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Abortion Abortion Forum - A complex ethical, moral, philosophical, biological, and legal issue


View Poll Results: Would you still support abortion if you were convinced that abortions kill a Child?
Yes, I probably would 5 55.56%
No, I probably would not 4 44.44%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 31st, 2016, 07:08 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
(semantic rant omitted for brevity)

And, to be sure, the question, "When does an individual human life begin?," is not a question which can be answered using the methods of science, particularly since defining words that are used in our language is not a method of science.
I not only completely disagree with you on that, but we already have laws and legal definitions (that relied heavily on the input of scientists) to recognize conception as the start of a new individual's life.

Scientifically, it's no longer in question that a new life begins at conception.

The question that law makers now have to deal with is "when should that new life be recognized as a legal person"

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
Finally, in my opinion, legal versus illegal abortion is a matter which is centered on legal rights rather than on some scientific framework anyway.
The science is a necessary part of that framework. If not for any other reason, the laws and decision could easily be challenged and overturned - if they do not conform to science and scientific findings.

To use your semantic claim earlier that words only have the meaning we give them. . . let's consider the problem Flint Michigan has with the lead in their water.

Could law makers just get away with changing the meaning and definitions of lead and "parts per million" to make the problem go away?

We both know they can't.

So, this is not a semantic play on words. The claim that an individual's life begins at and by conception is a matter of scientific fact.

Last edited by Chuz Life; January 31st, 2016 at 09:09 AM.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 07:49 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Chuz
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat
As far as I'm concerned, or would be concerned were I a woman, I care, and I wouldn't choose to have an abortion for birth control purposes.
You are confusing me.

First, you said you would not change your views in support of abortion EVEN IF you were convinced that an abortion kills a child and denies their rights.

Then you add that you "wouldn't choose to have an abortion for birth control purposes."

Why? Why wouldn't you?
Because I'm not positive at what point a zygote/embryo/fetus becomes a human. It sounds silly to say that, but it's at the core of the debate. It IS the debate. Were I a woman, I'd choose to err on the side of caution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuz
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat
But opinions differ on when life begins, or even on what "life" is.
Aren't we all intelligent enough to put that to rest?
Aha, only the obtuse question when life begins and presumably, what life is. Thanks for sharing your opinion, and as we all know, opinions vary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuz
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat
If memory serves, you were on the authoritarian side of the personality test. I was on the libertarian side. That partly explains our positions.
Understood.

I don't see why we can't find any common ground on this though.
What is "this?"
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Old January 31st, 2016, 07:57 AM   #83
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My response to the essay

Quote:
Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
ESSAY: Our approach is to look at both adult and fetus as a biologist would: as parts of a complex and interconnected web of living things on our planet.
That is only party how biologists look at things.

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
Instead of asking about how a fetus resembles an adult human, we propose to ask how both of them differ from other living things, what it is that makes them uniquely human, and then to use this information in coming to policy decisions.
Here, already, the authors have left the realm of science and have moved into politics and philosophy.


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Over the years, scientists have developed new understandings about life on our planet and about the nature of Homo sapiens.
Human nature and human biology are two different areas of study and science.

So much for the original claim of looking at this "as a biologist would"

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
A good deal of this understanding has come since the original Roe decision and, to our knowledge, has been largely ignored in the ensuing debate. It shouldn’t be.

This is not to say that the abortion debate can be reduced, in the end, to a question of scientific fact. It can’t.
Yes, it can.

It's up to law makers and the courts to make it happen that way. However, they CAN base their decisions and policies on scientific fact - if they want to.

My question is "why wouldn't they want to do that?"

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
Neither, however, can the debate be conducted intelligently if one ignores what scientists have learned about human beings and about the process by which a single fertilized egg develops into a newborn child.
Here the authors have completely abandoned their approach 'as biologists' and have ignored the fact that our science and even some of our laws already recognize a human being in the womb in ANY stage of development as a child.

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
This truth is nowhere more evident than when legislators trying to grapple with the abortion issue turn to the scientific community and ask, “When does an individual life begin?”

