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  #101  
Old 10-31-2017, 03:46 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
I feel like I'm repeating myself, but I'll say it again. Fertilized egg = human. Some have no chance of implantation, whether due to never being in the womb or for some reason the environment is hostile to implantation (from hormonal birth control's rare case where egg fertilization occurs). The part you seem so hung on is me accepting this sort of birth control as being fine even though there is a small chance of egg fertilization occurring.
Yes. Because if you accept that sort of birth control, then you have no logical rationale for opposing, say, the "morning-after" pill, which also works by producing a uterine environment hostile to implantation (in addition to preventing ovulation and fertilization, just as regular birth-control pills do).

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Originally Posted by nate
Well, it's not fine, but it does help minimize abortions due to the overwhelming primary mechanism of preventing fertilization in the first place.
So you're willing to condone occasional murder of human beings as long as there was a good-faith effort to prevent human beings from being there in the first place?

The problem with your argument is that you almost certainly wouldn't consider such a compromise acceptable in the case of actual born human beings. You would not say, for example, that it's okay for a driver to deliberately run over a toddler in the street as long as there was a fairly effective sidewalk barrier that prevented most toddlers from getting into the street.

If a fertilized egg is a fully human person, then you can't logically condone the killing of fertilized eggs any more than you would condone the killing of any other fully human persons. Your willingness to accept a double standard on this issue is an indication that deep down you don't actually regard fertilized eggs as fully equivalent to human persons, although you may want to believe you do.
  #102  
Old 10-31-2017, 03:51 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
There is still the problem of when fathers do not want to be parents but become one against their will because the pregnancy is brought to term. They do not have the option of aborting the pregnancy to avoid parenthood. I think the only solution is to allow both parents to relinquish all rights and responsibilities at the time of birth.
If by "both" you mean "both individually", where either parent is allowed to relinquish rights and responsibilities irrespective of what the other parent wants, then yes, IMO that fixes the problem I had with your original argument.

(It probably creates a bigger problem for society in terms of providing adequate support to children unwanted by their biological parents, but that's another issue.)
  #103  
Old 10-31-2017, 04:04 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
All the rest of your argument seems reasonable and consistent to me, but this bit not so much. I think if we're operating with the two principles "Fetal life should be protected except where such protection conflicts with the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy" and "The primary responsibility for supporting children, wanted or unwanted, rests with their biological parents", then a living premature infant remains the responsibility of its biological mother and father unless they both agree to surrender the child for adoption.

AFAICT, abortion rights are about the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy in her own body, not about her right to relinquish responsibility for an unwanted existing child. If a pregnancy termination procedure results in a living child instead of a dead fetus, the woman has successfully exercised her right to terminate her pregnancy, but she now has a living child.

That child consequently should remain its mother's and father's responsibility unless they both decide to transfer that responsibility elsewhere by adopting out the child. Just as a child born from a non-terminated pregnancy is its mother's and father's responsibility unless they both relinquish parental rights, whether or not either or both of them wanted the child.

ETA: As MandaJO said in her ninja way.
I understand what you are saying. What I am saying is that is not ideal for an unwanted child. Not everyone who can be a parent, should be a parent, least of all someone who doesn't want to be a parent. It doesn't seem fair to the child to saddle them with one or two parents who don't want them. We already have safe haven laws that permit parents to anonymously drop off newly born infants in a safe place to prevent infanticide. If a child cannot be adopted and the parent is known, the state often requires parents to remain financially obligated to the child to relieve the burden on the taxpayer. But why relieve the burden of the taxpayer when the alternative is abortion.

A pregnant woman with severe financial instability, might consider abortion be a valid reason solution to the avoid the protracted and considerable financial expense of a child. Adoption is an option, but not a requirement. If the state, and by extension society, values that life and decides that financial instability is not a moral reason to abort, it should be ready to accept financial support of the resulting child.
  #104  
Old 10-31-2017, 04:37 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
I understand what you are saying. What I am saying is that is not ideal for an unwanted child. Not everyone who can be a parent, should be a parent, least of all someone who doesn't want to be a parent. It doesn't seem fair to the child to saddle them with one or two parents who don't want them. We already have safe haven laws that permit parents to anonymously drop off newly born infants in a safe place to prevent infanticide. If a child cannot be adopted and the parent is known, the state often requires parents to remain financially obligated to the child to relieve the burden on the taxpayer. But why relieve the burden of the taxpayer when the alternative is abortion.

A pregnant woman with severe financial instability, might consider abortion be a valid reason solution to the avoid the protracted and considerable financial expense of a child. Adoption is an option, but not a requirement. If the state, and by extension society, values that life and decides that financial instability is not a moral reason to abort, it should be ready to accept financial support of the resulting child.
So what if a person wants to keep a child but can't afford to because the other parent has decided to "abort" their responsibilities?

Abortion rights are not founded on the right to not be a parent. That's obscene--which is why we don't have "abortion" for men. Abortion rights are founded on bodily autonomy.
  #105  
Old 10-31-2017, 05:15 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
I think elective abortion is one of those things we look back on 1000 years from now and wonder how we were so barbaric. I don't think it would be practical to make it illegal as there would have to be exceptions for the health of the mother and that would ultimately be a subjective decision. I do think using abortion as a form of birth control should be illegal. In order to get an abortion, there should be a doctor involved in the process that will vouch for the medical necessity of it. So, yes, I'd like it to be illegal but with exceptions.

Edit to add: I completely agree with you on the state providing free birth control.
Again, make clear your point. How illegal. Let's suppose we make you, nate, dictator for life, and you have absolute power to decide what is illegal and what isn't, and what punishment is to be carried out.

