left biblioblography: UTERUS INTERRUPTUS: OF FALLACIES, FINGER-POINTING AND FALLOPIAN RESPONSIBILITY

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

UTERUS INTERRUPTUS: OF FALLACIES, FINGER-POINTING AND FALLOPIAN RESPONSIBILITY

My apologies if the title offends: I'm making no effort to be glib here. It's a serious topic, to be sure.

As I'm a white, middle-aged single male, I've avoided this topic for some time (at least here), because:

  1. I've never fathered a biological child, and

  2. I don't have a uterus.


I walk the middle road on this. I am pro-choice, but to quote Harlan Ellison, "I'm not anti-abortion: I am anti-waste."

I am of the position that all human life is sacred (yeah, it's a religious term. I'm an atheist, but I'm still going to use it. Don't like it? See ya in court). I am of the opinion that it should indeed be safe, legal, and rare.

Now, I realize that atheists and theists alike will likely never agree on this point. The issue being: the soul. Efforts to inject an unquantifiable abstract into real life seem to us to be ridiculous, at best. That is observation only.

For the theists, I give you this:

Genesis 9:4 "But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat."

Leviticus 17:11, 14 (cp. Deuteronomy 12:23) "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.... For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof ..."

Exodus 21:22-25
"And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

I have not found any history of induced miscarriages vis-a-vis the ancient Hebrews, so it is hard to say whether or not they practiced this. Midwifery is mentioned twice (that I know of) in Genesis, I can only speculate in this regard.

I do view it as the slaughter of innocents. I also view it as a necessary evil. This is by no means contradictory. I am going to inject the observations of Thurgood Marshall, who stated my position with far more eloquence than I could ever muster [note: yes, it IS a dissenting opinion, ergo not law]:

http://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/library/index.asp?document=50
Harris v. McRae
Dissenting opinion by Thurgood Marshall [Harris v. McRae]
"The consequences of todays opinion has consequences to which the Court seems oblivious are not difficult to predict. Pregnant women denied the funding necessary to procure abortions will be restricted to two alternatives. First, they can carry the fetus to term even though that route may result in severe injury or death to the mother, the fetus, or both. If that course appears intolerable, they can resort to self-induced abortions or attempt to obtain illegal abortions not because bearing a child would be inconvenient, but because it is necessary in order to protect their health. {Footnote: Of course, some poor women will attempt to raise the funds necessary to obtain a lawful abortion. A court recently found that those who were fortunate enough to do so had to resort to "not paying rent or utility bills, pawning household goods, diverting food and clothing money, or journeying to another state to obtain lower rates or fraudulently use a relatives insurance policy.... [S]ome patients were driven to theft." Womens Health Services, Inc. v. Maher, 482 F. Supp. 725.} The result will not be to protect what the Court describes as "the legitimate governmental objective of protecting potential life," but to ensure the destruction of both fetal and maternal life. "There is another world out there, the existence of which the Court ...either chooses to ignore or fears to recognize." Beal v. Doe (BLACKMUN, J., dissenting). In my view, it is only by blinding itself to that other world that the Court can reach the result it announces today."

Let's now defer to a historical example:

"English common law generally allowed abortion before the "quickening" of the fetus (i.e., the first recognizable movement of the fetus in the uterus), which occurred between the sixteenth and eighteenth weeks of pregnancy. After quickening, however, common law was less clear as to whether abortion was considered a crime. In the United States, state legislatures did not pass abortion statutes until the nineteenth century. After 1880, abortion was criminalized by statute in every state of the union, owing in large measure to strong anti-abortion positions taken by the American Medical Association. Despite the illegality, many thousands of women every year sought abortions. Under a heavy cloak of shame and secrecy, women often had abortions performed in unsafe conditions, and many died or suffered complications from the procedures."

Now, let's move to the caricatures:
A. Pro-choicers are farcical vaudevillian villains of the Simon Legree variety.

This is a poor fallacy, silly at best and stupid at worst. I find it highly unlikely that doctors who perform these procedures are rubbing their hands maniacally, pulling their handlebar mustaches, all the while revelling in infanticide.
Grow the fuck up, people. These two-dimensional cartoon characters are, in a word, puerile. I can barely stand them in movies: real life ain't like that.

B. Abortion as a means of post-contraception.

There's just so much wrong with this...misperception, words almost fail me. Give me an example of a woman who's had ten abortions, or more. You can? Okay, multiply that by a hundred. Show me, as the old Missouri adage says. What? Can't hear you. You can't?

C. No one told them to have sex!

Oy gevalt! This one's propagated by middle- to upper-middle class to rich folks. Yeah, you try sitting around (when you're not working 3 or more jobs), with nothing to do because you HAVE NO MONEY - let's see how you spend your time. Further on this: if a man goes and has unprotected sex, gets an STD, is he refused treatment? Or the 'extreme' sports nut falling off a mountain and breaking his leg? After all, no one 'told' these two guys to 'go out and do that!' Besides, most folks will object to having their biological needs subject to scheduling and permission.

D. Use abstinence.

See commentary above. I also refer to the faith-based 'Abstinence Now' program, which, before it went defunct, had an 88% failure rate.

E. premarital sex is wrong!

Good luck legislating that. Most pro-lifers don't want to let MARRIED folk have the operation either.

You want it gone? So do I. Can you just slam a door, and throw away the key, and never will the subject broached again? Highly unlikely that'll EVER happen. So let's stop this 'blame the victim' nonsense. The Japanese have a wonderful saying: "Fix the problem, not the blame."

We're talking about the less prosperous portions of society here. We're talking about women who have very few options in their lives. Let's reform the social ills that this stems from. Be honest: this is a SYMPTOM, not a disease. More education, more personal responsibility, higher standards of life, I mean, my list just goes ON and ON. Meanwhile, let's teach RESPONSIBILITY, and SEX EDUCATION, fer cryin' out loud, while we're at it. Hey, you don't want your kids learning it from someone else? Fine. Teach them when they ask: let's dump the Victorian nonsense already, we're in the 21st CE, instead of the kid learning some idiocy at the HS locker about 'how you can't get pregnant if you do it standing up.'

In the past, I've made efforts to shame pro-lifers with the following statement: "If you feel so strongly about abortion, how about offering to adopt the child?" Because, hey, if you're willing to go out and TAKE a life because of how strongly you feel (which to me is just so...hypocritical in the extreme), howzabout you shoot for the LONG-TERM ramifications? If you're so passionate about this, how about something a little more proactive than, say, harassing some poor woman who's agonizing over this decision anyways (because, as I understand it, it's a pretty hard choice, and somewhat scarring afterwards as well), or pointing a gun at a doctor, or distributing literature aimed at provoking a knee-jerk reaction? There's so many knee-jerk responses in this country anyways, chiropractors'll be raking in the bucks for years to come. So do something ELSE besides ranting and raving in the streets, or interfering with someone's free will.

I have an idea. I don't know if it's been implemented before, so it may or may not be original, but who cares?

Let's combine the abortion clinics with adoption agencies.

Hey, the government already regulates them both, right? Sure, it'd be a bureaucratic nightmare at first. But an outright ban? Something like this isn't a light switch, folks: you can't just flick it on and off. You're talking about human nature here: you can only legislate so much of it, before it goes ka-plooey! in your face (Prohibition comes to mind). Let's start providing OPTIONS, alternatives, instead of this 'either/or' nonsense that's becoming a such a rut, you can see the circles worn into the ground from miles away.

Passion is a fine thing: it runs in my veins as well. But it cannot be the ruling force here. Else we will have violence in the streets. And there's enough violence in the world, without us adding to it.

I leave you with these words, from one of the Founders of this country:

"Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest numbers of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best. "
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

That is my nickel's worth, dear readers: spend it wisely, and well.

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89 comments:

Beowulf said...

RA,

you said:

"I am of the position that all human life is sacred"

If the unborn are human don’t they deserve to be saved from being killed?

Also, there are pro-life atheists:

http://ravingatheist.com/archives/abortion/

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Combining abortion clinics with adoption-agencies may be a good idea. It won't solve everything, but, hey, nothing will.
What I'm more concerned about,
after recently watching a documentary about abortion in the U.S., is these faith-based pregnancy-places, especially in impoverished, rural areas, where all sorts of councelling is done,
but where abortion is never mentioned, except as something to avoid no matter what.
What they'd usually advice was for the mother to keep the child,
(adoptions was also out, for the most part, since most of the mothers-to-be were black, and it seems few people would be willing to adopt a child with a complexion darker than vanilla),
and they'd give her the "financial aid" of a years supply of diapers
and some second-hand donated toys.
Yeah... real generous...
and not at ALL short-sighted and selfserving!

The fundamentalist/literalist response to sex and sexuality is so repugnant it'd make baby-jesus cry. And when, time and again,
their proposed measures fail,
they rail against un-believers
to misdirect attention from the smoking ruins of their repeated failures.
Or, worse, blame the poor pregnant uneducated moms of not having enough faith.

Those who want to end abortion are the same who are against true sex-education in schools, are against bettering education per se,
are against raising the minumum wage...
but, mostly, somehow they are FOR
the war in Iraq and other misplaced boondoggles of death.
Bravo.
If only these people had any real
asessment of the consequences of their actions, we'd see a sounder, safer America.
But I'm starting to dread
that a lot of 'em DO know better...
but that they don't allow themselves to care, since the latest sermon drills into 'em that their right and that they have a reserved seat on Rapture Airways.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Bf:
"If the unborn are human don’t they deserve to be saved from being killed?"

Uhm, trick question.
When DOES a fetus become
quantifiably human?
In the earliest stages it has gills. (Which, by the way, is a pretty persuasive argument for evolution in its own right).
Where to draw the line?

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
If the unborn are human don’t they deserve to be saved from being killed?
Yeah, it's a quandary all right. A balancing act.
Should we save them all? If possible. But should we ruin someone's life, as well? Or that of the child's?
& I hate to say this, but there are people who are in no way fit to be parents. They get a free pass to keep the kid?
We have the mechanism in place already. There's just too many extenuating circumstances involved. We can't ban it outright.
It's the woman's decision. & it's a hard 1, as I understand it.
So I have to side w/pro-choice. It's a momentous decision, to keep or no.
The only way we can abolish the practice, is to remove the environment that requires it.
That means education & social reform, not imposing a strict set of rules (yeah, I know, I'm big on rules, but reason should be a big factor in making them).
http://ravingatheist.com/archives/abortion/
I'm aware of TRA's take on it. I don't think I'm much welcome there.

Besides, some of those atheists are CRA-ZY. I've heard better mouths on sailors, fer cryin' out loud.

Krystalline Apostate said...

HMDK:
When DOES a fetus become quantifiably human? In the earliest stages it has gills. (Which, by the way, is a pretty persuasive argument for evolution in its own right).
Yeah, there's a poser. According to their book of rules, it says it's when the blood starts circulating.
Some say at conception. jcc does.
Defining humanity then becomes a metaphysical argument.
We could spin our wheels arguing that 1.
and that they have a reserved seat on Rapture Airways.
That's VERY funny. Little off-topic, was watching 'My Name is Earl', white trash fella decides to clean up his karma. Anyways, him & his mentally challenged bro are taking a bunch of inflatable love dolls across town, filled up w/helium.
Dolls get loose. Some xtian lady sees all these bodies rising up into the air, thinks the Rapture's hit, runs out into the street, gets hit by a car.
Couldn't stop laughing. Pretty rude, but very funny.
Anyways, gotta catch some Z's.
Don't beat up on each other, please.

Beowulf said...

Hairless,

"In the earliest stages it has gills. (Which, by the way, is a pretty persuasive argument for evolution in its own right)."

Were you talking about this?

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wells/haeckel.html

Or something else? Curious thanks.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

I can't help shaking my head a bit at you, bf.
Didn't think you'd stoop this... eh, not -low-, but rather irrellvant.
Did you actually read the article that you, yourself, linked to?

But what delights me about your doing so, is that it shows that you
are not "above" using science to debunk science... which is good.
That is what science is all about.
But, strikingly, this points out your own weakness.

Science can further itself by correcting itself,
while literalist religion can only condemn that which dare to oppose it.
Not that religion doesn't -change-
over time, it does.
It does, indeed, evolve...
but it rarely, if ever, does so, by producing great scientific achievements like putting men on the moon or inventing penicilin.
No, rather it provides updated alibies for God-fans of whatever stripes to hate and vanquish eachother.

Beowulf said...

“Should we save them all? If possible.”

I doubt saving them ALL would ever be possible, whether legal/illegal. People will always find a way to abort. If possible? Well, if it’s a human child, then yes.

“But should we ruin someone's life, as well”?

Well, should we kill a child so they can have a better one? That’s why the question I asked is the most important question to ask when dealing with this issue.

”Or that of the child's?”

Does this mean if a child is having a horrible life we can kill them?

“& I hate to say this, but there are people who are in no way fit to be parents.”

Very true my friend, very true. Should we kill a child who has parents who are unfit to parent?

“They get a free pass to keep the kid?”

Do we kill the kid because the terrible moronic parents ought not to have a child?

“We have the mechanism in place already. There's just too many extenuating circumstances involved.”

If the unborn is a human being is there a justifying reason? Mine is when the life is between the child and mother. I go with the mother.

“We can't ban it outright.”

Why not? If the unborn is a human being, should we protect the unborn?

“It's the woman's decision. & it's a hard 1, as I understand it.”

VERY hard decision, I agree. However, if it is a human being and her child, does a mother have the right to kill her children?

“So I have to side w/pro-choice. It's a momentous decision, to keep or no.”

VERY momentous indeed.

“The only way we can abolish the practice, is to remove the environment that requires it. That means education & social reform, not imposing a strict set of rules (yeah, I know, I'm big on rules, but reason should be a big factor in making them).”

Yes, education and social reform are extremely significant. I’m for those with you. I’m trying to reason through this too.

“I'm aware of TRA's take on it. I don't think I'm much welcome there.”

Too bad; you must have stepped on someone’s toes. Or mabey they just get too confused on which “RA” is talking :-)

I only brought it up because I don’t think it’s an atheist/theist debate (though in some cases it can be).

“Besides, some of those atheists are CRA-ZY. I've heard better mouths on sailors, fer cryin' out loud.”

Yes, I agree some atheists are crazy! Hahahaha! Sorry, I couldn’t help it ;-)

I’m not tryin to argue here. Just some honest questions—that’s all. When were dealing with life, we must ask these important questions.

Thanks.



Hairless,

All I did was ask a question.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

bf:
"Hairless,

All I did was ask a question."

Yes.
A badly phrased one...
and one, the answers to which
you're dodging.

Beowulf said...

How so?

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

How so?
Well, did you even -try- to
answer the questions I put to you
on:
6:28 PM, April 11, 2006

?

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Look, once again, bf, it really boils down to this:
First, prove that there IS a God.
THEN prove that he/she/it corresponds to your particular belief and scripture of such.
If you can't do so,
what's the impetus?

Beowulf said...

I ask a yes or no question; you ask for a thesis. Let’s not pretend their equivalent. K? Besides, were not talking about Christianity here. If you don’t mind, I would like to stay on topic.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I believe it was this:
http://www.answers.com/topic/pharyngeal-gill-slit?hl=pharyngeal&hl=slit
"The pharyngeal gill slit is a characteristic of Chordates. Only found in the embryos, these gills disappear in the development stage."
Dragging Haeckel into the discussion, well, I find that...disingenuous. Sorry.
Does this mean if a child is having a horrible life we can kill them?
Okay, now you start asking questions w/o defining the most important 1: when does it qualify as a child?
From http://www.answers.com/pregnancy -
"Because of the possible viability of developed fetus, cultural and legal definitions of life often consider a fetus in the third trimester to be a distinct living person."
So I'm going to have to go w/the 3rd trimester as the cut-off. After that, you're stuck w/it. That sounds reasonable to me. How about you?
I wish some of the ladies would pitch in here.

Beowulf said...

RA,

Let me qualify the link, because you both missed it.


Monkey said:

"In the earliest stages it has gills. (Which, by the way, is a pretty persuasive argument for evolution in its own right)."

From the link:

He points out that "gill slits" are not gills, a fact that is well understood by every developmental biologist. He says, "they are never 'gill-like' except in the superficial sense that they form a series of parallel lines in the neck region." This is true, and no one claims any deeper significance to the term than that.

It’s probable my fault for not making the emphasis, but “it has gills” reaks of Haeckel.


If you find it disingenuous, it’s probable because you read more into it than was there.

Now back to the subject:

You said:

“When does it qualify as a child?”

When would it not be a “child”?

It seems that (from the quote), there is a distinction between human and person.

What’s the difference between the two?

Also, I agree. A woman’s perspective right about now would be great.

Anonymous said...

Female perspective chiming in:
The embryo is obviously human from conception, unless aliens were involved.
It's a baby when it's developed enough to be born and live outside the womb, complete with brain activity geared for intellectual development and not just vegetative growth.
That's all I have time for now.
k.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
t’s probable my fault for not making the emphasis, but “it has gills” reaks of Haeckel.
If you find it disingenuous, it’s probable because you read more into it than was there.

That's a fair assessment, & apologies. But the pharyngeal gill slit does appear in the developmental stages, so it does hint of evolution.
Or mabey they just get too confused on which “RA” is talking :-)
That's 1 item. Most folks refer to him as TRA. The other 1 is, I began having a long, involved discussion on 'Is the Bible Historical' thread, & between he & I, well, it got very large, very fast. Suddenly, any of my posts that went over a certain word limit were held for review. I emailed him, asked what was going on, got some answer about the 'recent comments' being pulled, spammers, yadayadayada.
I just stopped going after a while.
It seems that (from the quote), there is a distinction between human and person.
Really? I didn't get that impression. I go to answers.com (or wiki) because they tend to be more objective than say, an atheist or theist website.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
It's a baby when it's developed enough to be born and live outside the womb, complete with brain activity geared for intellectual development and not just vegetative growth.
Really? Then you favor abortion in the 3rd trimester? Just askin' dear.

Anonymous said...

RA
3rd trimester abortions? No, I don't favor them. Wouldn't asy I exactly favor any. I would prefer they be limited to 1st trimester.
I should have clarified, but was in a rush and couldn't recall when fetal brain activity starts. Also in a rush now.
If I remember correctly the ability to feel pain kicks in at about 6 months gestation. I could be totally off though. But I see no reason to birth a fetus (in order to avoid abortion) to put it on life support if it is going to be damaged significantly physically and/or mentally.
k.

Beowulf said...

RA,

From the quote:

"Because of the possible viability of developed fetus, cultural and legal definitions of life often consider a fetus in the third trimester to be a distinct living person."

It appears there is more to it than I first suggested.

1. From the quote: We have a fetus.
1a. Is the fetus human? Like K said, unless aliens are involved, then yes. Mommy is a human; daddy is a human; as far as we know humans still beget humans. What’s your take?

2. From the quote: In the third trimester the fetus becomes a distinctive living person. So we have a fetus and a “person.”
2a. If the fetus is a human, there is a dichotomy being made between “human” and “person”

3. From the quote: Then there is a distinct living person .
3a. So, if the fetus in NOT a stink living person, what is it before?


Some help here: What is it exactly that disqualifies a human from being a “person.”

Anonymous said...

bf
What is it exactly that disqualifies a human from being a "person."

In the US of A, a human can't be counted as a tax deduction until it's a person.
(And assigned a social security number, of course.)
k

Beowulf said...

K,

Was that a joke?

In order to be a person you must have a social security number and be tax deductible? According to the USA foreigners are not persons?

Anonymous said...

bf
Half a joke.
Foreigners are alien persons.
But if they take up residence, they must pay taxes. And if they are pregnant, they cannot claim a tax deduction on their fetus until it is also a person.
Which means when it is born.
Until we are born, we are recognized by our government as a part of our mothers.
k.
where are you from?

Beowulf said...

bf
Half a joke.
Foreigners are alien persons.


Yes but their not space aliens. Their human beings; people.

But if they take up residence, they must pay taxes.

What follows from this?

And if they are pregnant, they cannot claim a tax deduction on their fetus until it is also a person. Which means when it is born.

Sorry, not trying to belabor, but if I don’t pay taxes can I be killed? I think you confuse the legal uses if the term “person” for tax purposes. By law, a corporation can be a person too. So, I think the tax deduction trail is a dead end for what I was specifically asking.

Also, are you saying that whatever the law states is morally correct?

Until we are born, we are recognized by our government as a part of our mothers.

I think when we get on the law trail we get lost, because we should talk about the issue itself; something that transcends all geographical borders.


where are you from?

Southern California.

~Cheers

Anonymous said...

bf
If you don't pay taxes, can you be killed?
Well, it can be arranged...
I'm currently making a list of other people to kill, so I can add one more.

Okay, "Uncle."
My mind is not up to debating over something that was half a joke anyway.

I've just always had a beef about women being told what they can do with their bodies and the irony that the government doesn't fiscally recognize a fetus until it's born.

As for human and person. My take is that a person is a human, but a human isn't necessarily a person. Although, I'm going to backslide a bit and say they're synonymous, really.
Of course, I'm being lazy and not looking it up like I should.

An embryonic human is not a person until it is viable as one, IMO.

Are you saying that whatever the law states is morally correct?
Hell no.

You're from southern CA? Well you ARE a foreigner, then! :)

karen

Beowulf said...

bf
If you don't pay taxes, can you be killed?
Well, it can be arranged...
I'm currently making a list of other people to kill, so I can add one more.


Well, hopefully I’ll be at the bottom of the list, that way, I may be able to take that trip to Hawaii as I always wanted ; D

Okay, "Uncle."

Huh?

My mind is not up to debating over something that was half a joke anyway.

That’s fine. I was just trying to understand.

I've just always had a beef about women being told what they can do with their bodies

Well, the way you make this statement assumes that the unborn is not a person. Isn’t that what needs to be determined? I don’t think women should be told what to do with their body. However, I don’t think (if the unborn is a person) women should be able to kill their own children either. I think, if the unborn is a person then the Child should be protected.

and the irony that the government doesn't fiscally recognize a fetus until it's born.

There’s only irony in it because there is some confusion about natural rights vs. legal rights.

As for human and person. My take is that a person is a human, but a human isn't necessarily a person.

What’s the difference?


Although, I'm going to backslide a bit and say they're synonymous, really.

If their synonymous, then why is the unborn not a person?

Of course, I'm being lazy and not looking it up like I should.

If were going to kill something; we should know what it is. Right?

An embryonic human is not a person until it is viable as one, IMO.

What makes it viable?

You're from southern CA? Well you ARE a foreigner, then! :)

Yes, mabey even a different world all together.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

bf
Far be it for me to kill anyone who has a chance to go to Hawaii!

I was saying "Uncle" as in "I give up."
You know, the old twist your arm till you say uncle deal? Maybe you're not old enough.

What makes a fetus viable? IMO, it is developed enough to live ex utero. It has brain function. I'm honestly not sure right now. I forget the research I did on it.
I've got nieces and a nephews all born at various stages of prematurity, with varying results. The most premature not the affected, but other factors involved. (Downs, in one)So it's hard to say without looking up all the info again.
And the rest will have to wait till later. I have to share the computer now.
Ciao!
k.

