ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags abortion issues , abortion laws

Reply
Old 16th May 2019, 07:47 AM   #281
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But what you're describing is the range of possible answers, not a list of answers not based on religious beliefs.
The traditional argument that the fetus has a right to life because it's a potential person and potentiality is enough to grant such a right is an example of a non-religious argument.

A better argument is Marquis's argument that what makes (most) killing wrong is that it deprives one of a "future like ours", that is, all the future experiences which one would have enjoyed but for the premature death. Abortion also deprives one (the fetus) of a future like ours, so abortion is wrong for the same reason that killing a normal adult human is wrong. The article is titled "An Argument that Abortion is Wrong".

I have a scan of it if you're interested in a non-religious argument regarding abortion, but if not, no worries. I'm not assigning homework.

Marquis's argument pointedly avoids the question of who has rights, instead asking what makes killing a normal human wrong and then determining that what makes killing wrong is also a feature of abortion. It is a decent argument, whether you agree with the conclusion or not. I find it difficult to dismiss.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:48 AM   #282
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,413
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't regard it as essentially a religious view, though many are motivated by religion.

It is a question about morality, specifically, who counts, morally speaking. One might come to conclude that the fetus counts because of a religious authority, but one might also conclude that the fetus counts for other reasons.

I don't regard a pro-life position as stupid, depending on the reasons for taking that position. I don't think that it is at all obvious that a fetus isn't the sort of thing that has a right to life. In order to determine that it doesn't, we need to ask a deep and hard question: what sorts of beings have such a right?

ETA: Just to be clear, a religious belief is not a good reason to make abortion illegal. We don't restrict the right to free speech so that one can't draw pictures of Mohammed. We shouldn't make abortion illegal because a majority of Alabama have the religious belief that abortion is wrong. That doesn't preclude other reasons for making it illegal, though the current interpretation of the Constitution precludes it. Personally, I never thought the actual reasoning in Roe v. Wade was persuasive, since I don't see how a right to privacy matters unless one determines that a fetus hasn't a right to life (legally, not morally, speaking). That's not to say that I disagree with the consequence, but the reasoning was bumfuzzling to me. It has, admittedly, been years since I read the opinion.

It's no good just saying this thing doesn't because it's just a bunch of cells. It's a bunch of cells that will develop into a thing that has a right to life. How and when does this thing get such a right, if not at conception? Without a decent answer to that question, dismissing abortion as obviously not like murder is unpersuasive. Saying that it's okay for the first two trimesters but not the third except in certain cases requires some argument why the first two trimesters are different than the third and why the third is different than immediately after birth.
I look forward to our future of compulsory organ donations. After all right to life trumps body autonomy so why should you be able to kill someone by refusing to give them a kidney?
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:50 AM   #283
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I don't know the fundamentalists didn't care about abortion when Roe V Wade happened, so why would you think that they would have serious issues with abortion then? It was years later when they realized that fighting for segregation was a poor choice that they picked it. They just rewrote history like with the civil war.
I don't have any knowledge of the reaction to Roe v. Wade. Rather than take your word regarding their silence at the time, I'd like a reference before speculating on the change of emphasis. Could be a whole lot of reasons for such a change, if it happened, and any opinion I give would be pure speculation.

I certainly don't think that fear of white genocide is the only plausible answer, nor even very plausible by itself.

According to this site, indirectly citing the CDC, 55% of abortions are given to Hispanic or African American women, so fear that abortion contributes to "white genocide" is misguided at best. To be fair, any fear of white genocide is stupid, so facts matter little here.

Last edited by phiwum; 16th May 2019 at 07:53 AM.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:52 AM   #284
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,178
Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Most of those legislators are lawyers.
You sure about that?

Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
They can figure out what the laws actually say.
You seem to ignore that in any adversarial situation, one team of lawyers is wrong. Well, they could both be wrong. But one side wins.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:55 AM   #285
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,178
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
So there's at least about 135,000 people each year willing to adopt a child. Would there be another 600,000 every year if abortion were illegal?
They wouldn't have to rely on imported babies, either. No tariffs!
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:57 AM   #286
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I look forward to our future of compulsory organ donations. After all right to life trumps body autonomy so why should you be able to kill someone by refusing to give them a kidney?
Anyone hanging their hat on the right to life argument would have to be clear on when refusal to aid another would be acceptable, sure. If the difference is that aiding another with a kidney donation is a positive duty, not a negative duty, then they'd have to settle the question of whether abortion is more like stopping the aid to the fetus or killing the fetus. If the former, then abortion would be as acceptable as refusing to donate a kidney.

All of these are serious problems for the right to life argument.

ETA: Notice, though, that if the pro-lifer fails to adequately answer these questions, we can't conclude that abortion is therefore permissible. In order to reach that conclusion, one needs a positive argument to that effect. There's no default answer here, and concluding that abortion is permissible just because pro-life arguments suck is just an appeal to ignorance.

Last edited by phiwum; 16th May 2019 at 08:12 AM.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:57 AM   #287
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,178
Originally Posted by The Nimble Pianist View Post
No. We're saying this human being has as much a right to life as the woman impregnated with her, and unless the mere existence of this human being poses a threat to the life of the woman nourishing her, then you have no plausible right to terminate that person's life.
I've missed you reasoning, if you ever provided it, that abortion is murder.

What about Petri dish zygotes?

This is not a "gotcha," I really want to know.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 07:59 AM   #288
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,413
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't have any knowledge of the reaction to Roe v. Wade. Rather than take your word regarding their silence at the time, I'd like a reference before speculating on the change of emphasis. Could be a whole lot of reasons for such a change, if it happened, and any opinion I give would be pure speculation.

I certainly don't think that fear of white genocide is the only plausible answer, nor even very plausible by itself.
No it wasn't that. The fundamentalists got politically motivated because their colleges would lose tax exempt status unless they admitted black students. This was what created the modern evangelical political movement before that they were not largely political.

The problem is that this was an issue with poor optics in the long term so they suddenly found that they really objected to the courts ruling from years before on abortion, something they didn't take much issue with at the time. It wasn't about white genocide and such it was about political power and optics. I posted an article on it.


Or this one

"But on the mass level, evangelicals were slow to join the pro-life movement. Even as late as 1979, the Baptist Joint Committee argued before a federal court that the Hyde Amendment, which restricted federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, violated the Establishment Clause because it established the Catholic religion."


https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/b...-culture-wars/

That was at the time a catholic issue and not something the bible belt would care much about.

"In May 1969, a group of African-American parents in Holmes County, Mississippi, sued the Treasury Department to prevent three new whites-only K-12 private academies from securing full tax-exempt status, arguing that their discriminatory policies prevented them from being considered “charitable” institutions. The schools had been founded in the mid-1960s in response to the desegregation of public schools set in motion by the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. In 1969, the first year of desegregation, the number of white students enrolled in public schools in Holmes County dropped from 771 to 28; the following year, that number fell to zero.

In Green v. Kennedy (David Kennedy was secretary of the treasury at the time), decided in January 1970, the plaintiffs won a preliminary injunction, which denied the “segregation academies” tax-exempt status until further review. In the meantime, the government was solidifying its position on such schools. Later that year, President Richard Nixon ordered the Internal Revenue Service to enact a new policy denying tax exemptions to all segregated schools in the United States. Under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbade racial segregation and discrimination, discriminatory schools were not—by definition—“charitable” educational organizations, and therefore they had no claims to tax-exempt status; similarly, donations to such organizations would no longer qualify as tax-deductible contributions."

https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...origins-107133


But the south really is good at rewriting history even when many of those alive should remember what happened.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:02 AM   #289
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,413
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I've missed you reasoning, if you ever provided it, that abortion is murder.

