What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
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31-03-2014, 04:38 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  A strongly puritan (as in derived from bases of purity/corruption) moral framework does not operate the way you do and are assuming others do.

You cannot challenge a deontological precept by arguing to utilitarian consequences.
Utilitarianism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, usually defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.

I don't agree with Utilitarianism, I would not make an argument towards utilitarian consequences

(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Laws exist for reasons regardless. If you wish to argue all such proponents are hypocritical in claiming the above, I guess that's an option, but then what possible motive remains?
When NZ legalised gay marriage, we had many reader comments in our national newspaper with many people saying gay marriage is immoral, blah, blah.
It seems for some people they think the purpose of law is to create a moral and just society.
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 03:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But when people merely refer to morality (e.g. we can't allow it because it is immoral) then that does not allow for considered and respectful discussion.

Eh? Of course it still does.

Even if a moral position is not held for rational reasons it is still amenable to change based on personal experience.
Do you think it is possible to debate with a devout Catholic whether abortion if moral or not?

(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That you are a selfish utilitarian doesn't mean that for things to be discussed means they have to be discussed as per your paradigm...
I'm not a utilitarian.
It seems that my labels would be "atheist", "amoral", "rational egoist".
And no, I don't think people have to discuss as per my paradigm, its just that I find if a person appeals to moral beliefs then that does not leave me with room to debate. I can't tell them that their personal opinion is incorrect because they haven't articulated a goal for which their reasoning can be assessed against.
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Nah, that's just up to the people involved.

If killing cells (or, say, animals) is permissible and killing humans is not (or at least not under such conditions) then the difference between a human and a group of cells is fundamental.
And that's the problem I have with it.
To me it appears that they have an end goal. They want abortion to be allowed. So they then try to justify why a fetus isn't human.
Clearly a fetus is human. It has human DNA why does this need to be denied?
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31-03-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  A strongly puritan (as in derived from bases of purity/corruption) moral framework does not operate the way you do and are assuming others do.

You cannot challenge a deontological precept by arguing to utilitarian consequences.
I don't agree with Utilitarianism, I would not make an argument towards utilitarian consequences

I know what it is, thanks. That was shorthand for referring to a combination of things; that you were framing the question in terms of social utility ("does it cause violence?") earlier and that you are nonetheless judging acts by how their consequences may be measured.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Laws exist for reasons regardless. If you wish to argue all such proponents are hypocritical in claiming the above, I guess that's an option, but then what possible motive remains?
When NZ legalised gay marriage, we had many reader comments in our national newspaper with many people saying gay marriage is immoral, blah, blah.
It seems for some people they think the purpose of law is to create a moral and just society.

More or less.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Eh? Of course it still does.

Even if a moral position is not held for rational reasons it is still amenable to change based on personal experience.
Do you think it is possible to debate with a devout Catholic whether abortion if moral or not?

That depends on how willing they are to self-examine.

... a variable which is entirely unrelated to the specifics of their beliefs.

(unless devout is here taken to refer to that lack of will; a justifiable definition, I suppose - but one which occurs in a subset of any ideological adherents)

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That you are a selfish utilitarian doesn't mean that for things to be discussed means they have to be discussed as per your paradigm...
I'm not a utilitarian.

See above.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It seems that my labels would be "atheist", "amoral", "rational egoist".

I fail to see much of a difference between personal utility and generalised personal (ie, mutual) utility so far as fundamentals go. Egoism is a moral stance insofar as it is a mechanism by which the question "should I do X" is answerable. Meh.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  And no, I don't think people have to discuss as per my paradigm, its just that I find if a person appeals to moral beliefs then that does not leave me with room to debate.

I don't see that as a meaningful distinction.

If someone appeals to merely stating their beliefs, that's unproductive, but as I said above, that's a different matter.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I can't tell them that their personal opinion is incorrect because they haven't articulated a goal for which their reasoning can be assessed against.

Not by your standards.

You're still free to examine why and how they form the judgements they do.
(ie, even if someone is literally such a caricature the sum total of their reasoning is "social corruption is bad", they're still able to debate what constitutes corruption; only if they cannot substantiate anything beyond that is discussion unproductive)

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Nah, that's just up to the people involved.

If killing cells (or, say, animals) is permissible and killing humans is not (or at least not under such conditions) then the difference between a human and a group of cells is fundamental.
And that's the problem I have with it.
To me it appears that they have an end goal. They want abortion to be allowed. So they then try to justify why a fetus isn't human.

... but that's making a gigantic and unjustified assumption as to what other people are thinking!

And in fact oftentimes expressly contradicting their statements to the contrary. So there's that.

(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Clearly a fetus is human. It has human DNA why does this need to be denied?

A corpse has human DNA. A hard drive may have human DNA.

That definition is entirely insufficient.

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31-03-2014, 07:16 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 06:54 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It seems that my labels would be "atheist", "amoral", "rational egoist".
I fail to see much of a difference between personal utility and generalised personal (ie, mutual) utility so far as fundamentals go. Egoism is a moral stance insofar as it is a mechanism by which the question "should I do X" is answerable. Meh.
There is a difference between ethical egoist and rational egoist.
I make no claim as to what people should do, nor do I make a claim as to what I should do.
Although of course, I am much more qualified to make decisions for myself than for anyone else.
(31-03-2014 06:54 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 04:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Clearly a fetus is human. It has human DNA why does this need to be denied?

A corpse has human DNA. A hard drive may have human DNA.

That definition is entirely insufficient.
And of course a human corpse is human.
I don't know what to say about a hard drive made of human DNA, do these exist?
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31-03-2014, 07:27 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 07:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 06:54 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I fail to see much of a difference between personal utility and generalised personal (ie, mutual) utility so far as fundamentals go. Egoism is a moral stance insofar as it is a mechanism by which the question "should I do X" is answerable. Meh.
There is a difference between ethical egoist and rational egoist.
I make no claim as to what people should do, nor do I make a claim as to what I should do.

So long as you are rationalising your own actions, I'm pretty sure you're making a claim as to what you should do.

Or else you wouldn't do it.

(31-03-2014 07:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 06:54 PM)cjlr Wrote:  A corpse has human DNA. A hard drive may have human DNA.

That definition is entirely insufficient.
And of course a human corpse is human.

... is it? That's an interesting claim. It's not alive.

(31-03-2014 07:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I don't know what to say about a hard drive made of human DNA, do these exist?

I mean that a unique DNA sequence can be written to memory. A unique DNA sequence can be composed by a computer.

"Possessed of a human DNA sequence" is not a sufficient determinant of what is human.

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31-03-2014, 07:38 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 07:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  So long as you are rationalising your own actions, I'm pretty sure you're making a claim as to what you should do.

Or else you wouldn't do it.
That's not true.
People do often act irrationally. I sometimes act irrationally.
I don't believe that we are under any moral obligation to behave rationally.

(31-03-2014 07:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  And of course a human corpse is human.

... is it? That's an interesting claim. It's not alive.
Agreed. Not all humans are alive.

(31-03-2014 07:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I don't know what to say about a hard drive made of human DNA, do these exist?

I mean that a unique DNA sequence can be written to memory. A unique DNA sequence can be composed by a computer.

"Possessed of a human DNA sequence" is not a sufficient determinant of what is human.
Fair enough and also need to realise that there is no perfect human DNA code. We are all deviations of what is generally considered human.
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31-03-2014, 07:46 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  That's not true.
People do often act irrationally. I sometimes act irrationally.
I don't believe that we are under any moral obligation to behave rationally.

Rational and moral are not strictly overlapping terms. Much of 'morality' is emotional or intuitive.

(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  ... is it? That's an interesting claim. It's not alive.
Agreed. Not all humans are alive.

On the one hand - no shit. Dead people exist as a physical and social legacy.

On the other - that means whether something is human or not is a totally meaningless answer to the question of whether it is reasonable to kill it.

Whether it is a living human is. Then one need define 'living', and distinguish living cells with human DNA (your earlier proviso) from a living human being.

(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Fair enough and also need to realise that there is no perfect human DNA code. We are all deviations of what is generally considered human.

Well, technically without an ideal there can be no deviation...
Big Grin

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31-03-2014, 08:05 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 07:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  That's not true.
People do often act irrationally. I sometimes act irrationally.
I don't believe that we are under any moral obligation to behave rationally.

Rational and moral are not strictly overlapping terms. Much of 'morality' is emotional or intuitive.
Agreed. Claiming that something is irrational doesn't necessarily mean that it is immoral. I make no claims as to whether something is immoral.

(31-03-2014 07:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Agreed. Not all humans are alive.
On the other - that means whether something is human or not is a totally meaningless answer to the question of whether it is reasonable to kill it.
Yes, agreed, so I don't know why a person feels the need to dehumanise a fetus in order to hold a position on whether abortion should or shouldn't be legal.

(31-03-2014 07:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Whether it is a living human is. Then one need define 'living', and distinguish living cells with human DNA (your earlier proviso) from a living human being.
Do you agree that a fetus is living and human?

(31-03-2014 07:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Fair enough and also need to realise that there is no perfect human DNA code. We are all deviations of what is generally considered human.

Well, technically without an ideal there can be no deviation...
Big Grin
You don't need an ideal in order to recognise that deviations are present. Just compare the DNA of two different humans. Notice that they are different in some ways. Thus they deviate from each other. Thumbsup
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31-03-2014, 08:40 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 08:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 07:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Whether it is a living human is. Then one need define 'living', and distinguish living cells with human DNA (your earlier proviso) from a living human being.
Do you agree that a fetus is living and human?

No.

You need to define terms here. What are the bounds?

Is a fertilized ovum living and human?
It is neither able to survive apart from a host nor is it a human being as it has no brain, no organs, no nervous system.

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31-03-2014, 08:54 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 08:40 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(31-03-2014 08:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Do you agree that a fetus is living and human?

No.

You need to define terms here. What are the bounds?

Is a fertilized ovum living and human?
It is neither able to survive apart from a host nor is it a human being as it has no brain, no organs, no nervous system.
the boundaries of life are a bit murky going by this document Defining Life
But I think it is pretty clear that a fetus is well within those boundaries.

It is human because it has human DNA.

I'm not sure about this quasi-definition of human being or personhood.
Are these definitions really important with regards to your own stance on abortion?
Or do you simply think it's not your own business to interfere?
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31-03-2014, 09:03 PM
RE: What is Your Thinking On Abortion ?
(31-03-2014 08:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Yes, agreed, so I don't know why a person feels the need to dehumanise a fetus in order to hold a position on whether abortion should or shouldn't be legal.

It's not dehumanising if they actually don't think it's a living human being.

Calling a dog a dog is not dehumanising it.

(31-03-2014 08:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Do you agree that a fetus is living and human?

Yes under the very broad definition of 'human' you gave previously, and insofar as it contains living cells.

No, so far as being comparable to you or I is concerned.

(31-03-2014 08:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You don't need an ideal in order to recognise that deviations are present. Just compare the DNA of two different humans. Notice that they are different in some ways. Thus they deviate from each other. Thumbsup

That's not what deviate means, though; deviation is from a norm or reference. Mere difference isn't enough to warrant the term!

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