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

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Gunfingers
Posts: 2401
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 7:15 pm UTC

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

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

Well sure there's killing, since mincing words seems to be the fad right now in this topic, it's just that it's killing along the same order as taking penicillin is killing. It's true, things die.

On a side note, i consider anal to be the best contraceptive. Barring someone clenching all the way to a clinic (not unheard of), it works.

User avatar
Hammer
Because all of you look like nails.
Posts: 5491
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 7:32 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Re:

Postby Hammer » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:Look at the virgin Mary, even abstinence is not 100% effective against pregnancy.

Can we please keep this thread in the realm of reasonable discussion? If this turns into an argument about miraculous pregnancies and the possible effects of having aborted baby Jesus, I'm pulling this forum over and handing out beatings. *snarl snarl snarl*
"What's wrong with you mathematicians? Cake is never a problem."

User avatar
sophyturtle
I'll go put my shirt back on for this kind of shock. No I won't. I'll get my purse.
Posts: 3476
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
Location: it's turtles all the way down, even in the suburbs
Contact:

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

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:36 pm UTC

Sorry Hammer... bad joke.

poorly stated point: pregnancy can happen to anyone with a uterus.
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:No no no. What you haven't established is that any "killing" at all is taking place. Because you haven't established that the fetus is living and has the right not to be "killed." So when you say "I'm not comfortable with defining the point at which something becomes immoral to kill" that's hypocritical because, as gmalivuk said, you've just done that.


Not really. I'd be willing to accept that there are points before it's really immoral and points after. Imaginging 8 cells inside a cell wall, clinging to some uterial blood, it's pretty hard to justify calling it something worth applying morality to, while the millions of sperm I killed making it (or the quadrillions of sperm I destroyed while not in a relationship) are somehow exempt. I'm saying, let's avoid the question altogether and err on the side of not killing anything that will eventually grow into something it may be unethical to kill, whether it's debatable or not. Since we're just doing it for our own convenience, it's better to prevent having to make the difficult choice and defining the difficult distinction in the first place, but in the event that we have to anyway (for example, the 1% fail rate for vasectomys), err on the side of safety.

It's also true that, to be consistent, High ethics would suggest I'd have to either be abstinent, sterile, or with a sterile woman. Thankfully, this has been the case so far, but I might have to make a very difficult decision in the future.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

Re: Re:

Postby Philwelch » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
SJ Zero wrote:I'd fight to the death to keep a girlfriend from having [an abortion].

Okay, so you said your *personal* belief was against abortion, and that it shouldn't be made illegal. What, then, gives you the right to think you should dictate (not merely discuss or suggest, but *dictate*) a girlfriend from having an abortion?

I know "fight to the death" was an exaggeration, or at least I hope it was, but still, those are pretty strong words from the guy who merely donated a few nanograms of sperm to the process so far.


This entire theme of "men contribute almost nothing and should have no say when it comes to their children" is pervasive, and it's wrong. Stop doing it. I get the point you're trying to get to, but you're taking the wrong route.

Quixotess wrote:No no no. What you haven't established is that any "killing" at all is taking place. Because you haven't established that the fetus is living and has the right not to be "killed." So when you say "I'm not comfortable with defining the point at which something becomes immoral to kill" that's hypocritical because, as gmalivuk said, you've just done that.


We haven't established that it has any rights, but it is living. The only time it's not living is when there's a miscarriage.

Look, I know it's popular to equivocate about science and obscure what it says for a political reason, but stop doing it.

Belial wrote:
Philwelch wrote:
Belial wrote:Okay, putting aside the fact that the fetus's status as "alive" or "human" is extremely debateable...


No, not really. It's very easy to distinguish living tissue from dead tissue, and the fetus is pretty much made out of living tissue. Likewise, it's made out of human living tissue. In fact, I'd go further and say it's a distinct human being in a state of prenatal symbiosis.

What it isn't is a person.


Quite. My liver is living tissue too, but if I cut a slice off, nobody considers it to be killing a living thing.

So I guess I should've specified it as "a life". Which is to say, a separate, living being.


It's a distinct living being, but then again, so are the billions of bacteria symbiotically living within your body, and even the thousands of more complex organisms that, for instance, constantly walk your skin and munch on your dead skin cells. Or a tapeworm.

It's a distinct, human living being. Run a DNA test. I'll wait.

Sorry for repeating myself, but it annoys me when people make blatantly fallacious arguments for something I believe in. None of this has any bearing on whether it has rights. None of these bad arguments need to be made, and none of them are even remotely accurate from a scientific standpoint. Honestly, while it's not the direction I would go, all these arguments about when brain waves show up and so forth might even make a useful case. But making useless arguments about "the fetus isn't even alive" only makes people think that's what the debate is about. And we're going to lose that debate.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby Belial » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:54 pm UTC

Run a DNA test. I'll wait.


Having distinct DNA doesn't make it a distinct living being. Until it's capable of doing fun stuff like regulating its own autonomic systems, you could just as easily call it a mutant growth. Cancer or what have you.

