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How Compassion Led to the Death Camps
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Posted 7/3/10
It really feels like ages have passed since then, but some time ago I enjoyed a debate on abortion with the user Yei here on CR. (I recently bumped the thread. It’s definitely the best comeback since Christ rose from the dead.) In any case, there was one point when Yei made the following comment.



Yei wrote: If someone doesn't really care about what conditions…the child [would] be put in…then they can't be taken seriously.



This embodies a major pro-choice approach to the abortion issue. The idea is to claim that abortion is not as simple as whether or not a fetus has rights or is a person, so that even if we discover that the fetus does have rights and is a person there is still room to debate. The justification for this idea is to claim that we must also consider whether or not the child will be delivered into an environment conducive to a life even worth living.


It usually looks something like this:

“If a woman wants to obtain an abortion she is obviously unwilling or unable to take care of a child. So, if we restrict her ability to get this abortion then we will be putting this child into a household with somebody either unwilling or unable to provide for him/her. This is evil. We have an obligation to prevent children from suffering. So, whether or not a the fetus is a person the abortion should be allowed because our obligation to prevent suffering is more important than our obligation to protect individual rights.”


So we sacrifice individual rights for the greater good of preventing suffering. This is fascism, pure and simple. The same argument was employed by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1927 when he was defending compulsory sterilization. According to him, it was acceptable to force women to have their fallopian tubes cut to prevent their future children from suffering. Today, this has been adapted to justify late term and partial birth abortions. It is okay to kill newborn babies and extremely late term fetuses whether or not they are people and have rights to prevent their suffering. (Dr. Tiller.)


To me, this is politically and philosophically heinous. Walker Percy wrote in “The Thanatos Syndrome,” that “compassion led to death camps,” in Germany. He was correct. This pro-abortion argument is the direct descendent of an argument in favor of eugenics in America. An argument that was legitimized by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the United States Supreme Court in 1927. An argument that Hitler cites in “Mien Kampf,” as the model for what he wanted in Germany.

In short, if a fetus has rights our obligation to uphold those rights supersedes our obligation to prevent a possibility of future suffering. Even if this is not true the government simply does not have the jurisdiction to violate human rights even for the greater good.

So, I hold that if a fetus has rights, abortion should be illegal, even if it would behoove the fetus. Though, I challenge this premise as well. Andrea Yates claimed that it was in the best interest of her five children that she drown them in the bathtub. We dismissed her a sociopath. The Nazis claimed that it was in the best interests of the Jews that we kill them, but we dismiss them as moral heinous embodiments of evil. Margaret Sanger once wrote, ‘The most merciful thing a family unit can do for its infant member is to kill it,’ and Peter Singer agrees…but I see no reason why it is okay when they use HItler's arguement but not when he uses it.


If you are too lazy to read all this I made a youtube video on the same topic. Though, I should really start using scripts for those videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljwqEEORev4
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Posted 7/3/10 , edited 7/3/10
I believe women have the right to diced what she can do to her body. I beveled in equal rights but equal does not mean the same women and men are different. That has to be recognized the standard are different do you want a fire fighter handle your emergency but can only lift 40 pounds, The fire department around the country had to lower the weight limits to let women in. To me this silly to the point it sad. Women can handle G forces better than men, which mean they make better fighter pilots. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With this said you laid down get pregnant you all readymade the decision on your body. If somebody pulls the trigger to a gun that person, cannot take it back, and say, I made a mistake. Please believe me I do not want a child left to a mother that has resentment for it. I grew up that way she told me she hated me from the day I was born, and treated me as such. Personnel you do not what the pregnancy the put the kid up for adoption, action have consequence. What about the men some-thing needs to some penalty for them as well?
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Posted 7/3/10
So the simple answer to the question then becomes.

When does a fetus become a person?

I do find it ironic that we offer abortion on demand but will support child services taking a mother's baby away if she smokes and/or drinks during pregnancy. It sounds like we're trying to have it both ways here.

