Is Abortion Ever Acceptable?

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Is Abortion Ever Acceptable?

 A YouTuber named Craig sent me a PM regarding my video on abortion. His comments and my responses were too large for the YouTube video comment section:


Craig: And you also may be missing the point a bit. Consider the fact that if the overdue baby (who, again, is healthier, more developed, and far more capable of independence outside the womb) has a scissors jammed into the back of his head and his brain sucked out, the law is silent. However, if that 23 week old baby on life-support had the same procedure done, the perpetrator would be tried with murder...EVEN IF the mother had requested it (in which case she'd be charged as well).

How is it obvious to you that the absence of having drawn oxygen into his lungs somehow makes this morally and legally sensible?


Me:
 There is nothing obvious about any of this, especially late term abortion as you describe. In the case of the baby still in utero (late term abortion) the reason must have to do with the safety of the mother. The killing of an already delivered baby in an incubator, as you describe, is not a fair analogue, nor would it happen.

I also am horrified by the idea of late term abortion. But I have to repeat, I don't know what the cause might be for performing one. I can't believe that any doctor would undertake such an action lightly. If I were a husband faced with a choice of wife or baby, I think I'd choose to save the wife. I am way past that now, but I would hope that you never are faced with such a choice.

Craig: Admittedly, they ARE both an "interference" in what would have happen if nature just ran its course. But to equate an interference that sustains life with an interference that destroys life is a logical disaster. Would you equate "feeding a quadriplegic" with "starving a paraplegic"? In both instances, we are "interfering" in what would normally happen if nature were left to her own devices. Of course not. There is simply no comparison with an "intervention" that sustains life and an "intervention" that destroys it. By this logic, we could equate Dr. J. Mengele with Dr. W. Mayo...both were just "interferers".

Me:
 I think your comparisons here are extreme. Mengele and Mayo? Mengele experimented on people against their will, while Mayo tried to aid them in recovery. Intent has a lot to do with it. Intervention isn't always the same. I'm sure that's your point, but your approach is an appeal to emotion, which was my objection to the so-called pro life movement in the first place.

Feeding a person who wants to live and can't feed himself is perhaps an intervention, but who starves a paraplegic? Can you cite me a case? If you bring up a case like Terri Schaivo you will be equating paraplegia with persistent vegetative state, which is not analogous at all.

Craig: We can agree that abortion is a complex issue; but I don't see how complex issues justify inconsistent thinking. It seems to me that some consistent thinking and some fundamental commitments are precisely what we need to think our way through complex matters.

Me: It would be great if in this life we could always be consistent. But circumstances are not consistent. The case of a fetus killed (think Sharon Tate) when the killing was done in malice and to a fetus whose arrival was anticipated with joy is not the same as aborting the fetus produced through rape or incest, or one which would endanger the life of the mother. A certain inconsistency is required in life. We are not machines.

Craig: The way I see it, Largo, is that there is an atrocity in our midst...an absolute blood bath right on our front doorsteps. 53 Million abortions in North America in the last 40+ years. And this blood bath is being justified and euphemized by misleading rhetoric and admittedly inconsistent thinking.

ME: I can agree that there are far too many abortions, and for reasons of convenience or laziness in birth control. But think of the alternative. Abortions were performed when they were illegal, too, but frequently under unsanitary conditions and by practitioners who were unqualified and may have killed the mother. To outlaw abortions would never end them. But it would make them more dangerous.

The rest of your letter seems to rest on your belief that the unborn have the same rights as the born. I already explained that a blastocyst is not a baby, and calling a fetus a baby as if it had a personality is rhetoric on your part, designed to evoke emotion and a visceral rather than an intellectual response.

I agree with you that abortion generally is a bad idea, because, as I said, most abortions are probably done because people didn't take precautions against pregnancy in the first place and are not ready to deal with the consequences. But I am not ready to call it murder. On this we simply do not agree.

The "breath of life" argument, by the way, was from the bible. I'm not a believer myself, but many of the "pro life" faction are, and I referred them to scriptures saying that Adam, for example wasn't born with a living soul, but became one when the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils (and thence, one would suppose, into his lungs).

I have tried here and in my video to present a civil argument without rancor. I hope that can be maintained, even as we disagree.

Re: Issues of Philosophy

Craig: It was not an appeal to emotion. I was not suggesting something was true or false on the basis of how it makes you feel. I was deducing very logically what the implications would be if we took the philosophy undergirding that comment and applied it beyond the abortion issue

Me: I don't think so. Your Mengele/Mayo comparison was not to the point, unless appeal to emotion was your intent. No one thinks Mengele was justified in experimenting on human beings against their will. But many people see abortion as a necessary, if distasteful procedure in some cases. Applying an example like that in comparison to an abortion doctor is disingenuous. You could hardly have expected other than an emotional reaction.

Craig: As hypothetical as the example is, its sole purpose is to illustrate the impropriety of indiscriminately lumping life-sustaining (Mayo) and life-destroying (Mengele) "interferences" into the same category. 

Me: I did not group life sustaining interferences with life destroying ones, you did with your Mengele/Mayo comparison. Again I ask you to cite a case where anyone denied food to a paraplegic. That would be a fair analogue. And again, I caution you not to use Terri Schaivo, since all that could be called personhood was already absent from her body before the support was removed.

Crig: Many late term abortions are done for the same reasons early term abortions are done. The mother does not want the child. 

