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The "Bad Kind" of Abortion
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The "Bad Kind" of Abortion:

 1451 King Zeal, Tue, 1st Mar '11 1:08:32 PM from Well Above You
Tali'Shepard Vas Normandy-Rannoch
I'm fully aware it's begging the question. It's really an either-or situation in which any argument which segues into abortion leads off from. So, saying that embryo = life is no more begging the question than arguing that it doesn't. If I argue that it isn't one, then your argument has weight. If you argue that it is, then mine has weight. I don't see how we can get around that.

Also, I'm taking the biochemistry involved in fertilization in the same way that I look at a mixture vs a compound. A mixture is any two substances which can be combined into a new substance, but also possess the ability to be separated back into their original forms. A compound is substance which is combined permanently and takes on a chemical bonding that fundamentally changes what it once was.

My argument hinges on the idea that when a sperm and an egg join, they are chemically combined into a new form of life which, if left to its own needs, will result in a human being. A sperm and an egg do not have that property. Masturbation and/or contraceptive does not destroy a composition which, if left its own devices, would result in a human entity.
Per-fec-tion: -n- an exemplification of supreme excellence; an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence (see also: King Zeal)
 1452 They Call Me Tomu, Tue, 1st Mar '11 1:13:10 PM Relationship Status: Wishfully thinking
Sureeeeendaaaa
Burden of proof rests on the individual making the positive assertion.

And the sperm + egg only becomes a human being if provided with the nutrients-something that happens by "intervention" from the female body. If the mother died, for instance, then the embryo wouldn't become a full-fledged human on its own.

The logic just doesn't follow. To put it another way, there is no such thing as left to its own devices. No man is an island, and the same is true of embryos. The notion that doing something is different from not doing something is absurd an unsupported positive assertion.

edited 1st Mar '11 1:15:34 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

 1454 King Zeal, Tue, 1st Mar '11 1:31:54 PM from Well Above You
Tali'Shepard Vas Normandy-Rannoch
Burden of proof rests on the individual making the positive assertion.

This isn't proving a lack, like proving the existence of God. The question here is two-fold: should human beings have rights inherently and what qualifies as human? Neither answer has been satisfactorily answered after thousands of years of debate. However, unlike the idea of "God", we typically agree that there is merit to the preservation of life (not just human) and that humanity IS a concept which can be defined.

So this argument doesn't stem so much from making a positive assertion as much as it stems from trying to accurately define two assertions already made (life is special and should be preserved).

And the sperm + egg only becomes a human being if provided with the nutrients-something that happens by "intervention" from the female body. If the mother died, for instance, then the embryo wouldn't become a full-fledged human on its own.

The logic just doesn't follow. To put it another way, there is no such thing as left to its own devices. No man is an island, and the same is true of embryos. The notion that doing something is different from not doing something is absurd an unsupported positive assertion.

Let me correct you by stating that one of the fundamental principles of life is that it is a complex system of chemical processes which exist to maintain its own existence. No man is an island, but every lifeform is a community unto itself. An embryo is an entity which can maintain its own interior chemical processes, but with a parasitic (as much I hate that analogy, let's just accept it) relationship with the being in which it's implanted.

I don't think most people even argue whether an embryo is "alive" or not anymore. I think most arguments about the morality of abortion stem from whether or not a developing sapience should be given the same rights as a fully developed one.
Per-fec-tion: -n- an exemplification of supreme excellence; an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence (see also: King Zeal)
 1455 Ironeye, Tue, 1st Mar '11 1:51:40 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
There is an important distinction between being "human" and being "a person". A fertilized egg is "human", as it is genetically Homo sapiens, but I don't think we should be basing status on something's genetic code. Perhaps it's because I read too much SF, but I try to look beyond humanity as a species and come up with principles that could apply to other beings (artificial, alien, enhanced animals, etc.). If a principle cannot be applied outside of a particular human context, I see no use for it.
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 1456 They Call Me Tomu, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:00:36 PM Relationship Status: Wishfully thinking
Sureeeeendaaaa
Exactly. The reason why I say "Your burden of proof" about the whole "Human being zygote etc" thing is because there is fundamentally no reason to hold that position. All ethics positions regarding human rights can be just as easily ascribed to only actual, you know, people. It's an ad-hoc position to hold simply for the sake of justifying a pro-life perspective.