I personally think that because of the unique nature of the Mother/fetus relationship that a woman does have the right to abort a fetus that she cannot bear to bring to term. And since I do not have the Hubris to dictate the exact conditions that must apply for that feeling to be legitimate, I personally support abortion on demand. (Though I wouldn't mind seeing a limit on late term abortions)





Posted 7/3/10
To the Arabs, a child doesn't receive its soul until some time after its birth.

If any child is to be brought into this world unwanted, then why allow it to live in such suffering? Any living thing has rights, from a worm to an elephant. A human fetus knows its mother and can feel the pain of being destroyed in the womb. To avoid the uncertainty of a life with no genuine support, death is pretty much the only option. Cold logic comes into play when the world decides to be cold itself. Some talk about no child being left behind. Sadly, children get left behind every day. We know of these common and sad situations, but stopping them entirely isn't going to happen any time soon. A life can cease just as soon as it is brought into being.

Everything inevitably moves through a cycle. Our children aren't exempt from this reality.
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Posted 7/4/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:

So the simple answer to the question then becomes.

When does a fetus become a person?


I think that it would be more appropriate to ask when the fetus obtains rights. I do not think that our rights should be dependent upon our status as persons. Personhood is an abstract, metaethical concept ultimately defined by individual moral intuition and cultural value judgments. We define who is and is not a person based on characteristics important to us as individuals, and manifestly as members of a cultural trend.


A member of the pro-choice culture will claim that a fetus is not a person because he/she/it has not yet been born. And birth is a significant event to them. A five year old is a person because he/she/it has been born.


A pro-life individual on the other hand says that a zygote is a person because it has undergone conception, and conception is a significant event to them. So, sperm is not a person because it has not gone through conception.


Peter Singer says that infants are not people because they cannot comprehend that they have futures. So, according to him, murdering a newborn is never the equivalent of murder. Sometimes, he says, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. The characteristic of an ability to understand your future is significant to him. So, a one year old is not a person but a two year old is a person.


Racists believe that a certain number of skin pigments is important. So, anyone at a dearth of that specific skin color is not a person whereas somebody who does have that skin color is a person.


In the end, there is no universal definition for the term. It is subjective. And if our rights are dependent upon personhood, then our rights are subjective. But why should we favor one culture’s definition of the term over another cultures? Why should we choose the pro-choice definition, or the pro-life definition? Why not the racist definition? Why not Peter Singer’s definition? Why should we show your cultural definition for a subjective term favoritism? Is your opinion just better?

If our rights are dependent upon philosophical personhood, we must do one of two things. We must either be ethnocentric cultural imperialists and force a system using our favorite definition on people who may not agree with that definition, or we must use everybody’s definition. If we use everybody’s definition, however, that’s anarchy and the KKK gets to lynch blacks.


In a personhood system, furthermore, we cannot demonstrate that we have rights. To do so we would have to demonstrate that we are individual persons. But personhood is abstract, metaethical, and subjective. You cannot objectively demonstrate a subjective concept. Personhood is a status of moral significance. Proving personhood is like proving the existence of good and evil, or of god. You have nothing but emotional rhetoric and individual experience or intuition. But what does your individual intuition or experience mean to anyone but you? It means absolutely nothing. You can use it to convince yourself, but not anyone else. So you cannot demonstrate that you are a person to other people because to do so you would have to be objective…but personhood is subjective, making that utterly impossible. And in a system by which our rights are determined by personhood, we must show that we are persons to show that we have rights.


Yet, we also know that there is a pragmatic need to have some sort of law in this area. So I recommend we let science make the determination. Instead of forcing our culture on everybody else, let us use a medium that is consistent. Who a society calls a “person,” changes from one place to the next as well as one moment to the next. Science, on the other hand, is universal. While some philosophers say that I am not a person, all scientists can agree that I am a human.


