Author Topic: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"  (Read 23262 times)

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #100 on: February 14, 2017, 06:46:29 PM »
Catholics knees what a pregnancy was Fenring.

Abortion was and is a termination of a pregnancy.  If you are claiming that science today shows that a 60 day embryo is more of a human person than the Medeivals supposed,then you have joined the Fundies in propping up new religious fads with misreported dinosaurs on the Ark pseudoscience, which seems a queer position for a nonreligious person to take.

The Medeical Catholics seem to have done their best according to their lights. And their 2000 year out of date science is more on point than the new wine in old bottles that you offer here.

I actually have no idea what you're talking about here, to be honest.

What I meant, is what you said here, before you went on to do the exact opposite:
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When judging historical actions or choices it's best to view them within their proper context,

We actually *learned" our woe "abortion" from Latin speaking clerics.  It is their grinning word and with respect to termination of a pregnancy it meant the same then as now. Neither catholic Latina nor modern English of anyone other than yourself excludes the termination of a 30 day embryo from the definition of abortion.

In fact, it doesn't even have to be intentional termination. The caregiver term for miscarriage is "spontaneous abortion."  until Catholics and fundies recently obfuscated the meaning of conception, spontaneous abortion was the kinder more humane phrase because miscarriage implied the mother's failure to successfully carry.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 06:55:54 PM by Pete at Home »

Fenring

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #101 on: February 15, 2017, 02:50:56 AM »
I see the confusion; there is a linguistic issue at play here when I speak of "history". When I use the word "abortion" in reference to modern times I refer to the actual event it describes, rather than to its historically used meaning. However when referring to what might be called "abortions" historically, I should have noted that the word (as you suggest) had a different meaning then, which corresponded to a different understanding of biology at the time. I don't know at all what the Ancients called the termination of a pregnancy prior to the 40/60 day rule, versus what they would have called it afterwards in the pregnancy. It's my understanding that they disallowed the termination of it after that period, but didn't consider the fetus prior to that to be a person. However they still wouldn't have advocated for termination either, since contraception and/or 'morning after pill' were also not supposed to be used. It just would have been a different sin, for lack of a better term for it.

So in order to be super-clear about these terms, I'll again mention that if abortion (i.e. whatever linguistic term is used to describe terminating a pregnancy) is roughly a common term between now and ancient times, it may not have a consistent meaning across all times. I suggested a definition for our times of "termination of an unborn human person", as a way of describing what I take the current Roman Catholic meaning of "abortion" to be, which they maintain goes all the way to the fertilization zero-point. But it's clear that this definition wouldn't have been one used previously, and that if the Ancients used "abortion" to merely mean terminating a pregnancy without further qualification then there would have been two phases of abortion, one of which involved terminating a person, and the second of which (the earlier phase) wouldn't have, and would have been like an extended morning-after pill. I don't know that termination during either of these time periods would have been acceptable, but it seems likely that termination during the later part of pregnancy would have been dispermitted with greater fervor.

But even if the usage of the terms for "abortion" have changed over time for the Church, it would nevertheless still not be correct to say that the Church didn't used to be against abortion and has now changed its tune. Rather, we should say that the Church has been against "that thing" consistently over time, and that "that thing" used to be "abortion in the later phase of pregnancy", and now "that thing" is "abortion during any period during the pregnancy." The thing is constant, but the details about when "that thing" takes place has been updated as common sense would suggest. At best here we could say the Church has updated its terms, but I would say there is no ground to say it's changed its values on this topic; at least, not from what we've mentioned here so far. I don't claim to have a comprehensive knowledge about this.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2017, 02:28:56 PM »
The cells of an organism without a brain are simply cells.

I get that's your axiom, your unprovable assertion on which you base your position. 

But what does it even mean to be "simply cells"?  Aren't all cells simply cells, whether or not part of an organism with a brain?  By that measure all plants are just cells, most micro organisms are just cells, correct. 

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An early stage fetus is arguably more moral to kill than a few eyelashes - since the fetus is a risk to woman, where as the eyelash cells provide benefit.

That only makes limited sense even in a strict utilitarian model.  Even in that model you have to discount to zero future benefit, which is an unreasonable assumption, to get there.  And what happens if its demonstrable that the average expected utility of an early stage fetus to a woman is in fact very positive (which given the average overall satisfaction and long term support children bring to parents is a virtual certainty)?   Then a strict costs benefits analysis becomes at best muddled and at worst disproves your argument.

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Also it is also arguably immoral to increase the global population and arguably immoral to not abort a fetus that is going to result in an unwanted pregnancy (since that will result in a person who will experience suffering).

Still utilitarian?  If you're going to make such an argument, you'd have to weigh the parts that disagree with you as well wouldn't you?  Flagging the suffering of a mother carrying through on an unwanted pregnancy, but ignoring the potential for harm from remorse of an abortion (documented by the way, though agreed not present in all), or the claims by those that have carried such children to birth and then unequivocally stated they were glad they did so?  And who are you to judge whether a particular person is unacceptable burden on the global population versus another? 

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The immoral nature of an abortion is if it will cause suffering - either to the mother (thus it is generally immoral to bring about an abortion for a mother who wants to have a child) or to a person (thus it is immoral to kill a fetus once it has developed a brain and thus can experience suffering).

That's certainly one moral interpretation.  Now what entitles you to establish morality for anyone else?   If interference in the natural formation of a human life is an absolute wrong (which is certainly a possibility in a religious world), in what way would your arguments about relative morality have merit?  Do you really think a deity would "let someone off the hook" because LetterRip makes a cases for how it was really to everyone's benefit not to obey an absolute rule?

End of day, my point has always been simple on this.  Science can not disprove a moral position or a religious one.  It can inform an intellect and an intellect can use that information to modify their understanding of a position but that's really it.

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You can make the case that it is immoral to kill a fetus at all, but that morality would only logically be defensible if it is immoral to kill anything more developed than a fetus or equally as developed as a fetus.

It takes one axiom to make your logic fail.  Your statement does not logically follow if one believes human life is more valuable than other life (which by the way, appears to be axiomatic to the majority of the world's religions).

If on the other hand, if you did equate all life as literally equal, would you not be guilty of murder for getting rid of a tape worm infection?  Or really be required to off yourself to prevent you as a single organism from engaging in the whole sale slaughter of millions of bacterial cells in your body?  Presumably, you would not be able to eat any animals of any sort, and potentially you may not be able to distinguish organisms sufficiently to let yourself eat any plants. 

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If you or others concerned with abortion were strict vegans - I'd find your arguements to be more convincing.

See, you got there yourself.  Makes it clear though that you missed a key axiom in your attempted rebuttal.

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I think you've made a logic fail here, specifically there are 6 billion humans alive today that began as fertilized eggs, which means a non-trivial number of them become humans.  Meanwhile those 6 billion humans shed trillions of cells, of a variety of types, every day and none of them - to my knowledge - have become living humans, not even clones.  Somehow you seem to think something that frequently occurs and something that never occurs have equivalent potential to occur?

We could switch to no human pregnancies occurring via insemination and all pregnancies only being derived from skin cells.  We don't do so because there isn't any reason to do so (there have been cloned human embryos, but none have been announced as having been brought to term).  The frequency is but an accident of nature.  If the frequencies were reversed would that make all skins cells sacred to you?  (Fun science fiction scenario - some disease wipes out all human eggs and sperm.  Society switches to generating embryos exclusively from skin cells; and then many generations later the disease is wiped out but now insemination pregnancies are viewed as unnatural and forced to be aborted).

As a matter of morality would those future generations be wrong to believe so?  Could you prove their moral beliefs are wrong with science?  The answer to both questions is of course NO, which is exactly why this debate is silly.  Science doesn't determine morality.

The only part that you could make an objective argument about is the forced abortion piece, which has no direct equivalent in our society.  Noone is forced to terminate clone babies today, best you can argue is that cloning is illegal or banned without moral cause (but even that's a strain).  If we went full on pro-life you could argue for a semi-equivalence.  But the pro-choice argument would be inverted (its the mothers right to keep the baby).

However, that's all an incredibly long way to go to avoid addressing that your initial statement was fatally flawed and that there is a demonstrable difference in potential.  I'm left wondering what you think the example actually adds to any of the questions we're considering.

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There's no reason that any human should agree to value the life of animal or insect as equal to the value of their own life, though they are free to do so.

I was arguing that logically a fetuses life that has not developed a brain should be valued similarly or less than other life that has developed a brain (and thus can suffer), not a human valuing their own life.

You're not making a logical argument, you are just restating your opinion.  All you are doing is restating your initial axioms:  All life is equal, human life is not more valuable.  Logic is a word computer, it can bring new insights into the implications of the axioms you input but it can't resolve anything that you didn't put in as a necessary consequence of your assumptions.

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There are only a few ways to give moral 'value' to a life.  Either it's current 'value' as a being (it can think, it can suffer, etc.) or its potential value.

Lol.  Even assuming this is correct, there are literally millions of systems of value that can be used that would find differences between the forms of life you are evaluating.

