Are there any atheists against abortion?

Cpt_pineapple
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Are there any atheists against abortion?

Any one you know or you?

 

I'm curious my friend says it's exclusivly a religious issue. 


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Yes, I am a atheist against

Yes, I am a atheist against abortion, but I believe in freedom of choice of my own personal belief.

 

Even though I am against it, I don't feel that I have any right to force my opinion on anyone else. I wouldn't want to mentally go thru it again, but I wouldn't stop or try to change anyone elses mind on the subject.

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I dislike abortion except

I dislike abortion except in cases of rape and severe disability of the baby or danger to the mother.

I usually distrust the excuse of genuine inability to care for the child due to poverty/alcoholism etc because if that is the case, you ought give the baby up for adoption, instead of killing it.

. Nonetheless, I concede that an abortion out of "inconvenience" is a rarity. Usually, the mother has a good reason. In the UK, there are laws against having an abortion without a doctor's opinion that it is the best option.

And I only "dislike" it. I am still pro-choice. Remember, there is no such thing as "pro-abortion". Hopefully, no one thinks abortion is a good thing, pro-choice only means you concede that it is the mother's decision.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Any

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Any one you know or you?

 

 Me. I find it reprehensible.  I support it legally only because I cannot demonstrate that a fetus deserves the rights of personhood.

But personally, I accept that they do, because as an atheist, I believe that every stage of development of life is a stage in personhood, no matter how meager the stage may be. I believe that holding that a fetus is not a person is an arbitrary freezing of a fetus at the fetal stage - when in fact, all beings are always becoming, and are never truly simply one stage or another.

My position is this:

In order for there to be rights, there must be responsibilities. A right to life can only be instantiated as long as others are responsible to life. There is a necessary balance.

So while a mother has rights, she also has responsibilities.

If a mother purposely and knowingly takes part in a sexual act knowing the ramifications of that act: possible pregnancy, then she has a responsibility to the life she creates, as does the father.

Her rights to choose her path in life are limited by the responsibilities to the lives she creates.

Just to head off the inevitable fallacy of composition that is always lodged at my argument from 'pro choicers': saying that a blastocyst is just 'a sperm and an egg' or that a fetus is 'just a lump of cells'  are both fallacies of composition. By the same logic, you are just a lump of cells, and by your own argument, I have a right to terminate you.

The reality is that even an impregnated egg is something more than just a sperm and an egg on their own... merely inseminating an egg leads to a 1% chance of human life. A sperm and and egg on their own give a 0% chance.

And when you consider that the main reason sperm and egg cells interact is through purposely human behavior, I believe we have a responsibility to those lives that is equal with our own rights to life. Neither supercedes the other.


On the other hand, pro lifers sicken me.... if they really care so damn much , they can stop protesting outside abortion clinics and offer to help one of those young women out.  The secret pro lifers must keep to themselves is that they'd all shit green if the 1 million aborted babies a year that they supposedly cry over all lived.... the last thing the typically middle class pro lifers want is a widening of the welfare rolls....

 

So both sides can drop dead as far as the debate goes... emotions rule the day, and dishonesty riddles each side's arguments.... but you asked my position, so I gave it.

 

 

 

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http://www.godlessprolifers.o

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deludedgod wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Remember, there is no such thing as "pro-abortion".

 

Before we begin, I want to say that I enjoy your posts. I say this because , from past experience, I expect that we will become blood enemies in this thread.

 

My response to your comment here, my learned, respected, comrade, is

BULL FUCKING SHIT.

 (Ok, sorry for the rhetoric, don't take is personal)

 

But the idea that the pro abortion side is 'pro choice' is based on what? A choice between having their baby or aborting it?

Is there someone against having live children?

One might as well say that there isn't any such thing as a rapist... there are merely anti rapists, and 'pro choicers' on the matter of rape, those open to consentual sex or rape.

It's ludicrous.

The sole quesiton here is: Pro abortion or Anti abortion?

Both 'sides' are pro life - Pro abortionists dont' believe aborting fetus's is killing persons in the first place.

Both sides are pro choice - Pro lifers simply don't consider murder a choice in the first place.

The sole matter here is this: is there a moral grounds for purposely aborting a fetus?

Some say yes, and have good arguments.

Some say no, and have good arguments.

But please, please as a fellow free thinker, spare me the rhetoric.

Oh, for those ready to take aim:

 

Fire away.

 

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mindspread

The guy is also a Republician. Surprised


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

The guy is also a Republician. Surprised

I see plenty of republican atheists... in, fact, if you think about it, two of the most influential conservative philosophers were atheists, i.e. Ayn Rand is one....

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Pot: Hello, Kettle.....Why

Pot: Hello, Kettle.....Why I do believe you're black....

 

that wasn't emotional in the least todangst...I agree with deludedgod that while I personally don't think there are very many reasons why I would get rid of a blastocyte/child/fetus/lump, I think it is not my decision to make for other people.  end of story. 

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NinjaTux wrote:Pot:

NinjaTux wrote:

Pot: Hello, Kettle.....Why I do believe you're black....

that wasn't emotional in the least todangst...

I don't recall exempting myself from the emotions. In fact, my point was that emotions ruled the day here. I carefully impugned both sides of the debate.