Thus, I suggest we establish our rights upon the reliable and rock solid foundation of scientific humanity and not the shifting sands of philosophical personhood. The humanity system is vastly superior to the personhood system. It allows works pragmatically, provides us with consistency, a neutral medium that doesn’t favor one culture or philosophy over another, and the ability to objectively demonstrate that we have rights. A personhood system does none of this. A personhood system requires that we adopt cultural and philosophical imperialism or anarchy.


Thus, even if a fetus is not a person I think it should have rights because it is a human. (As I prove here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAxVbBpoSdI )




I personally think that because of the unique nature of the Mother/fetus relationship that a woman does have the right to abort a fetus that she cannot bear to bring to term.


Even if the fetus has rights and is a person, you think the mother should be allowed to violate those rights? Why?





I personally support abortion on demand. (Though I wouldn't mind seeing a limit on late term abortions)


Does this unique relationship between a mother and a fetus change in the third trimester? I personally think that the only time abortion should be allowed is when the mother was raped. Of course, this compensates less than one percent of abortions being obtained.
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Posted 7/4/10
Again a storm of oughts and ought nots.

It does not bother our species to destroy certain types of living matter. We consume vegetables, meat, organisms in the liquids we drink and so on and so forth. These forms of life are in no way different, 'worth-wise' or 'value-wise' from the living cells of a human-animal. Either the destruction of living cells is wrong or it is not. Now, I don't want to mount an argument against eating stuff, that is not my wish, I have no radical animal rights agenda, but if we are to be governed by moral considerations and yet be consistent at the same time, a distinction must be made between human and non-human life. If a distinction cannot be made, the same rules ought to apply to both. Better yet, I suggest we abandon these artificial and arbitrary notions of obligations and duties and think more of efficacy.

Humans rights, too, are artificial. The extent of human rights is dependent upon how far we are willing to push them. In a number of jurisdictions ante-natal injury is recognised and truly, if but for x or y act a child would not have suffered from z effect, I see no reason why such injury should not be recognised, and if we do, in fact, recognise ante-natal injury. If the fact of having been born to a particular parent or parents predestines you to lead a life that is substantially worse than that of the average person within the same society (narrow sense), then why should that not be recognised as ante-natal injury? And if such injury is recognised, why should it not be prevented?

You seek to take science out of context. A scientific definition in a moral context does not work. That is why we have the whole stupid subject of bioethics. If we wish to remain consistent and logical, we either have to recognise that the rights, obligations, oughts and ought nots we speak of in the context of abortion are artificial or we have to stop taking things from science selectively. Cells are present in a foetus from the very beginning, it owes its existence to those cells, they are the foetus, so in drawing conclusions for your the purposes of morality, why don't we look deeper? That is, after all, the full extent of the answer that science gives to the question raised.
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Posted 7/4/10

SeraphAlford wrote:


I think that it would be more appropriate to ask when the fetus obtains rights.


In a personhood system....((snip snip))



Thus, even if a fetus is not a person I think it should have rights because it is a human. (As I prove here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAxVbBpoSdI )




I personally think that because of the unique nature of the Mother/fetus relationship that a woman does have the right to abort a fetus that she cannot bear to bring to term.


Even if the fetus has rights and is a person, you think the mother should be allowed to violate those rights? Why?



I personally support abortion on demand. (Though I wouldn't mind seeing a limit on late term abortions)


Does this unique relationship between a mother and a fetus change in the third trimester? I personally think that the only time abortion should be allowed is when the mother was raped. Of course, this compensates less than one percent of abortions being obtained.