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If you want to go with 'current value' - then anything more advanced should have greater value (thus ants > fetuses)

That's not a logic necessity of the assumption:  "current value is the correct way to value life." 

Your second assumption is "anything more advanced should have greater value," which you erroneously state as the logical conclusion of the first assumption.

The correct logical conclusion of the first assumption, is "we need to determine the current value of each life to decide which is more valuable."  There are literally millions of measures that could be used, you only selected one.

If we do accept your second axiom as true, then smarter people should be given preference in life saving situations over dumber ones, and if we ever invent AI or are visited by aliens it would not be an unreasonable conclusion that we should surrender our own existence in their favor.  You certainly could make the argument that any child should be sacrificed to save any adult, and for example no fire fighters should be risked in efforts to save children in a burning orphanage.

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if you want to go 'potential value' - then anything of roughly similar potential should have similar value (thus skin cells; etc.);

I hope you see where this is going to go.  Again, you state your second axiom erroneously as a conclusion of your first.  In this case though you, as noted above, have also included a bizarre measure of potential that disfavors actual potential in favor of what can best be described as sci-fi manipulation potential where by skin cells are equally likely to become new human beings as fertilized egg cells and thus should be deemed to have the same potential. 

I honestly, can't imagine that there is any real system of measuring potential that would come to such a conclusion, which means in the potentialities version of your logic puzzle, you've almost certainly selected the only second axiom that makes your argument plausible (and a highly contrived axiom at that, which violates a number of logical rules - not least of which are the principals that underlie Occam's razor about not adding unnecessary complexity).

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there is also personal value (the mother wants to have a baby).  (Things like 'unique' fail for clones, or for the matter than every cell is unique to some degree; things like human fail due to things like cancer and skin cells)

So there are two forms of value, but also this third kind?  Lol, there are so many measures of value that are not described by you, but personal value is actually not distinct from the current and potential model, its just another potential axiom for the second axiom.  There is a personal measure of current value, and a personal measure of potential value.

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You seem to want very very narrow construing of potential value (ie something that is a trivial difference with todays technology) so that an implanted egg is at 100%, but skin cells are at 0% where there is no obvious basis for there to be any but the slightest of difference.

Again, I think you are misunderstanding the issue.  I haven't even made an argument about the correct value.  I disputed Pete's conclusion and really dispute the nasty and offensive way in which he states it that fertilization as the beginning of a human life is disprovable as a matter of science, and by implication voids religious objections to interference with the fertilized egg prior to implementation.

However, it's literally a scientific fact that a non-trivial about of non-implanted fertilized eggs will, on the path of ultimate destiny, become human beings, and that the percentage of human skin cells that will do so is so close to zero as to be indistinguishable from zero on any reasonable scale.  Could we choose to alter that, of course, but that's utterly irrelevant to the question at hand.  You're always free to believe there is a moral equivalency, but there's no reasonable axioms or logic that gets you there.

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If we go with 'actual' value (it can suffer, it can think) then fetuses without a functional nervous system value should logically have less value relative to anything that is already birthed including insects and all animals.

I really cringe every time I read a statement that implies its making a logical conclusion without even realizing its just restating an axiom.

Fenring

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #103 on: February 15, 2017, 02:49:37 PM »
Good write-up, Seriati. My only quibble would be that LR's 'second axiom' shouldn't be written off on the grounds of 'unnecessary complexity', because frankly "Occam's Razor" is neither a strict rule nor, to whit, should it apply to anything other than creating efficient models for the function of physical objects (i.e. physics). I don't find his axiom problematic because it's complex, just problematic because it's arbitrary and, as you say, is just a restatement of his opinion on the matter. The opinion is certainly valid, but it's not neccesitated by any deeper first principle that I can see.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #104 on: February 15, 2017, 02:53:49 PM »
Agreed Fenring, Occam's Razor actually drives me nuts because it's so frequently misused (and conclusions reached with it given undue weight), it's just the most well known version of the basic concept disfavoring choosing more complex assumptions when less complex ones are available.  I don't have a quibble with him choosing to believe in the second axioms that he selected, just with the belief that they logically follow from his first.

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #105 on: February 15, 2017, 03:20:34 PM »
I see the confusion; there is a linguistic issue at play here when I speak of "history". When I use the word "abortion" in reference to modern times I refer to the actual event it describes

No, you don't.  Most abortions happen in the first 60 days and your definition does not apply to them.  There's no brain waves, therefore no personhood.  You have begged the question.  You haven't attempted to show any evidence whatsoever that an embryo in the first 60 days is in fact a person.   You haven't even bothered to clarify whether you join the fundy-nutballs in referring to the termination or stem cell use of an unimplanted blastocyst is an "abortion."

I refuse to accept that you and Seriati really believe what you're saying here, that the brain and the mind have nothing to do with whether living cells are a human person.  You're handling this like a political word game, and dodging the core issues like a 5:4 Supreme Court majority

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However when referring to what might be called "abortions" historically, I should have noted that the word (as you suggest) had a different meaning then, which corresponded to a different understanding of biology at the time.

I've repeatedly asked you to get specific about the "understanding of biology" that underpins your brand new definition of abortion.  And if your definition really is based on sound science, then why are you the first person in creation to claim that's what abortion means?  Even the pro-lifer's idiotic redefinition of conception has trickled down into the dictionary.  As far as I see, you just pulled that one, coined a new definition for the purpose of stymying a discussion.  Stymying, because by your definition, there's no way we can know when an abortion is an abortion, as opposed to just the termination of a pregnancy.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 03:25:30 PM by Pete at Home »

TheDrake

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #106 on: February 15, 2017, 03:27:28 PM »
We could certainly use the court's value system when wrongful death suits involve a cash judgement. There, earning potential is usually the crux.

Or economists might do something like this:

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"As economists, we can't say there's a limit to the value of life," he said. "But there may be an average value that juries can consider."

That average, Mr. Smith figures, is around $4 million.

Mr. Smith says that people unknowingly set a value on their own lives by what they are willing to pay to reduce their everyday risk of death.

Say a certain home safety feature costs $50. If research shows that for every 100,000 of those devices in use, one life is saved, then the implied value of that life is $5 million:

By this type of calculation, we might well conclude that out of millions of options, our society is consistent with potential being the clear winner in the first case, and probably in the second.

I don't see much to recommend the "current value" family of options.

If one were to talk about the potential value of a cell to found a clone, well, you'd have to start with the odds. Odds of a cell becoming a clone today is virtually nil. Odds of fertilized egg, or implanted egg, or embryo, or fetus -- higher and higher with each stage.

All of that rather neatly fits with the idea of acceptable early abortions with some cutoff - unless the value of that life would be demonstrably low, such as the case of 3rd trimester abortions due to birth defect. The other calculation being the standard "life of the mother" arguments, which acknowledges offsetting value between the mother's potential and the child's. It also is a framework that acknowledges the rape and incest exceptions that often arise - in both cases diminishing either the child's or the mother's value and potential.

Fenring

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #107 on: February 15, 2017, 03:51:39 PM »
Most abortions happen in the first 60 days and your definition does not apply to them.  There's no brain waves, therefore no personhood.  You have begged the question.  You haven't attempted to show any evidence whatsoever that an embryo in the first 60 days is in fact a person.

I don't have to show evidence to specify what I believe the Catholic position is. What I'm trying to do here is make sure we're clear on what their beliefs actually are, rather than a straw man version of them. Their position is clearly that brain waves are not requisite for declaring the fetus to be a person. This is neither something I made up, nor controversial, nor complicated to understand. Go and ask any Catholic priest if you don't believe me, since as I said I'm not an expert. I'm just doing my best to report what I've been told by reliable sources. I am not begging the question because there is no evidence required to call an early fetus a 'person'; personhood is not something scientifically demonstrable. At worst we could say that assigning personhood to a fetus earlier rather than later on is an arbitrary religious choice, but even so there is no possible ground to call it factually incorrect. That would simply be a misinterpretation of the definition of "person" they use. You are free to use a different definition of "person", such as one involving brain waves, but the claim that everyone must share that definition is false, and the implication that it's the definition used by Catholics is also definitely false. Science cannot, in any case, define what a "person" is, and even if some scientist came up with a reasonable basis for doing so that would still not make it factually necessary.

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You haven't even bothered to clarify whether you join the fundy-nutballs in referring to the termination or stem cell use of an unimplanted blastocyst is an "abortion."

1) As has been noted previously, Catholics are not essentially fundamentalist, a term which I believe has to do with literal interpretation of scripture. You may say they are strict with the application of their beliefs, but sticking to principles doesn't make you a fundamentalist.

2) I don't know the answer to that question in any case; I haven't sufficiently studied it.

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I refuse to accept that you and Seriati really believe what you're saying here, that the brain and the mind have nothing to do with whether living cells are a human person.  You're handling this like a political word game, and dodging the core issues like a 5:4 Supreme Court majority

Neither of us is saying anything about what we think the implications are of having or not yet having a central nervous system. What I'm doing is trying to create an accurate description of the views of Catholics. Whether we agree or disagree with their views is immaterial for that purpose.

