Abortion

  • Thread starter Danoff
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danoff: To me, this point ties in with ///M-Spec's criteria of sustainable life actions. Heartbeat would be one criteria; brain activity the second; breathing ability a third. There may be more, but I would consider independent capability of at least two of the above to be a requirement. Brain activity might be a substantial enough indicator to stand on its own, but I tend to think not.

All stages of development are important, but there comes a threshold where the fetus begins generating enough activity of its own that it has become a baby and is no longer an embryo. To me this threshold is the point at which the child could survive outside the mother's womb, without anything more than all living human beings require: food and shelter. A human infant can survive with nothing more than blankets/furs/skins for warmth and breast milk for food, after about the 6th month of pregnancy. Odds are against it doing so but it is theoretically possible. Before that time the lungs are not developed enough, and the fetus is totally dependent upon the womb or a womb replacement. Therefore the sliding window of technology is removed from the picture: all humans born within the last 20,000 years have access to furs-and-skins technology. At that level, the question of rights being dependent upon the local availability of medical equipment is reduced to below the threshold of noise.
 
Duke,

but there comes a threshold where the fetus begins generating enough activity of its own that it has become a baby and is no longer an embryo. To me this threshold is the point at which the child could survive outside the mother's womb, without anything more than all living human beings require

You lay out a pretty clear definition of the technology to be used and why that amount makes sense, so I'll leave you alone about the technology.

You assert here that for you the threshold of a fetus becoming a baby and thusly having rights is when it can survive outside the mother's womb. Why then? I would agree with you easily that if a 6 month old baby were outside it's mother's womb surviving then it should have rights, but why should it be that when it has the theoretical ability to do that, the baby becomes a person?

That question goes for M as well, since it applies to his position also.
 
Originally posted by danoff
That's not fair. I fully intend to grill you on the issue (possibly even longer than you're willing to put up with), but that doesn't mean that I'm not listening or that I can't be pursuaded.

My instinct is to ask which “sustainable life actions” you’re talking about, but I’m going to assume that you’re not a doctor and that you’d leave it up to the doctors, so I’ll forgo the question – which, of course, makes the job of convincing myself that this is an important time period more difficult.

I will ask this though - What distinguishes “sustainable life actions” from other stages in development? What would make one portion of the development more important than the other and what criteria would you use to determine whether that (more important) stage is important to the classification of this developing organism as an individual human being with rights and citizenship ? (<- I just thought of that - not sure it’s important)

No, as I've stated before, I don't have the training nessessary to make such a complicated assesment. I'm pretty certain I spent most of high-school biology staring down the blouse of the girl who sat next to me.

I'm in favor of an objective standard developed by the medical community to give us a legal definition of concious, self-sustaining life. I also believe, as I've said already, that this definition should be based on legal death.

I've been meaning to talk about this with a doctor friend, but haven't had the occasion to see him. (besides, I think he has a strong opinion about it already, so can't be sure that's the best way to go)


///M-Spec
 
I'm in favor of an objective standard developed by the medical community to give us a legal definition of concious, self-sustaining life.

My question is getting dodged. I'm asking why the point where life becomes self-sustaining is a good point to use. I'm quite confident that someone can explain why that is a good place to put the cutoff.
 
I use that point as the moment of emancipation, because at that time the fetus is no longer 100% dependent upon the mother for its livelihood and existence. At that point, it goes from being a theoretical or potential individual to being an actual individual. It goes from a being that cannot survive at all without its mother to a being that might survive without its mother, just like all of us might survive. As soon as that developmental event occurs, there become multiple paths by which the child can grow to adulthood. Before that event there is a single path with no branches - the fetus must remain in the mother's womb until it reaches that developmental milestone, or it will die. Period. I've already explained how I set my technological criteria for support of premature births.

About half of all conceptions don't result in an actual pregnancy, anyway. So what happens to rights of all those technical pregnancies that fail to implant, or fail to develop?
 
Originally posted by danoff
My question is getting dodged. I'm asking why the point where life becomes self-sustaining is a good point to use. I'm quite confident that someone can explain why that is a good place to put the cutoff.

I assure you, I am not trying to dodge your question. I'm telling you I don't have all the medicial details you want. I'm also telling you that not having all the details does not automatically make my point of view, from a moral standpoint, any less powerful an argument.

In addition, it sounds like a wholly inane point of dispute to continue to question why I've choosen this point in a fetus' development as the cut-off point. Its axiomatic. The reason of why is built into the answer. You either buy into it or you don't. How many different ways do you want me to put it?

