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Difference between revisions of "Essay talk:Why I oppose abortion"

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I've only followed this discussion in a very superficial sense, but have you guys considered just taking a break to review your discussion to decide some specific points you'd like to discuss? Right now it seems to be a perpetual argument machine. Maybe you could take some of the definitions and key points and move them in to a debate? --{{User:Concernedresident/sig|}} 17:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
 
I've only followed this discussion in a very superficial sense, but have you guys considered just taking a break to review your discussion to decide some specific points you'd like to discuss? Right now it seems to be a perpetual argument machine. Maybe you could take some of the definitions and key points and move them in to a debate? --{{User:Concernedresident/sig|}} 17:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
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== No one believes your horseshit ==
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not even in Kansas  [http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/01/28/kansas.abortion.roeder.verdict/index.html]  Any way you want to sum it up, ABORTION IS NOT MURDER.  {{User:Cgb07305/sig|}} 20:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Revision as of 20:30, 29 January 2010

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"Personhood itself is inherent in the zygote"

Prove it. You state this as self evident but it's just a belief. Show incontrovertible proof that personhood, not just life, is inherent in the zygote and I'll take back al I've said. Bob Soles (talk) 16:27, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Let's not forget proof that personhood wasn't present before the zygote formed. On a semi-related point, the essay also gives me the impression that people who were never conceived (to the point of zygotehood) had no right to be. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 18:05, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, this is EL's fundamental mistake. He's locked into "fertilisation <==> start of all human rights" and completely fails to see that this is what Collingwood would call an absolute presupposition. He's managed to convince himself that because it's where the human life cycle starts then everything else should start there. Then he goes off finding lots of supporting quotes which are either from heavy duty pro-life web sites or are supporting 'life cycle starts at conception' as opposed to 'all human rights start at conception' and this reinforces the illusion that this it the one and only truth, not a belief with no logical foundation. I notice that he's not responding to any of the latest challenges but continues to polish his jobbie of an essay with Ken like obsession. Bob Soles (talk) 22:03, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't try to misguide people by "it's only the start of life cycle" (and that the start of "life" is another issue). When egg and sperm unite, they both cease to exist, because what’s created is a new organism, an individual human organism, a new human being. Do you actually know what is life cycle? I can provide you with a number of definitions:
Encyclopedia Britannica: Life cycle - in biology, the series of changes that the members of a species undergo as they pass from the beginning of a given developmental stage to the inception of that same developmental stage in a subsequent generation.
Merriam-webster dictionary: Life-cycle - a series of stages through which something (as an individual, culture, or manufactured product) passes during its lifetime.
The Hutchinson Dictionary of Science 1994, p 340: ”Life cycle – in biology, the sequence of developmental stages through which members of a given species pass."
I have, indeed, found "lots of quotes" that very clearly state that the zygote is a new human being (not that "life cycle" starts at conception). Take, for example, "For the first eight weeks following egg fertilization, the developing human being is called an embryo.” (The Gale Encyclopedia of Science 1996, v 3, p 1327). It clearly states that the embryo is a living being (only a living organism can develop) and also that this living being is a human being.
Or "Human development begins at fertilization. This highly specialized, totipotent cell (zygote) marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." (Keith L. Moore, "Essentials of Human Embryology" 1988). It couldn't state more clearly that the zygote is a) a unique individual b) a living individual (it develops, therefore it is alive) and c) a human individual.
And YES, Bob, I do think that when the life of a new human individual starts, then human rights should start there. The vast majority of people who support abortion take that position with the firm conviction that life does not begin at conception. Or what do you mean by "everything else"? Other categories of life? That life obviously can't begin at one point in every sense? Such like social life, maybe? Or sex life?
Gary Cherone, in his letter to Eddie Vedder, raises the following question: "When is a woman not a woman? When is a right not a right?"
When does a woman become a woman? When she graduates from her class? Is it her first kiss? Or when her sex is discovered by a sonogram? Is it when her brain waves are detected after 40 days? The last two ones are just as arbitrary as the first ones, because the only objective answer would be: When she doesn't exist. A separate human individual, with her own genetic code, needing only food, water, and oxygen, comes into existence when the sperm and egg unite. A woman begins life as a single cell, a zygote — that stage in human development through which we all pass. And abortion is a violation of women rights also - ca 1500 women die trough abortion every day in USA only.
Why is personhood itself inherent in the zygote? There are two different ways how we can "view" personhood:
  • Pro-life people tend to ask, what it means to be a person? We hold that to be a person is a matter of what "kind" of being we are; we refer to "capacity" and "power". Does one definitely have to demonstrate personhood to be a person? Personhood can emerge only trough the body. The preborn has no such body, but it still has the capacity for free choice, and given time and sustenance, (s)he will eventually manifest it. (If we don't dismember it first). We insist that the zygote is the same kind of being as the adult, differing only in degree. And "being a person" is a matter of kind, not of degree.
  • And then there's another way how one can look at it. What does it mean to us that someone is a person? Pro-choice people aren't interested in the power of being a person, they insists one must demonstrate his or hers personhood so that they eventually believe that someone's a real person. This sort of view can be explained in two ways
A) It is a matter of an act in which we engage that makes us persons - it's how we demonstrate our personhood. But we know that those asleep and in coma are definitely persons and they do not engage in any sort of conscious act at all.
B) We "achieve" personhood at some certain developmental stage. But here are some problems. For example, if we take brain waves, is a horse embryo also a "person" when its brain starts "working"? Or is a dog fetus a person when it is born? Obviously not. But then, why humans? Because personhood is inherent in every human being.
The deeper meaning of this kind of reasoning is not only fallacious, it is also dangerous. A wise man once wrote an anti-utopia in wich each citizen would have to appear annually before a Central Planning Committee to justify the social utility of his or her (or its) existence, or else be painlessly "terminated." It's a direct analogy to abortion. (And even the name - Planned Parenthood, Central planning committee...)
--Earthland (talk) 20:04, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I swear, if you use vague quotes from encyclopaedias as if that's the totality of ethics again I will come to Estonia and personally strangle you with a cushion. Cubic time Phantom Hoover! 20:52, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Surely you'd use a cushion to suffocate him? Thin rope or cheese wire are much better for strangling. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum disease 00:32, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh sure, if you want to do it the easy way. --Kels (talk) 15:10, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Go ahead and waste the space by your super-funny ideas how to kill me.--Earthland (talk) 18:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Uh, you still don't get it, don't you? At first, those quotes are anything but "vague", and although they tell us that the zygote is a human individual, they don't tell us if it is right or wrong to kill those individuals. It's just me who says that it is wrong to kill another human being... --Earthland (talk) 08:43, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's just you. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:22, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I just said to you. Never mind what I say. --Earthland (talk) 18:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Linked article on homicide doesn't mention abortion, although the article on justifiable homicide does. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:14, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
(Irony, eh?) I didn't even mean to mention abortion, but "...the act of a human killing a human being." --Earthland (talk) 18:20, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Irony indeed. If you didn't mean to mention abortion, why write never-ending essays on the subject? If this essay was titled "why I oppose homicide", there would be a lot fewer objections. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe to let you see that the definition "killing a human being" goes for abortion also.--Earthland (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
To you it does. Others believe differently. That's what it comes right down to: your opinion, your beliefs. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Argument by assertion. Read my essay and refute it as much as you can, but please don't come up with such assertive nonsense.--Earthland (talk) 18:38, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
What specifically is assertive nonsense? That other people's opinions & beliefs on this subject differ from yours? Or that your opinions & beliefs are no more important or correct than theirs? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:42, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
"To accept the fact that, after fertilization has taken place, a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion..." --Earthland (talk) 20:15, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