If humans were literally balls of carbon-little more than a bucket full of coal with a clock on it that, when the clock strikes 12, magically creates a baby, that doesn't make buckets of coal human beings, even if they have magical clocks attached to them. Now, perhaps there can be a set of ethics in regards to tampering with magical clocks-but that's not a human rights violation, but rather deals more closely with property rights to whoever owns the bucket of coal and wants to construct a human being.

At the very least, saying that an embryo (first trimester) is "developing sapience" is like saying that I'm studying for my PHD when I'm in elementary school.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:01:49 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

 1457 Shrimpus, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:18:37 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Here is an interesting note. Most creatures are born at the developmental stage of the human toddler. If humans were to properly gestate it would take roughly three years.

EDIT: King, life has no inherent worth merely a function. Reproduction is the most inherent of functions and to disallow life to determine its own most inherent function requires stupendous levels of justification. Two beings have a say in the creation and or destruction of the wholly parasitic being that is an embryo and those are the mother and the father. There is no compelling societal reason to ban the practice as we aren't exactly running short on warm bodies.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:22:30 PM by Shrimpus

 1458 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:23:39 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
This entire argument seems to be riding on the fact that a "person" is defined by their ability to think and thus why the mother has right over what can or can not be done to the fetus. This is also a definition that seems to favor the pro-choice side more than the pro-life side.

Which is why, before I continue, I'm going to ask this:

The debate is won for pro-life people if the fetus is considered a person upon conception but is won for pro-choice people if the child is considered a person upon being able to think and decide what it wants. Is this right?
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 1459 Shrimpus, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:31:35 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Uh.... not really. You assume that being a person grants you some inherent right to live. No one has a right to live. They have the 'right' to struggle to live. Which is the same 'right' to struggle that every creature in creation is given. Human life has no inherent value beyond that which we give it.

 1460 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:34:29 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Are we arguing about abortion in the United States? Because if so...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It's written right into the constitution and that is the flat line to all laws in the United States.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:35:06 PM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 1461 Black Humor, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:38:29 PM from Zombie City
@Usht: Not necessarily.

Pro-choice people might also win by arguing that the woman has an inherent right to evict the fetus from her body no matter how alive it is.

BUT I want to point out here again that the "human" standard makes no sense. Taken literally, you murdered a lot of skin cells in the shower last night.

If you try to define it as "an independent human", a zygote still isn't any more human than a skin cell; it's just a different type of cell. And we already established it's not immoral to kill skin cells, so this criteria also breaks down.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 1462 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:45:20 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Answer the main question first, please. Plus, if the fetus is considered a "person" and the woman did agree to mutually have sex, it isn't a trespasser. You can't exactly call the cops on a guest you invited unless that guest threatens violence.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 1463 Shrimpus, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:47:05 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
First of all the declaration of independence is not the constitution. One of these documents is a legally binding framework on which our society was built on constructed through a lengthy vetting and ratification process. The other is a pamplet saying fuck you to the brits and ra ra these united states.

Significant changes have occured in one over the intervening two hundred years.

Second, the constitution never mentions people. It mentions citizens. So legally unless the fetus has a fucking passport with an eagle on it it don't mean shit. And furthermore that has no relavance on people with say... a lion rampant on their passport. Legally the constitution doesn't even protect the rights of non us citizens. That is entirely cruft. Good cruft but cruft.

Third, the constitution is not the law of reality. It is a best effort at government.

 1464 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:51:46 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Hmm, that was a terrible time to have a major derp about the government.

But let me ask you this, do you honestly think this debate has any chance of being wrapped unless we define in a manner that fits within an already defined set of laws? In other words, by country. Else, we'll be at this forever because we'll be debating morals, not principals.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 1465 Black Humor, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:53:50 PM from Zombie City
You mean define a person? Like I've said before Roe v. Wade defined person.

It hasn't helped any; the pro-lifers just think the definition is wrong.
EDIT @
Answer the main question first, please. Plus, if the fetus is considered a "person" and the woman did agree to mutually have sex, it isn't a trespasser. You can't exactly call the cops on a guest you invited unless that guest threatens violence.
:

Consent to sex does not imply consent to pregnancy.