The point being that being living tissue doesn't automatically make it worthy of consideration or protection.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

The point being that being living tissue doesn't automatically make it worthy of consideration or protection.


I know of a political party that would say the same thing about Iraqis.

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

Philwelch, can you please define what constitutes a person, from your perspective. I'm pretty sure I know what you mean, but I want to be sure we're on the same page.

User avatar
Kaiyas
Posts: 459
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

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

Postby Kaiyas » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

SJ Zero wrote:
The point being that being living tissue doesn't automatically make it worthy of consideration or protection.


I know of a political party that would say the same thing about Iraqis.

...Your point?

To add on to jett's question, what's our criteria for personhood, anyways? Cognitive ability? Independence? Cell differentiation?
Last edited by Kaiyas on Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Image
clintonius wrote:This place is like mental masturbation

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26828
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

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

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

SJ Zero wrote:
The point being that being living tissue doesn't automatically make it worthy of consideration or protection.

I know of a political party that would say the same thing about Iraqis.

How is this relevant? It just looks like another appearance of your slippery slope argument about how not protecting a bit of tissue is somehow tantamount to not caring about an entire population of people.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:18 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:How is this relevant? It just looks like another appearance of your slippery slope argument about how not protecting a bit of tissue is somehow tantamount to not caring about an entire population of people.


Just drawing some parallels. There are a lot of things being said by both "sides" that are treated as if axiomatic.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Run a DNA test. I'll wait.


Having distinct DNA doesn't make it a distinct living being. Until it's capable of doing fun stuff like regulating its own autonomic systems, you could just as easily call it a mutant growth. Cancer or what have you.

The point being that being living tissue doesn't automatically make it worthy of consideration or protection.


Lots of distinct living beings can't regulate their own autonomic system. Lots of distinct living beings are symbiotic.

Your point is essentially right, you're just using a fallacious argument to get there.

theonlyjett wrote:Philwelch, can you please define what constitutes a person, from your perspective. I'm pretty sure I know what you mean, but I want to be sure we're on the same page.


From my perspective, a person is an agent who has the actual (as opposed to potentially), current (as opposed to in the future) capacity to fully participate in society. This is a complex philosophical criterion. I'm pretty sure that healthy adult humans, children who can use language, and self-aware talking robots all qualify. Animals, embryos, people in permanent vegetative states, and infants probably don't qualify. Toddlers and the severely mentally disabled are in a gray area. I'm also willing to openly admit this is a very unpopular criterion for this reason. I'm sure you could think of a more popular criterion, but it wouldn't be nearly as consistent with a bunch of philosophical concerns that are beyond this issue. (Sometimes I do have an entire philosophical theory behind what I'm saying.)

Now, when it comes to animals and born children, I do recognize an instinctual disinclination to harm, but this is separate from the moral consideration we ought to give to humans.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
Exotria
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:41 pm UTC
Location: MA
Contact:

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

Postby Exotria » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:From my perspective, a person is an agent who has the actual (as opposed to potentially), current (as opposed to in the future) capacity to fully participate in society. This is a complex philosophical criterion. I'm pretty sure that healthy adult humans, children who can use language, and self-aware talking robots all qualify. Animals, embryos, people in permanent vegetative states, and infants probably don't qualify. Toddlers and the severely mentally disabled are in a gray area. I'm also willing to openly admit this is a very unpopular criterion for this reason.


I am uncomfortable with using full participation in society as a criterion for personhood. There are those with fully functional minds who are trapped in ineffective bodies, and saying they aren't people seems a bit crude. What happens with those in temporary comas, or stroke victims? They can't currently function in society, but with recovery they may be able to in the future. Does that put them in the same lack of personhood as an infant? I'm guessing that goes in your gray area... can someone temporarily lose personhood and regain it?
Elvish Pillager wrote:
niolosoiale wrote:So which side of the fence would you say I'm on? Why?

The confusing one. I think you should pick a different fence.

User avatar
lesliesage
Posts: 1729
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:07 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: please can we all talk about abortions? that would be ni

Postby lesliesage » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:09 pm UTC

puzzle
Last edited by lesliesage on Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:13 pm UTC

Exotria wrote:
Philwelch wrote:From my perspective, a person is an agent who has the actual (as opposed to potentially), current (as opposed to in the future) capacity to fully participate in society. This is a complex philosophical criterion. I'm pretty sure that healthy adult humans, children who can use language, and self-aware talking robots all qualify. Animals, embryos, people in permanent vegetative states, and infants probably don't qualify. Toddlers and the severely mentally disabled are in a gray area. I'm also willing to openly admit this is a very unpopular criterion for this reason.


I am uncomfortable with using full participation in society as a criterion for personhood. There are those with fully functional minds who are trapped in ineffective bodies, and saying they aren't people seems a bit crude.


I mean the capacity to participate, not actual participation. People have a right to be hermits.

