Pro-Life Atheists?
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16-12-2010, 01:09 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
The statement that human life begins at conception isn't from a religious source. I'd agree the debate seems to hinge around a sentient state, or recognisably developed human rather than cells forming a human. I take his point tho' that taking steps to prevent life happening at whatever stage is always that... taking life. I can't see how you can say otherwise.
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16-12-2010, 01:18 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(16-12-2010 01:09 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  taking steps to prevent life happening at whatever stage is always that... taking life. I can't see how you can say otherwise.

That would make condoms murder. Dodgy

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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16-12-2010, 02:35 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
No the components that go together to make a human are not defined as human until they are combined Tongue
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16-12-2010, 02:50 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Although I'm not willing to go into what I believe any further, with regard to abortion, I will say this. Who are any of us to decide when life becomes life? The stem cells of an embryo are still human cells. Because they haven't "become" something doesn't mean they are not human cells. Once they do become specific organ cells, does consciousness exist? If so, should conciousness be the determining factor?
I'm seeing alot of opinions on when it is right or wrong to abort, but what is it that makes it the right or wrong stage of development? So far, it all seems kind of arbitrary.

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16-12-2010, 04:25 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I think it's a widely accepted fact where life begins. I think we hide from that. I don't 'believe' anything... I don't have to. It's just clear cut. What comes after that is very uncomfortable. You can't decide what to do ignoring the facts tho'. It's why the decision haunts people. Some people can seemingly blank that out. That still doesn't negate the reality of the situation.
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16-12-2010, 04:30 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Then can you answer the question? Where does life begin? (Though I may not agree that it's a fact, and likely won't agree that it's widely accepted either) And why is this the place where life begins?

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16-12-2010, 04:48 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
See the argument Stark: http://aristophrenium.com/ryft/a-lesson-...arguments/

human: indicating any member of the species Homo sapien

"every relevant biology source one can check, whether textbook or online, describes the biological life cycle of Homo sapiens as beginning with the fertilized egg or zygote (Saladin, 2001; Browder, 1991; Moore, 1982; see also “Human” in Wikipedia, specifically the biology section describing the human life cycle)"
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16-12-2010, 06:45 PM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I think the argument from suffering may be as weighty in this discussion as it is in any other discussion of morality.

I don't believe that humans are innately more valuable than any other animal, although most people would accept that the greater the awareness of pain, fear, or existence a living thing has, the more care is generally taken to ensure its welfare. A plant, for example, has little or no awareness and so killing or mutilating it has a different moral impact than doing the same thing to a great ape. We are less bothered by squishing an ant than a lizard or a puppy because we perceive that the higher animals have more capacity for suffering.

I don't think we have yet tapped the true question of fetal suffering, a fetus's capacity for pain or fear, or its level of self-awareness. When we do, we may have a better understanding of the consequences of abortion. I don't think it's scientifically conceivable that a zygote has any capacity for pain or fear. I don't think it's conceivable that a 12-week old fetus does not considering the level of development reached by this point.

Until we understand fetal development much better (and I believe someday we will) I think abortion must be approached with caution. Better to find out that the period of legal abortion fell within the period of non-sentience for the fetus than to come to the horrible realization that we've aborted millions of fetuses with a very real capacity for suffering.

Sorry so long ... I got on a rant.
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16-12-2010, 09:36 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Frodo,

I agree with you. Life begins at fertilization. (but then again, can it be argued that a sperm is alive? An egg?) I didn't word my question very well. What I was getting at was more in line with, "when is it harming the unborn human?" I like where Athnostic is going in terms of needing to know more about consciousness/fear/pain. I just hear different views on when it's ok to abort, and I have to ask what makes an individual draw that conclusion.

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17-12-2010, 04:53 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
No that's a good point athnostic. Peter Singer is fantastic on the subject... he did a great interview with Richard Dawkins. I think it's off topic here tho'. Sure I agree with you there are ethical considerations when dealing with animals and other sentient creatures. Taking a life in this instance is also taking a life even though that life isn't aware. That life would develop into a sentient animal given the chance.

The sperm and egg are alive but they're not humans. Abortion relates to humans, nothing else.

We might measure our position considering other questions of morality. We should be consistent across them.

(thinking out loud - sorry)
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