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Non-theists and Abortion

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  • Non-theists and Abortion

    A few questions regarding abortion from the non-religious point of view [s] and away from meddling Christians [/s].

    For humans, when does biological life begin?

    I would say at least when the zygote begins division, however, I have no issue with at fertilisation.

    For humans, is there a distinction from the human organism per se and the status of human being?

    I would say yes, in a technical sense, as a both a zygote and corpse are "human" without obtaining personhood which I believe "human being" is intended to convey.

    When is a human a human?

    I would say at fertilization given the conjoining of two gametes.

    When is a human a human being, i.e. a person?

    I would say likely within the second trimester but not before one the basis of neural development.

    When do person obtain rights?

    I would agree that the foetus has a general right to life starting in the second trimester.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
    A few questions regarding abortion from the non-religious point of view [s] and away from meddling Christians [/s].

    For humans, when does biological life begin?

    I would say at least when the zygote begins division, however, I have no issue with at fertilisation.

    For humans, is there a distinction from the human organism per se and the status of human being?

    I would say yes, in a technical sense, as a both a zygote and corpse are "human" without obtaining personhood which I believe "human being" is intended to convey.

    When is a human a human?

    I would say at fertilization given the conjoining of two gametes.

    When is a human a human being, i.e. a person?

    I would say likely within the second trimester but not before one the basis of neural development.

    When do person obtain rights?

    I would agree that the foetus has a general right to life starting in the second trimester.
    I would suggest that the issues surrounding abortion per se are rather more complex including the aborting of female foetuses for cultural reasons [which may not necessarily be a decision made entirely independently by the woman].

    Any life [including human] technically begins at fertilisation. However, among humans, many fertilised ova never succeed in reaching the end of the nine months of gestation for a variety of reasons that do not include a medical termination. Late abortions are a complex ethical problem but as far as I understand it, most abortions take place within an estimated 12/15 weeks of gestation. Here in Europe we have quite strict rules on that; although I think the UK has a later [24 week] limit.

    Issues for having late abortions usually deal with later detected foetal abnormalities [and/or risks to maternal life] or where abortion facilities are not easily accessed by a pregnant woman. If money has to be saved for the cost of the operation and travel costs to the clinic those factors increase the likelihood that the procedure will be conducted at a more advanced stage in the pregnancy.

    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      I would suggest that the issues surrounding abortion per se are rather more complex including the aborting of female foetuses for cultural reasons [which may not necessarily be a decision made entirely independently by the woman].

      Or if you're a eugenicist like the Nazis and Icelanders, Down syndrome.

      Any life [including human] technically begins at fertilisation. However, among humans, many fertilised ova never succeed in reaching the end of the nine months of gestation for a variety of reasons that do not include a medical termination.
      People die of old age as well, so no one objects to spontaneous abortions.

      Late abortions are a complex ethical problem but as far as I understand it, most abortions take place within an estimated 12/15 weeks of gestation. Here in Europe we have quite strict rules on that; although I think the UK has a later [24 week] limit.
      American liberals would consider any limitation, including during birth or right after theocratic. The Mississippi law that cause so much uproar allowed elective abortions up to 15 weeks.

      Issues for having late abortions usually deal with later detected foetal abnormalities [and/or risks to maternal life] or where abortion facilities are not easily accessed by a pregnant woman.
      Iirc, the MS law had provisions for the life of the mother or severe foetal anomalies. American liberals just want elective abortion up until birth and the ability to neglect abortions survivors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

        Or if you're a eugenicist like the Nazis and Icelanders, Down syndrome.
        Unless one is discussing totalitarian regimes like the Nazis who had ridiculous and obscene ideas about racial purity and superiority, deciding to abort will involve a variety of factors many highly emotional.

        Hence I am not entirely sure if deciding to abort a child with Down Syndrome automatically makes one a eugenicist. Blanket generalisations on such a complex ethical topic as abortion invariably oversimplifies and thus leads to distortion.