Me: If you can document this, I might take you seriously. But to me it sounds like posturing in the absence of an argument. What doctor would do such a procedure with "I don't want this kid" as the reason? If there are doctors who would do so, they are bereft of any ethical values. But, as I said, I think doctors only perform late term abortions for very compelling reasons. Prove me wrong, and I will agree with you. Your unsupported assertion that this is so is not enough.

Craig: Then why is that your position? Perhaps "obvious" was too strong a word. Perhaps I should reword it to simply say, why is that a compelling enough line in the sand for you to hold that as the point of legal protection as opposed to another point (like conception)?

Me: I explained that MOST people who oppose abortion do so for religious reasons, and I pointed out scripture about the "breath of life." Obviously that did not resonate with you. I am not willing to say conception is the beginning of any more than a process, which may be interrupted, either naturally or extranaturally at any point. I pointed out in the video that a great many abortions occur spontaneously (naturally) for various reasons. 

With regard to scripture, you should note also that in the bible (Hosea 13:16 for example) not only does the lord order infants already born to be "dashed in pieces," but "women with child ripped open." How's that for a late-term abortion, and at the command of god!

Check out also Isaiah 13:18 "...they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes shall not spare children."

If your argument is purely secular you haven't made your point.

Craig: It is also a strawman to suggest that the entire pro-life movement can be labeled and thus dismissed as an appeal to emotion.

Me: Perhaps some individuals don't appeal only to emotion. But what do you call the signs protesters carry of partial birth abortions and fetuses in the womb? I have seen them. They are highly emotional. Add to that the "pro-life" label, the obvious opposite of which is "anti-life" and you have nothing BUT an appeal to emotion. Perhaps not everyone in the movement deems personhood to begin at conception. But most do. Why else would stem cell research be such a hot button issue?

Craig: I agree that some late term abortions are done to protect the life of the mother (an exception that I am inclined to defend legally; I can also respect an exception in the case of incest and rape). 

Me: I'm glad you can see at least some exceptions. 

Craig: The objection is obvious. The victim has inalienable rights. No man should ever have the right to hit his wife, and no adult should ever have the right to have sex with a child.

Me: Then why do you even propose that? In practically the next sentence you say that that is MY philosophy extrapolated. That is simply not true. My thoughts on abortion apply only to that narrow subject. To accuse me of holding that spousal abuse and child rape could ever under any circumstance be acceptable is false and repugnant. You have no way of knowing what I think beyond what I told you. To say that you know my unexpressed "philosophy" is beyond hubris.

You yourself admit to making an exception in the case of incest or rape or danger to the life of the mother. Yet you expect some kind of superhuman consistency of me. You say you "draw the line" at conception. If that is true and absolute, how can you have any exceptions at all? It is as I said, inconsistency is a necessary part of life. Circumstances change. That is not a tautology. We merely have a difference of opinion. 

Aldous Huxley famously said that the only consistent people are the dead. I agree. If you must have consistency, you need to stop debating, because you will never achieve it, either from your opponent or from yourself.

Thanks for the stimulating discourse. I appreciate that, unlike some in that comment section, you haven't lost your temper or damned me to hell. (Or was that in some other comment section? I get that a lot.)

Best regards,

Larry

 

 


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2 Samuel 12:13-14

 This is my favorite Bible text regarding abortion because God directly does it and he does it to King David, for his sins and not the baby.

It is after birth which is more vile. I used this one in a discussion with a Christian and it stumped the guy. 

There certainly is a lot of meat to the story, which I did a short blog on.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/2010/11/god-is-abortion-doctor_25.html

 

 

2 Samuel 12:13-14 wrote:
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt,the son born to you will die.”

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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David's baby, and god's punishment:

 I pointed out the 2 Samuel quote in a video (which one I don't remember offhand). I noticed, too, that god didn't merely strike the baby dead, but, in order to elicit the maximum suffering from David (nothing was said about Bathsheba, the mother. Being a mere woman, she was a person of no consequence, except as she affected a man.), god caused the infant to suffer with a fever for seven days before allowing it to die. This god was utterly cruel. And he clearly gave not a shit for the suffering of a child. As long as he made his point, human agony was meaningless. This is the god Christians call love itself (1 John 4:8 and 16). Talk about irony! 

Larry Gott


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There is a HUGE fallacy that

There is a HUGE fallacy that a teen or a woman says to themselves 'I'm going to get pregnant just so I can have an abortion and revel in a party afterwords"

The other bullshit inconsistency is that the believer says that God is the only judge. If that is the case then again, stay the fuck out of someone else's personal decisions and off a body you don't have that is not your body.

Secondly, unless you are willing to pay for that kid after it is born, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

There is common ground between the two camps which is really where the focus should be. Reducing unwanted pregnancies. Reducing poverty so that kids are not born into it.

Teaching kids and teens that kids are expensive. Teaching them that they can end up with a kid they cannot afford. Teaching them that they can end up with a disease they don't want. Teaching them that keeping it in their pants is the safest way to avoid both disease and unwanted babies they cant afford. Oral sex counts as sex.

But that requires empowering them with KNOWLEDGE of how their bodies work and not the bullshit threats of abandonment if they do make a mistake. And also teaching them how condoms work if they chose to have sex. Teaching them that THEY, not their partners, not peer pressure, but they alone determine what they do and the individual alone determines what they do with their own body.

