considered in my life, I would do everything in my power in lobbying against it. BUT THAT'S JUST ME. I cannot force you to think differently if you don't, and I would never try. If the female I found myself in this situation with determined that abortion was the better choice for her at that point in her life, and she didn't carry the same moral objection that I have about it with her, how do you propose that I force her to see it my way? It's her body and future as well. She would have to face far more circumstances out of the situation than I would ever have to go through.

But then: If all morality was truly absolute, she could see it no other way... right? Obviously there would be no discussion. But that's clearly not the case in real life. She might have been raised differently from me. Just because she disagrees, is her point of view always totally invalid? I cannot see how it is... even if the law of the land states otherwise. I am not her, and I can never see the world from exactly her viewpoint. I could never understand fully the motivations that might drive her to that painful and difficult decision. Could I? Could you?

At that point, then all I could hope for that the procedure was as safe for her as possible. (That is, if I truly cared for her in any way.)

Outlawing abortion is from my point of view, trying to use the government to legislate personal morality. If not everybody sees it the same way as I do, can I pass a law to force them into compliance? Does that really change their mind on the matter, or does it just force them to be more cautious about expressing their opinions, and taking their outlawed behavior underground? Can a law passed by the state ever truly change hearts and minds?

There are a great many issues that I feel very strongly about, that I would love to see disappear of the face of the earth forever. However, I am either far too much of a realist or have far too strong a libertarian streak in me to believe that legislating these things out of existence in our country will ever make people change their behavior. All it will is cause many otherwise law abiding folks to suddenly be forced to go underground. And I personally don't believe these would be useful or productive things for our government and law enforcement to be spending their time and resources on. For example:

I despise guns. I personally will never own one. I would love to see them all go away forever. But I am totally against over-restrictive gun control laws. I honestly don't think they work. The old NRA saying about "only outlaws having guns..." is trite, but for the most part accurate. There is a huge culture in this country that will fight any attempt to take their guns away from them, or even attempt to limit their access to them from this point on. My dad happens to be an avid gun collector... and I don't think he's a bad person for it. But I know enough about him that he would not take it kindly if a bunch of government agents show up at his door demanding he hand over all the guns in his collection that were outlawed in a recent ban. Even if all the guns were outlawed from conscientious, lawful folks... the bad guys will still manage to get them. And if even they couldn't, then they'd just have to find other ways to kill each other. OJ 'allegedly' did what he did with a knife... and that was pretty effective.

So there's an example of something I'm morally opposed to, that I don't think the government should get into the business of regulating out of all existence.

Also: I don't smoke. I think it's a filthy habit. Does that mean that I want to see the law make it illegal? Nope. Just because I don't like it, does that mean that nobody else should have the option of choosing that for themselves? I would hope that education would steer them away from making that choice... but if they really want to kill themselves slowly by inhaling poisons everyday... then that should be up to them.

I don't drink. My family has a serious history of alcoholism, and addictive personalities. Both of my parents, 3 of my grandparents, I don't know how many of my great grandparents, and 2 of my 3 siblings have, or have had serious problems with alcohol. Several of my relatives have dies as a direct cause of alcohol (drinking themselves to death,) and many more have died as a result of indirect causes (accidents, diseases caused by the drinking.) I know that many people don't have a problem with it, but personally, if you ask me, alcohol is one of the biggest evils on the planet. I would love to see the day when it wasn't made anymore. But I'm too much a realist to know that will never happen. It's been tried, with predictable results: The law-abiding folks that didn't have a drinking problem were punished; the folks that really wanted to drink had no problems obtaining it; a whole seedy underclass of violent folks got very, very wealthy on providing it; and many folks who might never wish to use it when it was legal and available, were drawn to it by the very 'forbidden' aspect about it. (Same thing goes for marijuana. Everybody who really wants it, can already get it.) Just because I hate it, does that mean that nobody else should ever have access to it... even if they end up killing themselves, or other while using it?

