Abortion Debate

Discussion for Christian perspectives on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and so forth.
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Re: Abortion Debate

#16

Post by Philip » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:49 pm

Sorry, I was perhaps a bit unclear. I use the standard definition of "human life" that says that it starts at the conception. However, I also say that the embryo and the young fetus don't have all rights that adult humans have.
Nils
So, if you define human life to exist at conception, then how do you define murder? And what gives anyone the right to arbitrarily decide when it's okay to kill what you call a human life? And what stops that target window of acceptability from being moved much further forward in development - or even after birth? Would any living person, looking back during the time they were within their mother's womb, be okay with a different reality, one in which they would have otherwise never had an opportunity to continue living and thus been physically shredded in the womb? I wouldn't!!! And I don't know of anyone who would honestly say the mere thought of that having occurred isn't extremely disturbing - if their own mother had butchered them as an innocent within.

And notice, for all the talk about supposed hardships and terrible consequences of various mothers being denied abortion, we don't have any criteria whatsoever - besides a certain development level - of extremely rigid criteria for whether or not an abortion is absolutely necessary. It's only personal choice on demand - and the father has zero rights in this decision!

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Re: Abortion Debate

#17

Post by Nicki » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:59 pm

I think I've come up with a reasonable analogy in answer to arguments that it's all about women's control over their bodies. If people travelled to Mars and built homes that they couldn't survive outside (of), would they be merely part of the buildings due to being dependent on them?

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Re: Abortion Debate

#18

Post by Nils » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:01 am

Philip wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:49 pm
Sorry, I was perhaps a bit unclear. I use the standard definition of "human life" that says that it starts at the conception. However, I also say that the embryo and the young fetus don't have all rights that adult humans have.
Nils
So, if you define human life to exist at conception, then how do you define murder?
In the same way as you probably do, killing a human being but with some execptions. In your case wartime and selfdefence. In my case also the exception that the being is younger than 22 weeks.
And what gives anyone the right to arbitrarily decide when it's okay to kill what you call a human life?
It is not an arbitrarily decision. I have described the reasons shortly. What is legally right and wrong is defined in law that is decided by a democratic process. What is morally right and wrong is decided by a reason and culture.
And what stops that target window of acceptability from being moved much further forward in development - or even after birth?
Same as above.
Would any living person, looking back during the time they were within their mother's womb, be okay with a different reality, one in which they would have otherwise never had an opportunity to continue living and thus been physically shredded in the womb? I wouldn't!!!
But I would!!!
The thought of being be born and raised by parents that didn't like and love me feels horrible to me. In that case I would have preferred not being born and hoping that later my parents could get a child that they loved.
And I don't know of anyone who would honestly say the mere thought of that having occurred isn't extremely disturbing - if their own mother had butchered them as an innocent within.
Well, I honestly don't think that is disturbing. If my parents had been in a situation that made my birth an annoyance and that they in that situation couldn't love me, I, out of love for them, would have said: Wait until you are able to get a child that you love and to whom you can give love. Why would my life be more valuabel than a loved sibling?
And notice, for all the talk about supposed hardships and terrible consequences of various mothers being denied abortion, we don't have any criteria whatsoever - besides a certain development level - of extremely rigid criteria for whether or not an abortion is absolutely necessary. It's only personal choice on demand - and the father has zero rights in this decision!
I don't know any case where we have extremely rigid criteria.
Nils

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Re: Abortion Debate

#19

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:42 am

Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 am
Kurieus, you say that this view in inconsistent but you don’t explain why. It is is not a clear cut black and white rule but very few rules are and that doesn’t make them inconsistent.
....
Besides, is which way is my view above a world view?
You would call yourself a Materialist would you not? More specifically, you believe that only what is physical exists.

And yet, you'd draw some immaterial distinction called "personhood", which ultimately boils down to some soulish attribute, to say that an unborn physical human life (less than 22 weeks) doesn't deserve the most basic HUMAN right -- the right to live and not be killed by someone else. All because it doesn't possess this soulish attribute aka "personhood".

Such is very inconsistent to a physical worldview. You must surely therefore not believe that only the physical world exists, right?
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Re: Abortion Debate

#20

Post by RickD » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:11 am

Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:15 pm
RickD wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 am
Kurieuo wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:20 pm
See what I mean, inconsistent worldview.

To test consistency further, I wonder what your thoughts are Nils on selectivr infanticide? Should parents be able to terminate a newborn upon finding out it has significant disability?
My view is that generally, it is not allowed to kill any human life. The reason is that this will, in my and most persons’ opinions, will give the best society, a society with high well-being where any person can be confident that her life will never be threatened even if she is old or disabled. However, there are a few exceptions that everybody agrees about, war and self-defence. Those who are for abortions also have that as an exception. In my case I think that parents can kill there fetus if it is younger than 22 weeks. Every exception has to be motivated and the 22 week rule is motivated in the following way:
- The society will be a better society if parents aren’t forced to have babies they don’t want.
- There is as far as I know no serious draw-back with permitting abortion of young fetuses.
Why then choosing week 22 you may ask.
- Some argue that the limit should be lower, 10-12 week, because most abortions are done before week 10 The argument against is that some parents need more time to decide and an early limit may force them to abort not to miss the limit in cases where they would keep it if given more time. Also lot of medical testing may occur between week 12 and 18.
- The choice of about 22 week as an upper limit has several reasons. Very few parents change their mind after week 22. When being older the fetus is starting to become a person with cognitive capabilities and consciousness and to become viable outside her mothers womb. (This answers your question about infanticide).

Kurieus, you say that this view in inconsistent but you don’t explain why. It is is not a clear cut black and white rule but very few rules are and that doesn’t make them inconsistent. Instead, black and white rules are often inhuman not taking into consideration special circumstances. An example is the view of Dr Adams in the OP. Without arguing he states that the human embryo shall have all rights from the conception.

Besides, is which way is my view above a world view?
Nils
So, according to your stated general view, a fetus is not a human life before 22 weeks, but is a human life after 22 weeks?
Sorry, I was perhaps a bit unclear. I use the standard definition of "human life" that says that it starts at the conception. However, I also say that the embryo and the young fetus don't have all rights that adult humans have.
Nils
So, you are saying that a human life starts at conception. And that even though a fetus is a human life, the fetus doesn't have the same basic human right to life? Which means that you think a fetus is either less human, or less worthy than other humans, correct?

Sounds an awful lot like what slave owners thought about the Africans during the time of chattel slavery, here in the US.

It's really a simple discussion. Either the fetus is human or it isn't. If it is, it has all the basic rights that any other human has. Especially the right to life.
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Re: Abortion Debate

#21

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:09 am

Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:01 pm
PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:12 am
Nils wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:30 pm
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:24 am
Nessa wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:21 am
In this debate, the abortionist said person hood starts at birth. If the unborn is not a person it's ok..

Killing a human being is ok because you can kill without murdering.... You can call the police but they won't arrest him...

So it's all ok :econfused:
Person hood is irrelevant since that is subjective ( how does one define person and who decides on that definition?)
That it is a live is not subjective.
All definitions are more or less arbitrary and subjective, so that isn't an argument.
Who decides on a definition are those that want to use the word. Personhood is used to discriminate the properties of an embryo from that of an adult person. So it is useful for persons like me that think that the embryo and young fetus should have different human rights.
Nils
Do you believe that there can be a subjective WITHOUT the objective?
if so, how?
Yes, I think so but to answer how will need lot of discussions. I think that that discussion is worth a thread of its own. I'll start one soon if you don't start one before.
Nils
No need, if you believe that you can have a SUBjective without an OBJECTIVE then there is really nothing to discuss.
There is no logic in play here.

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Re: Abortion Debate

#22

Post by Nils » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:00 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:42 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 am
Kurieus, you say that this view in inconsistent but you don’t explain why. It is is not a clear cut black and white rule but very few rules are and that doesn’t make them inconsistent.
....
Besides, is which way is my view above a world view?
You would call yourself a Materialist would you not? More specifically, you believe that only what is physical exists.

And yet, you'd draw some immaterial distinction called "personhood", which ultimately boils down to some soulish attribute, to say that an unborn physical human life (less than 22 weeks) doesn't deserve the most basic HUMAN right -- the right to live and not be killed by someone else. All because it doesn't possess this soulish attribute aka "personhood".

Such is very inconsistent to a physical worldview. You must surely therefore not believe that only the physical world exists, right?
I don’t know what kind of materialism you think of but that is certainly not my version. To me, the material is all that exist basically, but on that psyche is formed. As Wikipedia says “Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.” Thus all mental things like feelings, consciousness, love, creativity, personhood, morality etc exist. You may call such things “soulish” but there is no need to have a soul to have such properties.

If you doubt that such materialism exists is one thing (and I can of course argue for that), but don’t say that it is inconsistent. And the obvious answer to your question in #7 “As an aside, I wonder where this invisible attribute called "personhood" exists in the body” is in the mind which is a property of the brain.