But it is completely absurd to treat a cluster of cells as equal to a born baby. It is an arbitrary starting point. Sperm and eggs before they meet are alive as well so they have to be considered life as well too.

 

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God gets irate

Brian37 wrote:

But it is completely absurd to treat a cluster of cells as equal to a born baby. It is an arbitrary starting point. Sperm and eggs before they meet are alive as well so they have to be considered life as well too.

 

Babies, Babies, we need more babies.

I don't know why God created women to spit out an egg every month. He fucked up there.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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but .. the opposing view

 

Oh, my.......


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Re: Monte Python, etc.

 That was absolutely hilarious!


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Re: Every Sperm Is Sacred

 D'ya suppose the Monte Python crew were non-Catholics?  


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But you have no arms.Just a

But you have no arms.

Just a flesh wound.

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Opinions on what constitutes

Opinions on what constitutes a human, or life, are opinions. Not facts.

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Vastet wrote:Opinions on

Vastet wrote:
Opinions on what constitutes a human, or life, are opinions. Not facts.

Semantically and literally speaking DNA constitutes life. Where the opinion comes in is when life starts. I think conception is a bullshit argument considering that sperm and eggs are not dead before conception.

A more secular case against abortion(still not a good argument) would be when does the suffering of the unborn become big enough to consider. A cluster of cells will not suffer pain if terminated. But a late term abortion you'd have more of a case against. But you are in both cases when you take away a woman's rights putting her in the position of potentially having an unwanted baby or a baby they cant afford.

And the quality of life AFTER birth is something fundies don't want to consider, which is just as important, even more important on a case by case basis. So ultimately it boils down to a woman's body is hers and only that individual should have the final say as to what they do.

 

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They aren't dead but they

They aren't dead but they are clearly two separate and distinct life forms. The same is not true for the result of their interaction.

And technically, life begins long before DNA.

You assume the mothers rights over the childs. An opinion.

Quote:
So ultimately it boils down to a woman's body is hers and only that individual should have the final say as to what they do.

Until such time a baby can develop independent of the mother, if such is possible. At which point it's the childs body, and not hers.

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Vastet wrote:They aren't

Vastet wrote:
They aren't dead but they are clearly two separate and distinct life forms. The same is not true for the result of their interaction. And technically, life begins long before DNA. You assume the mothers rights over the childs. An opinion.
Quote:
So ultimately it boils down to a woman's body is hers and only that individual should have the final say as to what they do.
Until such time a baby can develop independent of the mother, if such is possible. At which point it's the childs body, and not hers.

True, mother's rights vs the unborn, yes, opinion, most certainly. But between the two which one can can consult a doctor and which one is capable of understanding the options the doctor gives them?

Case by case is the ONLY way you can do it and even in that case, since life really is a crap shoot, the woman is the one carrying the life, no one else.

 

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Vastet wrote:They aren't

Vastet wrote:
They aren't dead but they are clearly two separate and distinct life forms. The same is not true for the result of their interaction. And technically, life begins long before DNA. You assume the mothers rights over the childs. An opinion.
Quote:
So ultimately it boils down to a woman's body is hers and only that individual should have the final say as to what they do.
Until such time a baby can develop independent of the mother, if such is possible. At which point it's the childs body, and not hers.

Agreed, once the baby is independent of the mother's body then it ceases to be part of her. Then yes, at that point there are no absolute rights over the child.

All I am saying is that there is murkiness prior to birth that both sides battle over. I'd say it is better to default to it being left up to the woman and a doctor.

The reality is that every baby born has the potential to go on to do good things and just as much chance to go on to be a monster to society. So if people want to argue that abortion might kill a  potential Martin Luther King, it can also potentially kill a potential Adolph Hitler. I am not saying that is your argument, I am saying that would be part of my argument for ultimately leaving it up to the mother prior to birth.

 

 

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Quote:True, mother's rights

Quote:
True, mother's rights vs the unborn, yes, opinion, most certainly. But between the two which one can can consult a doctor and which one is capable of understanding the options the doctor gives them?

So you're only entitled to care if you can communicate with your doctor?

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Brian37 wrote:So if people

Brian37 wrote:
So if people want to argue that abortion might kill a  potential Martin Luther King, it can also potentially kill a potential Adolph Hitler.

So? Hitler did some good things along with the bad. Neither space nor IT industries would be where they are if not for him. Who are we to decide the future of someone based on 'mights'?
I probably owe Hitler my existence, considering my family came from Scotland and Germany to Canada after WWII.

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Vastet wrote:Brian37

Vastet wrote:
Brian37 wrote:
So if people want to argue that abortion might kill a  potential Martin Luther King, it can also potentially kill a potential Adolph Hitler.
So? Hitler did some good things along with the bad. Neither space nor IT industries would be where they are if not for him. Who are we to decide the future of someone based on 'mights'? I probably owe Hitler my existence, considering my family came from Scotland and Germany to Canada after WWII.

Yea and the highways still exist that Germans use. I get that.

Not really sure if we really are on different pages here. Life is a crap shoot. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.

How about this. What determining factors WOULD YOU set up prior to birth if you could set the rules?

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I HATE this topic....