You mentioned several times murder as something that we can all agree is bad. How exactly do you define murder? How about 'the deliberate killing another human being in any circumstance other than self defense'? That's pretty much how I define it. So, if an American soldier in Iraq kills an innocent civilian in the course of following orders, someone who never had any violent intentions towards America, or even the soldiers over there, is that murder? Well, since the soldier is following orders, we don't normally consider that murder, except under special circumstances. But it is the killing of someone who never meant the soldier, or any of us any harm. So if the soldier isn't guilty of murder, who is? The ones who gave the order? The government that put them over there in the first place? The American public, who in who's name the killing is taking place? Me? Am I guilty of the sin of murder? Are you? Or is it possible that some killings are NOT murder? We have made that exception in war from the very beginning of recorded history. Is that a moral black or white?

Are there some circumstances where you can kill, in passion, or even in cold blood, that might not be a murder? That question brings me to your hypothetical mugging. I also have a few of my own, if you don't mind:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
... would you stand by and do nothing if a robber violently mugged a woman right next to you, provided the robber thought he was doing the right thing - the right thing for himself? Keep in mind that the woman cannot defend herself, because that would be projecting her own subjective sense of right and wrong on the robber and that's just not acceptable behavior according to relativism.If you answered yes, then any opinion of yours is irrelevant because you would be unable to render judgment on anything. If you did interfere in any way, however, you are not practicing what you preach, and you're just pretending to be morally relative; perhaps to feel or come across as more tolerant. You can't pick both, however; they're mutually exclusive.
I don't know how I would react in that situation. I've thankfully never been placed in that situation. I like to think I'd be the hero, and try to defend the woman. Do I think that's a violation of my relativistic stance? No, not really. Standing idly by while someone is injured really has nothing to do with whether I believe the mugger might have valid motives that I can see. Even if he believes he has perfectly valid motives himself (I'll get to those possibly be in a moment...) I couldn't defend his actions. There's no reason for violence in most circumstances. I also cannot know his personal motivations in that moment: whether they are simple greed or laziness, or feeding an addiction; or if he has been forced down another road that he never intended to take, and this is the only way he sees to make it. More than 999 times out 1000 it's probably a bad motivation driving him, and that's something I'm sure I couldn't be brought to defend.

There's also the possibility that I will react in fear for myself. A selfish reaction, perhaps, but one that's perfectly in keeping with the ancient ingrained survival instinct. It's not something that I would be particularly proud of, but if he was particularly aggressive, or was brandishing a deadly weapon in an aggressive manner... Or maybe the thought would cross my mind: Would I find it to be better to take off and try to find appropriate help, or better to be brave but foolish and take him on and wind up seriously injured or dead for my efforts... with the woman still harmed and mugged anyway? I simply don't know. I cannot answer that in the comfortable circumstances I currently find myself in. From an outside view though, my motives for running could be brought into question. Everything ALWAYS depends on the circumstances of the situation.

But let's try a hypothetical situation or two from the other side now. Some of these are pretty far fetched, but please stick with me. (And I warned you that this would get pretty far afield of the abortion topic. Personally I think this could use it's own thread.)

Let's say this time YOU are the mugger.

Somehow, for whatever reason, you have fallen afoul of a gangster. You owe him money. He wants it by this afternoon. You don't have it. If you don't produce it, he will kill your wife and child that he has in his custody. He will kill them immediately if you dare to go to the authorities. You are thinking things over and seeing no way to get the money you need to save them when an obviously wealthy woman walks by alone. You could probably mug her quickly, and get away without being seen, and get the money to the gangster, and start your life over again. You don't wish to break the law, but your loved ones will die if you don't. What do you do? Is committing a violent crime justified by getting out of the circumstances you find yourself in?

