Thread: Baal,The God of Liberalism the Half-Bull, Half-Man

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  1. #231  
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    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.
    Sort of... you are really enumerating the difference between natural rights and legal rights.

    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.
    Nope, they don't. Most positions make a distinction between personhood or humanity, and geneticaly human... and the vast majority, except the most extremem positions, accept that at sometime stage during pregnancy, the fetus gains personhood. Few pro-choice advocates actually endorse unrestricted late term abortions. I established long ago in this thread that I do not argue for that stance, nor do the vast vast majority of pro-choice advocates. Straw man.

    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.
    Its always a principle. Right to life... I believe in that. What have I been doing all this time, if not articulating what I believe about life in the womb? That has been my task the entire thread (that and dispelling the Baal comparison).

    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.
    Because we may learn more, we can't use new knowledge to inform our positions on things? And if absolute certainty can't be gained we have to keep the baby AND the bathwater (hehe)? What I have been arguing for is that a woman has a right to choose until the point at which we cannot know that personhood doesn't exist in the fetus... with certainty. If that moment of certainty moves to a later period due to greater scientific understanding, so what? We know it cannot move backwards.

    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.
    Straw-man again.. no we don't. Most of us are just fine with restrictions on late term abortions and do not argue for anything else. I know the anti-choice media establishments harp on partial birth 365 days a year... you'd think that those are the only abortions that take place... but they are rare, and again... most pro-choice advocates do not hold the positions of the extremists.

    In fact, there are some good reasons to think that legal safe abortion actually reduces the number of late term abortions that take place. Mothers are more likely to have a hard time arranging an abortion in a society where it is illegal.. and as a consequence we end up with more late-term abortions and partial births. If you take this into account along with my perspective on rights to life, capacity, and personhood of the fetas, you can see why it is imperative for us to have legal safe abortions available.

    That's why pro-choicers have to use the language of choice and espouse only the rights of one parent, the mother
    Well, yes we do consider the rights of 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.
    The father is a different question... one I think there is some more division on. On one hand, it isnt fair that the father might have to pay child support for a child he doesnt want... there are many cases where women intentionally impregnate themselves to trap the man... I think whatever system is devised would have to fairly account for such abuses and allow the man to opt out of support the child in some cases... but also protect mothers from deadbeats who get them pregnant and run away.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 01:14 AM.
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  2. #232  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Sort of... you are really enumerating the difference between natural rights and legal rights.
    Natural rights and legal rights need to match up or the disconnect between them creates chaotic situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Nope, they don't. Most positions make a distinction between personhood or humanity, and geneticaly human... and the vast majority, except the most extremem positions, accept that at sometime stage during pregnancy, the fetus gains personhood. Few pro-choice advocates actually endorse unrestricted late term abortions. I established long ago in this thread that I do not argue for that stance, nor do the vast vast majority of pro-choice advocates. Straw man.
    It's not a straw man, since the leadership of the pro-choice movement argues for it, or pretends to go along with some restrictions as they gut them. For example, the partial-birth abortion ban included and exemption for the life of the mother, and was attacked because it didn't include an exemption for the health of the mother, but the AMA has stated that there is no medical necessity for the procedure and the health exclusion is so elastic (it covers mental health, anxiety and a host of other conditions) as to render the ban meaningless. One practitioner even publicly stated that he would certify that every procedure that he conducted was required for the mother's health. The difference between your personal position and the national debate is that you are willing to consider restrictions, but NARAL, NOW, EMILY's List and the DNC are not, and will fight tooth and nail to prevent the adoption of any.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Its always a principle. Right to life... I believe in that. What have I been doing all this time, if not articulating what I believe about life in the womb? That has been my task the entire thread (that and dispelling the Baal comparison).
    The Baal comparison is a pretty good one, though. In both cases, the convenience or prosperity of the adults is placed above the life of a child.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Because we may learn more, we can't use new knowledge to inform our positions on things? And if absolute certainty can't be gained we have to keep the baby AND the bathwater (hehe)? What I have been arguing for is that a woman has a right to choose until the point at which we cannot know that personhood doesn't exist in the fetus... with certainty. If that moment of certainty moves to a later period due to greater scientific understanding, so what? We know it cannot move backwards.
    Sure it can. Medical knowledge can be lost as well as found. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians knew more about the body than Medievel doctors did, and the level of available care is also a major factor. Fetal viability is a lot later in Zimbabwe than it is here. In fact, our infant mortality stats are higher than many countries because the include premature births that often don't survive, while most countries only count live births that were brought to term.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Straw-man again.. no we don't. Most of us are just fine with restrictions on late term abortions and do not argue for anything else. I know the anti-choice media establishments harp on partial birth 365 days a year... you'd think that those are the only abortions that take place... but they are rare, and again... most pro-choice advocates do not hold the positions of the extremists.
    Except that they aren't rare. The advocates lied during the hearings. For example, one of the advocates,
    Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, told The New York Times that "in the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus" (Feb. 26, 1997), and that 4,000-5,000 of these abortions are performed annually. He expressed regret for his testimony, stating, "I lied through my teeth."

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    In fact, there are some good reasons to think that legal safe abortion actually reduces the number of late term abortions that take place. Mothers are more likely to have a hard time arranging an abortion in a society where it is illegal.. and as a consequence we end up with more late-term abortions and partial births. If you take this into account along with my perspective on rights to life, capacity, and personhood of the fetas, you can see why it is imperative for us to have legal safe abortions available.
    Except that the total number of abortions in the US remains steady at 1-1.5 million per year. That's 1 in 4 pregnancies.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Well, yes we do consider the rights of the mother...
    To the exclusion of all else.

    The father is a different question... one I think there is some more division on. On one hand, it isnt fair that the father might have to pay child support for a child he doesnt want... there are many cases where women intentionally impregnate themselves to trap the man... I think whatever system is devised would have to fairly account for such abuses and allow the man to opt out of support the child in some cases... but also protect mothers from deadbeats who get them pregnant and run away. [/QUOTE]

    It's called a shotgun, and the girl's father needs to be prepared to use it.
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  3. #233  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Natural rights and legal rights need to match up or the disconnect between them creates chaotic situations.

    It's not a straw man, since the leadership of the pro-choice movement argues for it, or pretends to go along with some restrictions as they gut them. For example, the partial-birth abortion ban included and exemption for the life of the mother, and was attacked because it didn't include an exemption for the health of the mother, but the AMA has stated that there is no medical necessity for the procedure and the health exclusion is so elastic (it covers mental health, anxiety and a host of other conditions) as to render the ban meaningless. One practitioner even publicly stated that he would certify that every procedure that he conducted was required for the mother's health. The difference between your personal position and the national debate is that you are willing to consider restrictions, but NARAL, NOW, EMILY's List and the DNC are not, and will fight tooth and nail to prevent the adoption of any.
    Then we would both find ourselves fighting on the same side in that sort of fight. Slippery slopes do not scare me... we must walk many of them necessarily. But the problem with most of the partial birth abortion bans is that they themselves have been far to vague and poorly worded.... that would also possibly restrict procedures before fetal viability.... the bills center around restricting nebulous procedures deemed 'partial-birth' - a non-medical term invented by pro-life movement as a rhetorical weapon - with no regard to fetal viability. The procedure is not the problem... its when its used.

    The Baal comparison is a pretty good one, though. In both cases, the convenience or prosperity of the adults is placed above the life of a child.
    I don't know how else to say it... but again, relying ominous connections to ancient 'evil religions' to try and understand pro-choice philosophy will guarantee that you fail to comprehend the issues at every turn. A philosophy that aims to preserve and truly substantiate human rights versus a philosophy of child sacrifice for the appeasement of a demanding deity... well, I am simply at a loss for words to say how stupid this is... again. I have to question the honesty of anyone who can continue to say this. One would have to ignore everything I have said in this thread.

    I have dispelled every single point of comparison:
    - Idols: Baal back then / The 'self' today: This only works if you have some strange notion that human rights are 'self-worship'. Furthermore, you have to go down he road that many have tried in this thread... to assume all women who receive abortions do so unnecessarily and as a matter of escaping personal responsibility to maintain their promiscuous lifestyle or out of selfishness.... as we have learned by now, this is false.

    - Killing an embryo is equivalent to burning a child alive: One can only assume Baal liked child sacrifice because of the pain and suffering involved.. that the burning of a child somehow gave him pleasure or that such dedication was a powerful sign of devotion. Killing something that is alive with human capacities is a far cry from destroying that which lacks those things. Let me ask:

    Lets say in a world where abortion is illegal and human rights are granted at conception.... what kind of punishment should a woman endure who takes a morning after pill... or gets a very early term illegal abortion?

    Sure it can. Medical knowledge can be lost as well as found. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians knew more about the body than Medievel doctors did, and the level of available care is also a major factor. Fetal viability is a lot later in Zimbabwe than it is here. In fact, our infant mortality stats are higher than many countries because the include premature births that often don't survive, while most countries only count live births that were brought to term.
    I wasnt specifically saying medical knowledge cannot move backwards... only that it is impossible for personhood to develop any sooner than where many of us define it.... the formation of the cerebral cortex. We could find out that it happens later... but not sooner.

    Except that they aren't rare. The advocates lied during the hearings. For example, one of the advocates,
    Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, told The New York Times that "in the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus" (Feb. 26, 1997), and that 4,000-5,000 of these abortions are performed annually. He expressed regret for his testimony, stating, "I lied through my teeth."
    5,000 is a 3rd of a percent, when compared with the number of abortions.

    Except that the total number of abortions in the US remains steady at 1-1.5 million per year. That's 1 in 4 pregnancies.
    I said there is good reason to think in a climate where abortion is ILLEGAL, more abortions will be obtained in the later stages of pregnancy than they are now. Maybe more or less abortions overall.... but there will be more LATE TERM abortions because it will be more difficult and time consuming for a woman to arrange for one.

    It's called a shotgun, and the girl's father needs to be prepared to use it.
    Always a good recipe for a happy family....
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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  4. #234  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Then we would both find ourselves fighting on the same side in that sort of fight. Slippery slopes do not scare me... we must walk many of them necessarily. But the problem with most of the partial birth abortion bans is that they themselves have been far to vague and poorly worded.... that would also possibly restrict procedures before fetal viability.... the bills center around restricting nebulous procedures deemed 'partial-birth' - a non-medical term invented by pro-life movement as a rhetorical weapon - with no regard to fetal viability. The procedure is not the problem... its when its used.
    That is not true. The advocates claim that they are vague as a means to get courts to overturn them, but even a cursory reading of the statutes and comparison with state by state numbers before and after passage of state laws with similar wording show no decrease in other, superficially similar procedures. From an amicus brief filed by the Thomas More Society:

    Indiana, Mississippi and South Dakota all enacted partial-birth abortion bans that became effective on July 1, 1997. See IND. CODE ANN. § 16-18-2-267.5 (West Supp. 2005) (defining offense); § 16-34-2-1(b) (West Supp. 2005) (prohibition); MISS. CODE ANN. § 41-41-71 et seq. (1999); S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 34-23A-27 et seq. (Michie Supp. 2003). None of these statutes, prior to Stenberg, was construed by any state or federal court.

    A comparison of official abortion reporting statistics from these States for the first half of 1997, when none of their statutes was in effect, to statistics for the second half of 1997, when all three were in effect, leaves no doubt that respondents' expressed fears that the federal Act would "chill" physicians from performing dismemberment D&Es and inductions are baseless. That comparison also shows that respondents' professed inability to understand what the Act forbids is more contrived than genuine. Review of these statistics enables this Court "to perform a reality check" on respondents' assertion that they would not be able to perform conventional second-trimester abortion procedures if the Act were allowed to go into effect. Hope Clinic v. Ryan, 195 F.3d 857, 870 (7th Cir. 1999) (en banc), vacated and remanded with directions, 530 U.S. 1271 (2000), on remand, 249 F.3d 603 (7th Cir. 2001) (en banc).

    Indiana

    The Indiana State Department of Health reported that 13,208 abortions were performed in 1997, of which 12,429 were suction curettage, 87 sharp curettage, 159 dilation and evacuation (D&E), and two intra-uterine prostaglandin instillation. See Appendix A-2.[36] The statistics reflect that 54.71% of the dilation and evacuation procedures (87 of 159) were performed in the second half of the year (when the Indiana partial-birth abortion act was in effect). As these statistics show, the partial-birth abortion act did not prevent physicians in Indiana from performing dismember-ment D&Es.

    "These data," the Seventh Circuit noted, "are incom-patible with plaintiffs' a priori belief that the partial-birth abortion statutes will discourage the performance of the D&E procedure or cause the physician to substitute an inferior procedure." Hope Clinic, 195 F.3d at 871. In the eighteen months after the Indiana partial-birth abortion statute took effect (July 1, 1997 through December 31, 1998), there were 286 D&Es, while in the eighteen months before the statute took effect (January 1, 1996, through June 30, 1997), there were 263 D&Es. See Appendix A-2 and INDIANA TERMINATED PREGNANCY REPORT 1996 (Jan. 1998) at 20 (Table 20), INDIANA NATALITY, INDUCED TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY, AND MARRIAGE REPORT[:] STATE, COUNTY, AND CITY DATA 1998 at 84 (Table 18). This certainly does not suggest that physicians in Indiana were deterred or discouraged from performing dismemberment D&Es by the enactment of the partial-birth abortion statute.

    Official abortion reporting statistics from other States confirm the Seventh Circuit's sense that "partial-birth abortion statutes need not have [and, in fact, did not have] the baleful effect the [respondents] foresee." Hope Clinic, 195 F.3d at 817.
    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/060831
    The same held for the other states. Doctors had no difficulty determining what was and was not permissible in the performance of their duties. The statute is only vague in the eyes of those who want it overturned.


    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I don't know how else to say it... but again, relying ominous connections to ancient 'evil religions' to try and understand pro-choice philosophy will guarantee that you fail to comprehend the issues at every turn. A philosophy that aims to preserve and truly substantiate human rights versus a philosophy of child sacrifice for the appeasement of a demanding deity... well, I am simply at a loss for words to say how stupid this is... again. I have to question the honesty of anyone who can continue to say this. One would have to ignore everything I have said in this thread.
    But who says that the pro-choicers aim to preserve and substantiate human rights? That is clearly open to debate. They certainly seek to protect one right, for one constituency, but do so through distortions of fact and outright lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I have dispelled every single point of comparison:
    - Idols: Baal back then / The 'self' today: This only works if you have some strange notion that human rights are 'self-worship'. Furthermore, you have to go down he road that many have tried in this thread... to assume all women who receive abortions do so unnecessarily and as a matter of escaping personal responsibility to maintain their promiscuous lifestyle or out of selfishness.... as we have learned by now, this is false.
    As understood by the left, human rights are "self-worship." As George Neumayr recently wrote: "Modern liberalism is an emancipation proclamation from God. After all, man is independent enough from God to kill unborn babies, and with gay marriage modern man happily puts asunder what God has joined together."

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    - Killing an embryo is equivalent to burning a child alive: One can only assume Baal liked child sacrifice because of the pain and suffering involved.. that the burning of a child somehow gave him pleasure or that such dedication was a powerful sign of devotion. Killing something that is alive with human capacities is a far cry from destroying that which lacks those things.
    You keep claiming that an embryo and fetus lack human capacities, but studies show that both feel pain. In fact, due to the larger brains of human beings, cranial development continues long past birth. The implications of this are obvious when you view most animals: A newborn foal can stand within hours of birth, same with a calf or a dear. Other primates are fully grown at the one-year mark, an age at which most humans are taking their first steps. Would you argue (as some ethicists have) that a baby that cannot walk is less deserving of life than a man or woman fully grown? Films of fetuses taken during abortions show pain reactions, even at the first trimester.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Let me ask:- Lets say in a world where abortion is illegal and human rights are granted at conception.... what kind of punishment should a woman endure who takes a morning after pill... or gets a very early term illegal abortion?
    A self-induced abortion is always going to be difficult to prove and prosecute. I don't know that the state has an interest in pursuing that, but a doctor who deliberately aids and abets it should have his license revoked.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    5,000 is a 3rd of a percent, when compared with the number of abortions.
    That's almost 20 per day, and even that understates it. The advocates claimed that only 300 or so were performed annually, while the investigators found indivdual clinics that exceeded that number.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I said there is good reason to think in a climate where abortion is ILLEGAL, more abortions will be obtained in the later stages of pregnancy than they are now. Maybe more or less abortions overall.... but there will be more LATE TERM abortions because it will be more difficult and time consuming for a woman to arrange for one.
    And I believe that you are wrong. First, the number of illegal abortions was always exaggerated by the advocates of legalization, but even if thousands of women engaged them, it was a far cry from the million and a half that we see annually.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Always a good recipe for a happy family....
    Better living through superior firepower, I always say.

    The issue that you fail to grasp is not the morality of abortion vs. life, although you miss that as well, but the corrosive impact of Roe V. Wade on our legal system. By removing the decision from the hands of elected officials, our courts have polarized the debate instead of allowing consensus to form. If Roe V. Wade were overturned tomorrow, would NY State or Massachussetts suddenly ban all abortions? Would Utah or Mississippi ban all abortions? Unlikely. There would be debate between the two sides and compromise. Perhaps late term abortions would be banned except for risks to the life of the mother, perhaps not, but it would be a decision made by accountable officials. That's the real parallel between Baal worship and abortion, the removal of the decisions from the hands of the people and the empowerment of a class of decision makers, be it judges or priests, to make decisions that ought to be decided by the people or their representatives.
    --Odysseus
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  5. #235  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    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.
    This is very pretty, but still fails to make the case for the human right to life as compared to the rights of any other high capacity creature. You've simply, again, stated that because we have human capacities, we have a right to life.

    As for my not answering your questions, I've been very clear. The topic is the human right to life. If you want to propose hypotheticals that are off-topic, I will merely point out that they are off-topic. As for my viewpoint, there have been more than 20 pages explaining that repeatedly, regardless of the poster. I will simplify just for you. All of humanity has a right to life, in the US specifically because our foundational documents make that clear. (And the term "man" in those documents is widely considered by reputable scholars to mean all of mankind, or all members of the human species.)

    As for your so-intelligent post about rat embryos... ... it is manifestly obvious that a human embryo is human - or it would not be so greatly desired by medical personnel who are free to work with rat and other embryoes. A human fetus is human or there would not be a huge market for the tissue and parts of aborted fetuses. With all due respect, only an idiot would argue that a human embryo or fetus is not human. You can argue your man-made rules of personhood, but the medical and scientific facts are irrefutable in this case. Careless wordage aside, there is no doubt of the humanity of either.
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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. #236  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    This is very pretty, but still fails to make the case for the human right to life as compared to the rights of any other high capacity creature. You've simply, again, stated that because we have human capacities, we have a right to life.
    You have the memory of a goldfish, seriously;)

    I already explained this by saying that animals with some capacities DO HAVE A NATURAL RIGHT TO LIFE. In other words... it DOES make the case for both human and animal rights, and I have no bones about that at all. But there is also what I believe to be a valid appeal to nature... in that animals must necessarily be killed for us to live... and if we didn't kill some animals... well, we'd be dying ourselves. We also have the ability to go about these things in such a way as to cause them less suffering than what they would likely experience naturally. This gives us room to kill or harm animals when necessity demands, in the most humane ways possible, but otherwise we should not. This doesn't always happen, but as a society we tend to strive towards that ideal.. or lean heavily towards it. If we were to explore animal rights more, (topics for other threads perhaps), we can go more in depth about why I feel there are exceptions that allow us to harm animals... none of which really apply to humans at any stage.

    As for my not answering your questions, I've been very clear. The topic is the human right to life. If you want to propose hypotheticals that are off-topic, I will merely point out that they are off-topic. As for my viewpoint, there have been more than 20 pages explaining that repeatedly, regardless of the poster. I will simplify just for you. All of humanity has a right to life, in the US specifically because our foundational documents make that clear. (And the term "man" in those documents is widely considered by reputable scholars to mean all of mankind, or all members of the human species.)
    I would posit that on a philosophical level, rights exist regardless of what is enumerated by founding documents and law.... ie natural rights.

    They arent off topic, you are simply stonewalling. What my reasoning behind human rights does is really enumerate and explain how we already intuitively tend to behave in the real world.

    If capacities are irrelevant, how can we treat some non-human beings differently than one another? Why can we kill a plant with no remorse, but might feel it if we run over a squirrel. We have teams of people who's job it is to rescue many animals in dangerous situations. Why?

    There's nothing hypothetical about this stuff, this is real. Theres nothing off-topic about extending this idea to hypothetical beings that have capacities equal to our own... its a natural (and I feel essential) pathway to explore. In your view, we shouldn't be obliged treat them any better than animals, by default (or perhaps like blacks, pre-civil war/rights). This is obviously wrong and goes against everything we all intuitively understand about rights and justice today.

    As for your so-intelligent post about rat embryos... ... it is manifestly obvious that a human embryo is human - or it would not be so greatly desired by medical personnel who are free to work with rat and other embryoes. A human fetus is human or there would not be a huge market for the tissue and parts of aborted fetuses. With all due respect, only an idiot would argue that a human embryo or fetus is not human.
    So what? Medical students desperately need cadavers because they are human. Many scientists study other cells of the body besides embryos and culture them because they are human. Once again, you aren't saying anything new. The point that embryos are human in a certain sense was never contested. What's your point?

    You can argue your man-made rules of personhood, but the medical and scientific facts are irrefutable in this case. Careless wordage aside, there is no doubt of the humanity of either.
    Uh oh.. must be getting desperate... pulling out the 'only man-made rules' card..
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    You have the memory of a goldfish, seriously;)

    I already explained this by saying that animals with some capacities DO HAVE A NATURAL RIGHT TO LIFE. But there is also what I believe to be a valid appeal to nature... in that animals must necessarily be killed for us to live... and if we didn't kill some animals... well, we'd be dying ourselves. We also have the ability to go about these things in such a way as to cause them less suffering than what they would likely experience naturally. This gives us room to kill or harm animals when necessity demands, in the most humane ways possible, but otherwise we should not. This doesnt always happen, but as a society we tend to strive towards that ideal.. or lean heavily towards it.



    I would posit that on a philosophical level, rights exist regardless of what is enumerated by founding documents and law.... ie natural rights.

    They arent off topic, you are simply stonewalling. What my reasoning behind human rights does is really enumerate and explain how we already intuitively tend to behave in the real world.

    If capacities are irrelevant, how can we treat some non-human beings differently than one another? Why can we kill a plant with no remorse, but might feel it if we run over a squirrel. We have teams of people who's job it is to rescue many animals in dangerous situations. Why?

    There's nothing hypothetical about this stuff, this is real. Theres nothing off-topic about extending this idea to hypothetical beings that have capacities equal to our own... its a natural (and I feel essential) pathway to explore. In your view, we shouldn't be obliged treat them any better than animals, by default (or perhaps like blacks, pre-civil war/rights). This is obviously wrong and goes against everything we all intuitively understand about rights and justice today.



    So what? Medical students desperately need cadavers because they are human. Many scientists study other cells of the body besides embryos and culture them because they are human. Once again, you aren't saying anything new. The point that embryos are human in a certain sense was never contested. What's your point?



    Uh oh.. must be getting desperate... pulling out the 'only man-made rules' card..
    Circle, circle, circle. In your moral framework, why does mankind have the right to use animal products and kill animals to live if it's all about capacity? What is it about human capacity that creates a greater right to life than any other capacity? What "intuition" teaches humans these "obvious rights and wrongs"...and please recall that in some human societies, these "obvious" rights and wrongs are completely different from our society despite the fact that those humans have all attained their "personhood." Before you answer, you may want to brush up on the rights and wrongs agreed to by most in India, for example. Be careful, because you may end up discovering that all the "obvious rights and wrongs" you reference are founded upon Christian values.
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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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  8. #238  
    Senior Member Mythic's Avatar
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    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.
    I see were you are coming from, but you are wrong. That analogy is completely bogus. And no, not just because a fetus is a human life and a piece of metal isn't. If left alone untouched, a piece of metal will never grow into a ferrari. A human fetus if left alone will grow into a baby. But since you obviously discredit potential and love capacity, I will use capacity from now on.

    Instead of trying to explain points in analogies that don't make sense, why don't you simply explain them?

    and if we didn't kill some animals... well, we'd be dying ourselves.
    Wrong. Cotton could be used as clothing, sheep provide wool (without killing sheep) and there are plenty of people who do not eat meat. So we can live without killing any animals.

    Well, yes we do consider the rights of the mother...
    Yet ignore the rights of the child.


    A human fetus has the capacity to become what you describe as a human person. A fetus will ALWAYS become a human adult, a person. Always. A tree will never become a person. A dog will never become a person. A piece of metal will never become a person. A mosquito will never become a person. A cow will never become a person. A human fetus will ALWAYS become a person.
    You say that a "person" has the right to live. Well, the source of every person's existence is a human fetus. Going off of your points, no other "non person" will become a person. A fetus, which you believe is not a person, will ALWAYS become one. Yet you fail to take note of this fact.
    Last edited by Mythic; 01-22-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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  9. #239  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic View Post
    I see were you are coming from, but you are wrong. That analogy is completely bogus. And no, not just because a fetus is a human life and a piece of metal isn't. If left alone untouched, a piece of metal will never grow into a ferrari. A human fetus if left alone will grow into a baby.

    Instead of trying to explain points in analogies that don't make sense, why don't you simply explain them?
    Well, I thought I really had. Something may have potential to one day attain certain capacities, but that necessarily means it presently lacks them. Understand?

    Yet ignore the rights of the child.
    Until there is a person there is only the rights of the mother.

    Wrong. Cotton could be used as clothing, sheep provide wool (without killing sheep) and there are plenty of people who do not eat meat. So we can live without killing any animals.
    I don't think there is enough farmland, money or ability to make the world go vegetarian... nor enough sheep to clothe everyone. Our bodies are designed to eat meat.. sure you can get by if you work very hard at creating a healthy vegetarian diet and have the means to do to it... but most don't.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 11:38 PM.
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  10. #240  
    Senior Member Mythic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur
    I don't think there is enough farmland, money or ability to make the world go vegetarian... nor enough sheep to clothe everyone.
    The whole clothing thing is ridiculous because you dont have to kill animals for clothes and many clothing materials are artificial. And all of these animals take up land as well which could be used as farmland instead. Money is also not an issue considering it also takes money to raise cattle etc. But this entire point you made is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic
    A human fetus has the capacity to become what you describe as a human person. A fetus will ALWAYS become a human adult, a person. Always. A tree will never become a person. A dog will never become a person. A piece of metal will never become a person. A mosquito will never become a person. A cow will never become a person. A human fetus will ALWAYS become a person.
    You say that a "person" has the right to live. Well, the source of every person's existence is a human fetus. Going off of your points, no other "non person" will become a person. A fetus, which you believe is not a person, will ALWAYS become one. Yet you fail to take note of this fact.
    "Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
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