One mans opinion that it is not an opinion doesn't mean anything. My opinion that it is no longer merely an opinion that you are an ignorant, uptight sock, doesn't change the fact that it's still my opinion, does it? δij^{i.broke.it.} 20:31, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Uh oh.... maybe you noticed that I didn't even give the source, because it wasn't really that important, I simply wanted to make clear what I mean by saying that it's not just opinion. But the person who said it, Dr. Jerome Lejeune, was not just "one man", he was pretty important scientist. And he simply summarised the general biological consensus, the one that you know nothing about. Now, as you have stated that you have "done feeding the troll", that I am a "retard" and that talking to me is like talking to a 2-years old child (it's like Andrew Schlafly telling people to open their minds), maybe you can get lost? --Earthland (talk) 16:03, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Earthland, I'm not interested in debating whether the life cycle begins at fertilisation. The title of this section refers to "personhood" - i.e. an abstract societal concept. You appeal to biological definitions of "life", "human", "individual", etc. then apply them rigidly to ethics, society & law, insisting that the same definitions must apply there too. Personally, I cannot regard the unborn as members of society any more than I can the dead, and I do not believe that fetuses are entitled to human rights any more than animals are. You believe differently. That's OK; you're entitled to your beliefs. But what really gets my goat is the way you make out that your views are more objective & rational than anybody else's, & that only an idiot could think about these issues in different terms than you do. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
And I answered the question of personhood. (You seem to ignore it). And pointed out that, even if preborn are not considered to be human "persons", abortion still remains purposeful destruction of another human being, and this is also the definition of "homicide".
"Personhood" is, indeed, a philosophical, not scientific term. But if the concept of "personhood" is that subjective, then we can’t say it has begun at birth, or at age five, or at 50. And I could murder you because there is no way to prove that you are a person.
Fortunately I do not think so... --Earthland (talk) 15:53, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
You're butchering words. If something isn't a person, terminating its existence is not homicide. Homo-man (person) cida-chop. Why are you still going over this anyways? You said you didn't want women who had abortions to be tried as murderers, so you've already conceded it's not murder. δij^{i.broke.it.} 16:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not interested in talking to you, cgb, especially if you quote-mine me (or, actually, simply tell lies). I am willing to talk to anyone else here, except you. I won't answer to any of your posts. --Earthland (talk) 16:08, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"And I could murder you because there is no way to prove that you are a person." - which is why we have august bodies that decide who has and who hasn't got the right to life. They have, across most of the Western world, decided that 20 weeks is about right. That's an opinion with a 'lot of weight behind it - not just one or two hand-picked scientists or uptight little boys with a chip on their shoulder. Bob Soles (talk) 16:10, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Two hand-picked scientists - well, if you can show me one - just one - embryology textbook or encyclopedia that actually states something else, we can talk about it.

The number of people who believe in an idea is irrelevant to its validity. As I've said, history is littered with examples where “the majority” simply meant that most of the fools were on one side. If the majority thinks that human beings younger than five years are not "persons", would you approve of that? --Earthland (talk) 16:20, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

They all agree that life begins at conception. They do NOT agree that the right to life, or what we are defining here as "personhood". begins at conception. Until you can get your head around the FACT that these are different and are not logically linked you're stuck with your limited world view. Bob Soles (talk) 16:27, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
And if you want an authority
'The BMA agrees that in other than the most extreme cases, 24 weeks should be the upper limit for termination of pregnancy, and the figures show that this has already been achieved. It believes that to change the law now may pose legal and professional hazards for doctors.'

So the body that represent British doctors says that it agrees that abortion is morally OK up to 24 weeks. Bob Soles (talk) 16:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"And I answered the question of personhood." - providing lots of quotes, from whatever sources, does not constitute logical proof - it's argument from authority. If we're going by argument from authority then the various judicial authorities around the Western world trump whatever you can provide. Game over. Bob Soles (talk) 16:19, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Your responses to the personhood issue just reiterate the same old argument that "conception is the only objective point". But it's not objective - just look at all these people disagreeing with you! Human rights are not something that exist physically or were evolved biologically: they exist because humans have asserted their rights - i.e. they are a social construct or a meme. Obviously they are intended to be objective & universal (that being but the whole point of human rights) but there's no consensus about whether they should apply before birth. You can certainly believe that they should, but it is just your opinion & no less arbitrary than anybody else's, however many encyclopedias you quote. & Talking about some hypothetical dystopian society where people aren't regarded as people doesn't change anything - it's just a very weak slippery slope argument, & could equally be used to justify animal rights, rights for trees, or any other position. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:05, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

That many people don't agree with something doesn't make it less objective, it only makes it less obvious. All the people of the world may share the view that our flat earth satys still, but it doesn't make it an objective view.
Please find something more effective than "it's the same thing you said before, therefore I'm not going to comment it". While some rights (such like the right to drink alcohol) is up to the society to decide, the right to life certainly is not. --Earthland (talk) 17:11, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Then who is it up to? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:11, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The BMA Position

I recommend reading this but for those who can't be bothered the conclusion reads:-

While this section has set out some of the key stages of development that have been presented as being morally significant in terms of the status of the fetus, it would be inappropriate to assume that everyone's views fit neatly into one of these positions. Many people would have difficulty with pin-pointing the stage at which they believe the fetus achieves moral status and do not believe that the fetus has no moral status until a particular stage of development, after which it deserves full and absolute protection. As Raanan Gillon has said, 'The lack of clear dividing lines does not mean to say that there are no differences: the problem is that the borders are fuzzy.' The practical implication of this is that as the fetus develops, and therefore gains moral status, the greater the justification required for terminating the pregnancy. This view is reflected in the current legislation which permits different time limits for different grounds for abortion and has also been the basic approach adopted by the BMA.

Note that here the body representing British doctors who have a great deal invested in this decision fail to find EL's statement that "the fetus achieves full moral status at conception" compelling. Bob Soles (talk) 16:39, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

From the same paper
Through these procedures, the BMA has repeatedly since the 1970s agreed policy statements supporting the Abortion Act as a 'practical and humane piece of legislation' and calling for the legislation to be extended to Northern Ireland.
The Abortion Act it refers to is the UK legislation allowing abortions up to 24 weeks. "Practical and humane" tends to imply that they don't see abortion as murder. This is a statement from a body which represents all UK doctors, not just abortionists, and it should be noted that only 20% of those doctors take the freely available option for opt out from abortions on moral grounds. Bob Soles (talk) 16:48, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The encouragement or assistance of a doctor does not change the nature, consequences, or morality of abortion.

That I use someone's quotes does not mean that I use it as "argument from authority". To claim that just quoting somebody is necessarily "argument from authority" is actually another dishonest debate tactic - straw men.