Same situation, except that your wife and/or child (or for the ultimate in pathos: your pregnant wife) is very ill. There's a good chance she/ they might not make it through the night if you don't get them the medicine needed. You are far too poor to afford it, and you have tried every legal avenue that you could think of to obtain it. In desperation do you decide to wait for them to die, seeing as that must be God's will? Or perhaps you could mug someone for the money to buy it? Or do you just rob the pharmacist directly to get the medicine? What if the pharmacist or muggee puts up a fight? Do you resort to violence to overpower them to save your loved ones? What if you are forced into a situation where you would need to kill to get away to get the meds back to your family? Would you just then give up and allow yourself to be sent to jail, (with the knowledge that your family will be dead before you can get out) or do you resort to murder of a stranger to save those you love? Knowing that witnesses have seen you, and that there is little chance that you won't go to jail at this point, what would you do to get back to your family in the brief time you have before you get caught? Is it more moral to fail in your duty as a husband/ father and let your family die by your inaction if you have the ability to save them... or is it more moral to break the law, and even your own personal moral code in an attempt to do anything you can to give them more life?

Here's another one: Would you commit one cold-blooded murder to save millions of people from the same fate? Say you have a friend who invents the first machine that can send you anywhere in the world, back in time. The time window is only open for a few minutes at a time, and where and when it sends you is largely unpredictable. You volunteer to go through, but your friend, always the cautious one, hands you a gun as a weapon, just in case you find yourself in a hostile situation. Your first trip through you find yourself in the Germany of the late 20's, early 30's. You are facing a man who is clearly Adolf Hitler, just before his rise to power. You are alone with him. Nobody could see the 2 of you. You could, in this one moment, stop all the horrors of World War 2 in one fell swoop. (Please don't bring up all the time paradoxes/ changing the future stuff... this is a morality question, not a physics one.) You don't have time or the means to talk to him to try to change his path... or the means to start a non-violent movement to defeat Nazism before it starts. The only realistic choice you have is to kill him to stop him and save the lives of millions in the future. Would you do it? Could you do it? What if instead of an adult Hitler, you are faced with an adolescent? An infant? His mother, currently pregnant with him?

How do you feel about torture? Like most people do, I suspect. Take the situation that has bantered about quite a lot lately: Could you torture someone guilty of planting a nuke and planning on destroying a city in the next couple of hours for information if you thought it could save several millions? How about one million? One hundred? What if it were only one person (your pregnant wife again? Being held under threat of execution in the next couple of hours.) What if the person that you had in your custody wasn't one who was guilty... but a relative of the one who abducted and currently holding your wife who refuses to talk out of fear of reprisal. Someone who knows where she is, but won't talk. Could you torture someone in that situation if you believed you had a good chance of finding your loved one(s) before it was too late?

I could do morality hypotheticals all day. But since none of us will ever face exactly those situations, can we ever really come up with meaningful answers?

The discussion of "Absolute Morality" truly disturbs me. I don't think any 2 humans can ever decide of what is "Absolute." If they do, it tends to degenerate into extremist thought patterns. The Sharia Law practicing Islamic regimes of the mid-east tend to frame things in absolutes. I fear the using the powers of our government to enforce what you, or anyone, consider "Absolute" morality could lead us down paths no American would ever wish to travel. And how could their morality be so "Absolute" when it disagrees with ours so,.. well... absolutely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I will tell you right now that I have not performed any of those acts and I intend not to. I will not blame my actions on something I cannot control because it's convenient. I can control myself, and I expect others to do the same with themselves.
Do you truly believe that you are incapable of committing acts such as these under the right circumstances? I am not so certain that I am. That potential clearly exists in each and every one of us, and this is proven every day by even the most casual perusal of the paper and TV news.

If you can convince me that you are totally in control of all of your emotional reactions all the time, then I will admit that you are truly a far more advanced and evolved human than I.

I have much, much more to say on these subjects, but I'm out of time for tonight. Like I said: I'll have to break it up and cover all the things I wish to talk about in more than one post.

I hope this posts...


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Last edited by edlib; 03-07-2006 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:27 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I showed you exactly how I reasoned. Can you follow it? Did I misquote you? If not, then deal with it - change your argument so that it is no longer vulnerable to that interpretation, but don't say you didn't write what you did. It's not my problem if you don't agree with yourself.
Cells in the brain (using protein I believe) are the carriers of our memories.

