Abortion, choice or murder?
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04-02-2014, 12:20 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
I find it hard to have empathy with a rock. A rock feels no pain.

A mass of tissue without central nervous system also feels no pain.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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04-02-2014, 12:27 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2014 12:31 PM by JAH.)
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
I was once asked by a rather intelligent co-worker (who also happened to be my boss) why if I opposed capital punishment did I support abortion. It was/is not an easy question. One can get pedantic about when does a collection of cells become a human but we must all accept that it is a potential human life that is ended when an abortion is performed.

I will also relate three personal stories. I once spent a very long night with a female cousin who was afraid she was pregnant and did not know what she was going to do. She was obviously conflicted on a variety of levels. She was then a college student and did not know if she could continue. She was also from a portion of the family that was not all that comfortable and supporting a child might require her moving back in with her mother. All sorts of shit were at play but she was not sure that if she were pregnant she would abort, it turned out she was not pregnant. Years later I ran into an old girlfriend we chatted some and she told me that she had aborted twice (I think this was in response to my telling her I had two children). She was as a consequence no longer able to have children (don't ask me why) and was remorseful for the fact that she had the abortions. When the amniocentesis results came back indicating that our second child was as normal as that test could determine my wife and I had a long talk. Both of us were very relieved that no decision on to abort or not was required. Mind you we already had a nephew in the family who was obviously profoundly mentally disabled (to this day he is required to live in a group home and is fortunate his family has enough wealth to support him) and recognized what a burden it would have put on both us and his brother if he had been significantly flawed. We also recognized what an emotional burden we would have born if we had aborted.

Two more personal stories not directly related. I was walking to work one day and ahead of me was a couple with two small children. The couple were poorly clothed and were yelling at each other in voices that indicated to me they were drunk or stoned at 07:50. My immediate thought was what hope do those children have for leading a productive and successful life. On that same path to work one day (it might have been the same day and in response to me making comment) that the man I bought my morning espresso from told me of the pregnant crack addict who slept on the plaza near his shop. Again I thought what hope does that child have.

Abortion should not be consider easily and is not by most people who have them. People who do abort, I think, generally recognize what they are doing but do it anyway because personal circumstances are such that they feel they must. There are also those who are, for what ever personal circumstances, incapable of raising children and should not as a consequence bear them (this statement should not be interpreted to mean I am an advocate of forced abortion or sterilization).

It falls to the individuals that make the decision to abort. Those who I know who have made or contemplated the decision are conflicted by it. It remains their decision and they will live with the consequences for their lives. But it remains and always should be a personal matter and the state should have no say in it.
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04-02-2014, 12:30 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:18 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I do not consider people who believe "life" (a completely subjective term in this case) begins at "conception" to be rational in the least.
What is your definition of life?

A living fertilised egg grows and is somewhat self healing from disease etc.
A dead fertilised egg does not grow and degrades with disease e.g. bacteria etc.
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04-02-2014, 12:40 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:03 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 07:33 AM)wazzel Wrote:  That is the philosophical question, now isn't it? When does "life" begin?

IMHO, that's the wrong philosophical question. Life began some number of billion years ago, and is continuous from that point on. The sperm and the egg, prior to fertilization, are both alive.

Life is almost irrelevant to the philosophical question that should be asked, which is, what should be given legal rights as a person.

Maybe it should be "a Life", "this life" etc along those lines. I think the two points you bring up are tied together.

FWIW I have yet to sort out my personal opinion of when that mass of cells has value as a person. I think it is some time before what is termed viability but some time after conception.
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04-02-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 11:42 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Hope the two you do not mind me addressing this in one post. I do not disagree with the facts you presented. Science can provide us with the facts on when it can live one it's own, how it developed, etc. When that mass of cells has value as a "person" is not a cut and dry answer. Ask any random group of people and you will get answers ranging from conception to birth. While your system is rational to you consider that others consider their system rational also.

No, the other arguments are not actually rational - they are emotional or doctrinal.

Only the use of the biological facts can be considered rational.

Does not make them invalid points to consider. Biological facts only point out at what stage of development and can it survive outside of the mother.
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04-02-2014, 12:46 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:40 PM)wazzel Wrote:  FWIW I have yet to sort out my personal opinion of when that mass of cells has value as a person. I think it is some time before what is termed viability but some time after conception.
Given that there is no objectively measurable point, you can just make it up based on what point in development makes you feel comfortable accepting other people having abortions.
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04-02-2014, 12:57 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:40 PM)wazzel Wrote:  Maybe it should be "a Life", "this life" etc along those lines. I think the two points you bring up are tied together.

FWIW I have yet to sort out my personal opinion of when that mass of cells has value as a person. I think it is some time before what is termed viability but some time after conception.

It might help you sort this out, if you start thinking about other situations. For example, if aliens showed up, should we consider them people? Why...they aren't even human. What if we find a way to communicate with dolphins, and discover they are completely self aware, and are as intelligent as a typical 12 year old human? If some day, we build truly intelligent machines, should they have rights...does the answer change if they have self interest, or if they don't?

Should someone who's in a coma be considered a person? What if the prognosis is they will never recover from it? What if they are brain dead?

Should a parasitic twin be considered a person? What if it has a partially formed brain and face, and makes occasional facial expressions that suggest it might have some rudimentary mental capacity?

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04-02-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 12:40 PM)wazzel Wrote:  FWIW I have yet to sort out my personal opinion of when that mass of cells has value as a person. I think it is some time before what is termed viability but some time after conception.
Given that there is no objectively measurable point, you can just make it up based on what point in development makes you feel comfortable accepting other people having abortions.

I have not found one yet. I have come across many circumstance based situations that are understandabe, for lack of a better term. Then when I shift to far towards conception it starts to sound unreasonable.
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04-02-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
(04-02-2014 12:57 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 12:40 PM)wazzel Wrote:  Maybe it should be "a Life", "this life" etc along those lines. I think the two points you bring up are tied together.

FWIW I have yet to sort out my personal opinion of when that mass of cells has value as a person. I think it is some time before what is termed viability but some time after conception.

It might help you sort this out, if you start thinking about other situations. For example, if aliens showed up, should we consider them people? Why...they aren't even human. What if we find a way to communicate with dolphins, and discover they are completely self aware, and are as intelligent as a typical 12 year old human? If some day, we build truly intelligent machines, should they have rights...does the answer change if they have self interest, or if they don't?

Should someone who's in a coma be considered a person? What if the prognosis is they will never recover from it? What if they are brain dead?

Should a parasitic twin be considered a person? What if it has a partially formed brain and face, and makes occasional facial expressions that suggest it might have some rudimentary mental capacity?

Interesting points to ponder and many I have kicked around before, especally the coma case. Yet to help me sort things out.

Another thing is I tend to error on the side of caution when I make decisions so that probably has an influence on my point of view on this also.
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04-02-2014, 01:37 PM
RE: Abortion, choice or murder?
Living in a country were abortion is illegal, accept when the mothers life is in danger, I think the woman should have the choice. The only reason we even have such limited abortion in Ireland is because of a case taken to court in 1992. A girl of 14 was raped by her neighbour and got pregnant. Abortion was not an option. She had no choice.

The poor girl was distraught and became suicidal. The Supreme Court accepted the fact she would commit suicide and allowed her to have an abortion. Even then she had to travel to the UK because it was illegal to perform an abortion in Ireland. The catholic pro-life movement did everything they could to stop her.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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