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Anders Hoveland

Questioning Abortion as an advance towards freedom

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Now um..can you explain the "mostly-white" bit? What is the purpose of one's race in that statement, or its application? I can understand the application of religion and age, since they feed traditionalism which includes elements of female oppression. But white? What is uniquely negative about white, and how is that not a racist comment? Note that I did not make the charge, but I am questioning you, absolutely.

The explanation is statistics: http://thisnation.com/congress-facts.html (original here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/demographics.tt?catid=ethnic)

And while my racial statement was sarcastic, it wasn't false.

 

Also, to clarify, I did not mean "mostly-white" as a derogatory statement, but rather as a statistical one, and the point was to hint at the fact that we're dealing once more with a group of people who are NOT part of the group they insist to discuss and make decisions for. That was added irony, which is why it was said in sarcasm.

 

White men in 1st world countries have a much less tendency to know what it is like being on the "weaker" end of discrimination, as a whole, on average, by far. That was the point of mentioning it in that context.

Maybe if you were less fixated on your vagina you'd comprehend that i was doubting the ability of men to control themselves when sex is cheap just as much as women.

 

A lot of people elevate societal and moral norms above their own reasoning. That's just the way it is, education ain't going to fix it.

 

I guess that explains us women; we're too fixated on our own vaginas to think critically.

 

I'll just leave you men to talk about the theoreticals, shall I? Let me know what you guys decided, I'll be in my special spot in the kitchen, making sandwiches.

 

~mooey

 

----

 

Okay. Here's the deal.

 

I was quite taken aback by ParanoiA's insistence that I need to apologize. As it was, I believe Anders' tactics were beyond irrational, his emotional appeals were unhelpful and demeaning and infuriating. I think, also, that anyone who's read any of his posts may understand why I may have "jumped" to the conclusion of race. As swansont pointed out, this wasn't done in a vacuum.

 

I don't think I owe such a person who uses such cheap demeaning tactics any apologies, especially because of the point I was making in my above text.

 

So while I will not apologize to Anders (and I believe he will not lose sleep over this) -- I will, however, apologize to ParanoiA.

 

I spent quite a bit going over the posts in the thread with other sources (cough)Capn(cough) to try and see why it is that you insist I should retract my position when I believed in it so wholeheartedly. It seems, then, that a couple of things happened:

(a) I was under the impression that the word "Negro" was racist in itself, and that no one ever uses it unless they mean to be demeaning.

It seems that's a wrong assumption in the context given.

 

(b) I interpreted the business-owner-right issue in conjunction with slavery. Some of this was due to some misunderstanding of the post, and some was likely due to my knowing Mr. Anders. Either way, I understand that this was the biggest source of ParanoiA's frustration. That, I concede, was a misunderstanding.

 

 

So, ParanoiA, I request that you read what I wrote above, about women, and mostly-white-men, and statistics, and the relevancy of these (and my intentions, which were by no means racist or even racial on their own) and I offer a single apology to you, for jumping defensively for the wrong reasons rather than trying to see if the source of the frustration was, indeed, my own doing.

 

I would also venture to suggest that in cases of abortion, people refrain from raising emotional appeals. It serves nothing for the argument, but even worse, Nazi-related emotional appeals that are peppered with demeaning talk about women are just starting to get not worth the replies.

 

I'm sure we can resume a RATIONAL discussion about whether or not the right (or not right) of abortion is advancing us towards freedom.

 

It seems sometimes my vagina allows me an ounce of reflection, but only when I'm out of the kitchen and not doing the laundry.*

 

~mooey

 

 

 

* That was sarcasm. Thankyouverymuch.

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There's a reason why Joe Biden says to never question a person's motives.

With evidence, such questions can become central.
Of course, if one truly believes there is a person inside you - like if someone believed a person was inside my house - I think their exact location in America will take a back seat to their rights.
First point: Anyone inside your house who will otherwise do to you against your will what a developing embryo will do to a pregnant woman, you can kill in self defense, anywhere in the US.
Again, if someone actually believes people are inside you.
Second point: by all the evidence we have, no one actually believes a third or fourth month human embryo is a person. Traditionally, over the centuries, they are not counted or treated or referred to as people in any situation other than legal abortion.

 

We are under no obligation to treat arguments based on that claimed belief as if they were honest. The belief is at best very, very rare. We are entitled to question the motives of people who wrap so much of their rhetoric and emotional intensity around something so obviously false - what are their real issues?

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Well, this is wrong, and it's the fallacy that's at the heart of the abortion controversy. People with well-regulated lives assume everyone else's lives are like that as well, but that's not the reality of it. The context at conception is often very different from the context later on in the pregnancy or after a child is born. Men often skip out on women, or they show their true colors when faced with marriage and children when all they wanted was sex for an evening.

 

Saying the state should raise more responsible people doesn't negate the fact that abortions will always be sought, will always be necessary because life isn't perfect. It's barbaric to expect a woman to raise a child on her own, it's barbaric to risk her health on unsafe illegal abortion and no matter what education or prevention methods are made available, abortion will always need to remain an option.

 

It's insane to keep this chokehold on the idea of "life begins at conception". It doesn't begin there, it's an ongoing and developing process and it's hypocritical to attach some kind of overarching importance to that particular moment just because a sperm was successful at its job. Certainly the state should provide education and make birth control available, but abortion needs to be available as well because without it, we're not protecting the rights of women and we're not respecting the variables of reality.

I would clarify, but other variables were added to the conversation, and lost my train of thought on the issue. There is room for calm allowance of variable pathways caused by men who are irresponsible. There is much data to assume there is no rehabilitation for some alternate behaviors, and one shouldn't not be led to feel outside the mainstream, nor the state be able to maintain such an ideal state for child-raising purposes. I will go reread the start of this conversation, and reply further if interest is warranted.

