On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, Just War theory and other such hot topics.

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Science Fan
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by Science Fan »

Wisdom: The US Supreme Court based its Wade decision by addressing the issue of when a fetus can be said to be a person. Their answer? When the fetus can survive outside the womb. This is why late-term abortions are severely limited while earlier on there are few limits that can be imposed. We know for a scientific fact that a collection of cells that are not conscious, cannot even feel pain, are not the equivalent of an actual person. Anti-abortion advocates make the jump from these cells being capable of later on forming a person to the conclusion that these cells are the equivalent of a person. I fail to see how that jump in logic is valid.

But we actually know exactly why the abortion issue comes about --- it's based on tribalism. The same people who want to ban abortions, also typically want to ban masturbation, porn, pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex, homosexuality and the use of birth control. What do all of these "moral" positions have in common? If one's group, or tribe, believes in them, then one's tribe is likely to reproduce rapidly. These so-called moral norms force people to marry young and start having children. The anti-abortion claims should be looked at for what they are ----- part of a constellation of so-called moral claims that result in a tribe being more successful in producing offspring. From this standpoint, we can address the real issue involved here, that of tribalism, and disregard all of the cover-stories anti-abortion advocates hide behind.

We also know it is easier for religious groups to control the reproductive activities of women, as opposed to men. The reason is because women typically are more selective in whom they will have sex with than men are. This is why Muslim women wear burkas and Muslim men don't. Abortion is also another way for a tribe to control the sex lives of women.
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

You're on the right track, but it still holds true that a woman has complete control over the life of a foetus right up until it's no longer inside her. She can rightly be charged with murder after that point because it can then be kept alive and looked after by another party.
Even in countries where there is no legal abortion I don't think there are any cases of a woman being charged with murder for ending her own pregnancy. Women don't get charged for taking heroin or other dangerous drugs when they are pregnant, but they would be if they injected their baby with herion after it was born.
wisdomlover
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by wisdomlover »

This the issue o when a person emerges is the crux.

There seem to be three contenders:
- At first cell division (not conception: at the moment of conception there is not yet a new organism beginning to function).
- Viability, as per the Supreme Court. (Advances in obstetrics keep pushing this back.)
- At birth.

Each has some claim, and of course it makes a great deal of difference. Someone whose position is “What the hell, people are going to have abortions anyway” is in the wrong Forum. The study of philosophy is to know what the truth of things is. If you don't care, go do something else.
wisdomlover
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by wisdomlover »

[/quote]
What a fuckwit.
[/quote]

Thanks for reminding us of the importance of avoiding the error of argument ad hominem as we discuss philosophical topics. It's an all-too-common pitfall. We want to give our best effort to thinking clearly. I find it hard to believe that this was your best effort.
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

wisdomlover wrote: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:31 pm
What a fuckwit.
[/quote]

Thanks for reminding us of the importance of avoiding the error of argument ad hominem as we discuss philosophical topics. It's an all-too-common pitfall. We want to give our best effort to thinking clearly. I find it hard to believe that this was your best effort.
[/quote]

You're a fuckwit because you obviously haven't bothered to read any of the opposing arguments (and calling what you have offered an 'argument' is undeservedly generous on my part). You've been annihilated and you know it. 'God doesn't like it' isn't going to cut it on here, especially as god is obviously a huge supporter of abortion because he's as big a practitioner of it as it's possible to be.
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

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Wisdom: When you claim that people who say that people will have abortions anyway should not be here, I'm not sure I follow you. After all, one of the arguments against prohibition, where all alcohol was banned, was that people will drink anyway, and such laws promote black-markets, fund criminal organizations, etc., etc. Those are valid points when discussing the issue of prohibition. So, why would it be any different for the issue of abortion? Considering the impact of a proposed law that would ban abortion is exactly what I think a good philosopher should do. These are relevant facts regarding this issue.
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

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Science Fan wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:32 pm Wisdom: When you claim that people who say that people will have abortions anyway should not be here, I'm not sure I follow you. After all, one of the arguments against prohibition, where all alcohol was banned, was that people will drink anyway, and such laws promote black-markets, fund criminal organizations, etc., etc. Those are valid points when discussing the issue of prohibition. So, why would it be any different for the issue of abortion? Considering the impact of a proposed law that would ban abortion is exactly what I think a good philosopher should do. These are relevant facts regarding this issue.
Excellent point. I was too hasty.
wisdomlover
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by wisdomlover »

There is actually a 4th contender for the point where personhood begins in a developing fetus, that I neglected to mention in my earlier list: The point where the fetus has an identifiable brain with detectable electrical activity.

What this contender has going for it is the way it "bookends" life. It is not murder to remove life support from someone who is brain-dead. (Thus, it is not wrong to "kill a human being". A brain dead human being is no longer a person.) So one can go back to the beginning and see personhood as an arc spanning from "brain alive" on one end to "brain dead" on the other.