Beowulf said...

bf
Far be it for me to kill anyone who has a chance to go to Hawaii!


Oh good, I can stop watching my back so closely now : )

I was saying "Uncle" as in "I give up."
You know, the old twist your arm till you say uncle deal? Maybe you're not old enough.


Ooohhhh, I see now.

What makes a fetus viable? IMO, it is developed enough to live ex utero.

If it’s a person and it can’t live outside the uterus can we kill it?

It has brain function.

Why brain function?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the brain starts to develop just after around 20 days (which actually would start wave activity around six weeks or close.) So that would eliminate many abortions right off the bat.


I'm honestly not sure right now. I forget the research I did on it.
I've got nieces and a nephews all born at various stages of prematurity, with varying results. The most premature not the affected, but other factors involved. (Downs, in one)So it's hard to say without looking up all the info again.
And the rest will have to wait till later. I have to share the computer now.
Ciao!
k.


Okay K.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Some help here: What is it exactly that disqualifies a human from being a “person.”
A "person" trasnlates to a living human being. So no, you're using too much allegory here. For that matter, what constitutes an 'indistinct' living person?
If you go to http://www.answers.com/pregnancy, & click on the link to 'person', it says living human being.
I believe Karen's point was that the govt. doesn't recognize the child until birth.
According to the USA foreigners are not persons?
In some parts of the US, sadly, yes. I wish I were kidding.

Beowulf said...

RA,

“A "person" trasnlates to a living human being. So no, you're using too much allegory here.”

How is it allegory? I specifically make an effort to avoid that with my points 1-3 above where the question is in regard to the quote you provided. I don’t know of any difference between human/person.

For that matter, what constitutes an 'indistinct' living person?

I’m not aware of any “indistinct” living persons. Either, you’re distinct or you’re not as far as I can tell. That’s why I asked in responses to your question: “when does it qualify as a child?”

If you go to http://www.answers.com/pregnancy, & click on the link to 'person', it says living human being.

The link says that the fetus is not a distinct living person until the third trimester. Is this your position? We should get our definitions clarified. Here’s my reasoning.

1. At conception the embryo is genetically distinct from the mother.
2. The embryo is human (mommy and daddy are human)
3. Therefore, the embryo is a distinct human being, ergo, a person.

How about yours?


I believe Karen's point was that the govt. doesn't recognize the child until birth.

The point was taken, but was irrelevant. She did spare my life though, so I am grateful =)

According to the USA foreigners are not persons?
In some parts of the US, sadly, yes. I wish I were kidding.


What do you mean? The US gov? or some groups of people?

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I don’t know of any difference between human/person.
But you did ask. I know that was directed at karen, but they're synonymous.
I’m not aware of any “indistinct” living persons. Either, you’re distinct or you’re not as far as I can tell.
That's exactly my point. It's like being 'a little bit pregnant'. Person=human.
Is this your position?
Yes, it is.
At conception the embryo is genetically distinct from the mother.
At that point, it's little more than a group of cells, isn't it?
The embryo is human (mommy and daddy are human)
True enough, but it doesn't have circulation, heartbeat, or any resemblance thereof.

For that matter, we could dispute the legitimacy of a test-tube baby. It resembles humanity in the DNA encoding, it has a mother/father (of sorts): the only differential being, is that the life-support system is different.

& the cultural definition is what I have to go on, being a 'moral relativist' & all.

Unless we can assign a higher value to a cell grouping than is currently held.

I think that covers it adequately.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Sorry, I didn't qualify this proper:
I think things are getting blurred because of the argument between 'person' & 'human' - I was pointing out that the exact phrase is 'distinct living person', you chose to go after the definition of 'person', whereas we have 'distinct' & 'living'.
That's why I thought you were using too much allegory.
Why not argue over the meaning of 'distinct', then?
My bad.

Beowulf said...

RA,

At that point, it's little more than a group of cells, isn't it?

No. It’s more than a group of cells. Aren’t you just a clump of cells? Just smarter (and bigger) right? Actually, human embryos are not mere “clumps of cells”, rather, living, distinct human persons, just as you and I were in earlier development.

The embryo is a human being in early development.

The complete genetic structure of a 'human' is present in the 'human' embryo (if it's not 'human' then what species is it???).

And we already agreed that a human is a person. And we already agreed that causing harm to innocent people is wrong (I believe you said you go by Ahimsa?)

True enough, but it doesn't have circulation, heartbeat, or any resemblance thereof.

These start in early stages, but it’s a living organism right?

For that matter, we could dispute the legitimacy of a test-tube baby. It resembles humanity in the DNA encoding, it has a mother/father (of sorts): the only differential being, is that the life-support system is different.

Ummm, human mommy genes and human daddy genes right? Just donated (I guess).

And it wouldn’t “resemble humanity” it would be a human being.

What else would it be?

Though the life support is different it would still be an innocent person.


& the cultural definition is what I have to go on, being a 'moral relativist' & all.

What if the cultural definition allowed for infanticide? Would you support infanticide?

What about science and reason?

The cultural definition says the embryo is not a distinct person until the third trimester. You still haven’t given a justification for it? You don’t seem to be a person who’s ad hoc about such important issues.

Unless we can assign a higher value to a cell grouping than is currently held.

It’s not a cell group, but rather a distinct human being.

I think that covers it adequately.

Does that mean you don’t want to answer my questions anymore?

I think we are starting to get some headway.


Why not argue over the meaning of 'distinct', then?

Because scientifically, the embryo has a full genetic code upon conception (46 chromosomes and I think sometimes 47, but I can remember exactly, It’s been a while since biology). Nothing is added after. There’s just the development process.



*yawn* good night :)

~BF

Anonymous said...

bf
Why focus on humans? Is it ok to kill any species? We have no qualms about killing, enslaving, sterilizing other animals in any stage of development. What makes humans sacred?
k.

Beowulf said...

bf
Why focus on humans? Is it ok to kill any species?


Well, I’m no vegetarian. Are you saying it’s okay to kill innocent human beings?

We have no qualms about killing, enslaving, sterilizing other animals in any stage of development.

Yes, what follows from this?

What makes humans sacred?

Humans are intrinsically valuable. If not, then we can arbitrarily determine when and when not to exterminate people. Like what Hitler did with the Jews.

Do you think racism is wrong? Why?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

bf
Are you saying it's ok to kill innocent cats, dogs, cows, chickens, shrimp?
Do these species not have intrinsic value?
I think racism is wrong because basically, there is only one race.
What do you think? And why do you answer so many questions with questions? :)
k

Anonymous said...

bf
ok, I looked up fetal development.
It seems that at 25-28 weeks, among other things there is rapid brain development. Not just brainwaves and ability for impulses and reactive movement, etc. Also at this time, if a baby is born, it may live with a great amount of life support.
Still kind of an "iffy" period, so I would say to cut off period for abortions at 24 weeks, max.
k.

Beowulf said...

bf
Are you saying it's ok to kill innocent cats, dogs, cows, chickens, shrimp?


Yes.

Do these species not have intrinsic value?

No. They are not human beings. Human beings have intrinsic value.

I think racism is wrong because basically, there is only one race What do you think?

There are MANY races, but one species—HUMAN. Does this mean you think it’s wrong because their human beings.

And why do you answer so many questions with questions? :)

How am I supposed to know where you’re coming from? (sorry another ? w/?). The questions are crucial to come to understanding you position.

Why have you not interacted with my questions?

Thanks

Beowulf said...

bf
ok, I looked up fetal development.
It seems that at 25-28 weeks, among other things there is rapid brain development. Not just brainwaves and ability for impulses and reactive movement, etc. Also at this time, if a baby is born, it may live with a great amount of life support.
Still kind of an "iffy" period, so I would say to cut off period for abortions at 24 weeks, max.


Does level of development decide who gets to live or die?

Anonymous said...

bf
Maybe you should give me your definition of intrinsic. The one I'm looking at says" Belonging to or arising from the true or fundamental nature of a thing; essential; inherent. (Funk and Wagnalls) Please explain why this only applies to humans.

Many races, one species...OK..the HUMAN RACE. Skin color, hair color and texture varies, facial features vary, skeletal size varies a little, etc., but we all go back to the same ancestors. It's just a matter of environmental adaptation.

I'm glad you want to know where I'm coming from, but I am seeking the same from you, and I need more than questions as answers to do so.

Which questions have I not interacted with?
Probably just an oversight. The baby is awake.
k.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
No. It’s more than a group of cells. Aren’t you just a clump of cells? Just smarter (and bigger) right? Actually, human embryos are not mere “clumps of cells”, rather, living, distinct human persons, just as you and I were in earlier development.
And here we go.
You're trying to inject metaphysical properties into something that, if you found it on your countertop, you'd say 'Ewww', and clean it up.

It's that same sort of thinking that caused the uproar over stem cell research, even though said material was leftover and going to be thrown out anyways.

I say all human life is sacred, because I'm speciocentric. If I were a sentient raccoon, I'd say the same thing about racoonic (is that a word?) life.

Really & honestly, I think I have covered the topic thoroughly. I have said I'd like to see the practice gone. I've also stipulated that a woman has a right to choose. I've also given a reasonable take on the length of time.

What more is it you really want?
I don't believe in the soul. & that, my friend, is where we part ways on this, I think.
What if the cultural definition allowed for infanticide? Would you support infanticide?
Of course not. Here - Wordnet - infant - "Meaning #1: a very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk
Synonyms: baby, babe"
Not the same.
Fetus - from answers.com - #2:
"In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo."
A fetus & an infant are most definitely NOT the same thing.
You don’t seem to be a person who’s ad hoc about such important issues.
Thank you for that, but I'm not improvising here.
The cultural definition says the embryo is not a distinct person until the third trimester.
Then that's what I'll have to go by. I've already said far too much for someone who doesn't have to undergo the intense rigors of childbirth.
This is just an ad hoc thought, but I'll bet that if men could get pregnant, this wouldn't even BE an issue. Or if women ran the world.
Of course, in some ways they do. I'd say if they were at the forefront, instead of behind the scenes. IMHO.

So: safe, legal, rare. In cases where the woman is raped, a victim of incest, or there's a danger to the woman. I think that's a fair assessment.

Anonymous said...

bf
Level of development does not decide; it is a factor. We ARE talking about abortion, are we not?
The pregnant woman and her doctor and, if possible and relevant, the father of the child, decide.
k

Anonymous said...

RA
I always like the mess on the countertop bit! Eeewwww.

And you KNOW I agree that if men could get pregnant this wouldn't even be an issue.
Glad you said it tho...it hadn't even entered my mind at this point.

And while I agree with safe, legal and rare, rape and incest and all,
the fetal development is the same (well, maybe not in cases of incest...) so I don't see why it should be limited to those cases alone.
I know that only increases the number of abortions performed. But the best approach is education coupled with birth control. Especially more advanced BC for men.
k.

Beowulf said...

And here we go.
You're trying to inject metaphysical properties into something that, if you found it on your countertop, you'd say 'Ewww', and clean it up.


That’s very disingenuous RA. What is that were talking about? A person’s child?

I made a scientific statement. Please don’t mock me. Again, “human embryos are not mere “clumps of cells”, rather, living, distinct human persons, just as you and I were in earlier development”

It's that same sort of thinking that caused the uproar over stem cell research, even though said material was leftover and going to be thrown out anyways.

Well, a lot of people are dying in Iraq right now. Can we use their bodies to make hand lotion out of? There going to be thrown out anyway. Is this what we do to human beings?

I say all human life is sacred, because I'm speciocentric.

Is the unborn alive? Is it human?

If I were a sentient raccoon, I'd say the same thing about racoonic (is that a word?) life.