So anyway, a person will, by all means, retain their memories even after death. We're essentially complex bio-computers. When our body dies, it's basically like the motherboard and processor crashing. All the data in the hard drive is still there, unless destroyed.

ET never contradicted himself.



I just have one thing to ask, for all those that view abortion as murder.

Are you ready for the consequences of legislation declaring "cessation" in the growth of a fetus as death? Miscarriages will have to be declared negligent homicide, if abortions are to be called murders. If not, you're hypocrites and as such your points are instantly invalidated by your own standards.


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I am life without limit.”

Last edited by Insane Sith; 03-08-2006 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:12 AM   #65
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For a murder to have been commited, the victim has to be alive to begin with, and a fetus is not alive, a fetus is merely a mass of organs and skin, it has no thoughts, and no feelings. And for one human being to judge another's morality is to put yourself above another human being (and isn't that sort of thing a sin ).

@Insane Sith-
Memories are stored by neurons in the hippocampus. And proteins aren't cells, they're mearly processed by cells and used for energy.



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Old 03-08-2006, 01:40 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
@Insane Sith-
Memories are stored by neurons in the hippocampus. And proteins aren't cells, they're mearly processed by cells and used for energy.
Forgot a bit in there. But from what I remember basically there are cells that use protein to store information, or process information to store it into the protein, I forget but it's something along those lines.

Either way, the data is physical and not something that just "happens" to be.


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Old 03-08-2006, 01:40 AM   #67
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Thumbs up to contribute, yes, I'm pro-life, anti-death penalty and (so far) anti-Iraq war...

Fascinating, fascinating thread. You guys have really made me think, and I normally don't have time these days to just hop into such a hot debate thread. Actually, of all the debate threads I've seen in awhile, this is one of the better ones thus far, keep it up! I really have missed out on news, lately too. That'll teach me not to check Yahoo for a day or two!

Your hypothetical situations edlib are marvelous. I have my own idea of how I'd react to them, but I'm curious to see how SD will respond to them (don't want to ruin the challenge). I can only guess you were inspired by sci fi (which is another reason I think Sci Fi is a great medium for discussing hypotheticals in the debate on moral issues in a less controversial setting).

I don't think our time in a debate such as this is wasted at all, rather I think we have the ability to practice articulating our ideas and perhaps, even if in a small way, grow in our thinking. I for one, feel like I have just by reading it. For that, kudos...

Edit: Wow, 3 new posts just appeared in this thread as I was posting this one (but my kudos still stand!). Truly a hot topic, in any case. Normally I'm one of the guys with fast posting skillz... then again I take that back, usually my posts are really long and take more time to post, though they tend to seem fast despite the volume of text, thanks to nimble fingers.


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Old 03-08-2006, 05:15 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
For a murder to have been commited, the victim has to be alive to begin with, and a fetus is not alive, a fetus is merely a mass of organs and skin, it has no thoughts, and no feelings.
I'm actually pro choice, but I would like to point out that you're full of crap. A fetus is, in fact, alive. Even sperm is alive. Hell, bacteria is alive. That doesn't mean that any of those things are humans...Just that they're alive. That is all. Please, continue this pointless debate.


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Old 03-08-2006, 08:49 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan
I don't think our time in a debate such as this is wasted at all, rather I think we have the ability to practice articulating our ideas and perhaps, even if in a small way, grow in our thinking.
Well, I agree with you there. I've always been aware of the fact that if you really want to learn something for yourself, often the quickest way to master it is to teach it to somebody else. It forces you to truly wrap your mind around it and articulate it in the most straightforward way possible.

I guess the same thing applies to stating your position on sociopolitical philosophies in a forum such as this. Sometimes the best way to firm up your personal position is to debate others on theirs.

And sci-fi is always an inspiration. My Hitler example has been covered for decades in one way or another on shows like Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and for that matter: "The Dead Zone."


