Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
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15-06-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(15-06-2013 11:01 PM)BryanS Wrote:  
(14-06-2013 01:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Murder" is a legal term. "Taking of life" is not always "murder". Your church sanctions the taking of life, under certain circumstances. "Murder" is not a correct word, in this instance, as it is legal. Your personal view is irrelevant, legally. UNLESS THERE IS A LAW against THAT specific form of the taking of life, it cannot be "murder". There is not. You religious people use that word because it's emotionally charged. It is incorrect. It is a fallacy, legally. Have you no education in civics ?

Please tell us EXACTLY, when liffe begins.
a. sperm approaches egg ?
b. 1st electron of sperm cell enters electron cloud of egg cell ?
c. sperm contacts egg wall ?
d. sperm 1/2 way into egg ?
e. sperm entirely in egg ?
f. DNA of sperm contacts DNA of egg ?
g. DNA replication begins ?
h. DNA replication 0.567534521897 % complete ?
i. 1st DNA replication complete, (poof..soul enters) ?
j. 2nd DNA completes ?
k. zygote forms ?
l. zygote multiplies ?
m. zygote begins to travel ?
l. zygote approaches endometrial wall ?
m. zygote touches endometrial wall ?
n. zygote implants in endometrial wall ?

When, exactly does the fairy godmother "poof in" the soul ?

There are a few more stages between stage 'n' on your list and screaming baby. Hitchens argued for a pro life position from a humanist stand point, but I think he would find his cutoff at some point much later than just implantation. I disagree with late term abortions for the simple reason that we should err on the side of human life. Obviously the life and health of the mother always needs to be respected as well, so in any situation, even in late term, we should not be mandating a mother to sacrifice her wellbeing for the sake of another. I cannot make a firm call for when exactly the fetus is 'human enough', but I feel comfortable that viability out of the womb with normal medical care that would be afforded to a premature infant is a pretty good line that we should use for placing restrictions on elective abortions.

I've debated the topic with some pro choice folks who have a "first scream" rule for when life begins. It is easy to mock the religious for thinking a single cell or small clump of cells is a full human being, but rarely do I see the question asked of pro choice folks on the other end of the fetal development timeline.

Viability outside the womb. That would be my cut off. But here's my stance I don't want any abortions performed for non-medical reasons however for the reasons I listed earlier in this thread I feel the best path to that is Pro Choice. That and my politics are such that I don't want the government involved in a personal decision between a woman and her doctor.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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17-06-2013, 02:50 AM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
An annoying argument they also use is adoptions - they really just fall into what Carlin says - people don't give a shit about you once you're out of the womb.

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17-06-2013, 06:53 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
Just reading a cracked article and someone said that Hitchens was pro life. Any validity to that

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17-06-2013, 06:57 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 06:53 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Just reading a cracked article and someone said that Hitchens was pro life. Any validity to that
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher...s#Abortion
I've heard that before from other sources, but I can't quite remember reading about it in his books.
wikipedia Wrote:Hitchens stated that "[an] unborn child seems to me to be a real concept. It's not a growth or an appendix, You can't say the rights question doesn't come up. I don't think a woman should be forced to choose, or even can be." Although holding a personal anti-abortion position, Hitchens opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, stating, "that will make abortion more like a contraceptive procedure than a surgical one. That's the Hitchens plank, and I think it's a defensible one." Hitchens believed that a fetus should be regarded as an "unborn child", supporting the development of medical abortion techniques, and fundamentally believing in access to contraceptives and reproductive rights in order to prevent surgical abortion altogether.[26] He strongly criticized the encouragement of sexual abstinence within the pro-life movement of the Christian Right.[27]
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17-06-2013, 07:17 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 06:57 PM)amyb Wrote:  
(17-06-2013 06:53 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Just reading a cracked article and someone said that Hitchens was pro life. Any validity to that
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher...s#Abortion
I've heard that before from other sources, but I can't quite remember reading about it in his books.
wikipedia Wrote:Hitchens stated that "[an] unborn child seems to me to be a real concept. It's not a growth or an appendix, You can't say the rights question doesn't come up. I don't think a woman should be forced to choose, or even can be." Although holding a personal anti-abortion position, Hitchens opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, stating, "that will make abortion more like a contraceptive procedure than a surgical one. That's the Hitchens plank, and I think it's a defensible one." Hitchens believed that a fetus should be regarded as an "unborn child", supporting the development of medical abortion techniques, and fundamentally believing in access to contraceptives and reproductive rights in order to prevent surgical abortion altogether.[26] He strongly criticized the encouragement of sexual abstinence within the pro-life movement of the Christian Right.[27]

