Question for anti-abortion atheists
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17-10-2011, 03:37 AM
Question for anti-abortion atheists
I understand that there are some anti-abortion atheists on this forum. I already sent my question to the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League, but I figured asking people directly on this forum wouldn't hurt either.

I am interested in hearing from anti-abortion atheists on the following question:

How do you reconcile being an atheist with the fact that the proposition "life/consciousness/personhood/beingness/etc begins at conception" can only be justified by an implicit or explicit belief in ensoulment at conception?

Furthermore, if you actually believe that the proposition "life/consciousness/personhood/beingness/etc begins at conception" can be justified by some other means than an implicit or explicit belief in ensoulment at conception, then what is this justification? (I do not believe that such a justification exists, but I am open to suggestions)
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17-10-2011, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2011 02:25 PM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
That is a damn good question, and one that baffles me as well. It is common knowledge that humans lack compassion for people, whom they do not know. Yet, with unborn children its a completely different story.

(I do not believe that such a justification exists)
Nor do I, but I would go a step further and state that such a justification CANNOT exist.
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17-10-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
I am pro-abortion but I would hazard a guess towards the preservation of all human life being a big reason for anti-abortion sentiments among the non-believing groups. I am anti-war and anti-death penalty but pro-choice. The last one is the only one that does not really fit if you stop and think about it. I would assume that there are those who simply value all life above death because this life is the only one we get. As a result they may tend to side with pro-life in the sense that it is better for an individual to be born and given a chance at life (with the mother or through adoption) as opposed to never experiencing the one life they will get. Good question though.

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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17-10-2011, 02:59 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
TheBeardedDude, not addressing you directly but I just want to make clear that I am not really interested in arguing why the anti-abortion atheists are right or wrong. I just want to get their input on this specific question. As it is the foundational belief of anti-abortion positions, I think they should have answers to my question.
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17-10-2011, 03:06 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
I see what you are saying, but I am not sure that they would try to make any argument about the baby being a "conscious being" and that being the reason for the anti-abortion standpoint. I mean, there are those who are vegan because they don't like the idea of killing any animal (never mind the killing of plants though!) and I would hazard the guess that this viewpoint of preservation of all life is at least part of it. Since I am not of the anti-abortion viewpoint I am obviously speculating.

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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17-10-2011, 03:17 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
But isn't about 4th to 5th week when the fetus develops a brain or a 'concision' I wouldn't really abort it then. The fetus can survive out of the womb at the 25th week

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18-10-2011, 01:10 AM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
Doesn't seem like any anti-abortion advocate is responding. Are they not seeing this thread, or not desirous to respond for some reason? I am not out for a fight, my intention is not to contradict you, if that's what you fear. I really want to know how you think.
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18-10-2011, 07:55 AM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
(17-10-2011 03:37 AM)Hierophant Wrote:  How do you reconcile being an atheist with the fact that the proposition "life/consciousness/personhood/beingness/etc begins at conception" can only be justified by an implicit or explicit belief in ensoulment at conception?

I am vehemently anti-abortion and I explicitly reject the assumption in this sentence. All human life is to be preserved, as a moral imperative. A human being is not a "mistake" that one does away with down a drain so as to prevent an inconveniencing the parent.

I would write significantly more on this if I had the time, but I have a test to go to in 20 minutes and a term paper to write. Rest assured I'll return to this topic within a week.

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18-10-2011, 08:21 AM (This post was last modified: 18-10-2011 08:27 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
I can imagine one slogan of conservative, self-righteous atheists: that lovely catch-all of social abrogation, "personal responsibility". She got herself knocked up, why should I spend my hard-earned $$ helping her out? There is also the not wasting potential food argument, but i think Observer's is a minority opinion.

Okay, seriously.
One problem with this issue is the framing and naming:
Pro-life isn't really about life. Though its advocates generally oppose sex education and other methods of birth control, it basically just means refusing a woman the right to an abortion. Once the baby is born, pro-lifers don't give a sff whether it has the material support to keep living, or how well.
Pro-choice means only the option of surgically terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Pro-choicers, though they generally also advocate sex education and birth control, are not much interested in providing any other choices for a pregnant woman.
None of this is concern for the baby's soul: the conflict is over control of reproduction in general and women in particular: different attitudes toward social structure.

So.... I don't believe in souls. I am both pro-choice and pro-life. I'm concerned with overpopulation and unwanted children and how both affect everyone's quality of life.
I think boys and girls should be equal, well educated in life skills, in birth control, in individual rights and social responsibility. Conception and disease prevention methods of every kind should be free to all sexually active persons of any age, without hassle or stigma. Research into better, safer, more effective birth control should be publicly funded and universally available.
If an unwanted pregnancy occurs in spite of these safeguards, the pregnant woman should have counseling to make the decision that's best for her: 1. to give birth and keep the baby, with community support and no diminution in standard of living, schooling or job advancement; 2. to give birth and place the baby for adoption - with maternity leave and no loss, etc. 3. to terminate, with sick leave and emotional support, if and as needed.
Don't worry about how much this approach would cost: i guarantee it's far, far less than filling the world with unhealthy, unhappy, hopeless and futureless people.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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18-10-2011, 11:38 AM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
I don't consider myself "pro-life" because I find the screaming hysterics and many of the motivations and tactics of the pro-life movement to be abhorrent. However, I'm absolutely not pro-abortion and find many of the pro-choice crowd to come off as elitist and dismissive. See the above "conservative, self-righteous atheists" comment as one example.

As for the question itself, I think there is a point where an unborn child is a life and deserves protection. I'm not sure when that is, exactly. As the father of two sons I know when I saw their 12 week scans and saw their hearts beating, at that point I was convinced they were alive irrespective of whether they could survive outside of the womb or not. I said in another thread that no one has imparted some special wisdom or sagacity upon me that gives me the ability to determine what is best for society, so I'm not in any position to say at what point abortion should be prohibited. I do think, however, that the argument as it is had today is extremely intellectually dishonest. To hear the pro-choice crowd tell it, if a mother is in labor and about to deliver, until that baby is expelled from the womb the mother has the right to choose not to have that kid, as if this is some kind of sacrosanct right. There is nothing about that argument I do not find repulsive.

Unfortunately, this debate is dominated by religious zealots on one side and absolutist, who live and die by the "slippery slope" argument, on the other and the argument is always couched in "all or nothing" terms which I think serves no one's interest. The left can agree that there is a point where it is no longer a "choice", the right can agree that making a rape victim have the baby of her attacker is immoral or that a mother maybe can have a life threatening illness during pregnancy where the treatment can result in aborting the baby. Neither side is ever willing to give an inch, though, and we end up instead with judicially created solutions that make no one happy.

Oh, one point I will make before closing out: I think Roe v. Wade was a horrendous decision, was absolutely a case of legislating from the bench, that the Court went well beyond their authority, and the decision should be reversed. I also think that, unless Obama gets to replace one of the current conservative judges, which is unlikely (but not impossible), it is a matter of time before the decision is reversed.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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