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Abortion and Morality

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by ArmChair General, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    one thing about palerider, that you must give him credit for, is that he has thought his position all the way through.

    For someone to be against abortion, but be for birth control pills, is completely contradictory, he realizes this.

    I personally think this argument if just left to law, is a stalemate. Especially in a Democracy, where the will of the people reigns. We have to find something more to base this argument on.

    In order to reach the complete conclusion of this thought, we have to deal with the reasoning behind why laws are created. Which touches on morality and ethics.

    So, is it ok to kill a human being? Yes there are instances where killing a human being is not wrong.

    So why is it wrong to kill an unborn. I can't get past this Palerider. I personally view most human beings as vermin infecting the Earth,. So to me, the killing of an unborn human being is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Eventually, and I see no other option, as the human population continues to grow, and resources become more scarce, we as human beings will be forced to limit our population. IN order for the population that does live, to live in relative comfort. Over population is a serious problem.

    I can't find myself viewing an unborn human being as anything other than another parasite. And if its parents don't want it, then why bring it into a world where it will probably experience nothing but pain anyways.

    So, if Palerider, you would be so Kind to explain why Abortion is wrong, without resorting to law.

    I really would like to discuss this. Thanks.

    By the way, I didn't post this in the religion forum, because I don't beileve that morality and ethics come from religion or God. They come from human beings. As recent research has noted, things like Altruism are actually hard wired into the brain and pleasurable to human beings. And it really isn't the answer that one comes up with in regards to questions of morality, its more of the process that our brains take to get to that answer.
     
  2. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    One of the dichotomies I tend to run into is that if life is sacred, what life? All life? Some life? And why? I can't help but think if some life is, all should be.
     
  3. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    All life is sacred, but we all take other lives every day, we cannot live without it. To prevent one group of people from taking one kind of life that is parasitic inside their body is hypocrisy. The taking of life in the final analysis is between the person and God, I may disapprove of a woman aborting the fetus inside her, but I cannot tell her that she may not do so anymore than I can tell you that you cannot kill an animal and eat it or kill a tapeworm in your intestines.

    Pale's hypocrisy in this is extreme in that he is advocating a very Catholic outlook: fetal life is sacred but torture of people is acceptable. He ends up putting fetal life in a class by itself which puts the onus on women and requires them to bear all the weight of his "compassion". It's a lie, if Pale goes to Belize and a bot fly lays an egg in his scalp, will he allow that fetal fly to live their for a few weeks and feed off of his body till it reaches viability and can live outside of his scalp? I'll bet not. This isn't even a case of rape, if he willingly takes his head to Belize, then he is a willing participant and therefore he is responsible for the sacred fetal fly life.

    Pale wants to legislate other people's morality because it costs HIM nothing, it's a power trip over women, nothing more.
     
  4. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Perhaps someone should have titled this thread "Bashing Palerider" instead of "Abortion and Morality."

    Here's my take: Every single human being ought to have the right to live.

    Note: this is not resorting to law as I don't believe our inherent rights come from the law. Inherent rights means that we all have them. White, black, hispanic, American, Iraqi, whatever. We have rights much in the way we have fingers.

    No one should be able to arbitrarily take your fingers away; the same is true of your rights, especially your right to live.

    Why we apply this to the unborn child: The unborn child has done nothing wrong. It has a life unto itself and has done nothing to deserve death - indeed, I believe that even the worst criminals should not be put to death, so why should we allow the killing of unborn children that haven't had a chance to do anything in the world?

    The other reason: Precedent. What precedent are we setting for allowing abortion? That it is okay to kill human beings in situations that are not life-threatening.

    We allow killing in self-defense and we would even allow abortion if it is to save the mother, but those are both life-threatening situations in which the legalized use of deadly force is the only way of preventing the defender from losing his/her life.

    However, accidental pregnancy as a result of recreational sexual activity is hardly a life-threatening situation in and of itself (it can become one easily but that's another discussion). Here, the idea is that the unborn child is being killed for a reason that isn't as good as the health of the mother. Here, the precedent becomes that killing human beings is okay even in situations that lack life-threatening peril.

    The justifications used, that a fetus or blastocyst, while undeniably a human being (as established through rigorous debate between Palerider and Coyote), are inferior to babies, children, and adults because they are less physiologically mature, also sets a bad precedent. The physically and mentally handicapped are similarly different when it comes to physical and mental development; using the precedent set by fully legalized abortion, why would it be wrong to just arbitrarily kill a disabled person who is in your legal care?
     
  5. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I agree.

    Except in cases of life-threatening peril, the right to life of all others should be respected. This is why I would support abortion for mothers who would otherwise die from attempting to carry the baby to term and why I don't support the death penalty.

    I also believe that self-defense should extend to matters of a militaristic nature, as well. To those of the "best defense is a good offense" ilk...remember that we defend to protect who and what we are, and in my view preemptive assault and aggressive foreign policy sacrifice what's right to protect what's right.
     
  6. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    A cogent statement, thank you. Why are you drawing a line of demarcation between human life and the rest of life? If one is sacred, why is not the other also?

    As far as bashing Pale, he's earned it in his discussions with me, he gives and receives no quarter, his choice.
     
  7. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    To the best of my knowledge I didn't kill anyone today. In fact, I never have. Perhaps you don't mean that we all directly kill other people, in which case I'd like to know what, exactly, you mean, and why you think we couldn't live without it.

    Dependent? Yes. Parasitic? Not exactly. Scientifically, there ought to be a way to remove a maturing fetus from the mother and preserve it, then mature it technologically or implant it into another person. I don't see why that isn't possible; we just haven't figured out how to do it yet. Or maybe we have and I just don't know about it. Your thoughts?

    I'm not sure what your point is. You can't tell us not to kill tapeworms or eat meat because it would be illegal for you do so (well, you could say it, but attempting to enforce it would be illegal). The very question we're debating is whether or not abortion should be a readily available choice.

    Uh, Mare? Pale hasn't even weighed in on this thread yet and the personal attacks are already starting. In the interest of not starting another senseless row, why don't we just draw the line here? You too, Pale.

    And by the way, your hypothetical fly situation would still be "rape," unless, reapplying it to human rape, you believe that a woman is not being raped if she goes into an area known to contain rapists and is forced to participate in sexual activities against her will. Obviously that is rape, so...just pointing that out.
     
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    There are a number of ways I could answer this. The bottom line would be that I do draw a line between humans and other animals. While I don't think that cruelty or unnecessary slaughter are okay for animals, I do value human life more than I value, say, chipmunk life (even though they're so darn cute). I'll swerve to avoid hitting a chipmunk, but if swerving to avoid that chipmunk means I'm going to hit a six-year-old girl playing hopscotch on the side of the road...then it's bye-bye Mr. Chipmunk. The event would still bother me to no end but I wouldn't regret the decision I'd made.

    If you continue perpetuating it, so will he. That annoys anyone who is just trying to have a legit discussion of the topic of the thread, because all that name calling and character assassination is background noise that gets in our way of seeing what your real points are.

    If the two of you can't call a truce then I guess I'll just keep picking through the minefields.
     
  9. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    The WHY is what I'm interested in. If you make fetal life sacred, why not all life? I would be far more easily persuaded by someone who wasn't drawing arbitrary lines of demarcation according to their assessement of the utilitarian value of the life in question. In an emergency situation most people would run over a chipmunk to save a 6 year old, but how about your dinner? The animal that you eat valued its life as much as you value your own, didn't it? Why the angst over killing a handful of cells that might develop into a human, while ignoring the slaughter of 10 Billion animals in this country every year?


    This thread was based on Pale's arguments. He doesn't come on this thread and give me grief I won't do it to him, but his ideas are anathema to me and I will argue against them (but will try not to mention him by name). I hope this will help.
     
  10. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    You took life today, probably in your meals. You have drawn a very solid line between human life and all other life, a line I do not draw because I can find no ethical justification for it.