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Old 03-08-2006, 08:56 AM   #70
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Quote:
@degobahn eagle: I never meant to imply that abortion is nice, or that it is easy, or that is doesn't have consequences. I think it's easily the hardest decision a woman could ever make in her entire life, and it will have emotional and psychological consequences for the rest of her life. I also think having people stand outside the abortion clinic screaming murder and calling her a whore makes the entire process MUCH worse than it is.
Fine, no problem at all. I'm just saying it.

Quote:
Crime cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Violence cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Abuse cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Murder cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.

Yes, that's an incredibly useful idea on which to base your actions. I noticed the author of edlibs' article used it too. It wasn't that effective there either.
I should've written "cannot be legally hindered significantly" or something.

What I meant is that while crime, murder, abuse, and violence are being, to a large degree, kept in check with laws, I think abortion is like the marijuana that was mentioned above, or like alcohol, or little boys and girls peeing in swimming pools: You can ban it all you want (I guess 'forbid' is a better word when it comes to the pool-relieving, though), but it's just not going to do any good.

Rape, murder, and other violence is reduced by laws forbidding them.

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Old 03-08-2006, 11:57 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Rape, murder, and other violence is reduced by laws forbidding them.
But abortion itsn't (or wouldn't be?)

How does that make sense?

I don't understand this attitude of, "it's gonna happen anyway, so we should do what we can to facilitate it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneSith
Are you ready for the consequences of legislation declaring "cessation" in the growth of a fetus as death? Miscarriages will have to be declared negligent homicide, if abortions are to be called murders. If not, you're hypocrites and as such your points are instantly invalidated by your own standards.
That would be a possibility, but only if it can be proven that the mother was negligent...there are, after all, many women who have miscarriages, even though they do everything they're supposed to while pregnant.


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Old 03-08-2006, 12:55 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
I don't understand this attitude of, "it's gonna happen anyway, so we should do what we can to facilitate it."
It is always going to happen to some degree, just as it always has... but we can try to radically reduce the numbers, probably to almost nil, with aggressive and comprehensive sex education, as well as better contraception, and far easier access to it for all those folks who choose to have sex.
That was the entire point of me including that Slate article into the discussion: There is evidence that this particular approach has already helped.

For those few who, despite everything, despite all of our best attempts to dissuade them otherwise, still decide to go the abortion route, should we, as a presumably caring and understanding society, then be forcing them down illegal and dangerous paths?


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Old 03-08-2006, 04:32 PM   #73
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Wow, this topic is really staying hot; I haven't had time to reply for a few days. Now there's no way I can address all of this but here's a start...
Quote:
Quote:
As for South Dakota, here is a nice article I just read. The second page had some quotes about how women feel after an abortion. Take it as you will....
The Mad Biologist has commented eloquently on this 'point' and others.
Personally, I dislike the use of the yuck-factor propaganda tactics that the anti-choice taliban enjoy so much. But I will use them in response to bull**** like the above quote.
Mind explaining how my quote could possibly be considered 'bull****'? I was just putting out some more info that was very relevant to the discussion at hand. Obviously everyone is expressing their views on the subject of abortion, so why not toss in those of some others as well? I wasn't trying to use a 'yuck-factor', either. Yes, I think that holding the child after having it aborted is disgusting, but I wasn't trying to convince others of that. So calling BS on my quote was ridiculous.

I see that some folks are saying that outlawing abortion will only make the problem worse for mothers. I agree that banning it will not stop the problem completely, but someone isn't just going to up and decide 'hey, i'm getting an illegal abortion'. I guarantee you that other options are going to be considered a lot more. On that subject, no matter what the legality of abortion is, women (and men for that matter, it's not just single mothers in the clinics) need to be far more educated on other options. For how to not get pregnant, and in the case of pregnancy, how it can be handled other than killing a child.

