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> Life
Devils Advocate
post Feb 25 2006, 04:52 PM
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Reading through the South Dakota abortion thread, and also thinking of the Schaivo case, I began thinking that everything being said rests on how one defines life. By this I mean where a life begins. What defines a person? What makes a person, a person?

So in an effort to either find consensus, see some different view points, and maybe determine some sort of definition or distinction of where life beings I'd like to propose the following questions:



What, specifically, do you think defines "human life"? Why?

What is your definition?
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Vermillion
post Mar 5 2006, 01:13 AM
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QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 4 2006, 11:32 PM)
What does concern society is when an innocent 3rd party is impacted. At that point it is no longer just a life-style choice. If we can't protect our weakest and most innocent, what are we?


That is a complete contradiction. You start the post with a well written statement about how you have no desire to impose your morals on anybody, then make a moral statement, which you KNOW many people do not share, about wheither or not there is an innocent third party involved.

Frankly, you think there is. I and many others, arguably a majority of the United States, think there is not. In both of our cases that is a moral choice. I don;t impose my moral choice on you: if you don't like abortions, then don't have one. Why do you get to impose your moral choice on those who believe like me?

Especially when you just went to great lengths to explain how thats exactly what you do not want to do?
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Jobius
post Mar 5 2006, 03:24 AM
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QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ Mar 2 2006, 10:43 PM)
What bugs me the most about the anti-choice group is the extreme hubris of their absolute certainty of the "rightness" of their position and their reflexive condemnation of the "wrongness" of anyone who happens to disagree. I've always found it vaguely insulting that anyone would presume to assert their "moral" authority over a complete stranger.

QUOTE(A left Handed person @ Mar 4 2006, 02:53 PM)
There are those who believe murder of even born human beings isn't wrong, so why should we presume to assert our moral authority over them?  If you believe something is wrong, it is your right try to prevent it from happening.

QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 4 2006, 03:32 PM)
Speaking as one member of the "Anti-Choice" crowd, your presumptions, about some at least, are incorrect. I don't want to enforce my morals on you. I don't care if, with who, or what, you have sex with, or how often. I don't care if you worship Satan, Mohammed, Homer Simpson, or nothing at all. I also don't care if you wanted to get a mole or even a kidney removed. What does concern society is when an innocent 3rd party is impacted. At that point it is no longer just a life-style choice. If we can't protect our weakest and most innocent, what are we?
Hence this thread...

QUOTE(Vermillion @ Mar 4 2006, 05:13 PM)
That is a complete contradiction. You start the post with a well written statement about how you have no desire to impose your morals on anybody, then make a moral statement, which you KNOW many people do not share, about wheither or not there is an innocent third party involved.


A left Handed person mentioned murder, but another analogy (popular with anti-abortion folks) is to slavery. Here's one example that attempts to draw parallel arguments about slavery and abortion:

QUOTE
Those who oppose slavery are free to refrain from it. They have no right to impose their personal religious morality upon society through legislation or a constitutional amendment.


I probably don't agree withYogurt on when "an innocent third party" comes into existence. I'm partial to Victoria Silverwolf's definition of human life, which is concerned with the organism's capacity to experience suffering. But I don't see any contradiction in Yogurt's position.
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Vermillion
post Mar 5 2006, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE(Jobius @ Mar 5 2006, 03:24 AM)
QUOTE
Those who oppose slavery are free to refrain from it. They have no right to impose their personal religious morality upon society through legislation or a constitutional amendment.


I probably don't agree withYogurt on when "an innocent third party" comes into existence. I'm partial to Victoria Silverwolf's definition of human life, which is concerned with the organism's capacity to experience suffering. But I don't see any contradiction in Yogurt's position.
*



The link you made above to slavery is not a particularily viable one. If you use that, I can always counter with some creationist believing with all their heart that the sould of children who learn evolution are in danger, therefore they have a right to impose their belief system on others. Or, if I wanted to go to extremes, the Klan thinking the nation of America is falling apart, and in saving the nation from itself, they have the right to impose their will on others.


EVERYBODY who decides their opinion is more important than another always thinks they have a good reason. Nobody starts a crusade on a whim or because they are bored.

In the case of abortion, the compairason of the Klan is obviously not appropriate, and neither is the compairason of Slavery. Essentially by making that argument, you are saying: some people thought slavery was OK, they were wrong, therefore in this unrelated case people who believe in X unrelated to slavery can be wrong.


The issue of when life begins is not known by science. It is not known by biology. The American Medial Association, the American Medical Students asociation, the American Medical Women's Association, in fact every legitimate national medical organisation in the US, are ALL pro-choice, but if you read the AMA manifesto, they are happy to claim this is a controvercial isue and they will never impose or sanction a doctor for following their concience in this matter.