The reason I hate this topic is because it has no 'rational' conclusion.
I am anti-abortion... I just don't like it. I am however, a male, and since I will never have to make the choice for myself, I have no say. Period.
I maintain that human life begins at the same point it ends, when the brain starts coherent operation. (Life ends when the brain ceases coherent function). This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.
Abortion before this point fails the definition of 'murder'.
So why am I against it? It's a gut level, emotional response that I can not defend rationally.
I've had women very close to me who have had to make the choice, and, in spite of my own emotional angst, I have supported them and continue to support them.

I hate this topic, because it makes me feel like a hypocrite .

 

LC >;-}>

 

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Technology isn't

Technology isn't sufficiently advanced for me to change anything today, but that may change.

Ideally, the only way anyone should be permitted to terminate a pregnancy is if there is a danger to the mother or if the pregnancy was forced, but both of those are negated in the face of technology which can step in for a mothers womb.
Beyond that, if you're having sex, there are consequences. People should be responsible for the consequences of activities they partake in. They should not simply be killing inconveniences so they can continue to be irresponsible, draining the health system of valuable resources because they're too stupid to think beyond their dick or vagina.

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Vastet wrote:Technology

Vastet wrote:
Technology isn't sufficiently advanced for me to change anything today, but that may change. Ideally, the only way anyone should be permitted to terminate a pregnancy is if there is a danger to the mother or if the pregnancy was forced, but both of those are negated in the face of technology which can step in for a mothers womb. Beyond that, if you're having sex, there are consequences. People should be responsible for the consequences of activities they partake in. They should not simply be killing inconveniences so they can continue to be irresponsible, draining the health system of valuable resources because they're too stupid to think beyond their dick or vagina.

Yea, everything is "ideal" but reality is never "ideal".

I agree with Luis, I have no vagina and cant get knocked up, so I have no say ultimately.

And again, even if it is an abortion of choice where no danger is involved, why would you want to force an unwanted pregnancy on a woman? Adoption rates are not equal to the amount of requests for abortion. All you would be doing is creating a potentially unhealthy relationship.

My adoptive mother will never admit this. But she and my adoptive father adopted me because she couldn't have kids herself. I think she resented me subconsciously without realizing it and took it out on me growing up without realizing it. I was lucky to eventually recognize her baggage as not having to be mine. I do love her, but if I had been her natural kid I am quite sure things would have gone differently.

My escape is the exception, not the norm. Poor people and even people who have the means who have kids they don't want far too often abuse them, even if it is just mentally. If we all want a society that only has kids when they want them, then the approach should not be all or nothing, but education before hand so that there is less potential for things going wrong.

Quality of life matters too. Since life is a range and not an absolute, any "ideal" has to take that reality into account.

I think both sides of this issue want less abortions. I certainly do because I don't think any girl/woman sets out to get pregnant just to have one. It is how we reduce them via what tactics where the conflict comes in.

 

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Louis_Cypher wrote:The

Louis_Cypher wrote:

The reason I hate this topic is because it has no 'rational' conclusion.
I am anti-abortion... I just don't like it. I am however, a male, and since I will never have to make the choice for myself, I have no say. Period.
I maintain that human life begins at the same point it ends, when the brain starts coherent operation. (Life ends when the brain ceases coherent function). This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.
Abortion before this point fails the definition of 'murder'.
So why am I against it? It's a gut level, emotional response that I can not defend rationally.
I've had women very close to me who have had to make the choice, and, in spite of my own emotional angst, I have supported them and continue to support them.

I hate this topic, because it makes me feel like a hypocrite .

 

LC >;-}>

 

No you are not being a hypocrite. You are just merely accepting you don't live in a utopia.

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I am pro abortion, we have a

I am pro abortion, we have a moral obligation to abort as much as possible if someone unfortunatly gets pregnant. I unfortunatly am weak willed and also support that woman have a right to there bodies and what not so I cannot support forceing abortions but I do think woman should be given the facts about what exactly they are doing to the planet and my peace of mind by choosing not to abort. Selective breeding sounds like fun, there is no need for the the riff raff to breed. Bringing the world population down to 100 million seems like a good idea to me. Selective breeding sounds like a good way to aviod genocide which seems to me to be the obvious result of the worlds current attitude on the matter of reproduction. To those who would claim infanticide I reply that it was good enough for god so it is good enough for me.

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Tapey wrote:I am pro

Tapey wrote:

I am pro abortion, we have a moral obligation to abort as much as possible if someone unfortunatly gets pregnant. I unfortunatly am weak willed and also support that woman have a right to there bodies and what not so I cannot support forceing abortions but I do think woman should be given the facts about what exactly they are doing to the planet and my peace of mind by choosing not to abort. Selective breeding sounds like fun, there is no need for the the riff raff to breed. Bringing the world population down to 100 million seems like a good idea to me. Selective breeding sounds like a good way to aviod genocide which seems to me to be the obvious result of the worlds current attitude on the matter of reproduction. To those who would claim infanticide I reply that it was good enough for god so it is good enough for me.

That is the type of talk that scares the crap out of theists, "If it is good enough for god, it is good enough for me".

I'd like to think that humans can have better morals than the gods they invent. There is no god and humans are not gods either because no such thing exists.

It would be nice in everyone's utopia to use a big final push of "force" to get everyone on the same page. The reality is that never works and we find more often than not as a species that when we seek consent we tend to have less conflict.

There is no such thing as a utopia, and there won't be for atheists either.