Exotria wrote:What happens with those in temporary comas, or stroke victims? They can't currently function in society, but with recovery they may be able to in the future. Does that put them in the same lack of personhood as an infant? I'm guessing that goes in your gray area... can someone temporarily lose personhood and regain it?


If someone's in a coma, they still have the capacity, they just can't exercise it. If someone's in a permanent vegetative state, they don't have the capacity. An infant hasn't developed the capacity yet and someone in PVS has lost it, but someone who's unconscious (even for awhile) still has it, I think.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:22 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:If someone's in a coma, they still have the capacity, they just can't exercise it.
You don't think you're mincing words here? I would say they don't have the capacity, hence the coma.

I have more to write, but just wanted to get this in for now.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

theonlyjett wrote:
Philwelch wrote:If someone's in a coma, they still have the capacity, they just can't exercise it.
You don't think you're mincing words here? I would say they don't have the capacity, hence the coma.

I have more to write, but just wanted to get this in for now.


Well, here's a more typical case—what if you're sleeping? If you're sleeping you have the capacity, you just need either time or a poke in the ribs before you can participate. I think a coma's closer to the case of sleeping than the case of PVS, though individual cases differ.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:40 am UTC

You know, I had five pages of text to make points that I really don't need to make.

Philwelch's views don't concern me. Hell, there are aspects of it with which I agree. Legal abortions don't concern me. The current laws are pretty good as they are. The argument itself doesn't concern me, as it raises awareness of the issue. And it should be an issue. People need to know all the facts and feel free to do what they think is the best. Having opposing viewpoints only serves to keep the topic in everyone's mind. As with most everything, the only true course of action is education and trust.

I believe that the potential for human life should be protected. There's plenty of reasons for why I believe this, some "rational" and others not so much, but really, they aren't important. What is important is that, although I believe there is a best choice in almost every circumstance and you should make that choice, I also believe that it is your choice to make.

What concerns me is that, even (and especially) in church, I have been outspokenly pro-choice for some time, but when I hear the arguments for being pro-choice, I really feel like I'm on the wrong side. I don't want to support the decisions of those who would make poor life decisions that affect potential human lives.

What concerns me is the use of obviously loaded and heated words seasoned with anger such as "parasite" that I seriously doubt any self-respecting biologist would say is accurate. Things like saying that you aren't a real person if you don't breathe air. (It's sort of a technicality that it's not air.) These things make me angry and I don't like being angry when I'm trying to also be rational.

The last thing that concerns me is actually not especially related to just this issue, but is still a part of it. Actions have consequences. If you 100% do not want to get pregnant, and there is not a way to 100% eliminate the chances of pregnancy, then it only follows that you should 100% not have intercourse. What!?! You mean we can't do what we want!?! Yeah, sometimes you can't if you also want something else. I've never heard of anyone dying of sex starvation, it'll be okay. You have to accept that you have to choose. Just like if you want to lose weight, you can't also keep eating this cake and sitting on your ass. What do you seriously want more? Choose that instead. Further, if you want anybody to trust your choice, you have to make trustworthy choices.

So, maybe you made a bad decision, or maybe it's not your fault at all, you're already in a bad place, so, whether you believe me or not, I will continue to support your decision either way.

But don't expect me to accept bullshit like "parasite."


- Edited for annoying ordering grammar mistake. -
Last edited by theonlyjett on Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:22 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Quixotess
No. Cookies.
Posts: 3243
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:26 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby Quixotess » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:56 am UTC

Actions have consequences. If you 100% do not want to get pregnant, and there is not a way to 100% eliminate the chances of pregnancy, then it only follows that you should 100% not have intercourse. What!?! You mean we can't do what we want!?! Yeah, sometimes you can't if you also want something else. I've never heard of anyone dying of sex starvation, it'll be okay. You have to accept that you have to choose.

Choosing abstinence is *also* not a way to 100% eliminate the chances of pregnancy. You don't get 100% as long as you've got a functioning female reproductive system. It's impossible. In fact, being sexually active and taking birth control pills all the time is probably a better protection against pregnancy than choosing abstinence and not using the pill.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:01 am UTC

Quixotess wrote: You don't get 100% as long as you've got a functioning female reproductive system. It's impossible. In fact, being sexually active and taking birth control pills all the time is probably a better protection against pregnancy than choosing abstinence and not using the pill.


Please explain this. I was under the impression that women cannot reproduce asexually.

User avatar
lesliesage
Posts: 1729
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:07 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: please can we all talk about abortions? that would be ni

Postby lesliesage » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:04 am UTC

puzzle
Last edited by lesliesage on Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Hammer
Because all of you look like nails.
Posts: 5491
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 7:32 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby Hammer » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:07 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:Actions have consequences.

Sometimes certain actions have certain consequences. On the occasions when those particular consequences occur, the person responsible for dealing with said consequences has a choice of options. When one has sex there is a risk of pregnancy. If the risk is realized, one may bring the child to term and raise it, bring the child to term and give it up for adoption, or abort the pregnancy. Any of these qualifies as dealing with the consequences of the action.
"What's wrong with you mathematicians? Cake is never a problem."