Hitchens view on abortion is probably the norm on the pro-choice side. Most people who are pro-choice are actually against abortion personally but find the pro-life side too distasteful. I said above I am personally opposed to non-medical abortions (meaning life of the mother) under normal circumstances (ie: not rape/incest) since I believe that there are better ways to prevent the situation. However ultimately I don't think it is any of my or anyone else's business and damn sure not the governments place to decide.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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17-06-2013, 07:25 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 07:17 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(17-06-2013 06:57 PM)amyb Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher...s#Abortion
I've heard that before from other sources, but I can't quite remember reading about it in his books.

Hitchens view on abortion is probably the norm on the pro-choice side. Most people who are pro-choice are actually against abortion personally but find the pro-life side too distasteful. I said above I am personally opposed to non-medical abortions (meaning life of the mother) under normal circumstances (ie: not rape/incest) since I believe that there are better ways to prevent the situation. However ultimately I don't think it is any of my or anyone else's business and damn sure not the governments place to decide.




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17-06-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 07:25 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(17-06-2013 07:17 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Hitchens view on abortion is probably the norm on the pro-choice side. Most people who are pro-choice are actually against abortion personally but find the pro-life side too distasteful. I said above I am personally opposed to non-medical abortions (meaning life of the mother) under normal circumstances (ie: not rape/incest) since I believe that there are better ways to prevent the situation. However ultimately I don't think it is any of my or anyone else's business and damn sure not the governments place to decide.



This is where I recall Hitchens's position on abortion from. He brings up a good point--which I didn't fully develop upthread--that viability seems to be getting pushed back every day. I spelled out that I was ok with the idea of restricting abortions when the fetus is viable with normal medical care. I think pro choice advocates have not fully dealt with the medical intervention question. Let me explain what I mean:

--a premature birth with underdeveloped lungs may require mechanical ventilation
--a nurse who intentionally removes this ventilation for the purpose of killing the infant would be charged with murder
--if all forms of the standard for neonatal care for premature infants are adopted as part of the consideration for determining viability, then viability as a standard will continue to reach back further in the development of the fetus over time
--if the standard medical care available to premature babies goes far back enough, we've accepted a standard that would never permit an abortion if technology ever developed for a real 'test tube baby' that developed entirely outside the womb


To be clear, I'm not advocating we develop technology to allow a fetus to grow entirely outside the womb just to justify eliminating abortion. And I'm not arguing that should such technology ever develop that we need to outlaw all abortions. But if a fetus was fully developed to the point of only needing a bit of breathing assistance, would everyone still think it ok to sanction an abortion because it was not viable on its own?

As I say, it is easy to ridicule the religious position that a fertilized egg or small clump of cells is a human being. But the other end of the timeline is never really explored in the public debate. What say the rest of you?
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17-06-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 07:17 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(17-06-2013 06:57 PM)amyb Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher...s#Abortion
I've heard that before from other sources, but I can't quite remember reading about it in his books.

Hitchens view on abortion is probably the norm on the pro-choice side. Most people who are pro-choice are actually against abortion personally but find the pro-life side too distasteful. I said above I am personally opposed to non-medical abortions (meaning life of the mother) under normal circumstances (ie: not rape/incest) since I believe that there are better ways to prevent the situation. However ultimately I don't think it is any of my or anyone else's business and damn sure not the governments place to decide.

And that's why I was a bit confused while posting that, as a pro choice person I am all for birth control and preventing abortion (I have no problem with early abortions for any reason though).