But to claim that some argument is wrong because you don't like the source where it came is ad hominem. I think calling someone an "uptight little boy" falls under that category, don't you, Bob?

Well - you admit that the zygote is a living human individual. I've repeated it countless times that I know that science doesn't tell us anything about human rights. On the other hand - there is nearly universal agreement on the value of respect for individual human existence, and from that premise we could conclude that the dispute over abortion is solely a dispute about facts. The vast majority of people who support abortion take that position with the firm conviction that life does not begin at conception - it even rhymes, don't you see?

However, you insist that only particular kind of human beings should be considered "persons" with right to life. That is a philosophical question. Hypothetically, if such arbitrary criteria is established, science could tell us whether or not a given organism fits them. Now, maybe you are that nice and actually read what I wrote about personhood, and maybe you even respond to it, without any of your favorite fallacies? (Ad hominem, appeal to consequences, straw men and probably some more.) --Earthland (talk) 16:57, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, we do insist that only a particular kind of human life constitutes "persons," and no, science cannot tell us what "fits" what is an entirely abstract and social construct. The brain dead are not persons. The anencephalic are not persons. Blastocysts are not persons. An excised tumour, despite being genetically unique, is not a person. All you've done, as repeated again and again by so many, is conflate "life" with "personhood," and then declared things about them without a jot of proof. PubliusTalk 17:08, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
And yes, different "persons" have different rights. Just as I have no problems with five-year-olds being deprived of the right to vote I have no problem with embryos being deprived of the right to life. Acquiring rights is an ongoing process throughout the life cycle. Bob Soles (talk) 17:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
To quote the BMA once again "Most people's views fall somewhere between the extremes described above, with many people taking more of a gradualist approach with the fetus being seen as gaining in moral status as it develops." Bob Soles (talk) 17:15, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The thing is, that (you seem to understand it, Bob!) every organism is identical over the course of its entire lifetime. At no point does a "non-person" go away, to be replaced by a "person", even gradually not. Every one of us has been a prenate at the beginning of our lifespan. To take this gradualist approach about "moral significance" is to say that the right to life "increases" during one's lifetime, gradually with the psychological and physical development. It is to assume that there is some kind of "morally most significant person", whose physical and psychological development is almost perfect, probably Albert Einstein who won all the golds at the Olympic Games. All other people are inferior and deserve the right to life less and less. A thirteen years old boy is morally less significant than 20-years old person. Even the hypothetical sportsman Albert Einstein is "less person" when he is tired or asleep, but "more person" when he's on the stadion.

I really don't know why I'm wasting my time by talking to a person who compared the right to life with the right to drink alcohol.

--Earthland (talk) 17:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Circular reasoning. The question at hand is whether people are instantly 100% "human", and if so, whether this is so at conception. It's not a given that humanity is binary (nor that implying otherwise makes Bob hopelessly wrong/immoral).
Also, if a superhero Einstein existed, his existence might carry more moral weight, since he could easily do great things...separate issue, though. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 17:28, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


Circular rasoning - could you explain it a bit more? (I know what is "circular reasoning", but I really don't think that I used it).
One can not be "more or less human", because non-human beings do not become humans by getting older and bigger. It is, of course, possible to argue that a human being can have "more or less" rights, and it is true, as we gain some positive rights (such like right to vote and drink alcohol) during our lifetime (because human beings can be more or less developed, but being less developed does not mean being less human), but they can not be compared to the most fundamental human rights. --Earthland (talk) 17:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I compared the right to life with the right to drink alcohol as they are both rights we acquire during our life cycle. Maybe I should have used the right to vote which, ask any of the Tienanmen Square protesters, is almost as important. You then distort this argument out of all proportion but yes, a twenty year old does have more moral rights than a thirteen year old. (s)he has the right to choose to use their body sexually. That's the way it goes. However, this is not a steady ramp as you so ludicrously extrapolate. Rather it is stepped and most of the steps have been reached by the age of 18. Not all, in the UK I gain lots of rights when I'm 60.
So yes, all other rights are acquired in stages during the life cycle so why not the right to life. Exactly when is a difficult question with no simple answers. Indeed, putting a hard line on it is usually fallacious, even though legally necessary. Would I condone an abortion at around 30 weeks? Normally there is no way but if it is essential to save the life of the mother... Now it's harder, much harder. It is, however, the sort of question trauma specialists meet every day and they have to find real answers, answers that work, answers that can be applied. This is why the BMA, whilst normally suggesting the 20 week cut off point, doesn't make this a hard and fast rule. Bob Soles (talk) 18:14, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
"but they can not be compared to the most fundamental human rights. " - why not? Bob Soles (talk) 18:22, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
@Earthland: Circular reasoning/begging the question/affirming the precedent/etc...I forgot which was the appropriate term, but at any rate, you seemed to have suggested that a position in this argument is a given, when it is either debated or the actual subject of the argument:
  • When egg and sperm unite, they both cease to exist, because what’s created is a new organism, an individual human organism (This dismisses the philosophical questions of potential and humanity, the latter of which is basically the entire point of the abortion debate.)
  • every organism is identical over the course of its entire lifetime. At no point does a "non-person" go away, to be replaced by a "person", even gradually not. (Again, this presumes the falsehood of an opposing theory as though the answer is decided.)
  • Albert Einstein is "less person" when he is tired or asleep (Though this isn't entirely the same debate, some people do indeed feel that unconscious humans do not have the same level of "life", so to speak. Though this mostly relates to comas and brain death, it's been also applied to sleep, extremely young/old age, etc...albeit to a much lesser degree.) ~ Kupochama[1][2] 01:16, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

A twenty year old does have more moral rights than a thirteen year old? All other rights are acquired in stages during the life cycle? Absolutely not, mr. Bob Soles!

Human rights are "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled". The doctrine of human rights identifies the universal minimal standard of justice, tolerance and human dignity that is owed to individuals by the mere virtue of their humanity. All human beings are entitled to all these rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as stage of development.

That the unborn - and newly born (and many disabled) - can not exercise some human rights, such like the right to move, doesn't mean that this right is acquired in stages during the life cycle. They do have that right at every moment of their life, but they are themselves unable to exercise it.

The right to vote, use your body sexually or drink alcohol are not human rights. Statesless persons can not vote, but nobody has violated their human rights. The reason why under age people are not allowed to drink alcohol or vote is that we don't consider them to be mature enough to know the possible consequences of their acts and they may harm themselves or the society. (The reason is not that we consider them to be "not worthy enough" to have "extra rights"). This can't be compared to the real human rights at all.

Kupochama, this is very much decided fact that every organism is idendical over the course of its entire lifecycle. Or do you really believe that some kind of miraculous forces take the "mere fetus" out of the womb to replace it with "real person"? When you were a zygote, it was your body.

--Earthland (talk) 18:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Total bollox as ever. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which you quote includes, as article 21
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
So you believe that the foetus should have the vote? There's no mention there about age restrictions. Bob Soles (talk) 18:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Furthermore article #3 which you quote says, in full,
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
So, does this mean that when a mother puts her toddler in a play pen, on on reins when out and about, she is committing the heinous sin of depriving this innocent of their right to liberty? The UDHR seems to put this in the same category as life, not a separate one as you would wish us to believe.
In addition, article #1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
implies these rights start at birth, not at conception. An embryo is hardly endowed with reason and conscience. Bob Soles (talk) 19:31, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The declaration do mention age restrictions, for example "Men and women of full age ... have the right to marry and to found a family."

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the right to life of "all members of the human family" (quoted from the Preamble), and that, since the unborn are members of the human family, the UDHRs protects the right to life of the unborn.

The Declaration on the Rights of the Child applies to the unborn, which states that, "...the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."

In common parlance, "birth" is a synonym to "beginning". Even if this word wasn't used as a synonym in the UDHR, it still states in the preamble that all members of the human family should be protected - every individual member of our species.

It also declares that human beings have "inherent dignity" (Preamble). This is a key theme. Or maybe there are three key themes: these rights are universal because they are for all (members of the human family), inherent because they are not given, and inalienable because they cannot be taken away.

--Earthland (talk) 20:02, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

What's wrong with all this

1. This debate does not have a definite answer; it depends on your more fundamental beliefs. Still, I think the anti-abortion side is more likely to be logically consistent, although few people think about the consistency of all their beliefs (I do, of course). I myself lean philosophically toawrd the anti-abortion side, though in practice I would allow most abortions.

2. It's correct that personhood need not be conferred at one moment, but developes gradually. The problem with this is that such developement continues long after birth; I could not say it ends until the teens at least. So, according to that idea, it should be less serious (at least) to kill a young child than to kill an adult. But I am sure the leftists would show no reluctance to argue against that; the contrary, if anything, because of their emotional sympathy. Also, almost no one says even that infanticide (i.e. by the mother, or authorised by her) immediately after birth is OK, implying that the line must be drawn before birth. But there is no logical reason to draw only one narrow line, and that before birth. It's just more inconsistent emotional reasoning.

3. [removed because I know you feminists would censor it anyway]

4. (not written for this post, but I'll put it here anyway)

  • What kind of abortion law would I support, then? I outlined it before on usenet, and perhaps elsewhere, but here's a plan of what I think is the best compromise:
    • 1. There should be no 'abortion clinics'. All abortions, for any reason, should be conducted at regular hospitals approved to do so. In the case of a nationalised health care system (which I support), these would be government-administrated. They would all be done according to standard procedures with exceptions only for medical need.
    • 2. All elective abortions (which means those not due to medical indications or fetal problems) should require a 3-day waiting period (for convenience, the first doctor visit, that starts the waiting period, may be made anywhere).
    • 3. Abortions before 12 weeks shall be allowed for any reason. Abortions between 12 and 24 weeks shall be allowed only for medical reasons (non-elective).
    • 4. Killing the fetus after 24 weeks, which shall not be classified as abortion, shall be allowed only when absolutely necessary for medical reasons.
    • 5. Exceptions to #2 and #3 can be made for extraordinary medical and other reasons (I should not need to go into detail), but must be signed by 2 approved doctors spelling out the justification for it. The number of these exceptions shall not exceed one in a thousand pregnancies.

- Fall down

Your point #2 - "Personhood" is incremental during the life cycle. I'm not sure anyone would agree with this using the definition of personhood that we've been using. i.e. the point where one gains the right to life.
What is true is that rights are gained (and lost) during one's life cycle. The Pro-lifers want to put the right to life in a different category from the rest and say that it is acquired at conception. Less extreme is the view that the right to life is gradually acquired during the first 20-24 weeks and that, during that time, the rights of the mother have precedence. After the 20-24 week boundary - still fuzzy, you'll notice - I don't think that there are many who wouldn't agree that the right to life is absolute although I would say that the majority would agree that, up to the point of birth, if it were a decision between the life of the mother or the life of the child, all other things being equal, the mother takes precedent.
So, no, the idea that rights are acquired during the life cycle doesn't mean that infanticide is less of a crime than the killing of adults. Bob Soles (talk) 11:22, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I know that this is what you believe, but I think it doesn't make much sense. If personhood in acquired gradually, on what basis is it defined? Surely animals don't have it (except maybe the apes etc.), so what is it that can distinguish us from the animals? It can only be the mind, and it is plain that humans do not have a qualitatively superior mind to animals until, at the earliest, they start to use language.
Therefore extending personhood to infants (and later-term fetuses) but not to early embryos seems to me purely an emotional reaction that can't be justified. There is no relevant difference, unless medical issues with the pregnancy are involved.
Lastly, of course I agree with your statement that the life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the fetus (unless, possibly, she objects). That's my point 4.4 above.
- Fall down
'If personhood in acquired gradually, on what basis is it defined?' --> Don't try to define personhood. Nothing good lies down that road. -- =w= 23:00, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
But that's exactly what you people are trying to do.
- Fall down
Oh, Mei is part of our hive mind? I kinda figured she was freelance. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 03:03, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Mei, that was useful! Bob Soles (talk) 23:02, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Bob. ^_____^ I enjoyed your user page. -- =w= 23:05, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

every organism is idendical over the course of its entire lifecycle

Well, here we have another of those contentious statements that EL states as undeniable fact. I find it hard to understand how EL sees a grown human as identical to the recently fertilised ovum.

  • One is single cell, the other multi cell.
  • One is sentient, the other not.

Neither of these differences are trivial and each of them prevents the description of identical. But they have the same DNA, I hear EL scream. Well, so do identical twins but no one calls them the same person. Identical, I beg to differ. Bob Soles (talk) 18:50, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Have you run EL through soul arithmetic yet? To be consistent wouldn't EL have to believe that chimeras are literally two distinct persons with their own personhoods? — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 18:56, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
This sort of thing is the main problem. "The two preceding parts were not human until they combined, at which point they ceased to exist. They are now something else, which is human." I disagree with every segment of this. There's no meaningful difference between a human and most any other animal at the "moment" of conception; morally speaking, the only difference is that one is likely to become human later. (No, I'm not talking about scientific classifications of organisms; there's a difference between that and "human" in terms of moral rights. No, it is not a given that everything is its "adult self" from conception; that's a philosophical argument for potential/fate. Etc.)
Running off to class, will correct later if necessary... ~ Kupochama[1][2] 19:30, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

By "identical" I mean that it is the same body, not that the zygote doesn't differ from an adult at all.

Twinning is an act of asexual reproduction. The embryo developed as an individual organism before the division.

Kupochama, I urge you to go to the nearest library and borrow a random textbook about human embryology. I will personally give you the permission to miss all your classes if you need. Just say that Earthland told you to read some basic facts about human development. (Never mind, I'm trying to be funny (not about the basic facts of human development, though)).

"Likely to become human"? The zygote does not have the potential of becoming either a parrot or a spider. It has the potential to become a human adult, but it has zero potential of becoming a human, since it already is one. Oh yes, it is very unlike me or you, but the zygote looks exactly like a human ought to look at this stage of his or her development.

I am very, very tired of your disingenious answers, it will probably be the last post I make on this talk page... for a while.

--Earthland (talk) 20:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

YAAAAY! Your stupidity is reducing my brain to mush! Cubic time Phantom Hoover! 20:25, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Increasing rather than reducing. --Earthland (talk) 19:06, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the random insults and flipping the board over when I try to be clear and polite god damn it you asshole fuck shit hell waugh advice, but my life really doesn't have anything to do with embryology, and the details of an embryo are not relevant to my argument. You're still insisting that your argument is self-evident or already proven, yet it seems to consist entirely of this assumption: "Animals are animals from the moment they are conceived, and not morally different from 'more developed' adult animals in any way." This is the point being argued, not a fact.
Beyond that, there is no meaningful difference in the material of which a "human" consists immediately before, during, and after fertilization. This is not a matter of embryology, presuming the process does not construct a working child (see below) in a matter of seconds; at this time, the embryo consists of materials that weren't human one moment ago, and may proceed to develop into something human (which will consist of entirely different materials, for that matter).
This leads back to arguments about whether various functions/features make one human, the recent thing about gradual vs instant humanity/rights, etc...so we're really not getting anywhere, even if we can agree on some of this. Oh well. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 01:34, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm tired as well. It seems a lot like we're all wasting our time here. I reckon I'll boycott this talk page from here on out. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:01, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
This has been a waste of time right from the conception. EL has taken an almost messianic "I'm right and any one who disagrees is wrong" stance. There is no way he will be persuaded that any other viewpoint has any value whatsoever. He has stated repeatedly that those who think other than him are either ignorant or immoral murderers. There is no room anywhere within him for respect for other views.
As for his ability to persuade anyone else, well, he's just trotting out the same old "life begins at conception, therefore abortion is murder" which we've all heard before - it is, after all, the mainstay of the "pro-life" position. If we weren't persuaded by others arguing with more authority and better rhetoric then I can't see anyone being persuaded by him. Indeed, with his lack of empathy with opposing views he comes across more and more as a shrill bigot which detracts from any value his arguments might have.
So, we're not going to persuade him and he's not going to persuade us. Stalemate. Bob Soles (talk) 10:47, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Simple

  1. Can a zygote survive on its own without being a parasitic growth within the mother?
  2. Is a woman guilty of involuntary manslaughter if her body has a miscarriage?
  3. When the health of the woman and/or fetus is in peril, should abortion still be off the table?
  4. Who is better to dictate the medical advice of a patient - you or her physician?
  5. What is the definition of life, so that one can determine when it begins?
— Unsigned, by: Irrationalatheist / talk / contribs
  1. No, but it doesn't change much of anything, and, by the way, there is nothing parasitic about the unborn.
  2. Without the intention to commit a particular crime one can not be guilty of this crime in question. If a man dies of a heart attack, from a moral perspective that is quite different than if he had been shot to death. That distinction also exists between a miscarriage and an induced abortion.
  3. Abortion should not be illegal if the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life - but this is extremely rare.
  4. The encouragement or assistance of a doctor does not change the nature, consequences, or morality of abortion.
  5. A zygote is a functioning individual organisms that genetically belong to the species Homo sapiens. And that's it. It is not popular to actually read my essay before raising questions about it, but maybe you don't mind reading the first section?
--Earthland (talk) 14:42, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  1. Yes, it does. If a zygote cannot survive on its own, then it is part of the mother during its development, not an individual human being. The fetus is parasitic by definition: (M-W def) "an organism living in, with, or on another organism in parasitism." The fetus, until the third trimester, is unable to survive without feeding off its mother's nutrients and oxygen supply. That's simple biology. So until it is born, it is part of the mother, not an individual.
  2. Intention is not required to be guilty of a crime. Involuntary manslaughter, by definition, is (findlaw's def), "an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as DUI). The usual distinction from voluntary manslaughter is that involuntary manslaughter (sometimes called 'criminally negligent homicide') is a crime in which the victim's death is unintended." If terminating a fetus at any point in its development is murder, then the unintentional murder of a miscarriage is involuntary manslaughter. You dodged the question by making a false argument. I didn't ask morality, I asked by law.
  3. But if abortion is necessary in cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy, then isn't it considered a medical procedure? And therefore how can it be murder?
  4. Except you just stated that abortion is not illegal if the pregnancy threatens the woman's life; therefore, it is the doctor and patient's decision, not yours or anyone else's, the validity of "the nature" and "consequences" of abortion. You're not every woman's medical doctor and therefore do not have the capability to speak on behalf of each one's health care. And stop bring morals into it; the morality of nearly all developed nations is that abortion is legal and proper medical care.
  5. I didn't ask the definition of a zygote; I asked the definition of life. You seem to skip questions you obviously can't answer, but you speak as though you know everything about the subject and make a final judgment based on your religious, not rational, perspective.
So I shall give you one final question: What should happen to the mother who gets an abortion, legally? --Irrational Atheist (talk) 15:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I at least see why you call yourself "irrational".

That the fetus is dependent doesn't make it any less individual human being. It has different genetic code than mother, but body part is defined by the genetic code it shares with the rest of the body. By any rational standard, the unborn child is a separate individual from its mother. Long before the point at which most abortions are done, the unborn child has its own DNA code, its own fingerprints, and its own blood type – none of which match the mother. Furthermore, since scientists have been able to achieve conception in a petri dish in the case of the "test-tube" baby, and this conceptus if it has white parents can be transferred to the body of a black woman and be born white, we know conclusively that the unborn is not part of the pregnant woman's body.

A fetus is not parasitic. A parasite is an invading organism - coming to parasitize the host from an outside source. A human fetus is formed from a fertilized egg - the egg coming from an inside source, being formed in the ovary of the mother. New evidence indicates that the mother does react to the presence of the embryo by producing humoral antibodies, but the trophoblast - the jacket of cells surrounding the embryo - blocks the action of these antibodies and therefore the embryo or fetus is not rejected. This reaction is unique to the embryo-mother relationship.

I should have been probably more clear. If there's a miscarriage, women doesn't do anything at all. That's why it is called spontaneous abortion. Most of miscarriages take place because of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, and that has nothing to do with the mother. Even if its some characteristic of mother's body that causes the death of the fetus, woman herself has no control over it and therefore she couldn't be declared "guilty" by any rational standard. Induced abortion, on the other hand, is the purposeful termination of human life.

But if abortion is necessary in cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy, then isn't it considered a medical procedure? Yes, but this is the only case, and an extremely rare case!

Just because a procedure is performed in a medical facility doesn’t automatically make it health care. Health care relates to the treatment of disease, injury or illness. Since pregnancy is none of those, abortion cannot be accurately labeled health care.

Morality is not "what majority thinks". Majority may think that it is right to kill all Jews, but it doesn't make it moral. In 1850, there was no consensus in America for outlawing slavery or allowing women to vote. There was also a time when consensus was that the earth is flat. In fact, world history is littered with examples where “consensus” simply meant that most of the fools were on one side.

Don't try to trick people with some magic definition of "life". You can simply read what wikipedia writes about it. A zygote a biological mechanism that converts nutrients and oxygen into energy that causes its cells to divide, multiply, and grow. It develops, only a life form can develope.

If the question is, what gives the right to tell a woman she can’t have an abortion, the answer is absolutely nothing. As individuals, we have no more right to tell a woman she can’t hire someone to kill her unborn child than we have to tell her she can’t rob convenience stores. However, it is right for there to be laws which say she can’t do so. Just as government has the responsibility and the right to prevent armed robbery, it has the responsibility and the right to prevent the killing of innocent human beings, including those waiting to be born. And it's a really bad thing if it doesn't...