Once again; If we can legally define death, we can legally define life. Since it is the goal of our society to protect the rights of those living within it, wouldn't it be sensible to extend these rights only once the people in question fullfill the criteria of life?


///M-Spec
 
//M,

I assure you, I am not trying to dodge your question. I'm telling you I don't have all the medicial details you want. I'm also telling you that not having all the details does not automatically make my point of view, from a moral standpoint, any less powerful an argument.

I didn't say anything about whether the dodging was intentional. I assure you, I'm not asking for medical details anymore. That's why I said:

but I’m going to assume that you’re not a doctor and that you’d leave it up to the doctors, so I’ll forgo the question – which, of course, makes the job of convincing myself that this is an important time period more difficult.



In addition, it sounds like a wholly inane point of dispute to continue to question why I've choosen this point in a fetus' development as the cut-off point. Its axiomatic. The reason of why is built into the answer. You either buy into it or you don't. How many different ways do you want me to put it?

It should not be a wholly inane point of dispute. It should not be axiomatic and the reason why should not be built into the answer. You shouldn't have to say that either I buy into it or I don't.

Once again; If we can legally define death, we can legally define life. Since it is the goal of our society to protect the rights of those living within it, wouldn't it be sensible to extend these rights only once the people in question fullfill the criteria of life?


Once again; I don't buy into the premise here. Explain why the legal definition of death should be the legal definition of life. The act of dying and being born are very different.

One goal of our society is to protect the rights of human beings living within it. It would be sensible to extend these rights to human beings. The question is when does the fetus become a human, not alive. Life is most certainly present when the first two cells divide. That doesn't make it human.


Duke,

I use that point as the moment of emancipation, because at that time the fetus is no longer 100% dependent upon the mother for its livelihood and existence... As soon as that developmental event occurs, there become multiple paths by which the child can grow to adulthood.

I disagree. I think that as soon as the child can survive outside the mother with all of our techological assistance there become multiple paths that development occurs. I think your real argument is that if there is a law, it should not be dependent on the amount of money the parents can put into technology to keep the baby alive. That's a good reason for ruling technology out of the question. So your cutoff point is the lastest point at which the child could possibly have multiple paths to adulthood - assuming the child can still be taken out of the mother surgically. But that's a problem. Do we assume that the parents can pay for surgery?

Ok, here are my list of problems with the argument at the moment. I'm not very good at covering them all in paragraph form and I think it will be easier to respond to if I list them out.

- Does the "multiple paths" argument happen at the point of survival with minimal technology because of the fact that if technology were invovled then the parents ability to pay doctors would be a driving factor?

-If the answer to the above is yes, what about the technology and cost invovled with the surgical removal of the child?

-If theoretical self-sustaining life outside of the mother is the cutoff point, why is it then that dead people are still considered individuals and still have certain rights?

-What about the fact that even after the child has acheived this theoretical self-stustanining life condition, it is still part of the mother? It is still physically, biologically part of the mother. I'm still not seeing how fundamentally just because part of the mother could live on its own if it were removed, she loses control of that part of her body. Let me illustrate with a thought experimanet:

If all of humanity were attached via living tissue and shared nutrients through that tissue - say - we were a big ball of humanity all wrapped up in tissue. Let's say we still had our brains and mouths and apendeges. Let's say that if we were surgically removed from the ball of humanity that we would then become self-sustaining individuals. Does that mean that while we are wrapped up in the ball of humanity, we are individuals even then? I would argue that we would be one giant being capable of being dissected into multiple beings. Not multiple beings capable of being emancipated. Does the potential for individual self-sustaining life infer individuality? <- I think this is the crux of the disagreement.



Both of you,

Don't give up on me here. I'm not trying to be rude or closed minded. I'm going to throw some picky, weird or tough questions at both of you because that's what it is taking for me to understand your point of view. If it seems like we're going around in circles, it's only because I don't understand your argument yet.
 
I'm struggling to define what exactly constitutes an individual human being. I keep thinking to myself that the individual human being (dead or alive)needs to have sustained its own life at some point, have at least a brain stem, have human DNA, and I'm still uncertain about physical separation, but I'm thinking I can leave it out. I've been doing a lot of thinking about conjoined twins, two-headed snakes, balls of humanity, and earthworms to figure out if physical separation is key.

It seems like conjoined twins joined at the foot are two individuals but an earthworm, which could be separated as easily as the conjoined twins and would be two self-sustaining earthworms after it is separated is still one earthworm before it is separated. The difference is that before the separation, the two parts of the conjoined twin are sustaining their own lives, while the soon-to-be earthworm parts are not both sustaining their own lives.