And you should also note how I go out of my way to apologize for my emotions.

So you might want to reconsider your comments. There's no hypocrisy here. This pot called himself black before you even entered the room.

 

 

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When we had this debate at

When we had this debate at AtheistForums, most people were so anti-'anti-abortion' that they left me suspecting myself of irrationally projecting human values onto a featus. I definately see it as a grey area though.

One thing that interests me though, I have absolutely no qualms over the morning-after pill. Todangst, your post hinted that you might be against that too?


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Like most, I have mixed

Like most, I have mixed feelings about it. I agree it should be available where the mother's health is at risk, definitely. I'm ambivalent about it otherwise, but believe it's the mother's right to choose. Nobody really likes abortion, that I know of.
If someone says they're anti-choicce, I'd want to know how soon they can sign up for the adoption queue.


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Strafio wrote: When we had

Strafio wrote:
When we had this debate at AtheistForums, most people were so anti-'anti-abortion' that they left me suspecting myself of irrationally projecting human values onto a featus.

Whereas pro abortionists were all happily commiting their fallacies of composition and declaring fetsuses to be lumps of cells...

 

One side romances the fetus into a person.

The other side devalues into protoplasm.

Both are irrational positions.

Quote:
 

 I definately see it as a grey area though. One thing that interests me though, I have absolutely no qualms over the morning-after pill. Todangst, your post hinted that you might be against that too?

Yes. But I can't pretend that that issue isn't gray for me either.

My hope is that, one day, we'll be able to completely separate sexual activity from procreation, and this problem will basically go away. But for now, as things stand, I don't see why a fetus has to pay for the mistake of his parents. 

 

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magilum wrote: If someone

magilum wrote:


If someone says they're anti-choicce, I'd want to know how soon they can sign up for the adoption queue.

I don't see how this follows, an anti abortionist can hold that a person  has a right to choose whether or not they have a child up until the point that they actually procreate one. 

Now, for those who actively protest outside abortion clinics... I quite agree that they should put up or shut up.

Offer to sign a contract to help one of the young mothers, offer money, time.

Or offer to adopt the child.

In other words, if you care, offer to help.

Protesters seem to be out for nothing more than themselves... if they care, they can adopt.

With that, I agree. 

 

 

 

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todangst wrote:   The

todangst wrote:

 

The idea that the pro abortion side is 'pro choice' is based on what? A choice between having their baby or aborting it?

I think I ought have rephrased. I hope no-one operates under the delusion that abortion is a good thing. Although I have seen some feminist petitions declaring their pride in having abortions, which is undoubtably a reprehensible tactic.

I am not pro-choice, as the notion of pro-choice would imply that I believe that a mother ought have free reign over whether or not she should abort her child in utero. I do hold that in certain circumstances it is the lesser of two evils, such as rape and in detectable ailments like Tay-Sachs or Treacher-Collins or any other ghastly ailments that, as a geneticist, I have seen and can name off the top of my head. Otherwise, I find it a detestable practice which should be severely restricted.  

todangst wrote:

Both 'sides' are pro life - Pro abortionists dont' believe aborting fetus's is killing persons in the first place.

Oh that debate. I wasn't even thinking in those terms until it was brought up. When does a fetus become life? Well, admittedtly, the religious arguments like the Catholic notion of immediate ensoulment versus "gradual ensoulment" give new meanings to the term "psuedoscience" and "made up".

Dawkins wrote that the Argument from potential is a continuum fallacy, since if one took that to the logical extreme, every moment not spent having sex is killing a child (seeing as gamete production is incredibly wasteful). But as a materialist, I can see the obvious fallacy in insisting "its just a clump of cells" considering that this is a  fallacy of composition, and a hypocritical one if you are a philosophical materialist.

I never took a flank position on the abortion debate. The laws of the land where I live insist that one can only have an abortion if it is the opinion of multiple doctors is that without it, the resulting situation would be dangerous to the mother, or the mother has been raped.

I know (and I am sure you do) of the ghastly phsycological affliction of bearing a child as the result of rape. When I visited Nanjing, I visited people who had surivived the Japanese Rape of Nanking, and the result of thousands of half-Japanese children who were hated by their parents, hated even more by the Japanese, and were most often smothered by the mother (who was unable to deal with the immense shame) or else commited suicide.

This may not be the best example because this was more a cultural clash. At any rate, most people on both flanks of the debate do hold that rape is (one of the few) acceptable reasons for abortion. I dislike the "pro-choice" movement because they are absurdly lenient on the matter and some seem to be proud of abortion (especially feminists), and I despise the "pro-life " movement because they (in true pro-life spirit) are almost entirely responsible for the violent deaths surrounding abortion, threats, intimidation, and physical violence (not to mention that a large portion of them espouse a theology which is degrading to human life in general making them very hypocritical).


 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote: todangst

deludedgod wrote:
todangst wrote:

 

The idea that the pro abortion side is 'pro choice' is based on what? A choice between having their baby or aborting it?

I think I ought have rephrased.

I actually left open the strong possibility that you would.

Quote:

I hope no-one operates under the delusion that abortion is a good thing. Although I have seen some feminist petitions declaring their pride in having abortions, which is undoubtably a reprehensible tactic.