 

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Life is too important

Louis_Cypher wrote:

The reason I hate this topic is because it has no 'rational' conclusion.
I am anti-abortion... I just don't like it. I am however, a male, and since I will never have to make the choice for myself, I have no say. Period.
I maintain that human life begins at the same point it ends, when the brain starts coherent operation. (Life ends when the brain ceases coherent function). This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.
Abortion before this point fails the definition of 'murder'.
So why am I against it? It's a gut level, emotional response that I can not defend rationally.
I've had women very close to me who have had to make the choice, and, in spite of my own emotional angst, I have supported them and continue to support them.

I hate this topic, because it makes me feel like a hypocrite .

 

LC >;-}>

 

Interesting view point. Maybe it is my dark side or growing up in an abusive home where ridicule was a common practice, but this topic makes me laugh as you can see from my post above.

I just am bewildered by the fact that whether you believe in evolution or in a magic sky daddy life is cheap. Species are all about multiplying and survival to the determent of other species. Better to eat rather than be eaten. The earth is just one big buffet. Life is pretty rough on the individual. Even conception is odd. Millions and billions of living sperm for just one egg. Whoop-de-doo. What is the point of all that? Not very efficient or well designed in my book.  We go about consuming and destroying other life forms with hardly a reflective pause. As a species humans are quite expensive resource wise. 7 billion people. Really, isn't that enough already? How much does one human life cost to the earth and then we don't even have the good graces to offer our body back to it. We either burn it or putting it into a seal box for all eternity. Isn't that selfish?

And something more mind-boggling there are countless ways to die. Disease, war, drugs, drowning, dysentery, hurricanes, being burned at the stake, tripping over a rug and bashing your head, choking on a ham sandwich.  It is such a ridiculous, non-sensical play.  I just find it stupid to think a human embryo is so damn sacred. Once that sperm & egg combine death will happen and in such brevity of time that it is hardly worth noticing. In 4.5 billion years all this shit will be gone. I really love the irreverence of the likes of Monty Python & George Carlin in these matters. Life is simply too important to be taken seriously.

I might be more thankful to my mother if she had aborted me rather than throw me into this fucking mess. Wiki has a page on odd ways to die and I put only a few of them below. I just hope I don't die on the crapper while pleasuring myself. But if it happened I am sure I would crack up after my initial prudence.

Ed Asner was asked, "What is your view on abortion?".  He replied "Oh, when I look around I see a lot of missed opportunities."

 

== a few odd ways people have died  ===

 

1410: Martin of Aragon died from a lethal combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing

 

1649: Sir Arthur Aston, Royalist commander of the garrison during the Siege of Drogheda, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers thought concealed golden coins.

 

1771: Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: hetvägg served in a bowl of hot milk.

 

1816: Gouverneur Morris, an American statesman, died after sticking a piece of whale bone through his urinary tract to relieve a blockage

 

1862: Jim Creighton, a very early baseball player, died when he swung a bat too hard and injured himself, possibly by rupturing his bladder.

 

1871: Clement Vallandigham, U.S. Congressman, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while defending a murder suspect in court. Vallandigham was arguing to the court that the victim could have accidentally shot himself while drawing his gun. As Vallandigham was demonstrating with his own gun, which he had believed to be unloaded, it accidentally discharged, killing him.

 

1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of a broken neck when her long scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.

 

1939: Finnish actress Sirkka Sari died when she fell down a chimney into a heating boiler. She had mistaken the chimney for a balcony

 

1974: Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health food advocate from Croydon, drank himself to death with carrot juice

 

1980: Monica Myers, the 70-year-old mayor of Betterton, Maryland, died when she slipped into a 25-foot tank of raw sewage and drowned in human waste.

 

2010: Jenny Mitchell, a 19-year-old English hairdresser, was killed when her car exploded after fumes, caused by chemicals mixing with hydrogen peroxide leaking from a bottle of hair bleach, ignited as she lit a cigarette.

 

2010: Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate and drowned in the River Wharfe.

 

for more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths

 

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Louis_Cypher wrote:I

Louis_Cypher wrote:

I maintain that human life begins at the same point it ends, when the brain starts coherent operation. (Life ends when the brain ceases coherent function). This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.
Abortion before this point fails the definition of 'murder'.

I agree with this view.  If there are no higher brain functions going you either are not really alive yet or are already dead.  Regardless if your heart is beating.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Louis_Cypher wrote:This

Louis_Cypher wrote:
This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.

Define what a truly human status means.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20


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Lee2216 wrote:Louis_Cypher

Lee2216 wrote:

Louis_Cypher wrote:
This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.

Define what a truly human status means.

The same status of brain function you have in the moment before you don't, at brain death.

Not that hard of a concept. But to be blunt, before that point it's a fetus, not a baby.

 

LC >;-}>

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Think of it this way, let's

Think of it this way, let's say you are married, and unfortunately your spouse is in a bad car wreck.

She survives but is in a permanently vegetative state with no higher brain functions.  Brain dead.

Is that person still alive?

No.  The body is still functioning with life support but that person you knew is gone.  The personality, the quirks and mannerisms.  It's all gone.  No memories are running through that head, no dreams, no hopes or desires.  All gone.  It's not a human anymore.  It's a living corpse.

In the first several months of your existence, and everyone else's, we aren't even at that level really.  First we're just a collection of cells with no brain, or heart, or arms, or anything like that.  We slowly form, develop, and grow, but in reality until those higher brain functions kick on you're just a brain dead fetus on your mother's life support system.

All you are is a potential human.

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Louis_Cypher wrote:Lee2216

Louis_Cypher wrote:

Lee2216 wrote:

Louis_Cypher wrote:
This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.

Define what a truly human status means.

The same status of brain function you have in the moment before you don't, at brain death.

Not that hard of a concept. But to be blunt, before that point it's a fetus, not a baby.

 

LC >;-}>

What about someone in a persistent vegetative state? Are they not human because they no longer lack any cognitive functions? Fetus just refers to a developmental stage of the human embryo. The fetus is still a human being so the status never changes.

 

 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20


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Actually...

Lee2216 wrote:

Louis_Cypher wrote:

Lee2216 wrote:

Louis_Cypher wrote:
This means that sometime in the third trimester the fetus transitions to a truly human status.

Define what a truly human status means.

The same status of brain function you have in the moment before you don't, at brain death.

Not that hard of a concept. But to be blunt, before that point it's a fetus, not a baby.

 

LC >;-}>

What about someone in a persistent vegetative state? Are they not human because they no longer lack any cognitive functions? Fetus just refers to a developmental stage of the human embryo. The fetus is still a human being so the status never changes.

 

 

No, they are brain dead. And the only thing keeping their husk breathing is a misplaced sense of sentiment.
And No, a fetus is not yet a human being. It will become one, but it's not yet a human.

 

LC >;-}>

 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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But that is a matter of

But that is a matter of opinion.

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Vastet wrote:But that is a

Vastet wrote:
But that is a matter of opinion.

What is a matter of opinion?

What a human is?  If it is the DNA content of the cells, then I shed humans every time I clip my nails or have a bit of dandruff fall off of me.

DNA content of an organic cell, does not, in any argument I have encountered so far, convince me that it makes that cell, for that reason alone, the creature in question.

But I'm just trying to guess what you mean.  I'm not even sure what it is you are saying that is an opinion or even who you are speaking to.

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Still human, but not a person

 I would say that a human in a PVS is still a human, but no longer a person. It's a corpse with a heartbeat. That may sound harsh, particularly if the individual in that condition is a loved one, but it's just a fact. Terry Schaivo is being brought up after all, if only obliquely. Schaivo was dead, but her body lived on. The autopsy showed that her brain had shriveled to near nothing. She perceived nothing at all. Continuing to feed her is like someone stoking the furnace in an abandoned house. There's nobody to benefit from the heat. Also nobody to feel the cold when the coal stops being shoveled or the gas is turned off. 

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This topic relates to a decision

 

 

some people, men and women, have to make and then have to live with, for the rest of their lives. It's a decision that arrives in the context of subjective individual lives. It can't be pulled out of that context and considered in black and white as if suddenly morality came with a sextant and chart and we could look up our ethical latitude and longitude and find where we are, see where we need to go.

If you've never made a decision like this yourself and never been informed by your response to such a decision, I question a person's right to make 'moral' decrees on a subject so fraught. I've been part of decision like this, taken for medical reasons after a chance scrambling of genes led to a pre-child with profound disabilities. It was very painful then. And it's very painful now. 

If we consider that theists anthropomorphise statues, churches, crucifixes, saints, feelings, sunsets and starry, starry nights, it's no surprise they're not 'fine-tuned' to anthropomorphise an early term child in utero in the way I still do with my son. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:some

Atheistextremist wrote:

some people, men and women, have to make and then have to live with, for the rest of their lives. It's a decision that arrives in the context of subjective individual lives. It can't be pulled out of that context and considered in black and white as if suddenly morality came with a sextant and chart and we could look up our ethical latitude and longitude and find where we are, see where we need to go.

If you've never made a decision like this yourself and never been informed by your response to such a decision, I question a person's right to make 'moral' decrees on a subject so fraught. I've been part of decision like this, taken for medical reasons after a chance scrambling of genes led to a pre-child with profound disabilities. It was very painful then. And it's very painful now. 

If we consider that theists anthropomorphise statues, churches, crucifixes, saints, feelings, sunsets and starry, starry nights, it's no surprise they're not 'fine-tuned' to anthropomorphise an early term child in utero in the way I still do with my son. 

 

Exactly - if you haven't been there, you don't know what "there" is like.

My profound sympathies.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Just to be perfectly clear

As a woman - with one child put up for adoption, one abortion, one child born while unmarried, two children conceived and born while married to the father - it is none of your business what other people do, have done, or will do about their reproductive choices.

Abortion should be legal at any time during the pregnancy with the opportunity to have the procedure performed in the safest possible manner.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Watcher wrote:Vastet

Watcher wrote:

Vastet wrote:
But that is a matter of opinion.

What is a matter of opinion?

What a human is?  If it is the DNA content of the cells, then I shed humans every time I clip my nails or have a bit of dandruff fall off of me.

DNA content of an organic cell, does not, in any argument I have encountered so far, convince me that it makes that cell, for that reason alone, the creature in question.

But I'm just trying to guess what you mean.  I'm not even sure what it is you are saying that is an opinion or even who you are speaking to.

Whether it convinces you or not, you're still merely holding an opinion. What designates a human is not universally agreed upon in the case of reproduction. It's all opinion. My opinion is that a successful conception is instantly human. And I've never heard an argument that could convince me otherwise.

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 Vastet,Are you saying dead

 Vastet,

Are you saying dead in the grave is also human?

Are we talking about when something is human or when something is alive?

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Vastet wrote:Whether it

Vastet wrote:

Whether it convinces you or not, you're still merely holding an opinion. What designates a human is not universally agreed upon in the case of reproduction. It's all opinion. My opinion is that a successful conception is instantly human. And I've never heard an argument that could convince me otherwise.

The scientific theory of evolution is not "universally agreed upon".  Just ask millions of theists.

You must be against many of the most promising lines of stem cell research then, eh?

A batch of unspecialized cells that are not even as large as the brain of a common house fly is not a human.  It's a collection of cells containing human DNA.

Quote:
A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The human embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe they can suffer their destruction in any way at all.

If I cut my pinky finger off, is that finger a human?

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ex-minister

ex-minister wrote:

 Vastet,

Are you saying dead in the grave is also human?

No. There is no life in a corpse. Except that which is feeding upon it, anyway.

ex-minister wrote:

Are we talking about when something is human or when something is alive?

It would appear both are the heart of the topic.

Watcher wrote:

The scientific theory of evolution is not "universally agreed upon".  Just ask millions of theists.

Irrelevant to the topic. Evolution isn't a matter of opinion.

Watcher wrote:

You must be against many of the most promising lines of stem cell research then, eh?

Strawman.

Watcher wrote:

A batch of unspecialized cells that are not even as large as the brain of a common house fly is not a human.  It's a collection of cells containing human DNA.

That's a slippery slope argument that allows the declassification of humanity based on your opinion of when a human becomes a human. As long as nothing prevents it, the conceived embryo will grow into an adult human. That is not debateable. Therefore, the embryo is human.

Watcher wrote:

If I cut my pinky finger off, is that finger a human?

No, it's a piece of a human. And if you cut a chunk off of an embryo, it will also be a piece of a human. But the embryo is human until you do so. It's only potential futures are as a birthed human, or a stillborn one (or something similar enough to these end results as to not bother listing).

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Sperm can be identified as

Sperm can be identified as human, so would your finger then. If your finger was dug up 10k years from now, it would still be human.

But both are not thinking, so both are not living humans. This argument to me is about life and if the brain is only active for involuntary actions then it is not a living human being.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:Sperm can

ex-minister wrote:

Sperm can be identified as human, so would your finger then. If your finger was dug up 10k years from now, it would still be human.

But both are not thinking, so both are not living humans. This argument to me is about life and if the brain is only active for involuntary actions then it is not a living human being.

Neither a finger nor a sperm will grow into an adult human uninterfered with. An embryo will. Your metaphor is flawed and inapplicable.

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*Borg Voice*  Your

*Borg Voice*  Your reasoning is faulty.  The underdeveloped fetus is dependent on it's host mother as a biological form of life support.  It must be constantly interfered with by the host in order to develop into a sentient creature. *End Borg Voice*

No higher brain functions, no personality.  What makes a human a human is that it is self-aware.  It is what separates us from lower life forms.

I mean we anthropomorphize our animals.  I've projected my emotions, motivations, reasoning, and whatnot on horses, dogs, cats, rats, and even fish.

Humans do this naturally as a method of identifying with and bonding with our domesticated livestock that we don't plan on eating.

We become friends and mates with other humans because, holy shit, there's another person in that body.  There wouldn't be a person in there without higher brain functions.  So no higher brain functions, not a person.  Not a person, doesn't have the rights and privileges of a person.

I use the words Human and Person interchangeably.  Maybe we need to define these words so we can all better communicate our ideas in this thread.

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Vastet wrote:You must be

Vastet wrote:

Watcher wrote:
You must be against many of the most promising lines of stem cell research then, eh?

Strawman.

Ah yes.  The debate technique where all you have to do is throw a high school formal debate term out so you don't have to actually respond with a meaningful insight to your reasoning.

Well I won't do that.  I will give some insight.

You said that you believe that as soon as the egg is fertilized in a woman it is a human.

I assume you are not a cold-blooded killer or think its ok to kill innocent humans.

Based on what you told me and my assumption, you would be against harvesting blastocysts from a woman's womb for stem cell research.  Because based on your reasoning, it would be murder.

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Watcher wrote:The

Watcher wrote:
The underdeveloped fetus is dependent on it's host mother as a biological form of life support.

By that argument, a child is not human until he or she is self sustaining, somewhere between 6 and 14, depending on the child and his or her level of education.

In other words, yet another faulty argument.

Quote:
Based on what you told me and my assumption, you would be against harvesting blastocysts from a woman's womb for stem cell research.  Because based on your reasoning, it would be murder.

Stem cells can and are produced in ways other than terminating a pregnancy. But if a pregnancy has already been terminated, it can't be murder. Murder was already committed. Scavenging a cadaver is regularly practiced in medicine.

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Vastet wrote:By that

Vastet wrote:
By that argument, a child is not human until he or she is self sustaining, somewhere between 6 and 14, depending on the child and his or her level of education. In other words, yet another faulty argument.

Uhrm, what?  No.  That doesn't...what?

No.  A fetus is a brain dead developing body on biological life support.  It's so underdeveloped it can't even survive off of that life support system.  Terminating a fetus that does not have higher brain functions yet is no more a crime than taking a brain dead adult off of man made life support.

Not a crime.  It shouldn't be treated as such.

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Watcher wrote:Uhrm, what? 