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I've repeatedly asked you to get specific about the "understanding of biology" that underpins your brand new definition of abortion.  And if your definition really is based on sound science, then why are you the first person in creation to claim that's what abortion means?  Even the pro-lifer's idiotic redefinition of conception has trickled down into the dictionary.  As far as I see, you just pulled that one, coined a new definition for the purpose of stymying a discussion.  Stymying, because by your definition, there's no way we can know when an abortion is an abortion, as opposed to just the termination of a pregnancy.

It's not my definition, it's my best attempt at stating the current Catholic definition. What I'm trying to get across to you is that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a "person" is in Catholic parlance, and you seem instead to be beating against a straw man version of their definition. There is no confusion whatsoever about whether, according to them, an abortion is "an abortion" (i.e. terminating an unborn human person, as I mentioned before), or just "terminating a pregnancy". It is both, and cannot ever be one without being the other according to their current definitions. My wording may be a version you've not seen before, but the ideas in it are not novel, they are the standard Catholic position on this.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #108 on: February 15, 2017, 04:00:24 PM »
I refuse to accept that you and Seriati really believe what you're saying here, that the brain and the mind have nothing to do with whether living cells are a human person.  You're handling this like a political word game, and dodging the core issues like a 5:4 Supreme Court majority

I think we've explored what I believe before.  I honestly, don't have a personal need to establish the exact moment of personhood, or to do with specificity.  If I had to, I would probably settle on conception, because like I said, in looking back on any human being its the first moment at which they could have been identified.

In any event it doesn't matter to me expressly because I recognize that both the mother and the fetus have rights, and that until viability there is no way to resolve those rights in a manner that preserves both.  I give preference to the mother until the point of viability as to do otherwise would make her a slave to the fetus's needs.  After viability, efforts should be made to preserve both set of rights.

I want to repeat that the vitriol you keep throwing out on this issue is unnecessary and unwelcome.  No idea why you can't make your arguments without the insults.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 04:03:18 PM by Seriati »

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #109 on: February 15, 2017, 04:11:26 PM »
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Again, I think you are misunderstanding the issue.

That remains to be seen, since neither you nor Fenring has addressed the issue with sufficient specificity.

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  I haven't even made an argument about the correct value.

We noticed.

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I disputed Pete's conclusion 

Disputed as in disagree, clearly.  But no logical argument yet.

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and really dispute the nasty and offensive way in which he states it that fertilization as the beginning of a human life is disprovable as a matter of science, and by implication voids religious objections to interference with the fertilized egg prior to implementation.

That's a contradiction in terms.  You can dislike the nasty and offensive way in which I say something you want to not be true, but disputation regards facts, unless you're going to Fenring that word "dispute"  into something entirely new for purposes of this thread.

I have laid out the hypothesis that the "life begins at conception" is based on bad disprovable science, obfuscated by misleading and ambiguous terminology.  Basically a lie buried in a mess of bad grammar.  What Cicero called the "opposite" of the "middle style," the opposite of the language of inquiry.

You're playing Shrodinger's cat, trying to be two places at once.  I show scientifically that neither of them is actually true, and you claim I've not proven anything because you're both places at once.

Place 1: "Life begins."  A sperm and egg are just as "alive" scientifically as a fertilized egg.

oh, now you mean

place 2: "A life begins."  Oh, an individual human life?  That doesn't begin at fertilization since one fertilized egg sometimes becomes multiple persons, sometimes joins with another fertilized egg to become one chimeric person, and most often just fuses with an existing person (most often the mother) as a stem cell.

Where's your counterargument, if you "dispute" that?

I'm not in a popularity contest here.  I like you and Fenring just fine, but if you don't like me, I'm not going to cry in my coffee.  You both have shown on other topics you know how to cut to the chase and talk about substance, so I'm not going to be polite while you insult your own intelligences and ours with circuitous evasions.  Out of sheer respect for you, I can't accept this from you.

Edited to add: I don't mean it as an insult to say that I've learned to expect better from you, and if you take it that way, that's your choice.

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #110 on: February 15, 2017, 04:23:19 PM »
I refuse to accept that you and Seriati really believe what you're saying here, that the brain and the mind have nothing to do with whether living cells are a human person.  You're handling this like a political word game, and dodging the core issues like a 5:4 Supreme Court majority

I think we've explored what I believe before.  I honestly, don't have a personal need to establish the exact moment of personhood, or to do with specificity.

I don't recall you saying that.

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If I had to, I would probably settle on conception, because like I said, in looking back on any human being its the first moment at which they could have been identified.

webster wept, man.  That's what you call "settling" if you had to?  A term with multiple meanings?  You don't recognize that's an insult to the whole discussion at this point?

What I just got from what you're saying is that you'd rather not define personhood but if someone pressed you to, that you would use semantics to create an obfuscatory definition that means nothing.

I'm cool with "we don't know."  I really, really am cool with that.  What I cannot respect is obfuscation.

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In any event it doesn't matter to me expressly because I recognize that both the mother and the fetus have rights, and that until viability there is no way to resolve those rights in a manner that preserves both.  I give preference to the mother until the point of viability as to do otherwise would make her a slave to the fetus's needs.  After viability, efforts should be made to preserve both set of rights.

Absolutely agreed.  That's the most reasonable position to take under the circumstances, in the light of our current knowledge and technology.  What you just said embraces the reality that we might learn more, be able to do something new, at which point our rules must change.   Obfuscating behind misleading terminology like "conception" and "life begins" can only impede our journey forward.

LetterRip

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #111 on: February 15, 2017, 04:47:31 PM »
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I get that's your axiom, your unprovable assertion on which you base your position.

No it is provable.  Nearly any animal cell can be turned into a fetus.

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That only makes limited sense even in a strict utilitarian model.  Even in that model you have to discount to zero future benefit, which is an unreasonable assumption, to get there.  And what happens if its demonstrable that the average expected utility of an early stage fetus to a woman is in fact very positive (which given the average overall satisfaction and long term support children bring to parents is a virtual certainty)?   Then a strict costs benefits analysis becomes at best muddled and at worst disproves your argument.

An unwanted fetus has negative utility in strict utilitarian model.  I don't disagree with laws of forcing an abortion or miscarriage.  Also the 'average' expected utility is in fact negative - the vast majority die within a few weeks or months before the woman realises she is pregnant due to fetal abnormalities (that had the fetus survived almost all woman would have aborted).  Of those that are viable, a significant percentage are terminated.  The only reason more aren't terminated is because we have such effective birth control.  The abortion rate for unintended pregnancies is 47% with most 'unintended' pregnancies not really being unintentional (ie choosing to forgo birth control).  So the abortion rate for unwanted pregnancies is probably 80+%.

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Still utilitarian?  If you're going to make such an argument, you'd have to weigh the parts that disagree with you as well wouldn't you?  Flagging the suffering of a mother carrying through on an unwanted pregnancy, but ignoring the potential for harm from remorse of an abortion (documented by the way, though agreed not present in all), or the claims by those that have carried such children to birth and then unequivocally stated they were glad they did so?

The 'suffering' from remorse is generally going to be quite small.  People also regret from not having asked people out, or not having done certain things.  The choice of terminating a pregnancy almost certainly provided maximum utility - so any such regret would only reduce the net benefit of the abortion, it wouldn't give it a negative utility.

Apparently 95% of women don't regret having an abortion.

http://time.com/3956781/women-abortion-regret-reproductive-health/

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And who are you to judge whether a particular person is unacceptable burden on the global population versus another?

I'm not, I think the person who would have to carry the fetus is qualified to judge.  Especially in the case of a defective fetus.

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That's certainly one moral interpretation.  Now what entitles you to establish morality for anyone else?

I'm not, I'm objecting to you establishing morality for someone else.  In particular laws that limit anothers access to abortion.

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If interference in the natural formation of a human life is an absolute wrong (which is certainly a possibility in a religious world), in what way would your arguments about relative morality have merit?  Do you really think a deity would "let someone off the hook" because LetterRip makes a cases for how it was really to everyone's benefit not to obey an absolute rule?

A deity can instruct you (or at least you believe that it has instructed you) to do all sorts of bat *censored* crazy stuff and claim it as a moral imperative.  Slavery, murder of others.  Are you arguing that Islamic terrorism is moral because people believe that their diety has instructed them to murder infidels, etc.?  If you concede that based on your definition that terrorism against the US is moral, then I'll cease arguing against you that religion is a legitimate source of morality.  It is one that I personally reject, but as long as you are consistent then I won't try and convince you otherwise.

If, however, you don't concede that terrorism is legitimately viewed as moral, then obviously you have contradicted yourself and should abandon the arguement that religion can be a legitimate source of morality.

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End of day, my point has always been simple on this.  Science can not disprove a moral position or a religious one.  It can inform an intellect and an intellect can use that information to modify their understanding of a position but that's really it.