        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

        People die of old age as well, so no one objects to spontaneous abortions.
        I am not entirely sure what relevance old age has to the failure of fertilised ova to reach complete gestation so I will leave that to one side.

        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

        American liberals would consider any limitation, including during birth or right after theocratic.
        Is that entirely correct? Does every single American liberal think this?

        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
        The Mississippi law that cause so much uproar allowed elective abortions up to 15 weeks.
        That remark suggests that this is, in fact, a thread about American attitudes towards legal abortion rather than abortion as a wider ethhical issue.

        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

        Iirc, the MS law had provisions for the life of the mother or severe foetal anomalies. American liberals just want elective abortion up until birth and the ability to neglect abortions survivors.
        Again, is this true of every single American liberal?

        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
          Unless one is discussing totalitarian regimes like the Nazis who had ridiculous and obscene ideas about racial purity and superiority, deciding to abort will involve a variety of factors many highly emotional.
          Iceland is relatively free of Down Syndrome due to its abortions policy. The targeting of Down Syndrome foetuses is eugenics. Nazis famously first targeted the physically and mentally ill and not even a relative of Hitler was spared.

          Hence I am not entirely sure if deciding to abort a child with Down Syndrome automatically makes one a eugenicist. Blanket generalisations on such a complex ethical topic as abortion invariably oversimplifies and thus leads to distortion.
          Targeting and killing a foetus simply due to Down Syndrome consistent with eugenics.

          I am not entirely sure what relevance old age has to the failure of fertilised ova to reach complete gestation so I will leave that to one side.
          Both are natural, i.e. not medically induced. That's not complicated.

          Is that entirely correct? Does every single American liberal think this?
          Politically, if people in America support the Democratic Party, then yes, they support the positions of the the Demorcatic Party and the voting records of Democratic politicians. This includes voting against H.R. 619:
          "This bill establishes requirements for the degree of care a health care practitioner must provide in the case of a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion."

          Something as simple as federally protecting abortion survivors failed. That is the political reality of America.

          That remark suggests that this is, in fact, a thread about American attitudes towards legal abortion rather than abortion as a wider ethical issue.
          The purpose, per the OP, is to look at abortion in a non-theist lens. I started with questions I did for a more abstract discussion, you took it a different direction. I know that in Iceland, terminating a pregnancy due to Downs is legal, that Iceland is relatively free of Downs individuals due to the abortion policy, and doing so is consistent with eugenics.

          Again, is this true of every single American liberal?
          See above.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
            Iceland is relatively free of Down Syndrome due to its abortions policy. The targeting of Down Syndrome foetuses is eugenics. Nazis famously first targeted the physically and mentally ill and not even a relative of Hitler was spared.
            If you are finger pointing at Iceland do not forget the USA's own long history of state mandated enforced sterilisations, often underpinned by racism, sexism, and eugenics. I do not know the outcome but a nurse at a detention centre in Georgia recently filed a complaint alleging concern over the number of hysterectomies being performed on ICE detainees.

            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
            Targeting and killing a foetus simply due to Down Syndrome consistent with eugenics.
            As far as I am aware there is no government endorsed policy in Iceland to prevent certain individuals from procreating nor to eradicate any foetus with a potential condition, something that was enforced by the Nazis, and, if the above allegation is proven, is still being enforced within the USA.

            As medical science makes greater advances which includes pre-natal screening, parents are able to ascertain if their foetus will have any genetic condition or abnormality. However, the final decision on whether to terminate or proceed with that pregnancy rests with the parent[s]. As far as I am aware mothers in Iceland are not being forcibly dragged into operating theatres to have their pregnancies terminated.

            There are also extenuating factors to consider in every case [irrespective of the country involved]. How severe will the condition be? What assistance is available to the parents of children with such conditions? What provisions are in place for them [and their child] if they find they cannot cope? What happens to the child when it reaches adulthood and/or the parents are no longer able to care for it? Does that country's state offer any assistance to such individuals, and to what extent?