I think you just made up a word. Usually only P.hD’s can get away with that, but it works for me. Are you saying your no different than a raccoon?

Really & honestly, I think I have covered the topic thoroughly.

HONESTLY, I don’t think you have covered the topic. Are my questions not important? Are they not crucial? Is life not sacred? If were going to kill something shouldn’t we be sure what were killing?

I have said I'd like to see the practice gone.

Why would you like the practice gone?

I've also stipulated that a woman has a right to choose.

So if the unborn is a person she has the right to kill that person?


I've also given a reasonable take on the length of time.

Why is development a factor?

What more is it you really want?

Please answer my questions. Are they not important?

I don't believe in the soul. & that, my friend, is where we part ways on this, I think.

I never brought it up. Can you address the questions I have?


What if the cultural definition allowed for infanticide? Would you support infanticide?
Of course not. Here - Wordnet - infant - "Meaning #1: a very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk
Synonyms: baby, babe"
Not the same.


Besides location and development, what is the difference?

Fetus - from answers.com - #2:
"In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo."


What is the difference between the distinguished embryo and the earlier one? I know you agree with the website, but what are your reasons?

A fetus & an infant are most definitely NOT the same thing.

How many times do I need to ask what the difference is? Don’t you think this is an important question?

You don’t seem to be a person who’s ad hoc about such important issues.
Thank you for that, but I'm not improvising here.


So are you conceding, since you will not answer any of my questions that your position is ad hoc?

The cultural definition says the embryo is not a distinct person until the third trimester.
Then that's what I'll have to go by.


So if you won’t tell me why you believe it other than a cultural definition, then your position is ad hoc.

I've already said far too much for someone who doesn't have to undergo the intense rigors of childbirth.

What about someone who is going to be killed? What about them?

This is just an ad hoc thought, but I'll bet that if men could get pregnant, this wouldn't even BE an issue. Or if women ran the world.

That was ad hoc.

Of course, in some ways they do. I'd say if they were at the forefront, instead of behind the scenes. IMHO.

LOL, speaking as a married person, your absolutely correct. =)

So: safe, legal, rare. In cases where the woman is raped, a victim of incest, or there's a danger to the woman. I think that's a fair assessment.

Sorry, I must be upfront, but his is ad hoc at best.

RA: How is there anyway to say your position is any other than ad hoc?

If it’s not, can you answer my questions?

If it is ad hoc. Let me know and I will stop asking you questions.

Beowulf said...

Karen,

bf
Level of development does not decide; it is a factor. We ARE talking about abortion, are we not?


We are talking about an innocent human being are we not?

The pregnant woman and her doctor and, if possible and relevant, the father of the child, decide.

So if were talking about a child, the mom, dad and doctor can kill it?

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
That’s very disingenuous RA.
No, it's not. It was observation only.

I made a scientific statement. Please don’t mock me.
I wasn't mocking you.

Again, “human embryos are not mere “clumps of cells”, rather, living, distinct human persons, just as you and I were in earlier development”
Which you & I wouldn't recognize, unless a doctor told us what it was.

Well, a lot of people are dying in Iraq right now. Can we use their bodies to make hand lotion out of? There going to be thrown out anyway. Is this what we do to human beings?
How can you...make such a comparison? How about this, then? You can't donate your organs after death. There, that's a lot less ridiculous.
How many funerals are held for stem cells?

Is the unborn alive? Is it human?
Let's get your take. I've already given mine. You answer those questions.

Are you saying your no different than a raccoon?
That was an ILLUSTRATIVE example.

Why would you like the practice gone?
I've answered that.

So if the unborn is a person she has the right to kill that person?
You keep interchanging the meanings of nouns so freely.

Why is development a factor?
Here, you tell me why.

Please answer my questions. Are they not important?
Well, I'd like to hear your take on the whole topic.

How many times do I need to ask what the difference is? Don’t you think this is an important question?
I don't know how many times or ways I need to answer this until you're satisfied.

So are you conceding, since you will not answer any of my questions that your position is ad hoc?
Conceding what exactly?

So if you won’t tell me why you believe it other than a cultural definition, then your position is ad hoc.
Hey it's my personal opinion. Are we're going by the latin definition, "For this purpose, with respect to this"?

That was ad hoc.
I said as much. Do pay attention.

Sorry, I must be upfront, but his is ad hoc at best.
Crimeny, is that your word for the day, or what?
Why don't you say it several hundred more times?

I've given the definitions of fetus & infant. You keep trying to make the phrases interchangeable. When does the distinction occur? I've already addressed this. I've answered your questions. Address some of mine.

Here's 1 of interest (no, it's not the same thing, just curious):
Does a woman have a right to have her tubes tied?
What exactly is YOUR take on all of this? I can guess, but I'd rather hear it from you directly.

Anonymous said...

bf
"So if were talking about a child, the mom dad and doctor can kill it?"
Not a child-an embryo or a fetus up to 24 weeks gestation.

"We are talking about an innocent human being are we not?"
See previous answer.

I subscribe to the mass of cells idea.

Yes, we can kill it.
And we do.
Is that the answer you want?
I may have thwarted any number of pregnancies by using an IUD. Am I a murderer?

And tell me...is an ad hoc position not worthy of consideration?

Are you sure you're in southern CA?
Do you go by the name of GooseHenry on the Nogodblog?
k.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
Yeah, this ad hoc thing is getting old pretty quickly.
My opinion is flexible, surely, but not 'impromptu': I've had these discussions many times before.
& we can't seem to agree on a standard definition of the premises of the debate at hand - I think he's using this 1 - "It can also refer to an improvised and often impromptu event or solution "on an ad-hoc basis", as opposed to well-prepared ones."
One could logically argue that every opinion is ad hoc, because opinion is completely subjective.

udonman said...

well since i dont have a uterus i dont have to make the choice so how about we leave the choice up to those that have the choice its that simple if xtians are so concerned about unwanted pregancies then how about promoting better sex education and better accesse to birth control its that simple stop forcing your xtianistic shit on everyone else and leave the choice in place the idea is to get to the point where children and adults are educated enough about birth control and safe sex abortions are not needed exept in case of medical emerginces

Beowulf said...

RA,


(i). The deliberate taking of innocent human life is wrong.
(ii) Abortion is the deliberate taking of innocent human life.
(iii) Therefore abortion is wrong.

If my premises are wrong let me know. Oh, don’t forget to tell me why.=)

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Still avoiding the questions, I see.
When does it qualify as human? When does it qualify as life? At conception? When? When do we infuse this cluster of cells w/metaphysical values?
You want to make it a black/white situation.
It ain't that simple. Extenuating circumstances always shoot holes in that.
If your wife had a pregnancy, where the child would be safe, but it would cost your wife's life to have it, which would you choose?
Does a woman have the right to have her tubes tied?
What about tubular pregnancies?
Just answer the questions, please.

Beowulf said...

BF:
Still avoiding the questions, I see.


You avoided a horde of them. Just review the above comments.

When does it qualify as human?

At conception. Remember: mommy is human and daddy is human.


When does it qualify as life? At conception?

Yes


When?

I. Mommy gives 23 chromosomes daddy gives 23 chromosomes.
II. Hence, human beings have 46 chromosomes (1/2 from each parent[every once in a while 47]).
III. Therefore, when there is conception, there is 46 chromosomes.
IV. Nothing is added after. No special sauce, just life support from mommy
V. Thus, at conception, the embryo is a fully distinct human being.
VI. The only change from conception to birth is development

When do we infuse this cluster of cells w/metaphysical values?

I. I deny the embryo is merely a “cluster of cells” See above
II. I welcome scientific facts that prove otherwise than I’ve mentioned above.
III. The only metaphysical value is intrinsic value
IV. All human beings are intrinsically valuable. This is why people associate with moral codes like “Ahimsa”


You want to make it a black/white situation.

Doesn’t science make it black/white?

It ain't that simple. Extenuating circumstances always shoot holes in that.

Exceptions make bad rules.

If your wife had a pregnancy, where the child would be safe, but it would cost your wife's life to have it, which would you choose?

I. If it came down t bargaining between the life of mommy vs. saving baby—save mommy.
II. This is an extraneous circumstance where it’s one life vs. the other. Abortion should be allowed in circumstances the child will cause the death of the mother. This is not why 99.99% of people have abortions.


Does a woman have the right to have her tubes tied?

Yes. It’s not like she’s killing anyone to do it.

What about tubular pregnancies?

What about them? An unfortunate event that periodically happens. To my knowledge, these cannot be prevented (i.e. there is not “choice” involved). But people performing abortions can be prevented. What deos this have to do with my listed premises?

Just answer the questions, please.

I answered your questions. Now would you return the respect and answer mine?

allonym said...

Oh, for pete's sake, this is getting tiresome!

What is it to be 'human'?

Merriam-Webster's primary definition of the word (according to their medical dictionary): "a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens)". Further, and from a different source, "Homo sapiens is identified, for purposes of classification, as an animal (kingdom Animalia) with a backbone (phylum Chordata) and segmented spinal cord (subphylum Vertebrata) that suckles its young (class Mammalia); that gestates its young with the aid of a placenta (subclass Eutheria); that is equipped with five-digited extremities, a collarbone, and a single pair of mammary glands on the chest (order Primates); and that has eyes at the front of the head, stereoscopic vision, and a proportionately large brain (suborder Anthropoidea)". Nowhere in any scientific or medical sources relating to the term 'human' have I found any reference to a definition of 'human' that consists solely (or even primarily) of genetic composition.

bf: modern science is capable of extracting DNA from a human-originated cell fully intact. Is it your opinion that an intact strand of unique human DNA is by itself a fully qualified "distinct human person"? If so, then you'd be setting yourself well apart from the scientific community. And if not, then your premise that a clump of embryonic cells is a human being is false on the grounds that a)a human gene is not a human (so stipulated), and b)it does not meet any other criteria for being human (as listed above).

If we take the 'argument from genetics' as false, and adhere to Merriam-Webster's definition above, it seems a fetus doesn't even meet the first criterion for being human until at least the 7th or 8th week - it becomes bipedal by sprouting two feet. There are other hurdles presented after that, and any notion of a black-and-white definition of when the fetus becomes human is probably already out with the trash.

Now, let's assume that we can agree (which we don't) that a fetus is a human from the moment of conception. Based on this, you argue that the 'clump of cells' is actually just a human at a different stage of development than, say, an adult human. You'd like us not to make a distinction between the two, at least when it comes to killing (or not killing). Why is that? I mean, on what basis? Why is it not acceptable to apply morality differently to humans at different stages of development? We do things to our young children that we would consider morally wrong to do to other adults (spanking, detainment against their will, censorship - to name just a few) because we believe that at that stage in their development it's appropriate to do such things. We shift our values similarly in the way we treat the elderly. Since we're already drawing distinctions between different stages of human development, and making values decisions based on those distinctions, who's to say that isn't morally appropriate to destroy a human during some of the first stages? Maybe it's up to everybody to make that judgement for themselves - that's all the pro-choice movement is about, after all.

Now, bf, in case you decide to do a point-by-point 'rebuttal' of all of this (as I'm sure you will), I want to insist that if there's any one question of mine that you decide to actually answer (& not simply echo w/another question), it is the one about the solitary strand of human-originated DNA: does it constitute a "distinct human person"? I think if you could just answer that, we could go somewhere productive from there.

Thanks for your time, & hopefully for your answers!

Anonymous said...

ra
The ad hoc definition you just provided could pretty much apply to my argument. I'm mostly just shooting from the hip, responding from work cos the 'puter is so wacky here.
But I thought bf was asking for our personal opinions anyway.
Ah, well...
k.


allonym,
Bravo!
karen

Beowulf said...