 

Updated: After reflection of my earlier entries of this thread... adding the valuable additional variables given by "Phi for All", I conclude the state will fail at some point.

The original drive of my logic could be used to reset or reclaim stability in the state system, if such an act was desirable. At this juncture, it is not.

Edited by Keith*

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...by all the evidence we have, no one actually believes a third or fourth month human embryo is a person.

Excuse me? You can't be serious.

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BACK TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION: Is abortion an advance towards freedom?

Here's an interesting article that suggests the answer is yes. This article is a summary of a scientific study on what happens to women who are denied abortions.

Some interesting results:

 

1) The main reason these women wanted abortions is they lacked money.

2) 76% of these women, a year later, were on welfare.

 

Also this:

Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic violence, being denied an abortion makes a really big difference. Turnaways were more likely to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner than women who got abortions. A year after being denied an abortion, 7% reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months. 3% of women who received abortions reported domestic violence in the same time period. Foster emphasized that this wasn't because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships. It was simply that getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily. So it's likely that these numbers actually reflect a dropoff in domestic violence for women who get abortions, rather than a rise among turnaways.

 

The take-away I get from this is that women who weren't denied abortions were more likely to get/keep a job, and more likely to get out of an abusive relationship. Being dependent on welfare restricts economic freedom, and being in an abusive relationship can is detrimental to your freedom from violence. Hence, in these cases, abortion does seem like an advance towards freedom for women.

 

[EDIT] link was missing [/EDIT]

Edited by jeskill

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White men in 1st world countries have a much less tendency to know what it is like being on the "weaker" end of discrimination, as a whole, on average, by far. That was the point of mentioning it in that context.

 

That's a fair point. I didn't see how "white" was valid beyond racism, but I see how it applies now.

 

So, ParanoiA, I request that you read what I wrote above, about women, and mostly-white-men, and statistics, and the relevancy of these (and my intentions, which were by no means racist or even racial on their own) and I offer a single apology to you, for jumping defensively for the wrong reasons rather than trying to see if the source of the frustration was, indeed, my own doing.

 

I sent you a PM on this, but let me publicly repeat how impressed I am with you and your strength - it takes great strength to be humble. I sincerely appreciate it, and yes, Anders will not lose any sleep over it. You've done all a person can be asked to do in evaluating themselves or their actions, and I'm not sure I could ever be equal to it.

 

You are a bad ass. (In metalhead circles, this is a compliment)

 

It seems sometimes my vagina allows me an ounce of reflection, but only when I'm out of the kitchen and not doing the laundry.*

 

If my wife frequented this forum, she would just adore you.

 

 

First point: Anyone inside your house who will otherwise do to you against your will what a developing embryo will do to a pregnant woman, you can kill in self defense, anywhere in the US.

 

Correct. But that's not remotely what I meant when I brought up that point. I see how you would think that though, let me clear it up.

 

The pretext that the "person" is in the womb of another person is analogous - only - to a person being in my home in that both scenarios require extending rights to people, regardless of where they are located. So, I can't just kill my friend Bob, or rob him, when he's in my house and claim that you must violate my property rights in order to grant him the right to not be murdered or mugged. He has the same constitutional rights when he's inside my property perimeter and he does when he's walking down the sidewalk.

 

To that same end, if one truly believes a "person" is inside another person, then one will likely still believe that the person inside you has the same constitutional rights as if they were outside of you, just like if they happened to be inside your house.

 

In other words, their location is irrelevant, when they truly believe they are people. Inside, outside of whatever, they have the same rights.

 

This actually works against my argument on the matter, and I'm none too happy about it!

 

Second point: by all the evidence we have, no one actually believes a third or fourth month human embryo is a person. Traditionally, over the centuries, they are not counted or treated or referred to as people in any situation other than legal abortion.

 

Well, with all due respect, about half the country (USA) believes they are a person. I defer to science, as is my choice, my belief. But others do not, and that is theirs. We are all on equal footing when it comes to beliefs. No one has an objective view of reality over anyone else - we're all in the same test box.

 

We are under no obligation to treat arguments based on that claimed belief as if they were honest. The belief is at best very, very rare. We are entitled to question the motives of people who wrap so much of their rhetoric and emotional intensity around something so obviously false - what are their real issues?

 

You make some pretty heavy assumptions. "Obviously false" is an opinion you have, based on your sensibilites and your life experience that has led you to the kind of thinker and processor you are. If your genetics were slightly altered, your environment completely changed, your sensibilities would be shaped by a completely different life experience and you would process reality differently.

 

Religion is extremely intense for people, particularly when raised with it. Their principles are mostly simple, while their application requires complexity. Pro-life, while waging war in the middle east creates an "obviously false" conclusion for you. But when one accepts the complexity of practical reality and processes this more thoughtfully, one can easily see how a person can believe in sanctity of life while killing others in what they believe to be "self defense", or "world defense". War can then be seen as saving untold lives in the future - honoring the sanctity of life - by expending the evil bent on killing exponentially. A net gain of life.

 

This is why religion is so dangerous. Yet still not as dangerous as wholesale question of motives. That can arrest a country of any progress whatsoever, fueling distrust and uncertainty far more dangerous than we've experienced here before.

 

You can't verify motives. Just like criminal law, you can never be sure you have the right guy. Never. And mistakes are made necessarily because of it - it can't be 100%.

 

And since motives are largely irrelevant, why invite such a gloriously dysfunctional method to discourse? Who cares why someone fights for property rights - even if they harbor a secret racist side, so what? The arguments either work or they don't.

 

Maybe you want the right to free speech so you can promote your racism, or abortionism - but the concepts and philosophy of free speech are sound. Your motives are irrelevant, and are dynamic across the populous. Non-racist people will still support free speech for the same arguments you may have offered.

