Is there a way to effectively attack the idea of fetal personhood?

Nah, you can dupe souls if you know what you’re doing in utero. You’ll get banned if you get found out though.
But normally, only one of them gets a soul. Hence, the evil twin.

I don’t ‘attack’ this position, that the fetus is a person, because it’s irrelevant, in my view. Any individual has the right to expel anyone or anything from inside their body, for any reason and at any time. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how it (or he or she) got there – if someone or something is inside you, and you don’t want it or them there, you have the right to force it out.

We shouldn’t. But I do believe that a person who claims that they are pro-life because their Bible tells them so (this does not include non-Christain pro-life people, of course) have rarely read their Bible completely and thoughtfully. Do I think it will sway them? No, not really. They don’t use the Bible for what it says, but what they imagine it says, or what their pastor has told them it meant. But does it make me want to whack them over the head with their very large book? Yeah, it kinda does.

Is there a way to effectively attack the idea of fetal personhood?


If someone believes life begins at conception, then abortion is murder.
If they believe otherwise, then abortion is okay

I’m a man … trying to perform an abortion on me is 1st degree assault

That doesn’t follow. Not all homicide is murder or even illegal.

I’ve seen this argument frequently, but do not agree it is an absolute or that it extends to to requiring someone to do the removal on your behalf.

A person with Body Integrity Identity Disorder may desire to remove a body part. That does not compel a physician to assist with doing so. Doing so is controversial amongst the medical community and a physician’s license would be at risk by conducting such a procedure.

“Accidental abortion” - Sure happens all the time, the doctor was just playing with his tools and all of a sudden, a vagina opened up … he swears, it was an accident

Involuntary abortion - The doctor was looking for the gall bladder

Self defense abortion - That kid is the antichrist

Vehicular abortion - using a Datsun …

Post pardem abortion - the kid has Downs Syndrome

“Life begins at 40” abortion - brat kids won’t bring grandchildren to thanksgiving.

Sorry, Feldon got me started [giggle]

BrightNShiny (bolding mine):

We do? Intentionally and legally? Please explain.

I agree.

When debating abortion I never try to argue that the fetus isn’t a human being, or given the opportunity to develop would grow into a person.

A fetus is human. A fetus is a “person”.

And as a society—along with most other developed nations—we give women a limited opportunity to end that life if they so choose.

It’s a unique circumstance. Let’s not dance around it.

Who says anything about compelling physicians? Women and their doctors should be making this decision. If the doctor doesn’t want to do it, or doesn’t feel it’s necessary, the patient can seek the opinion of another doctor.

I agree as well … although it is funny watching men do the dance … pathetic IMEIO.

What do you mean by the term “revealed truth”, and why would such a concept be greater than discovered fact?

Do you think laws should only reflect what you think is revealed truth?

JWs think that blood transfusions are wrong. Should we outlaw transfusions?

Jainas think that killing animals is wrong, should we outlaw eating meat?

I’d say that our society shouldn’t be based on what one particular religion says.

Can you be against abortion, but accept it as the law of the land, because your particular view of revealed truth isn’t universal?

What possible ‘discovered fact’ could prove when ensoulment happens, or whether the soul even exists or not? By definition, the soul isn’t observable. I can infer its existence, from philosophical considerations (e.g. without an immaterial soul, is free will meaningful?) but you can’t observe when it comes to be associated with the body.

Re: if the foetus is a person, they aren’t campaigning for it to be treated as such in all other contexts and not just abortion

I’d be fine with broadening protection for the fetus beyond just protecting their life. For example, I’d be fine with laws banning pregnant women from drinking, etc.
Re: You could cite Biblical authority. The Bible has several passages which equate living with breathing. So something which hasn’t drawn its first breath is not yet alive.

That might work if you were arguing with someone who believed, as many people do, that the Bible everything we need to know about moral theology. Most Christians don’t, though (my church believes in ‘scripture, tradition, and reason’, Catholics and Orthodox believe in ‘scripture and tradition’ and specifically in the binding force of church councils, etc…)

Even when it comes to the Bible, some passages in the New Testament (the Visitation, for example), can be used to support a pro-life view point.

Of course. Because, as we all know, there is never any justification for removing a piece of tissue independent from your lifeform from it. There’s never any justification for not giving up parts of your body’s functionality to a dependent. Dude, we don’t even force people to take in homeless people who are dying of hypothermia; you’d have us force people to take in “persons” we don’t want into our body? Fuck that shit.

Now this is just sad.

It is isn’t it … after I carried those brats in MY OWN BODY for NINE MONTHS that they should treat me so.

Re: Do you think laws should only reflect what you think is revealed truth?

No. Religious pluralism is a social and moral good. It needs to be balanced against other goods, though. I think in the case of abortion, the need to protect innocent human life outweighs religious pluralism.

Gay marriage is an issue where I think the opposite. I don’t think same sex marriages are valid in the sight of God, but I support SSM as a legal institution, because I think that my religious views shouldn’t dictate the law except where absolutely necessary.

When it comes to an issue of, literally, life and death, I think differently. Protection of innocent human life is a more important and more crucial good than treating all religious views equally.

Leaving it up to the individual to decide whether they want an abortion or not isn’t a ‘neutral’ position either. It works only if you assume that the pro-choice case is correct and that the fetus (or embryo, or zygote) isn’t a person. No one thinks mothers should be able to kill their six month old baby (well, Peter Singer, maybe). There is, actually, no neutral position in the debate. Either the unborn is a person and deserving of legal protection (barring the usual medical exceptions, etc.) or they aren’t.

Not to derail the thread too much … but “meaningful” IMO is the wrong question.

You’re inferring the existence with something unprovable by asking a question for which the answer is unprovable.

So as Budget Player Cadet suggested, would you support a law that forced people with homes to take in homeless people whose lives are put directly at risk for being without shelter?

Or as I said, the unborn is a person, yet we still give the mother the limited opportunity to terminate its life.

Option three.

At what point, in the rather complex and lengthy process, which takes several hours?

Right – more specifically, it’s the legal definition, which is something we arrive at by social consensus (democracy plus constitution and all that). There is no scientific or religious fact we can rely on.


It works if you think people should be allowed to choose their religions. Our constitution specifically forbids the government from taking a religious position. If we all agree on a proposition that happens to have religious undertones, fine: but we don’t do it based on the religion, we do it based on the democratic agreement.

If those of us who do not believe in your religion are wrong, it’s up to God to sort it out, not laws. Meanwhile, I respect your right to try to convince us otherwise.