Allonym,

Oh, for pete's sake, this is getting tiresome!

Tell me about it ;-)

What is it to be 'human'?

Merriam-Webster's primary definition of the word (according to their medical dictionary): "a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens)". Further, and from a different source, "Homo sapiens is identified, for purposes of classification, as an animal (kingdom Animalia) with a backbone (phylum Chordata) and segmented spinal cord (subphylum Vertebrata) that suckles its young (class Mammalia); that gestates its young with the aid of a placenta (subclass Eutheria); that is equipped with five-digited extremities, a collarbone, and a single pair of mammary glands on the chest (order Primates); and that has eyes at the front of the head, stereoscopic vision, and a proportionately large brain (suborder Anthropoidea)".

Nowhere in any scientific or medical sources relating to the term 'human' have I found any reference to a definition of 'human' that consists solely (or even primarily) of genetic composition.


Well, then maybe you can help me to understand the difference between Homo sapiens and a person. If it’s not a Homo sapien at conception, what species is it? Lets not forget the law of biogenesis.


bf: modern science is capable of extracting DNA from a human-originated cell fully intact. Is it your opinion that an intact strand of unique human DNA is by itself a fully qualified "distinct human person"?

Lets not get confused here. One is not the sum total of their cells. If I cut your arm of I didn’t make two humans out of one.


If so, then you'd be setting yourself well apart from the scientific community. And if not, then your premise that a clump of embryonic cells is a human being is false on the grounds that a)a human gene is not a human (so stipulated), and

I won’t deny that it is true that a cell in the human body has DNA and is alive. However, your failing to address the nature of what the fetus is. The cell has the nature of being only what it is -- not a human. Your objection fails, because a muscle cell is by nature a muscle cell and the skin cell is by nature a skin cell. However, if you stay on subject, the fertilized embryo of a human is by nature that very thing which becomes a fully developed human. A fertilized human egg has the nature of human development and it is alive. This is not so with a muscle or skin cell. Therefore, they are not the same thing.

b)it does not meet any other criteria for being human (as listed above).

Humans don’t beget humans? What species is it? Help a brotha out would yah?

If we take the 'argument from genetics' as false, and adhere to Merriam-Webster's definition above, it seems a fetus doesn't even meet the first criterion for being human until at least the 7th or 8th week - it becomes bipedal by sprouting two feet.

I’m not trying to belabor here really. But what species is it before the seventh or eighth week then? Everyone says it’s not a human and nobody will tell me what it is.

There are other hurdles presented after that, and any notion of a black-and-white definition of when the fetus becomes human is probably already out with the trash.

It’s only complex because you make it complex. Keep the simple things simple.

Now, let's assume that we can agree (which we don't) that a fetus is a human from the moment of conception. Based on this, you argue that the 'clump of cells' is actually just a human at a different stage of development than, say, an adult human.


You'd like us not to make a distinction between the two, at least when it comes to killing (or not killing). Why is that? I mean, on what basis?


The basis is that intentionally killing innocent human beings is wrong because human beings are intrinsically valuable.

Do you think killing innocent human beings is wrong?

Why is it not acceptable to apply morality differently to humans at different stages of development?

When it comes to killing an innocent human being this doesn’t change. You bate and switch in your next comment.


We do things to our young children that we would consider morally wrong to do to other adults (spanking, detainment against their will, censorship - to name just a few) because we believe that at that stage in their development it's appropriate to do such things.

Yes, but we don’t kill them because of their development.

Is a 12 year old person more valuable than a 10 year old?
We shift our values similarly in the way we treat the elderly.

Do we kill them because their old?

Since we're already drawing distinctions between different stages of human development, and making values decisions based on those distinctions, who's to say that isn't morally appropriate to destroy a human during some of the first stages?

If killing an innocent human being is wrong. Then killing them because they are less developed is wrong.

Does development determine value?


Maybe it's up to everybody to make that judgement for themselves - that's all the pro-choice movement is about, after all.

Yes, maybe we should just let people kill innocent human beings. They should be able to make that judgment for themselves. “That's all the pro-choice movement is about, after all” right?

Now, bf, in case you decide to do a point-by-point 'rebuttal' of all of this (as I'm sure you will), I want to insist that if there's any one question of mine that you decide to actually answer (& not simply echo w/another question), it is the one about the solitary strand of human-originated DNA: does it constitute a "distinct human person"? I think if you could just answer that, we could go somewhere productive from there.

Thanks for your time, & hopefully for your answers!


Well, if I am going to answer your questions, I expect at least the same respect in return.

~Cheers.

Krystalline Apostate said...

allonym:
Thanks, welcome, & bravo.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
You avoided a horde of them. Just review the above comments.
Which ones?
We're in agreement on most points. I think the bone of contention is that you don't feel women have a right to choose, & I do.
Perhaps that, & the definition of 'human'.

Anonymous said...

bf
"The fertilized embryo of a human is by nature the very thing that becomes a fully developed human. A fertilized human egg has the nature of human development and it is alive."
Exactly. It BECOMES a fully developed human.
When would you say that happens?
It has the POTENTIAL to, anyway. Doesn't mean it will.

At conception, the product is human, but is not -A human- yet.

k.
Oh, anf BTW, when I am dead, it is fine with me if you make hand lotion out of me, or chop me up and feed me to the pigs, or study my body for science, or run a post through me and display me with the 10 foot high crosses out West. I won't give a damn. I'll be dead, period.

Beowulf said...

RA,

I think our disagreement on “choice” hinges on our difference between the definitions of “human”. For some reason, you believe that in early stages of development it’s not, while I believe it is. The definition is primary, which determines the answer of “choice”

Karen,

Exactly. It BECOMES a fully developed human.

It is always a human. However, is BECOMES FULLY DEVELOPED. This was the meaning in context.

At conception, the product is human, but is not -A human- yet.

It’s a distinct living organism. i.e human being.

k.
Oh, anf BTW, when I am dead, it is fine with me if you make hand lotion out of me, or chop me up and feed me to the pigs, or study my body for science, or run a post through me and display me with the 10 foot high crosses out West. I won't give a damn. I'll be dead, period.


Well, I won’t go and kill you to make hand lotion. But, thanks, I’ll keep it in mind and hold this in record as permission. =)

Anonymous said...

bf
No, it's a distinct living organism that MAY or MAY NOT develop into a human being. It has human data.

If I sent you to the grocery store to buy chicken for dinner, would you come home with a carton of eggs?

You've ignored some of my questions too.
Maybe you thought they were rhetorical?
Am I a murderer because of IUD use?
When would you say the fertilized egg becomes a fully developed human?

Sweet of you not to kill me for the lotion. But I didn't say you could. Just said you could use my body after I was dead.

Anonymous said...

bf
What does it matter if man kills the embryo/fetus through abortion, or "god" kills the embryo/fetus through miscarriage or stillbirth?

k.

Beowulf said...

bf
No, it's a distinct living organism that MAY or MAY NOT develop into a human being. It has human data.


What is it that has human data?

If I sent you to the grocery store to buy chicken for dinner, would you come home with a carton of eggs?

How does think make any point at all? We eat both the Chicken embryo (which is scientifically a chicken in early development) and we eat the fully developed chickens.

Likewise, if I told you bring me a person and you brought me a human embryo you would have still brought me a person. The only difference is physical development.

Am I a murderer because of IUD use?

What does an IUD do?

When would you say the fertilized egg becomes a fully developed human?

Years later. My 5 year old son is not a fully developed human. 18 year olds brains are not fully developed can we kill them?


Sweet of you not to kill me for the lotion. But I didn't say you could. Just said you could use my body after I was dead.

Yes because nothing can justify intentionally taking an innocent human life (my point).


bf
What does it matter if man kills the embryo/fetus through abortion, or "god" kills the embryo/fetus through miscarriage or stillbirth?


Why the red herring?

Let’s not get into theology. I never brought it up. Lets deal with what’s already one the table. The position I laid out is not “religious” in nature.

My propositions have been clearly stated and supported. In order to refute it, you must show that the propositions are false.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Exceptions make bad rules.
No, exceptions test the rule.
Now see, allonym was correct in the evaluation that we do indeed assign higher/lower values contingent on development. Your answer here:
If it came down t bargaining between the life of mommy vs. saving baby—save mommy. says as much. Note that I qualified the question w/an either/or: 1 would survive, the other not. You are religious: how do you know this isn't an instance of your deity's divine will?
And when a woman's choice to have children forced on her - the case of incestual rape, or rape? She's still stuck w/it? Does that sound righteous to you? How about when the rubber breaks, the IUD malfunctions? Or in the occurrence of misinformation, such as the 'Abstinence Now' program? The 'rhythm' method, for instance, isn't fullproof: a woman can become pregnant via the tumescence alone.

Further, I find equating using stem cells w/making hand lotion out of dead soldiers...I'm making an effort to be gentle here, but I find that offensive, to say the least. Hand lotion won't cure diseases, save lives. Stem cells will.

Your efforts to rigidly codify a set of standards, as I see it, collapse.

I am very nearly twice your age. I can actually see your points quite clearly: were I your age, I'd probably use the same arguments.
As 1 ages, however, the lines blur. It may be that I need glasses, or perhaps 1 finds that there are very few absolutes, black mixes w/white to make gray.

I still walk the middle road. This may make me a fence-sitter in some eyes, perhaps a hypocrite in others: but life is a fluid, moving thing, & some flexibility is necessary.

Let me leave w/a tale of an anecdotal nature:

2 friends & I, both of whom were BAX's, were sitting in a diner. Too much coffee means a lot of discussion. We talked about abortion: when 1 of them (the married 1) stated unequivocally that abortion was wrong, that was it, I mentioned tubular pregnancies. He shrugged, said, "That's god's will, what will be, will be." My other friend at 1 point stipulated, that no, no 1 could date a divorced woman, period, the end.
The irony? The married BAX's wife had a tubular pregnancy. The other 1 ended up becoming involved w/a divorced woman.
The moral?
Be careful what you state. You may end up having to eat your words. That's advice only, from an old man.

Beowulf said...

BF:
Exceptions make bad rules.
No, exceptions test the rule.


We don’t base our rules on exceptions. For example, we allow 16 year old do get a drivers license, because we feel they have matured enough to be a safe driver. However, we there could be an exception that a 12 year old could be a safe driver. Do we change the age to get a license to 12 years old?

Now see, allonym was correct in the evaluation that we do indeed assign higher/lower values contingent on development.

Not to the extent of warranting death of the innocent. Show me an example where it’s okay to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. I made one exeption when it’s between the baby or the mother. Any others?


Your answer here:

If it came down t bargaining between the life of mommy vs. saving baby—save mommy. says as much.

Note that I qualified the question w/an either/or: 1 would survive, the other not. You are religious: how do you know this isn't an instance of your deity's divine will?


I am not bringing theology into this. This is not a “religious” debate. Don’t make it one. All your doing is trying to take the focus off your position.

My “religious” position on the case is completely irrelevant to yours, because you are an atheist and don’t even consider it.

And when a woman's choice to have children forced on her - the case of incestual rape, or rape? She's still stuck w/it?

Your disguising your proposition by appealing to hard cases.

Living in a civil society, how do we treat innocent human beings that remind us of a painful event?
May we kill them so that we can feel better?

Put differently, can you think of any other case where, having been victimized yourself, you can justly turn around and victimize another completely innocent person?

If the unborn is a human being, he/she should not be killed to benefit her mother. Hardship does not justify homicide.

Hence, we are back to the one question that trumps all others in the abortion debate: What is the unborn?

To which, you have viciously avoided.

Does that sound righteous to you?

