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Author Topic: A case to distinguish real pro-choicers from pro-abortion dehumanizers
Pete at Home
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http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17214022-surrogate-gives-birth-against-biological-parents-wishes?lite=&lite=obnetwork

IMO, anyone who argues that the couple should have been able to legally compel the surrogate to abort, either through law regarding genetics, or through the force of some contractual provision, should not call themselves pro-choice.

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djquag1
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Well, I AM pro-abortion, it's just that makes me pro-choice as well. Your toenails have the same amount of sentience as a fetus, so I'm about as concerned with clipping the one as I am someone removing the other from their body.
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Pete at Home
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Did you intend to argue that forcing a woman to abort is no different than clipping someone's toenails in their sleep without their permission, or were you trying to make some other point, and if the latter, then what was your point?
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MattP
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They shouldn't be able to compel abortion, because an abortion is a medical procedure and no one should ever be compelled to submit to a medical procedure without their consent. Also you should be able to withdraw consent at any time so consent via contract is also a non-starter for me.
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Pete at Home
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"They shouldn't be able to compel abortion, because an abortion is a medical procedure and no one should ever be compelled to submit to a medical procedure without their consent. "

When cops see you try to swallow a balloon of drugs or other evidence, they are allowed, with a warrant, to administrate an enema or pump your stomach to obtain said evidence. (I suspect that in most jurisdictions they might even forgo the warrant, although I think that would be constitutionally questionable.) Do you see no difference between abortion and any other medical procedure?

I think you're operating from a bad premise (all medical procedures are equal) since I agree with Constitutional Caselaw that establishes that some involuntary invasive procedures such as stomach pumping, etc., are acceptable with a court order, while other medical procedures such as sterilization are not acceptable even with a court order and specific enabling legislation.

I personally think that a court-ordered abortion would be MORE invasive than forced sterilization. And that's a matter that could be evaluated from real world facts, at least to the extent that soft sciences can establish facts. There are various societies still around that compell sterilization and/or abortion. Which group do you think are more emotionally traumatized and damaged? More likely to wake up in the night, screaming?

Such an experiment could be done also to compare victims of compusory nail-clipping. Since I've often done that to Thing Two, I certainly hope that I have not inflicted on him trauma equivalent to forced abortion ...

[ March 17, 2013, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Funean
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Surrogacy does not invalidate her sovereignty over her own body. In fact, if she did not have such sovereignty, I don't think she would be able to have entered into the contract in the first place. Good illustration of the fact that body sovereignty isn't just about having abortions.
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Pete at Home
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I strongly agree, Funean, and would identify your statement as strongly pro-choice, rather than pro-abortion.

My writing this thread isn't an attack on prochoicers (indeed I consider myself pro-choice) but rather a reaction against those I have met who call themselves pro-choice, but yawn about court-ordered abortions,

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17214022-surrogate-gives-birth-against-biological-parents-wishes?lite=&lite=obnetwork

IMO, anyone who argues that the couple should have been able to legally compel the surrogate to abort, either through law regarding genetics, or through the force of some contractual provision, should not call themselves pro-choice.

Does anyone, other than the couple and their lawyer, argue that?

I actually surprised you're OK with compulsory stomach pumping. (At least if the reason amounts to a desire to catch someone breaking a drug law.)

[ March 17, 2013, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Chael
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Stomach pumping with a warrant definitely doesn't seem to align well with 'sovereignty over one's body.'
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17214022-surrogate-gives-birth-against-biological-parents-wishes?lite=&lite=obnetwork

IMO, anyone who argues that the couple should have been able to legally compel the surrogate to abort, either through law regarding genetics, or through the force of some contractual provision, should not call themselves pro-choice.

Does anyone, other than the couple and their lawyer, argue that?

I actually surprised you're OK with compulsory stomach pumping. (At least if the reason amounts to a desire to catch someone breaking a drug law.)

I think the Constitution is okay with it so long as there is a warrant. as to whether I think that it's morally right that the government should have that power, If I were the judge has to sign such a warrant, i would order a hearing to determine if it were necessary, and allow Defendant to argue againse it.

Look if I were to swallow something ofto yours, that was extremely valuable or necessary to you, orthe if someI woman tookcould your cellaffidavit phone andnow stuck itbehind in herthe vagina, dont you think you should be title to ask a judge to have it removed?