How would you punish a women who sought out and got a back alley abortion?

How would you punish a doctor who provided that abortion?

Would you allow your police forces to investigate cases where they detected, through surveillance of some sort, that a woman was pregnant, and then later was found to not be pregnant without giving birth?

For example, if she went to a doctor, that doctor noted in her file that she was pregnant, then after 9 months passed, an automated script noted that no birth was recorded. Would cops be authorized to investigate what happened?

Would the blood of women miscarrying at a hospital be checked for abortion drugs?

Pro-life people generally answer "yes" and "lots and lots of prison time or execution" to all the above questions.

Assuming you say yes, your weak feeling that a blastocyst is a person is your justification for all this, right? Nothing concrete, just a feeling that deciding one is a person is "more logically consistent".

Last edited by SamuelA; 10-31-2017 at 05:16 PM.
  #106  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:05 PM
nate nate is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
So, what part of your question, if any, do you feel requires a fuller answer than I already gave? Ask away.

And in the meantime, how do you defend your logically inconsistent argument about considering human personhood to start at fertilization but allowing the destruction of fertilized eggs in some circumstances?
So your idea is to gradually give the fetus increasing human rights, to where at some point it would be illegal to elect to abort (w/ medical exceptions). So at some point during this gestation the fetus gains the right to live regardless of the mother's wishes. You can't really pin this point down, but mention viability outside the womb. But this varies from fetus to fetus and is completely dependent on contemporary medical technology, not to mention it opens up the illogical scenario of being able to kill the fetus one day and not the next. At least my answer to when a human gains personhood doesn't have these problems.
  #107  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:14 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
So your idea is to gradually give the fetus increasing human rights, to where at some point it would be illegal to elect to abort (w/ medical exceptions). So at some point during this gestation the fetus gains the right to live regardless of the mother's wishes. You can't really pin this point down, but mention viability outside the womb. But this varies from fetus to fetus and is completely dependent on contemporary medical technology, not to mention it opens up the illogical scenario of being able to kill the fetus one day and not the next.
Right, in order to implement it in a legally consistent way we'd have to draw an arbitrary line to define some kind of theoretical "viability boundary" that wouldn't accurately describe the individual variation among pregnancies. Which is in fact what most abortion-rights legislation does, which I think is a reasonable compromise.

Sure, it's arbitrary and doesn't properly represent the science of human development, as I've been saying all along. But that's because biology is inherently messy like that.

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Originally Posted by nate
At least my answer to when a human gains personhood doesn't have these problems.
The trouble is that your answer has even more glaring logical inconsistencies that you've apparently chosen to ignore. Are you ever going to address those, by the way? For starters, the inconsistency of your accepting that sometimes it's okay to kill a fertilized egg (e.g., with a birth control pill) and sometimes not (e.g., with a "morning-after" pill that uses exactly the same chemical mechanisms as a birth control pill)?
  #108  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:14 PM
nate nate is offline
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Again, make clear your point. How illegal. Let's suppose we make you, nate, dictator for life, and you have absolute power to decide what is illegal and what isn't, and what punishment is to be carried out.

How would you punish a women who sought out and got a back alley abortion?

How would you punish a doctor who provided that abortion?

Would you allow your police forces to investigate cases where they detected, through surveillance of some sort, that a woman was pregnant, and then later was found to not be pregnant without giving birth?

For example, if she went to a doctor, that doctor noted in her file that she was pregnant, then after 9 months passed, an automated script noted that no birth was recorded. Would cops be authorized to investigate what happened?

Would the blood of women miscarrying at a hospital be checked for abortion drugs?

Pro-life people generally answer "yes" and "lots and lots of prison time or execution" to all the above questions.

Assuming you say yes, your weak feeling that a blastocyst is a person is your justification for all this, right? Nothing concrete, just a feeling that deciding one is a person is "more logically consistent".
In my dictatorship, elective abortion would be illegal except with a medical exemption from a doctor. Investigations into miscarriages would be incredibly rare. Doctors performing the abortions without bona fide exemptions may be prosecuted (for example, a doctor approving and performing several abortions a day on the 1st visit from the patients would probably be ripe for investigation/prosecution/jail time).

Last edited by nate; 10-31-2017 at 06:15 PM.
  #109  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:25 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
In my dictatorship, elective abortion would be illegal except with a medical exemption from a doctor. Investigations into miscarriages would be incredibly rare.
Really? Because a dictator who genuinely believed that fetuses were equivalent to fully human persons would insist on investigating any unexplained death among them.

If a toddler dies in an apparent accident, for example, you bet your boots the police investigate that death. You don't think a dead embryo or fetus is important enough to deserve the same consideration as an individual?


See, nate, the problem a lot of posters are having with your positions here isn't that we object to your rather woolly but apparently well-intentioned desire to protect human life. It's that your positions are so inconsistently and illogically formulated that you keep tripping over your self-contradictions at every step.

You are enjoying the self-righteous feeling of believing that you have a logical and humane stance on human personhood, while glossing over all the built-in assumptions that contradict what you claim to believe.
  #110  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:37 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Except that something like 1/4 of all pregnancies end in some sort of miscarriage. Since deaths of post-birth children is several orders of magnitude lower than that, a different threshold for when an investigation should ensue is neither unreasonable nor illogical.
  #111  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:42 PM
nate nate is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post

The trouble is that your answer has even more glaring logical inconsistencies that you've apparently chosen to ignore. Are you ever going to address those, by the way? For starters, the inconsistency of your accepting that sometimes it's okay to kill a fertilized egg (e.g., with a birth control pill) and sometimes not (e.g., with a "morning-after" pill that uses exactly the same chemical mechanisms as a birth control pill)?
I don't understand why you are so hung up on this. We make compromises because well, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Until we figure out a flawless way of preventing fertilization, a method with flaws would be used because it is a step in the right direction. I maintain that fertilization is the most logical beginning to human life, so a birth control that, when effective at preventing pregnancy, prevents 99% of fertilizations and the other 1% is prevented from implantation (I don't know the actual statistics, just that the later case is "rare"), it is still far superior to the alternative of aborting all. Ideally, we would eventually have methods that prevent fertilization 100% of the time, but until we do, we go with the best we have. I don't understand the "got cha!" you seem to be implying.
  #112  
Old 10-31-2017, 06:46 PM
nate nate is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Really? Because a dictator who genuinely believed that fetuses were equivalent to fully human persons would insist on investigating any unexplained death among them.

If a toddler dies in an apparent accident, for example, you bet your boots the police investigate that death. You don't think a dead embryo or fetus is important enough to deserve the same consideration as an individual?


See, nate, the problem a lot of posters are having with your positions here isn't that we object to your rather woolly but apparently well-intentioned desire to protect human life. It's that your positions are so inconsistently and illogically formulated that you keep tripping over your self-contradictions at every step.

You are enjoying the self-righteous feeling of believing that you have a logical and humane stance on human personhood, while glossing over all the built-in assumptions that contradict what you claim to believe.
I don't think a dead fetus warrants the investigation of a dead toddler, for practical reasons. At least with today's technology it would be nearly impossible to prove the mother did not naturally miscarry, and in my world this would be the assumption except in edge cases where the mother admits to killing the fetus.
  #113  
Old 10-31-2017, 07:48 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Except that something like 1/4 of all pregnancies end in some sort of miscarriage. Since deaths of post-birth children is several orders of magnitude lower than that, a different threshold for when an investigation should ensue is neither unreasonable nor illogical.
Why? People in their eighties, for example, die at a much higher rate than people in their twenties. But when an 80-year-old dies of unknown causes, it still gets investigated.

Your objection is simply another way of saying that it's impractical to treat embryos and fetuses as fully human persons because they are so often undetectable and ephemeral. I couldn't agree more. Which is why we shouldn't disingenuously bestow on them some kind of formal status as fully human persons and then disregard aspects of their human rights that are inconvenient to deal with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nate
We make compromises because well, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Until we figure out a flawless way of preventing fertilization, a method with flaws would be used because it is a step in the right direction.
But we don't make compromises on actual murder. If somebody proposed that drivers should be allowed to run down children in the street as long as we had a highly effective system for keeping children out of the street in the first place, nobody would accept such a compromise.

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Originally Posted by nate
I maintain that fertilization is the most logical beginning to human life
But you are stubbornly unwilling to consistently follow through on treating the human rights of a fertilized egg as genuinely equal to the human rights of a fully human person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate
[...] so a birth control that, when effective at preventing pregnancy, prevents 99% of fertilizations and the other 1% is prevented from implantation (I don't know the actual statistics, just that the later case is "rare"), it is still far superior to the alternative of aborting all.
When we're talking about actual human persons, we don't try to argue that murdering one person should be acceptable and legal because at least it's better than murdering a hundred people.

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Originally Posted by nate
I don't think a dead fetus warrants the investigation of a dead toddler, for practical reasons.
Then you shouldn't be basing your arguments on the claim that you consider a fetus to be equivalent in personhood to a toddler, because clearly you don't.
  #114  
Old 10-31-2017, 08:31 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
And then they proceed from there to argue that they should have the legal right and power to take over another person's body even more thoroughly. I don't deny that some people make the argument, but the argument isn't at all coherent.
No, they don't. There is no taking over a second body. There is simply removing it from the first body. Eviction and "taking over" are not the same action. No one is going inside the baby to make its body do something it would ordinarily not do. It is simply being forcibly removed, just like evicting someone from a house.

You also make the mistake of assuming personhood alone determines value. I can very much argue that the fetus is a person, but the mother, having had actual experiences and an ability to feel, is a more valuable person. I can argue there is less harm in letting the fetus person die than to require the mother person to go through the pain of pregnancy. (This is especially convincing when the mother would have health problems and might die herself.)

The main issue is that, for atheism to argue a pro-life stance, it must appeal to something outside the rational world. It must assert a value to human life that must come from somewhere besides mere rationality. It must come from a belief system. And then it's hardly an "atheist" argument. It's an argument based on that belief system.

But that is also true of a pro-choice stance, really. No pro-choice stance is atheistic, either. There is nothing in atheism that requires one way or the other. Why would not believing in God obligate you to have a particular opinion on abortion?

In that regard, a stance an atheist could make is that abortion is wrong because some alien told them so. Heck, the alien could be an angel, as long as the angel exists without a god.
  #115  
Old 10-31-2017, 08:35 PM
nate nate is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Why? People in their eighties, for example, die at a much higher rate than people in their twenties. But when an 80-year-old dies of unknown causes, it still gets investigated.

Your objection is simply another way of saying that it's impractical to treat embryos and fetuses as fully human persons because they are so often undetectable and ephemeral. I couldn't agree more. Which is why we shouldn't disingenuously bestow on them some kind of formal status as fully human persons and then disregard aspects of their human rights that are inconvenient to deal with.



But we don't make compromises on actual murder. If somebody proposed that drivers should be allowed to run down children in the street as long as we had a highly effective system for keeping children out of the street in the first place, nobody would accept such a compromise.


But you are stubbornly unwilling to consistently follow through on treating the human rights of a fertilized egg as genuinely equal to the human rights of a fully human person.


When we're talking about actual human persons, we don't try to argue that murdering one person should be acceptable and legal because at least it's better than murdering a hundred people.


Then you shouldn't be basing your arguments on the claim that you consider a fetus to be equivalent in personhood to a toddler, because clearly you don't.
This is getting old. You are just using hyperbole and strange analogies to represent my arguments. You are failing to accept practicalities. Of course we shouldn't be acceptable to 1 murder, but there is currently no alternative for this type of birth control. This is not perfect solution, but a minimization of harm with today's technology. Again, I don't understand why you are so hung up on this.

You want me to say that human intervention leading to the failure of a fertilized egg to implant should result in charges of murder, but I'm sorry, that's just not my stance. Now you'll say, "you don't believe they actually have human rights". And I'll say they do, but due to impracticalities of enforcement, charges akin to murder would rarely, if ever, be brought. And you'll say, "birth control pills sometimes fail at prevention of fertilization but then will prevent implantation, and we know this happens, so why is that not murder?" And I say well it is but it should be used anyway as it's better than the alternative because it practically minimizes abortions because of the rare failure rate. So let us agree to disagree.

The OP wanted to hear the opinion of a pro-life atheist so I chimed in. I'm not here to try to convince anyone, just to explain my beliefs.
  #116  
Old 10-31-2017, 09:02 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
So, why did you earlier post "You may disagree with it, but it is perfectly coherent. It's my body, and you cannot act against it...even at the cost to your own body. ", if that's not a position you agree with? Because one example of that position, if one posits that the fetus is a person, is that abortion should not be allowed.
48 point type "Huh?" How does stressing the importance of the mother's right to defend her body, even at the cost of harming the fetus, possibly equate to "abortion should not be allowed?"

Think about it: does anybody, at all, support the right of the fetus to "act against" the mother's body? Has anybody actually come out in favor of fetal matricide?
  #117  
Old 11-01-2017, 01:26 AM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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I've seen several people refer to viability as one possible point of person-hood, and I tend to lean that way myself. But... there is still the issue of how is that done? If a mother with limited funds decides to remove a fetus, after the point of viability, who is going to pay for it? Who is going to support that child? Who will pay the mother's medical bills? A newborn that early is going to be very expensive to care for. Preemies require lots of specialized medical care, and lots of care once they get home. Are we, the society, willing to take over those costs? It's all well and good to have societal ethics boundaries, but unless we the people are willing to step up and take on the responsibility of care, those boundaries are meaningless.

So anyone that declares themselves Pro-life better have a plan in place for how to take care of that life. A strict pro-life stance does more than remove a woman's control over her body, it adds a whole new set of responsibilities, for at least the next 18 years. And I have yet to see a pro-life supporter that has stated that they are willing to adopt a child and take on that responsibility themselves. There may be a few, but the numbers aren't large.
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  #118  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:59 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate View Post
So anyone that declares themselves Pro-life better have a plan in place for how to take care of that life. A strict pro-life stance does more than remove a woman's control over her body, it adds a whole new set of responsibilities, for at least the next 18 years. And I have yet to see a pro-life supporter that has stated that they are willing to adopt a child and take on that responsibility themselves. There may be a few, but the numbers aren't large.
Anyone who is not in favor of infanticide better be prepared to take care of that life. A strict can't-kill-toddlers stance adds a whole new set of responsibilities, at least for the remainder of the child's life, until he is 18. I have yet to see someone who is against infanticide willing to adopt a child and take on the responsibility themselves. There may be a few, but the numbers aren't large.

IOW, being "against killing" doesn't mean you need to personally support the person* who wasn't killed.

*I don't think a pre-viable fetus is a person, but pro-lifers do, and their stance is not objectively wrong.

Last edited by John Mace; 11-01-2017 at 11:02 AM.
  #119  
Old 11-01-2017, 02:12 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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nate, I appreciate your participation in the thread, but I do think that Kimstu has made a good argument that illustrates your own inconsistencies in your position. What I wanted was not just your opinion, but debate. I wish you would respond to those inconsistencies without accusing other debaters of using hyperbole. I wish you would respond to mine as well. Here's a good example:
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
So a fully healthy viable baby inside the womb can be killed and that's perfectly OK according to the way you wish the law to work, but if that same baby is delivered instead and killed, that would be murder?
Do you feel this line drawn at birth is any different than your line drawn at fertilization? At least I'm consistent. My basis for supporting pro-choice is respecting a woman's bodily integrity. I'm consistent in that I also don't support mandatory blood/organ/tissue donations. There is no point in time that I feel that any person, while living, should be forced to use their body to benefit others. Not parents, not strangers. Not ever.

You have not addressed bodily integrity which is the basis of this post and is addressed in the editorial I linked to. Did you read it? Instead, you started out by arguing the beginning of life (then personhood), but you've failed to make any logical basis for why that should supersede bodily integrity and the inconsistencies of your position only serve to illustrate why it shouldn't.

Your position, if I understand you correctly, is that humans are considered persons at fertilization and it is wrong to kill people, which includes fertilized zygotes. However, you are okay with the killing of them in certain circumstances:

1) A person can be killed if its mother is suffering (in what way you have yet to specify) as a result of rape. But you also stated that the conception doesn't matter, which I have pointed out is contradictory. You have yet to address this contradiction. Also, does this right to murder extend to any point in the pregnancy or after the pregnancy if she is still suffering from the rape? If not, why? At what point does the offspring attain some irrevocable right to life no matter the event of conception or condition of its mother? And why then?

2) You are okay with the death of a zygote by creating a hostile environment which prevents implantation in some circumstances, e.g. test tube, hormonal birth control, IUD, but not in others, e.g. the morning after pill. Why? Do the personhood rights cease to matter for that zygote, but not for others?

Further, due to impracticality of enforcing such a law, you suggest that there is no reason to investigate miscarriages as to whether they fall within those rules, unless the woman admits to intentionally aborting her pregnancy. What is the point of the law there is no intention of enforcing? You have already admitted this is a problem with your position and that you have no idea how society should deal with an unenforceable law, yet it doesn't cause you to re-evaluate your position. You seem a lot more invested in it than you initially indicated in your first post. It's ironic considering you also said this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate
I believe it's lazy, silly and disingenuous that society declares the birth event is the dividing line between the act of murder and a completely legal abortion.
But you don't think it's lazy to write laws that are unenforceable and you are so invested in the personhood of fertilized eggs that you are willing to hand-wave away the murders society has no way of prosecuting.

3) You are okay with elective abortion with a medical exemption from a doctor. What type of medical conditions warrant revoking a fetal/zygotic person's right to life? Is it restricted to conditions in which the pregnant woman may die, in which case you are, for some reason, valuing her life over that of the zygote/fetus? Does the medical justification for abortion include non-fatal illness that may/may not lead temporary or permanent health issues/changes? How about mental health issues, including anxiety or severe/chronic depression with its corresponding behavioral/physical symptoms?

I am the OP and I still have questions with regard to your position. Help me understand.

Last edited by Brown Eyed Girl; 11-01-2017 at 02:13 PM.
  #120  
Old 11-01-2017, 02:27 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
So what if a person wants to keep a child but can't afford to because the other parent has decided to "abort" their responsibilities?
Then that's where we as a society step in and ensure that every wanted child is provided with the absolute basic necessities to survive and thrive because not only does that child benefit, we as a society benefits from healthy, educated children who grow up to become healthy, well-adjusted and productive adults.

Quote:
Abortion rights are not founded on the right to not be a parent. That's obscene--which is why we don't have "abortion" for men. Abortion rights are founded on bodily autonomy.
I agree. But I can't think of another way to equalize the biological fact that women are the ultimate arbiters of parenthood. If a woman becomes pregnant and doesn't want to have offspring, she rightfully has the option to abort the pregnancy and eliminate the possibility of parental rights and responsibilities. If a man impregnates a woman and doesn't want offspring, he has no practical means to prevent it. He cannot force the woman to obtain an abortion and, while he may relinquish his custodial rights, he cannot give up his financial responsibilities (always financial) if the mother decides to raise the child. He has no practical way of eliminating the potential of parenthood, whether he wants it or not. I have a problem with that. I feel he should have options too, and while obviously they can't be the same as hers, they should ultimately have the same result: that one can have sex and reject parenthood.
  #121  
Old 11-01-2017, 08:45 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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You are failing to accept practicalities.
My point is that condoning actual murder for the sake of "practicalities" is generally not something that anybody is willing to accept when it comes to the lives of fully human persons.

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Of course we shouldn't be acceptable to 1 murder, but there is currently no alternative for this type of birth control.
Well, if we really believed that a fertilized egg was really equivalent to a fully human person, the alternative we would choose would be to ban not only elective abortion but any type of birth control that performs its function by occasionally killing fertilized eggs.

We would end up with lots more unwanted pregnancies that way, but in the case of fully human persons we don't let that kind of trade-off affect our stringent prohibition on murdering people.

For example, many Americans agree that it would be a good thing to have effective border security, because we don't want people from other countries immigrating into our country without legal permission. Nonetheless, when some immigrants sometimes manage to evade border security and enter the country illegally, it is not legal to kill them in order to get rid of them.

But that's exactly the sort of approach that you're advocating in the case of fertilized eggs: Do your best to keep them from entering the system in the first place, but if some of them do enter, it's permissible (albeit regrettable) to go ahead and wipe them out.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:58 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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I agree. But I can't think of another way to equalize the biological fact that women are the ultimate arbiters of parenthood. .
Why does it need to be equalized? It's a side effect of the fact that people have bodily autonomy. We don't "equalize" the fact that women have to be the ones to accept damage to their bodies pregnancy and childbirth cause. You can't just invent the right to not be a parent. Where does that exist?

If for some reason a woman was forced to carry a baby to term and the baby was born, she still has the legal obligations of a parent to that child, exactly as a man would. Hell, as a woman, if a surrogate refuses to abort my child, I still have the legal obligations of a parent to my child.

Once a kid is born, once a person is person, they are entitled to the support of their parents.
  #123  
Old 11-02-2017, 07:31 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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. . . Once a kid is born, once a person is person, they are entitled to the support of their parents.
Several states have laws allowing a parent to surrender his/her child to the authorities, and to have no further responsibility.

This was enacted to counter people leaving babies in dumpsters, or in front of churches.

The right "not to be a parent" is established in some places in the U.S., at least.
  #124  
Old 11-03-2017, 07:06 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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It can't be that simple. If I'm the non custodial parent drops the kid off at the fire station and they call the custodial parent to come get the kid, that doesn't get the former off the hook for child support.

Safe haven laws protect you from charges of child abandonment, they don't remove your legal obligations.
  #125  
Old 11-03-2017, 11:53 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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It can't be that simple. If I'm the non custodial parent drops the kid off at the fire station and they call the custodial parent to come get the kid, that doesn't get the former off the hook for child support.

Safe haven laws protect you from charges of child abandonment, they don't remove your legal obligations.
I think they should, but only within a short period of time: at any time prior to birth and within 30 days of the date of birth. I really do think that it is in the best interest of the child and our society if we accept collective responsibility for unwanted children as opposed to saddling them with uninterested parents who are nothing more than bank account that invariably affects the parents' ability to provide for other children or afford their own basic necessities.
  #126  
Old 11-03-2017, 07:33 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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It can't be that simple. If I'm the non custodial parent drops the kid off at the fire station and they call the custodial parent to come get the kid, that doesn't get the former off the hook for child support.

Safe haven laws protect you from charges of child abandonment, they don't remove your legal obligations.
I had thought they did. The news coverage I'd read/seen made it sound as if you could just give up the baby, forever, and be shut of it. If that ain't so...that's a shame.

(For one thing, it leads people back to the dumpsters and churches.)
  #127  
Old 11-04-2017, 11:36 AM
truthseeker3 truthseeker3 is offline
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It depends. According to wikipedia
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Some states treat safe-haven surrenders as child dependency or abandonment, with a complaint being filed for such in juvenile court. The parent either defaults or answers the complaint. Others treat safe-haven surrenders as adoption surrenders, hence a waiver of parental rights
  #128  
Old 11-04-2017, 06:38 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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I am not at all sure that I have much to add to what has been said, so to be clear; what follows is my opinion. I do not have any intention or desire to persuade anyone of any particular point I may raise. If someone doesn’t come out and say I am wrong about any particular point or my whole post, I will be very surprised.

In addition, I do not intend to get in an argument, these are my opinions, you are not under any obligation to share them, you have every right to disagree.

So, I am male, have never been married, have never been in a situation where my advise would been asked as input about someone's abortion.

I consider myself Agnostic versus Atheist, but don’t think that is of much difference in this discussion.

My first point is in regard to logic, given any particular premises, you can make just about any conclusion logical. I am going out an a limb here, but I don’t think there are adequate basis's (spelling, usage?) for a “logical” argument for any position on abortion. If you prefer: From where I stand, all starting points lead to equally logical conclusions, that doesn't make them valid. It’s my thought that the OP’s request for a logical argument is somewhat misleading.

I myself favor the; legal, safe, readily available but very rare, point of view about abortion.

I don’t consider myself to have enough wisdom to make more of a guideline than the decision should be up to the women, her Doctors and any family members, friends, religious figures or counselors she cares to add. If your opinion wasn’t sought, keep it to yourself in that context. I will add that there is an argument based on scientific advancements for shorting the period in which such a decision is made, however exceptions will apply.

In general I do think that all human life is valuable, but as has been pointed out, human history and practice doesn’t suggest a very wide spread implementation. I also think that “human life is valuable” isn’t so helpful when you get down to cases.

I also think the stronger you try to make a given moral or ethical position absolute, the more exceptions people will find.

Which all respect to all. whether you agree with any part of what I have written or if you don’t agree with any of it.

Zuer-coli

Last edited by zuer-coli; 11-04-2017 at 06:39 PM.
  #129  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:20 PM
truthseeker3 truthseeker3 is offline
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And? This argument implies that if I were to fertilize a million eggs in a test tube I now have a moral resposibility to get all those eggs into women and through to term.
Or perhaps not create them in the first place. I think there's something fundamentally wrong with saying, "Certain fetuses need to be destroyed because we don't have the resources to support them - but we've got time and money to throw into creating a bunch of surplus embryos."
  #130  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:30 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Or perhaps not create them in the first place. I think there's something fundamentally wrong with saying, "Certain fetuses need to be destroyed because we don't have the resources to support them - but we've got time and money to throw into creating a bunch of surplus embryos."
Well, for one thing, parental bias is pretty much intrinsic to the whole phenomenon of parenthood. Most parents are always going to care far more about producing and raising their own offspring than about providing resources to support somebody else's. Expecting infertile couples eager for parenthood to direct their time and money to the children of others rather than to overcoming their infertility problems is unrealistic.

For another thing, abortion rights are founded not on the issue of available resources but on a principle of bodily autonomy. A pregnant woman has the right to destroy the early-term fetus in her own body irrespective of whether or not she has the resources to support a child if she carries it to term.
  #131  
Old 11-06-2017, 10:40 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Well, for one thing, parental bias is pretty much intrinsic to the whole phenomenon of parenthood. Most parents are always going to care far more about producing and raising their own offspring than about providing resources to support somebody else's. Expecting infertile couples eager for parenthood to direct their time and money to the children of others rather than to overcoming their infertility problems is unrealistic.
Speaking from personal experience, it's more of a tradeoff: how far are you willing to go down the road of overcoming your own fertility problems before pursuing adoption?

My wife and I were willing to take some steps to deal with our own infertility problems, but there were things we decided against, pretty early on. Hence the Firebug.
  #132  
Old 11-06-2017, 12:27 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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I'm an atheist who might be willing to visit his pro-choice views in the face of human-extinction-threatening circumstances.
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  #133  
Old 11-06-2017, 05:27 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I'm an atheist who might be willing to visit his pro-choice views in the face of human-extinction-threatening circumstances.
Not that I can't sympathize with natural concerns about confronting the literal extinction of one's species, but from a civil-liberties point of view this is potentially a bit worrying. Would you also be willing to revisit, say, your anti-rape-legalization views in the same circumstances?

ISTM that if a society recognizes a woman's right to control her own body as superseding the rights of potential or early-fetal human life inhabiting her body, then making her continue an early-term pregnancy against her will is just as much an infringement of her rights as inseminating her against her will in the first place.

Strictly speaking, inalienable human rights remain inalienable even if their bearers might be literally the last people on earth.
  #134  
Old 11-06-2017, 05:50 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Not that I can't sympathize with natural concerns about confronting the literal extinction of one's species, but from a civil-liberties point of view this is potentially a bit worrying. Would you also be willing to revisit, say, your anti-rape-legalization views in the same circumstances?
I'm willing to entertain the idea of revisiting pretty much all my current views if the situation was sufficiently dire. I'm not sure what kind of situation would have to be in place for me to consider doing away with rape laws (in the sense that I'm not sure how doing so would seem better than not doing so) - I think it would have to be pretty science-fictiony, i.e. some weird disease causes all human females to regress intellectually to animal level, and since humans don't have a periodic estrous cycle like other mammals (or at least not a very strong one), human females become uniformly and consistently unreceptive.

As for some kind of extinction-level circumstance and its effect on abortion, I suspect encouraging and rewarding women who keep trying to get pregnant (rather than banning abortion for women who find themselves unwillingly pregnant) is a better strategy. I'm guessing by the time banning abortion starts to sound necessary, civil liberties will likely be seen as an unaffordable luxury and the human species is pretty much doomed anyway. This should not be read as something I'm looking forward to.
  #135  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:45 AM
truthseeker3 truthseeker3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Well, for one thing, parental bias is pretty much intrinsic to the whole phenomenon of parenthood. Most parents are always going to care far more about producing and raising their own offspring than about providing resources to support somebody else's. Expecting infertile couples eager for parenthood to direct their time and money to the children of others rather than to overcoming their infertility problems is unrealistic.
I don't blame infertile couples for wanting a baby. But I do think there's some inconsistency in saying that DNA means nothing for a zygote but everything for an infertile couple.
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For another thing, abortion rights are founded not on the issue of available resources but on a principle of bodily autonomy.
Perhaps, but financial difficulties always seem to get mentioned as a reason to allow elective abortion.
  #136  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:48 AM
truthseeker3 truthseeker3 is offline
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Speaking from personal experience, it's more of a tradeoff: how far are you willing to go down the road of overcoming your own fertility problems before pursuing adoption?

My wife and I were willing to take some steps to deal with our own infertility problems, but there were things we decided against, pretty early on. Hence the Firebug.
Congratulations and best wishes
  #137  
Old 11-10-2017, 08:43 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Perhaps, but financial difficulties always seem to get mentioned as a reason to allow elective abortion.
It's more of a side-effect. Once we grant bodily autonomy as justifying the right to abort, the specific reasons someone might have to want to exercise that right become nobody else's concern. Sure, there might be financial difficulties. Or the pregnancy is inconvenient. Or the fetus is an undesired gender. None of our business, really - it's between her and her doctor.
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  #138  
Old 11-11-2017, 06:21 PM
SeniorCitizen007 SeniorCitizen007 is offline
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As an atheist my attitude to abortion has been moulded by the fact that I've known quite a few women who have had abortions who, failing to find a man with whom they felt safe to have a child, have found themselves in a confused state of mind in which they experience intense regret at having had an abortion mixed with a craving to get pregnant again but fearful that if they do they'll end up having another abortion. One woman I knew booked into an abortion clinic 5 times over a two day period, walked out 4 times, and was finallly "persuaded" by the clinic staff to have the abortion.

Last edited by SeniorCitizen007; 11-11-2017 at 06:22 PM.
  #139  
Old 11-11-2017, 10:43 PM
truthseeker3 truthseeker3 is offline
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Once we grant bodily autonomy as justifying the right to abort...
Bodily autonomy is not absolute; as one of my teachers used to say, "My right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins." (He was speaking in general - not specifically about abortion - but I think it applies.) Except in self-defense, no one has the right to take action that leads to someone else's death.

(Just to clarify... I'm catholic; but I hope that if I refrain from mentioning you-know-who, I can be considered an honorary atheist for the duration of this thread.)
  #140  
Old 11-11-2017, 10:59 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by truthseeker3 View Post
Except in self-defense, no one has the right to take action that leads to someone else's death.
In practical terms, of course, that requires you to define what you mean by "someone else". We kill all sorts of living creatures all the time that are not considered to be human persons.

Supporters of abortion rights do not consider embryos and early-term fetuses to be fully human persons endowed with human rights, so rules against killing persons do not apply to them.
  #141  
Old 11-11-2017, 11:02 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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(Just to clarify... I'm catholic; but I hope that if I refrain from mentioning you-know-who, I can be considered an honorary atheist for the duration of this thread.)
AFAIK there are no rules about trying to argue hypothetically for something you don't actually believe. I think your hypothetical "atheist" arguments are unconvincing because they're flavored with a fair amount of Catholic assumptions, but there's no reason you can't make them anyway.
  #142  
Old 11-12-2017, 04:34 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Bodily autonomy is not absolute; as one of my teachers used to say, "My right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins."
This is the oddest interpretation of bodily autonomy I've ever encountered. How is punching another person an example of one's own bodily autonomy? Bodily autonomy is not about being able to do anything with your body; it's about being able to make choices about what happens to your body. IOW, bodily autonomy means I can give you permission to punch me if I choose to, but you can't just take that choice from me without violating my bodily autonomy. You punching me in the nose has nothing to do with your bodily autonomy.

Last edited by Brown Eyed Girl; 11-12-2017 at 04:34 AM.
  #143  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:17 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by truthseeker3 View Post
Bodily autonomy is not absolute; as one of my teachers used to say, "My right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins." (He was speaking in general - not specifically about abortion - but I think it applies.) Except in self-defense, no one has the right to take action that leads to someone else's death.