No

How about when the rubber breaks, the IUD malfunctions? Or in the occurrence of misinformation, such as the 'Abstinence Now' program? The 'rhythm' method, for instance, isn't fullproof: a woman can become pregnant via the tumescence alone.

Does it justify killing an innocent human being?

Further, I find equating using stem cells w/making hand lotion out of dead soldiers...I'm making an effort to be gentle here, but I find that offensive, to say the least. Hand lotion won't cure diseases, save lives. Stem cells will.

My point exactly, It’s an offensive example because human beings are intrinsically valuable. And calling them a “clump of cells” that make you go eewwwww is inappropriate.

How many lives have been saved by stem cells vs. how many lives have been killed for stem cells?

Your efforts to rigidly codify a set of standards, as I see it, collapse.

Which one of my propositions if false? Why is it false? I at least deserve the respect of being told why my position is false don’t I?

I am very nearly twice your age. I can actually see your points quite clearly: were I your age, I'd probably use the same arguments.

What does age have to do with it. Peoples ages are all over the scale on either side. How about my propositions, how do they fair?

As 1 ages, however, the lines blur. It may be that I need glasses, or perhaps 1 finds that there are very few absolutes, black mixes w/white to make gray.

Don’t you still have your sense of reason? Can’t you appeal to science? Abortion is so controversial because of the (warranted) emotions involved. But the facts are simple.

I still walk the middle road. This may make me a fence-sitter in some eyes, perhaps a hypocrite in others: but life is a fluid, moving thing, & some flexibility is necessary.
If abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, I will never sit the fence. If I’m not sure, I will never sit the fence. If it involves the possibility of killing a human being, there should be no fence.

If someone is going to kill something, and it’s a possibility of an innocent human being, is it not the burden of prove on the killer to show that it’s not an innocent human being?

Be careful what you state. You may end up having to eat your words. That's advice only, from an old man.

Yes, if I am wrong about the pro-life position, then I have infringed on women rights.

However, if I am right about the pro-life position, then you have supported the killing of innocent human beings.

I’ll side with life, until proven otherwise.

Anonymous said...

bf
What is it that has human data? The embryo. Are you being intentionally dense?

If I told you to bring me a person and you brought me a human embryo...
OK. I'll bring you a human embryo in a teacup. How long is it going to stay a "person"? Not that I'm cedeing it IS a person. What can that person do? Say? Think? Feel?
What does an IUD do?
Boy, you're lazier than I am! I have to do your homework for you?
Last research I did-about a month ago-they weren't really sure HOW the thing works. Maybe it inhibits the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Maybe it causes irritation which sloughs the uterine lining after the fertilized egg attaches. Or maybe it kills the FE.
18 year old brains are not fully developed-can we kill them? We're killing them every day in Iraq.

Nothing can justify taking an innocent life Who isn't innocent, in your world? Is it justifiable to kill anyone?
What makes me innocent?

Why the red herring?
I didn't mean the question to be a red herring. I think it's relevant. You keep asking "can WE kill" this, that or the other. I have already said, "Yes, we can, and we do."
You gave me intrinsic value crap about humans vs other animals, and when I asked for further explanation, you ignored me. If we have intrinsic value, who or what places and decides this value? Who or what says we cannot kill our own kind?
Miscarriages happen frequently. Abortions are simply man-caused miscarriages. Whay do you draw a line in the sand over it?

I disagree that your propositioons have been either clearly stated or supported. Mostly you have echoed questions back at us.



RA
Is there some trick to copying and pasting here? Whenever I go to edit to do it, my comment window disappears! GRRHHH!! Frustrating! :P

k.

Anonymous said...

bf
How can you make an exception when a case comes down to saving either a mother or a baby?
What if both are innocent?
How do you decide which one has greater intrinsic value?
Are you sure you don't assign developmental value?
What if you killed either one to save the other then found out it was all a really bad mistake?
Guess you really can't make exceptions, can ya?
k

Beowulf said...


bf
What is it that has human data? The embryo. Are you being intentionally dense?


No need to back hand here. An embryo is a living, whole, human organism (a human being) in the embryonic stage. All the embryo needs to live is a proper environment and adequate nutrition, the very same thing all infants, toddlers, adolescents, and adults need.

If I told you to bring me a person and you brought me a human embryo...
OK. I'll bring you a human embryo in a teacup.


I’ll assume were still in the hypothetical

How long is it going to stay a "person"? Not that I'm cedeing it IS a person.

From life to death. When a person dies, they are a dead person.

What can that person do? Say? Think? Feel?

How do these make a difference? A 3 month old cant say anything, can we kill it then? Infants do not acquire distinct self-awareness and memory until several months after birth. (Best case scenario, infants acquire limited self-awareness three months after birth, when the synapse connections increase from 56 trillion to 1,000 trillion.). If someone cant feel anything can we kill them?

Boy, you're lazier than I am! I have to do your homework for you?

lol

18 year old brains are not fully developed-can we kill them? We're killing them every day in Iraq.

That’s too political; we’ll get way off track. The statement was in reference to development. So how about a 3 year old? Can we kill a three year old because their less developed than a 10 year old?

What makes me innocent?

Well, I try not to make baseless assumptions about people I don’t know. Is there something you need to disclose?

You gave me intrinsic value crap about humans vs other animals, and when I asked for further explanation, you ignored me. If we have intrinsic value, who or what places and decides this value? Who or what says we cannot kill our own kind?

Your being insincere. If you review the comments, you will see that you have not addressed many questions I asked.
If there is no such thing as intrinsic human value; then we can arbitrarily take the life of anyone. Just like how Hitler did to the Jews.

Miscarriages happen frequently. Abortions are simply man-caused miscarriages. Whay do you draw a line in the sand over it?

That is deceitful. One involves choice, one does not.

I disagree that your propositions have been either clearly stated or supported. Mostly you have echoed questions back at us.

What was ambiguous about my propositions? How are they false?

bf
How can you make an exception when a case comes down to saving either a mother or a baby? What if both are innocent?


You have to decide what least tragic.

How do you decide which one has greater intrinsic value?

The intrinsic value is the same; that’s why it’s “intrinsic.”

Are you sure you don't assign developmental value?

Not intrinsic value

What if you killed either one to save the other then found out it was all a really bad mistake?

That would be a horrible feeling. What if you told a friend it was okay to have an abortion and it turn out that is was actually a distinct human being?

Guess you really can't make exceptions, can ya?

Your starting to disappoint me Karen. Okay, I would save the mom, not the child. What does that prove? Have you proven that the embryos were not human or merely that I am inconsistent? Until you can prove the former, the latter is irrelevant. My case stands.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
We don’t base our rules on exceptions. For example, we allow 16 year old do get a drivers license, because we feel they have matured enough to be a safe driver. However, we there could be an exception that a 12 year old could be a safe driver. Do we change the age to get a license to 12 years old?
No, we don't base our rules on exceptions. Exceptions test the rule.
We have, for instance, forbidden people killing one another. However, if there's risk to life & limb, & reasonable force can't be employed, we're allowed to kill in self defense.
Not to the extent of warranting death of the innocent. Show me an example where it’s okay to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. I made one exeption when it’s between the baby or the mother. Any others?
I just did. We still aren't clear on the definition of a 'human being'. Again, the exception tests the rule.
I am not bringing theology into this. This is not a “religious” debate. Don’t make it one. All your doing is trying to take the focus off your position.
I simply asked a question. Sorry.
My “religious” position on the case is completely irrelevant to yours, because you are an atheist and don’t even consider it.
Duly noted.
Your disguising your proposition by appealing to hard cases.
I was illustrating the exceptions to the rule.
Living in a civil society, how do we treat innocent human beings that remind us of a painful event?
May we kill them so that we can feel better?

No, we don't. Again, you're mixing & matching here.
Fetus not equal to infant.
Put differently, can you think of any other case where, having been victimized yourself, you can justly turn around and victimize another completely innocent person?
No, I cannot.
Person not equal to fetus.
If the unborn is a human being, he/she should not be killed to benefit her mother. Hardship does not justify homicide.
Mixing & matching again. Appeal to emotion.
Abortion not equal to homicide.
Until the courts decide otherwise.
Hence, we are back to the one question that trumps all others in the abortion debate: What is the unborn?
To which, you have viciously avoided.

Now that's an unfair comment. I've given you several definitions, + my personal opinion on the matter. None of which you find satisfactory.
No
That's an honest appraisal. Thanks.
Does it justify killing an innocent human being?
We've gone over this ad infinitum. We'll never see eye-to-eye on this. If we're talking about a developed human being outside the womb? No. If we're talking about something that resembles a human being, has a circulatory & respiratory system, heartbeat, brainwaves? No.
My point exactly, It’s an offensive example because human beings are intrinsically valuable. And calling them a “clump of cells” that make you go eewwwww is inappropriate.
I'm sorry if you found that inappropriate. It wasn't meant to be. I was simply pointing out, that if you saw the 'clump of cells' outside the host, you'd not recognize it as such. Neither would I. It would take a doctor, or DNA testing to provide an intrinsic value to something like that.

How many lives have been saved by stem cells vs. how many lives have been killed for stem cells?
Oh, come on now. Since it's been banned, that's unquantifiable. Here, go look it up: http://www.answers.com/topic/stem-cell?method=22

Which one of my propositions if false? Why is it false? I at least deserve the respect of being told why my position is false don’t I?
Thus far, you've been unable to quantify the beginning embryo as human, outside of genetic testing.
What does age have to do with it. Peoples ages are all over the scale on either side. How about my propositions, how do they fair?
Sorry, was feeling a tad paternal at that moment. My point was, as you grow older, things that seemed black/white change.
Don’t you still have your sense of reason? Can’t you appeal to science? Abortion is so controversial because of the (warranted) emotions involved. But the facts are simple.
I think you need to calm down a bit. Of course I do. I have appealed to reason. & science. I believe I've amply shown that there's a great deal of factors involved. There's very little that's 'written in stone', as it were.
If abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, I will never sit the fence. If I’m not sure, I will never sit the fence. If it involves the possibility of killing a human being, there should be no fence.
Easily said by the young. I'd've said the same thing, once upon a time.
If someone is going to kill something, and it’s a possibility of an innocent human being, is it not the burden of prove on the killer to show that it’s not an innocent human being?
See here. Calling a woman a 'killer' when she's a victim of a crime is a little over the top.
Yes, if I am wrong about the pro-life position, then I have infringed on women rights.
I'd advise you do some serious thinking about that, & get back to me. Give it a few days.
However, if I am right about the pro-life position, then you have supported the killing of innocent human beings.
You've yet to prove that. I don't like or appreciate the accusation inferred in that, however. Have I not stipulated I want it gone? I disapprove, to be sure, but there are so many mitigating circumstances. I can't slap an unmoving standard on someone else, in a situation I'm not in anyways a part of, outside of an abstract discussion.
I’ll side with life, until proven otherwise.
As will I.
What constitutes life, exactly? What constitutes a human being? Have you seen a fetus? I have.
I was 10-12(?) at the time. I found this floating in a pond. Was it human? From what I can recall, it may have been human. It was ambiguous at best. At the time, I didn't know what it was. I had to go look it up.

We won't see eye-to-eye on this, obviously.
I've called it a necessary evil, haven't I? Here's an appeal to reason:
Let's rectify the situation, instead of resorting to acrimony. Simply banning it won't remove the problem, will it? Instead, it'll result in more deaths, not less.
Fix the problem, not the blame.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
Is there some trick to copying and pasting here? Whenever I go to edit to do it, my comment window disappears! GRRHHH!! Frustrating! :P
I don't know. I've never had a problem at all. If you're clicking on the profile, that'll make the comment window for that user vanish. Otherwise, I dunno.

Anonymous said...

