Question for anti-abortion atheists
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
21-10-2011, 08:11 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
(21-10-2011 08:07 PM)Hierophant Wrote:  A justification for where you draw the line between "abortable" and "not abortable," I assume.

For me, certainly. For the rest of the world .... not so much. I thought I said that.

But, this brings me back to: where do you draw the line?

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2011, 08:26 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
As I said, I'd rather not make this about my position.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2011, 08:39 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
Ok.

Well, unless you've got another question for me, I guess we're done then.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2011, 08:40 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
Nope, that's the only question I want answered...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-10-2011, 11:33 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
All right, well thank you BnW. I guess no one else is going to speak up, so I'll end this here.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2011, 04:24 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
(21-10-2011 08:11 PM)BnW Wrote:  
(21-10-2011 08:07 PM)Hierophant Wrote:  A justification for where you draw the line between "abortable" and "not abortable," I assume.

For me, certainly. For the rest of the world .... not so much. I thought I said that.

But, this brings me back to: where do you draw the line?

Good question. Personally I believe it should be legal as long as the child cannot live outside the womb.

One aspect of the legal abortion regime now in place has been determining when the fetus is "viable" outside the womb as a measure of when the "life" of the fetus is its own (and therefore subject to being protected by the state). In the majority opinion delivered by the court in Roe v. Wade, viability was defined as "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." When the court ruled in 1973, the then-current medical technology suggested that viability could occur as early as 24 weeks. Advances over the past three decades have allowed fetuses that are a few weeks less than 24 weeks old to survive outside the mother's womb. These scientific achievements, while life-saving for premature babies, have made the determination of being "viable" somewhat more complicated. As of 2006, the youngest child to survive a premature birth in the United States was a girl born at the Baptist Hospital of Miami at 21 weeks and 6 days' gestational age.[12]

In comparison to other developed countries, the procedure is more available in the United States in terms of how late the abortion can legally be performed. However, in terms of other aspects such as government funding, privacy for non-adults, or geographical access, some U.S. states are far more restrictive. In most of Europe, elective abortions are only allowed up to 12 weeks (18 weeks in Sweden, 21 weeks in the Netherlands, 24 weeks in Great Britain). In France, unless the fetus is severely deformed or the mother's health is directly at risk, any abortion after the first twelve weeks is illegal. In many countries the right to abortion has been legalized by respective parliaments, while in the U.S. the right to abortion has been deemed a part of a constitutional right to privacy by the Supreme Court.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2011, 05:22 PM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
The problem with the viability argument is that the time interval keeps increasing. If we can grow a baby in a test-tube, then viability is theoretically at conception, and abortion would have to be completely outlawed. That's the problem with this entire argument; when a fetus is viable depends on the moment in time you are asking the question. Given that technology keeps moving back that date, the viability argument becomes increasingly difficult to defend.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-10-2011, 08:50 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2011 08:53 PM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
(23-10-2011 05:22 PM)BnW Wrote:  The problem with the viability argument is that the time interval keeps increasing. If we can grow a baby in a test-tube, then viability is theoretically at conception, and abortion would have to be completely outlawed. That's the problem with this entire argument; when a fetus is viable depends on the moment in time you are asking the question. Given that technology keeps moving back that date, the viability argument becomes increasingly difficult to defend.

True, but it is the only logical time frame we have, as everything else is merely baseless opinion.
You assume that the law cannot be changed periodically to reflect advances in medical science, but that does not make the argument flawed.

A test-tube baby would not really be the same as taking a baby from the womb. However, if we could get to a point where you could take a child from the womb extremely early, then the law would need to be changed based on another standard. Assuming this ever happens, it would still not be a flaw in the argument, as laws and understanding of them change over time.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-10-2011, 07:31 AM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
Any argument (regarding when it is acceptable to abort a human life) that bases its decision on technology is an incredibly weak argument, IMO. It should be a philosophical argument, not a technical one. Yes, the law can be "periodically changed to reflect advances in medical science," but that is irrelevant to the philosophical question of whether or not a particular human life should be protected by law.

As for the original question ...

The original question as proposed illustrates an assumption that is not held by pro-life atheists. The assumption was that a pro-life stance "can only be justified by an implicit or explicit belief in ensoulment at conception." The atheist pro-life folks would disagree. It may be your opinion that a "belief in ensoulment at coneption" is required, but it is not their opinion.

A fetus is not the same lifeform as the mother. It has DNA that is different from the mother's, which (by definition) makes it a separate life form. Whether or not that lifeform is entitled to legal/moral protection is a different question, which is what this discussion is about.

I'm not a pro-life atheist, so I won't go any further speaking for them, but my suggestion would be to look at some of the material here: http://www.l4l.org/library/index.html

The link above is the library page of the Libertarians For Life group. L4L was founded by an atheist libertarian (Doris Gordon). Maybe it will give more you of the answers you're looking for. I have not read many of the arguments but I'd guess that they will give you an atheist's pro-life perspective.

One more point ...

The way you phrased your question (insisting that all pro-life arguments are based on the existence of a soul) is basically the same as a Christian stating that an atheist MUST have faith in order to not believe in God. It is an assumption that immediately irritates a portion of your intended audience, and a poor way to start a discussion.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like mdak06's post
27-10-2011, 09:57 AM
RE: Question for anti-abortion atheists
(27-10-2011 07:31 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  Any argument (regarding when it is acceptable to abort a human life) that bases its decision on technology is an incredibly weak argument, IMO. It should be a philosophical argument, not a technical one. Yes, the law can be "periodically changed to reflect advances in medical science," but that is irrelevant to the philosophical question of whether or not a particular human life should be protected by law.

Ok, this is a good point and it is what I was trying to get at. Currently, the US laws that allow for abortion are based off a 40 year old Supreme Court decision that breaks pregnancy into trimesters and deals with, to a certain extent, the viability of the fetus. The problem with that argument is that in a given period of time when a fetus can survive outside the womb will change as medical science advances. In 1971 a baby born before the 3rd trimester had absolutely zero chance of surviving. That is no longer the case. So, the fallacy the law is built upon fails. At some point, we will be able to take a fertilized egg out of the womb and grow it outside the mother's womb. At that point, how do you justify keeping abortion legal?

Pro-choice organizations inherently recognize this problem and it has been decades since they have focused on the viability issue. They generally dismiss that argument altogether and focus instead on the mother's "right" to an abortion. The problem with that argument, for me, is where does the mother's "right" end and the babies begin? Now, historically, an unborn baby had no rights and no protection. You could not be charged for the murder of an unborn child, and you could not sue on behalf of an unborn baby. In that context, the mother's rights to an abortion should have always been absolute, but abortion seemed to be the one area where a fetus did have some legal protection.

Over the past several years, and in the wake of some high profile cases, there have been pushes in several states to create laws to protect unborn children. So, in the case of Scott Peterson who murdered his pregnant wife, there was a feeling that the unborn baby was murdered as well and he should have been charged with two crimes. Women's groups have been put in a tough position on this. The way these laws are presented is it provides additional protections for the happily expectant mother as otherwise men would be running up to punch her in the stomach without fear of criminal consequences. But, there is absolutely an anti-abortion undercurrent to these laws and they can - and most likely will - be used to further anti-abortion laws.

So, yes, I agree with you that there needs to be a philosophical discussion on this and any law needs to be based on philosophy and not medical arguments because those are fleeting. I 100% agree with you on this and that was my initial point on this.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: