Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
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11-10-2016, 08:07 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2016 08:24 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 07:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(10-10-2016 11:11 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The law permitting abortions forces no one to do anything.

This isn't quite true. The fetus has no choice in the matter -- it is forced to die whenever someone chooses to have an abortion (and inevitably, some will so choose). Catholics (and other pro-lifers) oppose abortion not because it offends their delicate sensibilities, but because they believe that a fetus is a human being with all the same rights as any other human being -- and everyone (not just Catholics) agrees that human beings have the basic right not to be deprived of their lives.

So whether or not the law permitting abortions forces anyone to do anything is entirely dependent on whether or not a fetus is a human being -- and Catholics believe that it is. So for them, your statement is a false statement. For a Catholic (at least one who follows the official teaching of the Catholic church), abortion = murder (and a particularly heinous type of murder, in that the victim is completely defenseless).

Wrong.
Catholics don't have to have abortions. Fetuses, (for certain, early fetuses, groups of cells with no brains and no neural tubes, ie POTENTIAL humans) are not persons, (a legal definition). They are no more a "human being" than the cells on my arm. So no. There is nothing inherently superior or morally compelling in the Catholic view of anything, and they have no right to shove their opinions down the throats of others. They get to live the way they want, BUT NOT to force others to live according to their codes. Humans in a human society will never agree any everything. The fetus is incapable of choice, so saying is has no choice, is irrelevant and meaningless ... a distraction and attempted diversion.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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11-10-2016, 08:22 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 08:07 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(11-10-2016 07:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  This isn't quite true. The fetus has no choice in the matter -- it is forced to die whenever someone chooses to have an abortion (and inevitably, some will so choose). Catholics (and other pro-lifers) oppose abortion not because it offends their delicate sensibilities, but because they believe that a fetus is a human being with all the same rights as any other human being -- and everyone (not just Catholics) agrees that human beings have the basic right not to be deprived of their lives.

So whether or not the law permitting abortions forces anyone to do anything is entirely dependent on whether or not a fetus is a human being -- and Catholics believe that it is. So for them, your statement is a false statement. For a Catholic (at least one who follows the official teaching of the Catholic church), abortion = murder (and a particularly heinous type of murder, in that the victim is completely defenseless).

Wrong.
Catholics don't have to have abortions. Fetuses, (for certain groups of cells with no brains and no neural tubes) are not persons. They are no more a human being than the cells on my arm. So no. There is nothing inherently superior or morally compelling in the Catholic view of anything, and they have no right to shove their opinions down my throat. The fetus is incapable of choice, so saying is has no choice, is irrelevant and meaningless ... a distraction and attempted diversion. Your point is without any merit.

I (mostly) agree with you. Catholics don't. That is my point. From a Catholic point of view (or that of anyone, Catholic or not, who believes that a fetus is a person), your original statement is completely false.

It's not a black and white issue for me. In my view, the clump of cells that exists shortly after conception is absolutely not a person, but the fetus shortly before birth absolutely is. Somewhere along the line, one becomes the other. I'm not comfortable about assigning a definite point for that transition, and therefore I'm uncomfortable with abortions. The later in the pregnancy the abortion happens, the more uncomfortable I am. And although I am an ex-Catholic, I am definitely an atheist now, and have been one for over 40 years -- and even when I was a Catholic, I had the same mixed feelings about abortion that I do now.

I will not let either you or Heywood Jahblome tell me that this is a simple black and white issue. It is not.
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11-10-2016, 08:56 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
I accidentally google imaged abortions once and saw the aftermatch of a later stage abortion. I wish i could unsee that.
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11-10-2016, 09:18 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 08:22 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  It's not a black and white issue for me. In my view, the clump of cells that exists shortly after conception is absolutely not a person, but the fetus shortly before birth absolutely is.

I never said or intimated that it was a "black and white" issue. I was the one who said a "clump of cells with NO BRAIN and NO NEURAL TUBE is not a person". A fetus close to birth has developed those, so in fact you have attempted to falsify the point I made FIRST with the same point you say you made, and then criticize me for it. YOU are the Heywood here.

Quote:Somewhere along the line, one becomes the other. I'm not comfortable about assigning a definite point for that transition, and therefore I'm uncomfortable with abortions.

"Somewhere along the line" is bullshit. I at least have the balls to set out a definition, (no brain and no neural tube). If you know NOTHING about Embryology, perhaps you can stay out of the discussion.

Quote:The later in the pregnancy the abortion happens, the more uncomfortable I am. And although I am an ex-Catholic, I am definitely an atheist now, and have been one for over 40 years -- and even when I was a Catholic, I had the same mixed feelings about abortion that I do now.

Irrelevant. The POINT was that no one is forcing you or anyone to do anything.

Quote:I will not let either you or Heywood Jahblome tell me that this is a simple black and white issue. It is not.

I never said it was. You have TWISTED what I said.
My original statement is totally 100 % true. "No one is forced to do anything". A law permitting abortion forces no one to do anything. Catholic religious opinion on the choices of other's is "forcing them to do" nothing. I stand by what I said AND you have said nothing to refute the point.

The fact that you are "uncomfortable" with something is irrelevant. With billions of people in human society, we are all "uncomfortable" now and then. It's irrelevant legally and morally to anyone except you, what makes you "uncomfortable".

I never said it was a "black and white issue". I resent being grouped with Heywood.

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11-10-2016, 09:20 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
"So whether or not the law permitting abortions forces anyone to do anything is entirely dependent on whether or not a fetus is a human being -- and Catholics believe that it is. So for them, your statement is a false statement. For a Catholic (at least one who follows the official teaching of the Catholic church), abortion = murder (and a particularly heinous type of murder, in that the victim is completely defenseless)."

Yes, you're getting at precisely the sort of thing I am trying to draw attention to. Different laws make sense or not depending on what beliefs and values one is assuming, and therefore any given set of laws will assume some views over other and so will not be worldview-neutral.

I would add that the main point is not whether a law is forcing someone to do something (at least in an obvious sense--ultimately all laws, by definition, force people to do or not do things), but simply that laws are not worldview-neutral because they support or reject the various viewpoints out there. Catholics, looking at the world a certain way, want certain laws. Agnostics, looking at the world a different way, want different laws. Muslims, looking at the world yet another way, want other laws. We could add Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, whatever. Of course, sometimes more than one group might agree about a particular law, so there is some overlap--though even there the same law is still being motivated from more than one point of view, so the agreement is coincidental in that sense--but oftentimes there is not overlap but disagreement.
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11-10-2016, 09:23 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 09:18 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I resent being grouped with Heywood.

Being groped by Heywood?

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11-10-2016, 09:43 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2016 09:48 AM by Chas.)
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 07:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(10-10-2016 11:11 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The law permitting abortions forces no one to do anything.

This isn't quite true. The fetus has no choice in the matter -- it is forced to die whenever someone chooses to have an abortion (and inevitably, some will so choose). Catholics (and other pro-lifers) oppose abortion not because it offends their delicate sensibilities, but because they believe that a fetus is a human being with all the same rights as any other human being -- and everyone (not just Catholics) agrees that human beings have the basic right not to be deprived of their lives.

So whether or not the law permitting abortions forces anyone to do anything is entirely dependent on whether or not a fetus is a human being -- and Catholics believe that it is. So for them, your statement is a false statement. For a Catholic (at least one who follows the official teaching of the Catholic church), abortion = murder (and a particularly heinous type of murder, in that the victim is completely defenseless).

The fetus is not an agent even remotely capable of choice. That argument stretches logic to the snapping point.

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11-10-2016, 10:46 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 09:43 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-10-2016 07:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  This isn't quite true. The fetus has no choice in the matter -- it is forced to die whenever someone chooses to have an abortion (and inevitably, some will so choose). Catholics (and other pro-lifers) oppose abortion not because it offends their delicate sensibilities, but because they believe that a fetus is a human being with all the same rights as any other human being -- and everyone (not just Catholics) agrees that human beings have the basic right not to be deprived of their lives.

So whether or not the law permitting abortions forces anyone to do anything is entirely dependent on whether or not a fetus is a human being -- and Catholics believe that it is. So for them, your statement is a false statement. For a Catholic (at least one who follows the official teaching of the Catholic church), abortion = murder (and a particularly heinous type of murder, in that the victim is completely defenseless).

The fetus is not an agent even remotely capable of choice. That argument stretches logic to the snapping point.

Allow me to make an analogy. I'll repeat Bucky Ball's statement (the one that I was originally disputing) and change one word: "The law permitting murder forces no one to do anything." Would you agree that this statement is problematic? True, such a law would not force anyone to commit murder, but it fails to protect the victims of murder, and would therefore be a bad law. The intent of Bucky Ball's statement, as I read it, is that Catholics and other pro-lifers have no valid reason to oppose abortion, because a law permitting it "forces no one to do anything". But if it fails to protect otherwise defenseless victims, it could nonetheless be a bad law, and a law worth protesting, could it not? Just as a law permitting murder would be bad, and for the same reasons. That's the point I'm trying to make.

If fetuses are considered persons, a law permitting abortion is extremely problematic. This is entirely independent of whether or not they are moral agents, or whether they have choices. Those same arguments could be applied to infants. The only important difference between a fetus 5 minutes before birth and and an infant 5 minutes after birth is location. If it's wrong to kill one, it's wrong to kill the other.

Note that I am not anti-abortion, just somewhat uncomfortable with it. I don't know exactly where the current law draws the line (it may vary between states), but I have no problem at all with an abortion performed within the first month or so after conception. I have a big problem with an abortion performed 5 minutes before birth. To make a blanket statement that all abortions are OK because the law permitting them is not binding on anyone (on any adults, anyway) just seems wrong to me. Abortion is extremely "binding" on the fetus, and if it happens late enough in the pregnancy, that's not something we can just dismiss.

People need to keep in mind that the debate is not solely about "a woman's right to control her body" -- there is another body involved, and in the opinion of many people, that other body is a person with rights. They don't oppose abortion because they have some sadistic urge to control women and their bodies, or to force their religious beliefs on everyone else. They oppose it because they believe it to be murder. You may not agree with that, but it doesn't seem right to completely ignore that viewpoint and pretend that it doesn't exist. Whether or not I agree with it depends heavily on what stage of pregnancy we're talking about.

To put this back in the context of the thread, this is not necessarily a "Catholic" issue. Plenty of Catholics practice birth control and even have abortions, even though official church teaching condemns both, and plenty of non-Catholics (and even some atheists, I'll bet) are anti-abortion. My own feelings are mixed.
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11-10-2016, 11:30 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 09:18 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I resent being grouped with Heywood.

My perception is that both you and Heywood have pretended that an extremely nuanced issue is a simple black and white issue.

Heywood: All abortions are wrong.

Bucky Ball: No abortions are wrong.

You're on opposite ends of the spectrum, but you're both making the same kind of extreme statement. Note that your original statement (the one to which I objected) said nothing to qualify which kinds of abortions you were talking about. If your actual views are more nuanced than that statement indicated, then the comparison to Heywood was a low blow. In that case, I apologize, and will withdraw the statement.
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11-10-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(11-10-2016 10:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Allow me to make an analogy. I'll repeat Bucky Ball's statement (the one that I was originally disputing) and change one word: "The law permitting murder forces no one to do anything." Would you agree that this statement is problematic? True, such a law would not force anyone to commit murder, but it fails to protect the victims of murder, and would therefore be a bad law. The intent of Bucky Ball's statement, as I read it, is that Catholics and other pro-lifers have no valid reason to oppose abortion, because a law permitting it "forces no one to do anything". But if it fails to protect otherwise defenseless victims, it could nonetheless be a bad law, and a law worth protesting, could it not? Just as a law permitting murder would be bad, and for the same reasons. That's the point I'm trying to make.

If fetuses are considered persons, a law permitting abortion is extremely problematic. This is entirely independent of whether or not they are moral agents, or whether they have choices. Those same arguments could be applied to infants. The only important difference between a fetus 5 minutes before birth and and an infant 5 minutes after birth is location. If it's wrong to kill one, it's wrong to kill the other.

Note that I am not anti-abortion, just somewhat uncomfortable with it. I don't know exactly where the current law draws the line (it may vary between states), but I have no problem at all with an abortion performed within the first month or so after conception. I have a big problem with an abortion performed 5 minutes before birth. To make a blanket statement that all abortions are OK because the law permitting them is not binding on anyone (on any adults, anyway) just seems wrong to me. Abortion is extremely "binding" on the fetus, and if it happens late enough in the pregnancy, that's not something we can just dismiss.

People need to keep in mind that the debate is not solely about "a woman's right to control her body" -- there is another body involved, and in the opinion of many people, that other body is a person with rights. They don't oppose abortion because they have some sadistic urge to control women and their bodies, or to force their religious beliefs on everyone else. They oppose it because they believe it to be murder. You may not agree with that, but it doesn't seem right to completely ignore that viewpoint and pretend that it doesn't exist. Whether or not I agree with it depends heavily on what stage of pregnancy we're talking about.

To put this back in the context of the thread, this is not necessarily a "Catholic" issue. Plenty of Catholics practice birth control and even have abortions, even though official church teaching condemns both, and plenty of non-Catholics (and even some atheists, I'll bet) are anti-abortion. My own feelings are mixed.

I do understand the point you are trying to make, but I couldn't resist the temptation of trolling your argument a little bit (I am sorry, I am, sometime, a terrible human being). You are aware, that not only murder is legal in many circomstances, but international law has enshrined in its law the legality of mass murder. Its called the right of belligerency. It authorise any nation to maintain, equip and train an army and use it to protect its sovereignty or its national interest by slaughtering hundred of thousand of, most of the time, defenseless people. Nobody likes war. Nobody seems to want war except some psychopathic rulers (and even then, they only want war they are convinced to win). Yet, while war is recognised to be one of human most horrendous error and evil. The first person who would make belligerency illegal by international law is going to be laughed off the stage.

Laws in our time are concerned with regulating human activity to limit or supress dangerous behaviors. They aren't concerned with morality all that much for vary obvious reasons. Of course, everybody would like the law to match their moral code, but we all know its an almost impossible task. The comparison between murder and abortion has a fundamental flaw. Even if fetuses were to be declared human person, this doesn't make their execution like all others. Abortion would be "killing" a very specific type of person. A child or an infant cannot be aborted. Neither can an adult or an elderly. Thus, society isn't menaced by the authorisation of killing fetuses. You might disagree with it, nobody forces you to it either. Its the same thing with war. While it might be cruel and against your value, its a legal form of mass murder. You might not agree with the war waged by your nation, but it will be waged and thousand will die. You might even be forced to wage it under severe threat. Comparing abortion to murder is a false equivocation even if it seems similar.

A neutral law is a law that doesn't take into account moral compunction but is fundamentally utilitarian. It serves to protect society and help it to remain stable. It makes no judgement on moral quality (unless of course you define morality as a utilitarian set of rules in which case it would be the case, but be assured that this is not a commonly accepted vision of morality, etc).

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