How do these make a difference? A 3 month old cant say anything, can we kill it then?
We are not talking about a 3 month old. We are talking about an undeveloped MASS OF CELLS with human characteristics IN UTERO! IT IS NOT A HUMAN BEING YET! It has the information and the map to get there, but it isn't there yet.
If someone cant feel anything can we kill them? If they can't feel or think, sure.
We're killing them every day in Iraq.

That’s too political; we’ll get way off track. The statement was in reference to development. So how about a 3 year old? Can we kill a three year old because their less developed than a 10 year old?
Too political? I think not. It's no more of a veer than your 3 month/3year/10 year olds in development, when we're talking about in utero development.

Your being insincere. If you review the comments, you will see that you have not addressed many questions I asked.
If there is no such thing as intrinsic human value; then we can arbitrarily take the life of anyone. Just like how Hitler did to the Jews.

I'm not being insincere. I took my cue from you and answered questions inlike form. I even asked you once which ones I had neglected that you wanted me to answer.
If there is such a thing as intrinsic value, then EVERYTHING has it...not just human life. My question is why do you find human life sacred over the other forms?
That is deceitful. One involves choice, one does not.
How is that deceitful?
What was ambiguous about my propositions? How are they false?
What propositions have you made?
"...If the unborn are human don’t they deserve to be saved from being killed?"
"...Does this mean if a child is having a horrible life we can kill them? "
"...I think, if the unborn is a person then the Child should be protected."
How can they be false when you ask questions or put qualifiers on them?


You have to decide what least tragic. How? Do you have some kind of tragedy guideline book?
The intrinsic value is the same; that’s why it’s “intrinsic.”
Exactamundo. And that's why ALL things-not just humans-have intrinsic value-if anything does at all.

Are you sure you don't assign developmental value?

Not intrinsic value

Not sure what you meant by this.

That would be a horrible feeling. What if you told a friend it was okay to have an abortion and it turn out that is was actually a distinct human being?I can tell my friend to jump off a bridge, but the decision and responsibility are ultimately hers, and vice versa if situation was reversed. Besides, how would I know about the distinct human being thing?
I've already helped a friend have an abortion, and I feel fine about it, thank you very much.
Your starting to disappoint me Karen. Shucks. And I was living to please you.
Okay, I would save the mom, not the child. What does that prove? That you made an arbitrary decision about life. What are your reasons for saving the mom?
Have you proven that the embryos were not human or merely that I am inconsistent?
I have not tried to prove they weren't human. I said they were genetically human...just not developmentally human.
Until you can prove the former, the latter is irrelevant. My case stands.
What case? You haven't definitively stated anything yet. You just keep asking if the embryo/fetus is human or when we can kill a child/person.


RA
I have achieved copy-and-pastrydom!
control key...DUH!!! ;)

k.

udonman said...

well bf how about this since we are all a mass of subatomic particles even the fetuse that are killed arent really killed those subatomic particles get recyled in the long run and in the short term they are still in ther origanil form

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
I have achieved copy-and-pastrydom!
control key...DUH!!! ;)

Is it as tasty as it sound? ;)
Yeah, this is getting a little tiresome. I have trouble hitting the goalposts, as they've been moved so often, I haven't kept count.
If I had a 14 yr. old daughter who'd been raped, & became pregnant because of it, I'd sure as hell not force the kid to keep it.
Which sure as hell sounds like an exception to the rule.

Beowulf said...

No, we don't base our rules on exceptions. Exceptions test the rule.
We have, for instance, forbidden people killing one another. However, if there's risk to life & limb, & reasonable force can't be employed, we're allowed to kill in self defense.


Agreed. Self defense is warranted. However, the aggressor is not innocent


Not to the extent of warranting death of the innocent. Show me an example where it’s okay to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. I made one exception when it’s between the baby or the mother. Any others?
I just did.


No. You said self defense. If your being attacked by someone their not innocent.

We still aren't clear on the definition of a 'human being'. Again, the exception tests the rule.

How this:

Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." (my emphasis)

Moore, K. and T.V.N. Persaud. 1998. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th ed.), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, pp 2.


Getting closer?

"Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed... Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments... The zygote ... is a unicellular embryo...” (My emphasis)

O'Rahilly, R. and F. Muller. 1996. Human Embryology & Teratology, Wiley-Liss, New York, pp. 55.

Fetus not equal to infant

Your begging the question

Person not equal to fetus.

Question begging again

Mixing & matching again. Appeal to emotion.

Once again. Isn’t rape appeal to emotion?

Abortion not equal to homicide.
Until the courts decide otherwise.


Not legally, no.

Now that's an unfair comment. I've given you several definitions, + my personal opinion on the matter. None of which you find satisfactory.

Here what you gave me

(1) From http://www.answers.com/pregnancy -
"Because of the possible viability of developed fetus, cultural and legal definitions of life often consider a fetus in the third trimester to be a distinct living person."
So I'm going to have to go w/the 3rd trimester as the cut-off. After that, you're stuck w/it.

I asked why you supported the definition, to which you responded:

(2)“& the cultural definition is what I have to go on, being a 'moral relativist' & all.”

I still don’t know WHY you think the definition is valid. Can you give any scientific explanation rather than a cultural one?

We'll never see eye-to-eye on this.

Well, just open them =)

I'm sorry if you found that inappropriate. It wasn't meant to be. I was simply pointing out, that if you saw the 'clump of cells' outside the host, you'd not recognize it as such. Neither would I. It would take a doctor, or DNA testing to provide an intrinsic value to something like that.

Fair enough. There is a visual discrepancy.

Oh, come on now. Since it's been banned, that's unquantifiable. Here, go look it up: http://www.answers.com/topic/stem-cell?method=22

To my understanding it’s not band per se. Rather, it is no illegal to provide federal funding for.

Thus far, you've been unable to quantify the beginning embryo as human, outside of genetic testing.

Did the above quotations help at all?

Sorry, was feeling a tad paternal at that moment. My point was, as you grow older, things that seemed black/white change.

Well, you would be the authority over me on that. So, very well.

I think you need to calm down a bit. Of course I do. I have appealed to reason. & science. I believe I've amply shown that there's a great deal of factors involved. There's very little that's 'written in stone', as it were.

I dint sense the rowdiness when I wrote it. This topic can get in depth.

Easily said by the young. I'd've said the same thing, once upon a time.

*shrug* I don’t know what to say.

See here. Calling a woman a 'killer' when she's a victim of a crime is a little over the top.

I wouldn’t call a woman a killer if she was using self defense. Rather, my reference to killer would was indented toward any like. If I was to kill a lady bug, then I am a lady bug killer (shhh don’t tell). It matters what your killing. If it’s possible that it’s a child. The burden of proof is on the person taking the action.

I'd advise you do some serious thinking about that, & get back to me. Give it a few days.

Sure, I’ll think about it. Will you think about the possibility of innocent life being taken?

You've yet to prove that. I don't like or appreciate the accusation inferred in that, however.

It’s no accusation to you, or anyone reading. I hold it against no one who has done it. I only refer the “possibility” to those unknowing--to consider.



Have I not stipulated I want it gone? I disapprove, to be sure, but there are so many mitigating circumstances. I can't slap an unmoving standard on someone else, in a situation I'm not in anyways a part of, outside of an abstract discussion.

Yes. I see as a moral relativist, this is somewhat an unavoidable position for you.

What constitutes life, exactly? What constitutes a human being? Have you seen a fetus? I have.
I was 10-12(?) at the time. I found this floating in a pond. Was it human? From what I can recall, it may have been human. It was ambiguous at best. At the time, I didn't know what it was. I had to go look it up.


Wow, sorry you had to see that. I have not seen a live fetus (other than pictures and ultrasound).

We won't see eye-to-eye on this, obviously.
I've called it a necessary evil, haven't I? Here's an appeal to reason:
Let's rectify the situation, instead of resorting to acrimony. Simply banning it won't remove the problem, will it? Instead, it'll result in more deaths, not less.
Fix the problem, not the blame.


I’m all for fixing the problem and removing the circumstances which cause abortion. I join you in that endeavor.

However, my convictions, through science and reason are that the unborn, from conception are distinct human beings.

With that conviction; I have to be a voice for the little ones who have none.


Karen,

Here are my propositions.

I will re-list them since you must have missed it: (there in the comments above)

(i). The deliberate taking of innocent human life is wrong.
(ii) Abortion is the deliberate taking of innocent human life.
(iii) Therefore abortion is wrong.

If my premises are wrong let me know. Oh, don’t forget to tell me why.=)

I. Mommy gives 23 chromosomes daddy gives 23 chromosomes.
II. Hence, human beings have 46 chromosomes (1/2 from each parent[every once in a while 47]).
III. Therefore, when there is conception, there is 46 chromosomes.
IV. Nothing is added after. No special sauce, just life support from mommy
V. Thus, at conception, the embryo is a fully distinct human being.
VI. The only change from conception to birth is development


I. I deny the embryo is merely a “cluster of cells” See above
II. I welcome scientific facts that prove otherwise than I’ve mentioned above.
III. The only metaphysical value is intrinsic value
IV. All human beings are intrinsically valuable. This is why people associate with moral codes like “Ahimsa”

p.s. “anything” is not intrinsically valuable. Just humans.

Anonymous said...

RA
Is it as tasty as it sound? ;)
Even better! Not as good as my danish , however.;)
I have no argument with your exception to the rule. My point is, if it's the process of killing a child that is objectionable, then it should apply in all cases, because the child is guiltless in all cases.
When people like jcc and bf insist on seeing the embryo as a complete human being, I don't think there should be any room in their arguments for exceptions.
k.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Agreed. Self defense is warranted. However, the aggressor is not innocent
Again, illustrative example of how there are exceptions to every rule.

No. You said self defense. If your being attacked by someone their not innocent.
Point.
Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." (my emphasis)
Moore, K. and T.V.N. Persaud. 1998. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th ed.), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, pp 2.
Getting closer?
"Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed... Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments... The zygote ... is a unicellular embryo...” (My emphasis)
O'Rahilly, R. and F. Muller. 1996. Human Embryology & Teratology, Wiley-Liss, New York, pp. 55.

Hmmm...interesting. 'Genetically distinct human organism' is the operative phrase there, I think.
Your begging the question
No, I'm not applying any circular reasoning here.
Question begging again
No, I'm going by the definitions, not the allegorical deployment of same.
Once again. Isn’t rape appeal to emotion?
Well, in discussing a topic such as this, it's inevitable for the example to come into play.
I still don’t know WHY you think the definition is valid. Can you give any scientific explanation rather than a cultural one?
This is a cultural topic. I've tried to give a scientific explanation, but it's difficult to remain detached. The mammalian embryos are all fairly similar, if memory serves, up to a certain developmental stage, aren't they?
Well, just open them =)
They've been open all thru this discussion. Except when I've been sleeping.
Fair enough. There is a visual discrepancy.
Which is how we measure 'intrinsic value'. I mean, I've seen theists (not you: others) say, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, etc." This is how we gauge things, measure them, that & past experience.
To my understanding it’s not band per se. Rather, it is no illegal to provide federal funding for.
In actuality, from the article:
"President George W. Bush, who had campaigned against financing embryonic stem cell research, announced in Aug., 2001, that he would support federal funding of research with embryonic stem cells, but only with the estimated 60 stem cell lines then existing. Some scientists challenged the assumption that these 60 stem cell lines would be sufficient for experimental and therapeutic needs, while others said the figure included some stem cell lines that had not yet been determined to be viable. In fact, in 2004, there were only 15 approved stem cell lines available to researchers funded by the U.S. government."
So, no, it hasn't been banned, per se. May as well be.
Did the above quotations help at all?
Well, gonna need a 2nd opinion on that 1. Maybe a 3rd.
Well, you would be the authority over me on that. So, very well.
Wasn't trying to be condescending, just insightful. Sometimes the passions of youth outshout the calmness of reason. Trust me on that 1.
I dint sense the rowdiness when I wrote it. This topic can get in depth.
That's cool.
*shrug* I don’t know what to say.
Just think about it.
I wouldn’t call a woman a killer if she was using self defense. Rather, my reference to killer would was indented toward any like. If I was to kill a lady bug, then I am a lady bug killer (shhh don’t tell). It matters what your killing. If it’s possible that it’s a child. The burden of proof is on the person taking the action.
It always is. Let's see, what's the number of the ladybug police?
Sure, I’ll think about it. Will you think about the possibility of innocent life being taken?
I have, & I do.
It’s no accusation to you, or anyone reading. I hold it against no one who has done it. I only refer the “possibility” to those unknowing--to consider.
Understood.
Yes. I see as a moral relativist, this is somewhat an unavoidable position for you.
It's a matter of walking in another person's shoes, at least for a mile or so.
Wow, sorry you had to see that. I have not seen a live fetus (other than pictures and ultrasound).
Well, it wasn't terribly traumatic at the time, since I didn't have any value judgment for it. I just recently recalled it w/this discussion. It was pink, slimy, & could have very well been a dog fetus, but for the fact it was fairly large.
I’m all for fixing the problem and removing the circumstances which cause abortion. I join you in that endeavor.
However, my convictions, through science and reason are that the unborn, from conception are distinct human beings.