I'd say it was overcompensation for a hidden guilt.

Quote:

I am not pro-choice, as the notion of pro-choice would imply that I believe that a mother ought have free reign over whether or not she should abort her child in utero. I do hold that in certain circumstances it is the lesser of two evils, such as rape and in detectable ailments like Tay-Sachs or Treacher-Collins or any other ghastly ailments that, as a geneticist, I have seen and can name off the top of my head. Otherwise, I find it a detestable practice which should be severely restricted.

Well, we agree.

I should say that my stance, which involves balancing rights and responsibilties, hold that no mother had a responsibility to bring a child that was forced upon her, to term.

I would also agree that in cases where a person may not be able to achieve personhood, that abortion may make sense. THe problem, as you already know, is that this opens a pandora's box... what exactly makes for personhood?

 

todangst wrote:

Both 'sides' are pro life - Pro abortionists dont' believe aborting fetus's is killing persons in the first place.

Quote:

Oh that debate. I wasn't even thinking in those terms until it was brought up.

I had a feeling you had another idea in mind, but choosing to speak in more reserved terms seemed boring...

Quote:

When does a fetus become life? Well, admittedtly, the religious arguments like the Catholic notion of immediate ensoulment versus "gradual ensoulment" give new meanings to the term "psuedoscience" and "made up".

lol

That's why I take the, admittably extreme view, that conception is the marker point for me. Yes, the likelihood of personhood at that point is probably not even 1%, but I must admit a feeling of reverence for life. This is why my position simply isn't a tenable one for argument.

Quote:

Dawkins wrote that the Argument from potential is a continuum fallacy, since if one took that to the logical extreme, every moment not spent having sex is killing a child

Problem: Once an egg is impregated, no other actions are required... So Dawkin's argument is a strawman. The pro life argument deals with blastocysts, not with forcing people to have sex!

Quote:

(seeing as gamete production is incredibly wasteful). But as a materialist, I can see the obvious fallacy in insisting "its just a clump of cells" considering that this is a fallacy of composition, and a hypocritical one if you are a philosophical materialist.

I am glad you see this point. But then I expected you would.

Quote:

I never took a flank position on the abortion debate. The laws of the land where I live insist that one can only have an abortion if it is the opinion of multiple doctors is that without it, the resulting situation would be dangerous to the mother, or the mother has been raped.

I know (and I am sure you do) of the ghastly phsycological affliction of bearing a child as the result of rape. When I visited Nanjing, I visited people who had surivived the Japanese Rape of Nanking, and the result of thousands of half-Japanese children who were hated by their parents, hated even more by the Japanese, and were most often smothered by the mother (who was unable to deal with the immense shame) or else commited suicide.

This may not be the best example because this was more a cultural clash. At any rate, most people on both flanks of the debate do hold that rape is (one of the few) acceptable reasons for abortion.

Yes, but it is often an ad hoc position for most pro lifers (i.e. those arguing for ensoulment, etc.), whereas in my view, based on a balance of rights and responsibilities, it is less problematic...

Quote:

I dislike the "pro-choice" movement because they are absurdly lenient on the matter and some seem to be proud of abortion (especially feminists), and I despise the "pro-life " movement because they (in true pro-life spirit) are almost entirely responsible for the violent deaths surrounding abortion, threats, intimidation, and physical violence (not to mention that a large portion of them espouse a theology which is degrading to human life in general making them very hypocritical).

I am glad we agree on so much after all.... Thank you for not taking the trollish bait in my post.

 

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todangst wrote: magilum

todangst wrote:
magilum wrote:


If someone says they're anti-choicce, I'd want to know how soon they can sign up for the adoption queue.

I don't see how this follows, an anti abortionist can hold that a person  has a right to choose whether or not they have a child up until the point that they actually procreate one. 

[...] 

 

Do we not mean the same thing by "choice" in this context? I meant the mother's right to choose carrying a child to term, or to abort for whatever non-medical reasons she may. It's not a great solution, and it's a major grey area for me, especially what constitutes "her body" versus two or more discreet bodies. The deciding factor for me has to be level of brain development, but even that's not particularly satisfying.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Any

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Any one you know or you?

 

I'm curious my friend says it's exclusivly a religious issue. 

I'm generally against it.

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Frankly, I'm okay with

Frankly, I'm okay with abortion until the it actually becomes a baby (I have yet to clearly define that, that's why I'm not really picketing or anything yet.)

 

By the way has anyone read the book Freakonomic?

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Absolutley for abortion, up

Absolutley for abortion, up to the point where the fetus has a fully functioning nervous system and could live on its own with minimal extra help from machines (in essence, all abortions should be made before this point, becuase then it is probably a wiser investment in the mother to put it up for adoption.)

 But before that, give parents the free choice. The blastocyst/zygote/fetus is just a part of the mother's body. It's made of her tissue, its feeding on her blood, her oxygen and food, its little more than a reproductive organ, no more human than a kidney.

 Let's talk about this in terms of suffering. A mother suffers immensely from having a child. She endures nine months of abnormal conditions, discomfort, disconcerting changes to her body, and he must suffer for giving up much of her resources to the baby. Having the baby is extremely painful and takes a very long time. And after all that effort, the baby is unwanted anyway and is given to someone else.

