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  1. #81
    bipolargraph is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    ^ I tried to compare the situation to a pregnant women, who'd think of her child as a nuisance. I can't think of a decent example. Well, child that gets removed by the government since the mother neglects it is much better than a dead one.

  2. #82
    Dante Obscuri is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    The "whole life ahead" argument only works if we assume that, for example, 10 units of "life" is inherently superior to 1 unit of "life", where life is directly related to time. I have provided reasons for why I think that this is not the case, you have not.
    I'd really like to know how having a "whole life ahead" is the same thing as "judging life as an unqualified good thing". I particularly put between brackets the words "in most cases" because, I took miscarriages into consideration. Also, having "a whole life ahead" doesn't mean you'll have a happy, nor a long life. My point simply is that there is the potential for it.

    Also, as for your examples, all I've seen you've given are relative definitions. Like the concept of person, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    Those 25% that failed to be viable, what sort of value does their "life" have? For example, had they never existed even as an embryo, how would the world be different?
    You mean the miscarriages? If that's the case that's something that cannot really be helped, can it? A woman does not choose to have a miscarriage. That's an accident; it simply happens. On the other hand, abortion is a choice.

    Anyway, as for the value of the life of an embryo that never lived, my personal opinion would be that there is none. That's a being that did and experienced nothing, and no one got an actual chance to get emotionally attached to it. However, the possibility of death doesn't make life worthless or meaningless, in my opinion. If that's the case then there'd be no point on having babies because they may die, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    which Dante inadvertently compared to removing someone from life support
    My idea was more along the lines of you locking a person in a room without oxygen.
    Last edited by Dante Obscuri; 03-15-2008 at 12:10 AM.


  3. #83
    MadDogMike is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    The point was that the purpose of abortion isn't to kill the fetus, it's to remove it.
    You repeated that quite a few times when people posted analogies. That seems pretty contradictory to me. Removing the fetus from its life support IS killing the fetus.

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    The point is that killing the fetus is not the purpose of the removal, just as removing someone from a respirator is not done with the intent to kill that patient. In both cases it's understood that the fetus and the patient respectively would die. It's also understood that while both are human and alive, they lack certain qualities that make them a person (consciousness and sapience for example). If they were somehow to acquire those qualities, do you still think people would be trying to kill them? For example, someone in a coma has his feeding tube removed, but he wakes up before dying from dehydration, would anyone be suggesting that we try to kill him because he was "supposed" to die? The point of removing the feeding tube was to stop wasting resources on something that was no longer a person, not to starve the guy to death.
    The fetus can't wake up from a coma, or start breathing on its own. It is 100% reliant on its mother to sustain its life, so removing it is a death sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    Just like your statements in the prostitution thread, you're going to have to qualify this up for it make any sense. What exactly does "lightly" mean?
    I thought it was obvious, but ok. By not "taking something lightly" I mean a lot of careful consideration should be done before making the decision. I think abortion for medical reasons is ok, such as possible harm or death of the mother, extreme cases like a mother with quadruplets or quintuplets where removing one fetus increases the chances of survival of the others, etc. If it's something like a rape victim not wanting to keep the child, or a family doesn't have enough money to support a child, they should discuss the possibility of putting the child up for adoption rather than just getting an abortion. Doesn't that make more sense?


    EDIT: Just so you know, I can be really blunt sometimes but I don't join these discussion threads to get people angry, so I hope you weren't angry after my previous post. I'll try to be a little more careful with the way I word things.
    Last edited by MadDogMike; 03-15-2008 at 04:55 AM.

  4. #84
    adonai is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Obscuri View Post
    I'd really like to know how having a "whole life ahead" is the same thing as "judging life as an unqualified good thing". I particularly put between brackets the words "in most cases" because, I took miscarriages into consideration. Also, having "a whole life ahead" doesn't mean you'll have a happy, nor a long life. My point simply is that there is the potential for it.

    Right, but why would you want to preserve or cultivate that potential? It must have some value (good) for you to do so. I don't even understand why you're focusing on miscarriage here, it doesn't have much to do with this, I just mentioned that because it strengthened the life support analogy.

    To put it another way; an unfertilized egg experiences life to the same extent as an embryo, they both have a chance of eventually turning into something that experiences life in the same manner that we do. Should we act to push them towards that, or prevent it from happening?


    Also, as for your examples, all I've seen you've given are relative definitions. Like the concept of person, for example.

    I've noticed that you haven't contested my definition though, you're free to give your own and defend it.

    You mean the miscarriages? If that's the case that's something that cannot really be helped, can it? A woman does not choose to have a miscarriage. That's an accident; it simply happens. On the other hand, abortion is a choice.