What about Petri dish zygotes?

This is not a "gotcha," I really want to know.
Of course not because there is not a pregnant woman.

"The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.” Alabama State Senator Clyde Chambliss

So of course that kind of shows something about their stance.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:08 AM   #290
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 82,207
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The traditional argument that the fetus has a right to life because it's a potential person and potentiality is enough to grant such a right is an example of a non-religious argument.
Here's deal for me: that argument was made by me years ago as exactly the kind of backwards justification for what was a religious motivation as I was talking about in my last post.

It's just nonsense. Plenty of things have potential futures but it doesn't really mean anything.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:15 AM   #291
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No it wasn't that. The fundamentalists got politically motivated because their colleges would lose tax exempt status unless they admitted black students. This was what created the modern evangelical political movement before that they were not largely political.

The problem is that this was an issue with poor optics in the long term so they suddenly found that they really objected to the courts ruling from years before on abortion, something they didn't take much issue with at the time. It wasn't about white genocide and such it was about political power and optics. I posted an article on it.


Or this one

"But on the mass level, evangelicals were slow to join the pro-life movement. Even as late as 1979, the Baptist Joint Committee argued before a federal court that the Hyde Amendment, which restricted federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, violated the Establishment Clause because it established the Catholic religion."


https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/b...-culture-wars/

That was at the time a catholic issue and not something the bible belt would care much about.

"In May 1969, a group of African-American parents in Holmes County, Mississippi, sued the Treasury Department to prevent three new whites-only K-12 private academies from securing full tax-exempt status, arguing that their discriminatory policies prevented them from being considered “charitable” institutions. The schools had been founded in the mid-1960s in response to the desegregation of public schools set in motion by the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. In 1969, the first year of desegregation, the number of white students enrolled in public schools in Holmes County dropped from 771 to 28; the following year, that number fell to zero.

In Green v. Kennedy (David Kennedy was secretary of the treasury at the time), decided in January 1970, the plaintiffs won a preliminary injunction, which denied the “segregation academies” tax-exempt status until further review. In the meantime, the government was solidifying its position on such schools. Later that year, President Richard Nixon ordered the Internal Revenue Service to enact a new policy denying tax exemptions to all segregated schools in the United States. Under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbade racial segregation and discrimination, discriminatory schools were not—by definition—“charitable” educational organizations, and therefore they had no claims to tax-exempt status; similarly, donations to such organizations would no longer qualify as tax-deductible contributions."

https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...origins-107133


But the south really is good at rewriting history even when many of those alive should remember what happened.

Thanks for the references.

In any case, religious beliefs about abortion should play no role in whether or not abortion is legal in the US, so I don't really feel like defending the evangelicals in any way.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:17 AM   #292
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
I always have to bring this up in this topic.

Abortion rates have been dropping like a rock in the last few decades. After Roe V Wade in 1973 there was about a decade long uptick in abortions but then from the early to mid-80s to now basically that rate has been steadily falling to the point that there are fewer abortions being performed now then before Roe V Wade.

And since the good old United States likes being the statistical outlier in a lot of things both good and bad, this isn't some fluke. Worldwide that trend holds.

The country with the most abortions per X number of women per child bearing age? Pakistan. The one with the least? Switzerland.

If you actually care about there being fewer abortions, make them legal. The only difference is the legal ones are safer.

We've traded a lot of dangerous, illegal abortions for fewer overall abortions and safer abortions. Who's not winning in this scenario?
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 16th May 2019 at 08:38 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:17 AM   #293
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Here's deal for me: that argument was made by me years ago as exactly the kind of backwards justification for what was a religious motivation as I was talking about in my last post.

It's just nonsense. Plenty of things have potential futures but it doesn't really mean anything.
Fine, let's reject that argument. I think well-meaning folk can support it but there are good reasons to reject potentiality as well.