    If there is something growing inside you, living off of your body, not providing any benefits to you, and you don't want it there, that is pretty much the dictionary definition of a parasite. My biggest arguement with the person who shall remain nameless is that even life from rape is sacred, despite that fact that this requires a vast punishment to be visited on the victim and brings into the world an unwanted child.

    My point is: How far can we go to tell other people how they have to treat other lives? We are discussing legislating that women cannot kill cells in their own body, can we tell all people that they cannot kill tapeworms inside their bodies or that they cannot kill animals? Can we deny a person the right to kill a cancer in their body because they smoked and thus invited that cancer to grow? The cancer is innocent, it has done nothing wrong.

    It's difficult to find any analogy that truly applies, that's part of the problem with men making this choice for women: You know not whereof you speak. Men tend to downplay the damage that rape, date-rape, and marriage-rape does to women's lives.
     
  11. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Gemeral.

    I didn't see that you had started this thread until I saw it mentioned in the other thread. I had already devoted about as much time as I can today to answering in the other thread. Today is my anniversary so I will be in big trouble if I spend too much time here.

    Let me toss out one nugget to think about though. While I don't agree with you with regard to overpopulation and scarcity of resources (face it, resources have never been more plentiful and cheaper), how about we consider sterilization (possibly by lottery so as to be impartial in addition to voluntary) as an answer to the imagined problem of overpopulation rather than depriving living human beings of thier inalienable right to live.

    I will get back to this later (maybe as late as monday) so don't feel like I am deliberately ignoring the thread.
     
  12. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Anyone who cares so much about an unborn child should be totally against any form of war.
     
  13. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Thats because its illogical to say otherwise. Here, I am going to engage in a reduction ad absurdum argument, I am going to reduce the belief that 'rights' are a matter of social agreement or laws to an absurdity. Because, if human rights are a matter of social agreement, then the institutions and practices where human rights are used are a game of ‘make believe’ or ‘let’s pretend’.

    Let’s pretend that people have a right to life. The way we play this game is that we say that everybody has this ‘right to life,’ which means that anybody who takes the life of another (in a certain way) deserves to die, so the rest of us get together and kill him. Killing him doesn’t violate his right to life because we are going to pretend that this ‘right to life’ disappears – it evaporates, sort of – whenever a person kills another in a particular way. But is there really a right to life?

    Well, no. Don’t be silly. There’s not really a right to life. Everybody knows that. We’re just pretending.

    But, if you are just pretending that there is a right to life, then are you just pretending to kill people who violate that right?

    We have the power of changing the definitions of words simply by agreeing to a new definition (as astronomers did with the word ‘planet’). But changing our definitions has zero effect on things in the real world. Pluto did not change, simply because we changed our definition of ‘planet’.

    Yet, those who hold that human rights like the right to life are simply a matter of agreement between people, are basically saying that we can change things in the real world simply by changing the way we talk about them. Call something a right and it acquires new properties – new powers – that it did not have when we did not call it a right.

    The only things that we can change simply by agreeing to change them are things in the realm of ‘make believe’ or ‘let’s pretend’. If we all decide to agree that Santa has a ninth reindeer named Rudolph, then Santa has a ninth reindeer named Rudolph.
     
  14. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    If we are just pretending, and playing a game, then we must agree on the rules that the game is played by and the rules must apply the same to everyone unless we all agree upon a rule that excludes someone or some group from the rules. Since we write the rules down for our game, if we are all going to agree that this one or that group is to be excluded, then we must write that down as well and since we must all agree to the rules for our game, the people who we duely elect to make the rules for our game must vote for us. Not a few referees whose job it is to make sure that the things we do and the disputes we have while playing our game are hashed out according to the rules as they are written.
     
  15. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    After all this time and so many explanations by me to you specifically 9sublime you still don't understand my position. I don't know what to say. I am not going to explain it to you again. No offense, but 2 or 3 repeats of the same explanation should be enough for any thinking person.

    I can only think that you have some dishonest motive for repeatedly mischaracterizing my positon on this issue.
     
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