Quote:
For example: never having been a young girl faced with the prospect of a life-altering unexpected pregnancy, I cannot state with any certainty exactly how I would react in that situation.
I think that a major mistake that teenage mothers make is trying to keep their pregnancy a secret. Even if your parents won't be understanding or even excepting of your situation, someone resposible should know. Pregnancy is not something to try to handle on your own. You should have someone to talk to, to help you decide the best way to handle the child, whether it's adopiton or otherwise....I think that girls need to be far more aware of the consequences rendered by trying to go it alone.

Quote:
It is always going to happen to some degree, just as it always has... but we can try to radically reduce the numbers, probably to almost nil, with aggressive and comprehensive sex education, as well as better contraception, and far easier access to it for all those folks who choose to have sex.
I agree. I think that a big step in taking down the abortion rate is education in how to prevent pregnancy. Of course another big step is to illegalize abortion altogether. Unfortunately neither of those things will stop it altogther, and therein lies the problem.

I don't have time to breach more of these subjects ,i.e. 'What defines a human', etc., but it seems as if Dravis is doing nicely keeping that arguement up.
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:42 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jedi
On that subject, no matter what the legality of abortion is, women (and men for that matter, it's not just single mothers in the clinics) need to be far more educated on other options. For how to not get pregnant, and in the case of pregnancy, how it can be handled other than killing a child.
It seems you've never even once attended the clinics.

You get far more information on non-abortion options than information on (for) abortions.

And if your reason for not going is "I never intend on getting an abortion", then don't bother replying. I have no intention either, but it is something you should learn about to help others, or if only to just know.


Abortion is always treated as a last resort when recieving counseling. Does this mean every woman pays attention? No, but it's the best you can do.


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I am life without limit.”
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:08 PM   #75
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Abortion is always treated as a last resort when recieving counseling. Does this mean every woman pays attention? No, but it's the best you can do.
You have absolutely no way of knowing that. In fact, I heard an interview last month with an abortion 'doctor' from Arkansas (known as "the abortionist of Arkansas"), where he said that he deliberately avoids discussing other options unless the mother brings it up.

Source
(this is an audio stream...if that link doesn't work, click here. Segment is dated Jan. 13, 2006, located nearly 1/2 way down the page)


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Old 03-08-2006, 05:56 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by CapNColostomy
I'm actually pro choice, but I would like to point out that you're full of crap. A fetus is, in fact, alive. Even sperm is alive. Hell, bacteria is alive. That doesn't mean that any of those things are humans...Just that they're alive. That is all. Please, continue this pointless debate.
Actually, biologists classify something as a living thing when the fulfill the following conditions:

1. Cellular Organization: All living things are made of one or more cells.
2. Metabolism: The sum of all chemical reactions that an organism carries out. All living things use energy to grow, to move, and to process information.
3. Homeostasis: The process whereby all living things maintain relatively stable internal conditions. (For example, your body maintains a temperature of about 37∞C (98∞C) no matter how cold or warm the weather is.)
4. Reproduction: The ability to reproduce from one generation to the next is characteristic of all species of living things.
5. Heredity: A process whereby living things pass on genes during reproduction. All living things have DNA molecules inside their cells that encode information to direct growth and development – a set of blueprints, called genes.


Therefore sperm are not living beings, and fetuses are not living beings.



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Old 03-08-2006, 07:11 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by rccar328
You have absolutely no way of knowing that. In fact, I heard an interview last month with an abortion 'doctor' from Arkansas (known as "the abortionist of Arkansas"), where he said that he deliberately avoids discussing other options unless the mother brings it up.
Why would you go to an abortion doctor to recieve counseling on options?

That's like asking the Honda dealer if you should buy a Honda or a Toyota. What the hell do you think he's going to say?

I was talking about health clinics where you get the education people are discussing.


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I am life without limit.”
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:40 PM   #78
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It seems you've never even once attended the clinics.
You get far more information on non-abortion options than information on (for) abortions.
No I've not attended. What I was saying about educating the parents was not aimed at those who are going to clinics. It was more in the respect of teens who get pregnant and their first choice, or their parents' first choice, is just abortion. Or people who find out that they're pregnant and say 'well I'm not ready. I'm getting an abortion.' That's what ones I was meaning. I should have been more clear.