Science can be used to show that a particular moral position is hypocritical, contradictory, absurd, inconsistent or otherwise irrational.  My arguement has simply been that science demonstrates privileging a single cell that is the result of conception over other single cells is absurd and irrational.  Physiologically the difference is arbitrary given our current scientific capabilities.

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It takes one axiom to make your logic fail.  Your statement does not logically follow if one believes human life is more valuable than other life (which by the way, appears to be axiomatic to the majority of the world's religions).

That is not the case.  No religion in the world gives a damn about the cells of my gums or nearly any other clump of cells.  They almost universaly don't value human life they value human beings - a particularly advanced expression of human life.  Almost none of them valued human life prior to it showing signifcant advancment towards becoming a 'being'.  The discoveries of science about fetal development have been retroactively applied to many religions - but it isn't a part of any of the religions as they were practiced for the vast majority of their existence.

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If on the other hand, if you did equate all life as literally equal, would you not be guilty of murder for getting rid of a tape worm infection?  Or really be required to off yourself to prevent you as a single organism from engaging in the whole sale slaughter of millions of bacterial cells in your body?  Presumably, you would not be able to eat any animals of any sort, and potentially you may not be able to distinguish organisms sufficiently to let yourself eat any plants.

First, I don't equate all life as equal.  There are many basis for nonequality of life.  For instance life that induces suffering in other life might be viewed as being moral to kill.  Or the utility of the life.  Or complexity, or capability, or rarity.

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See, you got there yourself.  Makes it clear though that you missed a key axiom in your attempted rebuttal.

You've misunderstood my arguement - I only require a consistent morality that lacks absurdity or contradictions.  If you accept religion as a basis of morality - then you must logically accept all religions as equally reasonable basis for morality, and all precepts of all religions as eqaully valid.  If you argue it is immoral to kill a single cell that is the result of conception - then it absurd that you don't find it immoral to kill a single somatic or other cell since with modern technology they are similarly capable.

You appear to want me to not force my morality on you, but insist that your religious morality be forced on others.  You appear to want your religions morality forced on others, but would object to the forcing of religous morality that you find abhorent to be forced on you.  You want to use trivial differences in biology to claim that a particular type of single cell or clump of cells be enormously priveleged legally, yet reject that all single cells or clump of cells be similarly priveleged - although there is no meaningful difference given our current technology.

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As a matter of morality would those future generations be wrong to believe so?  Could you prove their moral beliefs are wrong with science?  The answer to both questions is of course NO, which is exactly why this debate is silly.  Science doesn't determine morality.

They would be absurd to believe so.  That is the point is that priveleging one and not the other is an absurd result and results in a morality that is absurdly inconsistent.  There is no scientific rationale to privelge one and not the other because technologically, the differences are trivial.

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You're not making a logical argument, you are just restating your opinion.  All you are doing is restating your initial axioms:  All life is equal, human life is not more valuable.  Logic is a word computer, it can bring new insights into the implications of the axioms you input but it can't resolve anything that you didn't put in as a necessary consequence of your assumptions.

Do you value a gum scraping above a pet?  If not then you value an animals life above human life.

I've never argued or claimed such an axiom.  One axiom I might be said to have would be that many classes of complex non-human life are more valuable than many forms of non-complex human life (so a dog or cat is generally more valuable than a gum scraping, or an unimplanted yet fertilized egg).  A second axiom might be that person who creates (procreates) a non-complex human life should have the right to privilege or not as they see fit that life so that it might develop into a complex human-life.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 04:54:56 PM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #112 on: February 15, 2017, 05:31:24 PM »
Seriati,

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In any event it doesn't matter to me expressly because I recognize that both the mother and the fetus have rights, and that until viability there is no way to resolve those rights in a manner that preserves both.  I give preference to the mother until the point of viability as to do otherwise would make her a slave to the fetus's needs.  After viability, efforts should be made to preserve both set of rights.

Within 20 years and quite likely a lot sooner, viability will be the day of conception (baring spontaneous abortion/miscarriage, even then we should be able to use gene editing to fix any defective fetus sufficiently for viability) because artificial wombs are already in development and making rapid progress.

When do you think would be 'reasonable' if viability is pushed back to conception?  Do you think all currently frozen IVF fertilized eggs should be forced to be brought to term in a artificial womb once that technology exists?

If we could remove fetuses and freeze them and then develop them in an artificial womb at a later date (5, 10, 20, 100, 1000, 1000000 years in he future) - would that be moral in your view?  Is it immoral to keep frozen IVF fertilized eggs?  Is it immoral to dispose of IVF fertilized eggs?

I think we need perfect and freely available contraception prior to be able to legislate abortion restrictions beyond what currently exist.

Say a mad scientist creates a billion or trillion cloned fetal cells of himself (again something likely doable within 20 years).  Should they all be put in artificial wombs and raised?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 05:35:25 PM by LetterRip »

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #113 on: February 15, 2017, 05:55:07 PM »
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and really dispute the nasty and offensive way in which he states it that fertilization as the beginning of a human life is disprovable as a matter of science, and by implication voids religious objections to interference with the fertilized egg prior to implementation.

That's a contradiction in terms.  You can dislike the nasty and offensive way in which I say something you want to not be true, but disputation regards facts, unless you're going to Fenring that word "dispute"  into something entirely new for purposes of this thread.

No, its at worst a run on sentence.  I dislike the nasty way you're talking as a matter of principal without regard to the underlying substance. 

I also disagree that you've reasonable shown that science establishes that fertilization has no relevance to the question of when life begins, and think you've gone completely off the deep end when you assert that such a proof would be relevant - at all - to people with religious convictions on the matter.

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I have laid out the hypothesis that the "life begins at conception" is based on bad disprovable science, obfuscated by misleading and ambiguous terminology.  Basically a lie buried in a mess of bad grammar.  What Cicero called the "opposite" of the "middle style," the opposite of the language of inquiry.

You have certainly made such an assertion, but you've set yourself a fools errand in claiming you can disprove that which is literally not capable of proof.  The lack of an agreed specificity on conception, does not mean that individuals don't have a specific meaning in mind when they use it.

The following, which you ask me to dispute, is not an actual argument.  It may be short hand for an actual argument, but there's no argument made in what you actually cite.

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You're playing Shrodinger's cat, trying to be two places at once.  I show scientifically that neither of them is actually true, and you claim I've not proven anything because you're both places at once.

I'm not in two places at once.  For a religious person there is only one point - which may be arbitrary, and they only have their own understanding of what that point is to rely on.  Like I said before, that point could have been the beginning of time, it could be the instant the sex act is underway, it could be the exact point the sperm enters the egg, it could be the moment the head leaves the birth canal, it could be years later, none of which are capable of disproof as a scientific matter.

For the secular person, many of those points make a lot less sense and are hard to distinguish from each other with any kind of abstract principals, but not even they are required to be in two places at once.

Science does not answer - for anyone - the question of when a life begins or doesn't begin, it just describes the manual processes involved.   

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Place 1: "Life begins."  A sperm and egg are just as "alive" scientifically as a fertilized egg.

So what?  I mean that seriously, you put great weight on this - apparently - and it's an utter fail on the relevance issue to me.  I pointed out before that there are some belief systems that do in fact prohibit male masturbation, which means they may share your concern here.

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place 2: "A life begins."

  Oh, an individual human life?  That doesn't begin at fertilization since one fertilized egg sometimes becomes multiple persons, sometimes joins with another fertilized egg to become one chimeric person, and most often just fuses with an existing person (most often the mother) as a stem cell.

You know this is the second thread we've discussed this on, but nothing about the idea of multiple persons coming from a single fertilized cell would cause an issue with a life begins at conception view.  Every single last one of the resulting people could still trace their beginning to that conception.

Re-absorption likewise doesn't cause any quandaries for the religious.  Hard to argue that if you believe god's plan in procreation is what needs to not be interfered with, that any natural result is not in the plan.  What would the counter idea be?  That the religious person has a duty to intervene to "protect" the fertilized egg in question?  I can't say no one has a view like that, but it sounds like it might be internally inconsistent.

Chimeras are by far the interesting puzzles.  Don't want to speak for anyone else, but they still require there to be fertilized eggs, just in this case there are two such events.  The resulting person isn't identifiable until the fusion, so I guess you could make an argument that - for that person - the previous fertilized eggs are no more meaningful than an egg and sperm.  Interesting to debate if interference in such a fusion would be morally required or prohibited, but again, not particularly troubling for a religious person.

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Where's your counterargument, if you "dispute" that?

Well, you didn't actually make an argument, nor did your claims show any particular trouble for someone to resolve.  That's kind of why I've been arguing with you on this and the prior thread.  There is no amount of biological process knowledge that can give an answer on when life begins.

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I'm not in a popularity contest here.  I like you and Fenring just fine, but if you don't like me, I'm not going to cry in my coffee.  You both have shown on other topics you know how to cut to the chase and talk about substance, so I'm not going to be polite while you insult your own intelligences and ours with circuitous evasions.  Out of sheer respect for you, I can't accept this from you.