If we take it off the table, how should one settle whether abortion is permissible? One still needs some argument about what feature is relevant for having a right to life. Rejection of this particular pro-life argument doesn't entail that abortion is okay. It leaves the question unsettled.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:21 AM   #294
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
We don't have to settle every question to settle this one.

Women shouldn't be kept as state mandated incubators while we wring our hands over every trolley problem variation.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:39 AM   #295
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We don't have to settle every question to settle this one.

Women shouldn't be kept as state mandated incubators while we wring our hands over every trolley problem variation.
It's a totally fair point that legal issues require settlement in a way that mere philosophical issues don't.

But my comments have not been directed to those who say that, barring a clear argument against abortion rights, perhaps we ought to grant such rights. They have been directed to those who have argued that obviously, abortion is morally A-OK and anyone who says otherwise is a moron, a zealot or a misogynist. (Yes, I exaggerate the claims made by most on this forum. Please pardon my exaggeration.)
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:40 AM   #296
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,490
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
ETA: Just to be clear, a religious belief is not a good reason to make abortion illegal.
. . .

It's no good just saying this thing doesn't because it's just a bunch of cells. It's a bunch of cells that will develop into a thing that has a right to life. How and when does this thing get such a right, if not at conception? Without a decent answer to that question, dismissing abortion as obviously not like murder is unpersuasive. Saying that it's okay for the first two trimesters but not the third except in certain cases requires some argument why the first two trimesters are different than the third and why the third is different than immediately after birth.
The pro-life argument seems to rely on an axiom that human life is fundamentally different from all other life. Whether the axiom is derived from religion, or just someone's gut feeling doesn't really make a difference. At the beginning it is in fact just a small clump of cells without a functioning brain. If you throw away the assumption that because it is human it is fundamentally different from every other animal, it has less self-awareness than a fly. Nobody remembers what it was like to be a fetus because the brain hasn't begun to work like a human brain yet. I do think, if you are going to get an abortion, do it sooner rather than later. But nobody's opinion about whether it's right or wrong to abort at 6 weeks or 12 weeks or 20 is an objective fact. It involves an assumption that may as well be religious. Beliefs about morality that come from a religion are no less or more valid than those that come from a gut feeling. It's when one person tries to impose their's on another that I object. If you think abortion is morally wrong, fine. Then don't have an abortion. But imposing that on someone else is no more reasonable than imposing a religious doctrine on them. Let each person answer the question for themselves.

tl;dr: if a religious belief is not a good reason to make abortion illegal then neither is someone's subjective opinion about morality.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:42 AM   #297
Crawtator
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 359
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sorry, the mass of human tissue. It becomes a "being" once you can take it out and it can breathe and live on its own, without its life support system.
Now, I'm pro-choice, but like Phiwum, I cannot adequately articulate why and understand the argument being made by the pro-life side. However, the above statement is filled with problems. What if the baby comes to full term and needs to be on a breathing machine? Is it a being?

What if the baby is premature (say 7 1/2 months) and "you can take it out and it can breathe and live on its own"? I assume you, Belz..., would not be in favor of late term abortions, or am I incorrect?
Crawtator is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:45 AM   #298
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
Why is the logical limit not the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb?
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:46 AM   #299
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,413
Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
Now, I'm pro-choice, but like Phiwum, I cannot adequately articulate why and understand the argument being made by the pro-life side. However, the above statement is filled with problems. What if the baby comes to full term and needs to be on a breathing machine? Is it a being?

What if the baby is premature (say 7 1/2 months) and "you can take it out and it can breathe and live on its own"? I assume you, Belz..., would not be in favor of late term abortions, or am I incorrect?
Here is the thing, late term abortions are totally a BS political though. No one changes their mind after 6 months of being pregnant and gets an abortion for the hell of it. They are either because of poor access to abortion, or fetal deformities.

There may be a truly vanishingly small percentage of people who didn't know they were pregnant and at 7 1/2 months decide on an abortion but that is truly trivial.

Of course raking women who have abnormal pregnancies over their decision to get an abortion of a child they wanted is one of the fun things about working in a catholic hospital.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:48 AM   #300
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Why is the logical limit not the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb?
- It already sorta is. Abortions past the point of viability are astonishingly rare and almost always involve health issues.

- That being said the problem is that number is not exact so we as a society just can't deal with it, and it's going to keep getting moved back as tech advances. It's not unreasonable to think that within a decade or so a fetus will never be "not viable."
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:54 AM   #301
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
- It already sorta is. Abortions past the point of viability are astonishingly rare and almost always involve health issues.

- That being said the problem is that number is not exact so we as a society just can't deal with it, and it's going to keep getting moved back as tech advances. It's not unreasonable to think that within a decade or so a fetus will never be "not viable."
That is my point: it is downright irresponsible to leave it to politicians to determine when to abort and when to carry to term: it should always be up to the doctor and patient.
Medical guideline would apply, of course.
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 08:58 AM   #302
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 82,207
Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
Now, I'm pro-choice, but like Phiwum, I cannot adequately articulate why
Which of course raises the obvious question: why are you on the pro-choice side if you can't explain why you're on the pro-choice side?

Quote:
What if the baby is premature (say 7 1/2 months) and "you can take it out and it can breathe and live on its own"?
Well according to the compromise I reached, you could not abort absent impotant medical considerations. And even then, just plop the kid out and hope for the best.

I'm not a pro-abortion fanatic. I don't really care either way. The compromise above is because I don't think I should get worked out about removing a clump of cells from the person incubating them, and I definitely don't think killing a newborn is ok. So where's the cut-off point? That's the one that made the most sense to me.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:01 AM   #303
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
It don't care if it's philosophy, religious, legal, or about the pinch hitter rule in baseball, vague feelings of unease you can't explain and only apply in one very specific situation and not anywhere else it would logically also apply don't have a place in the discussion, much less in controlling someone else's life.

I don't get the "Okay but admit abortion is at least a teeeeeeeeny bit bad" bone we're being expected to throw.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:04 AM   #304
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
The pro-life argument seems to rely on an axiom that human life is fundamentally different from all other life. Whether the axiom is derived from religion, or just someone's gut feeling doesn't really make a difference. At the beginning it is in fact just a small clump of cells without a functioning brain. If you throw away the assumption that because it is human it is fundamentally different from every other animal, it has less self-awareness than a fly. Nobody remembers what it was like to be a fetus because the brain hasn't begun to work like a human brain yet. I do think, if you are going to get an abortion, do it sooner rather than later. But nobody's opinion about whether it's right or wrong to abort at 6 weeks or 12 weeks or 20 is an objective fact. It involves an assumption that may as well be religious. Beliefs about morality that come from a religion are no less or more valid than those that come from a gut feeling. It's when one person tries to impose their's on another that I object. If you think abortion is morally wrong, fine. Then don't have an abortion. But imposing that on someone else is no more reasonable than imposing a religious doctrine on them. Let each person answer the question for themselves.

tl;dr: if a religious belief is not a good reason to make abortion illegal then neither is someone's subjective opinion about morality.
I don't regard the pro-life position as being necessarily tied to a speciesist concern for humans. Marquis's argument is definitely not speciesist. I don't know any other philosophers who have written arguments against abortion.

I tend to think some moral arguments are better than others and the fact that there is a difference of opinion doesn't reduce moral arguments to being no better than religious beliefs.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:08 AM   #305
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Why is the logical limit not the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb?
What is the argument in favor of that point? Does it have unfortunate consequences for conscious humans requiring life support? What does "surviving outside the womb" mean? No extraordinary medical intervention (like life support) or something else?

None of these questions should be taken as a rejection of that being the right point, but we need some good argument why it's right.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:10 AM   #306
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It don't care if it's philosophy, religious, legal, or about the pinch hitter rule in baseball, vague feelings of unease you can't explain and only apply in one very specific situation and not anywhere else it would logically also apply don't have a place in the discussion, much less in controlling someone else's life.

I don't get the "Okay but admit abortion is at least a teeeeeeeeny bit bad" bone we're being expected to throw.
Who expects that? Not me.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:28 AM   #307
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
What is the argument in favor of that point? Does it have unfortunate consequences for conscious humans requiring life support? What does "surviving outside the womb" mean? No extraordinary medical intervention (like life support) or something else?

None of these questions should be taken as a rejection of that being the right point, but we need some good argument why it's right.
In accordance to doctors, it would shift depending on available medical technology. And yes, that would over time push the standard limit for abortions early and early.
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:38 AM   #308
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11,453
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
In accordance to doctors, it would shift depending on available medical technology. And yes, that would over time push the standard limit for abortions early and early.
Okay, so abortion ought to be legal until the point that the fetus can survive outside the womb with whatever medical technology is available.

One argument against that as being the rule is that viability isn't really all that relevant to our intuitions (I first read it in Tooley's "Abortion and Infanticide" I think, but I'm not sure). Consider the following situation. A fetus is somehow miraculously conscious and communicative but not viable. The argument says that no one would really consider viability as the determining factor. Any conscious, intelligent and communicative (so we know he's conscious) being surely has a right to life regardless of whether it is viable or not.

Now, obviously it is a fantastic thought experiment, but I think I agree that I wouldn't regard viability of an undeniably intelligent being the determining factor for rights to life. This doesn't mean that the right to life necessarily entails that aborting this fantasy fetus would be wrong. Maybe that right is outweighed by other concerns, but the right must be figured into the moral reasoning.

Thus, viability by itself can't be the source of the right to life. (Tooley takes the radical position that infanticide is not morally wrong because the infant doesn't have a right to life either, but his argument requires more writing than anyone here probably cares to read and need not distract us.)
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:44 AM   #309
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
Again women should not have to wait over control over their own bodies while you dot every "i" and cross every "t" in your Philosophy 101 essay problem.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:44 AM   #310
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
It makes no sense to imagine something that cannot happen.
An abortion is the decision of the pregnant women not to carry the child to term. Depending on viability, this might or might not require the termination of the pregnancy.
But the state simply has no right to force a person to risk their health.
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:49 AM   #311
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 17,620
I s this accurate...?!?!


https://www.newsweek.com/under-alaba...-could-1425939

"...rape in the second degree is considered a Class B felony, punishable by 20 years or less, meaning that if a rapist were to be found guilty of second-degree rape, the maximum sentence would be nearly 80 years less than the maximum sentence imposed on doctors who have carried out an abortion, including in cases involving the rape of a child. "
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:51 AM   #312
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
Yes
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:52 AM   #313
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,947
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I s this accurate...?!?!


https://www.newsweek.com/under-alaba...-could-1425939

"...rape in the second degree is considered a Class B felony, punishable by 20 years or less, meaning that if a rapist were to be found guilty of second-degree rape, the maximum sentence would be nearly 80 years less than the maximum sentence imposed on doctors who have carried out an abortion, including in cases involving the rape of a child. "
On paper yes. As to how it would practically pan out with the nightmare complex web of how sentencing actually works is at best something we can only guess at.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 09:59 AM   #314
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8,197
The explicit reason is that rape is not that bad if the rapist marries the victim.
__________________
Opinion is divided on the subject. All the others say it is; I say it isn’t.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 10:03 AM   #315
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 34,777
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again women should not have to wait over control over their own bodies while you dot every "i" and cross every "t" in your Philosophy 101 essay problem.
That's okay. I will ask you dot just one "i":

At what point in her pregnancy should a woman cede control over her body to the state?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 10:08 AM   #316
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,413
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
On paper yes. As to how it would practically pan out with the nightmare complex web of how sentencing actually works is at best something we can only guess at.
Well the rapist would likely get probation and the doctor would get many decades, got to go with the will of the voters after all. Of course they are going to make a point of punishing the doctor. And rapists quite often get a slap on the wrist.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 10:44 AM   #317
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 10,209
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Okay, so abortion ought to be legal until the point that the fetus can survive outside the womb with whatever medical technology is available.

One argument against that as being the rule is that viability isn't really all that relevant to our intuitions (I first read it in Tooley's "Abortion and Infanticide" I think, but I'm not sure). Consider the following situation. A fetus is somehow miraculously conscious and communicative but not viable. The argument says that no one would really consider viability as the determining factor. Any conscious, intelligent and communicative (so we know he's conscious) being surely has a right to life regardless of whether it is viable or not.

Now, obviously it is a fantastic thought experiment, but I think I agree that I wouldn't regard viability of an undeniably intelligent being the determining factor for rights to life. This doesn't mean that the right to life necessarily entails that aborting this fantasy fetus would be wrong. Maybe that right is outweighed by other concerns, but the right must be figured into the moral reasoning.

Thus, viability by itself can't be the source of the right to life. (Tooley takes the radical position that infanticide is not morally wrong because the infant doesn't have a right to life either, but his argument requires more writing than anyone here probably cares to read and need not distract us.)
The counterfactual assumption makes this too iffy. Nevertheless, I also reject viability as the driving criterion because the definition of a rights-holding human, in my view, involves that person coming into existence; i.e., becoming experientially aware, somewhere in the 26-30 week range. I'd definitely cut off at 24 weeks or a tad sooner to be safe. Further, viability may suddenly change even just prior to birth or during birth, times at which I'd advocate trying to save the now-baby.

Same definition I use for euthanasia at the other end of the journey.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion.
His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 10:58 AM   #318
BStrong
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 12,091
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We don't have to settle every question to settle this one.

Women shouldn't be kept as state mandated incubators while we wring our hands over every trolley problem variation.
Agreed 100%
__________________
"When a man who is honestly mistaken, hears the truth, he will either cease being mistaken or cease being honest." - Anonymous

"Dulce bellum inexpertīs." - Erasmus
BStrong is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 10:59 AM   #319
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,090
For me the question hinges not on viability but on burdening another being. An unwanted pregnancy is parasitical upon the hosting mother. She can terminate the pregnancy on the grounds of its negative impact upon her own body, not because she or anyone can decide whether it's sufficiently personlike or not. Were the fetus to leave her body on its own she wouldn't be allowed to then kill it, as the burden had been removed already.

Which again means technology will resolve this. As soon as unwanted fetuses at any stage of development can be beamed out via teleporters that's how unwanted pregnancies will be handled. Although hopefully by then we'll have infallible birth control so the situation won't arise much.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2019, 11:46 AM   #320
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 34,777
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
For me the question hinges not on viability but on burdening another being. An unwanted pregnancy is parasitical upon the hosting mother. She can terminate the pregnancy on the grounds of its negative impact upon her own body, not because she or anyone can decide whether it's sufficiently personlike or not. Were the fetus to leave her body on its own she wouldn't be allowed to then kill it, as the burden had been removed already.
A born child is still a burden on somebody, though. It may have left its mother's body, but the mother is still on the hook to support it for another decade at least.

Maybe I don't quite understand the policy you're arguing for here. It seems to me that if a post-partum mother has a moral burden to care for her child, that cannot be discharged by killing it, a pre-partum mother may in fact have the same burden.

Quote:
Which again means technology will resolve this. As soon as unwanted fetuses at any stage of development can be beamed out via teleporters that's how unwanted pregnancies will be handled.
Unless the unwanted fetus is teleported to someone who's going to raise it and care for it, it's just a fancier form of abortion.

Quote:
Although hopefully by then we'll have infallible birth control so the situation won't arise much.
As long as humans are involved, it won't be infallible.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:09 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.