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:34 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:I believe that the potential for human life should be protected. There's plenty of reasons for why I believe this, some "rational" and others not so much, but really, they aren't important. What is important is that, although I believe there is a best choice in almost every circumstance and you should make that choice, I also believe that it is your choice to make.


You'll have to flesh this out a little, since I definitely believe in family planning, but in vague terms I agree completely. I think wanted pregnancies and children are precious and worth protecting. Humans are neat.

theonlyjett wrote:What concerns me is that, even (and especially) in church, I have been outspokenly pro-choice for some time, but when I hear the arguments for being pro-choice, I really feel like I'm on the wrong side. I don't want to support the decisions of those who would make poor life decisions that affect potential human lives.

What does concern me, however, is the use of obviously loaded and heated words seasoned with anger such as "parasite" that I seriously doubt any self-respecting biologist would say is accurate. Things like saying that you aren't a real person if you don't breathe air. (It's sort of a technicality that it's not air.) These things make me angry and I don't like being angry when I'm trying to also be rational.


I'm with you there, which is where a lot of my arguments come from.

theonlyjett wrote:The last thing that concerns me is actually not especially related to just this issue, but is still a part of it. Actions have consequences. If you 100% do not want to get pregnant, and there is not a way to 100% eliminate the chances of pregnancy, then it only follows that you should 100% not have intercourse. What!?! You mean we can't do what we want!?! Yeah, sometimes you can't if you also want something else. I've never heard of anyone dying of sex starvation, it'll be okay. You have to accept that you have to choose. Just like if you want to lose weight, you can't also keep eating this cake and sitting on your ass. What do you seriously want more? Choose that instead. Further, if you want anybody to trust your choice, you have to make trustworthy choices.


If you keep eating cake you have like a 99% chance of getting fatter. If you have protected sex and do it right you have like a 1% chance of getting pregnant. We take risks every day—just look at the statistics for traffic accidents if you don't believe me. Very few of us want to die, but we all take the chance of death every day.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:48 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Choosing abstinence is *also* not a way to 100% eliminate the chances of pregnancy. You don't get 100% as long as you've got a functioning female reproductive system. It's impossible. In fact, being sexually active and taking birth control pills all the time is probably a better protection against pregnancy than choosing abstinence and not using the pill.
I took this into account here:
I wrote:So, maybe you made a bad decision, or maybe it's not your fault at all, you're already in a bad place, so, whether you believe me or not, I will continue to support your decision either way.
The issue with me is not nor has ever been rape or any other conceivable instance where such an event is out of your control. And statistically, you might be right with only those two choices. There's also the choice of both abstinence as well as birth control. The real point here, is that, although shit happens, there are decisions you can make to avoid the situation altogether.
Hammer wrote:When one has sex there is a risk of pregnancy. If the risk is realized, one may bring the child to term and raise it, bring the child to term and give it up for adoption, or abort the pregnancy.
If you consider emergency contraceptives, there I see no reason to ever be in the situation to have an abortion except medical risk pregnancies. There are always exceptions, of course. Further, at $35 - $60 or so a pop at a pharmacy, this option is appears superior to abortion. In what way is an abortion procedure superior to emergency contraceptives?

Philwelch wrote:If you keep eating cake you have like a 99% chance of getting fatter. If you have protected sex and do it right you have like a 1% chance of getting pregnant. We take risks every day—just look at the statistics for traffic accidents if you don't believe me. Very few of us want to die, but we all take the chance of death every day
You're absolutely right, but you can't take a chance, even a small one, and then say it wasn't your fault. With traffic, you may not want to be in an accident, but you want to get to work and make your money more. So you make your choice. With pregnancy, you may not want it, but you take a risk because you want sex more. This is all great, (I wanted lots of sex and kids, yay!) but you can't then say that you didn't have a choice. Incidentally, I'm not trying to push abstinence, either. I'm trying to push taking responsibility for your own actions. Everything is permissible, but not everything is good.

I guess my point again, is that the real answer to this is both education and personal responsibility.

Mane
21th Century African?
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

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

Postby Mane » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:13 am UTC

Here's a question;

Even if it could be discovered that a fetus, at every stage, was fully/really/etc human, what does it matter?

The Abortion debate always boils down to, "if they are human, we shouldn't kill them" so my question is, WHY shouldn't we kill them ANY ways?

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:40 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:You're absolutely right, but you can't take a chance, even a small one, and then say it wasn't your fault. With traffic, you may not want to be in an accident, but you want to get to work and make your money more. So you make your choice. With pregnancy, you may not want it, but you take a risk because you want sex more. This is all great, (I wanted lots of sex and kids, yay!) but you can't then say that you didn't have a choice. Incidentally, I'm not trying to push abstinence, either. I'm trying to push taking responsibility for your own actions. Everything is permissible, but not everything is good.


I'm with you there. The thing with abortion is, until the kid's at least born (and in my opinion a bit older than that), the kid isn't even an actual person you can be responsible to yet.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
Quixotess
No. Cookies.
Posts: 3243
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:26 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby Quixotess » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:49 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:In what way is an abortion procedure superior to emergency contraceptives?