Then take a breath and try to reread it.  The only thing I can figure is that you're talking past me in your head.  You seem to have the faith of the converted on this point, but that's no excuse for demanding I accept points that are tangential as proof of a concept.

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Edited to add: I don't mean it as an insult to say that I've learned to expect better from you, and if you take it that way, that's your choice.

I'm not insulted, I just see no point or added value in the nastiness.  It's not like I'm never offensive.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #114 on: February 15, 2017, 06:20:19 PM »
I think we've explored what I believe before.  I honestly, don't have a personal need to establish the exact moment of personhood, or to do with specificity.

I don't recall you saying that.

The prior thread was more focused on substantive debate and positions.

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If I had to, I would probably settle on conception, because like I said, in looking back on any human being its the first moment at which they could have been identified.

webster wept, man.  That's what you call "settling" if you had to?  A term with multiple meanings?  You don't recognize that's an insult to the whole discussion at this point?

I've put forward several times the same challenge to you.  Other than for a chimera, where is the person alive today for whom conception is not the first point at which they could be uniquely identified?

That's a pretty straightforward request.  If you can't meet it, then I think you need to question why not.  Something is faulty in your position if it discards the first point at which Science could have identified a living human been as a muddled concept or a term with multiple meanings.

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What I just got from what you're saying is that you'd rather not define personhood but if someone pressed you to, that you would use semantics to create an obfuscatory definition that means nothing.

I'm cool with "we don't know."  I really, really am cool with that.  What I cannot respect is obfuscation.

I'm not sure what you are getting at.  We don't know, not with certainty.  We all have beliefs and, notwithstanding you claim otherwise, those beliefs are not disprovable.  That's not an obfuscation. 

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #115 on: February 15, 2017, 06:32:03 PM »
In any event it doesn't matter to me expressly because I recognize that both the mother and the fetus have rights, and that until viability there is no way to resolve those rights in a manner that preserves both.  I give preference to the mother until the point of viability as to do otherwise would make her a slave to the fetus's needs.  After viability, efforts should be made to preserve both set of rights.

Within 20 years and quite likely a lot sooner, viability will be the day of conception (baring spontaneous abortion/miscarriage, even then we should be able to use gene editing to fix any defective fetus sufficiently for viability) because artificial wombs are already in development and making rapid progress.

When do you think would be 'reasonable' if viability is pushed back to conception?[/quote]

Conception.  Have you missed the past abortion debates on this?  Where I specifically call out a policy that says a man is financially responsible and has no rights with respect to a baby upon ejaculation through birth, but a woman can defer that decision until they choose to allow the birth itself.  If technology gets that far, make both parents financially responsible for the life created when they commit the unprotected act.   I see no validity to a policy that allows a mother to choose to murder the unborn if there is not an irresolvable conflict of rights.

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Do you think all currently frozen IVF fertilized eggs should be forced to be brought to term in a artificial womb once that technology exists?

If we could remove fetuses and freeze them and then develop them in an artificial womb at a later date (5, 10, 20, 100, 1000, 1000000 years in he future) - would that be moral in your view?  Is it immoral to keep frozen IVF fertilized eggs?  Is it immoral to dispose of IVF fertilized eggs?

I don't see an obligation to thaw and birth the frozen IVF eggs, but I haven't spent a lot of time on the issue (and as of yet we don't have the tech to make that plausible).  You could make an argument for that if you want, but it would miss on my own requirement for parental responsibility if the parents are long dead.  I guess, you could similarly freeze and defer the fetus removed from the woman if possible, though again questionably immoral.

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I think we need perfect and freely available contraception prior to be able to legislate abortion restrictions beyond what currently exist.

Then put in place a government program to pay for that.  I only objected to forcing it into Obamacare, not to the concept itself.

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Say a mad scientist creates a billion or trillion cloned fetal cells of himself (again something likely doable within 20 years).  Should they all be put in artificial wombs and raised?

It would violate fiscal responsibility to do so.  It would also violate an undisclosed - previously - axiom of mine.  I'm very roughly an evolutionist.  I don't think we should encourage the mass propagation of someone like that, it's not good for the species as a whole to be that concentrated, and generally speaking I think cloning is a bit repugnant as it does not advance our evolution.

LetterRip

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #116 on: February 15, 2017, 07:16:05 PM »
Seriati,

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It would violate fiscal responsibility to do so.

So fiscal responsibility is a higher priority than life?  Interesting - you do realize that that is usually a significant reason for people getting an abortion aside from severe fetal defect.  Why is it okay for society to prioritize fiscal responsibility, yet not so for the individual?

Also fiscal responsibility would seem to apply to current abortions - most unwanted pregnancies end up being an extreme burden to the state already.

This really suggests that you don't have a moral principle regarding life at all but rather want to punish people who get pregnant by forcing them to have a complete pregnancy and raise a child.

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I'm very roughly an evolutionist.

Many children these days are arguably less fit than their parents since we don't have selective pressure that limits reproduction or that results in mortality for unfit offspring.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 07:22:13 PM by LetterRip »

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #117 on: February 15, 2017, 07:38:37 PM »
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I get that's your axiom, your unprovable assertion on which you base your position.

No it is provable.  Nearly any animal cell can be turned into a fetus.

Non-responsive my friend.  You dropped too much of the quote.  The fact that any cell may be turned with sufficient manipulation into a fetus (which I'm accepting provisionally on faith, but I've seen no evidence of), does not logically require that all cells are exactly equal, as well suited to a task or have similar potential. 

You can't prove that this phrase, "The cells of an organism without a brain are simply cells." has any meaning.  All cells, even of organisms with a brian, are "simply cells," which means your criteria of distinction is irrelevant.

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An unwanted fetus has negative utility in strict utilitarian model.

That's false.  It can be assigned a negative or positive value, depending on the scale it is being measured against.  In any event, what you are describing is "apparent value," which is a relative measure and may or may not have any relationship to absolute value.  It may also be wrong even on the relative scale.

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Also the 'average' expected utility is in fact negative - the vast majority die within a few weeks or months before the woman realises she is pregnant due to fetal abnormalities (that had the fetus survived almost all woman would have aborted).

I don't think you are correctly using the word "average".  The actual pool here includes all forms of unborn human from fertilized eggs through exiting the birth canal.  While the average expected value of the survivors of each stage constantly increases, at no point would it be expected to be negative (unless you believe human existence has a net negative value, in which case you should be advocating much the Shakers for no more children).

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Of those that are viable, a significant percentage are terminated.  The only reason more aren't terminated is because we have such effective birth control.  The abortion rate for unintended pregnancies is 47% with most 'unintended' pregnancies not really being unintentional (ie choosing to forgo birth control).  So the abortion rate for unwanted pregnancies is probably 80+%.

Made up numbers, but I won't bother to dispute them as they have no bearing at all on the issues at hand.

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The 'suffering' from remorse is generally going to be quite small.  People also regret from not having asked people out, or not having done certain things.  The choice of terminating a pregnancy almost certainly provided maximum utility - so any such regret would only reduce the net benefit of the abortion, it wouldn't give it a negative utility.

Thanks for expressing your opinion, as there are many valid opinions it has no bearing on whether the correct measures have been used to determine value.

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Apparently 95% of women don't regret having an abortion.

http://time.com/3956781/women-abortion-regret-reproductive-health/

Lol.  Did you follow your link to the actual study, or look at the group that produced it.  Would you accept a study from the National Right to Life Movement?  Cause you kind of cited one produced to the other side.

In any event, the best that the study referenced could prove is that while within 3 years of an abortion only 5% were willing to say they regretted the abortion, many had "normal" psychological issues connected to the act.  That sounds both inadequate in the period monitored, and mealy mouthed in how they categorized the respondents.  It also appears different than other studies on the same issue.

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And who are you to judge whether a particular person is unacceptable burden on the global population versus another?

I'm not, I think the person who would have to carry the fetus is qualified to judge.  Especially in the case of a defective fetus.

I dispute that.  What qualifies any person to make a judgment about one individual versus the global population burden?   There's ton of stuff that makes sense to hang your hat on, this point is a gross overreach.

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That's certainly one moral interpretation.  Now what entitles you to establish morality for anyone else?

I'm not, I'm objecting to you establishing morality for someone else.  In particular laws that limit anothers access to abortion.

Then good like finding where I advocated such laws, or even where I established morality for anyone.  My comments have largely be deconstructivist on this topic.

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A deity can instruct you (or at least you believe that it has instructed you) to do all sorts of bat *censored* crazy stuff and claim it as a moral imperative.  Slavery, murder of others.  Are you arguing that Islamic terrorism is moral because people believe that their diety has instructed them to murder infidels, etc.?  If you concede that based on your definition that terrorism against the US is moral, then I'll cease arguing against you that religion is a legitimate source of morality.  It is one that I personally reject, but as long as you are consistent then I won't try and convince you otherwise.

Ahh.. comparative morality.  I can't tell someone else that they are wrong in their beliefs.  As absolute matter they may not be.  However, I don't have to concede to the validity of those beliefs or subjugate my own beliefs to the views of others either.  I can take the view that their beliefs are objectively wrong and oppose them, even if they are not wrong to have such beliefs and even if objectively I may be the one in the wrong.  To do otherwise is to advocate paralysis.