I used to favor this option, but recently I changed my mind and favor the point of birth as the beginning of personhood. (In common parlance, this makes me "pro choice".) Two considerations that tipped the scales for me are:

(1) I read a recent biography of Leonardo DaVinci, who made the most detailed drawings of human anatomy that have ever been produced. According to the book, he correctly drew the valves of the heart, whereas anatomy textbooks described them wrong until the 1960s, when they changed it to accord with Leonardos drawings. What a guy! Related to abortion, Leonardo drew the human fetus, and then made some notes that were so radical at the time that he would have probably been burnt at the stake if the Catholic Church had found out about them. But the notes were in his private notebook. What he said was: "The fetus is just as much a part of the mother as her foot."

(2) Do you know what HOV lanes are? I don't know what the acronym means, but these are special lanes going into and out of big cities that can only be used by cars with 2 or more people in them. If a single person tries to drive in one, they get a ticket. Someone once tried putting a blow-up sex doll in the passenger seat, but it didn't work. But here's the thing: If a pregnant woman, even pregnant with a viable fetus, drives in the HOV lane, they get a ticket. There are not two persons in the car. The fetus is not a person.

Do these considerations hold up to expert scrutiny?
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

wisdomlover wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:13 pm There is actually a 4th contender for the point where personhood begins in a developing fetus, that I neglected to mention in my earlier list: The point where the fetus has an identifiable brain with detectable electrical activity.

What this contender has going for it is the way it "bookends" life. It is not murder to remove life support from someone who is brain-dead. (Thus, it is not wrong to "kill a human being". A brain dead human being is no longer a person.) So one can go back to the beginning and see personhood as an arc spanning from "brain alive" on one end to "brain dead" on the other.

I used to favor this option, but recently I changed my mind and favor the point of birth as the beginning of personhood. (In common parlance, this makes me "pro choice".) Two considerations that tipped the scales for me are:

(1) I read a recent biography of Leonardo DaVinci, who made the most detailed drawings of human anatomy that have ever been produced. According to the book, he correctly drew the valves of the heart, whereas anatomy textbooks described them wrong until the 1960s, when they changed it to accord with Leonardos drawings. What a guy! Related to abortion, Leonardo drew the human fetus, and then made some notes that were so radical at the time that he would have probably been burnt at the stake if the Catholic Church had found out about them. But the notes were in his private notebook. What he said was: "The fetus is just as much a part of the mother as her foot."

(2) Do you know what HOV lanes are? I don't know what the acronym means, but these are special lanes going into and out of big cities that can only be used by cars with 2 or more people in them. If a single person tries to drive in one, they get a ticket. Someone once tried putting a blow-up sex doll in the passenger seat, but it didn't work. But here's the thing: If a pregnant woman, even pregnant with a viable fetus, drives in the HOV lane, they get a ticket. There are not two persons in the car. The fetus is not a person.

Do these considerations hold up to expert scrutiny?
Learn to spell. The word is foetus. 'Fetus' is baby language (no pun intended).
Science Fan
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by Science Fan »

Let's break this down scientifically. It's first of all a mistake to claim that a fertilized egg is the beginning of life. This is true because both the sperm and egg cells were alive before their union. Secondly, just because a fertilized egg cell can develop into a human does not mean it is the equivalent to a human. It is not until the end of the 5th week, to the beginning of the 6th week that the first electrical activity occurs in the brain. But, this electrical activity is the equivalent of an actual person being clinically brain dead. This initial electrical activity is highly disorganized and does not give rise to any consciousness. So, I don't see any scientific justification for identifying full human status as occurring when the initial electrical charges occur in the brain.
wisdomlover
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by wisdomlover »

Science Fan wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:32 pm ... one of the arguments against prohibition, where all alcohol was banned, was that people will drink anyway....
Consider these parallel propositions:

(1) Buying and selling alcohol should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.
(2) Aborting a human fetus should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.
(3) Buying and carrying assault rifles should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.
(4) Car theft should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.
(5) Breaking and entering should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.
(6) Child abuse should not be considered unjust because if you try to restrict it by making it illegal people will do it anyway.

Do you see my problem?
wisdomlover
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by wisdomlover »

vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:11 pm Learn to spell. The word is foetus. 'Fetus' is baby language (no pun intended).
Dictionary.com:

fetus. [fee-tuh s]
(used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
Also, especially British, foetus.


HAIL TO THE QUEEN!
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by Science Fan »

No, I actually don't see your problem with that list. The fact is that women did have abortions performed illegally when they were outlawed. This is a fact. It's also a morally relevant fact as such illegal abortions are often dangerous to the woman who undergoes them. The fact alone may not be outcome determinative, but I don't see how one can ignore relevant facts in addressing a moral issue.
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

wisdomlover wrote: Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:53 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:11 pm Learn to spell. The word is foetus. 'Fetus' is baby language (no pun intended).

Dictionary.com:


fetus. [fee-tuh s]
(used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
Also, especially British, foetus.


HAIL TO THE QUEEN!
Need I say more?
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: On the topic of abortion - an ethical issue

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

Why are two males 'debating' abortion? Just asking.
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