The blastocyst/zygote/fetus however suffers very little from abortion. It doesn't have the capacity to suffer (up to a certain point), it doesn't have the will to live or the knowledge to know what life is. The best way to alleviate suffering from an unwanted pregnancy is to terminate it immediatley. This takes the burden off the mother and puts no suffering on the baby. The mother can have a second child when she pleases, for she has thousands of unborn eggs inside her anyway.

 So yes, I am "pro-choice" but I am definatley also "pro-abortion". I don't think its a terrible thing at all, its not even mildly terrible until the child can feel it, and then its only minorly unsettling. I would recommend abortions for any reason, becuase the mother can do whatever she pleases with her body, the egg thats growing inside her included. I would even advocate abortion as an effective form of birth control.


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I think religion has totally

I think religion has totally ruined the discussion of abortion and made it virtually impossible.  Most every atheist I've ever discussed abortion with, notes the obvious difference between an embryo, and baby a few days short of birth.  However, because of the militant 'all or nothing, life begins at CONCEPTION!!!!' crowd, the pro-choice side has to play it equally agressive.  A scientific debate could come up with some great laws allowing free choice in the first few months, but heavily regulating in the late months.   However, by taking science out of the equation and simply arguing some irrational concept like when some spiritual soul enters the body, a rational discussion becomes impossible.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Any

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Any one you know or you?

 

I'm curious my friend says it's exclusivly a religious issue.

It's not.  I view it as a personal responsibility issue.  I'm all for a woman's right to choose, but what's honestly lost here is that ther are many countless choices made that add up the the end result of an unwanted child.  At any point a choice can be made which virtually eliminates the need for abortion.

However, that's my personal view.  Politically speaking I have no dog in that fight, so it's not my place to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body...  

I just think that abortion has become a quick-fix form of birth control, and if that's the case, get on the pill, make the guy wear a rubber, Skeet Fuck (as a hero of mine, Sam Kinison once put it...  "PULL!&quotEye-wink, or just don't have casual unprotected sex...

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magilum wrote:todangst

magilum wrote:
todangst wrote:
magilum wrote:


If someone says they're anti-choicce, I'd want to know how soon they can sign up for the adoption queue.

I don't see how this follows, an anti abortionist can hold that a person has a right to choose whether or not they have a child up until the point that they actually procreate one.

[...]

 

Do we not mean the same thing by "choice" in this context? I meant the mother's right to choose carrying a child to term, or to abort for whatever non-medical reasons she may.

To me, it's ridiculous to refer to this matter as a choice, unless you can demonstrate to me a faction who is against humans reproducing!

I'm all for a woman's right to choose.

Choose what? 

Between giving birth and having an abortion.

Are there people, anywhere on the planet, against the concept of humans procreating?

No.

So, the 'choice' is between one option that everyone on earth accepts, and one that there is debate over?

Yes.

So it's not really a choice issue, the bone of contention is really over abortion.

*************** 

It's a given by nearly all of humanity that humans have a right to procreate. Therefore, the 'choice' element is a rhetorical ploy.

The same goes for the 'pro life' side.... - no one is against human life, it's just some disagree on when a fetus gains personhood.

So to me, there's only one issue here: the right to an abortion. The use of euphemisms is a rhetorical ploy.

 

 

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theotherguy wrote: The

theotherguy wrote:

The blastocyst/zygote/fetus is just a part of the mother's body. It's made of her tissue, its feeding on her blood, her oxygen and food, its little more than a reproductive organ, no more human than a kidney.

This is a well worded fallacy of composition. 

 

Quote:
The blastocyst/zygote/fetus however suffers very little from abortion.

True. But suffering is merely one criteria upon which to make the judgement. I personally believe the sufferign argument relies on arbitrarily freezing the zygote in a category, when a zygote also includes, as a part of its nature, the potentiality of a person.

The typical response is to hold that so does a sperm cell. However, this is only true when a person, through some purposeful act, combines a sperm cell with an egg. So there is a difference here and this difference is due to human intent.

 

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Desperate women do

Desperate women do desperate things.  Before abortion was legalised many women died from backyard abortions. If abortion was outlawed, the rich would still be able to procure safe abortions.  It would be the poor who would suffer.

 


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I have a couple questions

I have a couple questions for the people on the anti abortion side. I hope that someone in this forum can help me understand your position better.

If you think that personhood starts at conception as some here do (including myself but I’m still in favor of abortion) are you against the birth control pill? The pill works by preventing the sperm from joining with the egg or by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus. In effect that’s an abortion. So do you think it’s immoral to take the pill?

Second, do you think it’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, or because it’s a form of victimization, or both? Do you think there can be other mitigating factors that make it allowable? If it’s a question of responsibility then what if the person thought they were being responsible? What if they used contraception and it didn’t work? Or if it’s a question of victimization then why should it be permissible in cases of rape? Is it because the woman has been victimized herself, and why should that give the woman the right to victimize the fetus? Also at a certain stage of development a fetus has no brain. Does it really make sense to consider someone a victim who doesn’t have a brain to suffer with?