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If, however, you don't concede that terrorism is legitimately viewed as moral, then obviously you have contradicted yourself and should abandon the arguement that religion can be a legitimate source of morality.

I don't have to concede that terrorism is moral, but it is absolutely viewed as a moral good by some.  And again the trick about religion as a source of morality is that we don't know which, if any (or even all) have an actual validity.  But not knowing something is not the same as being able to legitimately disregard it.

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Science can be used to show that a particular moral position is hypocritical, contradictory, absurd, inconsistent or otherwise irrational.  My arguement has simply been that science demonstrates privileging a single cell that is the result of conception over other single cells is absurd and irrational.  Physiologically the difference is arbitrary given our current scientific capabilities.

Your first statement depends entirely on the statement being evaluated, and the audience that is listening.  Irrationality is not a bar for validity, even if we wish it would be, certainly many things that are absurd may be best answer.

However, you're wrong about science demonstrating anything about "privileging" or not "privileging a single" cell, or about it establishing it as absurd or irrational. That's you impose your own view on the circumstance.  Our current scientific understanding is that certain cells have in fact been evolved for reproductive purposes while others have not.  Only a fool would declare that cells purpose designed for reproduction have less potential for it than others, and its even more foolish to deny the results of such reproduction a greater weight on the measure of fitness to create offspring.

You're really out on a limb arguing the contra-factual and there's no way you can appeal to "science took me there."

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It takes one axiom to make your logic fail.  Your statement does not logically follow if one believes human life is more valuable than other life (which by the way, appears to be axiomatic to the majority of the world's religions).

That is not the case.  No religion in the world gives a damn about the cells of my gums or nearly any other clump of cells.  They almost universaly don't value human life they value human beings - a particularly advanced expression of human life.  Almost none of them valued human life prior to it showing signifcant advancment towards becoming a 'being'.  The discoveries of science about fetal development have been retroactively applied to many religions - but it isn't a part of any of the religions as they were practiced for the vast majority of their existence.

You are correct, no religion gives a damn about your gums, but you missed with the implied assertion that this is how they would define a human life.  That undermines the rest of your response as you're really responding to something other than what I said. 

If we're going to get somewhere, you have to have a basic understanding that no religion values your human cells as an independent life.  There is a difference between human cells and a human. 

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See, you got there yourself.  Makes it clear though that you missed a key axiom in your attempted rebuttal.

You've misunderstood my arguement - I only require a consistent morality that lacks absurdity or contradictions.

Honestly, I think you misunderstand yourself.  You require a lot more than what you just said, you require that the morality of another conform to your preconceived notions about whether its acceptable.  Meanwhile, you've shoehorned in such absurdities as an apparent mandatory belief that one can not distinguish between skins cells that never naturally become new human beings and fertilized eggs which frequently do so.

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If you accept religion as a basis of morality - then you must logically accept all religions as equally reasonable basis for morality, and all precepts of all religions as eqaully valid.

I don't know who taught you logic, but that is one of the most illogical statements I've ever seen.  It's absolute fail that logic requires you to accept beliefs you don't hold as valid.

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If you argue it is immoral to kill a single cell that is the result of conception - then it absurd that you don't find it immoral to kill a single somatic or other cell since with modern technology they are similarly capable.

I don't how else to explain this to you.  It's not remotely absurd to believe that terminating a skin cell that in no material way harms the overall organism to which it relates, has a different moral impact than terminating a fertilized egg, which is the sum total of all of the cells of the organism to which it relates.  There are multiple basis upon which to differentiate the two, which makes your statement that it is absurd to do so illogical in fact.

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You appear to want me to not force my morality on you, but insist that your religious morality be forced on others.

I think you're reading into what I actually said.  I challenge you to identify any place where I have done so.

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As a matter of morality would those future generations be wrong to believe so?  Could you prove their moral beliefs are wrong with science?  The answer to both questions is of course NO, which is exactly why this debate is silly.  Science doesn't determine morality.

They would be absurd to believe so.  That is the point is that priveleging one and not the other is an absurd result and results in a morality that is absurdly inconsistent.  There is no scientific rationale to privelge one and not the other because technologically, the differences are trivial.
 

You like this "moral" concept of "absurd," you cite to it a lot.  I'm glad to know that 3.5 billion years of evolution is "absurd" as a basis for reviewing the impact on life, because "technologically, the differences are trivial."  I challenge you to grow your skin cells into people and come back and  tell us about it.

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Do you value a gum scraping above a pet?  If not then you value an animals life above human life.

Again a fail because you fail to distinguish between cells that a separable without material harm and others.  Do I value an arm more than a pet?  Yep.  A person more than a pet?  Yep.

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I've never argued or claimed such an axiom.  One axiom I might be said to have would be that many classes of complex non-human life are more valuable than many forms of non-complex human life (so a dog or cat is generally more valuable than a gum scraping, or an unimplanted yet fertilized egg).  A second axiom might be that person who creates (procreates) a non-complex human life should have the right to privilege or not as they see fit that life so that it might develop into a complex human-life.

At least you're acknowledging that you're making assumptions now. 

Out of curiosity on your second point, does that mean the biological father should have a right to terminate the pregnancy independent of the mother?  What if the baby is tubed, can either, both or neither do so?  I really don't see the moral argument that supports a right to terminate such a human life (and no, a fertilized egg is not a non-human life), rather a right to protect the mother's physical sanctity. 

LetterRip

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #118 on: February 15, 2017, 07:48:44 PM »
Incidentally, you've basically made the eugenics argument - the offspring of the mad scientist would reduce the fitness of the human species, therefore it is ok to abort them.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #119 on: February 15, 2017, 07:54:29 PM »
So fiscal responsibility is a higher priority than life?

Are you under the mistaken belief that I am pro-life?

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Interesting - you do realize that that is usually a significant reason for people getting an abortion aside from severe fetal defect.  Why is it okay for society to prioritize fiscal responsibility, yet not so for the individual?

Who said it wasn't? 

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This really suggests that you don't have a moral principle regarding life at all but rather want to punish people who get pregnant by forcing them to have a complete pregnancy and raise a child.

I think it suggests more that you've made some unwarranted assumptions about what I believe. 

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I'm very roughly an evolutionist.

Many children these days are arguably less fit than their parents since we don't have selective pressure that limits reproduction or that results in mortality for unfit offspring.

Well, that's not actually how evolutionary pressure works.  Most generally are within the same overall range as their parents, it takes generations for pressure to move the bounds of the range, and pressure for parts of the range to be weeded out. 

I can't say though that I don't worry about the human race, we do seem to be deliberately undermining the natural selection process, which means if you accept the theory of evolution (and don't provide a magical exception for man) we are almost certainly redirecting or even undermining our own evolution.  On the other hand, such lack of selective pressure generally expands the gene pool and the overall diversity (and if you accept certain theories, may create the basis for rapid speciation later).

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #120 on: February 15, 2017, 08:37:02 PM »
Chimeras are by far the interesting puzzles.  Don't want to speak for anyone else, but they still require there to be fertilized eggs, just in this case there are two such events.  The resulting person isn't identifiable until the fusion, so I guess you could make an argument that - for that person - the previous fertilized eggs are no more meaningful than an egg and sperm.


That would be a cogent and thoughtful response about 15 years ago, but here it's just frustrating that you aren't reading what I've said on this thread and on others about more recent discoveries about incremental chimerism.

You also seem to have missed the greater problem of what the popular culture stupidly calls "frozen embryos" which are actually frozen blastocysts.  According to CNN there are from 400,000 to a million of these frozen fertilized eggs just sitting around at hundreds of degrees below zero.  Are they human beings or not?  When a freezer goes down and hundreds of fertilized eggs die, do we call the janitors or do we launch a new Nuremberg commission?

There's no woman's body at play there, Seriati, so it's not a balance of rights in that way.  But it seems to me irresponsible and obfuscatory to knowingly use ambiguous words like "conception" which make a refrigeration company guilty or not guilty of mass negligent homicide.


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Interesting to debate if interference in such a fusion would be morally required or prohibited, but again, not particularly troubling for a religious person.

It frustrates me that you insist that I'm trying to make troubles for a "religious person" since I'm using the phrase "conception" honoring the biblical verb while you're using the pop culture version.  Political Christianity is not religion; it is religiously flavored politics.  The memes you're embracing as "religion" are a fad representing 6% of the life of a 2000-year old faith.

But if you have come to feel that I'm attacking your religion, then that could explain your obstinacy.  You refuse to say something outright stupid like "individual humanity begins" or even "might begin" at fertilization, but it offends you religiously for me to say that's stupid and inane?  Is that it?

I have no desire to drag Catholicism through the mud.  I understand issues with traditions and the struggle with the idea that God's chosen some dude to lead us, and the fact that the dude is fallible.  I have to struggle with that in my own traditions.  In any event, I'm not attacking religious leaders but pro-life groups that lie and obfuscate about the science.

Do you know the etymology of "individual"?  It means that which cannot be divided.  Same root as indivisible. 
The Bible demonstrates that a baby is an individual in the story where Solomon offers the whores to split the baby, and the real mom says no, give it to her.  Because if you split a baby in two, dead baby, right?  That's because a baby is an individual.  Blastocyst in contrast can be divided in two, ergo not an individual.  You ask who didn't come from a blastocyst.  No one as far as I know.  Who didn't come from a sperm and egg?  Same damned question.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #121 on: February 16, 2017, 09:49:21 AM »
That would be a cogent and thoughtful response about 15 years ago, but here it's just frustrating that you aren't reading what I've said on this thread and on others about more recent discoveries about incremental chimerism.

Like I said, they are the most interesting issue.  I still don't see anything about them that forces the abandonment of conception as the beginning of the vast majority of human life.  Complexity in the exceptions doesn't undermine the rule.  No more than the existence of skin cell clones would, they'd just be a branch of human life with a different beginning point.

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You also seem to have missed the greater problem of what the popular culture stupidly calls "frozen embryos" which are actually frozen blastocysts.  According to CNN there are from 400,000 to a million of these frozen fertilized eggs just sitting around at hundreds of degrees below zero.  Are they human beings or not?  When a freezer goes down and hundreds of fertilized eggs die, do we call the janitors or do we launch a new Nuremberg commission?

Beats me.  Was it ethical to create and freeze them?  Reasonable people can disagree on that can they not?  No matter what, I think we both can agree that notwithstanding their claims to the contrary even pro-life people don't believe in literal equivalence between the unborn and the born - or else you really would see whole sale violence on their parts.

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There's no woman's body at play there, Seriati, so it's not a balance of rights in that way.

But that's too simplistic Pete.  There is no woman's body at play there, which means that while there is no conflict of rights, there is also no way to implement any right of the unborn to come into existence. 

If you want to make it interesting, bring forward a group of volunteer women demanding to be allowed to carry those fetus' to term, and then have the biological creators oppose them either with demands for destruction or permanent storage.  For even more fun, let a few be born to such women and then let fly with the child support suits against the biological parents.

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But it seems to me irresponsible and obfuscatory to knowingly use ambiguous words like "conception" which make a refrigeration company guilty or not guilty of mass negligent homicide.

Come on, they aren't guilty of homicide, the laws are more specific and clearer than the morality, but there's nothing I can do, or you can do, to absolve someone of a moral responsibility.  They best they can do, or anyone really, is to use their brain to think the issues through and make the decision they think is best.  I suspect that companies involved in the practice focus on the help they provide to families that need extraordinary assistance to have children and don't believe ultimately that they have a duty to the unborn that they create.

I'm sorry you find conception to be confusing, despite your best efforts I don't find it confusing or unclear.

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It frustrates me that you insist that I'm trying to make troubles for a "religious person" since I'm using the phrase "conception" honoring the biblical verb while you're using the pop culture version.  Political Christianity is not religion; it is religiously flavored politics.  The memes you're embracing as "religion" are a fad representing 6% of the life of a 2000-year old faith.

Lol.  I don't have a 2000 year old faith, I have 42 year old faith.  There's no one alive with more than 120 year old faith.  We are each charged with coming to our own understanding of what that means, including the history of faith but also the living practice.  I find your arguments on this to be inflexible and frankly silly to anyone except maybe a literalist.  I've never had a minister who didn't believe in science and view is as a tool of greater revelation of truth, even when it raises new questions about how to interpret the principals given to them by religion.

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But if you have come to feel that I'm attacking your religion, then that could explain your obstinacy.

I will say this clearly.  My issue with you is your claim to have scientifically disproven something that is not capable of scientific proof, and your erroneous follow on to that insulting anyone who accepts that thing you have failed to disprove for religious reasons or otherwise.  Adding insults on top of it, when you don't have validity behind it is especially galling.

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You refuse to say something outright stupid like "individual humanity begins" or even "might begin" at fertilization, but it offends you religiously for me to say that's stupid and inane?  Is that it?

I'd be happy to say life might begin at fertilization.  Certainly seems like one of the many reasonable points at which it might occur. My biggest issue with you isn't religious (there's nothing you could say that I would interpret as threatening my faith), its because of my belief in logic.  Same reason I use to get so passionate arguing with Prytolin, you're jumping to asserting that you've proven something when you have not done so, acting like its irrefutable and insulting anyone who deigns not to accept it as, you'll forgive the expression, gospel truth.

As a separate matter, the use of insults is never necessary or welcome.

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In any event, I'm not attacking religious leaders but pro-life groups that lie and obfuscate about the science.

Well feel free to do so.  Anyone that lies about science is on my naughty list.  Unfortunately, the norm this days is for social scientists to produce opinion studies rather than real science.  I mean seriously, when was the last time you saw a social scientist disprove their preconceived conclusion on a social matter.  Maybe its the lawyers fault, with the need to bring scientists in as experts on both sides of any issue, but science's entire reputation is being degraded when its trivially easy to produce studies that are contradictory and valued solely based on the side they support rather than the science that underlies them.

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Do you know the etymology of "individual"?  It means that which cannot be divided.  Same root as indivisible. 
The Bible demonstrates that a baby is an individual in the story where Solomon offers the whores to split the baby, and the real mom says no, give it to her.  Because if you split a baby in two, dead baby, right?  That's because a baby is an individual.  Blastocyst in contrast can be divided in two, ergo not an individual.  You ask who didn't come from a blastocyst.  No one as far as I know.  Who didn't come from a sperm and egg?  Same damned question.

If you have the skill to identify the sperm that will create a human with better than a one in a billion chance let me know.  This question goes beyond my personal knowledge, but is it possible given the number of sperm created that some of them carry duplicate genetic codes?  I ask, because if sperm are not necessarily unique, it really is the combination that is first identifiable as unique.

I honestly don't get why you are so fixated on the concept of indivisible individuality.  I've responded to that point multiple times, it literally makes no difference if the blastocyst is divisible or not, any resulting split offs still trace their origin to the same point of fertilization.  Like I said, it sounds to me like you're really more concerned with some concept of soul and seem to erroneously believe that the individuals can't be identified without them and that there can't possibly be a soul split or two souls, ergo the blastocyst can't be a human.  However, the question of souls is completely non-scientific, and that kind of analysis is beyond silly and erroneous with any kind of deity involved (unless you posit one that can be wrong, even then the reality of the consequences of that would not be likely to interfere).  In any event, if you split the blastocyst into four and cause each of them to become born humans, you'd just have 4 people that can trace the beginning of their life to that fertilization, not some magical and unresolvable problem.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:54:28 AM by Seriati »

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #122 on: February 16, 2017, 09:58:13 AM »
That would be a cogent and thoughtful response about 15 years ago, but here it's just frustrating that you aren't reading what I've said on this thread and on others about more recent discoveries about incremental chimerism.

Like I said, they are the most interesting issue.  I still don't see anything about them that forces the abandonment of conception as the beginning of the vast majority of human life.

It's your lot that has forced the abandonment of conception as a plausible beginning, when you redefined conception from its original meaning to fertilization.  But you're using it here as doublespeak, no differently than left wing minions who talk about "Russians hacking the election."  It's a demonstrable lie, wrapped in obfuscation, double-wrapped in ambiguity for plausible denial.

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #123 on: February 16, 2017, 10:04:02 AM »
So you keep saying, but have failed to show.

In any event, you seem insistent on ignoring that whatever word you use, with whichever meaning really ultimately is completely irrelevant in deciding whether a religious person is being consistent in opposing terminating a pregnancy or potential pregnancy.  That's a matter of faith for them, and there is no "scientific" explanation that makes a religious belief that it is immoral to interfere from the point of fertilization forward wrong.

Fenring

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #124 on: February 16, 2017, 10:50:06 AM »
LR, just one point I'll put forward to you about your general position presented here on 'all cells are potential life.' It strikes me as being a largely reductionist position that breaks down context and function in favor of looking at a thing only by its components. Seeing a skin cell as being roughly equivalent to a fertilized egg makes sense if what you're observing is that they both contain cells, both contain human DNA, and both come from a person. They may even have in common the conceivable possibility to be transformable into fully grown humans. But this kind of reduction misses out on some of the most relevant data; you're actually eliminating information when you draw this kind of comparison and instead focusing on some portion of the data that your axiom has arbitrarily selected for. It's a kind of confirmation bias to only look at certain details and ignore the others, so that your result matches your axiom. This type of approach (i.e. reductionism) can lead down multiple rabbit holes once you decide it's a valid method of analysis. For instance, you can observe a human person and suggest there is no substantive difference between such a person and between a pile of dirt, since both contain assemblages of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and so forth. On a very strict level maybe you could even make a case that human beings are little more than 'random processes' emerging from a planet, which emerged from a sun, which emerged from some nebula, which etc etc, and so we're just a kind of wisp of tiny matter of no more worth than the other facets of the Earth. You could make that case, and on some level it could be coherent, however it shouldn't be hard to realize that upon accepting this reductionist scenario as being the single basis for a moral system you would now place human beings as being roughly on par with a pile of mud, which, while being consistent within its own premise would nevertheless strike most people as being, at the very least, an unacceptable conclusion.