Just as in the case of the mother. The baby is not sustaining its own life until it is separated from the mother. The mother, however, is sustaining her own life. So the mother is an individual and the baby is not, regardless of the life-sustatining potential. Just as the second half of the earthworm has the potential to sustain its own life, but is not currently doing so and so is not an individual earthworm.


Ok, I think I've got a solid base. Did anyone else understand that? What's your take?
 
Originally posted by danoff
Was it something I said?

Did the earthworm thing scare people away?

Nope. Speaking for myself, I don't have anything more to add at the moment. Complicated issues like this deserve some thought, but since I pop in on GTPlanet at work, I rarely have more than a few minutes at a time. Truthfully, while I enjoy and appreciate the level of debate in this particular forum, I mostly come for the car talk .. which I can prattle off with a great degree of ease and then get back to work.

I'll drop back in on this thread when I've got more to add.


///M-Spec
 
Since this seems to be popping up in another thread, I'll go ahead and bump this up to the top.

I'm Pro-Choice. Women should have the option to abort as long as its within reason. I don't think a last minute abortion is right, if someone is that far along they should be put up for adoption. I also don't believe abortion should be a form of birth control. There are far too many, affordable options for birth control rather than pulling out, hoping, and if that doesn't work, abort. I approve the right to abort earlier on. I don't see the tiny piece of flesh as being concious enough to know or experience what life or death is.
 
DGB454
Let's kill everyone over 60 while were at it.

Nanomachine use in the future will take care of that. Once the oldies have reached retirement age the nanos go to work after 60/65 years in waiting.
 
I have a neice who was born 5 1/2 or 4 1/2 months early and is still alive and 6 years old.
danoff you said that a women should be able to abort a child as long as its connected to her and you said it is just like she can ave an arm removed, did you know that from the moment of conception the baby has a different DNA so it can no way be considered part of the mother??
In case of a rape I think the child should be put up for adoption not brutally murdered for a crime it didn't commit. I mean unborn babys with brains and and hearts still feel pain. There is so much more I could say but it gets so frustating reading some peoples post that I'll leave it at that for now and maybe post a good link latter.
 
I have a neice who was born 5 1/2 or 4 1/2 months early and is still alive and 6 years old.
danoff you said that a women should be able to abort a child as long as its connected to her and you said it is just like she can ave an arm removed, did you know that from the moment of conception the baby has a different DNA so it can no way be considered part of the mother??
In case of a rape I think the child should be put up for adoption not brutally murdered for a crime it didn't commit. I mean unborn babys with brains and and hearts still feel pain. There is so much more I could say but it gets so frustating reading some peoples post that I'll leave it at that for now and maybe post a good link latter.
Today 3:58 AM

So then you draw the line at conception? The thing is a child as soon as the cells start dividing? When is it human? And when does it get human rights?
 
I don't believe in the soul so I don't think that's a problem. You can't legislate things based on religion.


Let's take an example. Let's assume that your religion stated that you would go to hell if you ever heard someone else sneeze. That's a big deal, going to hell, it's your eternal soul - and you need to protect that. It would be a crime for someone else to send your soul to hell so it should be a crime for someone else to sneeze when you can hear it.

You can't legislate things based on religious beliefs. You need to not argue against abortion legislation based on reasons invovling the soul.
 
danoff, what if it the religion the country was founded on ?

This country was founded on the freedom of religion. Our criminal justice system was founded on the conecpt of basic inalienable human rights. The only legitimate way to argue about abortion in a society where religion is a free choice is to make an argument about human rights.
 
I'm just assuming your reffering to America there Jay. Every coin, and I think somewhere in the Preamble (Or whatever the introduction is named) it says, "In God We Trust". That has to be a idiom, not meaning an sort of real deity, but that someone will watch over us. Just a simple hope, but no meaning behind it. If America was found by Christians/Catholics and they chose to run the country by the Churchs rules, why do we have the freedom of religion?
 
Well, if George W does have his way, in the long run, freedom of religion / choice will be a thing of the past..."he talks to Jesus" and Jesus isn't part of all religions
 
Well, if George W does have his way, in the long run, freedom of religion / choice will be a thing of the past..."he talks to Jesus" and Jesus isn't part of all religions

Just because our country has freedom of religion doesn't mean our president has to be an atheist. In fact, I think every president we've ever had has been a Christian. I certainly saw video footage of Clinton in church a few times - so he prays ("talks to jesus").

...and that's totally fine. I don't believe in God but I don't have a problem if my president does. As long as he doesn't try to legislate that belief on me he can believe and talk to whoever he wants.
 
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