--Earthland (talk) 18:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm irrational like π, bitch.
"That the fetus is dependent doesn't make it any less individual human being." Sure it does. It is completely dependent on the mother as a host for all its developmental needs, including oxygen and nutrients. It is incapable of survival outside the womb until around the third trimester. It is not a human being until it is developed into a human being.
"It has different genetic code than mother, but body part is defined by the genetic code it shares with the rest of the body." But by that argument, all eggs, regardless of fertilization, and all sperm are human beings. And so are cancer cells. They all have different genetic code by still have the code to form an entire human in some fashion. They just don't have the capability. Then again, somatic cells contain the information to make another human, but do not.
"By any rational standard, the unborn child is a separate individual from its mother." Yet it can't exist without the mother until well into its development.
"Long before the point at which most abortions are done, the unborn child has its own DNA code, its own fingerprints, and its own blood type – none of which match the mother." More than half the genetic code in the child matches the mother (remember mitDNA). The blood type could still match the mother's.
"Furthermore, since scientists have been able to achieve conception in a petri dish in the case of the 'test-tube' baby, and this conceptus if it has white parents can be transferred to the body of a black woman and be born white, we know conclusively that the unborn is not part of the pregnant woman's body." Humans can grow new skin cells in a petri dish, and graft these cells onto any human's body. Are you suggesting that skin is not part of someone's body but an individual? Your argument is useless because many substitutions for "unborn" reveal how absurd it is. The fetus is dependent on the mother for all its developmental needs until it is born, and is not an individual human being until it is.
"A fetus is not parasitic. A parasite is an invading organism - coming to parasitize the host from an outside source. A human fetus is formed from a fertilized egg - the egg coming from an inside source, being formed in the ovary of the mother." So what is a sperm cell? Human females make their own sperm now? Parasitic means any organism which is part of, in or on another organism for a one-way biological relationship. The fetus is dependent on its mother for its developmental needs; the mother is not dependent on the fetus for anything.
"I should have been probably more clear. If there's a miscarriage, women doesn't do anything at all. That's why it is called spontaneous abortion." But how do you know? Some are caused by interactions of chemicals or drugs that the woman takes. Imbalances can happen as well. Remember, the definition of involuntary manslaughter only requires an act on the part of the person that results in the death of another. If your argument is that abortion is murder, then a miscarriage is involuntary manslaughter. Defining abortion as murder will keep this argument open.
"Most of miscarriages take place because of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, and that has nothing to do with the mother." Except that her body makes the eggs. And she most likely chooses the male with whom she will fertilize the egg. These are actions that the mother does, involuntarily and voluntarily.
"Even if its some characteristic of mother's body that causes the death of the fetus, woman herself has no control over it and therefore she couldn't be declared 'guilty' by any rational standard." Having no control over it is not a defense for involuntary manslaughter. It is mitigating for sentencing, but not for the act itself.
"Induced abortion, on the other hand, is the purposeful termination of human life." But you refuse to define what life it, let alone human life. If a fetus has no ability to survive without 100% contribution from its mother, how is it a human being?
"But if abortion is necessary in cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy, then isn't it considered a medical procedure? Yes, but this is the only case, and an extremely rare case!" So how can it be murder if it's a medical procedure? What you're now arguing is that abortion is not murder, but the reason it's used becomes murder, much like prescribing drugs is not murder unless the drug will result in a fatal interaction with the patient. To be honest, you should be arguing that abortion where the life and health of the mother is not in jeopardy should be considered wrong. But you aren't.
"Just because a procedure is performed in a medical facility doesn’t automatically make it health care. Health care relates to the treatment of disease, injury or illness. Since pregnancy is none of those, abortion cannot be accurately labeled health care." But you just agreed that abortion is a medical procedure, in the "rare" cases where the mother's health and life are in jeopardy. Pregnancy is not a disease, injury or illness, but complications from pregnancy can be. Therefore, by your own admission, abortion is health care.
"Morality is not 'what majority thinks'." No, it's what society accepts. Is it moral for a forty-year-old male to have sex with a sixteen-year-old female? In some states, it's acceptable. In some countries, it's acceptable. If the society accepts it, then it's only personal objections which make it immoral. That would make the morality argued personally subjective. With abortion, it is seen as a sometimes necessary and morally acceptable issue of health care, that is between the patient and her physician. What you want to do is make it immoral because you have a personal issue with said health care between two people who are not you. Society dictates otherwise.
"Majority may think that it is right to kill all Jews, but it doesn't make it moral." Can you show me where, in any developed country, society has dictated it is fine to kill all Jews? And if you go Godwin's Law, you automatically lose the argument.
"In 1850, there was no consensus in America for outlawing slavery or allowing women to vote." And strangely, society corrected those errors.
"There was also a time when consensus was that the earth is flat." And society corrected that.
"In fact, world history is littered with examples where 'consensus' simply meant that most of the fools were on one side." But we're talking about the current world, with our collective knowledge and medical understanding. You haven't given any reasonable argument that abortion is murder, and have even agreed that abortion is health care. You contradict yourself, thus you should view your argument as invalid.
"Don't try to trick people with some magic definition of 'life'." I didn't. I asked you to define life. You gave me a definition of a zygote. I asked again for you to define life and not a zygote. You pasted the same definition of a zygote. Is English too difficult for you to understand? If only a life form can develop, is cancer a life form? Are viruses life forms? Stars and planets develop all the time, so are they life forms? It's not difficult: define "life."
"If the question is, what gives the right to tell a woman she can’t have an abortion, the answer is absolutely nothing." That wasn't my question. Why do you insist on changing what was asked so you can answer it? If you're unable to answer the question provided, simply say you cannot answer it. What is the legal consequence that should be applied to a woman who gets an abortion?
With love, Irrational Atheist (talk) 18:51, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I won't answer all of your post, Irrationalatheist, and I won't answer any comment that you write in respond to me later, because you obviously haven't even read the essay and you aren't really intellectally that interesting that I would enjoy talking to you.

For all the scientific questions concerning the beginning of the life of the new human being, I beg you, read my essay, you clearly haven't done so. The zygote does not need to develop into a human being, because it develops as a human being. You have been a zygote, I have been a zygote... You didn't come from it, likewise you didn't come from a newborn baby, you once were that baby.

A human sperm or egg cell, or a single cell from the skin, even if given an appropriate environment and supplied with all necessary nutrients, may survive for a time but do not multiply, or multiply but form only shapeless masses. The fertilized egg, however, is different. Alone among the five different types of cell, the fertilized egg begins to grow and multiply, not just in a shapeless mass, but in a purposeful pattern. Though that pattern may be hard to recognize at first, it is growing distinct structures, building foundations for what will later become organs and limbs. In short, the fertilized egg follows the normal pattern of human development.

Keith L. Moore: "A zygote is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being. /.../ This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual" (1988. Essentials of Human Embryology. p. 2. B.C. Decker Co., Toronto.)

As Scott Gilbert has said: "Traditional ways of classifying catalog animals according to their adult structure. But, as J. T. Bonner (1965) pointed out, this is a very artificial method, because what we consider an individual is usually just a brief slice of its life cycle. When we consider a dog, for instance, we usually picture an adult. But the dog is a “dog” from the moment of fertilization of a dog egg by a dog sperm. It remains a dog even as a senescent dying hound. Therefore, the dog is actually the entire life cycle of the animal, from fertilization through death."

As for fetal viability, it is largely a function of our abilities, not the fetus's. 50 years ago viability was at 30 weeks. 25 years ago it had dropped to 25 weeks. Today we have a survivor at 20 weeks and several at 21 weeks. But fetal development has not changed in the last 40 years, only our understanding and ability to support a fetus outside of the womb has changed. So, if you claim that viability is the point by which the embryo turns into a human individual, it would mean that a baby in the 18oo's and a baby in this century and probably a baby from the next century all had their lives began in different time.

Some are caused by interactions of chemicals or drugs that the woman takes. yes, and in this case it is not a miscarriage but an induced abortion that is done trough the use of abortifacients.

I really don't want to write more. Talking to someone who uses such nonsense like "More than half the genetic code in the child matches the mother" isn't really worthwhile.... I'm not interested in writing 10,000 character mini-essays in respond to you. Bye.

--Earthland (talk) 21:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Just to make two issue clear:

  • In cases when mother's life is at risk, abortion is a regrettable secondary subject not the intention itself. And yes, when I say that I oppose abortion, I do not mean these rare cases. I thought I couldn't have made it more clear, but it seems you still didn't understand.

And now, the "abortion fuck" will have a little rest for a while and won't answer any of your future comments. Bye. --Earthland (talk) 21:31, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

HILARIOUS! You got your ass handed to you and now you're running away! Fucking pussy.
"I won't answer all of your post, Irrationalatheist, and I won't answer any comment that you write in respond to me later, because you obviously haven't even read the essay and you aren't really intellectally that interesting that I would enjoy talking to you." - Translation: "I can't make you understand my bullshit arguments, and I see that you caught me contradicting myself, therefore I won't bother with you anymore." You dodged questions, contradicted your arguments, and made shit up. And I'm not really "intellectally that interesting?" I guess I have to be a frothing anti-choice asshole to be "intellectally" equal to you.
"For all the scientific questions concerning the beginning of the life of the new human being, I beg you, read my essay, you clearly haven't done so. The zygote does not need to develop into a human being, because it develops as a human being. You have been a zygote, I have been a zygote... You didn't come from it, likewise you didn't come from a newborn baby, you once were that baby." - And that has what to do with the beginning of life? "We're all zygotes" still doesn't represent when life actually begins in that zygote, now does it? True, science doesn't know. But then neither do you or any other anti-choice idiot. If life begins at conception, then you should be championing miscarriages as involuntary manslaughter, if abortions are murder.
"A human sperm or egg cell, or a single cell from the skin, even if given an appropriate environment and supplied with all necessary nutrients, may survive for a time but do not multiply, or multiply but form only shapeless masses." Skin cells multiply. It's called mitosis. And they form distinct masses of tissues call skin. What you're trying to argue, and doing a shitty job arguing, is that zygotes become individual human beings; the problem is when they are a human being and no longer a zygote. That's more philosophical in argument.
"The fertilized egg, however, is different. Alone among the five different types of cell, the fertilized egg begins to grow and multiply, not just in a shapeless mass, but in a purposeful pattern." Somatic cells do as well. Your argument's bullshit.
"Though that pattern may be hard to recognize at first, it is growing distinct structures, building foundations for what will later become organs and limbs. In short, the fertilized egg follows the normal pattern of human development." A fertilized egg is just the beginning of what all somatic cells eventually are. So why is the fertilized egg considered a person, but the skin cell not?
(Skipping boring quotes that don't help your argument)
"As for fetal viability, it is largely a function of our abilities, not the fetus's. 50 years ago viability was at 30 weeks. 25 years ago it had dropped to 25 weeks. Today we have a survivor at 20 weeks and several at 21 weeks. But fetal development has not changed in the last 40 years, only our understanding and ability to support a fetus outside of the womb has changed. So, if you claim that viability is the point by which the embryo turns into a human individual, it would mean that a baby in the 18oo's and a baby in this century and probably a baby from the next century all had their lives began in different time." They would have the same viability, except today technology can take over for what the womb mostly provides. The fetus is still incapable of surviving on its own until about the third trimester. Your argument's still bullshit.
"Some are caused by interactions of chemicals or drugs that the woman takes. yes, and in this case it is not a miscarriage but an induced abortion that is done trough the use of abortifacients." So a woman who takes a chemical that has a bad reaction with her bloodstream and causes an abortion, even if she was unaware of the interaction and how it would affect her, induced an abortion? So you are saying that miscarriages are involuntary manslaughter, if abortion is murder. Just admit it already.
"I really don't want to write more." Yes, you've dug yourself way too deep. It's been funny.
"Talking to someone who uses such nonsense like 'More than half the genetic code in the child matches the mother' isn't really worthwhile...." Failed biology? You get half your chromosomes from your mother, and half your chromosomes from your father; however, you get 100% of the DNA in your mitochondria from your mother alone. Therefore, a fertilized egg has more than half its DNA from its mother. Good work showing how ignorant you are.
"I'm not interested in writing 10,000 character mini-essays in respond to you. Bye." Run away, pussy.
"In cases when mother's life is at risk, abortion is a regrettable secondary subject not the intention itself. And yes, when I say that I oppose abortion, I do not mean these rare cases. I thought I couldn't have made it more clear, but it seems you still didn't understand." I fully understand, cockknocker. You state that abortion is murder. But it's only murder except in cases where the woman's health or life is in jeopardy. So it's not the act that you find is murder, but why it's performed. You can't argue something is murder, and then say it's not murder in "rare cases." You're not in any capacity to determine that between a patient and her doctor.
Do you fail this much in life, too? Hugs and kisses, Irrational Atheist (talk) 22:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Morality

OK Earthland, I said I wasn't gonna post here again, but since you're still arguing for an inflexible concept of morality without explaining its basis, & didn't answer my previous question about this, I'm breaking my promise.

You've said above that Morality is not "what majority thinks". So what it is?

I think you've said that you're an atheist (correct me if I'm wrong) so presumably you don't see morality as something divinely regulated. But most secular conceptions of morality (e.g. evolutionary, anthropological or psychological analysis of how morality is formed) suggest that it is something pragmatic, varying among cultures & individuals. If instead you view morality as something objective and unchanging, where and how does it originate? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:05, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Ever heard of natural law?
I hope to explain it more, later. I'm a bit sleepy at the moment. --Earthland (talk) 21:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Natural Law - what a cop out. That comes down to "I believe it is so, therefore it is so." There is no such logical thing as natural law. Jack Hughes (talk) 22:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I take back what I said about there being no logical 'natural law' - of course there is one. The one true natural law is strive for optimum propagation of one's own genes. That's it. Anything else is not natural. Occasionally it may be beneficial to abort a foetus so as to provide a better life for later offspring. That is perfectly valid by natural law. However, because we hold ourselves higher than other animals, we have developed relativistic laws, laws based on society as it stands. Under these laws, both moral and legal, abortion is, up to a point, perfectly acceptable. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:26, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Why this is a waste of everyone's time

Findings like this have important implications for understanding politics. Liberals and conservatives never seem to convince each other. They incessantly present arguments for their views on television and talk radio, but it's rare to see anyone getting persuaded to join the opposing side. The arguments used by spinners and editorialists serve more to rally the base than to convince the opposition. Liberals and conservatives are equally intelligent and they have access to the same facts, but they arrive at opposing views because they value different things. To this extent, cross-party political debate is a bit of a charade. There can be no consensus if the sides value different things. At best, the sides can look for some overlapping values and find rare islands of agreement or they can compromise and agree to tolerate policies that favor the opposition, provided the concessions aren't too great.
—Jesse Prinz, Psychology Today

The whole article is worth reading but, to summarise, it demonstrates why this whole exercise is pointless, as Prinz puts it, a charade. Jack Hughes (talk) 10:32, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The pro-life position is not universally considered to be "conservative", but thanks for this pointless insight anyway, Bob stranger. --Earthland (talk) 15:19, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

A pro life position

Lawyers for Mr. Roeder, who provided the only testimony for the defense in a trial that has spanned several weeks, are hoping that jurors will consider Mr. Roeder’s motive: his growing opposition to abortion, which he deemed criminal and immoral, and his mounting sense that laws and prosecutors and other abortion opponents were never going to stop Dr. Tiller from performing them.

“I did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. I shot him,” he testified, adding at another point, “If I didn’t do it, the babies were going to die the next day.”

Was he remorseful? No, Mr. Roeder said without emotion. After the killing, he said, he felt “a sense of relief.”

A pro-life position? Here is a pro-life reactions to the murder...

National Right to Life extends its sympathies to Dr. Tiller’s family over this loss of life. Further, the National Right to Life Committee unequivocally condemns any such acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.

Several pro-life groups have received death threats in the aftermath of the shooting, many of them threatening “vengeance” against the pro-life movement - according to wikipedia at least.

--Earthland (talk) 15:26, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

So you're accusing others of death threats against "several pro-life groups," after a pro-life nutter went and killed a physician who performed late-term abortions? And the irony hasn't sunk in yet? Anti-abortion nutters have killed in the past and will likely continue killing in the future. Number of murders against pro-lifers from those who disagree with their ideology...? 0
You're still an idiot, because you can't see the world past your stink-covered nose. Love, Irrational Atheist (talk) 15:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

You really want to make me waste my time, do you?

  • He is only here to keep arguing that abortion is murder . No I'm not. At first, although 95 % of all the comments I have made are concerning abortion, I'm not here only to argue that abortion is morally wrong. Secondly, if you only had read my essay you should know that I do not argue that every abortion is a murder and that all women who have chosen abortion are murderers.
  • and anyone who points out how bad that argument is based on what else he says is called a parodist, blocked, their additions to talk pages vandalized, etc. Absolutely not. I have called two people parodists - you and cgb (I really don't remember his full user name). If my maths isn't really pathetic, I can say that two people are not "everyone at this wiki". I have not vandalized talk pages, perhaps only my own where I struck some lines...
  • He inserts copyrighted images over and over to the essay he has. I inserted once pictures that I thought to be free to use. You can read about the "sign usage terms". However, I have contacted the CBR to ask their permission to upload some of these pictures.
  • The only reason he's here is to troll as an anti-abortionist, and will continue disturbing others who dare point out that he can't even make his case properly.

Your own arguments sound like this:

"More than half the genetic code in the child matches the mother (remember mitDNA). The blood type could still match the mother's." (Used as an argument to prove that the embryo is a part of its mother's body)

"Some are caused by interactions of chemicals or drugs that the woman takes." (To prove me that if abortion is wrong, then women are guilty of miscarriage. You don't know what an abortifacient means, do you?)

I said that "Most of miscarriages take place because of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, and that has nothing to do with the mother." and your replay was that "Except that her body makes the eggs. And she most likely chooses the male with whom she will fertilize the egg. These are actions that the mother does, involuntarily and voluntarily."

I'm not sure that you yourself laugh at that, but there are plenty of people who would not find it to be worthwhile to talk to a person who uses such nonsense.

  • I therefore argue that Earthland does not contribute in any fashion to the goals of this project.

Expect that "We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue." You of course say that there's no constructive dialogue because I didn't debate that nonsense above...

--Earthland (talk) 15:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

You don't argue that abortion is morally wrong. Here's how you open up your essay:
Why?

“ ... because life is all there is and all that matters, and abortion destroys the life of an innocent human being. ” —godlessprolifers.org

“ The purpose of abortion is not merely pregnancy termination; its purpose is to kill, to take the life of prenatal human offspring. Under justice, however, there is no such thing as a right to kill innocent people ”

—Doris Gordon
That doesn't sound like you're arguing that abortion is a moral wrong. You're saying abortion is killing an innocent human being. Can't you be consistent with your arguments? This is why you at least need to be vandal-binned and stripped of sysop (including your frequent banning of people who argue with you, copyright infringement, messing with talk pages...)
And if you want to keep arguing about what I said on your talk page, take it up there. But then stop shitting on my talk page that you're not going to respond to me, if you're going to keep responding to me. --Irrational Atheist (talk) 15:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Do you see know? That's the kind of bullshit that I am supposed to answer!
Yes, I am saying that abortion is morally wrong, because it is the "termination" of human life! Since life begins at conception, a fact that every encyclopedia and human embryologists shouts at your face, then abortion always ends the life of another human being. But I do not call every woman a murderer - murder is a bit more complex issue than killing.
--Earthland (talk) 15:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
More weasel words.
  1. There is no logical reason why terminating a human life is wrong. Indeed, the majority of people say that, as long as the life is sufficiently immature (< 20 weeks from conception) then it is not wrong. This is a belief, not a fact.
  2. If you say that abortion is a morraly unjustified killing then you are saying it is murder, and you're saying that women who have abortions are murderers. That is a fact and, for all your trying to wriggle out of it, it's still a fact.
Jack Hughes (talk) 16:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
And don't forget, that in the "rare cases" where the woman's life is in jeopardy and abortion is necessary, it's not killing another human being but a medical decision. That's the kind of bullshit he has to answer, you know. --Irrational Atheist (talk) 16:56, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Bob, I believe my essay is all pretty much about explaining this idea.--Earthland (talk) 17:00, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

And our rebuttals are showing you why you're wrong, using your own arguments. If abortion is murder, and abortion doctors who perform them are murderers, then it must be murder (and the doctors murderers) even when the abortion is to save the woman's life. It can't be morally wrong because you think it's morally wrong, when most all developed nations allow it to be an acceptable medical procedure. --Irrational Atheist (talk) 17:09, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Take a breather

I've only followed this discussion in a very superficial sense, but have you guys considered just taking a break to review your discussion to decide some specific points you'd like to discuss? Right now it seems to be a perpetual argument machine. Maybe you could take some of the definitions and key points and move them in to a debate? --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 17:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

No one believes your horseshit

not even in Kansas [1] Any way you want to sum it up, ABORTION IS NOT MURDER. δij^{i.broke.it.} 20:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)