I think there's more than a little passion involved. Which is understandable, for someone who has children. I wonder if you'd be so adamant, if you had none? Query only.
This begs another question: do clones have rights? I know that's a bit off-topic. But if they became a reality, & not genetically distinct from another human (after all, they're templates), when do we factor that yardstick of 'being human' in?
I did a little digging - apparently identical twins are (almost) exactly that:
"The first type of genetically identical beings are twins, and they are naturally abundant. Identical twins appear the same because they have identical nuclear DNA--that is, they have all the same genes. Twins also have identical mitochondrial DNA, though, which set them apart from all other identical beings."
http://library.thinkquest.org/19037/clone.html
Intriguing. More thoughts on this later.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
I have no argument with your exception to the rule. My point is, if it's the process of killing a child that is objectionable, then it should apply in all cases, because the child is guiltless in all cases.
When people like jcc and bf insist on seeing the embryo as a complete human being, I don't think there should be any room in their arguments for exceptions.

I think there should be some flexibility, on both sides of the argument.
None of us are being elected for office, so there's always the option for changing one's mind. Operative word being some.
All admire the mighty oak for its sturdiness, but when the tornado passes, the slender willow still stands.

Anonymous said...

bf
Thanks for listig your premises. Except for the first grouping, I do recall seeing them amidst the swamp of posts.
hey were just not coherently outlined before.
Please define "Innocent" for me. What makes someone no longer innocent to you?
Wait-cancel that. We're only talking in utero, and I agree to the innocence in there.
Ok, as stated, I can't find issue with your logic in i-iii. But I'm tired, and logic isn't my strongpoint.
However,...! I would make the argument from this standpoint: i. The
killing of a fully developed fetus is wrong. etc.

Uh-oh. Someone else has to use the computer. Argument interruptus.

But I had this pasted for you:
"Intrinsic value: empty words?

Since the adoption of the Animal Protection Act in 1981, the Dutch Government has acknowledged the concept of the intrinsic value of the individual animal. The Health and Welfare Act describes the term in the following words:
'Acknowledgment of the intrinsic value of animals means that animals have value in their own right and as a consequence their interests are no longer automatically subordinate to man's interests'. According to government policy, the purpose of animal protection law is to improve conditions to ensure that the animal is protected from human actions that threaten its well-being."

p.s. “anything” is not intrinsically valuable. Just humans. It would seem that the Dutch govt., along with me, disagrees.

Later!
karen

Beowulf said...

RA,

do clones have rights? I know that's a bit off-topic. But if they became a reality, & not genetically distinct from another human (after all, they're templates), when do we factor that yardstick of 'being human' in?

I have though about this extensively before, and based on my premises I have listed, a human clone would have intrinsic value. Just because they were made in a different way than we all were, would not change what I have already stated about human beings; thus, to be consistent, it would be wrong to kill the clone.

Karen,

It would seem that the Dutch govt., along with me, disagrees.

Well, to be honest, I don’t really care what Dutch gov says. Governments get things wrong all the time. While I reject intrinsic value for animals, I don’t mean that they have NO value.

In your disagreement, do you mean:

I. Both humans AND animals have intrinsic value?
II. Only animals have intrinsic valaue?
III.ALL animals have intrinsic value?


If you reject intrinsic value for humans, do you think killing innocent people is wrong? What would be the basis for that? What would you appeal to?

Oh, and whereabouts are you from?

Take care.

Anonymous said...

bf
Well, to be honest, I don’t really care what Dutch gov says. Governments get things wrong all the time. While I reject intrinsic value for animals, I don’t mean that they have NO value.
Why don't you care? After all, the Dutch gov't. is made up of people.

In your disagreement, do you mean:

I. Both humans AND animals have intrinsic value?
II. Only animals have intrinsic valaue?
III.ALL animals have intrinsic value?

From the reading I have done on intrinsic value, I would say that everything has it. Not just humans, not just animals, not just both animals and humans.
Now, if you would care to explain to me why you only see humans as having intrinsic value, I could reconsider. But you have thus far avoided sufficiently doing so.

I am from eastern NC...for almost 30 yrs now. Originally from western PA (Pgh)...for 22 yrs.
k.

Beowulf said...

Karen,

“Why don't you care? After all, the Dutch gov't. is made up of people.”

For one, their opinion on the matter has nothing to do with me. The fact that their made up of people is irrelevant. The Taliban is made up of people too, but I object to their radical behavior. Secondly, I wasn’t necessarily saying I don’t care what they have to say on “all” issues; rather, just their position on intrinsic value.

From the reading I have done on intrinsic value, I would say that everything has it. Not just humans, not just animals, not just both animals and humans.

So then I take it you’re a vegan? You think that flies have intrinsic value? All insects? Even these ones?

Now, if you would care to explain to me why you only see humans as having intrinsic value, I could reconsider. But you have thus far avoided sufficiently doing so.

It is self evident that human beings are intrinsically valuable. Every time you ask yourself why it’s wrong to murder, or commit some horrendous act against another person, you will reach the conclusion that it’s because their intrinsically valuable. Because I am a Christian, it goes farther than that. However, anyone can recognize it.

I don’t hold that animals and insects have intrinsic value. If I accidentally run over a dog in the road, I don’t think I should go to jail for unintentional dog slaughter (likewise, if a bug hit’s my windshield). There are people who are selective about certain animals having intrinsic value. For example, I have two friends who love and own horses. In fact, I think they would even risk their own life for the horses. The manner in which they decide what is and what is not intrinsically valuable is unclear, and as far as I can tell--arbitrary.

Anonymous said...

bf
So then I take it you’re a vegan? You think that flies have intrinsic value? All insects? Even these ones?
No, I am not vegan. I am an omnivore.
Just because I eat animals does not mean I don't feel guilty about it.
I loathe spiders, for personal reasons. But, in their own right they are beautiful. A pebble is beautiful. A drop of water is beautiful.
Beauty has intrinsic value. How do you separate the beauty of a thing from the thing itself?

It is self evident that human beings are intrinsically valuable. Every time you ask yourself why it’s wrong to murder, or commit some horrendous act against another person, you will reach the conclusion that it’s because their intrinsically valuable. Because I am a Christian, it goes farther than that. However, anyone can recognize it.

Humans are animals. They are simply another species of animal.
When I ask myself why murder or horrendous acts are wrong to commit, my answer is because I would not want it to be OK for them to be commited against me or especially my children, or children in general.
Not because I am especially good, but I am selfish about my children, and empathetic about children in general.
I suffered horrendous acts as a child and don't want to see others suffer them.

Are you equating intrinsic value with a sense of morality?
k

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

There is no such thing as
self-evidence.
Either you qualify your proclamation or you flounder.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
You do know, that spiders aren't insects, right? They're classified as arachnids. Insects have 6 legs. Unless you're going by the bad classification of Noah's ark.
There are people who are selective about certain animals having intrinsic value.
Yeah, tell that to the guy who got 8 years for throwing a dog out into the road.

All humans are intrinisically valuable to me, because I'm speciocentric.
I do wonder what dolphins & porpoises see in us, as apparently we're intrinsically valuable to them.

Beowulf said...

Monkey,

I didn’t say “self evidence” I said “self evident.” So, let’s get it strait. There are things that are self evident. What would you do if some one told you to prove to them that raping babies was wrong? You would call them a psychopath right? If you wouldn’t then you have serious problems. Anyway, I am sure this is way over your head. You should try looking into analytic proposition when ever you decide to take up philosophy.

Beowulf said...

RA,

I’m using the term insects loosely. I found out spiders were not insects in 10th grade, but still refer to the as “pesky critters” when I see them. I’m not using ark terminology here; just contemporary vernacular. It’s rather inconsequential to my earlier point.

You also miss the point about intrinsic value. When I use the term, I mean that valuable in itself or for its own sake. This is self evident for humans. Intrinsic value is attributed to some animals too. I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. I am just noting selectivity, because this is not self evident in the case for all animals. Moreover, intrinsic value is attributed by humans, as in we associate the identity to ourselves and others, thus dolphins could care less about you (sorry for the disappointment).

Regardless, we both agree that humans have intrinsic value, even though we reach the conclusion differently.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Cool it. You're getting nasty. Settle down.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Moreover, intrinsic value is attributed by humans, as in we associate the identity to ourselves and others, thus dolphins could care less about you (sorry for the disappointment).
Gee, I guess all those stories about dolphins saving people were just fish stories, ey?
I’m using the term insects loosely.
I was joshin' you.
You also miss the point about intrinsic value. When I use the term, I mean that valuable in itself or for its own sake.
No I didn't.
I said:
All humans are intrinisically valuable to me, because I'm speciocentric.
Which means the same thing.

Beowulf said...

RA,

Cool it. You're getting nasty. Settle down.

Bummer, comment sections are horrible at good communication. I really didn't mean that to sound nasty. If you could see me chuckling when I wrote it, you would have known that I was only ½ serious. Blogger should come up with some diverse emoticons to fill that gap!

Here is another way of saying it.

There are things that occur to us without having to provide a subset of evidential premises. If everyone had to qualify what they said, there would be little to no effective communication. Granted, there are many things that need to be qualified, but not the self evident ones. Trying to do so would be circular or just repetitive premises.

Take this for example,

P1. All men are mortal
P2. Socrates is a man
C3. ………………….

C3 is self evident. If I were to have to qualify it then I would be just repeating P1 and P2. There are probable better examples, but I’m writing of the fly here!

Anyway, the statement “Either you qualify your proclamation or you flounder” is not qualified; therefore, the person who says it is floundering. Ironic.


~Cheers

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I really didn't mean that to sound nasty.
It was that bit about babies...brrrhhh!
Ya know, you CAN just use A,B,C, etc. instead of P1, P2, C4, C3PO, R2D2, etc.

I guess C3 would be....ta dah! All men are Socrates? Playin'.
There are things that occur to us without having to provide a subset of evidential premises.
You sure have a roundabout way of getting to the point. You major in philosophy, I gather?
I prefer the taoist perspective:
It just is.
I know, I'm supposed to whip up these long elaborate, long-winded theses on logic, weave some tapestry of complex algorithms, but maybe I'm just abnormal.
Hey, the abnormal atheist?
Nah: it's probably taken already anyways.