please can we all talk about abortions? that would be nice.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:56 am UTC

If we really want to get less people in the world, we should first start "removing" elderly people.


Wouldn't cause a significant reduction in population. Reductions in breeding rate reduce population a lot faster than killing people who already exist.

Otherwise, things like world wars would set the world's population growth back by centuries, and they don't.

Also, the elderly are people.
Last edited by Belial on Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:02 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hawknc » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:02 am UTC

I think lani's quite succinctly summed up why us men should have absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever. (I'm pro-choice, if you hadn't guessed.) None of us can really understand it completely because we don't have the equipment or the experience.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:09 am UTC

I disagree that one needs to have experienced something to have an opinion on it.

Especially when the moral and legal dimensions of it are the ones in question.
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Postby Hawknc » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:15 am UTC

Have an opinion, by all means, but it's been demonstrated a few times in this thread alone that we don't know what we're talking about. Nobody takes abortion lightheartedly, even the pro-choicers, when they've witnessed what happens when one occurs.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:20 am UTC

As long as we're whipping out anecdotal evidence, I have spoken to several people who "took it lightly" or generally just didn't consider it a big thing. I guess it depends on the people you hang out with.

More than one mentioned feeling like they shouldn't mention that, since it's so common to treat it as a huge thing.

I even remember a thread on the childfree boards over in teh LJ for exactly that: People who had an abortion, didn't care, but were guilted into acting like it was a "deep and troubling decision" because that's the socially accepted way to treat it. (When in actuality, from reading most of their posts, it was more of a "no-brainer, do not want, please get it out of me" decision.)

So my conclusion from this is that being female doesn't guarantee an understanding of each person's separate experience. The emotions (or lack thereof) surrounding *your* abortion will not be like anyone else's, so having *had* an abortion only qualifies you to talk about *yours* from experience.

Everything beyond that is just speculation, generalization, and second-hand experience, which is all the menfolk have to go by anyway. The situations are not terribly different.
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Postby Air Gear » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:32 am UTC

Belial wrote:@Air Gear: I agree that sterilization is probably the best option there, but ultimately....it's their wallet. If you agree that the fetus isn't a conscious life, and that killing it has no moral ramifications, why does it matter that those people have chosen a really inefficient and costly method of birth control?

And if it *is* a life, why is it only bad when you kill it *often*?

Is there some kind of weird arithmetic here? Some equation where a certain number of abortions suddenly becomes morally wrong? Does 6 fetuses equal a human life or something?

I ask this because I've encountered this philosophy a lot, and I've never been able to make heads or tails of it.


There's really no arithmetic in it; there IS a point where consciousness comes into play and it's mainly about avoiding abortions after that point. Basically, minimize whenever we just happen to cross the line. I have very little of an idea when that point is, whether something like Pesh's figure of 7 weeks (which is slightly lower than the lowest I've ever considered) to something like 5 months or whatever. Seriously, though, I'm not hardcore about any of this. Abortion really doesn't make it onto my top ten list of things that really matter, so...a lot of it is a simple case of "I wouldn't care if they did this as long as they do it in a sensible way". As for encountering the philosophy a bit...there's one big difference. I'm actually trying to make sense with it and have a logical pathway leading to it while a lot of people...well, you won't be able to make heads or tails of it since nobody can.

Random note: sterilizations aren't just the best option here, they're the best option for a LOT of things in general.

And man, the whole "6 fetuses equals..." thing that you're saying...it's so tempting to make a joke involving barbecues. So, so tempting.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:39 am UTC

There's really no arithmetic in it; there IS a point where consciousness comes into play and it's mainly about avoiding abortions after that point.


Just to continue playing devil's advocate (I'm in a really argumentative mood tonight, I don't know what it is. ) are you a vegetarian?

If not, how do you justify killing animals, while killing something with even *less* consciousness and intelligence is unacceptable?

To anticipate an argument, if it's about "potential for consciousness", then that argument can be extended backwards to the pre-consciousness fetus, or even to the sperm and egg (making masturbation and menstruation immoral, not to mention conceiving children since millions of sperm are killed).

Random note: sterilizations aren't just the best option here, they're the best option for a LOT of things in general.


Agreed. I really need to get around to getting mine done.
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Postby Lani » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:01 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:I think lani's quite succinctly summed up why us men should have absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever. (I'm pro-choice, if you hadn't guessed.) None of us can really understand it completely because we don't have the equipment or the experience.


Oh, I wasn't trying to say that men should have no say in the matter. And speaking of such things, a number of my girl friends, before sleeping together for the first time, told their partner that if the birth control goes wrong, they would not get an abortion. Not so sexy pillow talk, but very good to make that understood right away.
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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:05 am UTC

And speaking of such things, a number of my girl friends, before sleeping together for the first time, told their partner that if the birth control goes wrong, they would not get an abortion. Not so sexy pillow talk, but very good to make that understood right away.



In an ideal world, all folk would be that straight-forward. They are to be commended. I know, speaking for myself, that would be my cue to vanish (metaphorically, into the nether realm of "that friend who is not going to be slept with ever"). In fact, that's probably why a lot of people don't just come out and say that: fear of scaring off a potential mate.
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Postby narfanator » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:15 am UTC

Hmm, okay, harking back to Vandole's thing on the social effects of not having the woman's choice decide the responsibilities of the man; that such a law would cause more single mothers and be bad for society.

The problem of pushing the responsibility of contraception onto the woman is easily solved; or, rather, almost easily solved. The use of contraception implies the non-desire to have a child; if you consider the non-use of contraception as the desire to have a child, then we have our implied answer right there - If a man doesn't use contraception, then they are implying much more strongly that they either don't care about the result, or that they wish to have a child. As such, they've already voiced a "yea" on the choice issue, and accept responsibility. The issue comes in when you say that "Oh, she told me she was taking care of the contraception....", but that's similar enough to other issues that I think we can find analogues, atleast as food for thought.

In any event, assume that this is an accidental pregancy in spite of deiliberate contraceptive use by the partners.

The rest of this strikes me as treating the symptons rather than the illness, and in any event, it's damaging to our society to give one person such control over another. For another - why are we trying to say that responsibility does not depend on gender, while still saying that choice does?

If the men are going to be less responsible, then women would need to become more responsible, either as themselves, or in the men they pick. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing?

That our soceity is so damaged by this - unfortunate. But, I have to say, I feel as though it is a much more fundemental issue to our society that freedoms are not infringed. Fine - a woman might find herself pressured by whatnot to not abort - that's still a decision, and it's her decision. It's also then her decision to not give the baby up for adoption.

Hmm - although - although. If, in the act of sex, both parties are implying a consent of the inherent risks involved - But, does this properly take into account of the imbalance of risks, even in the face of the imbalance of choice? If the man's consent entails less risk than the woman's, how much less meaningfull is that consent?

Hmmm. Fuzzy thought train leads to this, which feels balanced:
It's the man's duty to make sure that there are contraceptives being used, and that they are suffecient (which would mean something like >95% functionality; ei, no timing methods), but, so long as the man fulfills this duty, then he washes himself of the forced responsibility after the woman's choice.

No, still doesn't feel quite right, this solution. But, I still think it is more wrong for the law to bend one person to another's will when no crime is involved, than for there to be single mothers. I don't quite know why I think one is worse, but I do.

More pondering is necessary.

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Postby dragonfrog » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:24 am UTC

Well, up front I'll say that, more than I am pro-life or pro-choice (to use current politically loaded vocabulary), I'm anti-prohibition*.

I read Freakonomics a while ago, and one of the essays in there dealt with a possibly very significant cause of the drop in crime rates all over the U.S., which got fairly little publicity (at least from that angle). Basically, they attribute a lot of credit for the falling crime rates in the early 90s, to Roe v. Wade making abortion legal in 1973.

The idea is that those children who grow up to commit the most crimes, are precisely those whose mothers would be most likely to get an abortion if they can. Makes sense when you think about it - women who would be unable to give a child a safe and stable home, mostly know it. But before Roe v. Wade, they were largely forced to have the child. About 17 or 18 years later, i.e. when all those maladjusted young men would have been beginning to get seriously into crime, sure enough the crime rates fell.

Of course no one wants to bring that up now - Rudolph Guilianni wants to say, the crime rate in New York fell because of his innovations in police work. He doesn't want to say it's nothing to do with him, but because unemployed single mothers in the mid-70s got access to safe abortions...



*I think that the barrier to making something illegal ought to be much higher than it is. As a society, we too often fail to consider the inevitable social damage of yet anothe prohibition, compared to the damage from the behaviour we disapprove of. Drug prohibition is of course the classic example of a prohibition that causes infinitely more harm than the prohibited behaviour ever could, but it's far from the only one.

So, I'm anti-abortion, in that if I got someone into an unplanned pregnancy, I would do everything I could to support any decision of theirs other than abortion - i.e. help with raising the kid, help finding adoptive parents. And the same goes for any friend of mine, if I wasn't the father, though of course the extent I'd go would be less. But yeah, prohibition is far far worse than abortion.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:30 am UTC

It's the man's duty to make sure that there are contraceptives being used, and that they are suffecient (which would mean something like >95% functionality; ei, no timing methods), but, so long as the man fulfills this duty, then he washes himself of the forced responsibility after the woman's choice.


I realize you dropped this tentative solution, but just to point out the obvious problem:

It would make birth control pills a completely useless invention, since it's not practically verifiable by the male, and therefore necessitates one or two other forms of birth control on top of it.
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Postby Vandole » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:37 am UTC

narfanator:

Unfortunately, some freedoms must be restricted in order for society to function the way it does now. Think about freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want, right? But you better watch your mouth, because you can be prosecuted based on what you said - hate crimes and libel lawsuits are great examples of when the freedom of a person is restricted to protect another. It happens all the time, and government walks a fine line of restricting the right freedoms. Take for instance, the age at which one can drive. That's a restriction of freedom. I dare you to find a constitution that says kids can't drive. It's not there. In fact, the driving age is a restriction of the rights a government claims to be natural, fundamental and undeniable. But because they can justify it, it's not questioned.

When I say a single mother is worse than not giving the man the choice of whether or not he associates with the mother of his son, I mean the social ramifications of that. Children raised by a parent or parents who don't have the money to provide for them tend to develop social problems (I need to find actual proof to back that up) so by allowing a child to grow up without the financial support of its father could lead to a burden on society, maybe even criminal activity. So what I'm saying is that men should shoulder that social responsibility, even if it means we are denied that choice.

Belial:
Well, I guess that means a guy's just going to have to trust his partner if he wants to do it without a condom / other suitable method of contraception. Is a vasectomy/sterlization verifiable by the female? If not, it's a very similar boat there.

Plus, birth control pills tend to have nasty side effects as well, so they're not a great solution in the first place.

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Postby Lani » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:47 am UTC

Vandole wrote:Plus, birth control pills tend to have nasty side effects as well, so they're not a great solution in the first place.


Actually, a lot of women take birth control pills because they help reduce unpleasant things like cramps, endometriosis, and help make periods be very regular. They're a helluva lot better than the shot, since they're small amounts of hormones released gradually, versus a huge dose immediately.
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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:51 am UTC

Vandole, wouldn't the logical conclusion of your argument (That society has some obligation to prevent single-motherhood) be that unmarried or unattached women should be obligated to have abortions? If not, how is the argument different?

Belial:
Well, I guess that means a guy's just going to have to trust his partner if he wants to do it without a condom / other suitable method of contraception. Is a vasectomy/sterlization verifiable by the female? If not, it's a very similar boat there.


Given Narf's presupposition that it's the male's responsibility to verify birth control (and not the female's, by implication), what you're saying is kindof irrelevant.

Actually, a lot of women take birth control pills because they help reduce unpleasant things like cramps, endometriosis, and help make periods be very regular.


True. My sister was on birth control from the age of 10, for exactly that reason.
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Postby Vandole » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:04 am UTC

Belial wrote:Vandole, wouldn't the logical conclusion of your argument (That society has some obligation to prevent single-motherhood) be that unmarried or unattached women should be obligated to have abortions? If not, how is the argument different?

You raise an excellent point. I was about to talk about how it's a man's obligation to society not to create poor conditions for a child, but it occurred to me "Why wouldn't it be a woman's obligation as well?" when piecing together my argument. That is certainly a logical conclusion that can be made. And yet I believe that even if it's for the greater good, forcing a woman to have an abortion is just wrong.

Hmm... I will have to think on this. I think the difference, if there is any, is that a man has an obligation to society not to leave the mother of his child on her own, but society has an obligation to allow a woman a choice? Hmm... but that conflicts. There's definitely a "when do the needs of the many take precedence over the needs of the few" question here. However, it's now 1:00 am and I did promise to get a proper night of sleep tonight. Good night, people of the fora.

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Postby ivnja » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:35 am UTC

Belial wrote:Just to continue playing devil's advocate (I'm in a really argumentative mood tonight, I don't know what it is. ) are you a vegetarian?

If not, how do you justify killing animals, while killing something with even *less* consciousness and intelligence is unacceptable?


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not to make light of things, but that was too good to pass up
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Postby Framling » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:35 am UTC

lani wrote:I'm vehemently pro-choice. Personally, I think the reason South Dakota actually passed the abortion ban was to boost a sagging coat hanger industry.

Seriously, banning abortion just means women will do them unsafely.

Edited because I left out a word or two. Oops...


Point of clarification: The abortion ban never became law in South Dakota.

The (asshole) legislators passed it, the (douchebag) governor signed it, but before it could take effect, enough angry people signed petitions to get it put on the ballot last fall, where it was shot the hell down.

Not that it would have suprised me in the least had they passed it. It's really not like them to pass up an opportunity to look like backwoods retards in front of the rest of the world.
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Postby Nomic » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:52 am UTC

I don't count a fetus as a human being untill it actually has a brain and starts to resemble a human. Killing a non-concious being is acceptable, alltho I don't exactly aprove it. If you messed up, suffer the consiquenses! Ofcourse if the woman was raped, then I do approve it. Generally I think that it's far better to not put you'rself into a position where an abortion is required. Don't have unprotected sex if you don't want a child, or better yet, don't have sex at all! It isn't nearly as hard as people make it out to be, and there are already too many people in the world! *walks off mubling about stupid humans who can't use something as simble as a condom*

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:18 pm UTC

If you messed up, suffer the consiquenses!


Are we using children, which is to say *human beings* as *punishments* for poor planning, now? That's the impression I get whenever I hear that.....
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Postby Air Gear » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:31 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
There's really no arithmetic in it; there IS a point where consciousness comes into play and it's mainly about avoiding abortions after that point.


Just to continue playing devil's advocate (I'm in a really argumentative mood tonight, I don't know what it is. ) are you a vegetarian?

If not, how do you justify killing animals, while killing something with even *less* consciousness and intelligence is unacceptable?

To anticipate an argument, if it's about "potential for consciousness", then that argument can be extended backwards to the pre-consciousness fetus, or even to the sperm and egg (making masturbation and menstruation immoral, not to mention conceiving children since millions of sperm are killed).

Random note: sterilizations aren't just the best option here, they're the best option for a LOT of things in general.


Agreed. I really need to get around to getting mine done.


It's definitely NOT about "potential for consciousness". You're taking me for somebody I'm definitely not here (I'd think that the whole slamming people with that sort of ideology would cover it). It's about when the whole concept actually kicks in. Before that, damn, I seriously do not care in the slightest. You can't bring that to pre-conscious. As for taking meat and such out of the diet...haven't had the self-control to pull THAT one off, though it'd be a pretty obvious corollary, at least for certain larger animals. Squid are so intelligent yet so tasty too :oops:

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Postby Lenale » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:40 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
If you messed up, suffer the consiquenses!


Are we using children, which is to say *human beings* as *punishments* for poor planning, now? That's the impression I get whenever I hear that.....


It would be immoral to hand out babies to people who have been judged to be Bad Planners, true.

But... isn't disposing of said children (or bunches of cells well on their way of becoming said children), which is to say "human beings", BECAUSE you're a bad planner kind of immoral, either?

To hit another couple of flies with the same post:

1. I'm a vegetarian ;)
2. I won't go all Catholic on you guys with regards to birth control, because that's a personal matter, as it should be. BUT. If you're talking about who should be responsible, I think it's not more than logical that both partners are, isn't it? After all, you're in it together. This sharing could be done very simply by discussing it and, for example if you're using condoms, delegating the entire responsibility to the man. At the same time, both partners should realise that no kind of birth control is ever 100% save (even celibacy didn't work at one ocassion, after all), and that both partners are also equally responsible when it turns out that it didn't work in this case.
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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:21 pm UTC

It would be immoral to hand out babies to people who have been judged to be Bad Planners, true.

But... isn't disposing of said children (or bunches of cells well on their way of becoming said children), which is to say "human beings", BECAUSE you're a bad planner kind of immoral, either?


Only if you assume that the unformed fetuses *are* human beings, and have some kind of moral value. I reject that assumption.

2. I won't go all Catholic on you guys with regards to birth control, because that's a personal matter, as it should be. BUT. If you're talking about who should be responsible, I think it's not more than logical that both partners are, isn't it? After all, you're in it together.


That's true. In fact, your entire "Point 2" is correct, when we're talking about what it would be *nice* if people would do. That's kindof the source of the misunderstanding here, some people are arguing what people *should* do *socially*, and others are arguing what it's a good idea to *obligate* them to do *legally*.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:33 pm UTC

Lenale wrote:It would be immoral to hand out babies to people who have been judged to be Bad Planners, true.

But... isn't disposing of said children (or bunches of cells well on their way of becoming said children), which is to say "human beings", BECAUSE you're a bad planner kind of immoral, either?

What if we sold them to the highest bidder instead of just handing them out? :P
And, as Belial said, there is the question of whether or not it is a human being. And I don't know where one draws that line, but I'm sure we will have some arbitrary line drawn for us by those making the laws.

Belial wrote: In fact, your entire "Point 2" is correct, when we're talking about what it would be *nice* if people would do. That's kindof the source of the misunderstanding here, some people are arguing what people *should* do *socially*, and others are arguing what it's a good idea to *obligate* them to do *legally*.

Wouldn't it be nice if once in a while the legal thing was the nice thing?
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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:36 pm UTC

It would. But forcing people to be nice, via the law, is way too open to abuse.
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Postby TheTankengine » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:08 pm UTC

thefiddler wrote:
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Me too, darling. Me too.

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Postby TheTankengine » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:10 pm UTC

I don't know what this thread is all about, so i'll just tell you that my birthday is July 17th and can we please keep the off-topic posts to a minimum pleasekthanksbye?

Like I said before, pro-choice on everything as long as your choice does not limit my ability to choose for myself!

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Postby Lani » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:23 pm UTC

This is an awesome question to pose to people who believe life starts at conception:

You're in a fertility clinic, and it's burning down. In one corner, you have 5 blastulae, or fertilized eggs. In the other corner, you have a two-year old child. You only have time to save the blastulae or the child and yourself. Who do you save?


:mrgreen:
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Postby Rat » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:28 pm UTC

lani wrote:This is an awesome question to pose to people who believe life starts at conception:

You're in a fertility clinic, and it's burning down. In one corner, you have 5 blastulae, or fertilized eggs. In the other corner, you have a two-year old child. You only have time to save the blastulae or the child and yourself. Who do you save?


:mrgreen:


neither.. i hate kids

in fact, i support postnatal abortion.. at least up to the age of 3

hell, if it were up to me we would farm children and eat them... i bet they'd taste good...

i wonder if PETA would be against that?

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

On the subject of fertility clinics...

I always find it entertaining when people are against abortion, but see nothing wrong with in vitro fertilization....

Since, generally, 10 or so embryos are created, and then selectively aborted down to the desired number....
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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:57 pm UTC

Point of clarification: The abortion ban never became law in South Dakota.

The (asshole) legislators passed it, the (douchebag) governor signed it, but before it could take effect, enough angry people signed petitions to get it put on the ballot last fall, where it was shot the hell down.

Not that it would have suprised me in the least had they passed it. It's really not like them to pass up an opportunity to look like backwoods retards in front of the rest of the world.


They may still have the chance
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

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Vandole
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Postby Vandole » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:40 pm UTC

Lenale wrote:even celibacy didn't work at one ocassion, after all

What is this occasion that celibacy didn't work? It sounds pretty odd to me, and also a very hard thing to do. What, does the sperm just magically get into a woman's uterus?

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Lenale
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Postby Lenale » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:43 pm UTC

Vandole wrote:
Lenale wrote:even celibacy didn't work at one ocassion, after all

What is this occasion that celibacy didn't work? It sounds pretty odd to me, and also a very hard thing to do. What, does the sperm just magically get into a woman's uterus?


It was a joke, actually ;) There were an angel, a pigeon and a whole lot o' chatting involved.
Physics is like sex. It might give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.

--Richard Feynmann

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Jesse
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Postby Jesse » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:23 pm UTC

I thought it was an amusing reference to the immaculate conception featured in the bible.

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Lenale
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Postby Lenale » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:27 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:I thought it was an amusing reference to the immaculate conception featured in the bible.


Actually, the immaculate conception refers to Mary being conceived without sin, cue dreadfully long theological explanation...

Bottom line: you were referring to the right event. :D
Physics is like sex. It might give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.

--Richard Feynmann

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TheTankengine
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Postby TheTankengine » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:29 am UTC

Oh man, House totally convinced this christian chick to get an abortion after she was raped and got chlamydia, even though she was all "all life is sacred" and shit. It was very moving.

He made a good point though. It's all about drawing lines. Do you kill the asshole that raped her? Do you kill the growing mass of cells that could eventually become a human? Should Hitler have been aborted?

These lines are extremely ambiguous. Ultimately there is a line with babies: birth.
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Postby narfanator » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:58 am UTC

That episode was fantastically written.

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Postby Grincement » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:42 pm UTC

Yay for Hugh Laurie...he can talk me into anything he wants... :oops:
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thefiddler
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Postby thefiddler » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:44 pm UTC

Squeak wrote:Yay for Hugh Laurie...he can talk me into anything he wants... :oops:

I knew I forgot about something! I meant to comment, but forgot. :(

Anyways, I adore House. :D

That was such a good episode. It showed the pros and cons of abortion and whatnot. Then there was the religious/moral aspect of it and personal obligation. I adore that man.

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Narsil
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Postby Narsil » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:02 pm UTC

I don't think that guys should not have an opinion on the matter, but let me just say if you're a pro-life guy, you are a pompous ass-hat and I would be amazed if you found the brain power necessary to pull your pants down before sitting on the can. To think that someone would have the sheer audacity to tell someone to unwillingly go through an experience of unimaginable pain to conform to beliefs that she may or may not agree with only because someone higher up than her believes something and feels entitled to force it on others as well....

Some people are idiots. Let's leave it at that. It's when those idiots breed, vote and operate large machinery, then we get problems.
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Oh... that.


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