Nils

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Re: Abortion Debate

#23

Post by Nils » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:12 pm

RickD wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:11 am


So, you are saying that a human life starts at conception. And that even though a fetus is a human life, the fetus doesn't have the same basic human right to life? Which means that you think a fetus is either less human, or less worthy than other humans, correct?
Less human in some senses, it doesn’t have all (any) cognitive capabilities of the fully developed human or to express it in another way, it isn’t a person and it has never been.
Sounds an awful lot like what slave owners thought about the Africans during the time of chattel slavery, here in the US.
No, Africans are persons, fetuses are not.
It's really a simple discussion. Either the fetus is human or it isn't. If it is, it has all the basic rights that any other human has. Especially the right to life.
This is the only argument “pro-lifers” have and it is a far too simplistic. As I said before those kinds of black or white arguments are insensitive and damaging. You must evaluate the consequences of all rules, what are the pros and what are the cons. In this case you don’t do that and from that follows that you ignore the suffering that is the consequence of an abortion ban. Thousands of women die every year from illegal abortions because they have no possibility to do it legally. Even if they know the risks they take it because they hope to be better off without a child. The only positive from a ban is that you can say that a rule is held, which only makes the narrow-minded (excuse the expression) happy. If you argue from a religious standpoint the verdict will be different but I haven’t seen any clear religious argument either.
Nils

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Re: Abortion Debate

#24

Post by Nils » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:16 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:09 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:01 pm
PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:12 am


Do you believe that there can be a subjective WITHOUT the objective?
if so, how?
Yes, I think so but to answer how will need lot of discussions. I think that that discussion is worth a thread of its own. I'll start one soon if you don't start one before.
Nils
No need, if you believe that you can have a SUBjective without an OBJECTIVE then there is really nothing to discuss.
There is no logic in play here.
Sorry, I don't understand anything.
Nils

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Re: Abortion Debate

#25

Post by Philip » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:26 pm

Nils: Less human in some senses, it doesn’t have all (any) cognitive capabilities of the fully developed human or to express it in another way, it isn’t a person and it has never been.
False! Nils is a person, and yet he was also once an unborn one. Niles the the unborn person is the same life that today is Nils the adult person, as will also be Nils the future old man. ALL the very same person, just at different stages.

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Re: Abortion Debate

#26

Post by RickD » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:50 pm

Nils wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:12 pm
RickD wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:11 am


So, you are saying that a human life starts at conception. And that even though a fetus is a human life, the fetus doesn't have the same basic human right to life? Which means that you think a fetus is either less human, or less worthy than other humans, correct?
Less human in some senses, it doesn’t have all (any) cognitive capabilities of the fully developed human or to express it in another way, it isn’t a person and it has never been.
Sounds an awful lot like what slave owners thought about the Africans during the time of chattel slavery, here in the US.
No, Africans are persons, fetuses are not.
It's really a simple discussion. Either the fetus is human or it isn't. If it is, it has all the basic rights that any other human has. Especially the right to life.
This is the only argument “pro-lifers” have and it is a far too simplistic. As I said before those kinds of black or white arguments are insensitive and damaging. You must evaluate the consequences of all rules, what are the pros and what are the cons. In this case you don’t do that and from that follows that you ignore the suffering that is the consequence of an abortion ban. Thousands of women die every year from illegal abortions because they have no possibility to do it legally. Even if they know the risks they take it because they hope to be better off without a child. The only positive from a ban is that you can say that a rule is held, which only makes the narrow-minded (excuse the expression) happy. If you argue from a religious standpoint the verdict will be different but I haven’t seen any clear religious argument either.
Nils
Nils,

You're not being logical.

A person, by definition, is:
a human being regarded as an individual.
A fetus is both a human being, and an individual. You cannot logically say that a fetus is human, but not a person.

It's insensitive to say that if a fetus is a human, then it deserves the right to life?

You're serious?

The right to life is the most important right that a human has. You say that women suffer if they have to get an illegal abortion? Nobody has to get an abortion. And what about the suffering of the baby? That doesn't matter to you?

Murder is illegal. There's no exception where if someone is inconvenienced by another person, that one can murder them.

Again, if a fetus is human it has the right to life. If it's not human, then there's no reason to prohibit abortion whatsoever.

This isn't rocket surgery Nils. It's simple logic.
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Philip (Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:38 pm)
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Re: Abortion Debate

#27

Post by Philip » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:37 pm

Rick: Murder is illegal. There's no exception where if someone is inconvenienced by another person, that one can murder them.
Absolutely! And a whole lot of murders have been self-justified by people who found their victim to be inconvenient. Oh, you might say, but the woman "owns" the baby / controls it / it can't survive without her. And yet, many of the excuses made for the supposed necessity of abortion can likewise be applied children after birth, or old, senile parents.

Nils, ever had your own children, who "inconveniently" took tons of your time and money? Ever had a parent like I have that suffered from Alzheimer's for over 10 years??? Ever had to clean your own mom up after the bathroom, or spoon feed her - and for YEARS, while also holding down a job, a spouse, and caring for you own little kids? I have. And I count those years as allowing me to show love to a person that is helpless and needed me. And yet, when you love your own child, you are willing to make sacrifices.

Go to these pro-abortion rallies - ever see women marching that look like they are incapable of sacrificing for their own child? Ever see a bunch of really poor women at such rallies? Next to NEVER!!! Because the people screaming the loudest to keep abortion legal are middle class and upwards - people who certainly have the ability to take care of a child. And people all over want to adopt. And of people careful with birth control, the percentage of pregnancies is extremely low - which tells me most women who abort are using are irresponsible and desire it as a birth control backup, because they were haphazard about having sex, and who they were having it with. Or they feel the timing will crimp their lifestyle. It's just evil and sad!

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Re: Abortion Debate

#28

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:47 pm

Nils wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:00 pm
Kurieuo wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:42 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 am
Kurieus, you say that this view in inconsistent but you don’t explain why. It is is not a clear cut black and white rule but very few rules are and that doesn’t make them inconsistent.
....
Besides, is which way is my view above a world view?
You would call yourself a Materialist would you not? More specifically, you believe that only what is physical exists.

And yet, you'd draw some immaterial distinction called "personhood", which ultimately boils down to some soulish attribute, to say that an unborn physical human life (less than 22 weeks) doesn't deserve the most basic HUMAN right -- the right to live and not be killed by someone else. All because it doesn't possess this soulish attribute aka "personhood".

Such is very inconsistent to a physical worldview. You must surely therefore not believe that only the physical world exists, right?

If you doubt that such materialism exists is one thing (and I can of course argue for that), but don’t say that it is inconsistent. And the obvious answer to your question in #7 “As an aside, I wonder where this invisible attribute called "personhood" exists in the body” is in the mind which is a property of the brain.
I don’t know what kind of materialism you think of but that is certainly not my version. To me, the material is all that exist basically, but on that psyche is formed. As Wikipedia says “Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.” Thus all mental things like feelings, consciousness, love, creativity, personhood, morality etc exist. You may call such things “soulish” but there is no need to have a soul to have such properties.
Yes, Materialism is the position that all things are reducible to the material world. So then, all those seemingly qualitatively and immaterial attributes you describe (feelings, consciousness, love, creativity, etc), which don't appear to have properties of mass, weight, shape, colour, taste, etc -- where are they? And you give a response to this question:
Nils wrote:If you doubt that such materialism exists is one thing (and I can of course argue for that), but don’t say that it is inconsistent. And the obvious answer to your question in #7 “As an aside, I wonder where this invisible attribute called "personhood" exists in the body” is in the mind which is a property of the brain.
So then, your response is personhood is reduced to a property of the brain. Which or what property is this? Now of course it is here you might say "ahh, it's all much more complex than that." While you can't give a 1 for 1 correlation in the brain, that is, point to this part of the brain and say there's the person right there... as it is a process or state in which neurons are firing in the brain -- that they fire in this way, rather than that way (right??), which at least gives us some scientific objective grounding.

So then, regardless of what anyone perceives of another person, if a person's brain is firing off signals in a certain way, then they're a person... well, it'd make sense to use that consistently when it comes to human life in the womb.

But, do you Nils? You say you'll support a woman's right to have an abortion up until 22 weeks. Did you base your 22 week judgement based upon an analysis of brain development? Based upon some personhood argument, which now I've prodded you as being inconsistent to your worldview, you claim you're not as you based personhood upon the brain. So then, let's see how consistent this 22 week cutoff point is.

By six weeks of development there is neural activity. Perhaps maybe that's too primitive for your liking, such activity is only firing in a way that isn't really a way that'd be a person. What about feeling pain? Do persons or non-persons feel pain? Maureen Condic, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah. She stated to congress that the neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development... This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity."

Now you might debate or disagree with 8 weeks. I've just quoted an expert in the field. But, I'm wondering. Did you come to your 22 week conclusion by consistently applying your belief that personhood is had as an attribute of our brain? Did you come to the conclusion that 22 weeks is the time a person exists based upon your study, understanding and knowledge of brain development?
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Re: Abortion Debate

#29

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:28 am

Nils does NOT believe in potential it seems.
Nils doesn't understand the difference between subjective and objective it seems.

As such, this debate is pointless.

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Re: Abortion Debate

#30

Post by Nils » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:58 am

Philip, Rick D, and others,
we have to agree on terminology, otherwise the discussion will be meaningless.
I defined a “person” as a human being that is or have been conscious. I got this definition from the article: https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/ho ... 6b1dddf3b5, and I have seen similar definitions in other articles.
You use other definitions of ‘person’ and it is okey to me but have to use the same definition. It is convenient with a name on human beings that are or have been conscious. Temporarily, until you come up with a better suggestion, I will call them Once Conscious Persons (oc-persons).

Now with the terminology in place I state that
- fetuses younger than 22 weeks are not oc-persons,
- parents should be legally allowed to abort fetuses that arn’t oc-persons, and
- if it is legal to kill them it is not murder to kill them.
I have argued why in post #11. Shortly: Fetuses that aren’t oc-persons don’t have consciousness, don’t feal pain.

Nils

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