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Gauche wrote: If you think

Gauche wrote:

If you think that personhood starts at conception as some here do (including myself but I’m still in favor of abortion) are you against the birth control pill? The pill works by preventing the sperm from joining with the egg or by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus. In effect that’s an abortion. So do you think it’s immoral to take the pill?

No.  The pill is a PREVENTATIVE measure as it prevents the conception from happening.  In this way it's a more moral choice for reasons I'll address in your second question.  I'd also say that personhood starts when someone becomes self-aware, so no, most abortions do not involve human beings.

Quote:
Second, do you think it’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, or because it’s a form of victimization, or both? Do you think there can be other mitigating factors that make it allowable? If it’s a question of responsibility then what if the person thought they were being responsible? What if they used contraception and it didn’t work? Or if it’s a question of victimization then why should it be permissible in cases of rape? Is it because the woman has been victimized herself, and why should that give the woman the right to victimize the fetus? Also at a certain stage of development a fetus has no brain. Does it really make sense to consider someone a victim who doesn’t have a brain to suffer with?

Rape, incest, and accidents do happen, but the truth is that MOST unintended pregnancies can be avoided with some personal responsibility on behalf of BOTH people involved.

Where I have an issue with abortion is when to becomes "just another form of birth control."  Or where NONE of the options were thought about ahead of time.  As I've said before, there are so many choices that lead up to an unwanted pregnancy that they are realy easy to avoid...

When it's an issue of rape or incest or a truely honest mistake or a health issue, then it should be freely legal and available.

It's when both people involved take no responcibility for the actions they take that I have a problem.  But I'd also say again that it's not for me to tell someone else what to do with thier own bodies...   

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Gauche wrote: If you

Gauche wrote:


If you think that personhood starts at conception as some here do (including myself but I’m still in favor of abortion)

Days AFTER conception, it is possible for an embryo to split into two...  So that means a 'soul' has split into two?  Or there were two souls in there the whole time?  Its also possible for two embyros to fuse and then grow into one person.  That means that person has 2 souls?   (source: Sam Harris)

This kind of messes up your statement that 'personhood' starts at conception... 


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Andyy wrote: Days AFTER

Andyy wrote:

Days AFTER conception, it is possible for an embryo to split into two...  So that means a 'soul' has split into two?  Or there were two souls in there the whole time?  Its also possible for two embyros to fuse and then grow into one person.  That means that person has 2 souls?   (source: Sam Harris)

This kind of messes up your statement that 'personhood' starts at conception...

I never said anything about souls. It's made of human cells and it's growing into a full sized human eventually. My definition of person doesn't require more than that. I don't think the fact that it can split messes up my statement. An Adult can be cloned, that doesn't mean they weren't a person before. 

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I am not anti-abortion. I

I am not anti-abortion. I do not consider it wrong in anyway. For me, rights come from interests, the right to life, particularly from a conscious interest in life. I do not regard the life of a foetus (pre-six months) to be of any more worth than that of a mouse. However perhaps intuitively the ability to have an abortion when one feels like it seems like a waste, there are good adoption services available. However in the case of many mothers, instinct takes over once the baby is born and to give it away can be extremely harmful to the mother emotionally, mentally and physically, the balance is tricky, there would be less harm done if the foetus was ejected early on however some mothers react differently from others.

There are negative consequences of willy-nilly abortion, socially, physically etc and these must be taken into account. The responsibility argument is compelling, not necessarily responsibility to the foetus, but responsibility for actions. If people don't learn responsibility society cannot function as well. It is ok, some of the time, perhaps a limit on how many abortions without good reason a woman should be entitled to, perhaps 2 or 3 is a good number. However this should not affect how many abortions with good reason a woman should be entitled to (i.e. if she had used up her quota and then was raped, it would be unjust to deny her an abortion).

I have an essay on the Philosophy and Psychology forum to look at (although my views have changed a little since I wrote that).


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Ghost Rider wrote: No.

Ghost Rider wrote:
No. The pill is a PREVENTATIVE measure as it prevents the conception from happening. In this way it's a more moral choice for reasons I'll address in your second question. I'd also say that personhood starts when someone becomes self-aware, so no, most abortions do not involve human beings.

 

I’m going to have to disagree with you on this. Planned Parenthood’s website says this about the pill.

 

‘The hormones in combination and progestin-only pills also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by interfering with implantation of a fertilized egg. But there is no scientific evidence that this occurs.”

 

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control/the-pill.htm

 

Emergency contraception is just a large dose of birth control pills taken up to 3 days later. And even if you want to say that it never happens with the pill, then that is still the way that IUD’s work so the question is relevant I think.

 

Quote:
Rape, incest, and accidents do happen, but the truth is that MOST unintended pregnancies can be avoided with some personal responsibility on behalf of BOTH people involved.

 

I don’t think you have any way of knowing that that is true. And my question was what if they thought they were being responsible. A person might think they are being responsible when they are not because they received bad information. How much responsibility does a person have in that case? If you think you are being responsible because you’ve been misled obviously you can’t be held fully accountable?

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I'm glad to see that

I'm glad to see that atleast some atheists share my opinion on this subject. I was begining to suspect that I was the only non-believer against abortion.

My opinion is that this life is all we get so to deny someone their opportunity for life is to deny them everything. I get very offended when I see people shouting that it's the woman's body and the woman's choice. Some discomfort and inconvenience is hugely outweighed by someones whole existence.