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And if your reason for not going is "I never intend on getting an abortion", then don't bother replying. I have no intention either, but it is something you should learn about to help others, or if only to just know.
I see what you are saying. I think I'm being too damn agreeable though.

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Abortion is always treated as a last resort when recieving counseling. Does this mean every woman pays attention? No, but it's the best you can do.
'When recieving counseling'. There it is. What about the ones that bypass that? Is counseling required, or is it simply an option before an abortion? If it isn't required, it should be.

Obviously there are plenty of pro-choicers and pro-lifers here, and I doubt any of us are going to change our standing in that regard, so let's have a bit of fun:
For you pro-choicers: At what point, if ever, do you think that abortion becomes the killing of a person? Is it at any time while in the womb, or does it become a person, merely when it is born? There's been plenty of discussion on what defines humanity, so let's do this approach, when is humanity defined?
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:51 PM   #79
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For you pro-choicers: At what point, if ever, do you think that abortion becomes the killing of a person? Is it at any time while in the womb, or does it become a person, merely when it is born?
Little tidbit, human babies are born "early." We are completely helpless and dependent on our parental units for a long time, whereas in nature, a lot of younglings are practically walking the same day they're born. [/random tidbit]


Personally, I think victims of sexual assault and abuse should have the choice to not have a baby* that was forced on them. Abortions should not be used as birth control. People should have been more careful when having sexual intercourse.

I do not consider a fetus to be a fully developed human, but I also don't think people should be getting abortions at the late stages of pregnancy. I don't see why they can't simply pass the law to ban abortion, but still allow victims of sexual assault (rape, incest, ect) to have the choice to terminate the fetus at an early stage. Once it's at a certain stage, you're out of luck.

Last edited by swphreak; 03-08-2006 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:01 AM   #80
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Yes, I think that holding the child after having it aborted is disgusting
Why? Why can't you grieve over your child after you've aborted it?

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I see that some folks are saying that outlawing abortion will only make the problem worse for mothers. I agree that banning it will not stop the problem completely, but someone isn't just going to up and decide 'hey, i'm getting an illegal abortion'. I guarantee you that other options are going to be considered a lot more. On that subject, no matter what the legality of abortion is, women (and men for that matter, it's not just single mothers in the clinics) need to be far more educated on other options. For how to not get pregnant, and in the case of pregnancy, how it can be handled other than killing a child.
Except that is what they said about alcohol, too. And marihuana. And lots of other things that have been banned.

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You have absolutely no way of knowing that. In fact, I heard an interview last month with an abortion 'doctor' from Arkansas (known as "the abortionist of Arkansas"), where he said that he deliberately avoids discussing other options unless the mother brings it up.
There are always exceptions. I had a particularly incompetent therapist when I was hospitalized. "All" the patients I met both times I was hospitalized there disliked him, and it's a miracle he wasn't fired.

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Why would you go to an abortion doctor to recieve counseling on options?
You wouldn't. You go to an abortion clinic to have an abortion. However, you should be counseled on options becasue one or more of those options may be a better idea in your case. Better than having an abortion and then learning that you could've done this and that instead.

And your Honda/Toyota analogy is irrelevant. Abortion isn't an industry, or shouldn't be, and the abortion doctors aren't "dealers" trying to "sell" abortion. If they are, at least they shouldn't be. Damn, I want to visit one of those clinics and ask. Brilliant idea, thanks.

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Personally, I think victims of sexual assault and abuse should have the choice to not have a baby* that was forced on them. Abortions should not be used as birth control. People should have been more careful when having sexual intercourse.
Rape victims are special cases. They are heavily traumatized and will remember the rape every time they see the child. Pretty much litterally. So yes, special case.

Why do I keep getting a "your post is too short" error?

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