(Just to clarify... I'm catholic; but I hope that if I refrain from mentioning you-know-who, I can be considered an honorary atheist for the duration of this thread.)
That's so ba kward. How about your right to eat stops when you start extracting nutrients out of my blood?
  #144  
Old 11-12-2017, 01:11 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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. . . Supporters of abortion rights do not consider embryos and early-term fetuses to be fully human persons endowed with human rights, so rules against killing persons do not apply to them.
And, for many of us, even if we did, abortion would still be permissible, because it relieves a situation of unwanted physical bodily occupation.

This leads to the thought-experiment of one of us finding ourselves connected to someone in a hospital, giving them life-support from our bodies. Many of us would choose to disconnect ourselves from a fully-grown, adult, legal person, committing them to death, rather than to be enslaved to them in that way.
  #145  
Old 11-12-2017, 02:58 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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And, for many of us, even if we did, abortion would still be permissible, because it relieves a situation of unwanted physical bodily occupation.

This leads to the thought-experiment of one of us finding ourselves connected to someone in a hospital, giving them life-support from our bodies. Many of us would choose to disconnect ourselves from a fully-grown, adult, legal person, committing them to death, rather than to be enslaved to them in that way.
Or even more plausibly (and this was the original premise of the thread), would it be permissible for the state to compel people to donate blood when their are lives at stake? What if it's the lives of their children?

Right now, we don't even feel like it's appropriate to compel dead bodies to give up so much as a fingernail to save a life--but people argue it's acceptable to compel women to undergo pregnancy.
  #146  
Old 11-12-2017, 07:17 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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Bodily autonomy is not about being able to do anything with your body; it's about being able to make choices about what happens to your body.
We recognize limits to bodily autonomy, though, don't we? The police can strip search you, they can take blood without your consent. You can't smoke Meg. You can't commit suicide. You have to wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle and a seat belt if you drive a car. The government can stay you and force you to go places and fight a war without your consent. The law recognizes a bunch of limits in what you're allowed to do with your body.

Also, just a thought. Does a person have an increased responsibility to their fetus because they were partly responsible for its creation? We recognize parents have a special obligation to their children. I mean, the fetus doesn't get in the womb by magic. It takes a woman's egg and a man's sperm and usually, the same woman who supplies the egg supplies the womb.
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  #147  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:49 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Also, just a thought. Does a person have an increased responsibility to their fetus because they were partly responsible for its creation? We recognize parents have a special obligation to their children.
Not that there isn't a case to be made for that position (and it seems to be involved in rape-and-incest exceptions to abortion bans, for example), but it pretty much destroys the full-human-personhood-at-conception claim.

If a fetus has an inherent and absolute right to life then it can't make a difference, morally speaking, whether the impregnated woman voluntarily participated in its creation or not.
  #148  
Old 11-12-2017, 09:44 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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Not that there isn't a case to be made for that position (and it seems to be involved in rape-and-incest exceptions to abortion bans, for example), but it pretty much destroys the full-human-personhood-at-conception claim.

If a fetus has an inherent and absolute right to life then it can't make a difference, morally speaking, whether the impregnated woman voluntarily participated in its creation or not.
Well, it can, like the aforementioned organ transplant thing. You have an inherent right to life, but if your kidney fails, not everyone would agree I have a moral obligation to give you mine, even if you might die without it.
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  #149  
Old 11-13-2017, 05:25 PM
pyromyte pyromyte is offline
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I agree with whoever said that the crux of the debate is when does a fetus become a person. I am conflicted myself as to when this occurs, and I would bet that debate could rage on its own.

I do not consider myself atheist, and although I would consider myself pro-life, I do not think religion or theism plays a role into my judgement of the morality of abortion. Therefore, I am going to a take a stab at this. I am also only speaking of elective abortion, not in cases of medical necessity or rape.

So, very simply, I think the argument goes something like this: A person is responsible for their actions and the consequences thereof. If a sane person chooses to engage in activity which knowingly could result in pregnancy, they are morally obligated to care for the person they created, regardless of whether they intended to create a person or not.

This is why, to me, the question of when a fetus attains person-hood is so important. I would be willing to grant there are shades of gray along that path. But once we grant a fetus person-hood, the parents have the same obligation to that person whether they are inside or outside the womb.

Last edited by pyromyte; 11-13-2017 at 05:26 PM. Reason: left out a word
  #150  
Old 11-13-2017, 05:40 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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So, very simply, I think the argument goes something like this: A person is responsible for their actions and the consequences thereof. If a sane person chooses to engage in activity which knowingly could result in pregnancy, they are morally obligated to care for the person they created, regardless of whether they intended to create a person or not.
But that raises the question of the obligations of a person who did not choose to engage in the activity that resulted in pregnancy: namely, somebody pregnant as a result of rape.

Such a pregnancy, if not terminated before the point when a fetus is considered a fully human person (wherever we as a society decide to locate that point), unavoidably involves requiring the pregnant rape victim "to care for the person they created" even if they did not voluntarily engage in the activity that caused the pregnancy.

So, again, I don't think we can really base a morally coherent and consistent case for restriction of abortion on the notion of parental responsibility. Whether or not the carrier of the fetus voluntarily chose to engage in the activity that led to the pregnancy should not determine the resulting fetus's personhood status and rights.

If an early-term fetus is a fully human person, then the person who's carrying it is morally obligated to carry the pregnancy to term regardless of whether or not they had sex voluntarily. If the fetus is not a fully human person, then ISTM that the person who's carrying it should be able to freely choose to terminate or continue the pregnancy for whatever reason they wish, and moral obligations of parenthood don't enter into it.
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