From where I stand, and if I read her correctly, where Funean stands as well ( please correct me if I'm wrong), fact that the fetus grows inside a woman, makes her a biological mother even if she is not the genetic mother, and while it's in her body, the law has to treat it as part of her body. That a surrogate mother is NOT the legal equivalent of a drug mule that swallows a cocaine balloon. Or a jewel theif who conceals stolen valuables where the sun don't shine.

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Pete at Home
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I'm not sure that even the couple or their lawyer has argued that. But Bill Maher and other talking heads have talked about a "Father's right" to compel abortion, and there are gay lobbies that argue vigorously that a surrogate mother has no parental rights.
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Funean
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I don't agree that involuntary stomach pumping, even with a warrant, is okay for any reason other than to save a life (absent living will or similar directives.)

There is a strong argument that a surrogate does not have parental rights, just as a babysitter has no parental rights. That doesn't speak to the surrogate's sovereignty over her body in any way. There is no good solution to the "father's rights" question that I can see. There seems to be little middle ground between "there are no fathers' rights until birth" and "women are incubators for individuals whose rights and attachments supercede the women's rights over the disposition of her physical body."

Earlier this month there was an woman in Florida whose OB sent her a notice stating that, in his medical judgement, she was endangering her fetus by delaying a C-section and he was going to involve law enforcement if she did not report to the hospital immediately for surgery. There is another pregnant woman who survived a suicide attempt and now faces prosecution for murder or attempted murder (I can't recall if she miscarried or not). And there are any number of really terrible stories about what happens to pregnant women who are, for whatever reason, in state custody--both compelled to have abortions and compelled to carry pregnancies to term. One teenager was raped by a corrections officer, and prevented from seeking an early remedy to the potential pregnancy. The stories are endless, and they all result from a lack of clarity in current law as well as (IMO) a lack of interest in protecting the rights of individuals to have sovereignty over their own bodies.

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scifibum
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quote:
Look if I were to swallow something ofto yours, that was extremely valuable or necessary to you, orthe if someI woman tookcould your cellaffidavit phone andnow stuck itbehind in herthe vagina, dont you think you should be title to ask a judge to have it removed?
I have to admit, those are pretty strong counter-examples.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
Surrogacy does not invalidate her sovereignty over her own body. In fact, if she did not have such sovereignty, I don't think she would be able to have entered into the contract in the first place. Good illustration of the fact that body sovereignty isn't just about having abortions.

This.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Look, if I were to swallow something of yours, that was extremely valuable or necessary to you, or if some woman took your cell phone and stuck it in her vagina, dont you think you should be able to ask a judge to have it removed?
I have to admit, those are pretty strong counter-examples.
Wow. Thank you for taking the effort to understand what I was trying to say, through the gibberish that the cell phone was spitting out. I have corrected it in this post in case anyone else was curious about what I was trying to say.
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Pete at Home
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Funean, You left a loophole big enough for a camel to drive through. If cop see a mule swallow a condom full of cocaine, of course they are going to pretend that they areare pumping her stomach out of concern for her life. All that your rule would accomplish, is get the police an excuse to pump a stomach without a warrant.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Chael:
Stomach pumping with a warrant definitely doesn't seem to align well with 'sovereignty over one's body.'

"Warrant" is the key there- when it comes to protections from searches, evidence sufficient to merit a search warrant is the legal way to override protections. It doesn't give any clearance for compellung any behavior not realted to complying with the search or for any damage to be done in the process of the search, but the legal baseline is that searches are allowed so long as the proper legal process for getting authorization is followed.
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Pete at Home
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Once again, i find myself aligned with Pyr on a moderate third way policy. "Only with a warrant."
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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
"Warrant" is the key there- when it comes to protections from searches, evidence sufficient to merit a search warrant is the legal way to override protections. It doesn't give any clearance for compellung any behavior not realted to complying with the search or for any damage to be done in the process of the search, but the legal baseline is that searches are allowed so long as the proper legal process for getting authorization is followed.

I apologize; I was speaking unclearly. I am aware that it is legal, and that protections or even rights can be overriden by the legal process (if they couldn't, there would be no one in jail). I'm not cool with the logic of it, even with the examples of drug mules and thieves, but I acknowledge that it's legal. What I don't think is that it sets a helpful precedent for the argument of 'the surrogate has sovereignty over her own body.' Well, she does.. unless it's legally decided that she doesn't. I certainly agree that she /should/, but we've already set the philosophical precedent that that particular right ('right' is right, right? [Smile] ) can be overriden, given enough cause. The only question is 'what cause could be sufficient.'

How about a kidnapping charge? Surely one has a greater interest in one's progeny than in one's diamond ring? [Wink]

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Pete at Home
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That is exactly my point, Chael. That it is dehumanizing to treat a fetus as mere property. In the "life, liberty, and property" scheme, your fetus is IMO part of your LIFE interest. If there is ANY constitutional rationale for forcing an abortion on a woman, then it should be subject to as many legal checks and procedures, as we currently have for putting someone to death.

To my knowledge, no one in recent history has been executed within 9 months of being charged with a capital crime, so ....

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Funean
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quote:
Funean, You left a loophole big enough for a camel to drive through.
Yeah, that is a giant loophole (although wouldn't there be the usual exclusions of evidence acquired without a warrant in your drug mule example?) My only defense is that I wasn't really thinking in policy terms there, just what is and is not okay with ME. I generally recognize due process, but think the bar needs to be set quite high here.

For what it's worth, I don't believe a fetus I am carrying is my property as far as the rest of society is concerned. I believe it is part of my body as far as the rest of society is concerned.

[ March 18, 2013, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: Funean ]

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Pete at Home
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Exactly! Hence my term "life interest."
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
quote:
Funean, You left a loophole big enough for a camel to drive through.
Yeah, that is a giant loophole (although wouldn't there be the usual exclusions of evidence acquired without a warrant in your drug mule example?) .
In theory, yes. In practice, once the drugs ballons are disgorged, the mule is probably going to confess. Or have some conversation with a cop that the cop can pretend was a confession. Or have a conversation with someone else, which the cops record and use against them. So there's a strong motivation for the cops to pump stomachs first, and worry about the Constitutional Rights later, if ever. Most mules can't afford a private attorney. Since I speak Spanish, I found mule clients who had extended families who could help chip in. It seem clear to me that in those cases, did the cops were not expecting that any attorney would everhave scrutinize how they obtained evidence. [Big Grin]
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Pete at Home
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@ Pyr & Kate are my use of terms like partial birth infanticide:
quote:
Stephen Massof described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, "literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body." He testified that at times, when women were given medicine to speed up their deliveries, "it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place."

Massof, of Pittsburgh, is in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree murder in the deaths of two newborns.

He is now testifying against his former boss, abortion provider Kermit Gosnell.

The 72-year-old Gosnell is charged with killing a woman patient and seven babies.

quote:
By law in Pennsylvania, after a woman's initial visit with an abortion provider, she must wait at least 24 hours and receive counseling before having the procedure. It is also illegal for doctors to perform abortions after a pregnancy has reached 24 weeks, unless the mother's life is at risk.

Massof testified that he was involved in late-term abortion procedures at the clinic. He said the most extreme case that he witnessed was an abortion at 26 weeks.

Massof performed ultrasounds and admitted that the clinic's ultrasound machine was manipulated to make fetuses appear smaller and therefore younger.

Massof says Gosnell was often at his Delaware clinic while he oversaw women going through labor and even delivery. He says some patients were highly sedated or even unconscious, but were not monitored by any medical equipment.


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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
Your toenails have the same amount of sentience as a fetus...

How do you prove that?

At 18 days, a fetus has a heartbeat. My toenails do not.

[ April 05, 2013, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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Pete at Home
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at 3 months, a fetus has the same brain waves as a a 7 year old human child. A toenail does not. Think that brain activity might have something to do with sentience, dquag?
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djquag1
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I call BS. Beyond some very basic level brain functions, no three month old fetus is going to have the same brain activity as a seven year old child. A seven year old child has a sense of self, of others. It can talk and it can think for itself.

A fetus does none of these things.

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djquag1
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And no, an infant might not do those things either. Then again, the death of an infant or a vegetable doesn't bother me nearly as much as that of a sentient human. The only reason I'm behind real outside of the womb infanticide being illegal is that allowing the slaughter of any class of human beings that aren't biological parasites on another human being would set us on quite a slippery slope.

[ April 06, 2013, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: djquag1 ]

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Pete at Home
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I think that history shows quite clearly that humanity is on another slippery slope whenever one group of humans starts calling another group of humans "parasites."
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djquag1
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Parasites are what they are, Pete. A fetus is a seperate life that attaches itself to a woman and drains her of energy and nutrients for nine months. After which it exits in the mother's body in a bloody and very dangerous manner. Do tapeworms even live for nine months? I'm not sure.

Now, a large percentage of women will be happy to go through that for the reward of a young and healthy infant human being. Most people want a family, and good for them.

But no woman should be beholden to a being that threatens her life in such a way without her consent.