Larger window, for one.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

User avatar
Exotria
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:41 pm UTC
Location: MA
Contact:

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

Postby Exotria » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:05 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:
theonlyjett wrote:You're absolutely right, but you can't take a chance, even a small one, and then say it wasn't your fault. With traffic, you may not want to be in an accident, but you want to get to work and make your money more. So you make your choice. With pregnancy, you may not want it, but you take a risk because you want sex more. This is all great, (I wanted lots of sex and kids, yay!) but you can't then say that you didn't have a choice. Incidentally, I'm not trying to push abstinence, either. I'm trying to push taking responsibility for your own actions. Everything is permissible, but not everything is good.


I'm with you there. The thing with abortion is, until the kid's at least born (and in my opinion a bit older than that), the kid isn't even an actual person you can be responsible to yet.


What about in cases where the mother decides she will have the child, but also decides she'll be drinking or smoking throughout the pregnancy? Your actions cause a bad effect on this person's life, just many months after the fact. Where does that stand, in your view? Often these behaviors can be crippling for the child's life.

And everything is permissible there, and throwing around the word 'good' is bad. Taking responsibility for your actions can mean getting an abortion. It can also mean carrying the baby to term. It means different things to different people, and that's why everything is permissible. Women do not all have the same views on responsibility, and if their decision is in line with their moral systems, it seems callous to regard it as 'bad'.
Elvish Pillager wrote:
niolosoiale wrote:So which side of the fence would you say I'm on? Why?

The confusing one. I think you should pick a different fence.

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:38 am UTC

That's actually an excellent point, and what I was referring to in my first post in this thread when I said there are things more evil than abortion.

The evil being people who really shouldn't be parents to begin with.

I say I'd raise the kid because I'm at a phase of my life where I'm capable of providing a stable home. My brother, on the other hand, couldn't provide an environment for a hamster, let alone a child, so I'd say abort whether his girlfriend was to become pregnant with a baby OR a hamster.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

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

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:41 am UTC

Exotria wrote:
Philwelch wrote:The thing with abortion is, until the kid's at least born (and in my opinion a bit older than that), the kid isn't even an actual person you can be responsible to yet.


What about in cases where the mother decides she will have the child, but also decides she'll be drinking or smoking throughout the pregnancy? Your actions cause a bad effect on this person's life, just many months after the fact. Where does that stand, in your view? Often these behaviors can be crippling for the child's life.


Well yeah—if you're going to create a person, you have certain responsibilities of care towards that person. If you're not going to create a person, then if you create a fetus and kill it later, that's your right.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:45 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:The thing with abortion is, until the kid's at least born (and in my opinion a bit older than that), the kid isn't even an actual person you can be responsible to yet.
You can still be responsible enough not to be in the situation to even have to decide if you need to be responsible to potential person or not.
Quixotess wrote:Larger window, for one.
Sure, and useful for when circumstances exclude other options. This would be if there was an issue where it could not be dealt in a timely manner. That's fine, but this is not when I have a problem with abortion. It's when something could be done ahead of time which could have made the abortion option less necessary. Further, all the other options are cheaper, less invasive, and deal with the issue quicker, and in a more timely manner, than an abortion procedure. Again, there are exceptions, but that would be the point of why abortions should still be legal, just not a primary form of birth control.
Exotria wrote:And everything is permissible there, and throwing around the word 'good' is bad.
Perhaps "better" and "worse?"
Exotria wrote:Taking responsibility for your actions can mean getting an abortion. It can also mean carrying the baby to term.
Yes and yes.
Exotria wrote:It means different things to different people, and that's why everything is permissible. Women do not all have the same views on responsibility, and if their decision is in line with their moral systems, it seems callous to regard it as 'bad'.
Two options here.
1) You think that there is no "best" option at all because morals are strictly relative, and therefore I shouldn't think that anybody's moral system is worse 'cause no system is worse. If this is true, then I can state and defend my moral system and there's no point in arguing 'cause we're both know what's better.
2) You are saying that there are inherently better options and people just do what they know to be the best according to their knowledge. If this is what you mean, then I agree and education is the key to having better available choices, and personal responsibility is the key to making them.
SJ Zero wrote:The evil being people who really shouldn't be parents to begin with.
I actually agree with this. There's two ways to deal with this issue. One is to issue a license to even have kids. Mandatory birth control for everyone. This eliminates say, people with violent histories or drug abuse problems or whatever. (Breeding program, whee!) But now we're stepping on people's freedom more than I think we have to or should. The other option is education and personal responsibility. In the mean time, I'm certainly not strictly opposed to crack whores or their girlfriends getting abortions, but it would be nice if they received some education in the process.

Keep in mind, I'm talking about prevention here. Not what to do once you are already in the situation. Then it's your call, and I'm good with that. There will always be circumstances in which an abortion actually is the ideal option, but they seem far outnumbered by those circumstances where it is not.

