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  1. #221  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    One of your premises is that humans have a right to life. You can't explain it or defend it, you merely assume it when drawing your line between those that have it, and those that don't.
    Actually, it's simple to explain, but if the proposition is examined closely, Wilbur's arguments collapse. Rights are held equally by all people (this is the basic difference between a right and a privilege, a right is held equally, even if it is not executed equally by all, while a privilege is not). All people, for example, have a right to life. The rights that support our lives, the right to create and own property, for example, are extrapolations of the right to life. The issue is not whether some people have the right to life and some don't , but whether or not a fetus is is a person, and thus warrants the rights of a person. If you believe that a fetus is human, then you believe in the right to life. If you believe that it's not human, you don't. Most of the arguments for the latter position tend to try to obscure the humanity of the baby prior to his/her first breath outside of the womb. By the same token, the former position is based on arguments that emphasize its humanity, which often, but not always, involve religious arguments (Nat Hentoff is a pro-life atheist, and there are a few others). Wilbur's problem is that he assumes that there is a point at which fetal viability determines that it is human, but that position is always going to change as medical technology expands or contracts (see Zimbabwe for an example of the contraction of medical capabilities). It's not a principle, but an elastic negation of a principle that changes with every technological advance or retreat but cannot articulate what it believes about what exists in the womb. If a fetus is viable at six months, then can it be aborted at five months and twenty-nine days? How about during a leap year? If a new technology advances fetal viability to five months, does that make every woman who doesn't seek that technology out at five months and one day a murderer? It's a perpetually shifting goalpost that cannot be used as a guide. Fetal viability isn't a position, but rather, the absense of a position, and it's one that's anathema to the choice crowd, because they demand abortion at any time, even during the final months of pregnancy, for any reason, by any means. The Partial-Birth Abortion debate proved that. That's why pro-choicers have to use the language of choice and espouse only the rights of one parent, the mother (fathers have no rights under this regime, but are responsible for providing for the woman's "choice" until it reaches the age of 18), to the exclusion of all else. Thus, everything revolves around what a woman chooses to do with her body, and evades the question of the body within the body, the baby which will, if left alone, become a human being, with all the rights of a human being.
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  2. #222  
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    I'd like to add a couple thought to Odysseus' post. Firstly, if an embryo or fetus were not fully human, medical science wouldn't want to use them so desperately.

    Secondly, in many states, supporting the "woman's choice" is not 18 years. For example, in Missouri, it's 21 years of child support, and a proportional share of college expenses. (Mr. Smith pays 60% of college expenses in addition to the monthly support for his adult daughter.)

    Beyond that, I fully agree.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  3. #223  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    One of your premises is that humans have a right to life. You can't explain it or defend it, you merely assume it when drawing your line between those that have it, and those that don't.
    We have been talking about capacities... my talk about capacities naturally reflects the ways in which we intuitively treat organisms in the world and how we feel about their rights. We don't feel pangs of conscience (except a notable crazy few) when killing a plants. We generally feel something a little different if we kill a being that can feel pain, and it suffers or has some sort of conscious experience. Explain this in your moral framework MrsSmith? Why does this discrepancy exist? You can harp on me all day long, but still have failed to address these issues yourself.... step up to the plate.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-20-2009 at 10:20 PM.
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  4. #224  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    I'd like to add a couple thought to Odysseus' post. Firstly, if an embryo or fetus were not fully human, medical science wouldn't want to use them so desperately.
    Medical science also uses rats... and many other animals... are they human? They also 'desperately' love to study human cells, in pitri dishes... sometimes embryo's sometimes not.
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  5. #225  
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    We have been talking about capacities... my talk about capacities naturally reflects the ways in which we intuitively treat organisms in the world. We don't feel pangs of conscience (except a notable crazy few) when killing a plants. We generally feel something a little different if we kill a being that can feel pain, and it suffers or has some sort of conscious experience. Explain this in your moral framework MrsSmith? Why does this discrepancy exist?
    Why do you keep ducking the question, wilbur? You spent over 20 pages explaining why it's OK to kill a human that is under a specific age, but you can't explain why it's wrong to kill one that is older than the given age? Exactly what is the specific basis for the human right to life in your moral framework, wil? Is there any basis? We're all waiting...
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  6. #226  
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Medical science also uses rats... and many other animals... are they human? They also 'desperately' love to study human cells, in pitri dishes... sometimes embryo's sometimes not.
    Are you now trying to deny the fact that medical science is working frantically to obtain the right to create and destroy human embryos and fetuses for research?
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  7. #227  
    Senior Member Mythic's Avatar
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    We have been talking about capacities... my talk about capacities naturally reflects the ways in which we intuitively treat organisms in the world and how we feel about their rights.
    What is the difference between the capacity for something has and the potential something has? Just curious seeing as you spent several pages denying that potential had any bearing in this argument.
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  8. #228  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Why do you keep ducking the question, wilbur? You spent over 20 pages explaining why it's OK to kill a human that is under a specific age, but you can't explain why it's wrong to kill one that is older than the given age? Exactly what is the specific basis for the human right to life in your moral framework, wil? Is there any basis? We're all waiting...
    I've been explaining it for pages... but you have a penchant for misunderstanding or making caricaturizations out of what I say... and yet again I feel compelled to point out that I have been actively trying to get you to do more than sit back on the sidelines and snipe at my arguments, while avoiding elaborating on your own positions... so as to avoid having to confront their own contradictions... I have been answering your questions, you have been overtly ducking mine.... the audacity to even say that I am the one "ducking the questions" here after the latest flurry of posts is simply incomprehensible.

    I'll try to reduce the verbiage here, so this is more to the point: We can all imagine the pain, suffering or joy of others (these are all capacities)... which enables empathy. Along with this, we have our own desires, dreams, joys, etc (these are all capacities). Human rights, including the right to life, come from the wishes to fulfil our own desires.. and recognizing that others also wish to fulfil theirs... even if its the unspoken and inarticulate desires of a baby.... who have human capacities, although in a primitive form.

    Embryo's have no such capacities, hence the concerns of the mother come first... until such time as it gains those capacities in some form. Got it?

    On a more material level, we have also learned the hard way all through history... that without some form of human rights enshrined in a society... it becomes a place of pain, misery, death, and slavery... it was these hard, painful and oft repeated lessons that caused philosophers and great thinkers to posit the idea of human rights. We learned that, as a consequence of the structure of the world, the universe, and everything... it is really impossible to create a place where my desires and rights cannot be interfered with unjustly, while allowing the rights of my neighbours to be interfered with unjustly.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 01:25 AM.
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  9. #229  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic View Post
    What is the difference between the capacity for something has and the potential something has? Just curious seeing as you spent several pages denying that potential had any bearing in this argument.
    Maybe the best way to explain this would be to use a car analogy (bear in mind I don't know much of anything about cars:P)

    If you have a solid chunk of steel (or whatever metals they use in cars these days), ready to be machined into an engine, is it far to say that piece of metal can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds? It does not have the capacity.. but it has potential. Now once that piece of metal is machined and installed in the Ferrari in your garage... it now has that capacity.
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  10. #230  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Are you now trying to deny the fact that medical science is working frantically to obtain the right to create and destroy human embryos and fetuses for research?
    Of course not. But you simply arent making any sense.

    You are trying to imply that since scientists want to use, create, or destroy embryos for research (they already do btw)... that this somehow proves that they are 'human'.

    They also love to research rats and other animals, specifically to test and discover treatments for human beings.

    If we consistently apply your logic here, that means rats are human. This is simply some nonsensical reasoning here MrsSmith. As an aside, I have never disagreed that embryos are human... but its not the criteria of genetically human which concerns me so much.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 01:24 AM.
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