Pro-Life Atheists?
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17-09-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Pro-Life Atheists?
I am a pro-life atheist. There, I said it.

I'm not dumb enough to believe that a two-day-old zygote has the same value as a newborn, but I do tend to think that ending the life of a living being is not ideal under most circumstances. I don't believe in a total abortion ban (because there will always be times when justice and compassion demand legal abortion,) but I really am quite bothered by the flippant attitude toward abortion I've witnessed in some circles. Of course the best solution will always be to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place through sex education, availability of contraceptives, and personal responsibility.

I know of at least one prominent atheist who is pro-life, but I sense that it's pretty rare. What do you think?
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17-09-2010, 10:26 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(17-09-2010 09:19 AM)athnostic Wrote:  I am a pro-life atheist. There, I said it.

I'm not dumb enough to believe that a two-day-old zygote has the same value as a newborn, but I do tend to think that ending the life of a living being is not ideal under most circumstances. I don't believe in a total abortion ban (because there will always be times when justice and compassion demand legal abortion,) but I really am quite bothered by the flippant attitude toward abortion I've witnessed in some circles. Of course the best solution will always be to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place through sex education, availability of contraceptives, and personal responsibility.

I know of at least one prominent atheist who is pro-life, but I sense that it's pretty rare. What do you think?

Do you mean Christopher Hitchens? he's the only prominent atheist that I know of that is pro-life
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17-09-2010, 04:39 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I am pro sapient and pro-farming if that means anything? EI I value human, cetacean (and alien DSmile life more than I do a cat or a dog, but I also see huge importance in life forms useful to sapient life. Trees, cows, chickens, fish, ect.

Wait what?

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17-09-2010, 05:12 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I wouldn't say I'm "pro life" but I certainly would not affiliate myself with the pro choice crowd. I think it's a complicated issue that both sides try to over simplify. I resent the pro life zealotry on the issue and I resent the pro choice stance of "it's my body and I can choose to have no consequences for my bad decisions up until the last minute".

I think some times abortions are necessary, but I find it immoral that they are used almost as a form of birth control. I think partial birth abortions are repugnant but don't agree that the life of the mother is "never" in danger like the pro-life groups would have you believe (although I do think they may have a point the the standards for "in danger" are a little vague).

To your last question, I suspect you're right about a pro-life atheist being rare. My experience is the more secularized someone is the more left leaning they are on these types of issues. Not always, obviously, but often.

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17-09-2010, 11:14 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I am not pro-life. I also don't associate with either side. Some of the worst figures in history have been unwanted children. Adolph Hitler's mother was talked out of an abotion by her doctor. Suddam Hussien's mother tried to cause a miscarriage by slamming herself against a wall. Every action has it's consequences. If Adolph and Suddam had not been born, the deaths and suffering that they caused may not have happened, and less destructive people are likely to have had influences that would have been much better for everyone.
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18-09-2010, 01:23 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I'm also pro-life, but I'm kind of torn about it. Hopefully it's needless to say, I resent the extremist actions of some fanatics in the circle, but I understand and totally relate to how you're bothered by it.

I think there are definitely cases where abortion should be performed as acts of mercy and for reasons of safety, but prevention seems a much more humane solution, in my opinion. I also think stem-cell research is important and should be made available in every one of those cases mentioned above where it's possible.

Quote:I think some times abortions are necessary, but I find it immoral that they are used almost as a form of birth control.

I think this might sum up my position, though I would personally affiliate myself as pro-life.

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18-09-2010, 05:00 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
It is interesting that you should ask, since I myself have just had a change of mind on this question. I went from pro-choice to pro-life. The ironic bit is that my mind was changed in a discussion with my pro-choice girlfriend.

Let me explain myself. My reason for being pro-choice was that i thought that it would be worse for a child to be born to a parent that was unable/unwilling to take care of it, than to not be born at all. Or if it is not necessarily better for the child it is at least better for society. How can somebody be a productive member of society without a proper upbringing?

The argument that turned me started with a discussion on a news article about a woman who wanted to abort a child even though her mother had volunteered to raise the child as her own. In this case i argued that the abortion seemed a little unnecessary since the child was wanted by someone, and the child had as good a guarantee for a proper upbringing as one can get. To this my girlfriend said that that argument could be used for any child, considering how many people are waiting for the opportunity to adopt.

THIS was what turned me. Her argument had worked quite opposite to her intentions, and I found myself suddenly sitting on the other side of the proverbial fence.

I am still pro-choice in the cases where there is a substantial threat to the mothers life, and also in pregnancies caused by rape, but the "argument from inconvenience" holds no sway over me anymore.

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18-09-2010, 08:56 AM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(17-09-2010 09:19 AM)athnostic Wrote:  I am a pro-life atheist. There, I said it.

I'm not dumb enough to believe that a two-day-old zygote has the same value as a newborn, but I do tend to think that ending the life of a living being is not ideal under most circumstances. I don't believe in a total abortion ban (because there will always be times when justice and compassion demand legal abortion,) but I really am quite bothered by the flippant attitude toward abortion I've witnessed in some circles. Of course the best solution will always be to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place through sex education, availability of contraceptives, and personal responsibility.

I know of at least one prominent atheist who is pro-life, but I sense that it's pretty rare. What do you think?

I'm suprised to read it as a "shocking" announcement... I can understand the idea of being a "pro life" and atheist as one, but it's hard for me to value more the life of something without any consciousness, personality, and with a good chance of leaving pretty bad life, and propably making the life bad and hard for at-least 1 more person, than valueing the freedom of choice of a person, which by the way, I don't think really hurts someone with that decision...
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18-09-2010, 10:34 AM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I usually say that I am "pro-common sense" on this issue. I think that everyone needs to realize that their actions have consequences, and that abortion should not be viewed as an escape. ("Oh, if we get pregnant, we'll just abort.") But, in cases of Rape, Incest, and where there is a medical danger to the mothers life, I think it is absurd to say that the unborn has more rights than the already born.
But, with most issues today, it isn't simply as black and white as people try to make it.
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18-09-2010, 10:50 AM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Perhaps I'm not old enough to form a valid opinion yet (haven't managed to knock up any girl in high school yet), but "pro-common sense" is a good stance to take. In cases of rape, or a stressed household, I think it is justified and even necessary to have an abortion.

Here's my problem though. Obviously at a certain point the fetus has as many rights as a normal human being. The problem is defining this point in time. If we call this point in time T, then that would mean at T - 0.00001 seconds the fetus does not have all the rights of a human being, but 0.00001 seconds later, it does. This just doesn't seem logical to me.

If human life starts at conception then, then that is still point T. Are the sex cells that carry the genetic information of the to be child not alive? There cannot be one point at which a new life begins. I think that life is a continuous process that has kept rolling since the first lipid bubble enclosed the first rudimentary RNA chain. So, there is my problem with the pro-life group (plus the fact that they use the Bible as justification for their position).

As a bonus, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvF1Q3UidWM
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