(( emphasis and truncation mine))

Green Okay, sure. I equated Personhood with rights and humanity (although as a sci fi fan I look forward to the day, probably in not in my lifetime, that while all humans are persons, not all persons are human). Let's ask when a fetus obtains rights instead. Your calculus has a great deal of logic, forcing me to think on a subject I had thought I'd made my mind up about 20 years ago. I presume you argue that full human rights (not some sort of limited compromise) are the rights obtained and that a zygote with a full human genetic code but it's teratogenic features as yet unexpressed is by definition a human. The only problem with that is my own personal illogic that that says "wait that's not the quite the same yet as a living breathing human" and the lack of wiggle room such an uncompromising definition leaves my second point.

purple Actually yeah. I do. Or more accurately, I have for a long time. Regardless of the philosophical arguments back and forth you can make about a when a nascent human should obtain his or her human rights. I have long held the the belief, bottom line, that a woman should have the right to make this life altering (and pottentially life abrogating) decision for herself. A harsh burden of proof that you were raped/molested/etc. a requirment to allow this decision to be made, is frought with legal and social complications that would I think ultimately result in an de facto ban on all abortions. (by the time a woman appeals a decision against her, The child she wanted to abort could already be going to school)

I may have failed to thoroughly read on the posts here so you may have addressed additional circumstances such as the rare but occasional case where an abortion or a premature c-section is believed to be required to save the mother's life. But if you haven't, what other circumstances have you dismissed as not relevant?

Understand, I don't think my stance is perfect. I just think it's the best compromise we have with our current technology. I think there should be a window where a woman can abrogate the rights of her unborn child. I definitely think immediate chemical abortions (the infamous 'morning after' pill) should be permissable. I'm less sanguine about abortion the closer birth comes. When we perfect artificial wombs which can bring a human to term from zygote to birth. I think even for for rape, abortion won't be necessary and perhaps should be reconsidered. At that point genetic testing will hopefully allow us to also hold the fathers equally responsible. I also think that forcing some legal instrument into that time window forcing a woman to justify her need for an abortion is ultimately tantamount to banning the practice.

Hence. I support the imperfect compromise that is in place currently in my country.





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Posted 7/4/10

SeraphAlford wrote:

In short, if a fetus has rights our obligation to uphold those rights supersedes our obligation to prevent a possibility of future suffering. Even if this is not true the government simply does not have the jurisdiction to violate human rights even for the greater good.


This goes both ways in certain circumstances. If a woman is raped or becomes pregnant some other way against her will, and she does not want to have the child, then preventing her from aborting the child is violating her individual rights, by forcing her to carry and deliver a child that was forced upon her, in order to prevent the suffering of that child.

So the real question in that circumstance is who's rights are more important, and who has the right to decide who's rights are more important?
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Cuddlebuns wrote:

This goes both ways in certain circumstances. If a woman is raped or becomes pregnant some other way against her will, and she does not want to have the child, then preventing her from aborting the child is violating her individual rights, by forcing her to carry and deliver a child that was forced upon her, in order to prevent the suffering of that child.


I discussed this with Yei in my previous thread. In the instance of pregnancy resulting from abortion I do not think that the government has the jurisdiction to protect the rights of the fetus. So, even if we grant the fetus rights and deem those rights worthy of protecting we simply do not have the power necessary to protect them. Abortion should be legal in instances of rape.





So the real question in that circumstance is who's rights are more important, and who has the right to decide who's rights are more important?


Well, if the fetus doesn’t have any rights the mother’s rights are always more important. On the other hand, if we grant the fetus human rights it is circumstantial.

Imagine that you were walking along when out of the blue somebody hit you over the back of the head. You woke up to find that you had been attached to a violinist via a series of life supporting tubes. It turns out that he has kidney failure and needs to use your kidney to sanitize both your blood and his in order to survive. You are the only possible candidate for this operation available. Now, if you stay for nine months you’re pinned down but he’ll walk away free at the end of that period. On the other hand you can walk away free right now and he will die. You have no obligation to stay attached to him. You can, that would be nice, but nobody can force you to do so. The best thing we can do is try to provide a comfortable alternative. It is the same with abortion in instances of rape.


Now imagine that I have a vacation home in the Sahara. I offer to fly down to your household and let you visit it. Not knowing what you are in for, you agree. So I fly down in my private jet and pick you up. On our way back the plain breaks down. For safe sex we can say that we hit a snag I could not have foreseen. For unsafe sex we can say that I neglected to refuel when we landed. In either case we crash into the dunes with hundreds of miles of sand around us. I have enough water to sustain us both…but by sharing with you I’ll make the trip miserable for me because we will have to ration it out. I have an obligation to provide it for you. If I let you dehydrate, that’s murder. I cannot bring you out into the Sahara and then refuse to share my water and claim I am within my rights.


In instances where the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s life we can say there is only enough water for one person. I still say that I am obliged to take care of you. I created the situation. There is some wiggle room here, and it does seem to be more of a gray area. However, I hold that whoever creates the situation is responsible. If you drink and drive your intention may not be to hit somebody’s child. But if you do so, you should be held responsible for her death. You should be charged with vehicular manslaughter and face the same penalties as anyone else in that instance. (Though I do not believe in capital punishment.)


Saying that a mother can abort her fetus because it is dependent upon her is silly. In the movie “Kiss the Girls,” a serial killer brings a number of women into his cellar and locks them there. They now rely on him for basic physiological needs like water and food. And he -is- obliged to provide. If he neglects to do so either intentionally or accidentally he should be held responsible.
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Posted 7/4/10 , edited 7/4/10

DerfelCadarn wrote:

Again a storm of oughts and ought nots.

It does not bother our species to destroy certain types of living matter. We consume vegetables, meat, organisms in the liquids we drink and so on and so forth. These forms of life are in no way different, 'worth-wise' or 'value-wise' from the living cells of a human-animal. Either the destruction of living cells is wrong or it is not. Now, I don't want to mount an argument against eating stuff, that is not my wish, I have no radical animal rights agenda, but if we are to be governed by moral considerations and yet be consistent at the same time, a distinction must be made between human and non-human life. If a distinction cannot be made, the same rules ought to apply to both. Better yet, I suggest we abandon these artificial and arbitrary notions of obligations and duties and think more of efficacy.

Humans rights, too, are artificial. The extent of human rights is dependent upon how far we are willing to push them. In a number of jurisdictions ante-natal injury is recognised and truly, if but for x or y act a child would not have suffered from z effect, I see no reason why such injury should not be recognised, and if we do, in fact, recognise ante-natal injury. If the fact of having been born to a particular parent or parents predestines you to lead a life that is substantially worse than that of the average person within the same society (narrow sense), then why should that not be recognised as ante-natal injury? And if such injury is recognised, why should it not be prevented?

You seek to take science out of context. A scientific definition in a moral context does not work. That is why we have the whole stupid subject of bioethics. If we wish to remain consistent and logical, we either have to recognise that the rights, obligations, oughts and ought nots we speak of in the context of abortion are artificial or we have to stop taking things from science selectively. Cells are present in a foetus from the very beginning, it owes its existence to those cells, they are the foetus, so in drawing conclusions for your the purposes of morality, why don't we look deeper? That is, after all, the full extent of the answer that science gives to the question raised.


I think that I may have been unclear in what I was trying to communicate. I am not saying that our scientific status as humans makes us ethically worthy or morally deserving of rights. So you see, I am not taking science out of context. I am not using science in a moral context.


I am not questioning the basic rights. You say that we should do so and I agree. That is a studied called ‘metaethics,’ and I find it very fascinating. However, that discussion does not have pragmatically application. The metaethical debate is strictly academic. In politics we must assume these rights to be self evident because no governmental institution has the jurisdiction necessary to abridge them.


Both sides of the abortion debate agree that there is a legitimate right to life and a legitimate right to do what you want with your own body. These rights are not coming under question in the abortion debate. It is an accepted postulate. It is self evident, and even if it is not we lack the necessary privileges to challenge it. If you murder somebody and wind up in a court of law you do not get to defend yourself by saying: "well why should he have a right to life?!" Ted Bundy did this, but he still got the electric chair.


The question in abortion is not “what are the rights,” or “why do we have these rights,” but rather, “who should have the legal protection of rights under the law?” Two systems have been put forward.


The pro-choice system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the philosophical status of personhood. I already highlighted the pragmatic, ideological, and political problems with this system.


The pro-life system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the scientific status of humanity. I have already explained why this system is vastly superior to the alternative.


When we talk about protecting endangered animals, we don’t engage in a metaphysical debate as to whether or not this bald eagle is truly a ‘bald eagle’ in essence. We do not look at each individual specimen and ask, “does this one have the same moral standing as the others?” Why not? Simply put, pragmatism. Nobody can agree on what gives this bird moral standing and nobody can be proven right or wrong. Yet, we know that for the environment we have to protect it. So, we use a neutral medium. Instead of favoring one group of people’s moral intuition or value judgment over the other, we let them all believe what they will and use a neutral medium to make the determination. Science is the only available alternative since we are a secular state and have ruled out theology. Science is also a very, very, very good alternative. It is objective! While philosophers and theologians are divided amongst themselves, scientists stand united! This is why Dawkins can kick some bible-thumping ass even though he himself is very ignorant in the fields of theology and history.

By the way, if you are very interested in metaethics I recommend that you watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFfoB8qXdbY&playnext_from=TL&videos=cPyo0hfeebQ

Now, I warn you that it is not perfect. However, it is the exact same thing you would get from an introductory level text book on the topic...except, you know...it takes only a few minutes to enjoy and doesn't cost hundreds of $$.
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Posted 7/5/10

SeraphAlford wrote:I am not questioning the basic rights. You say that we should do so and I agree. That is a studied called ‘metaethics,’ and I find it very fascinating. However, that discussion does not have pragmatically application. The metaethical debate is strictly academic. In politics we must assume these rights to be self evident because no governmental institution has the jurisdiction necessary to abridge them.


I've had a whole semester of jurisprudence this year and you will forgive me, but I'm somewhat weary of presupposing rights. The same way that human rights have been granted by a legal system, they can be taken away. A legal system has the capacity to confer any right upon any legal or natural person, although I agree that enforcement is a different matter.


SeraphAlford wrote:Both sides of the abortion debate agree that there is a legitimate right to life and a legitimate right to do what you want with your own body. These rights are not coming under question in the abortion debate. It is an accepted postulate. It is self evident, and even if it is not we lack the necessary privileges to challenge it. If you murder somebody and wind up in a court of law you do not get to defend yourself by saying: "well why should he have a right to life?!" Ted Bundy did this, but he still got the electric chair.


If you kill someone and wind up in a court of law, you get to argue that it was not murder but some other form of homicide to which different rules are applicable. It is not a moot point that abortion leads to the destruction and disruption of cells. Murder is the creation of the human mind and which forms of killing we brand as murder is up to us. Let us not forget about the permissible forms of killing.


SeraphAlford wrote:The question in abortion is not “what are the rights,” or “why do we have these rights,” but rather, “who should have the legal protection of rights under the law?” Two systems have been put forward.


I find that it is important to clarify what are the rights and the reason they exist in order to be able to determine who enjoys them, if anyone at all. As we have agreed before, these rights are artificial and we have created them for a reason. They have a very strong teleological charge. If we want to play rights, it is sensible to look primarily at what we wish to achieve, as opposed to either science or any other tool to determine matters for us. Human rights do not exist in the natural world and we have created them for a reason. It is logical that we ascertain the reason we have created them and use human rights accordingly.


SeraphAlford wrote:The pro-choice system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the philosophical status of personhood. I already highlighted the pragmatic, ideological, and political problems with this system.

The pro-life system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the scientific status of humanity. I have already explained why this system is vastly superior to the alternative.


I agree that you made good points regarding the two systems, but nevertheless, I find that they are both arbitrary. We have a clash of interests, a clash of opinions, a clash of desires. The interests of the child v. the interests of the persons with parental responsibilities, the desires of the pro-life side v. the interests of their opposition. No system will be satisfactory as reality did not provide for this matter. We are physically free to perform abortion and all that is required is a desire to do so and a 'societal nod'. Abortion has no immediate adverse effects on society and in light of that, if you strip society of its moral judgements, abortion quickly becomes a neutral, if not desirable, procedure. Expediency. The quicker we rid ourselves of the moral judgements that plague us, the quicker we will become able to progress with efficacy.


SeraphAlford wrote:When we talk about protecting endangered animals, we don’t engage in a metaphysical debate as to whether or not this bald eagle is truly a ‘bald eagle’ in essence. We do not look at each individual specimen and ask, “does this one have the same moral standing as the others?” Why not? Simply put, pragmatism. Nobody can agree on what gives this bird moral standing and nobody can be proven right or wrong. Yet, we know that for the environment we have to protect it. So, we use a neutral medium. Instead of favoring one group of people’s moral intuition or value judgment over the other, we let them all believe what they will and use a neutral medium to make the determination. Science is the only available alternative since we are a secular state and have ruled out theology. Science is also a very, very, very good alternative. It is objective! While philosophers and theologians are divided amongst themselves, scientists stand united! This is why Dawkins can kick some bible-thumping ass even though he himself is very ignorant in the fields of theology and history.


But we may very well ask 'Do we have an obligation to save these species? Do we have an obligation to protect the environment? We don't? But what will happens if we won't protect it? We don't have an obligation, but we will protect it because that is in our own interest.' The same way abortion is a procedure that can be used for the betterment of the individual's and ultimately society's position. We have thousands of years of recorded history, one would expect that we would have recognised what we. as a species, strive for, without extraneous considerations clouding our vision.
Posted 7/6/10

DerfelCadarn wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:I am not questioning the basic rights. You say that we should do so and I agree. That is a studied called ‘metaethics,’ and I find it very fascinating. However, that discussion does not have pragmatically application. The metaethical debate is strictly academic. In politics we must assume these rights to be self evident because no governmental institution has the jurisdiction necessary to abridge them.


I've had a whole semester of jurisprudence this year and you will forgive me, but I'm somewhat weary of presupposing rights. The same way that human rights have been granted by a legal system, they can be taken away. A legal system has the capacity to confer any right upon any legal or natural person, although I agree that enforcement is a different matter.


SeraphAlford wrote:Both sides of the abortion debate agree that there is a legitimate right to life and a legitimate right to do what you want with your own body. These rights are not coming under question in the abortion debate. It is an accepted postulate. It is self evident, and even if it is not we lack the necessary privileges to challenge it. If you murder somebody and wind up in a court of law you do not get to defend yourself by saying: "well why should he have a right to life?!" Ted Bundy did this, but he still got the electric chair.


If you kill someone and wind up in a court of law, you get to argue that it was not murder but some other form of homicide to which different rules are applicable. It is not a moot point that abortion leads to the destruction and disruption of cells. Murder is the creation of the human mind and which forms of killing we brand as murder is up to us. Let us not forget about the permissible forms of killing.


SeraphAlford wrote:The question in abortion is not “what are the rights,” or “why do we have these rights,” but rather, “who should have the legal protection of rights under the law?” Two systems have been put forward.


I find that it is important to clarify what are the rights and the reason they exist in order to be able to determine who enjoys them, if anyone at all. As we have agreed before, these rights are artificial and we have created them for a reason. They have a very strong teleological charge. If we want to play rights, it is sensible to look primarily at what we wish to achieve, as opposed to either science or any other tool to determine matters for us. Human rights do not exist in the natural world and we have created them for a reason. It is logical that we ascertain the reason we have created them and use human rights accordingly.


SeraphAlford wrote:The pro-choice system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the philosophical status of personhood. I already highlighted the pragmatic, ideological, and political problems with this system.

The pro-life system is one by which our rights are dependent upon the scientific status of humanity. I have already explained why this system is vastly superior to the alternative.


I agree that you made good points regarding the two systems, but nevertheless, I find that they are both arbitrary. We have a clash of interests, a clash of opinions, a clash of desires. The interests of the child v. the interests of the persons with parental responsibilities, the desires of the pro-life side v. the interests of their opposition. No system will be satisfactory as reality did not provide for this matter. We are physically free to perform abortion and all that is required is a desire to do so and a 'societal nod'. Abortion has no immediate adverse effects on society and in light of that, if you strip society of its moral judgements, abortion quickly becomes a neutral, if not desirable, procedure. Expediency. The quicker we rid ourselves of the moral judgements that plague us, the quicker we will become able to progress with efficacy.


SeraphAlford wrote:When we talk about protecting endangered animals, we don’t engage in a metaphysical debate as to whether or not this bald eagle is truly a ‘bald eagle’ in essence. We do not look at each individual specimen and ask, “does this one have the same moral standing as the others?” Why not? Simply put, pragmatism. Nobody can agree on what gives this bird moral standing and nobody can be proven right or wrong. Yet, we know that for the environment we have to protect it. So, we use a neutral medium. Instead of favoring one group of people’s moral intuition or value judgment over the other, we let them all believe what they will and use a neutral medium to make the determination. Science is the only available alternative since we are a secular state and have ruled out theology. Science is also a very, very, very good alternative. It is objective! While philosophers and theologians are divided amongst themselves, scientists stand united! This is why Dawkins can kick some bible-thumping ass even though he himself is very ignorant in the fields of theology and history.


But we may very well ask 'Do we have an obligation to save these species? Do we have an obligation to protect the environment? We don't? But what will happens if we won't protect it? We don't have an obligation, but we will protect it because that is in our own interest.' The same way abortion is a procedure that can be used for the betterment of the individual's and ultimately society's position. We have thousands of years of recorded history, one would expect that we would have recognised what we. as a species, strive for, without extraneous considerations clouding our vision.
For both practical and efficient reasons, I say that a human fetus doesn't even have basic rights because it lacks the capability to understand anything, period.

I mean can you imagine yourself as a lawyer, who basically had to represent a thoughtless human fetus as your client? We have basic animal rights because some animal species do in fact have limited capacity for emotions, but OTOH not only that the human babies are all born autistic at first, they are all narcissistic until sometime later on in their own individual mental development.

In other words, how can we legally represent someone who's incapable of forming any individual thought? Let along a consent one at that.
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Whats wrong with giving the kid up for adoption ? My birthmom gave me up for adoption cause she knew she wouldn't have been able to take care of me, she could have aborted me, but she didn't.

So why not just give the kid up for adoption.
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Posted 7/6/10

Allhailodin wrote:

Whats wrong with giving the kid up for adoption ? My birthmom gave me up for adoption cause she knew she wouldn't have been able to take care of me, she could have aborted me, but she didn't.

So why not just give the kid up for adoption.


I think Adoption is a valid option from a menu of options. Aside from the whole death of the unborn child thing, the key difference between adoption and abortion is the necessity for the mother to bring the child to term. For some women, giving birth just might be the deal breaker.


Posted 7/6/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

Whats wrong with giving the kid up for adoption ? My birthmom gave me up for adoption cause she knew she wouldn't have been able to take care of me, she could have aborted me, but she didn't.

So why not just give the kid up for adoption.


I think Adoption is a valid option from a menu of options. Aside from the whole death of the unborn child thing, the key difference between adoption and abortion is the necessity for the mother to bring the child to term. For some women, giving birth just might be the deal breaker.
Furthermore, not all societies are capable of providing the optimal child support system available. When adoption is only possible with families who are willing and able to care for the children. Because children raised in institutions can develop problems due to a lack of long term emotional attachment with at least one parental figure:
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