 

I see no value in questioning each other's motives. I see greater value in a little more trust in our fellow man. Most people are trustworthy actually.

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As I have seen, though I don't have the statistics, the majority of those who believe a fetus is a person do so out of a religious belief. If this is so then abortion would be an advance toward freedom in that the laws are not constrained by religious doctrine. If there is stronger secular reasoning toward granting an embryo 'personhood' then abortion should be outlawed. The problem is that there does not seem to be strong evidence that it should be given that status without invoking religion, or some other appeal to emotion.

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As I have seen, though I don't have the statistics, the majority of those who believe a fetus is a person do so out of a religious belief. If this is so then abortion would be an advance toward freedom in that the laws are not constrained by religious doctrine. If there is stronger secular reasoning toward granting an embryo 'personhood' then abortion should be outlawed. The problem is that there does not seem to be strong evidence that it should be given that status without invoking religion, or some other appeal to emotion.

Your assumption is understandable, and your conclusions reasonable.

There is one other source of data not widely known or discussed, and it is first hand reports of people who's births were delayed (chemically), so as to return the fetus to the womb, until they could be delivered at a distant hospital, and not born in transit, or in a car.

I have been told by medical personnel, that this situation happens a lot, but I have no experience(s), other than my own, to report here to you.

Since that would be but one instance, and not a sound compilation of data from many sources, I will refrain from details of my remembered (memory) experience in this matter (Unless, of course, someone has further questions).

Edited by Keith*

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To that same end, if one truly believes a "person" is inside another person, then one will likely still believe that the person inside you has the same constitutional rights as if they were outside of you, just like if they happened to be inside your house.
Yes, and as noted: No actual person has any Constitutional right to be inside someone else, and anyone inside a house behaving as an embryo does inside a woman could be killed in self defense by the householder.

 

The claim of rights and so forth for embryos is never made other than when debating abortion, and rides on a necessary, unadmitted, temporary, and expedient denial of actual personhood (which would invoke the self-defense, location, etc, issues).

 

Well, with all due respect, about half the country (USA) believes they are a person.
There is no reason to assert that - no evidence, no argument. They apparently don't. This is quite clear in their centuries of repeated, verifiable, recordable, physically incontrovertible, behavior. The entire fields of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, child mortality and disease, cemetary layout, EMT responses, industrial pollution regulation, and how many others, would be significantly and visibly different, if they held any such belief or ever had.

 

You make some pretty heavy assumptions. "Obviously false" is an opinion you have, based on your sensibilites and your life experience
And observation, deduction from circumstance repeated and verifiable, etc.

 

Do you have an answer to the observations and reasoning above, other than the assertion that "heavy assumptions" (unspecified, we note) and personal circumstances explain the lot?

 

This, for example, has nothing to do with what I've posted here:

Pro-life, while waging war in the middle east creates an "obviously false" conclusion for you.
I said nothing of the kind.
But when one accepts the complexity of practical reality and processes this more thoughtfully, one can easily see how a person can believe in sanctity of life while killing others in what they believe to be "self defense", or "world defense". War can then be seen as saving untold lives in the future - honoring the sanctity of life - by expending the evil bent on killing exponentially. A net gain of life.
What I observe to be obviously false is the claim of a common human belief, scientific conclusion, or evidence based physical reality, that a three week embryo is a person.

 

And since motives are largely irrelevant,
When false motives are claimed and people abused on that basis, motives become central. Motives are not irrelevant in choosing appropriate responses to this stuff. In particular, the actual motives of those who are trying to ban abortion in the US are critical to choosing a response, and largely unknown, maybe, especially to themselves.

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There is no reason to assert that - no evidence, no argument. They apparently don't. This is quite clear in their centuries of repeated, verifiable, recordable, physically incontrovertible, behavior. The entire fields of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, child mortality and disease, cemetary layout, EMT responses, industrial pollution regulation, and how many others, would be significantly and visibly different, if they held any such belief or ever had.

 

You appear to deny any option of stupidity or ignorance. First assumption this makes is that they are downstream logically consistent - such that when downstream logic fails to support their upstream belief, then it must be because their intentions are evil, wrong, whatever, and no possibility of being stupid or logically challenged. I'm sorry. But I've been around too long to assume everyone is smart, logically sound subtending their beliefs.

 

And religion specifically denies ones own logic to be deployed throughout their ideologies. What they come to believe is a mixture of fixed principles and values they are not allowed to think around, with applications and consequences they must try to logically reconcile. Ie..god has a plan, and everything bad that happens to you is god's will. Leaving the suffering worshiper to try to come to grips with why god wanted this for them, etc.

 

Logical inconsistency is precisely what you will get by that design, while faithfully believing in all of it. So evidence of said inconsistency is hardly any evidence or argument that they don't really believe it.

 

Do you have an answer to the observations and reasoning above, other than the assertion that "heavy assumptions" (unspecified, we note) and personal circumstances explain the lot?

 

No, because it requires making a subjective judgment about something entirely irrelevant that can't be known. I don't burn witches, and make any claims to truth such that I can pretend to objectively observe someone's intentions and motivations. Anything you observe has multiple explanations. Like gravity. Newtonian gravity seemed to explain it...until Einstein provided another.

 

Like I said, we are all in the same test box overtone. For the same reason science does not prove things, you cannot prove intentions and motivations. You can disprove them, but you can't verify. Multiple explanations can describe the same phenomena. And it's much easier to test and disprove the physical world, than the thoughts in someone's head.

 

I said nothing of the kind.

 

Sorry, I meant to say waging war would "likely" create an obviously false conclusion for you, appearing to conflict directly with pro-life principles. I was demonstrating how your interpretation of someone's logic is not proof of their logic. The possibilities are endless. And an increase in ignorance also increases the possibilities.

 

Remember, you have no objective advantage over anyone. You are just another sack of tissue really impressed with what you've come to believe. We all are.

 

What I observe to be obviously false is the claim of a common human belief, scientific conclusion, or evidence based physical reality, that a three week embryo is a person.

 

Your opinion that it's obviously false, yes.

 

When false motives are claimed and people abused on that basis, motives become central. Motives are not irrelevant in choosing appropriate responses to this stuff. In particular, the actual motives of those who are trying to ban abortion in the US are critical to choosing a response, and largely unknown, maybe, especially to themselves.

 

But you can't prove motives. How's this any different than burning witches? They couldn't prove that either. How are you more enlightened than them?

 

As I demonstrated before, freedom of speech can be a cover for racism. I can choose to logically conclude that anyone who supports freedom of speech is doing so, so they can practice their racism. Because we see people using freedom of speech to do exactly that, and anyone who supports their right to do that cannot logically claim otherwise. Yet, I can also choose to conclude that anyone who supports freedom of speech is doing so, so they can fight racism and bigotry. Because we see people using freedom of speech to do exactly that.

 

So which one are you? How do I know which one you are? If I observe you to be defending freedom of speech in the context of some KKK controversy, do I assume your motivations are racist? Or do I infer that you honor the principles of free speech, and are simply demonstrating the depth to understand that everyone has a right to say even hateful things?

 

Further, you still haven't demonstrated *why* motives are central when people are being abused. Tell me why it's the least bit relevant beyond academic curiousity. If people are being abused, we can simply examine the philosophy that supports the apparatus that is abusing them, and cancel it on that basis. We don't need to know what is inside anyone's heart, and since we can't know, it's a giant red herring.

Edited by ParanoiA

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You appear to deny any option of stupidity or ignorance
No. I have said nothing at all about what motives they actually hold, or why. I have merely observed - with evidence and argument that you continue to ignore - that they do not hold the belief that a three month embryo is a person, in general. Their behavior is inconsistent with such a belief - not their logic, not their ideology, not their rhetoric: their behavior over centuries of time and continents of area.

 

No, because it requires making a subjective judgment about something entirely irrelevant that can't be known.

That is false. It is both centrally relevant, and with difficulty partially and significantly knowable - we can discover things through reason, evidence, research, etc, - even about what people believe, in many circumstances.

 

Further, you still haven't demonstrated *why* motives are central when people are being abused.
What I said was that motives are central when responses to abuse are being chosen by other people - that appears to me to be evident enough to pass without argument. Are you claiming otherwise?

 

It is also important to firmly deny obviously false claims of self-justification, by abusers.

 

But you can't prove motives
You can deny false claims, if you have a huge pile of incontrovertible, verifiable, physical evidence and solid argument behind you.

 

You can, at a minimum, put the burden of proof - that is, the burden of providing evidence and argument far beyond simple assertion - on the self-justifying person.

Edited by overtone

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You are a bad ass. (In metalhead circles, this is a compliment)

Thanks, it is never easy to examine ones own fault in things, especially when one is so sure one's right.

And yet, it's important, if one wishes to really call oneself a skeptical person. ;)

 

If my wife frequented this forum, she would just adore you.

I send a salute, one vagina to another. :P

 

The pretext that the "person" is in the womb of another person is analogous - only - to a person being in my home in that both scenarios require extending rights to people, regardless of where they are located. So, I can't just kill my friend Bob, or rob him, when he's in my house and claim that you must violate my property rights in order to grant him the right to not be murdered or mugged. He has the same constitutional rights when he's inside my property perimeter and he does when he's walking down the sidewalk.

 

To that same end, if one truly believes a "person" is inside another person, then one will likely still believe that the person inside you has the same constitutional rights as if they were outside of you, just like if they happened to be inside your house.

 

In other words, their location is irrelevant, when they truly believe they are people. Inside, outside of whatever, they have the same rights.

 

This actually works against my argument on the matter, and I'm none too happy about it!

 

Well, with all due respect, about half the country (USA) believes they are a person. I defer to science, as is my choice, my belief. But others do not, and that is theirs. We are all on equal footing when it comes to beliefs. No one has an objective view of reality over anyone else - we're all in the same test box.

 

I think the point is that if you believe a fetus is a living person, then abortion can only be justified in cases where there's extreme risk to the life of the woman; that is, if the woman is at risk of dying if she carries the term, then an abortion (a so-called "killing of another person") is self-defense, and can be justified. Otherwise, a person is a person.

 

Which is the crux of the argument, the way I see it.

 

I understand lots of people believe a fetus is a person - but that doesn't mean they are right.

 

Quite frankly, lots of people believe evolution is a lie. That doesn't mean they're right. In fact, fighting democratically for the right of the children they insist on brainwashing (that is - fighting to teach evolution and not some religious non-alternative) seems to be an advance towards freedom, doesn't it?

 

Same goes to abortion. Everything we know about science tells us that a fetus is *not* life. Not until relatively further down the line.

 

In fact, we don't even treat it as life, not completely. If we had, then things would have looked COMPLETELY different during the pregnancy:

  • Many blastocysts do not "catch" and proceed to a full-on pregnancy. If a blastocyst was a person, we'd have a funeral when we discovered there was such blastocyst that didn't stick to the uterus wall. It was a person, wasn't it?
  • Women sometimes have natural abortions, especially in the first trimester; If a blastocyst and a fetus is a person, we would have refered to it as a death and investigated the option of a manslaughter charge, or negligent homicide. It was a person, wasn't it?

 

And yet, we don't. We don't really consider the fetus and blastocyst a baby unless we talk STRICTLY about the prospect of an abortion. That's a double-standard.

 

Beyond being a double-standard, it's also non-scientific; a first-trimester fetus is not a person under any sort of definition (except a religious or meta-physical one). Moving away from non-science and towards laws and social conduct that follows science is, I believe, the definition of advancing towards freedom.

 

Just like the case with evolution.

Just like the case with separation of religion and state.

 

Same goes with abortion.

 

It has nothing to do with how many people believe it one bit.

 

 

 

 

Religion is extremely intense for people, particularly when raised with it. Their principles are mostly simple, while their application requires complexity. Pro-life, while waging war in the middle east creates an "obviously false" conclusion for you. But when one accepts the complexity of practical reality and processes this more thoughtfully, one can easily see how a person can believe in sanctity of life while killing others in what they believe to be "self defense", or "world defense". War can then be seen as saving untold lives in the future - honoring the sanctity of life - by expending the evil bent on killing exponentially. A net gain of life.

 

The problem with this in my opinion is consistency.

 

If one believes in the sanctity of life, then if a woman becomes pregnant and has a natural abortion, she's a killer; negligent or accidental, perhaps, but she didn't keep her baby "safe".

And yet, that's absolutely not what we do, it's not even what the religious folk claim.

 

If one believes life begins at conception and the soul is attached to said blastocyst the second of conception, then what's the explanation for twins? Do they share a soul?

 

Etc etc etc ad-nauseum.

 

That's the main issue in my opinion. The religious folk insist on removing a woman's right to choose over her own body in a case where science clearly does not consider the blastocyst life because they insist on being inconsistent in their definition. That makes no sense to me.

 

On top of the purely and obviously-religious claims against abortion, there are social claims against abortion and metaphysical claims against abortions.

 

The metaphysical claims (about the potential for a soul, mostly, etc) have the same type of problem as the religious one. They get inconsistent really fast.

The social claims boil down to pure misogyny and condescension (we should protect women from themseves, so they don't run to get an abortion just because they forgot to ask the man for a condom) and hence do not hold merit in my book.

 

Either way, according to this, if we move away from the religious, the metaphysical and the misogynistic, we're giving a woman a right to choose over her body, and we are moving towards freedom.

 

 

 

Now we can argue "how long". As in, how long should we allow for this right into the pregnancy; first trimester? second trimester? should we allow this throughout the pregnancy?

 

This, again, depends on biological processes, medical definition of life, and medical risks.

 

Clearly, in the first trimester, the fetus is not life according to science. It's VERY hard to make a case that the fetus is alive during that time, so the closest one can claim is that it "has the potential to be alive". Great. So does a sperm, and we don't discuss the merits of masturbation in the law, do we?

Consistency.

 

However, late-term abortions are trickier. The fetus is no longer just a bunch of cells, it already has a brain, and (arguably) some more chance of feeling and development of soemthing more resembling actual life. Late-term abortions should be taken more seriously, then, and depend on medical conditions and a rational evaluation according to the medical condition of both mother and child.

 

That's why these arguments usually separate between early-term and late-term abortions, and why many of the "pro choice" supporters might not proceed to support abortion under the same conditions during late-term abortions.

 

 

But the above is based on actual medical evidence and actual science. If we use these principles to dictate the basis for our laws, we move away from the emotional-appeal-fallacious persional-opinion realm and into a reality-based madicine-based decision-making.

 

That, in my book, is an advance towards freedom.

 

I see no value in questioning each other's motives. I see greater value in a little more trust in our fellow man. Most people are trustworthy actually.

 

I know what you're saying, but I disagree, and here's why:

 

The argument about abortion turned emotional, and will continue, likely, to be emotional. It's very hard to argue an emotional argument especially when it's filled with other types of fallacies that make the argument move away from rational discussion and into the realm of being completely unfair.

 

When that happens, you can either get upset and frustrated (like I have) and not really reach a resolution, or you can try and understand your "opponent's" motivation, so you can shift the argument away from the fallacies and cheap-shots and into the ACTUAL crux of the matter.

 

An example, would be something like "So, you don't ACTUALLY think that the fetus is alive from conception (for the reasons above) -- what you ACTUALLY think is that women should be controlled by men, who want to procreate to be strong and mighty".

(This doesn't represent all or even most of the arguments here, I just used a random example to make my point. Please don't jump to assume I'm ridiculing anyone specific)

 

That's an incredibly important distinction, and when you find these motivations you can actually move forward in the discussion and conclusion. If the motivation is STRICTLY religious, then to the purposes of laws that are in a country that (is supposed to have) separation of church and state, it's no longer relevant. And it's important we speak about the motivations so we don't beat around the bush with this, either.

 

 

But you can't prove motives. How's this any different than burning witches? They couldn't prove that either. How are you more enlightened than them?

 

Yes, you can, and no, it's not the same as burning witches. In fact, I think your example proves my point better than it does yours.

 

If you get into actual history and research the time of the Salem and other witch trials, delving into the motivations of the people who blamed those women of being witches is *essential* in understanding why this happened and what *actually* happened. Many of these women weren't even remotely related to anything metaphysical -- they were either women who were stronger and showed some (god forbit) leadership, or were insubordinate to the strict male-dominated religious society of the time.

 

Very few of those women actually practiced anything even resembling 'witchcraft', even by the definitions of the time (like chemistry or medicine). Sure, some practiced medicine, but there were men who practiced medicine too and weren't burned as witches. The reason, then, was not what they *did* -- it's the fact they were women who dared stapping out of the social definition of where their "proper place" is.

 

Those are (mostly) the motivations behind the people who burnt witches.

Those are essential to understand if you want to discuss that piece of history, especially if one wants to consider making a law that supports (or bans) the burning of witches.

 

 

 

People's motivations shed light on what they actually want to say and what they actually mean. It's very easy to hide one's true motivations behind empty non-rational emotional claims; but when you uncover these motivations you can actually start discussion a resolution, and see how to either reach a middle-ground, or decide that the ACTUAL motivations are so far out there that they should not be accepted in a free society.

 

 

 

And yes, of course you can prove motivation, by simply turning the argument away from the "symptomatic" cover-up claims and concentrating on these motivations. You shift away from the surface and go into the core, and the people who discuss matters have no choice but to examine their own motivations.

 

I agree that jumping to the conclusion of WHAT the motivations are is the wrong thing to do, but you are absolutely justified in trying to stop dancing around the bush and, instead, go into the core. Using something like "So is X what you're actually saying?" is a good way of doing that, and forces your opponent to either expose their motivations if they were trying to hide them (which happens a lot with religious people) or it forces your opponent to CONSIDER their motivations in case they weren't fully aware of them.

 

Either way, that's a good transition, and it's the only way to truly discuss solutions that are supposed to be rational.

 

~mooey

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"The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between."

— Mother Teresa

 

"Abortion and racism are both symptoms of a fundamental human error. The error is thinking that when someone stands in the way of our wants, we can justify getting that person out of our lives. Abortion and racism stem from the same poisonous root, selfishness."

— Alveda King

 

IMG_1387_edited.JPG

 

 

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Yes, because quoting famous people (religious, at that) is absolute proof, everyone knows that.

 

 

 

 

Do you have anything to actually contribute, Anders, or are you just going to ignore our request to stop using empty emotional fallacies and bombard us with tidbits you find online until we tire?

 

(just in case I need to clarify: We already talked about the problem in these type of statements which assume that a fetus is living without first establishing so. Please keep up with the debate if you want to actually participate in it. Otherwise, it just turns to be trolling.)

 

~mooey

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Mooeypoo, I have to disagree with you. You keep on saying that a fetus isn't "alive". From a biological perspective, it is alive. So are, for that matter, sperm and eggs.

 

The abortion issue really has nothing to do with whether or not a fetus is alive. The question has to do with when the fetus should be considered a person.

 

But I do agree with you that these emotional fallacies aren't contributing anything. From his posts, it seems that Anders is assuming that once fertilization occurs, a blastocyst should be given personhood. Plainly, you or I don't agree with that. Maybe we should ask him why he believes this to be so, and how he feels about miscarriages then.

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Mooeypoo, I have to disagree with you. You keep on saying that a fetus isn't "alive". From a biological perspective, it is alive. So are, for that matter, sperm and eggs.

 

The abortion issue really has nothing to do with whether or not a fetus is alive. The question has to do with when the fetus should be considered a person.

 

You're right. I should have said the embryo is not a person.

 

A plant is alive too, and as you said, so is sperm and egg. "Alive" is not enough.

 

My entire post above was more concerned with (as you say in the rest of your post) the definition of personhood. That's why I talked about the inconsistent laws and inconsistent claims. I actually started out saying "person" and then at some point switched to "alive" and I'm not even sure why...

 

You are right. It's the issue of 'person', not the issue of 'alive'.

 

But I do agree with you that these emotional fallacies aren't contributing anything. From his posts, it seems that Anders is assuming that once fertilization occurs, a blastocyst should be given personhood. Plainly, you or I don't agree with that. Maybe we should ask him why he believes this to be so, and how he feels about miscarriages then.

 

I agree. I'm not entirely sure this thread deals with this particular question (there are other threads we discussed this) but if it helps the debate about whether or not abortion moves us towards freedom, maybe we should explore this.

 

~mooey

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then abortion can only be justified in cases where there's extreme risk to the life of the woman; that is, if the woman is at risk of dying if she carries the term,
All pregnancy carries significant risk of death. All pregnancy causes significant trauma to the body of the woman - enough to justify lethal force in self-defense, in any other circumstances involving actual perps believed to be people.

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All pregnancy carries significant risk of death. All pregnancy causes significant trauma to the body of the woman - enough to justify lethal force in self-defense, in any other circumstances involving actual perps believed to be people.

That's not quite accurate. All pregnancies might carry some risk, but there are definitely cases of 'extreme' risk, and we can identify them just fine medically, most of the time.

 

If a medical professional declares that if the pregnancy proceeds, there is serious and extreme risk for the woman's life or the baby's (and these are rare, but they do happen) then I see a reason for late-term abortion.

 

Otherwise, the late-term abortion itself carries a lot more risk than possibly warranted. Of course, I don't account for all cases (since I can't) but this, in my opinion, sould be the guiding principle, while allowing for examination of the options on a case-by-case basis.'

 

 

The bottom-line point I am trying to make is that in my opinion, there can be more leeway in early-term abortion than there should be in late-term abortion, because there's less of a way to explain an early-embryo as a person than there is after said embryo develops a brain and the means to feel pain and have *some* basic instincts.

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That's not quite accurate. All pregnancies might carry some risk, but there are definitely cases of 'extreme' risk, and we can identify them just fine medically, most of the time.
To repeat then, what is quite accurate: All pregnancies carry significant risk of death, and all pregnancies run to delivery impose certainty of serious trauma - recovery, which is never "complete" in the sense of restoring the original physical state, is commonly weeks to months after the least traumatic gestations and deliveries.

 

Any person setting out to inflict on the unwilling that, or any equivalent, risk of death, certainty of suffering, and degree of physical damage, can be killed in self defense in any State of the US I know about. This is most dramatically so in the States with the highest proportion of "pro-life" citizens, where often even the Government is allowed (is approved by them) to kill people who have committed such assaults, as a third party not even defending itself.

 

And so we see just one of the many aspects of life and times in which the ascription of personhood to a three month embryo has not even crossed the mind of the pro-life citizen. Others would be religious, medical, legal, and other official procedures surrounding miscarriage, statistical categories and enumerations, social customs of naming and recognition, and so forth. There is only one arena of decision in which a three month embryo's personhood is claimed by anyone - consideration of voluntary abortion.

 

In such a situation, we are under no obligation to grant respect to what is clearly and verifiably special pleading, convenient adoption of temporary and automatically discarded claims for the sake of argument, claims which have no visible basis in reality and are contradicted by a slew of physical facts and circumstances.

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To repeat then, what is quite accurate: All pregnancies carry significant risk of death, and all pregnancies run to delivery impose certainty of serious trauma - recovery, which is never "complete" in the sense of restoring the original physical state, is commonly weeks to months after the least traumatic gestations and deliveries.

I am not sure if I agree with your insistence to use "significant" in that sentence. While it usd to be true that pregnancy was a significant risk for a woman's life, that's no longer the case today with modern medicine. The vast majority of pregnancies are perfectly safe. We can't say that they all carry significant risk.

 

They all might carry risk, but there are varying levels of risk. In my opinion, when we talk about risk in late-term pregnancies, there's a meaning for the level of risk to either mother or baby, beacause at that late-term time, the fetus actually starts to fit our definition of "person" and we should weigh their suffering and/or interests alongside the mother.

 

Any person setting out to inflict on the unwilling that, or any equivalent, risk of death, certainty of suffering, and degree of physical damage, can be killed in self defense in any State of the US I know about. This is most dramatically so in the States with the highest proportion of "pro-life" citizens, where often even the Government is allowed (is approved by them) to kill people who have committed such assaults, as a third party not even defending itself.

 

But when we do define a baby as a person (much later in the pregnancy than the usual speak of abortion is conducted normally) then whatever risk it imposes on the woman is (a) not necessarily "grave" risk, in fact, most of the time it's almost nonexistent risk if the pregnancy goes well, which most of the time it does. And (b) the baby has no *intent* to inflict risk of death. I do agree that the life of the woman probably carries more weight at that time, but I think that once the baby becomes a person (feeling pain, for one, able to have rudamentary instincts, etc) then the conversation should shift to *include* the considration of the baby's life.

 

It is still not a completely living person, in my personal opinion, but I do think there's a difference between the non-personhood of a first trimester blastocyst/fetus and the status of the late-term pregnancy, especially in discussions about abortions.

 

In such a situation, we are under no obligation to grant respect to what is clearly and verifiably special pleading, convenient adoption of temporary and automatically discarded claims for the sake of argument, claims which have no visible basis in reality and are contradicted by a slew of physical facts and circumstances.

 

I agree with this completely. I just think the discussion does have a shift when it concerns early- and late-term abortions. That doesn't mean the woman's life or right to choose is less important, but if, in my opinion, we go by science to define a person a person, we must follow on this change of definition when the baby begins feeling pain and has a developed brain.

 

~mooey

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If you get into actual history and research the time of the Salem and other witch trials, delving into the motivations of the people who blamed those women of being witches is *essential* in understanding why this happened and what *actually* happened. Many of these women weren't even remotely related to anything metaphysical -- they were either women who were stronger and showed some (god forbit) leadership, or were insubordinate to the strict male-dominated religious society of the time.

 

Very few of those women actually practiced anything even resembling 'witchcraft', even by the definitions of the time (like chemistry or medicine). Sure, some practiced medicine, but there were men who practiced medicine too and weren't burned as witches. The reason, then, was not what they *did* -- it's the fact they were women who dared stapping out of the social definition of where their "proper place" is.

 

Those are (mostly) the motivations behind the people who burnt witches.

Those are essential to understand if you want to discuss that piece of history, especially if one wants to consider making a law that supports (or bans) the burning of witches.

 

Well, my point is about questioning stated motives in the context of discourse. Sure, their motives for burning these women are important to understand what was going on - but even their stated intentions didn't pass the bullshit test. To attempt to convince others that burning witches is a good idea does not require these motivations to be known, or understood, only that the stated, conspicuous intention is wrong.

 

And, quite possibly any arguments about their "real" motivations - ie..insubordinate women in a male dominated society - would have moved any arguments even further from logic and reason and into emotional ego threatening accusations, even if accurate. Because challenging motivations - as if the stated ones are dishonest - provokes the ego.

 

And yes, of course you can prove motivation, by simply turning the argument away from the "symptomatic" cover-up claims and concentrating on these motivations. You shift away from the surface and go into the core, and the people who discuss matters have no choice but to examine their own motivations.

 

I agree that jumping to the conclusion of WHAT the motivations are is the wrong thing to do, but you are absolutely justified in trying to stop dancing around the bush and, instead, go into the core. Using something like "So is X what you're actually saying?" is a good way of doing that, and forces your opponent to either expose their motivations if they were trying to hide them (which happens a lot with religious people) or it forces your opponent to CONSIDER their motivations in case they weren't fully aware of them.

 

Either way, that's a good transition, and it's the only way to truly discuss solutions that are supposed to be rational.

 

Ok, but let's distinguish between stated motivations and I guess, secret ones. My point is about "secret" motivations, I suppose. If you're taking their word on what their motivations are, attempting to argue them, then that is not "questioning" their motives, in my opinion. Certainly not what I'm talking about anyway. You're just having an honest discussion, which is what I want an ALL political matters.

 

I'm saying it is unhealthy, and downright terrible for a society to be built that questions each other's motivations and holds such deep distrust of each other. There is no way to verify intentions and motivations that are not freely shared, and thus only provides a path to mutual destruction - and it isn't necessary. That should not be confused with openly talking about our stated intentions - because that is not "questioning" or distrusting someone's position, rather that is just more discussion that should be honored.

 

A great example is the american republican and democratic parties. Neither trusts the stated motivations and intentions of the other. When one talks, the other recites what is "meant". All positions are disparaged to mean the worst of all intentions, no matter the admitted complexity of a given issue.

 

And look how great they get along! Real american *progress* huh? They represent the american people a lot better than they realize. We don't trust each other and things are only getting worse.

 

Because when you validate and hold suspicion and unprovable attributes in higher reverence than decent, provable attributes, it's the *only* result you can expect: dysfunction.

 

I understand lots of people believe a fetus is a person - but that doesn't mean they are right.

 

Quite frankly, lots of people believe evolution is a lie. That doesn't mean they're right. In fact, fighting democratically for the right of the children they insist on brainwashing (that is - fighting to teach evolution and not some religious non-alternative) seems to be an advance towards freedom, doesn't it?

 

No, that's not an advance toward freedom to circumvent parents to get ahold of their children because you are convinced that you are right about something. That's a big step back. And, it's a huge, dangerous assumption that you can't prove.

 

Science doesn't prove things. Never. Notta.

 

We are merely extremely impressed with science. We feel like it explains our reality as we've interpreted it. We are impressed with repeated tests that fail to falsify a hypothesis we've fabricated from inside the test box. And so what? It proves nothing. You have no objective advantage to know that you are right and therefore justified in circumventing people's children for your claim of "truth". What's that saying...follow those who claim to seek truth, run away from those who claim to have found it?

 

Brainwashing children with science? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. People have a right to believe what they want, and you can't even prove you exist, let alone prove science is more "correct" than religion. We've never even seen an atom. We use instruments to interpret this mass reality, and we are restricted by our ability to imagine what part of reality is detectable, and how to make instruments to detect it. Tell me..if you never had a sense of taste, would you have thought you could build an instrument to "taste" a tree?

 

We are so full of shit and not nearly humble enough for the universe we occupy. We have no idea just how much there is to reality, what parts of it we are missing, right in front of our faces.

 

That's the main issue in my opinion. The religious folk insist on removing a woman's right to choose over her own body in a case where science clearly does not consider the blastocyst life because they insist on being inconsistent in their definition. That makes no sense to me.

 

On top of the purely and obviously-religious claims against abortion, there are social claims against abortion and metaphysical claims against abortions.

 

The metaphysical claims (about the potential for a soul, mostly, etc) have the same type of problem as the religious one. They get inconsistent really fast.

The social claims boil down to pure misogyny and condescension (we should protect women from themseves, so they don't run to get an abortion just because they forgot to ask the man for a condom) and hence do not hold merit in my book.

 

Either way, according to this, if we move away from the religious, the metaphysical and the misogynistic, we're giving a woman a right to choose over her body, and we are moving towards freedom.

 

And it makes no sense to them to inject science into the debate. Weird huh? This is a problem with fantasy, in my opinion. Religion is big on fantasy.

 

I mostly agree with you, I just don't apply misogyny to the mix. We get a little carried away with the hate terms. I can condescend, look down on you, and still love you to pieces. I can think you are misguided on god's word and not hate you.

 

But restoring a woman's right to choose what lives and dies in her body is a huge advancement toward freedom. For sure.

Edited by ParanoiA

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But restoring a woman's right to choose what lives and dies in her body is a huge advancement toward freedom. For sure.

 

I agree, completely.

 

And I agree about your points about religions. And I also agree about your point that religion should be irrelevant to this discussion.

 

But my issue here is that - unfortunately - it's not irrelevant to the discussion, because (a) it keeps being inserted into it, by politicians, as a source and reason for making laws for the land, and that requires our immediate response and (b) many (I suggest most) of the points against this freedom issue, if scratched beyond the superficial claim, are holding on to these religious principles. We can't really move forward in any of the debates without pointing out the ACTUAL claims that stand behind the superficial attempts at hiding the crux of the issue... it just doesn't work.

 

Ideally, we would have full separation of religion and state from both government AND ethics. Ideally, we won't have to talk about religious claims when we argue about laws of land.

 

Sadly, we're forced to, and since we are, we should attack them head on and not pretend we don't notice it when our opponents are trying to be coy about it.

 

~mooey

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If Obama was pro-life he would be very convincing. That was an excellent speech. I wonder if he realises the dark irony of what he read.

Edited by Anders Hoveland

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Nobody wants their gestating baby to die if it can be avoided, but a clump of cells parasitically infesting the mother is not a child in any sense of the word. It strikes me as rather odd that so many people who want to shrink the government and keep regulations out of our lives are perfectly comfortable with legislating their personal perspective on to the reproductive choices of women in our society who are equally free.

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If Obama was pro-life he would be very convincing.
He is. He is just more honest about who he considers to be a person' date=' a child, than you are. That kind of integrity is convincing. Your lack of it is obvious.

 

While it usd to be true that pregnancy was a significant risk for a woman's life, that's no longer the case today with modern medicine. The vast majority of pregnancies are perfectly safe. We can't say that they all carry significant risk.
That's a hindsight fallacy. All pregnancies carry significant risk of death in the stages before we know they are the "perfectly safe" kind. Furthermore, your assumption of "modern medicine" is an assumption of abortion or the equivalent if the mother's life is at risk, standard modern medical response to a variety of unfortunate turns of event common in pregnancy. Without that safety factor even the significant risk now present at the outset of any pregnancy, the risk calculated at the time of the common abortion decision, would be even higher.

 

And my point was larger: all pregnancies carry the certainty of trauma, on a level that would justify lethal force in self defense in any similar circumstances involving an actual person perpetrating it. The fact that this appears to not have even occurred to the prolife crowd is another point of evidence of their actual beliefs.

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