Proof: often women will consent to sex but only on birth control and with a condom. I don't think it's exactly a leap to regard that as explicitly not consenting to pregnancy.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:56:26 PM by BlackHumor

I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 1466 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:03:42 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Seeing as the woman who started that case is now Pro-Life, during the trial it was decide to put aside the ninth amendment for the matter, and occurrences, I'd say that we're debating what the trial was debating for a reason.

Consent to sex does not imply consent to pregnancy.

Proof: often women will consent to sex but only on birth control and with a condom. I don't think it's exactly a leap to regard that as explicitly not consenting to pregnancy.

Covered that one earlier. The birth control items give a percentage of effectiveness. Basically by using those methods of birth control, that woman is consenting to the fact that they are not infallible methods of control and therefore, does risk a pregnancy, no matter how small.

edited 1st Mar '11 6:05:12 PM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 1467 Black Humor, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:05:05 PM from Zombie City
I get the first clause and the last clause but you're going to have to decode the other two.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 1468 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:08:30 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Nine Amendment, in short, says you can't misconstrue others' rights in favor of your own. That's a major part of what we're debating here.

Other occurrences, we'll say it's a long trial and many of these same arguments were used with varying results. For all intents and purposes, it's probably best to not worry about all of those details unless we want to turn this into a research paper.

And yeah, covered birth control with my earlier post. See two posts above.

One more note, others means "people".

EDIT: And with that, I've got to leave for a while. Go wild, but I won't be able to contribute anymore for tonight.

edited 1st Mar '11 6:12:35 PM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 1469 Drunk Girlfriend, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:13:58 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Nine Amendment, in short, says you can't misconstrue others' rights in favor of your own. That's a major part of what we're debating here.

In which case, an aborted fetus can sue the mother for impeding it's rights once it's legally an adult. tongue

edited 1st Mar '11 6:14:27 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 1470 Shrimpus, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:26:19 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Roe vs. Wade is a terrible constitutional argument that borders on retarded. I mean hell it uses the work penumbra for gods sake. Penumbra is for magic cards and white wolf RPG's. Constitutionally the decision has barely a leg to stand on. However it still made the right call.

Unless the state has a compelling interest to stop it your body is your body. The most extreme date of fetal viability is around 22 weeks but anything before 30 weeks is going to cost millions and has a high incidence of illness. Human life is valued at roughly 2.7 million dollars. It is not worth it to try and salvage anything before that and that is assuming that it won't ruin the life of another human being.

Semantics of life are a pointless exercise in vanity.

 1471 Jordan, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:35:24 PM from Westeros
Azor Ahai
"Nine Amendment, in short, says you can't misconstrue others' rights in favor of your own. That's a major part of what we're debating here."

What? The Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."- Basically, it implies that the Bill of Rights is not necessarily a complete listing of all the rights people have.

Hodor
 1472 Black Humor, Tue, 1st Mar '11 6:36:34 PM from Zombie City
Actually it's a pretty good decision (in some respects) that seemed to be using the 9th amendment implicitely.

Many of the rights in the 4th through 6th amendments seem to assume people have a right to privacy as philosophical impetus for the right being protected. By the 9th amendment, you can't say people don't have a right just because it's not explicitely in the bill of rights. Therefore people have a constitutionally protected right to privacy.

Their actual decision went somewhere weird from there and I disagree with that part of the reasoning; my reasoning would be:

Since people have a right to privacy, any law that mandates police interfere with that right to privacy is unconstitutional. So then, laws against abortion are unconstitutional because abortion is presumably committed in a doctor's office between a woman who won't tell the police and a doctor who won't tell the police, leaving the police no choice to enforce the laws but to violate their privacy.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
Always Right
Is it a really good idea to make this debate any more political than it already is...for example, the american consitution doesn't exactly apply to places outside of america.

Plus, laws and constitution doesn't exactly reflect morality and such.
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 1474 They Call Me Tomu, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 6:16:23 AM Relationship Status: Wishfully thinking
Sureeeeendaaaa
Long story short, prohibiting abortion is an imposition on the right of the mother to do something with her body. Maybe there is some reason to impose, but that imposition is the positive statement, and a lack of said imposition is the negative statement.

To put it another way, yes-personhood as an argument makes a positive statement, but it does so merely to defend a position that does not need defending. It is a counterpoint to an argument for why abortion is wrong, not a necessary premise to be in support of abortion.

edited 2nd Mar '11 6:24:25 AM by TheyCallMeTomu

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