Also, I think my slope has better footing then you claim. There's a very bright line, not to be crossed, in my reasoning. If you're attached in a parasitic manner to the body of another human being, and they don't want to support you anymore, too bad for you. That's it.

The slope I was referring to originally is much slippier. I can stand behind the concept that infants and vegetables don't have the same awareness that we do, and therefore aren't worthy of the same protections. But then you have to allow nasty untrustworthy humans to decide how much awareness is enough, or to set their own good or bad definitions of sentience. That's a mighty slippery slope indeed, and for that reason independently bodied infants and other similar cases should be granted full protection.

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Pete at Home
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Using the word "parasite" to justify killing our fellow homosapiens, has a bad history in our species' last 150 years, djquag1.
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Pyrtolin
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Replace it with "symbiote" if you like. The point is that no one should be forced to act as direct life support for another, regardless of the other's need for that support. Blood, kidney, marrow, uterus. It doesn't matter what the organ is, the current owner should have full and uncoerced control over its disposition. If a fetus cannot yet survive without a uterus to finish building it, then that's a tragic but unavoidable of ending the pregnancy in question with an eviction at that point.
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Pete at Home
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"The point is that no one should be forced to act as direct life support for another, regardless of the other's need for that support."

That reasoning excuses a desperate act to rid oneself of a symbiote, but certainly would not justify the hiring of a third party hit man, nor the acts of that hit man.

The argument is also ethically deficient in the case that the host willfully created the dependency in the first place, and where the symbiote had no control over establishing such a relationship.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
That reasoning excuses a desperate act to rid oneself of a symbiote, but certainly would not justify the hiring of a third party hit man, nor the acts of that hit man.


You're confusing incidental outcome with actual intent. Like saying that the bank hired a repoman to prevent you from going to work by repossessing your car. (And, while you're at it...

quote:
The argument is also ethically deficient in the case that the host willfully created the dependency in the first place, and where the symbiote had no control over establishing such a relationship.
claiming that it's the bank's fault that you were dependent on the car to get to work.)

Now, if you can show that a given woman is intentionally getting pregnant so that she can have abortions or otherwise using pregnancy/abortion as a manipulative tool of some sort, you've got a case for willful creation. But either case, the active intent to get pregnant has to exist to say that. Otherwise, unless you want to claim that pregnancy should be a punishment for being sexually active, you're talking about an outcome that is at best accidental if not one that explicit measure were already taken to prevent.

Why should a woman who has taken reasonable countermeasures to prevent an unwanted pregnancy be forced to endure one just because on particular sperm cell manages to circumvent them and take up residence where it wasn't welcome to begin with?

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Pete at Home
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Pyr, it's you and djq to turn this into an argument about how the baby deserves to die bc it is a parasite or symbiote. In the light of that shoddyy argument, the burden would fall on you to show that the woman hadn't created dependency, by willfully waiting until month 7 when the baby had a fully formed spine and so on, before capriciously deciding that she wanted it whacked.

Like I've said before there are much better arguments for choice then the dehumanisation argument. And the parasite variation has got to be the clumsiest and ugliest, since as you just accidentally demonstrated, it shifts the burden of proof to the woman.

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Pete at Home
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" unless you want to claim that pregnancy should be a punishment for being sexually active,"

Absolutely not.

" you're talking about an outcome that is at best accidental if not one that explicit measure were already taken to prevent."

Waiting 7 months before she gets an abortion is not accidental. It's arguably willful.

"Why should a woman who has taken reasonable countermeasures to prevent an unwanted pregnancy"

Those facts would certainly rule out willful, obviously.

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Pete at Home
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Pyr, Would you agree that the symbiote argument sucks ass for the following set of facts: woman intentionally gets pregnant, wanting a boy, and aborts when ultrasound shows that it's a girl.

Or wouldthe you insist that the symbiote argument still make sense, that the girl is an unwanted parasite, a weed in the garden, so it's okay for the woman to hire a third party hit man to take her out?

[ April 07, 2013, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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djquag1
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I never said that fetuses deserve abortion. I said that, considering their mental state and awareness level, I don't have a moral problem with abortion. It's probably a lot easier if you don't believe hogwash about a soul or eternal life.
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Pete at Home
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Dicto simpliciter, DJQ. There are different flavors of theism, and of atheism. Some atheists find homicide more palatable because there's no God looking over their shoulder. On the other hand some atheists find homicide less palatable, since they believe that death truly is permanent, that you're wiping a creature completely from existence.
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djquag1
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If the creature itself never realized what it missed out on, if it never achieved conciousness, then I don't see there being too big a loss.
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