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Even though it's been called

Even though it's been called out here as the fallacy of continuity, I do have trouble seeing non-emergency abortion in figurative terms; terms other than the deliberate ending of a potentially discreet being's life. I don't subscribe to any religious definition of life, and agree that consciousness begins precisely when development is sufficient for it to occur. In that sense, an earlier abortion is better than a later one -- so my aesthetic senses tell me.
On the other hand, there is more to life than just being born. I'll continue with something that doesn't bear on at what point something is a person, and that's to say the practical reality facing an unwanted child. The horror stories I've heard from people having either spent their childhood's locked into "the system," or as unwanted and unloved children, living with people that can't even take care of themselves, letalone find satisfaction in raising a dependent child. Some people make it our stronger, and others are transformed into monsters who will only continue the cycle of social destruction. Speaking for myself, I'm not sure whether such an existence is preferable to nonexistence. I'm not begging the question, I really don't know. 


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todangst wrote: Are there

todangst wrote:
Are there people, anywhere on the planet, against the concept of humans procreating.

Actually, yes.  The childfree movement isn't against other people procreating, but they choose not to have children themselves.

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

Reasons range from personal preference to concerns about overpopulation of the planet.

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In discussing abortion

In discussing abortion there's a tendency to assume every abortion is the case of a young woman in the developed world who doesn't bother with birth control and wants to avoid the inconvenience/embarrassment of pregnancy. 

These cases do exist, but making policy decisions based on the assumption that all abortions are like this ignores:

  •  the 48% of abortions that go to women over age 25
  • the 18% of abortions that go to married women
  • the 47% of abortions performed on women who have had at least one abortion before
  • the 54% of women who got abortions who were using contraception at the time they got pregnant
  • the fact that, although the U.S. has about 1.4 million abortions a year, this is only a tiny percentage of the 46 million abortions worldwide (78% in developing countries where controlling population growth is as much an economic issue as a social/religious one).
It's not just the young and inexperienced who get abortions.  Informed, educated, married women who already have families--and who were using birth control--also have unwanted pregnancies.

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magilum wrote: Even though

magilum wrote:
Even though it's been called out here as the fallacy of continuity, I do have trouble seeing non-emergency abortion in figurative terms; terms other than the deliberate ending of a potentially discreet being's life.

Several posters had the same sentiment--I just picked yours, Magilum because it was the first one I saw looking back over the thread.

The research of Joshua Greene (was at Princeton awhile ago, not sure where he is now) and people working along the same lines has some info that informs this paradox.  Greene used MRI scans to locate what was happening in ppls brains when they were faced with moral dilemmas and found some interesting results. 

Apparently people are hard-wired to resist (feel emotionally conflicted about) any action that actively harms another human, even if other humans would be saved as a result.  But when the same outcome stems from an indirect harming of someone, ppl usually aren't bothered by that.  For example, most ppl would flip a switch to save five railroad track workers, even though the train would then kill one person who had been on the other track.  But most ppl would not directly push a heavyset man onto the tracks to stop a train and save five people. 

So it carries through--most people don't object to an IUD or Plan B, even though it kills the fertilized egg the same way that an abortion does. One is direct destruction, the other indirect.  It's not logical--it's emotionally hard-wired.  Understanding where it comes from makes it easier to account for.

One of the things we object to in religious thinking is moral absolutism--saying that certain things are always unequivocally right or wrong.  Moral consequentialism--looking at the outcomes of actions and policies--is more important, at least according to Dawkins, for long term prosperity of the human race.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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I see absolutely nothing

I see absolutely nothing wong with a woman getting an abortion under any circumstances.


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First, I don't believe the

First, I don't believe the two are even related. Pro-Choice and Pro-Life are not opposites, one is a choice of many possibilities, the other is a philosiphy.

Pro-Choice is basically saying, that no matter what I believe, the decision falls back to the individual. Even if your against abortion, and think it is the evilest thing on the planet, it's a choice. As adult we have to make choices all the time, pull life support off Aunt Gertrude? put Fluffy to sleep, and eat a steak. These are all decisions we might have to make involving life and death.

Pro-Life is a philosphy, don't pull the plug on Aunt Gertrude, she still alive, even if it is by machines. You place your choice in preserving life on all accounts, be it abortion, or the death penality.

 Life is life, be it an animal, murder, or fetus. Drawling a line at one and not the other, and then have the atrocity to try and push your opinion on to someone else is a moral fallacy.

 

 

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Actually a lot of people who

Actually a lot of people who call themselves "Pro-life" are only against abortion (and often euthanasia) and support the death penalty.

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I am pro-abortion, or at

I am pro-abortion, or at least pro- the right to abort. I do not feel that we have any innate rights, so my position is an emotional one. I do not feel any strong emotional revulsion at the thought of a baby being aborted, so do not neccesarily have a problem with it happening.

How do those of you who claim that your opposition of abortion is a rational desicion rather than an emotional one justify that?


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I have not seen anyone here

I have not seen anyone here claim a strict pro-life or pro-choice side. THe pro-lifers are ok in some cases, like rape and incest, or child development problems.