You've done a similar thing by reducing a fertilized egg to being roughly the 'same stuff' as a skin cell, by virtue of what they have in common taken out of context. Indeed, by that type of approach there would seem to be nothing to morally distinguish between the two. Your options at this point should properly be to either accept this type of moral approach wholesale, regardless of where it leads, or to question whether you've included enough information in your premise (i.e. which details to scan for when making a moral analysis). I highly recommend against the first option, because it would very quickly lead to all sorts of other reductionist positions such as the one where human life and mud are on par with each other. Morality shouldn't be a popularity contest, but even so you won't be winning many votes on that line. I therefore certainly recommend the second option, which would be for you to question your premises and to doubt whether you've included enough information in the categories of what you think is relevant to the discussion. To this extent I'd voice agreement with Pete, in that would seem to me silly to assume you've got enough knowledge yet (or that we, collectively, do) to formally state what you can exclude and include in the discussion as being relevant.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:52:21 AM by Fenring »

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #125 on: February 16, 2017, 12:38:01 PM »

In any event, you seem insistent on ignoring that whatever word you use, with whichever meaning really ultimately is completely irrelevant in deciding whether a religious person is being consistent in opposing terminating a pregnancy or potential pregnancy.

 back to Shrodinger's cat. How does one terminate a "potential" pregnancy?  Do you mean a putative pregnancy?


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  That's a matter of faith for them, and there is no "scientific" explanation that makes a religious belief that it is immoral to interfere from the point of fertilization forward wrong.

What you say is true of some religious persons but not all of them.  Otherwise pro-life groups wouldn't need to lie about the bible, and lie about the science, and change the meaning of words, to get religious persons to follow them.  I'm a religious person myself, and changed my view of stem cell research and the morning-after pill, etc., based on what I learned about the science.  Why would I not want to share the information that changed my views?  If the personhood of blastocysts is a matter of "faith," then clearly those with that view ascribe to a different faith than the faith held by Catholics before Pope Pius. 

I think I'm the one defending religion here.


Edited to add: THANK YOU for finally using the unambiguous term "fertilization."
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 12:40:40 PM by Pete at Home »

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #126 on: February 16, 2017, 12:51:14 PM »
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Unfortunately, the norm this days is for social scientists to produce opinion studies rather than real science.  I mean seriously, when was the last time you saw a social scientist disprove their preconceived conclusion on a social matter. 

If you think I was rude and hostile on this topic, you should look at what I said about social scientists on the topic of same-sex parenting, and about anthropologists on the collective claim that "same-sex marriage" has a history in several cultures.


Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #127 on: February 16, 2017, 12:54:30 PM »
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I honestly don't get why you are so fixated on the concept of indivisible individuality

Indivisible individuality?  :'(  Seriously?  That's like wet water, or religious religion. 

My fixation is clarity and meaning in a philosophical discussion.  I don't get why you don't see the moral horror of gibbering, of "disputing" whether is means is, whether individuality is indivisible, whether abortion means termination of a pregnancy.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 12:58:11 PM by Pete at Home »

Seriati

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #128 on: February 16, 2017, 02:22:59 PM »

In any event, you seem insistent on ignoring that whatever word you use, with whichever meaning really ultimately is completely irrelevant in deciding whether a religious person is being consistent in opposing terminating a pregnancy or potential pregnancy.

 back to Shrodinger's cat. How does one terminate a "potential" pregnancy?

By deliberate interference with the natural process.  You do understand that you don't have to call it a termination, to have a belief its immoral to interfere?

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Do you mean a putative pregnancy?

No.

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  That's a matter of faith for them, and there is no "scientific" explanation that makes a religious belief that it is immoral to interfere from the point of fertilization forward wrong.

What you say is true of some religious persons but not all of them.

And?  Did I imply otherwise at any point?  You seem to be disputing that one can have a moral objection that roots at fertilization, because, notwithstanding that is what many mean by conception you have a definitional issue with that meaning.  Are you objecting to the idea that moral issues can arise at fertilization?

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Otherwise pro-life groups wouldn't need to lie about the bible, and lie about the science, and change the meaning of words, to get religious persons to follow them.

I'm not aware that there is any reasonable basis for this charge, or at least any reasonable basis that would allow one to distinguish between "pro-life groups" and "pro-choice groups" on the intentionally lying and misleading scales.

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I'm a religious person myself, and changed my view of stem cell research and the morning-after pill, etc., based on what I learned about the science.  Why would I not want to share the information that changed my views?

I'm happy for you, glad you found information that when combined with your personal understanding of your faith's requirements allowed you to form a more refined understand of morality.  But when you take that faith of the convert and demand that others adopt it in spite of their own refined understandings of morality you go too far.

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If the personhood of blastocysts is a matter of "faith," then clearly those with that view ascribe to a different faith than the faith held by Catholics before Pope Pius.

I see, so notwithstanding that through science you have better understood your own faith, anyone else who has come to a better understanding is bound by your understanding of what other people understood about faith in the first century?  Do you understand how ridiculous it is to try and force other people to accept responsibility for what you think their faith may have required 2000 years ago, but does not apparently require today? 

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I think I'm the one defending religion here.

I don't agree.  You are defending your view of the history of religion.  Actual religion and faith are matters for the living.

Pete at Home

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Re: French "Feminist" defends the "Duty to Abort"
« Reply #129 on: February 16, 2017, 07:00:25 PM »

In any event, you seem insistent on ignoring that whatever word you use, with whichever meaning really ultimately is completely irrelevant in deciding whether a religious person is being consistent in opposing terminating a pregnancy or potential pregnancy.

 back to Shrodinger's cat. How does one terminate a "potential" pregnancy?

By deliberate interference with the natural process.  You do understand that you don't have to call it a termination, to have a belief its immoral to interfere?

No, I don't understand, because I don't know what you mean by "to interfere." To interfere with what?  What natural process, if it's not a pregnancy?  To interfere with menstrual blood?  Immoral to wipe your ass?  Please be more specific.   If you mean interference with the reproductive system, then wouldn't sex be interfering with the reproductive system? 

It seems a queer thing that you insist on talking about matters of faith in pseudoscientific terms.  If you're talking about matters of faith, use scripture or religious references, not crappy science.

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Do you mean a putative pregnancy?

No.

Since you aren't making any attempt to explain what you do mean, I can only infer that you don't know either.



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  That's a matter of faith for them, and there is no "scientific" explanation that makes a religious belief that it is immoral to interfere from the point of fertilization forward wrong.

What you say is true of some religious persons but not all of them.

And?  Did I imply otherwise at any point?  You seem to be disputing that one can have a moral objection that roots at fertilization, because, notwithstanding that is what many mean by conception you have a definitional issue with that meaning.  Are you objecting to the idea that moral issues can arise at fertilization?

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Otherwise pro-life groups wouldn't need to lie about the bible, and lie about the science, and change the meaning of words, to get religious persons to follow them.

I'm not aware that there is any reasonable basis for this charge, or at least any reasonable basis that would allow one to distinguish between "pro-life groups" and "pro-choice groups" on the intentionally lying and misleading scales.

Based in your "or at least" phrase, I disagree that you are not aware of any reasonable basis for this charge :D

I do agree that "pro-choice" groups are as guilty on the intentional lying and misleading scales.  And you would know that was my position, and that I'm arguing this conception thing in order to fight pro-choice arguments for unlimited partial birth abortion, if you'd simply paid attention to what you were arguing against.  NARAL used the same conception obfuscation to argue that partial-birth abortion is no different than any other form of "birth control" in Stenberg v. Carhart.  9-month fetuses can be electively aborted, even for sex-selective purposes, thanks in part to ambiguous and misleading terms that have been bred in this mental vacuum between faith and pseudoscience.


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I'm happy for you, glad you found information that when combined with your personal understanding of your faith's requirements allowed you to form a more refined understand of morality.  But when you take that faith of the convert and demand that others adopt it in spite of their own refined understandings of morality you go too far.

I've made no such demands.  I've simply mocked the usage of misleading ambiguous language in a discussion about science, philosophy, and law. 

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If the personhood of blastocysts is a matter of "faith," then clearly those with that view ascribe to a different faith than the faith held by Catholics before Pope Pius.

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I see, so notwithstanding that through science you have better understood your own faith, anyone else who has come to a better understanding is bound by your understanding of what other people understood about faith in the first century?  Do you understand how ridiculous it is to try and force other people to accept responsibility for what you think their faith may have required 2000 years ago, but does not apparently require today? 

Absolutely.  You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think.  Is pointing out history considered force in your neck of the woods?  I don't even know if you're Catholic.

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I don't agree.  You are defending your view of the history of religion.  Actual religion and faith are matters for the living.

Well I just hugged Jordan and his partner goodbye, since they came to visit, and Jordan can assure you that I'm very much alive.