This is not only the wrong question, it is a question that cannot be answered by use of methods of science.
Bull shit.

It's been answered time and again. To the point that it's no longer even an issue among most scientists and even by lawmakers.

On this point, even Bill Clinton said more than 20 YEARS AGO; Quote: "If two cells join in the process that begins to make a human being, are they living? Answer? No one disputes that. That's not the issue. "

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
Any scientist who says it can either doesn’t understand the limits of our craft, has defined “life” in a way that he or she hasn’t made explicit, or is trying to be deceptive. We’ve seen examples of all three sources of error behind “scientific” answers to this question, by people on both sides of the abortion debate.
This fallacy (committed by these authors) is known as Poisoning the well. Instead of identifying where ANY of the 'scientists' were wrong, the authors simply lump them all together and discredit all of them with no specific examples of how any of them were wrong at all.

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
This question is sometimes confused with one that is more specifically biological: “When does life in general begin?” meaning, “When did living things first appear on the earth?” This more general question can, of course, be approached with the methods of science, although the fact of the matter is that life is one of those terms (like time) that scientists are usually quite content to use in a loose, colloquial way, but that they find extraordinary difficult to define with precision.
Do these authors support laws against "murder?"

If "life" is as difficult to define as they suggest it is. . . then I have to ask - how either of them can be satisfied with ANY definition or parameters for a law against murder.

Would their response to the assassination of JFK be reduced to a comment like "Yeah, but he's not really dead is he? I mean - scientists can't even prove he was alive!"

This just shows how intellectually ignorant or worse dishonest these authors are being.

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
In the context of the abortion debate, life clearly means “the life of an individual.” So “When does life begin?” is still the wrong question.
In

Their

Opinion

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
The only way we can define individual life is by making a list of the characteristics of an individual life and then seeing if the entity in question shares them.
That is only one of many scientific approaches.

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Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
The only rational answer a biologist can give to the question “When does an individual life begin?” is to say, “Tell me what you mean by individual life, and I’ll tell you if this entity has it.”
Dafuq?

How can a person be a biologist and not already KNOW what is meant by "individual life?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
A biologist, in other words, cannot provide a definition of individual life (at least as that term is used in the abortion debate) solely from the biological sciences. He or she must go outside science for those sorts of definitions.
BULLSHIT again!

Have these authors never heard of "White Papers?"

When Does Human Life Begin? - A SCIENTIFIC perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by baloney_detector View Post
For example, a geneticist can tell you that at conception a new combination of preexisting DNA has come into existence, but whether “life” has begun simply cannot be resolved by this information. This type of answer is profoundly unsatisfying, but it’s about all you can expect if you ask the wrong question.”

"The Facts of Life"
Harold J. Morowitz and James S. Trefil
These idiots clearly need to go back to school.

All of their claims have been refuted.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 08:19 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
I'm not positive at what point a zygote/embryo/fetus becomes a human. It sounds silly to say that, but it's at the core of the debate. It IS the debate. Were I a woman, I'd choose to err on the side of caution.
As a student or even as an adult, have you ever examined an illustration of the human life cycle? Did you have sex ed and did you not cover sexual reproduction in biology class?



How can anyone not understand that "a human being" while in the zygote stage of their life IS "a human being" in the zygote stage of their life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
Aha, only the obtuse question when life begins and presumably, what life is. Thanks for sharing your opinion, and as we all know, opinions vary.
Is that really what you think it comes down to?

A difference of opinion?

Schools have a curriculum. Teachers have a responsibility to teach the facts as we know them. They don't teach facts as "differences of opinions."

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What is "this?"
I was trying to say that despite where we fall on the political compass, scientific facts are something we should have as common ground.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 08:32 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
To those who are answering "YES" to the poll. . .

Can I ask why you don't just announce up front that you don't care if an abortion kills a child or not when you are discussing abortion?

That would save a lot of time.
It boils down to this, in every abortion, there is a woman, who is a human being with rights, don't we all agree with that?
One of her rights is to control her womb, because it's hers, it's her body.

There is also an embryo or a fetus, that may or may not be considered a person with rights, that's why there is a debate.
So you have a person with rights, and maybe a person with rights.
I'd say the person has better claim to exercise her rights over the hypothetical rights of a person who may or may not exist.

The law used to be that which breathes is alive, by that definition, life begins at birth. There is the idea of brain death, that if it is shown that the brain is dead, life support may be removed from the body, killing it.
Going with the idea that personhood is connected with a functioning brain.
The amputee is not considered a fraction of a person, missing an arm, a leg, eyes, ears, having had your heart removed and replaced, doesn't change who you are. But brain death, even when everything else is alive, is death.
I submit that what works on one end, should work on both ends.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 09:00 AM   #86
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It boils down to this, in every abortion, there is a woman, who is a human being with rights, don't we all agree with that?
I think what "it all boils down to" is a bit broader than what you claim but I will try to address your comments on this.

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One of her rights is to control her womb, because it's hers, it's her body.
A woman has rights to control her womb - for sure. However a woman has no more right to violate the rights of another with her womb than she does with her hands or with her feet.

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There is also an embryo or a fetus, that may or may not be considered a person with rights, that's why there is a debate.
So you have a person with rights, and maybe a person with rights.
Okay.

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I'd say the person has better claim to exercise her rights over the hypothetical rights of a person who may or may not exist.
Okay.

And once we do establish the fact that the child DOES exists and they have the same right to the equal protections of our laws that the mother has. . .

Then what?

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The law used to be that which breathes is alive, by that definition, life begins at birth. There is the idea of brain death, that if it is shown that the brain is dead, life support may be removed from the body, killing it.
True and those shortcomings in science have already long since been refuted.

We now know that a child in the womb "breathes" through cellular respiration in the same way that the cells in an adult's body does.

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Going with the idea that personhood is connected with a functioning brain.
Can you provide a LEGAL definition of person or personhood that REQUIRES a "functioning brain?"

I can show you court cases where children were born with no functioning brain at all - who were still legally recognized and protected as human beings / persons.

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Originally Posted by goober View Post
The amputee is not considered a fraction of a person, missing an arm, a leg, eyes, ears, having had your heart removed and replaced, doesn't change who you are. But brain death, even when everything else is alive, is death.
You are making a giant leap between a temporary lack or absence of brain activity is (or should be) equal to and end to a person's brain activity.

To arrive at that conclusion, you have to completely ignore the prognosis or likelyhood that a developing child (if left unmolested) will most likely have brain the activity you feel they should have in a relatively short amount of time.

And again, brain activity is not a legal requirement for 'personhood' anyway.

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I submit that what works on one end, should work on both ends.
I think that view is dangerously simple but you are entitled to it.

I have been involved in some end of life decisions, myself and I can tell you from personal experience that no doctor is going to suggest pulling the plug on a so called 'brain dead' patient who has even a fraction of the prognosis for recovery that a typical child in the womb has for further life, growth and development.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 09:42 AM   #87
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a woman, who can usually speak quite well enuf for herself has rights.

does a baby, helpless, voiceless and defenseless have rights? if you can answer that question with an absolute you're delusional.

for me appropriate moral caution dictates to err on the side of the most helpless.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 09:55 AM   #88
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a woman, who can usually speak quite well enuf for herself has rights.

does a baby, helpless, voiceless and defenseless have rights? if you can answer that question with an absolute you're delusional.

for me appropriate moral caution dictates to err on the side of the most helpless.
Given that you have zero chance of ever having to live with the consequences of that position, easy for you to say.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 09:58 AM   #89
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Given that you have zero chance of ever having to live with the consequences of that position, easy for you to say.
you are completely wrong, I live everyday with dread consequences.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 09:59 AM   #90
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Given that you have zero chance of ever having to live with the consequences of that position, easy for you to say.
I don't know how you can say that.

I was a single father with full custody of a child that you could say was a "consequence" of an unplanned pregnancy. . . so.
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