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  1. #111  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    You may believe that you are addressing the moral issues involved but I believe that you are wrong.
    Well you are wrong ;)

    You are rationalizing and using science to justify your rationalization of what is human and is not human. You establish a line and say we can kill it here but not after this point. I say that if it has the potential to be a living, breathing person then it should be treated as such.
    There is no moral component to the premises embedded in my point of view that its wrong to murder and inflict unnecessary suffering on a human being? That's just as much a part of my argument as it is yours. We both have our own, scientifically demonstrated markers for when we should be concerned that a being is being murdered. I just have better reasons for mine ;) What are these mysterious moral issues that I am not addressing?

    Any thing less is to deny the embryo/fetus the opportunity to live out a life. My point of view is "don't kill it, for he or she has the potential to do great things. You define the embryo as not human so it can be killed at the mother's whim.
    I don't use potential at all, and don't really see the point in it. An embryo has potential to become a completely worthless human, miscarry, or even become a serial killer. Potential amounts to a whole buncha' 'what-if'.

    You actually rely on degrees of potential, not simply potential. Every sperm and egg has a potential too, just to a lesser degree than an embryo. But consider that we can easily give that same potential to individual sperm and egg. We could make a machine that would automatically inject a single sperm into a single egg, basically giving equal potential to each sperm an egg that an embryo has... If left untouched, each sperm and each egg in the machine WILL become an embryo... is it wrong in your view to stop this machine or interfere with it once it has started? Would it be wrong to kill or remove one of the sperm cells that now have the same potential as a fertilized egg?

    For the record I do not say that personhood begins at conception. I say that they right to become a person begins at conception and only nature can take that right away. The moral and ethical thing to do is to let that clump of cells develop to it's fullest potential.
    And I say the concerns of the mother (one who must give consent and permission for the embryo to make use of her body) outweigh the concerns of an non-sentient 'potential' human.

    The embryo was created by the mutual sharing of DNA between, more often than not, to consenting individuals who knew the potential out come of their actions was a child. They willingly rolled the biological dice and created life. Now they have the responsibility to keep the bargain they made with nature and take care of the developing human at least until he or she is born.
    There is no such a thing as a bargain with nature. We use our brains, our reason, and intellect to gain relief from the realities of nature... whose truly neutral 'whims' would dispense unimaginable suffering upon us, or dispose of us all just as soon as it would allow some well-being and comfort to come our way.. there is no bargain.. there is only what nature throws at us, and our adaptations to its challenges ... and whether its us or the cockroach that survives, it is of no worry of nature.

    Thanks to our interfering with nature, we have surpassed what 'nature gave us' originally, and what the vast vast majority of our ancestors had to live with.... unimaginably high infant mortality rates, short lifespans (we'd all be dead by now), and many early deaths even compared with the short lifespans.. Women had to bear kids from puberty onward, and keep doing it till their death in their 20's just to make sure the human race survived.. Moral rules against abortion are a hold-over from such a world, but its not optimal for our well being today.

    Anything less is self-centered behavior out of control and to advocate such a position is to advocate freeing people from the consequences of their actions.
    Why is this a bad thing? Stodgy old sexual morality is at work here... cause and effect of moral frameworks have been warped... this is what religion usually ends up doing to originally decent and beneficial moral rules. So many moral frameworks surround sex because of its potentially severe consequences.... that is, until those frameworks got enshrined in religion. Then people forget that the rules existed because of the consequences, and believe they exist for the pleasure of invisible deities. The perception changes so that people stop thinking that consequences of an act are a natural result of the potentially dangerous act itself, but as just punishments, and comeuppance for making some invisible guy unhappy. Once that happens, we have people doing crazy things like saying its wrong to lessen the life-shattering consequences of an act like sex.... cause' well... they deserve what they get! An example of this was those Christian groups who were opposed to giving their daughters the HPV vaccine... and of course the ever present resistance to birth control education and abortion... and in other circles some very self-righteous "I-told-you-so's", and "let-em-suffer's" in response to AIDS epidemics.

    In the end, all this talk about consequence is a reminiscent of saying we need to make sure smoking always causes lung cancer, so that people finally learn not to smoke. I for one, would think it great if you could smoke healthy cigarettes.... and it would cease being a major problem if it had no, or few ill effects.
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-27-2008 at 07:01 PM.
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  2. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by signalsgt View Post
    I don' t worry about when or where a baby is a person or has consiousness. If you don't want a baby that's OK. Just don't get pregnant. If you do, I don't really care about your rights, your suffering, or whatever. You got yourself into this, deal with it.

    Ok, that means I can get an abortion, right? No. Wilbur you place more "value" upon the mother than you do a clump of cells. Fine and I applaud you for your consistency. However where we differ is that I simply cannot dismiss the value of a "clump of cells". Where there is a potential for life my default position is always on the side of the "potential life" because it is too precious of a thing to just throw away as a result of someone making a choice that had negative consequences.

    Maybe we will have to respectfully agree to disagree here. You are a skilled and consistent debater Wilbur, however I cannot subscribe to your ideas.

    :)
    Respectful disagreement is fine, and probably all we would ever achieve.. but at the very least here, I hope any pro-lifer whos made it through reading this thread can no longer simply sit back and self-righteously proclaim that abortion and the philosophy of pro-choice is related in any way to Baal ritual child sacrifice... at least not without a lot of self-deception... that was the farce (flamebait) that got me started, and really the one thing I hoped to shut down.

    At best, I would hope that people can see that no matter what one feels about abortion, that the pro-life movement has in no way been able to best pro-choice arguments to such a degree (or at all, really) that they should feel comfortable dismissing them and moving enshrine their restrictive viewpoints into law... with government enforcement to back them up.

    And we can yet have further discussions on the repercussions of anti-abortion laws, which I think get even more naive treatment from the pro-lifers. There's a sort of, 'If you build it, he will come' mentality in the pro-life movement when it comes to Roe V Wade... there's just this faith or assumption that repealing it will result in good things, even though this idea gets nearly zero scrutiny.... and I would also say there are few reasons to think that is true. So at best, maybe some can begin to appreciate the saying: 'pro-choice, not pro-abortion'
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-27-2008 at 07:04 PM.
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  3. #113  
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Respectful disagreement is fine, and probably all we would ever achieve.. but at the very least here, I hope any pro-lifer whos made it through reading this thread can no longer simply sit back and self-righteously proclaim that abortion and the philosophy of pro-choice is related in any way to Baal ritual child sacrifice... at least not without a lot of self-deception... that was the farce (flamebait) that got me started, and really the one thing I hoped to shut down.
    Damn, I have to admit I forgot about that. Different altars, same result. BTW I know we disagree but I had to cover the OP subject at SOME point.

    At best, I would hope that people can see that no matter what one feels about abortion, that the pro-life movement has in no way been able to best pro-choice arguments to such a degree (or at all, really) that they should feel comfortable dismissing them and moving enshrine their restrictive viewpoints into law... with government enforcement to back them up.
    Right back at you from the other side. (At least at the Fed level)

    And we can yet have further discussions on the repercussions of anti-abortion laws, which I think get even more naive treatment from the pro-lifers. There's a sort of, 'If you build it, he will come' mentality in the pro-life movement when it comes to Roe V Wade... there's just this faith or assumption that repealing it will result in good things, even though this idea gets nearly zero scrutiny.... and I would also say there are few reasons to think that is true. So at best, maybe some can begin to appreciate the saying: 'pro-choice, not pro-abortion'
    The only thing I want out of Roe if repealed is the Federal Government.

    :)
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  4. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I don't use potential at all, and don't really see the point in it. An embryo has potential to become a completely worthless human, miscarry, or even become a serial killer. Potential amounts to a whole buncha' 'what-if'.
    But you advocate man stepping in where nature should be left to choose. In the case of an embryo/fetus you are using a far sighted when all we need is the short term view. Nature will decide if the fetus makes it to term and for the moment that is all we should be concerned with as far as this topic is concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    You actually rely on degrees of potential, not simply potential. Every sperm and egg has a potential too, just to a lesser degree than an embryo. But consider that we can easily give that same potential to individual sperm and egg. We could make a machine that would automatically inject a single sperm into a single egg, basically giving equal potential to each sperm an egg that an embryo has... If left untouched, each sperm and each egg in the machine WILL become an embryo... is it wrong in your view to stop this machine or interfere with it once it has started? Would it be wrong to kill or remove one of the sperm cells that now have the same potential as a fertilized egg?
    Now you’re getting silly. The potential only exists after the two are joined. Either, on their own will not create life. Only the combination of the sperm and egg have potential and once combined they express that potential by replicating the newly created DNA profile, a unique set of DNA instructions that has never in existence before.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    For the record I do not say that personhood begins at conception. I say that they right to become a person begins at conception and only nature can take that right away. The moral and ethical thing to do is to let that clump of cells develop to it's fullest potential.
    And I say the concerns of the mother (one who must give consent and permission for the embryo to make use of her body) outweigh the concerns of an non-sentient 'potential' human.
    I would say that the mother gave her permission when she participated in an act that she knew could result in creating life. When you get behind the wheel of a car you give the state permission to behave in a certain ways in regards to you individual and privacy rights. When a woman and a man engage in intercourse, then I believe that they have acknowledged the consequences and accepted the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    There is no such a thing as a bargain with nature. We use our brains, our reason, and intellect to gain relief from the realities of nature... whose truly neutral 'whims' would dispense unimaginable suffering upon us, or dispose of us all just as soon as it would allow some well-being and comfort to come our way.. there is no bargain.. there is only what nature throws at us, and our adaptations to its challenges ... and whether its us or the cockroach that survives, it is of no worry of nature.

    Thanks to our interfering with nature, we have surpassed what 'nature gave us' originally, and what the vast vast majority of our ancestors had to live with.... unimaginably high infant mortality rates, short lifespans (we'd all be dead by now), and many early deaths even compared with the short lifespans.. Women had to bear kids from puberty onward, and keep doing it till their death in their 20's just to make sure the human race survived.. Moral rules against abortion are a hold-over from such a world, but its not optimal for our well being today.
    Interesting. Your reply here seems to have veered away from the scope of this subject, but I'll try to answer you. With our brains we have improved and enhance our lives in way our forefathers could never have imagined and at the same time we've devised ways to inflict incredible horrors on each other. We have enhanced and increased our food production by a factor of several magnitudes through genetic enhancements and at the same time using the same genetic modification techniques we have enhanced diseases to the point that global pandemics could result if they were to escape the lab. We can extend life and yet can kill in numbers unimagined 100 years ago. Abortion is a holdover from a world that valued life much more than we do today. That really doesn't say as much about us as a species as you would have us thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Why is this a bad thing? Stodgy old sexual morality is at work here... cause and effect of moral frameworks have been warped... this is what religion usually ends up doing to originally decent and beneficial moral rules. So many moral frameworks surround sex because of its potentially severe consequences.... that is, until those frameworks got enshrined in religion. Then people forget that the rules existed because of the consequences, and believe they exist for the pleasure of invisible deities. The perception changes so that people stop thinking that consequences of an act are a natural result of the potentially dangerous act itself, but as just punishments, and comeuppance for making some invisible guy unhappy. Once that happens, we have people doing crazy things like saying its wrong to lessen the life-shattering consequences of an act like sex.... cause' well... they deserve what they get! An example of this was those Christian groups who were opposed to giving their daughters the HPV vaccine... and of course the ever present resistance to birth control education and abortion... and in other circles some very self-righteous "I-told-you-so's", and "let-em-suffer's" in response to AIDS epidemics.

    In the end, all this talk about consequence is a reminiscent of saying we need to make sure smoking always causes lung cancer, so that people finally learn not to smoke. I for one, would think it great if you could smoke healthy cigarettes.... and it would cease being a major problem if it had no, or few ill effects.
    Basically, you want to be able to screw any one you want but you don't want to have to deal with the responsibilities of that behavior. Since you brought it up due to your obsession with all things religious, religion defined standards of sexual behavior that you find intrusive so you say that religion has warped things. Religion says, in this instance, you have responsibilities greater than yourself and if you engage in casual sex you may have to put your money and time in to the raising of a child that you and your partner conceived. Religion says that this is the right thing to do because unlike most animals, human children are defenseless and protection for years and years, more than any other animal and they will need loving parents to provide for them. You don't want this responsibility so you endorse a procedure that relieves you of it. Your smoking analogy is bad. You stated that this talk of accepting consequences is reminiscent of say we need to make sure smoking causes cancer. Where was this conversation held so that you could be reminded of it? I suspect that this is some hypothetical situation that you made up to make a point but it doesn't make any point because it has no basis in reality. This is a clumsy way of deflecting the issue of consequences without actually answering the question.

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  5. #115  
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    After reading, the above sounds a little nastier than I intended it but I don't want to change it. I did not write it with malicious intent.

    Gary

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
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  6. #116  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    After reading, the above sounds a little nastier than I intended it but I don't want to change it. I did not write it with malicious intent.

    Gary
    No problem, we are both thick skinned enough to not let strong language ruin our day... its generally inevitable. :D
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  7. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    But you advocate man stepping in where nature should be left to choose. In the case of an embryo/fetus you are using a far sighted when all we need is the short term view. Nature will decide if the fetus makes it to term and for the moment that is all we should be concerned with as far as this topic is concerned.
    How exactly are you using the term nature here? It sounds like you're using it as a stand-in for God. More on this later..

    Now you’re getting silly. The potential only exists after the two are joined. Either, on their own will not create life. Only the combination of the sperm and egg have potential and once combined they express that potential by replicating the newly created DNA profile, a unique set of DNA instructions that has never in existence before.
    Such a machine is not so far fetched... embryologists operate machines to inject a single sperm into an egg. It's not to hard to imagine a machine that automates the process, once loaded with a sperm and egg. Once that happens and the machine is turned on.. the sperm and egg have all the potential of an embryo.

    In any case, the example was really to get you to narrow down how you think about potential. I thought you might backtrack to DNA, like you did;) If thats the case, I still stand on my previous claims... the mere existence of DNA is not a good point to define humanity. We have the technology create genetically identical clones of ourselves (see Dolly the sheep). Would these clones share consciousness with us? Are we the same person? Of course not. DNA alone is not sufficient to determine personhood. Using that as a marker is arbitrary and pointless from a moral standpoint.

    I would say that the mother gave her permission when she participated in an act that she knew could result in creating life. When you get behind the wheel of a car you give the state permission to behave in a certain ways in regards to you individual and privacy rights. When a woman and a man engage in intercourse, then I believe that they have acknowledged the consequences and accepted the results.

    Interesting. Your reply here seems to have veered away from the scope of this subject, but I'll try to answer you. With our brains we have improved and enhance our lives in way our forefathers could never have imagined and at the same time we've devised ways to inflict incredible horrors on each other. We have enhanced and increased our food production by a factor of several magnitudes through genetic enhancements and at the same time using the same genetic modification techniques we have enhanced diseases to the point that global pandemics could result if they were to escape the lab. We can extend life and yet can kill in numbers unimagined 100 years ago. Abortion is a holdover from a world that valued life much more than we do today. That really doesn't say as much about us as a species as you would have us thing.
    I veered that way because of the term 'nature' that appeared in your last post... my point with all of it was to wonder why you claim we have to accept what nature doles out to us. Nature is not sentient. We do not have to accept a pregnancy any more than we have to leave a disease untreated. This is a sort of naturalistic fallacy... just because something is in nature, does not mean that's how its ought to be. It sounded like you used 'nature' in place of 'god'. Because pregnancy is 'natural' does not mean we have to accept it.

    Basically, you want to be able to screw any one you want but you don't want to have to deal with the responsibilities of that behavior.

    ....

    You don't want this responsibility so you endorse a procedure that relieves you of it.
    I'd appreciate if you wouldnt misrepresent my positions as hedonistic... my stance on abortion, and on other sexual issues is nothing of the sort. I can say that I, along with you, think if people kept their pants on more often, the world would be a better place with much less strife. However, such a world will never exist.. and never has existed... I challenge you to find a time in society where we werent plagued with sexual problems. I, and the pro-choice movement, choose to focus on solvable problems... and choose not to be slaves to unrealistic idealism in the face of the worlds problems.

    Its kind of funny.. you expect people who weren't mature or careful enough to handle sex responsibly, to be responsible for birthing a child.. and perhaps raising it.. what could possibly go wrong there?

    Your smoking analogy is bad. You stated that this talk of accepting consequences is reminiscent of say we need to make sure smoking causes cancer. Where was this conversation held so that you could be reminded of it? I suspect that this is some hypothetical situation that you made up to make a point but it doesn't make any point because it has no basis in reality. This is a clumsy way of deflecting the issue of consequences without actually answering the question.
    To paraphrase, you said something along the lines that anything besides forcing everyone to accept the full brunt of the consequences of sex is selfish. See above.
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  8. #118  
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    I am new to this post, but I have read ALL TWELVE pages!!!

    I am anti-abortion, and even after reading all of wilbur's posts, I am still anti-abortion. Not sure what I think about the "ritual sacrifices of babies" and abortion, but I do believe that society fell below low when we started killing our own young. In some states it is double homicide if a pregnant woman and her fetus are killed, but it is not murder if she kills her fetus herself??? Where is the sense in that? I am not here to judge, but it is my opinion that it is wrong, that it is murder. The whole brain/no brain, feels pain/doesn't feel pain, is cognizent/is not cognizent means zero to me. If a baby is conceived, it is conceived, and only God or mother nature, if you don't believe in God, should take it or let it mature.

    Even though this point has already been made, I will concur that there are millions of couples who cannot have children who would love to adopt a baby. Of course, then the arguement that 9 months is a long time to be inconvenienced by a pregnancy, but I just can't see the logic in killing it as opposed to giving it to someone who would cherish and love it. I do not believe that someone should be made to have and "keep" their baby, though, as I would be afraid that the child would have a horrible life. Adoption...the clear choice!

    As horrible and vile as abortion is...I take some "small" comfort in that all those precious babies go straight to Heaven.
    Last edited by Calif Cowgirl; 12-29-2008 at 02:38 AM.
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  9. #119  
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    In some states it is double homicide if a pregnant woman and her fetus are killed, but it is not murder if she kills her fetus herself???
    It is ridiculous, isn't it?

    @Wilbur: Why is potential irrelevant? Why take away that potential? A healthy fetus will not "potentially" become a baby. It WILL. Why is it that pregnat mothers are advised not to smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol? If the fetus has no human life why is it that it can be damaged in the long term? Because a fetus is a human life. If the fetus is treated poorly an unhealthy baby will be born. If the fetus is nurted for by the mother a healthy child will be born. Whatever happens to the fetus will affect the born child. A fetus is not just a sack of cells, it is a developing child.

    We have the technology create genetically identical clones of ourselves (see Dolly the sheep).
    A human does not equal a sheep. Humans cannot be cloned. That technology does not exist.
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  10. #120  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic View Post
    It is ridiculous, isn't it?

    @Wilbur: Why is potential irrelevant? Why take away that potential? A healthy fetus will not "potentially" become a baby. It WILL. Why is it that pregnat mothers are advised not to smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol? If the fetus has no human life why is it that it can be damaged in the long term? Because a fetus is a human life. If the fetus is treated poorly an unhealthy baby will be born. If the fetus is nurted for by the mother a healthy child will be born. Whatever happens to the fetus will affect the born child. A fetus is not just a sack of cells, it is a developing child.
    Why should potential matter? I don't see why it does... since the pro-life arguments in this thread all rely on this nebulous concept, and it seems there is this unspoken, apparently self-evident, easily understood value to potential that I do not see,... I was hoping you could explain it. If you can't, I think we can dismiss it as nonsense. I think I've explained, at least somewhat, the value I see in personhood and why I think its wrong to eliminate it. The same hasnt been done for this 'potential' concept.

    Mothers are advised to not smoke and drink the same reason people arent supposed to be exposed to agent-orange... birth defects.... note how agent orange doesn't require a conceived egg to cause problems.

    A human does not equal a sheep. Humans cannot be cloned. That technology does not exist.
    Its called therapeutic cloning.
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-31-2008 at 01:32 AM.
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