As for rape/incest, that seems to be denying the fact that birth control fails sometimes, and to say that some abortions are ok in circumstances where the woman didn't have the sex on purpose (that is, didn't enjoy the sex) seems rather misogynistic to me. A fetus is a fetus. Seems rather questionable to base whether or not it is abortable on the woman's motives for having sex.

But I don't think people are going around getting pregnant on purpose just to get abortions, that makes no sense. It's expensive, uncomfortable, and religious nutters bomb clinics, making it potentially unsafe.
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17-06-2013, 08:37 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
I've always thought that the most relevant science in the abortion debate is not biology or embryology but psychology. The question that trumps all others is: how do we relate to the entity that's up for abortion?

To consider the extremes:

A baby in the womb one week prior to its delivery date is just that--a baby. We relate to it as a baby, an infant human being. We feel a sense of kinship, of humanness. It's us–and we know that not because we've done a scientific analysis but because we feel it. Abortion at this stage is abhorrent for the same reason that killing an innocent human being is abhorrent.

On the other hand, a human embryo at 3 weeks is about 1 millimeter long. That's head-of-pin size. Regardless of the DNA and genes and chromosomes it contains, I can't imagine anyone looking at that tiny piece of tissue and feeling any kind of kinship, feeling that it's a human being. We know intellectually that it has the potential of becoming like us, but at this stage it's not us, and we don't relate to it as such. (At least I think that's true for most people.) That's why the majority of people have much less of a problem with very early abortions than with later ones: we don't relate to the entity being aborted as we do to a human being with all the rights and privileges that go along with that status.

So for most people, the endpoints don't present that much of a problem. The question, of course, is where the transition occurs. At what point do we begin to relate to a fetus as a human being? I have no answer to that, except to say that it's not a new variety of problem. Philosophers have been wrestling with such questions for millennia.

Take the ancient Greek Sorites Paradox, for example, sometimes called the Paradox of the Heap. Think of a big pile or heap of sand. You remove exactly one grain of sand. Is what's left still a heap? Of course it is. Now remove another grain. Still a heap? Yes. But you see the problem: If you have an awful lot of time and continue the process to its conclusion, you'll eventually wind up with one grain of sand left. Is that a heap of sand? Obviously not. So the question is, at exactly what point did you go from heap to non-heap?

That, to me, is the issue with abortion. Where is the transition point?

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17-06-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: Pro-lifers and Moral Dilemmas
(17-06-2013 08:31 PM)amyb Wrote:  
(17-06-2013 07:17 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Hitchens view on abortion is probably the norm on the pro-choice side. Most people who are pro-choice are actually against abortion personally but find the pro-life side too distasteful. I said above I am personally opposed to non-medical abortions (meaning life of the mother) under normal circumstances (ie: not rape/incest) since I believe that there are better ways to prevent the situation. However ultimately I don't think it is any of my or anyone else's business and damn sure not the governments place to decide.

And that's why I was a bit confused while posting that, as a pro choice person I am all for birth control and preventing abortion (I have no problem with early abortions for any reason though).

As for rape/incest, that seems to be denying the fact that birth control fails sometimes, and to say that some abortions are ok in circumstances where the woman didn't have the sex on purpose (that is, didn't enjoy the sex) seems rather misogynistic to me. A fetus is a fetus. Seems rather questionable to base whether or not it is abortable on the woman's motives for having sex.

But I don't think people are going around getting pregnant on purpose just to get abortions, that makes no sense. It's expensive, uncomfortable, and religious nutters bomb clinics, making it potentially unsafe.

I am more than willing to admit the ready availability of birth control is necessary for my stance. That is also why I don't believe that my reasoning should be law. This is (and should be) an incredibly difficult choice for most women (there are the odd few that treat it like a form of birth control and have had more than 2 in a calendar year but I don't base my opinions on outliers)

The rape and incest thing is because there was no choice there for the woman and forcing her to carry is raping her again. She should have the option of either having the child or aborting with no flak from anyone else. I'm all for women having sex for fun, just be smart about it. If you don't want kids there are cheaper, easier, and far less invasive ways than abortion. Thats my opinion, I believe it is based on rational thought and at the same time I am willing to accept I may be wrong here.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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