The pro-choicers want limitations. So it seems to me that no one is pro-choice or pro-life and that in fact everyone is both.

I would honestly value the opinion more of people that have walked in those shoes and had to choose. I don't mean women that have been pregnant, while their opinion is valued, I mean women that have actually had an abortion.

This just seems like such an issue with so many x factors you really don't know how you would react in the situation. We would all like to speculate but the actual experience I'm sure would change minds both ways.

As for me, I'm personally so anti-authority I couldn't stand someone else telling me what to do with my body or how I should live, especially in regards to sexual activity. I also don't see how someones sexual activity or abortion effects those with a strong position against it. That's not to say I couldn't, but I don't feel this has been explained. 

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ugzog Life is life, be it

ugzog

Life is life, be it an animal, murder, or fetus. Drawling a line at one and not the other, and then have the atrocity to try and push your opinion on to someone else is a moral fallacy.

Ok, maybe I'm too tired to get what your point is but are you really suggesting that an animal's life is equal to a human's. That those of us who eat meat have no right to say that murder is wrong?

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Cassiopeia wrote: I have

Cassiopeia wrote:

I have not seen anyone here claim a strict pro-life or pro-choice side. THe pro-lifers are ok in some cases, like rape and incest, or child development problems.

Oh, I'm sorry.  I claim a strong pro-choice side.  I don't believe a fetus counts as a human being until after it is born, so up until that moment it's the mother's decision.

I'm also Child free.  The world has more than enough people as it is.  Some people want to be parents and are good at it, and that's fine. But I think too many people become parents who might not if they really thought about it and felt free *not* to give into the tremendous social pressure and expectations and just have children.

Abortion is not the most ideal form of birth control (it's expensive and difficult).  But as a last resort where other methods of birth control--including education--fail, it's an indispensable part of world population control. 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Did you read my post? I'm

Did you read my post? I'm totally pro-Choice - against any restrictions on abortion at all.


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Quote: Did you read my

Quote:
Did you read my post? I'm totally pro-Choice - against any restrictions on abortion at all.

I am also pro-choice 100%.

 

I consider that nobody has the right to tell one what to do with his/her body and mind. I also consider that the foetus is not a person until it is born. Up to that point, it's only a potential person. And I'm rarely interested in potential, but in certainty. Potenital: that foetus will grow to be a full-fledged human being, that will be a good asset to society. Certainty: in most, if not all the cases when abortion is considered, that foetus will not be able to be a great asset to society, first due to material difficulties, next due to psychological difficulties that they have to adapt to, and, in most cases, fail.

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MattShizzle wrote: Did you

MattShizzle wrote:
Did you read my post? I'm totally pro-Choice - against any restrictions on abortion at all.

I did read your post and I apologize. Forgive me. I may have been too eager to add my two cents. It's nice to see people just as pro-choice as I am. 

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I think my opinion of the

I think my opinion of the "pro choice" issue is summed up almost too well by a joke I read somewhere. I don't mean to trivialise the issue with a joke but it says it far too well...

 

Statistics show that 100% of people who advocate abortion have already been born.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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I'm not nearly as eloquent

I'm not nearly as eloquent or concise as some of the other posters in this thread, but I do have a uterus, so I wanted to contribute.

Instead of just throwing out some strawman posistion, I want to explain what I think.

I believe that abortion is a terrible neccessity. As previously discussed, there can be instances when a womans life is in danger, and aborting is the only real option. Then there are other cases where the woman knows that she cannot care for this shild, and believes that the kindess things to do would be to abort it. Whatever the case, I believe that it should be the right of a woman to do whatever she pleases(up to a certain point in the pregnancy) with the fetus in question.

This is not because I like abortions, or I feel they should be a form of birth control, or I'm 'proud' of people who have had them or whatever, it simply means that I support the freedom to have them. I truly believe that if stricter criteria were implimented, or abortion was outlawed, that women would still find ways to have them, and some of those ways would undoubtedly kill both mother and zygote.

I know that very few people will argue the idea that sometimes abortions are medically needed, nor will many argue that a rape conception may be aborted, but I know some of you will have objections to simply terminating an 'unwanted' pregnancy. However, I believe that if a couple was using every method of birth control available to them, and they still ended up concieving, that they shouldn't be punished for a statistical improbnability.

Here's the thing; I hear all the time 'well you should just carry it to term and then give it up for adoption'. And to be frank, it's just not that simple. Carrying something inside of you like that is uncomfortable to say the least, and can have huge negative implications on your life. First of all, there are major physical reprocussions to carrying and giving birth to a child. The last several months are painful, and you can't do any of the things you would normally do, most women have to take months off of work, your body is stretced and bloated. And this is assuming that the pregnancy is uncomplicated. The birth of course is painful, messy and may involve a C-section or episiotomy, and even after the child is out, your body requires months to recuperate and return to its former state, if you're lucky and it does so at all.

Then there are the social, economic and emotional implications of being forced to carry the baby to term. Women could be ridiculed, ostracised, miss job oppourtunities or lose work due to pregnancy. No one wants to hire a woman who's six months pregnant; she's just going to go on maternity leave. And during pregnancy, there's all kinds of hormonal changes that can lead to emotional prblems, not to mention post-partum depression.

Essentially, I am againt the idea that someone can tell me that I have to do those things. I'm not sure what I would do if all of my contraception failed and I ended up pregnant, but what I do know is that I want the choice. I want to be able to choose what would be best for my fiancee(who is still in University) and for myself. And if that makes me a terrible and selfish person, then I accept that.


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Maragon wrote: Here's the

Maragon wrote:

Here's the thing; I hear all the time 'well you should just carry it to term and then give it up for adoption'. And to be frank, it's just not that simple. Carrying something inside of you like that is uncomfortable to say the least, and can have huge negative implications on your life. First of all, there are major physical reprocussions to carrying and giving birth to a child. The last several months are painful, and you can't do any of the things you would normally do, most women have to take months off of work, your body is stretced and bloated. And this is assuming that the pregnancy is uncomplicated. The birth of course is painful, messy and may involve a C-section or episiotomy, and even after the child is out, your body requires months to recuperate and return to its former state, if you're lucky and it does so at all.

Then there are the social, economic and emotional implications of being forced to carry the baby to term. Women could be ridiculed, ostracised, miss job oppourtunities or lose work due to pregnancy. No one wants to hire a woman who's six months pregnant; she's just going to go on maternity leave. And during pregnancy, there's all kinds of hormonal changes that can lead to emotional prblems, not to mention post-partum depression.

Damnit! After reading Deluded's first post this is exactly what I wanted to say, but you beat me too it.

Too often pregnancy is seen a process starting with fertilization and followed up with a baby, skipping all of the in between.

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adoption

In addition to the physical and social difficulties Maragon outlines, psych studies are showing that it's also incredibly emotionally traumatic to give up a child for adoption.  It's partly brain hard-wiring and partly hormonal, but it's the reason why so few mothers actually do give up the children--and why so many change their minds (I can find the numbers if anybody wants to know).

Last time I checked the numbers there were about half a million children in the U.S. waiting for adoption.  What would it be like if we added another million unwanted children a year to that number?

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Quote: I'm not nearly as

Quote:

I'm not nearly as eloquent or concise as some of the other posters in this thread, but I do have a uterus, so I wanted to contribute.

Instead of just throwing out some strawman posistion, I want to explain what I think.

I believe that abortion is a terrible neccessity. As previously discussed, there can be instances when a womans life is in danger, and aborting is the only real option. Then there are other cases where the woman knows that she cannot care for this shild, and believes that the kindess things to do would be to abort it. Whatever the case, I believe that it should be the right of a woman to do whatever she pleases(up to a certain point in the pregnancy) with the fetus in question.

This is not because I like abortions, or I feel they should be a form of birth control, or I'm 'proud' of people who have had them or whatever, it simply means that I support the freedom to have them. I truly believe that if stricter criteria were implimented, or abortion was outlawed, that women would still find ways to have them, and some of those ways would undoubtedly kill both mother and zygote.

I know that very few people will argue the idea that sometimes abortions are medically needed, nor will many argue that a rape conception may be aborted, but I know some of you will have objections to simply terminating an 'unwanted' pregnancy. However, I believe that if a couple was using every method of birth control available to them, and they still ended up concieving, that they shouldn't be punished for a statistical improbnability.

Here's the thing; I hear all the time 'well you should just carry it to term and then give it up for adoption'. And to be frank, it's just not that simple. Carrying something inside of you like that is uncomfortable to say the least, and can have huge negative implications on your life. First of all, there are major physical reprocussions to carrying and giving birth to a child. The last several months are painful, and you can't do any of the things you would normally do, most women have to take months off of work, your body is stretced and bloated. And this is assuming that the pregnancy is uncomplicated. The birth of course is painful, messy and may involve a C-section or episiotomy, and even after the child is out, your body requires months to recuperate and return to its former state, if you're lucky and it does so at all.

Then there are the social, economic and emotional implications of being forced to carry the baby to term. Women could be ridiculed, ostracised, miss job oppourtunities or lose work due to pregnancy. No one wants to hire a woman who's six months pregnant; she's just going to go on maternity leave. And during pregnancy, there's all kinds of hormonal changes that can lead to emotional prblems, not to mention post-partum depression.

Essentially, I am againt the idea that someone can tell me that I have to do those things. I'm not sure what I would do if all of my contraception failed and I ended up pregnant, but what I do know is that I want the choice. I want to be able to choose what would be best for my fiancee(who is still in University) and for myself. And if that makes me a terrible and selfish person, then I accept that.

I've been waiting for quite some time to see the full, well-thought and prepared opinion of a woman on the topic. It's just too easy for men to say "Thou shalt..." or "Thou shalt not..." if they will not be affected in any significant way by it in the predictable future.

I, too, have concern about not me, since I am a man myself, but for my girlfriend. I respect her person, her standing, opinions and possibilities, and I understand that having a baby sometimes is damaging, physically, emotionally and financially, to say the least.

 

Since we are in the Atheist vs. Theist forum, I'd also like to express a little opinion related to religion: if we are all the creations of God, then he designed us in such a way that we cannot but enjoy sex, one of the activities that can have the greatest impact on our lives, both positive and, especially, negative (only referring to pregnancy here). If it is so, then he's one sadistical bastard.

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