    Actually, yes she can, early forms of abortion were mostly induced miscarriages. And the chances of it occurring is directly related to what the woman does (strenuous physical activity for example). If you're saying that the embryo has some sort of inherent value, what should be done to protect these 25% now that you know that there are specific steps that can be taken?

    Anyway, as for the value of the life of an embryo that never lived, my personal opinion would be that there is none. That's a being that did and experienced nothing, and no one got an actual chance to get emotionally attached to it. However, the possibility of death doesn't make life worthless or meaningless, in my opinion. If that's the case then there'd be no point on having babies because they may die, no?

    Until it becomes a person, whatever value a baby has been invested in it by someone else. Individuals (and society at large even) may even invest such value in embryos; one of the many reasons abortions require the consent of the woman.

    My idea was more along the lines of you locking a person in a room without oxygen.

    Doesn't make any sense, putting aside the way that I defined "person", what you've done is meaningless in and of itself, why would you try to do that? biopolar has already explicitly made this example, if it's due to territoriality, then we have the right to compete over the same oxygen, why would you be so sure that I'm going to be the one who's locked out? If you want this analogy to make any sense, you're going to have provide a reason for your actions. There are obvious reasons for removing someone from life support, which you have not even attempted to contest.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadDogMike View Post
    You repeated that quite a few times when people posted analogies. That seems pretty contradictory to me. Removing the fetus from its life support IS killing the fetus.

    I have no problem with that.

    The fetus can't wake up from a coma, or start breathing on its own. It is 100% reliant on its mother to sustain its life, so removing it is a death sentence.

    Again, I have no problem with that. It does not make what I said any less true. Let's me try to give an analogy that is as close to abortion as possible. In vitro fertilization results in a large number of embryos, only one is actually implanted, those which are not are kept frozen until they degrade and die. The purpose of the procedure was not to create embryos and then kill them (kill them very slowly in fact), but rather to ensure that there will at least be one successful fertilization.

    I thought it was obvious, but ok. By not "taking something lightly" I mean a lot of careful consideration should be done before making the decision. I think abortion for medical reasons is ok, such as possible harm or death of the mother, extreme cases like a mother with quadruplets or quintuplets where removing one fetus increases the chances of survival of the others, etc. If it's something like a rape victim not wanting to keep the child, or a family doesn't have enough money to support a child, they should discuss the possibility of putting the child up for adoption rather than just getting an abortion. Doesn't that make more sense?

    First of all, the idea of "not taking something lightly" can be basically equated to "don't do something stupid" or "think things through", in and of itself, it's a meaningless platitude. It also impossible for anyone to judge such a thing except the person directly involved, I know that you're not advocating the punishment of thought crimes, but as defined before, that's pretty much the standard that you've set. Second of all, what should be placed into consideration? You've given some criteria, but if those are in place, why should there be any personal consideration involved at all? We could just legislate according to what you've said "permissible for medical purposes, permissible in cases of rape, illegal otherwise". Unless you're allowing people to judge things by their own criteria instead of yours; "not taking something lightly" isn't what you're proposing, you're proposing "use MadDogMike's guidelines to see if you can get an abortion".

    Just to be clear, the morality of abortion is tied directly to the morality of legally regulating abortion. You seem to be arguing the first position while ignoring the second, but, as in the case of prostitution, this cannot be done. You have to reconcile your positions on both issues for your argument to make any sense.


    EDIT: Just so you know, I can be really blunt sometimes but I don't join these discussion threads to get people angry, so I hope you weren't angry after my previous post. I'll try to be a little more careful with the way I word things.

    I'm not angry at all either by the way, I just try to attack whatever position I don't agree with very aggressively, it wouldn't be any fun otherwise.
    ----------

  5. #85
    Dante Obscuri is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Hell adonai, do not reply in quotes. I cannot quote you, if you do so. NOW I HAVE TO COPYPASTE. DX

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    Right, but why would you want to preserve or cultivate that potential? It must have some value (good) for you to do so.
    For me? No, not really. There are million embryos and foetuses being aborted every year, and even if they weren't aborted, they'd be people I'd probably never get to meet.

    As for why preserve the potential to live... It's simply because you cannot do anything unless you're alive (Obviously, there are exceptions, like those who cannot be conscious anymore. I'd also mention paraplegic people but, some of them value their lives, and they can at least communicate; so, that'd be doing something, I guess. There must be other examples of living people that cannot do much, as well.).

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    an unfertilized egg experiences life to the same extent as an embryo, they both have a chance of eventually turning into something that experiences life in the same manner that we do
    Yes but, the un-fertilised egg won't become a zygote on its own (or at least, normally, it wouldn't).

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai
    I've noticed that you haven't contested my definition though, you're free to give your own and defend it.
    When did you give me your definition? All you gave me was a link to an article about HeLa cells by the time we were discussing about Christianity's definition for person but, you forget that they also have the concept of soul (which I failed to mention in a previous post of mine, I accept that.)

    Also, I've never tried to contest any definition of what a person is (since there is not universal definition for it); check back a few posts, and you'll see I said there are different definitions of what a person is, and that those differences were the main contrast in the pro-choice vs pro-life deal.

    My point has never been who is correct and who isn't; my original point was about Latin American countries' position toward abortion, due to their definition of person.

    Anyway, as for my definition of what a person is, I think it should clear, since those are points I've been making all along. For me a person is a human who has the potential to have conciousness (although, I may lean toward it already having brain activity).


  6. #86
    adonai is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Obscuri View Post
    For me? No, not really. There are million embryos and foetuses being aborted every year, and even if they weren't aborted, they'd be people I'd probably never get to meet.

    As for why preserve the potential to live... It's simply because you cannot do anything unless you're alive (Obviously, there are exceptions, like those who cannot be conscious anymore. I'd also mention paraplegic people but, some of them value their lives, and they can at least communicate; so, that'd be doing something, I guess. There must be other examples of living people that cannot do much, as well.).
    But that's precisely the thing that is good about abortion (as a policy, not a personal choice).

    They can't do anything, where anything involves consuming whatever the limited resources that the human species have at our disposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Obscuri View Post
    Yes but, the un-fertilised egg won't become a zygote on its own (or at least, normally, it wouldn't).
    If the value of an embryo is that it becomes a person (while not itself being a person), what is the value of an egg? My argument all along has been that an zygote does not become an embryo on its own, it becomes one once it attaches to an womb (barring any conditions that would kill or detach it in a certain time frame).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Obscuri View Post
    When did you give me your definition? All you gave me was a link to an article about HeLa cells by the time we were discussing about Christianity's definition for person but, you forget that they also have the concept of soul (which I failed to mention in a previous post of mine, I accept that.)

    Also, I've never tried to contest any definition of what a person is (since there is not universal definition for it); check back a few posts, and you'll see I said there are different definitions of what a person is, and that those differences were the main contrast in the pro-choice vs pro-life deal.

    My point has never been who is correct and who isn't; my original point was about Latin American countries' position toward abortion, due to their definition of person.

    Anyway, as for my definition of what a person is, I think it should clear, since those are points I've been making all along. For me a person is a human who has the potential to have conciousness (although, I may lean toward it already having brain activity).
    Sapience along with consciousness is pretty important. Lots of things are conscious, nearly none of them have the decision making skills of a person.

    And the belief in a soul (or rather a soul in a zygote/embryo/fetus) is preciously the kind of effect that what I would attribute to the positions of the Church (which is what I've been arguing all along).

  7. #87
    StealDragon's Avatar
    StealDragon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    Well I can't wait until this discussion moves on to pedophilia.


    I'd like to die with the songs I love stuck in my head. I hope to make the most of these hollow bones we become.
    I raise a toast to the the souls that sang all along. I've been gathering friends to just to make some sounds,
    before the ship goes down, I've been making amends by making the rounds before the whole world ends


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  8. #88
    Terasiel is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by StealDragon View Post
    Well I can't wait until this discussion moves on to pedophilia.
    What's the time? Shouta Time.
    Last edited by Terasiel; 03-17-2008 at 01:50 PM.

  9. #89
    Dante Obscuri is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    They can't do anything, where anything involves consuming whatever the limited resources that the human species have at our disposal.
    Yes, in that way abortion may be a useful thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    If the value of an embryo is that it becomes a person (while not itself being a person), what is the value of an egg? My argument all along has been that an zygote does not become an embryo on its own, it becomes one once it attaches to an womb (barring any conditions that would kill or detach it in a certain time frame).
    Yes, I understand your point, and that's why I said I was leaning toward a being having brain activity. Although, I haven't heard of a place in Latin America which is against birth control.

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    Sapience along with consciousness is pretty important. Lots of things are conscious, nearly none of them have the decision making skills of a person.
    Indeed, that's why I said human (well, the word 'human' may have been too vast, my bad).

    Quote Originally Posted by adonai View Post
    And the belief in a soul (or rather a soul in a zygote/embryo/fetus) is preciously the kind of effect that what I would attribute to the positions of the Church (which is what I've been arguing all along).
    Well, yes but, that's nothing odd, since I was talking about Christians, no? Although, I haven't heard anyone, so far, bringing souls into discussion when it has come down to formulate laws. For example, in Wikipedia a Chilean Christian ethics teacher named Gilbert Meileander was mentioned, who said he identified conception as the point where a human came into existence because "when sperm and ovum join to form the zygote, the individual's genotype is established".


 

 
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