There is no definitively right answer. Even the bible dies not speak specifically about abortion, it is all inferences and expansions on existing texts which have left many christians with their current beliefs about the issue.


So obviously, it is a matter of individual morality. Given that this is the case, nobody should have the right to impose their point of view on another, especially if that point of view is religious, and especially if it is the minority imposing a moral judgement on the majority, which in this case it is.


In this case, if you don't like abortions, dont have one, and don't perform them as a doctor. But why one feels they have ANY right to impose their beliefs on another against their will in this matter is beyond me.



Thus I stand by my Statement. Yogurt cannot one one hand claim that he has no desire at all to impose his views or beliefs on others, and then in the same paragraph impose his views and beliefs on others. If he really wants to 'protect the wekest and most innocent', then spend time with orp[hans and underpriviliged kids, petition the government for more equitable education, to clean up inner city schools, to provide shelter and housing for homeless children.

There are tens of thousands of REAL children suffering as we speak, why not try and help them as opposed to spending all this time and energy on hypothertical ones?

I know it does not apply universally at all, but there is a measure of truth in the oft-used addage that many pro-lifers cares for the life of a fetus until the moment they are born, then who cares...

This post has been edited by Vermillion: Mar 5 2006, 04:13 PM
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Yogurt
post Mar 6 2006, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Mar 5 2006, 11:08 AM)
 
Thus I stand by my Statement. Yogurt cannot one one hand claim that he has no desire at all to impose his views or beliefs on others, and then in the same paragraph impose his views and beliefs on others.


I'm somewhat befuddled that you are not able to distinguish between what one does to/with themselves and to/with another person. I didn't think it was a difficult concept.

QUOTE(Vermillion @ Mar 5 2006, 11:08 AM)
 
If he really wants to 'protect the wekest and most innocent', then spend time with orp[hans and underpriviliged kids, petition the government for more equitable education, to clean up inner city schools, to provide shelter and housing for homeless children. 
 
There are tens of thousands of REAL children suffering as we speak, why not try and 


Not that it matters, but since you challenged, I've been a volunteer firefighter/EMT since the early 70s. Last year alone, at age 50, I ran over 100 incidents and in addition I attended over 200 hours of training. Everything from pink eye to cardiac arrests, and everything from automatic false alarms to residential to 4th alarm industrial structure fires. Many of the afflicted or affected are children.
For this I get to write off about $25 in mileage, but many tears of gratitude.
That's how I have chosen to help my society smile.gif
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Vermillion
post Mar 6 2006, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 6 2006, 06:11 PM)
I'm somewhat befuddled that you are not able to distinguish between what one does to/with themselves and to/with another person. I didn't think it was a difficult concept.


I am perfectly able to distinguish between what one does to/with themselves and to/with another person. It is only YOUR OPINION that there is another person involved here. It is YOUR OPINION that there is a third party with full rights which need to be taken into account, though as with most pro-life people you cannot actually decide if it is a person with full rights or not yourself.

It is YOUR MORAL JUDGEMENT that you are trying to impose on others, about what is and is not a person. You have no right to do that.


QUOTE
Not that it matters, but since you challenged, I've been a volunteer firefighter/EMT since the early 70s. Last year alone, at age 50, I ran over 100 incidents and in addition I attended over 200 hours of training. 


Kudos to you then, for being one of the few who put their money where their mouths are. And while you get serious karmic points for your commitment to your fellow real, actual men and women, that in the end does not alter the fact that you are trying to impose a minority moral view about abortion upon the majority...
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lordhelmet
post Mar 6 2006, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE(Devils Advocate @ Feb 25 2006, 11:52 AM)
Reading through the South Dakota abortion thread, and also thinking of the Schaivo case, I began thinking that everything being said rests on how one defines life.  By this I mean where a life begins.  What defines a person? What makes a person, a person? 

So in an effort to either find consensus, see some different view points, and maybe determine some sort of definition or distinction of where life beings I'd like to propose the following questions:



What, specifically, do you think defines "human life"? Why?

What is your definition?
*




I have to challenge your premise as to when life begins. It never ends. The cells the create the human fetus were alive. The fetus is "alive" and goes through a process of cellular differentiation and growth to create a "baby".

The question is really under what circumstances is it acceptable to kill that fetus.

A reasonable person might determine that it is ethical to do so at an early state in that development process. Another rational person might think that it's acceptable to kill that fetus if the woman would die as a result of carrying it.

But, at the same time, reasonable and rational people could decide, via our democratic process, that it's immoral to kill a fetus as a matter of convenience or kill a fetus that is biologically indistinguishable from a fully developed baby.

The abortion issue is not about "choice". That's a euphemism that has been promoted by those who want an unlimited right to kill that fetus for any reason. It's not about "privacy". We do not have the "right" to commit crimes and/or immoral acts (as designed via our rule of law) while in the state of "privacy".

Instead, the issue is where the line should be drawn where killing the fetus is acceptable to our society. These lines are already drawn in many life/death questions. It's illegal and wrong to kill someone. However, if you do so while protecting yourself (or someone else) from bodily harm, our society has ruled that your actions are not wrong and are justifiable. We need to determine, via our political process, when killing a fetus is "justifiable" in other words.

This debate is long overdue and I welcome it. It's about time that we reach consensus as a nation. I suspect that we'll agree to have abortion, limited to very early pregnancy and under certain regulated circumstances, and that late term abortions except in the most dire of circumstances, would be outlawed.
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Vermillion
post Mar 6 2006, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Mar 6 2006, 08:04 PM)

The abortion issue is not about "choice".  That's a euphemism that has been promoted by those who want an unlimited right to kill that fetus for any reason.  It's not about "privacy".  We do not have the "right" to commit crimes and/or immoral acts (as designed via our rule of law) while in the state of "privacy".

Instead, the issue is where the line should be drawn where killing the fetus is acceptable to our society.  These lines are already drawn in many life/death questions. 


I agree with your second point, the issue of when terminating a preganancy (or killing a fetus, depending on your choice of terminology) becomes unaccaeptable is the main issue.

But it is not the only isue. The isue of choice IS important and cannot be seperated from the discussion. For example, if fetal development took place in an egg and the children were raised entirely by the state, then the answer of society would probably be different from hat it is now. But that is not the case, the fetus affects the mother and the mother's life and hath enormously, and then it is raised by the parent or parents financially, emotionally and physically.

So choice does enter into it, so does privacy. The government legislating what can and cannot happen inside a woman's body, while it might be the end result, is worrying, and sets an ugly precident.


So the discussion of the main issue should not eclipse or drive out the important secondary issues, nor can we pretend they do not exist, because they do.
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turnea
post Mar 6 2006, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE(Lesly)
Every zygote has an increasingly remote chance of splitting into twins, triplets, and quadruplets. The twinning process looks very much like cell division. The monozygous “individual persons” aren’t whole organisms until the period where the zygote can twin elapses, or once the twinning process begins, it is finished. The twinning process can take as long as two weeks, although if twinning begins late in the second week there is a chance the result will be conjoined twins.

That has no bearing on whether a zygote is an organism.

Any discrete living thing with cells that operate on organelles is an organism.

The fact that in the earliest stages the zygote could theoretically become two organism does not mean it was not one in the first place.

Again, much of what you say looks at human life in romantic terms, placing values on what society feels is alive.

Viability and human life are not even nearly the same concept.

This post has been edited by turnea: Mar 7 2006, 12:00 AM
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Lesly
post Mar 7 2006, 12:30 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 6 2006, 06:56 PM)
Any discrete living thing with cells that operate on organelles is an organism.
*

There are a few cells that exist as unicellular organisms. Not every cell operating on organelles is a discrete (as in unconnected distinct parts) living thing.

QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 6 2006, 06:56 PM)
The fact that in the earliest stages the zygote could theoretically become two organism[s] does not mean it was not one in the first place.
*

But was it a “discrete” organism prior to, and during, twinning?

QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 6 2006, 06:56 PM)
Again, much of what you say looks at human life in romantic terms, placing values on what society feels is alive.
*

I think I’m quite sterile and unemotional about the subject considering the pro-life side’s many emotional platitudes. It’s still better than the usual “You want to kill babies, Lesly. Babies!” I’ll take it as an unintentional compliment.

QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 6 2006, 06:56 PM)
Viability and human life are not even nearly the same concept.
*

That would be why I modified my response with: “Questions of viability aside…”
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turnea
post Mar 7 2006, 12:40 AM
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QUOTE(Lesly)
There are a few cells that exist as unicellular organisms. Not every cell operating on organelles is a discrete (as in unconnected distinct parts) living thing.

I meant discrete as in "Constituting a separate thing" that is to say not part of any larger organism.

QUOTE(Lesly)
But was it a “discrete” organism prior to, and during, twinning?

Prior to, certainly.

During.. That's more of a problem. I would agree that during the actual, physical, process of twinning it may be impossible to count discrete organisms.

QUOTE(Lesly)
I think I’m quite sterile and unemotional about the subject considering the pro-life side’s many emotional platitudes. It’s still better than the usual “You want to kill babies, Lesly. Babies!” I’ll take it as an unintentional compliment.

It was simply an observation on the basis for your previous conclusions about "personhood" and it's relationship to the beginnings of human life.

Strictly speaking they are separate concerns.

This debate deal with a "human life" and that begins at conception.

This post has been edited by turnea: Mar 7 2006, 12:41 AM
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