Watcher wrote:
Uhrm, what?  No.  That doesn't...what

Yes.

Watcher wrote:
No. 

Yes.

Watcher wrote:
No.  A fetus is a brain dead

If a fetus were in any way dead, it would never grow into an adult. Yet another faulty argument.

Watcher wrote:
It's so underdeveloped it can't even survive off of that life support system.

Neither can a child. Might be able to survive a day or two longer, but without constant care a child won't last a week.

It is murder whether you like it or not, by definition.

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 I think it may help if you

 I think it may help if you consider this from a different perspective. The argument over whether a blastocyst or an embryo or a fetus is a "human" may be less pertinent than whether it is a person, or even more specifically, a baby. I think I said that, while pro-lifers call all of those steps a baby, I see them as part of a process which, once birth has occurred, becomes a baby. I think calling even a fetus a baby is more an attempt to appeal to emotion than to reason. 

I realize that parents expecting a birth with joyful anticipation will see it differently. But not all pregnancies are joyful, and there may be good reasons for terminating the process before it is complete.

I can't say at what point the higher brain function is developed. Babies delivered very early may, with incubator care, still achieve the same function as one born full term. For this reason, I am troubled by late term abortions. Nevertheless, I don't think they are murder. Potential isn't realization.

Of course, that's just my opinion. It is obvious from this thread that there are many different ones. I appreciate that the discussion has stayed civil. 

 

 

 

 

### mod. deleted duplicate post

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Vastet wrote:Watcher

Vastet wrote:
Watcher wrote:
No.  A fetus is a brain dead
If a fetus were in any way dead, it would never grow into an adult. Yet another faulty argument.

No.  Brain dead meaning it has no higher brain functions.  Isn't it odd that not-existing BEFORE you become alive doesn't have a word but not-existing AFTER you were alive does?  Plato is dead.  However, what do you call the state of existence of Plato's brother that his parents never had?   There's not a term for it.  We use the term "brain dead" to refer to the non-existence of higher brain functions that used to exist but no longer do.  We don't have such a term to refer to the non-existence of higher brain functions that have not started existing YET.   But their state of existence are the same.   They're not there in both cases.

Vastet wrote:
Watcher wrote:
It's so underdeveloped it can't even survive off of that life support system.
Neither can a child. Might be able to survive a day or two longer, but without constant care a child won't last a week. It is murder whether you like it or not, by definition.

You're looking at it all wrong.   You're tripping your logical thought processes up by tying everything to things only specific to Homo sapiens.

Many, many, many animals on this planet don't need to care for their young at all.   Herd animals give birth to young that can stand and start walking within at most a day, often only an hour or less after birth.   If you go away from mammals you don't see any animals that need to suckle at their momma's teet.  Sharks, snakes, etc., etc., after they are born they are on their own.

The only reason our particular species is so helpless when we are young is because we have these huge brains and the female pelvis can't go any wider without making the females of our species unable to walk.  I've read one evolutionary scientist say that humans, if effect, give birth to an underdeveloped fetus in a way.

However, if our species was designed like Jabba the Hut there would be no reason whatsoever that as soon as we gave birth to our little slugs that they couldn't be so far along in their development that they could immediately slither off into the swamp and live completely independently of any parental care.

The fact is that a 1 month old baby needs the same thing you and I do, and nothing less.  Air, food, water, and some type of shelter depending on the weather.

A baby doesn't need something else to eat and digest food for it, then pass along that food via the bloodstream to it.   A baby doesn't need an external set of lungs to breath in oxygen, transport oxygen to an external circulatory system, and then pass along that oxygen rich blood to it through an umbilical cord.

A woman can give a one day old baby to an orphanage and walk away from it.  She can't give a two month old fetus to an orphanage and walk away from it.

A 6 month old baby and an adult in a coma are comparable.   Just like a 3 month old fetus and a brain dead adult on life support are comparable.  In the first case both are persons that require someone to help it or they die.   In the second case both are not persons at all and can't even breath or eat unless something external of their body assists them with basic biological processes.  Not just shove food in their mouth.   Breathe for them, directly deposit sustenance and fluids into their bloodstream.

But a 6 month old baby and a brain dead adult on life support are in NO way comparable.   A baby is a person.  A brain dead adult is not.

An adult in a coma is a person.  A three month old fetus is not.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Vastet
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Quote:No.  Brain dead

Quote:
No.  Brain dead meaning it has no higher brain functions. 

Yes. Death presupposes life. Something that wasn't alive in not classifiable as dead:

Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism

One cannot terminate functions one never had.

Everything other than this demonstrably false view is an opinion. Including your suggestion that there is any practical difference between the dependence of a child and the dependence of a fetus on another for survival.
And it hasn't swayed my opinion in the slightest. Hamby couldn't, Deluded_God couldn't, and you won't. Because none of you accepted the simple fact that you are arguing opinions, not facts.

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It is a fact that our

It is a fact that our behavior, memory, emotions come from higher brain functions.  That's a rock solid fact.  We term the collection of these a person's personality.

We also know for a fact, another rock solid fact, that a three month old fetus has no higher brain functions.

Based on these facts, we know that at that stage of development, the fetus has no personality.  So no fear, no hopes, no emotions, no memory.

Just like an adult who is brain dead.

But if you refuse to accept or base your opinions on proven scientific facts I won't belabor the point any longer.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci