Pro-Life Atheists?
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17-12-2010, 10:42 AM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(17-12-2010 04:53 AM)fr0d0 Wrote:  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)

I guess my question here would be: Is it always wrong to take a life that is unaware? I would say that it is not, otherwise the removal of life support from a person who is brain dead would be morally wrong. I agree that consistency is important, which I don't think is tenable if we suggest that the ending of non-sentient life is the moral equivalent of murder. A human zygote is a potential human life, but it has no capacity for suffering.

I'm sort of playing devil's advocate here since I find these issues so difficult to reconcile.
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17-12-2010, 10:57 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I believe that the argument that life begins at conception and therefore abortion is murder is both wrong, and missing the point. An abortion during the first few weeks is removing something about as sentient as an appendix. To say that it is AS BAD as killing a new born baby just doesn't make any sense in my opinion. The way I see it we don't need to make such claims to argue that abortion is wrong. It is enough to consider the potential of what we are aborting. It could BECOME a human. I have already said why I think this should be enough to make people reconsider their decision to abort.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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17-12-2010, 12:50 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2010 01:16 PM by fr0d0.)
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(17-12-2010 10:42 AM)athnostic Wrote:  I guess my question here would be: Is it always wrong to take a life that is unaware?
Yes if we're talking about the rights and wrongs of taking human life... because that's what it is. Yeah we might not feel so bad about it, because it has no feeling or knowledge as a sentient being. The morality question is nothing to do with emotion. I think.

(17-12-2010 10:42 AM)athnostic Wrote:  I would say that it is not, otherwise the removal of life support from a person who is brain dead would be morally wrong.
We take life support away from the brain dead person assuming their life is all but over.

"For example, a comatose patient who, in the judgment of physicians, shows no sign of ever coming off life support could qualify for ethical non-voluntary euthanasia. However, this is inapplicable to a fetus, which is never at risk of staying inside the womb (cf. life support) indefinitely."

(17-12-2010 10:42 AM)athnostic Wrote:  I'm sort of playing devil's advocate here since I find these issues so difficult to reconcile.
Yes I can relate to that.
(17-12-2010 10:57 AM)ThinkingNorseman Wrote:  The way I see it we don't need to make such claims to argue that abortion is wrong. It is enough to consider the potential of what we are aborting. It could BECOME a human.
Yes I agree
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17-12-2010, 06:15 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I really loved George Carlin [see post #12] he really had a way of expanding a subject.
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17-12-2010, 06:38 PM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
(16-12-2010 02:50 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  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.

That's exactly why I am pro-choice, because it's NOT a clear cut issue whether or not abortion is ethical (apparently there is a difference between morality and ethics, but I do not have the understanding to explain it at this time).
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17-12-2010, 06:51 PM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Indeed, as Carlin put it (and I came to realize separately)-

Life began approximately 3-4 billion years ago. Perhaps in several different places independently, but it began then. A group of naturally existing amino acids grouped together into lipid vacuoles and boom.

Ever since then, I tend to think of life as more of a continuous process.

If "life" begins at conception, that is like saying that at point T it is life but at point T - 0.00000000000000000000000001 it is not life. Placing that arbitrary point of life vs non life at any other point during development presents the same problem. What about the two haploid gametes that formed the zygote? Are they not life? Without them, life would not be possible, just as any other step during the conception process. Is masturbation then immoral?

We can keep tracing the process back and back and back to the very first few organisms (or just one if that was the case). Before this, life was not life, it was just a bunch of molecules. So perhaps the point T shall go here. At point T, the vacuole was life, but at point T - 0.00000001 it was not.

Anytime after that though, life is a continuous process. Organisms are simply messengers of the code of life, as the genome is transferred from one organism to another. Life does not end, it is simply passed on to the next generation since without mortality, evolution is impossible as we know it.

So, in that context, the judgement over whether or not abortion is right or wrong is based upon what will cause the most harm. Does terminating this newly formed messenger of the genetic code cause more harm than letting it live? Or, in more relevant terms, if the baby stays, how will it affect the mother? If there are no negative consequences, then let the baby live and get rid of it at birth if you want (appropriately of course). If there are medical consequences for the mother, or if the baby was the product of rape, or the economic conditions of the mother do not allow for the child, then letting the baby live will cause more harm than good. That's the way I look at it.
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17-12-2010, 07:03 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2010 07:18 PM by fr0d0.)
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
Isn't 'ethical' more of a code of practice? A doctor acting ethically would be acting in accordance with law. His moral stance might be at odds with the same law.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-diff...morals.htm

Hmm.. just read something else where ethics were described as if they were individual ideas or beliefs where morality would be the combination of ethical beliefs.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_an...564497.ece

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Masturbation isn't abortion because the life process hasn't begun. Neither is contraception. The day after pill must be?

I don't think rape or economic reasons for abortion are so clear cut. The child is half the mothers/ it's still an independent life. I wouldn't like to judge that for the mother tho'. A good friend of mine used to say if you wait to be ready for a child you'll never be ready. Until recently people deliberately had lots of kids in the hope that enough would survive to keep them. Overpopulation hits me as an issue here.

Sex is too much fun but it's that way for a reason > the continuation of the species. It seems we're built to shoot ourselves in the foot.
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21-12-2010, 10:10 PM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
I would agree with the school of thought that abortion is wrong on the grounds that it is ending what would be a human life (obviously excusing the oft mentioned special cases). However, one of my big problems I have with staunchly pro-life individuals is the fact that if abortion were outlawed, as they wish it, I feel that desperate mothers-to-be would resort to less savoury methods of disposing of the child and would needlessly put themselves into dangerous situations.
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22-12-2010, 07:18 AM
 
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
as the father of 5 daughters, i would like others to mind their own business, when and how my daughters decide to start and grow their families. its neither the business of the government or any self righteous individual. the last thing and women needs in her decision making is outside interference from someone that is telling her one of her potential decisions is "wrong", those judgmental individuals have nothing at stake, yet want to impose their will and opinion on others that have a very large stake in the game. its easy to climb onto a soapbox and shout out bumper-sticker slogans.... if only life was that easy.
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22-12-2010, 07:56 AM
RE: Pro-Life Atheists?
First of all, beautifully put TruthAddict. I know the time of conception and when life begins is blurry, as proven here by a bunch of extremely rational thinkers splintered in their opinion. I feel that you took one of the best approaches as it. I'm going to incorporate that into my beliefs about abortion.

My beliefs on the topic is based on neurological activity. When focusing on the question "When does life begin?", it's true that half hasn't stopped for 3.5 billion years. I try to reword as "When should we place enough value on this life to outweigh the mother's reasons?", wordy, I know, but more to the point. We get to the completely subjective question of "What makes a human?". Starting chronologically, we have the idea that DNA does. After conception, the ZEF has its own DNA, unique from both parents. But does that makes life? I fail to see how it does. It creates potential life, but potential life is not life.

Then there is the heart beat. The ionic image of life since the dawn of man. I can easily see how people blur the symbolism with reality, but I still don't see how a heart beat makes a life. Living tissue, yes, but that distinct idea of a living human being? I don't think so.

Then we get to the next thing that they say a ZEF has; finger/toe nails. Human lives are not kept in toes, sad to say. Where I think the best idea of when to say that the ZEF is a human life is with neurological activity. Being that I firmly believe that a person's identity, the thing that others call a 'soul', is kept in the brain.

Potential life, however, does carry some weight with me. To qualm that issue, I side with TruthAddict.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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