For the fools who assert that "abortion is legal", or a "fetus is not a person", as if this is saying anything

Sep 2019
2,258
2,500
Louisville, Ky
That definition can easily be changed, of course - that's the point - on what axioms are those definitions based?


...snip...
This may help if you bother to read it.
"
Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.



  • By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.
  • By the end of the fourth week, it's about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It's recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.
  • By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.
  • By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.
  • By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.
  • By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.
  • By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.
  • By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.
    So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli--again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?
    The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they're arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely human characteristics--apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn't stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.
    Other animals have advantages over us--in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought--characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That's how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.
    Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain--principally in the top layers of the convoluted "gray matter" called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn't begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy--the sixth month.
    By placing harmless electrodes on a subject's head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy--near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this--however alive and active they may be--lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.
    Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we've rejected the extremes of "always" and "never," and this puts us--like it or not--on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.
    It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973--although for completely different reasons.
    Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there's a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves."
 
Oct 2019
775
55
USA
This may help if you bother to read it.
"
Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.




  • By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.
  • By the end of the fourth week, it's about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It's recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.
  • By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.
  • By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.
  • By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.
  • By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.
  • By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.
  • By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.
    So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli--again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?
    The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they're arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely human characteristics--apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn't stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.
    Other animals have advantages over us--in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought--characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That's how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.
    Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain--principally in the top layers of the convoluted "gray matter" called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn't begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy--the sixth month.
    By placing harmless electrodes on a subject's head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy--near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this--however alive and active they may be--lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.
    Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we've rejected the extremes of "always" and "never," and this puts us--like it or not--on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.
    It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973--although for completely different reasons.
    Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there's a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves."
That's a non-sequiter.

If the argument is that "everyone of us began from a dot" - we could as well assert that the "dot" has a right to life on the basis of that information, so why shouldn't we?
 

RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
42,071
30,520
La La Land North
That definition can easily be changed, of course - that's the point - on what axioms are those definitions based?


I'd venture it's understandable for people to be inclined to treat adults more harshly than children, who are perceived as innocent.
You get definitions like that when you use logic rather interpretations that some people have of a book of fiction to set laws.
 

RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
42,071
30,520
La La Land North
That's a non-sequiter.

If the argument is that "everyone of us began from a dot" - we could as well assert that the "dot" has a right to life on the basis of that information, so why shouldn't we?
Could you please either buy a dictionary or use one of the multiple free online sources to look up what "non sequitur" means. And BTW mine is the correct spelling.
 
Oct 2019
775
55
USA
You get definitions like that when you use logic rather interpretations that some people have of a book of fiction to set laws.
Non-sequitur.

Most of your arguments are silly and erroneous, such as the idea that Bibilcal or religious laws developed "in a vacuum", or in abstraction from the information and facts that the development of the laws were based on.

By the same token, then the common law itself is based on a "book of fiction", given that it incorporated elements of older legal systems, such as Rome and Exodus.

And likewise, if by "fiction" you erroneously mean a "myth", a "faith-based axiom", or a "prime truth" - that, of course is what arguments for rights to abortion are based on to begin with, the fictitious notion that "women have this or that right", which the information is then used after the fact to support that conclusion, when it could just as well be used in a different way.

Based on the information Tecoyah provided, for example - I could easily assert that "since we all begin as a dot, a dot has a right to life" - why would that be "wrong"? The information that assertion is based on is the same - what you're doing is conflating the raw information, with the axiom, prime truth, or faith-based principle that the information is being used to substantiate to begin with.
 
Aug 2019
1,401
1,619
Albuquerque, NM
The beauty is that those definitions can easily be changed, on the basis of various objective or subjective factors - much as they were established to begin on the basis of something or another - not simply "out of thin air"... for no reason.


The use of the words have no bearing, on what the objective reality being defined as such is - they're merely a means of labeling it on the basis of something or another, often to the exclusion of other things.

If I label an "apple, an apple", for example - I did not literally count every molecule which the apple is theoretically made up of, I merely labeled it as such on the basis of some similarity or some difference from something else.
Then you are being a fool, since you can get an apple that is unedible because it has not matured into a full apple. We do not call a seed an apple, because it hasn't formed an apple yet.
 
Nov 2005
10,080
5,424
California
I've seen some fools merely state that "abortion is legal", or "a fetus is not a person" - as though this is somehow "making an argument".
And I've seen some people who merely state (or rather assume in their comments) that the fetus is a person, begging the question of WHY it should be considered as such.

Moreover, your criticism is hilarious given that you yourself repeatedly fail to make arguments as you describe.
You make proclamations of things you assume, but then when challenged you cannot defend them.


That definition can easily be changed, of course - that's the point - on what axioms are those definitions based?
This is a perfect example of you perpetrating the very fallacy in discussion I just pointed out.
Instead of explaining WHY anybody should come to that conclusion, you just proclaim it would be "easily ... changed".
That's not an argument.

The reality is that our society does not recognize fetuses as a person in any way beyond abortion, so why should we suddenly change our way of looking at it for this ONE issue?
For example, in our taxes, is a fetus allowed to be counted as a dependent? No.
We provide birth certificates to document a person's heritage, but we have nothing similar for a fetus. Another example of our society recognizing people after they are born, but not before.

The very approach extends well beyond human classification as well. Do we look at an acorn and say it is a tree? No. Do we look at an egg and say it is a chicken? No.

You say we can change the definitions.
But you never explain why we should change the definition.
You are perpetrating the very thing you criticized in your first post in this thread.


If I label an "apple, an apple", for example - I did not literally count every molecule which the apple is theoretically made up of, I merely labeled it as such on the basis of some similarity or some difference from something else.
If you eat an apple and you avoid eating the seeds, do you say that you ate the apple but not the apple trees inside?
Of course you don't.
 
Sep 2019
2,258
2,500
Louisville, Ky
That's a non-sequiter.

If the argument is that "everyone of us began from a dot" - we could as well assert that the "dot" has a right to life on the basis of that information, so why shouldn't we?
You obviously did not bother to read even the snippet I provided, let alone the article. This decision to avoid learning explains much about your knowledge base and defines what you are.

Have A Nice Day:)
 
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Oct 2019
775
55
USA
You obviously did not bother to read even the snippet I provided, let alone the article. This decision to avoid learning explains much about your knowledge base and defines what you are.

Have A Nice Day:)
You're being dishonest - the axiom by which you assert that "women have a right to abortion" has nothing to do with raw information, which devoid of context, has no meaning at all.

So I just asserted that because we all began as a "dot", the "dot" should have a right to life - why is this assertion "wrong"? - it's based on the very information you provided.
 
Nov 2005
10,080
5,424
California
That's a non-sequiter.
If the argument is that "everyone of us began from a dot" - we could as well assert that the "dot" has a right to life on the basis of that information, so why shouldn't we?
No. You need to look up the meaning of words before you try to use them. That's not a non sequitur.

You present such an absurdly meaningless way of looking at things because you (seemingly) base your statements based on the desired conclusion. You put the cart before the horse and then completely fail to explain WHY the cart should be put before the horse.

Here you say we could assert that the "dot" has a right to life "on the basis of that information".
HOW could we come to that conclusion? You don't even try to explain that.

In post #15 you say "I could easily assert that "since we all begin as a dot, a dot has a right to life" - why would that be "wrong"?", but you never explain WHY YOU THINK IT IS RIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Throughout our existence, we recognize distinct phases. If a person is too young, it is illegal to have sex with them and considered "child molestation". The person gets older and then it's "statutory rape". Reaching 18 => legal for them to have sex with any adult, but they cannot drink legally in the U.S.
Using your arguments and using your lack of justification, we could simply say that we're going to change the age to 5 years old for when it's legal for them to drink.