User avatar
clintonius
Posts: 2755
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 9:13 pm UTC
Location: Brooklyn

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

Postby clintonius » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:57 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Larger window, for one.
Sure, and useful for when circumstances exclude other options. This would be if there was an issue where it could not be dealt in a timely manner. That's fine, but this is not when I have a problem with abortion. It's when something could be done ahead of time which could have made the abortion option less necessary. Further, all the other options are cheaper, less invasive, and deal with the issue quicker, and in a more timely manner, than an abortion procedure. Again, there are exceptions, but that would be the point of why abortions should still be legal, just not a primary form of birth control.[

Try this:
Belial wrote:Okay, putting aside the fact that the fetus's status as "alive" or "human" is extremely debateable...

Abortions cost about $300 dollars a pop, and they're an invasive surgical procedure with a risk of severe complications.

Condoms cost about a dollar each at the most.

Do you think anyone in the real world consciously uses abortion as their primary method of birth control?
kira wrote:*piles up some limbs and blood and a couple hearts for good measure*
GUYS. I MADE A HUMAN.
*...pokes at it with a stick*

User avatar
Exotria
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:41 pm UTC
Location: MA
Contact:

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

Postby Exotria » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:31 am UTC

Yeah, gotta agree with Belial here.

Jett, I agree that education is an excellent thing in these cases, but not for the sake of 'responsibility', but rather that people get to distinguish which choices are preferable in their situation. If a girl wants to go off and have unprotected sex, I feel she should know everything that will result from that. If she still feels that the unprotected sex is her best option, then she is being responsible because she understands her actions and what can result from them, and therefore will have the weight of any of those consequences on their soldiers. Doing things and understanding the consequences is responsibility, rather than the somewhat abused version of responsibility that is basically personal 'standards that I prefer for other people to live up to'.

I do feel that morals here are subjective. We are discussing what to do about others' behavior, and therefore it should be the morals of the subjects rather than our morals that are important. Certainly, we could argue between our personal moral systems, but they aren't the ones at hand. There are no overarching ideal solutions to everything, only ideal solutions for individuals. Education gives the tools to decide what to do according to individual moral systems, and thus I agree with both parts of your either/or. People get to decide what their own personal responsibility is. Since you set it up in the fashion of 'pick one', I'm assuming you disagree with me here, but I may be misinterpreting what you mean by 'personal responsibility', and if so I apologize.

I... would actually support that kids license, except in a different way. Any violent crimes, drug use, etc. and you get an implant that steadily releases contraceptives. It could be surgically removed, so they'd make sure every once in a while that you didn't go to a black market surgeon, and then after x years it could be removed. That way, it only removes the right to have children from those who have waived their rights. Although I'm tempted to extend it to alcoholism in women, considering the fetal alcohol syndrome thing, but that's discriminatory, even if it's such for perfectly logical reasons.

I feel that a (chosen to be carried to term) child's right to be born healthy and have a good childhood exceeds the value of a dangerous criminal's right to procreate. Naturally, it would have to be closely scrutinized by groups like the ACLU at all times to stop the bureaucracy from sterilizing people they don't like (like in cases where it would be decried as racist), but properly done as a punishment instead of an 'everybody must do this' could have some benefits.

I'm not sure how off-topic child licenses and rights of children specified as to-be-carried-to-term vs. rights of parents are, so if the mods want we can just start another topic for that discussion. I'm eager to know what others think, given the whole 'evil people' thing.
Elvish Pillager wrote:
niolosoiale wrote:So which side of the fence would you say I'm on? Why?

The confusing one. I think you should pick a different fence.

User avatar
Hammer
Because all of you look like nails.
Posts: 5491
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 7:32 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby Hammer » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:39 am UTC

theonlyjett wrote:If you consider emergency contraceptives, there I see no reason to ever be in the situation to have an abortion except medical risk pregnancies. There are always exceptions, of course. Further, at $35 - $60 or so a pop at a pharmacy, this option is appears superior to abortion. In what way is an abortion procedure superior to emergency contraceptives?

We have a definition problem, at this point. Many people consider an abortion procedure and taking an emergency contraceptive like the "morning after pill" to be the same thing. See the stories of the pharmacy employees refusing to dispense emergency contraception, even to a rape victim. Some people even consider taking birth control pills to be continually aborting. It might be a good idea if you define what you believe constitutes an abortion.

Also, given what appears to be your definition, education about how one gets pregnant, access to a well stocked pharmacy, the circumstances of the intercourse, and the age of the girl/woman are all very real factors that interfere with just running out to the pharmacy. You might be surprised at what people don't know or can't manage quickly enough.

For those that do understand all the mechanics and have access to all the options, I think you'll find that almost all of them currently agree with your preferred progression. Preventative Contraception > Emergency Contraception > Abortion Procedure. As emergency contraception becomes safer and more trusted, many women may choose it over options like birth control pills as it may carry lower health risks than taking daily pills even if you are not having sex.
"What's wrong with you mathematicians? Cake is never a problem."