            There is also the personal factor to consider. Do some parents want the additional stresses of rearing a child with certain conditions? I certainly would not have wanted it.

            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
            Both are natural, i.e. not medically induced. That's not complicated.
            Spontaneous abortion still denies the foetus a "general right to life starting in the second trimester". That right is removed naturally rather than be intervention. That, likewise, is not complicated.

            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
            Politically, if people in America support the Democratic Party, then yes, they support the positions of the the Demorcatic Party and the voting records of Democratic politicians. This includes voting against H.R. 619:
            "This bill establishes requirements for the degree of care a health care practitioner must provide in the case of a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion."

            Something as simple as federally protecting abortion survivors failed. That is the political reality of America.
            What is the purpose of this thread? Is it to comment on particular policy within the USA? Or is it directed at those of a non-theist persuasion concerning the ethical aspects of abortion in its wider context?

            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
            The purpose, per the OP, is to look at abortion in a non-theist lens. I started with questions I did for a more abstract discussion, you took it a different direction. I know that in Iceland, terminating a pregnancy due to Downs is legal, that Iceland is relatively free of Downs individuals due to the abortion policy, and doing so is consistent with eugenics.
            I touched on some issues pertaining to the wider implications surrounding abortion, including late abortions, and those comments were in keeping with the title of the thread and the OP.
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              If you are finger pointing at Iceland do not forget the USA's own long history of state mandated enforced sterilisations, often underpinned by racism, sexism, and eugenics. I do not know the outcome but a nurse at a detention centre in Georgia recently filed a complaint alleging concern over the number of hysterectomies being performed on ICE detainees.
              That's all bad. Point? Did you believe I would support that?

              As far as I am aware there is no government endorsed policy in Iceland to prevent certain individuals from procreating nor to eradicate any foetus with a potential condition, something that was enforced by the Nazis, and, if the above allegation is proven, is still being enforced within the USA.
              No where did I say there was any such government policies. Icelanders, in general, are doing it willfully.

              As medical science makes greater advances which includes pre-natal screening, parents are able to ascertain if their foetus will have any genetic condition or abnormality. However, the final decision on whether to terminate or proceed with that pregnancy rests with the parent[s]. As far as I am aware mothers in Iceland are not being forcibly dragged into operating theatres to have their pregnancies terminated.
              Again, no where did I say that. Icelanders are doing it willfully.

              There are also extenuating factors to consider in every case [irrespective of the country involved]. How severe will the condition be? What assistance is available to the parents of children with such conditions? What provisions are in place for them [and their child] if they find they cannot cope? What happens to the child when it reaches adulthood and/or the parents are no longer able to care for it? Does that country's state offer any assistance to such individuals, and to what extent?

              There is also the personal factor to consider. Do some parents want the additional stresses of rearing a child with certain conditions? I certainly would not have wanted it.
              I have no issue with govt aid for Down's individuals and their care.

              Spontaneous abortion still denies the foetus a "general right to life starting in the second trimester". That right is removed naturally rather than be intervention. That, likewise, is not complicated.
              That's like saying dying naturally denies a person their right to life. It's nonsense, I'm confident you know it's nonsense, and you're just being incredulous.


              That is the purpose of this thread? Is it to comment on particular policy within the USA? Or is it directed at those of a non-theist persuasion concerning the ethical aspects of abortion in its wider context?
              The OP listed question which had nothing to do specifically with US policy. Carte blanche abortion support often includes the denial of personhood pre-birth which is why I included question regarding personhood and when do persons obtain right. You chose not to respond to those questions. I believe that the abortion debate is inherently a personhood debate. A large justification for carte blanche abortion in the US is that a foetus is just "a clump of cells" but sans substance dualism, adults are also just "a clump of cells".

              I touched on some issues pertaining to the wider implications surrounding abortion, including late abortions, and those comments were in keeping with the title of the thread and the OP.
              I just followed your lead. People have no problem specifically justifying abortion due to the foetus having Down Syndrome. Why end there? Should foetus with the genes for Parkinson's be terminated? What about ALS? Tay Sachs?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

                That's all bad. Point? Did you believe I would support that?
                I merely made the observation that finger pointing at Iceland ignores ethically dubious policies that have been [and possibly still are] extant in the USA.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                No where did I say there was any such government policies. Icelanders, in general, are doing it willfully.
                You did attempt to draw a comparison between independent parental choices made by Icelanders with an enforced eugenics policy by the Nazis.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                Again, no where did I say that. Icelanders are doing it willfully.
                Icelandic parents are making their independent choices, as is their right.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                I have no issue with govt aid for Down's individuals and their care.
                Does that extend to other medical conditions? And while I appreciate your view that does not actually address the questions I posed..

                If a country has poor, inadequate, or little help [including medical] for parents of children with certain conditions, of if there is a sliding scale of care with the better care going to those who can afford to pay for it, of if the adult child will be placed in a [possibly dubious] institution, or worse, left to fend for itself once the parents can no longer care for it, such factors are bound to impact on parental decisions. There also remains the personal factor that many parents may not want the additional stress [regardless of the quality of support available] that raising a child with certain conditions may bring. They will therefore make their choice accordingly.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                That's like saying dying naturally denies a person their right to life. It's nonsense, I'm confident you know it's nonsense, and you're just being incredulous.
                I merely pointed out that millions of fertilised ova [human life] many of which will have reached the second trimester, never make it to maturity.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                The OP listed question which had nothing to do specifically with US policy. Carte blanche abortion support often includes the denial of personhood pre-birth which is why I included question regarding personhood and when do persons obtain right.
                Perhaps this thread would have been better posted on the Philosophy board, although I appreciate that doing so would have led to posts by theists, many of whom have strong views on abortion.

                I certainly have issues with late abortions but I also understand that these are not always carried out for frivolous reasons. Hence easy and free access to obtaining early, medically safe, and legal abortions should further reduce their likelihood [barring the later detection of foetal abnormalities and/or risks to maternal health].

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                You chose not to respond to those questions.
                I pointed out that abortion is a complex ethical issue which I do not consider can be reduced down to at what foetal stage person-hood is applied. That is one philosophical [and potentially legal] aspect of the issue but it is one among many.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                I believe that the abortion debate is inherently a personhood debate. A large justification for carte blanche abortion in the US is that a foetus is just "a clump of cells" but sans substance dualism, adults are also just "a clump of cells".
                This thread appears to be presenting a philosophical and potentially legal point that addresses attitudes within the USA rather than the wider ethical issue of abortion per se.

                I would contend that Europe [generally] has got it right with most countries setting an upper limit of between 12 and 15 weeks. I therefore have no issue [in principal] with the Mississippi legislation. However, and this is the caveat, that 15 week upper limit has to exist alongside easy access to free and medically safe abortions in that state. It is futile setting an upper limit if the medical facilities are not readily accessible or if women have spend weeks saving up money to avail themselves of those facilities.

                Over the counter medication [e.g. the so-called "morning after pill"] should also be easily available.

                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                I just followed your lead. People have no problem specifically justifying abortion due to the foetus having Down Syndrome. Why end there? Should foetus with the genes for Parkinson's be terminated? What about ALS? Tay Sachs?
                Once again all this comes down to personal parental choices. Some parents may not want the additional stress of caring for a child with a particular condition, or they may not wish to risk exposing their child to developing such conditions in later life where they may be unable to care for it, or where their society does not provide sufficient quality support for either them or their child.

                As also previously stated this relates to the wider societal support for families who have children with various conditions. If the society does not provide sufficient help and assistance for the parents as they rear that child, including access to [free at point of access] quality medical procedures for that child [as necessary] as well as high quality support for the child including when it reaches adulthood, parents may feel that termination is the lesser of two evils.

                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                  A few questions regarding abortion from the non-religious point of view [s] and away from meddling Christians [/s].
                  As a point of clarification, I adhere to Humanism, a religious view that is open to atheists like myself.

                  For humans, when does biological life begin?

                  I would say at least when the zygote begins division, however, I have no issue with at fertilisation.
                  The question is ill-formed in my view. Human life does not begin. Human life is continuous. At no point in the process of creating an independent body was there anything but living human cells involved.

                  For humans, is there a distinction from the human organism per se and the status of human being?

                  I would say yes, in a technical sense, as a both a zygote and corpse are "human" without obtaining personhood which I believe "human being" is intended to convey.
                  The properties we value in adult humans are emergent in non-adults, including fetuses. They wax and wane on a diurnal basis as we fall into and out of consciousness, and tend to decline in our old age before ending with our deaths.

                  When is a human a human?

                  I would say at fertilization given the conjoining of two gametes.
                  That's insufficient, as fertilized eggs regularly, though not usually, undergo further divisions later in development that are associated with the creation of identical twins, or higher multiples.

                  When is a human a human being, i.e. a person?

                  I would say likely within the second trimester but not before one the basis of neural development.
                  The original arguments in Roe v. Wade stumbled on the idea of personhood as the question itself proved intractable. In the end, they settled on a more reliable measure, viability outside the womb, which can occur as early as 21 or 22 weeks, at the end of the second trimester.

                  When do person obtain rights?

                  I would agree that the foetus has a general right to life starting in the second trimester.
                  A fetus has a right to independent existence when it can exist independently. Until then, its existence impacts another human with greater rights to the biological resources granted the fetus than the fetus itself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    I merely made the observation that finger pointing at Iceland ignores ethically dubious policies that have been [and possibly still are] extant in the USA.
                    Did you think I would not be against America's past eugenics?

                    You did attempt to draw a comparison between independent parental choices made by Icelanders with an enforced eugenics policy by the Nazis.
                    So you oppose forced eugenic policies by not when eugenics is a personal choice?

                    Icelandic parents are making their independent choices, as is their right.
                    "Chinese parents made their independent choices to abort female foetuses as was their right."

                    Would you object to parents choosing to abort based on sex as long as it was not govt forced?

                    Does that extend to other medical conditions? And while I appreciate your view that does not actually address the questions I posed..

                    If a country has poor, inadequate, or little help [including medical] for parents of children with certain conditions, of if there is a sliding scale of care with the better care going to those who can afford to pay for it, of if the adult child will be placed in a [possibly dubious] institution, or worse, left to fend for itself once the parents can no longer care for it, such factors are bound to impact on parental decisions. There also remains the personal factor that many parents may not want the additional stress [regardless of the quality of support available] that raising a child with certain conditions may bring. They will therefore make their choice accordingly.
                    The US has the Children's Health Insurance Program.

                    I merely pointed out that millions of fertilised ova [human life] many of which will have reached the second trimester, never make it to maturity.
                    Which has nothing to to with a general right to life much as natural death does not negate a general right to life. This is last time I will repeat that as it's a red herring and I'm confident you're aware of that.

                    Perhaps this thread would have been better posted on the Philosophy board, although I appreciate that doing so would have led to posts by theists, many of whom have strong views on abortion.
                    Hence the point. If you'd rather be bombarded by the Christians here, feel free to tag a moderator.

                    I certainly have issues with late abortions but I also understand that these are not always carried out for frivolous reasons. Hence easy and free access to obtaining early, medically safe, and legal abortions should further reduce their likelihood [barring the later detection of foetal abnormalities and/or risks to maternal health].
                    If by "free access" you mean without restrictions, I have no issue with that pre-2nd Trimester.

                    I pointed out that abortion is a complex ethical issue which I do not consider can be reduced down to at what foetal stage person-hood is applied. That is one philosophical [and potentially legal] aspect of the issue but it is one among many.
                    If foetuses obtain personhood and persons have rights, then it's a significant issue. At minimum, it would provide protect from being aborted sans a threat to the mother's life.

                    This thread appears to be presenting a philosophical and potentially legal point that addresses attitudes within the USA rather than the wider ethical issue of abortion per se.
                    Are you suggesting personhood and human rights (not mere observance of them) vary between counties? Do natural rights change crossing the Pond?

                    I would contend that Europe [generally] has got it right with most countries setting an upper limit of between 12 and 15 weeks. I therefore have no issue [in principal] with the Mississippi legislation. However, and this is the caveat, that 15 week upper limit has to exist alongside easy access to free and medically safe abortions in that state. It is futile setting an upper limit if the medical facilities are not readily accessible or if women have spend weeks saving up money to avail themselves of those facilities.
                    I would disagree that the State as any obligation to pay for an abortion, especially an elective one. It merely should allow legal access. The private sphere is more than willing to pay for abortions for those who cannot pay themselves.

                    Over the counter medication [e.g. the so-called "morning after pill"] should also be easily available.

                    Once again all this comes down to personal parental choices. Some parents may not want the additional stress of caring for a child with a particular condition, or they may not wish to risk exposing their child to developing such conditions in later life where they may be unable to care for it, or where their society does not provide sufficient quality support for either them or their child.
                    So killing a burdensome foetus is legitimate?

                    As also previously stated this relates to the wider societal support for families who have children with various conditions. If the society does not provide sufficient help and assistance for the parents as they rear that child, including access to [free at point of access] quality medical procedures for that child [as necessary] as well as high quality support for the child including when it reaches adulthood, parents may feel that termination is the lesser of two evils.
                    So termination of life is the lesser of two evils?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                      The question is ill-formed in my view. Human life does not begin. Human life is continuous. At no point in the process of creating an independent body was there anything but living human cells involved.
                      Gametes are not considered biologically "alive".


                      The properties we value in adult humans are emergent in non-adults, including fetuses. They wax and wane on a diurnal basis as we fall into and out of consciousness, and tend to decline in our old age before ending with our deaths.
                      If those properties entail obtaining personhood and rights, then the foetus would similar obtain personhood and rights.


                      That's insufficient, as fertilized eggs regularly, though not usually, undergo further divisions later in development that are associated with the creation of identical twins, or higher multiples.
                      There is no distinction from a a zygote that produces one offspring or multiple regarding the criteria for biological life.


                      The original arguments in Roe v. Wade stumbled on the idea of personhood as the question itself proved intractable. In the end, they settled on a more reliable measure, viability outside the womb, which can occur as early as 21 or 22 weeks, at the end of the second trimester.
                      One thing I find interesting is that the left has no problem arguing the status of personhood for non-human animals like the case for an elephant in a zoo or the personhood (at least legally) of a river in New Zealand, but when it comes to a foetus, it becomes "intractable".

                      A fetus has a right to independent existence when it can exist independently. Until then, its existence impacts another human with greater rights to the biological resources granted the fetus than the fetus itself.
                      This would lead to adults on ventilators or "life support" to lose the right to independent existence as they lack the ability to "exist independently". I have no issue with abortions post 1st Trimester as there is a conflict of rights at that point and the mother's right to life, the one threatened, would supersede the rights of the foetus.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                        Gametes are not considered biologically "alive".
                        The definition of biological life may be contentious at the edges — say concerning viruses — but an active, metabolizing organism, capable of reproduction is not on the edge. It's alive.

                        Your claim is simply wrong.

                        If those properties entail obtaining personhood and rights, then the foetus would similar obtain personhood and rights.
                        I've heard attempts to argue what personhood entails, but never heard an argument for personhood for an organism incapable of consciousness.

                        There is no distinction from a a zygote that produces one offspring or multiple regarding the criteria for biological life.
                        Lol. Yeah, right. Tell that to the next pair of twins you run into.

                        One thing I find interesting is that the left has no problem arguing the status of personhood for non-human animals like the case for an elephant in a zoo or the personhood (at least legally) of a river in New Zealand, but when it comes to a foetus, it becomes "intractable".
                        I lack your interest in the beliefs of fringers. I don't know what arguing for personhood of a river might be, but whatever that is, it's not anything I've heard supported by the left I know about.

                        This would lead to adults on ventilators or "life support" to lose the right to independent existence as they lack the ability to "exist independently". I have no issue with abortions post 1st Trimester as there is a conflict of rights at that point and the mother's right to life, the one threatened, would supersede the rights of the foetus.
                        People judged incapable of regaining consciousness are regularly removed from life support.

                        And my position on abortion is preventative. There's no reason for responsible adults to leave parenthood up to chance. Birth control has historically prevented more abortions than any political or religious argument.

                        And with whatever apologies are due, I'm simply not getting the feeling that you're for real. You're exhibiting characteristics of a flake.

                        Nothing wrong that, mind you, some of my best friends as they say ... but you're not among them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                          The definition of biological life may be contentious at the edges — say concerning viruses — but an active, metabolizing organism, capable of reproduction is not on the edge. It's alive.

                          Your claim is simply wrong.
                          Gametes =/= virus. Gametes, by themselves, are not metabolising organisms or capable of [independent] reproduction. Viruses can given a host.


                          I've heard attempts to argue what personhood entails, but never heard an argument for personhood for an organism incapable of consciousness.
                          Given the increasing indistinguishability of neural development as the foetus develops, I believe that around the 13 - 15 gestational week is sufficient to 1) allow for most abortions without the foetus being a person and 2) protect the life of the foetus. Unless a person wishes to suggest that passing through the birth canal magically confers personhood despite no change in physiology of the foetus, personhood necessarily is obtained during gestation.


                          Lol. Yeah, right. Tell that to the next pair of twins you run into.
                          A zygote is biologically alive whether it produces one offspring or eight. Being twins doesn't negate that. Should I ask twins if they are Dizygotic Diachronic Diamniotic twins, Monozygotic Diachronic Diamniotic twins, Monozygotic Monochronic Diamniotic twins, or Monozygotic Monochronic Monoamniotic twins? Also, if twining affects when the zygote is biologically alive, when are these types of twins biologically alive?


                          I lack your interest in the beliefs of fringers. I don't know what arguing for personhood of a river might be, but whatever that is, it's not anything I've heard supported by the left I know about.
                          The examples of a river being granted personhood would be the Whanganui River in New Zealand and the Klamath River in California. I'm merely noting that it's humourous individuals would deny the recognition of the personhood of a human foetus would accept and likely advocate for the recognition of the personhood of non-humans. The point being the obvious bias in maintaining the sacrosanctness of the legal ability to terminate the foetues' life, which in the US includes abortion up to birth and protecting the neglect of abortion survivors.


                          People judged incapable of regaining consciousness are regularly removed from life support.
                          That's not the standard for the foetus. The foetus would naturally gain the ability to "exist independently". The analogy would be terminating a person despite knowing the life support would only last for between 7 - 10 months.

                          And my position on abortion is preventative. There's no reason for responsible adults to leave parenthood up to chance. Birth control has historically prevented more abortions than any political or religious argument.
                          I have no issue with the usage of birth control. It prevents abortions.

                          And with whatever apologies are due, I'm simply not getting the feeling that you're for real. You're exhibiting characteristics of a flake.
                          How am I exhibiting such such characteristics? Do you think I'm covertly a Christian? No where have I said abortion should be completely illegal. Before about 13 - 15, if a female wants to have an abortion, I see no reason for the State to prevent it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                            No where did I say there was any such government policies. Icelanders, in general, are doing it willfully.
                            I'm not sure why you want to talk about Icelanders specifically. They aren't doing anything that Americans aren't doing. My understanding is that about 90 percent of fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted in America. The percentage in Iceland may be slightly higher (perhaps 95 or 97 percent), but the exact percentage doesn't really seem to be relevant.

                            I don't think I would call it eugenics, either, unless the goal is to improve the genetic quality of a human population. I doubt that that is the main consideration when parents decide to abort fetuses with Down syndrome.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

                              Did you think I would not be against America's past eugenics?
                              I consider it would have been more honest to cite your own country's dubious history [and allegedly continuing practises] rather than finger pointing at Iceland and attempting to link that country's policy of parental choice with the eugenics policies of the Nazis. The policies of the USA concerning sterilisation were state mandated and enforced on those deemed "undesirable" and were therefore not overly dissimilar to the policies of the Nazis. Furthermore, and unlike a termination, sterilisation [in particular tubal ligation or hysterectomy] prevents any further pregnancies.


                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              So you oppose forced eugenic policies by not when eugenics is a personal choice?
                              See above. Nor is what Icelandic parents [or indeed parents in any other western country, including the USA] are now doing with regard to Down Syndrome or any congenital or other defects, eugenics. There is no official state policy to remove such people from society [unlike in the history of the USA].


                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              "Chinese parents made their independent choices to abort female foetuses as was their right."

                              Would you object to parents choosing to abort based on sex as long as it was not govt forced?
                              That is generally known as a diversion. My previous comments have been specific to parents making choices concerning foetuses with genetic or other conditions.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              The US has the Children's Health Insurance Program.
                              I would be interested to know how much assistance [and not purely financial] that program [sic] provides for the parents of children with serious conditions and what provisions exist for such children when they reach the age of majority. I also note from here [https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-...ance-program/] that a child "may be eligible" and that each "state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP". So what you get will depend not only on whether your child qualifies, but also where you happen to live.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              Which has nothing to to with a general right to life much as natural death does not negate a general right to life. This is last time I will repeat that as it's a red herring and I'm confident you're aware of that.
                              It remains a fact that Mother Nature is not so exercised about "a general right to life" as are some humans.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              Hence the point. If you'd rather be bombarded by the Christians here, feel free to tag a moderator.
                              I merely made an observation but I accepted that another board would have elicited replies from various theists which [as your OP noted re "meddling Christians [/s]" ] was not something you wanted. Although of course you could have phrased the thread title to indicate that your views leaned more to the philosophical.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              If by "free access" you mean without restrictions, I have no issue with that pre-2nd Trimester.
                              I would prefer to see abortion provided free as another area of healthcare. Even here the actual procedure has to be paid for, although pre and post consultations/check-ups [and any complications that may arise] are covered. In my opinion France is moving in the right direction on this issue.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              If foetuses obtain personhood and persons have rights, then it's a significant issue. At minimum, it would provide protect from being aborted sans a threat to the mother's life.
                              Once again you seem to be pivoting back to the USA and given your country's distinctive policies re health insurance it would leave many poorer women in difficulty to find the money [some $800 or thereabouts] plus the cost of travelling to a clinic, in time to obtain their termination in the first trimester. Women who were more wealthy would not necessarily have the same issues. So a two-tier system would exist with poorer women being disadvantaged.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              Are you suggesting personhood and human rights (not mere observance of them) vary between counties? Do natural rights change crossing the Pond?
                              I was not merely considering Europe. One has to consider what healthcare provisions exist for a disabled child [assuming it lived] and what support it and its parents might expect to receive in certain regions of the world.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              I would disagree that the State as any obligation to pay for an abortion, especially an elective one. It merely should allow legal access. The private sphere is more than willing to pay for abortions for those who cannot pay themselves.
                              That is where I disagree with you and my own country.

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              So killing a burdensome foetus is legitimate?
                              No one but you has employed the term "burdensome".

                              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                              So termination of life is the lesser of two evils?
                              In some cases [see above and previous replies] it might be. However, that is a decision that rests with the parent[s].
                              Last edited by Hypatia_Alexandria; 11-25-2022, 07:17 AM.
                              "It ain't necessarily so
                              The things that you're liable
                              To read in the Bible
                              It ain't necessarily so
                              ."

                              Sportin' Life
                              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

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