User avatar
SJ Zero
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
Contact:

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

Postby SJ Zero » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:43 pm UTC

The other problem in my eyes is people don't actually know they're pregnant until quite some time afterwards when there are hormonal effects. Even then, effects looking like pregnancy aren't always pregnancy.

Most times I know of, women don't know they're pregnant until they start getting biological signs. The morning after pill, therefore, isn't as useful as it'd seem.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

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

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

The morning after pill afaik isn't supposed to be an abortifacient as much as a preventative. Condom slipped? Nomnomnom-owww cramps but no baby.

Abortifacients are more along the lines of "I'm pregnant, nomnomnom-owwwww cramps and bleeding and little squid like thing oozing out"

Also, the argument that many women don't know their pregnant until they're really really pregnant is a moot one. Just as many women are as regular as clockwork and would be able to tell you within the first missed period (so, potentially within 2wks).
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26828
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

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

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:14 pm UTC

The morning after pill actually *can't* be an abortifacient, according to the medical definition of pregnancy (which requires fertilization *and* implantation). This is why it doesn't work past a certain time, because by then the fertilized ovum has usually implanted, and thereafter cannot be affected by EC.

But yeah, I doubt you'd ever find many pro-choice people who disagree that being able to use EC is preferable to having an abortion. Even if you place no moral weight on the fetus whatsoever, it's still cheaper and safer for the woman. In fact, the only way I can see someone advocating abortion instead of EC is if they actually enjoy the idea of killing fetuses for its own sake. Which, as I said, is probably not an opinion many people have.

The point is, situations in which EC isn't a viable solution are still myriad, and that's why abortion must be kept safe and available as a backup.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Lightforge
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:07 am UTC
Location: Midwestern United States

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

Postby Lightforge » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:11 am UTC

Okay, so I think we'll all basically agree that abortion is the destruction of a same-species entity (could be a clone, so DNA won't work) which is attached to its mother and has the potential to eventually live independent of the mother. Let me know what needs revised, so long as its an important distinction.

My problem with abortion is that, philosophically, we don't know that fetuses, as human objects with the potential for independent life including personhood, are not worthy of protection. We assume it or arbitrarily define it. On the other hand, there are a lot of societal problems with symptoms that are partially alleviated by the option of abortion. To illegalize abortion seems ridiculous, as the current levels of education and personal responsibility aren't prepared to handle it.

Humans do not become persons until at least 2-3 years old. To suggest a much earlier time would mean that you think many of the higher species deserve equal protection as humans. Newborns can't recognize objects as separate from their sensation; they do not see a block, they see a patch of color, or rather a different-ness to the visual field in certain areas. They don't even recognize themselves as separate from their environment. Everything is one, like the ideal mindset of Buddhism, only out of ignorance rather than wisdom. The difference between a late-term fetus and a newborn is that the fetus is on life support and has fewer data to mentally work with. The difference between a late-term fetus and an almost-as-old fetus is even more negligible, and so on forth down to attachment or maybe even conception. Fact is, no real point on the scale is particularly convincing given the scientific evidence.

From an ethical standpoint, allowing 2nd parties to make life or death decisions for otherwise helpless humans without some sort of rational basis for distinction is highly concerning. On the other hand, heck, I'm married and not in financial distress, but the prospect of having a child in 9 months would be scary as hell. It'd throw off all my plans along with what stability I have. It's far more convenient to abort. I think that that is what a lot of people base their decision on, for better or worse.

I don't think that the argument that it is a woman's body holds any philosophical weight unless one can demonstrate that fetuses are unworthy of legal protection. Your own rights are limited by the rights of others. You cannot neglect a newborn for the sake of keeping your own resources. A fetus is a dependent, just like a newborn. Even if you take the side of "the woman's right of possession of her own body is more important than the life of a fetus, even one assigned full legal protection as a person (like a toddler)", there's always the problem of the father's rights and responsibilities (both of which are non-existent if the matter boils down to a woman's right to complete control over her body).

I'm getting caught up in details. I think that it is ethically/morally unsound to abort. I also think that our sex-driven social environment among children is unacceptable and problematic. Abortion would be less necessary if larger societal problems were addressed. With that in mind, a pro-life individual would ideally be focused on those problems that make abortion so convenient rather than on abortion itself (science and society have work to do). If it were not valuable, it would be illegal by now.
"...and there was much rejoicing."

User avatar
theonlyjett
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:14 am UTC
Contact:

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

Postby theonlyjett » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Do you think anyone in the real world consciously uses abortion as their primary method of birth control?
Exotria wrote:Yeah, gotta agree with Belial here.
As irrational as it may sound, I'm sure that there are at least some people who feel that the abortion procedure is a valid form of primary birth control simply because they can, and it's their "right."

Really, most everybody who has posted since I have and myself are mostly on the same page. Well, except this:
Hammer wrote:If the risk is realized, one may bring the child to term and raise it, bring the child to term and give it up for adoption, or abort the pregnancy.
I realize that there is some difference in definition there, but I'm of the belief that a majority of people think of the abortion procedure as "abortion" and preventative and emergency birth control as, well, birth control. In fact, while traditionalists do tend to think of birth control as a form of abortion, (a fertilized egg being a new life and a chemical that disallows it's attachment to the uterine walls to be effectively killing it) most everyday Christians I know do not, or do not even know the distinction. They do know, however, that "it's wrong to kill babies."

My original post had two main points.

The first was that many (not all, this is actually not aimed at any who are still posting) pro-choice arguments are just heated and irrational. They make the arguer sound immature and selfish and that makes it difficult for me to often feel like I have picked the right side. My side is not that it's fine to kill fetuses, but rather that it's best to trust the individuals involved to make good decisions themselves. That is, I'm pro-choice literally, rather than, pro-abortion, which is what some pro-choicers seem to be. It's hard to trust people even with their own bodies when they display no respect for their own reproductive process. If you are pro-choice and want to force the other side to feel like they have to fight you, then keep making these arguments, and there's a good chance that you will push many pro-choicers into the other camp and that other camp will also be more likely to push their agenda, making it harder for those who actually need to have an abortion procedure to get one.

The second point was responsibility. Although you are more than welcome to ultimately do what you want to, you simply cannot blame everybody else for your situation. Well, you can, but it will do you no good. Yes, you cannot control anybody else's actions, but you can control your own. Making choices to reduce the chances of getting into the situations where you have to then make more difficult choices is ideal. Even in many situations as extreme as assault, sexual or otherwise. For example, when you don't hang around violent people, you reduce your chances of being a recipient of violence. Have you ever wondered, when you hear of cases of drugged date rape at parties, just where the hell are this girl's friends who she's supposed to trust? Obviously not looking out for her. If you enter into a situation involving strangers and behavior modifying chemicals, where you are unsure if you can trust your friends to look out for you, do you honestly think that your chances of a being in a bad situation are unaffected? This isn't about high or low standards. This is about taking responsibility for the decisions you make. If you don't want a certain result, then you must make every choice in order to reduce the chances of that result occurring. If you want to lose weight, but want to eat this cake more, then you will make that choice. If you want to be safe, but want to get drunk/high/laid/etc. more, and there is no better party to go to, then you will also make that choice. This is your one life that you get that we know of, I say get what you really want out of it.

Even if it ever did come down to abortions being mostly illegal, you do still have plenty of choices to greatly reduce the chance of having to get an illegal one.

If we want to discuss personal responsibility further by itself, then we should begin a new thread. I would be happy to participate.

One more point to add on is that rather than trying to focus on answers we cannot know for certain, but have to make arbitrary lines for, let's focus on what we do in fact know. We do know that preventative and emergency contraceptives are far cheaper and easier than simply having an abortion procedure. If education and responsibility makes the situation far less realized where abortion even becomes an option, then trying to make a distinction on when the fetus/baby is a person or just a potential person or to what level society should protect these potential persons, becomes far less important. It then becomes a debate for philosophers rather than politicians.

Exotria wrote:I... would actually support that kids license, except in a different way.
I would actually not. I don't want to stifle choices and freedoms ever. I guess that's a rather libertarian view, but "love always trusts," and all that. If I was ever convinced that society should legislate morality, then I would also be convinced to take a solid pro-life stance. Perhaps one where only a judge may decide on an abortion, idk. As is, I feel that I'm already walking the line enough as I do feel that society should protect even potential human life. I just think that we should always try to do it through education first, is all.

See, "trust" takes on two different meanings to me. One is where you feel that someone will take the appropriate action, while the other is where you actually take an action yourself to allow them the choice to take the action or not. One is trust in feeling, the other, trust in action. I cannot always control my feelings (although far more now than before), but I can always control my actions. In order to love others, I must trust them, at least in action, if not always in feeling.

User avatar
Jauss
Posts: 1441
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:49 am UTC
Location: PDX
Contact:

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

Postby Jauss » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The morning after pill actually *can't* be an abortifacient, according to the medical definition of pregnancy (which requires fertilization *and* implantation).

I know that is technically* true, but it's always bothered me when that's told to people who believe that pregnancy begins at fertilization. And regardless of whether they are "right" or "wrong" for thinking this, a large segment of the population do think so and it's something that should be taken into account by the professionals trying to best serve them.

I grew up hearing that the morning after pill wasn't an abortifacient and I just assumed it kept conception from happening until I started to really think about these things. I realized it couldn't possibly just do that and that it was not something I would personally want to take. And then I felt really mislead because so many people, including friends, told me this repeatedly because of a goddamn technicality. Sticking to the letter of the law, but not the spirit, so to speak. I also didn't appreciate why Dr. Boving wanted to change the definition of "conception" in the 50's.

*I'm sure you are aware that not everyone in the medical field agrees on this or always uses one definition. For example, some use "pregnancy" for fertilization and "established pregnancy" for implantation.
"Four out of five dentists prefer asses to hearts." - The Mighty Thesaurus


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests