Spectrum Argument for Abortion, Revisited

blue green spectrum

Since conservatives seem determined to get votes by making an issue out of abortion, I’d like to look at some of these arguments. At the Secular Pro-Life Perspectives blog, Clinton Wilcox rejected my spectrum argument supporting abortion. This is a particularly relevant response since he doesn’t use religious pro-life arguments.

The spectrum argument

My argument is more fully discussed in this post, but I’ll summarize it here briefly.

Consider the above figure of the blue-green spectrum. We can argue where blue ends and green begins, but it should be easy to agree that blue is not green. In other words, the two ends are quite different.

The same is true for a spectrum of personhood. Imagine a single fertilized egg cell at the left of the nine-month-long spectrum and a trillion-cell newborn on the right. The newborn is a person. And it’s far more than just 1,000,000,000,000 undifferentiated cells. These cells are organized and connected to make a person—it has arms and legs, eyes and ears, a brain and a nervous system, a stomach and digestive system, a heart and circulatory system, skin, liver, and so on.

The secular pro-life response

Wilcox begins by praising the argument as having substance rather than simply demonizing pro-life advocates, so we’re off to a good start.

His first concern:

The immediate problem with this argument is that he gives no attempt to argue at what point we actually do become persons.

Yes, it’s important to get the OK/not-OK dividing line for abortion right, but that’s not my interest here. Legislators deal with tough moral issues all the time. Take the issue of the appropriate prison sentence for robbery. Six months? Five years? What mitigating circumstances are relevant? Does it matter if a gun was involved? What if the gun was used as a threat but it wasn’t loaded? What if some other weapon was used? What if someone was hurt?

It’s a person’s life we’re talking about, so the sentence must be decided carefully, and yet penalties for this and a myriad other specific crimes have been wrestled with and resolved in 50 states and hundreds of countries.

The same is true for the cutoff for abortion—it’s a tough decision, but it’s been made many times.

My focus here is not on the cutoff line. I’ll leave that to medical experts and policy makers who have more expertise and interest than I do.

Potential

Back to Wilcox:

He resorts to the tired old arguments that an acorn is not an oak tree (no, but it is an immature oak tree) ….

Nope. An acorn is not a tree at all. It’s a potential tree, and it may become one in twenty years, but it’s not a tree right now.

Wilcox next responds to my comparison of a brain with 100 billion neurons versus a single neuron. I said that the single neuron doesn’t think 10–11 times as fast; it doesn’t think at all.

It may be true that a brain with one neuron doesn’t think nearly as fast as a brain with 100 billion neurons, but he misses the point that it is still a brain. It is just an immature brain.

No, it is a potential brain.

Analogy to the personhood spectrum

Let’s consider the brain by first considering an analogous situation with water. A single molecule of water does not have the properties of wetness, fluidity, pH, salinity, or surface tension, but these and other properties emerge when trillions of trillions of water molecules come together.

Wetness is an emergent property—we see it only when enough water molecules get together. Similarly, thinking and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. A single neuron doesn’t think slower; it doesn’t think at all. A “brain” that doesn’t think is not a brain—immature or otherwise.

It hasn’t had the chance to develop into a fully mature brain.

Bingo! That’s precisely the issue. Wilcox is making the Argument from Potential: the single neuron isn’t a brain now, but it will be. The single fertilized human egg cell isn’t a baby now, but it will be.

He’s right, of course—it will be a baby. But the point is that it isn’t now. A future baby is not a baby. It’ll be a baby in the future.

The vastness of the spectrum

The spectrum argument fails to adequately address the fact that there is a continuity of human development that begins at fertilization and doesn’t stop until after birth. Logically, that suggests that teenagers are “more of a person” than toddlers ….

I addressed this in the original argument, but let me illustrate the issue with a quick round of “One of these things is not like the others.” Our candidates today are an adult, a teenager, a newborn baby, and a single fertilized human egg cell. Okay, candidates, raise your hand if you have a brain. Now raise your hand if you have a pancreas. If you have skin. Eyes. Nose. Bones. Muscles.

Now raise your hand if you have hands.

The difference between newborns, teens, and adults is negligible compared to the single cell at the other end of the spectrum, which has nothing that we commonly think of as a trait of personhood. The commonality across the spectrum is that they all have eukaryotic cells with Homo sapiens DNA. That’s it. That’s not something that many of us get misty-eyed about. Very little sentimental poetry is written about the kind of DNA in the cells of one’s beloved.

What do we call the spectrum?

The unborn may be less developed at the single-cell stage than the 100 trillion cell stage, but it is still a human person at that stage.

Take the spectrum from single cell to newborn. Wilcox argues that it’s not a spectrum of humanness because a single cell and a newborn are both human. But it’s a spectrum of something. I call it a spectrum of personhood, but I’m flexible. You tell me: tell me what a newborn is that a single cell isn’t. I say that a newborn is a person and the single cell isn’t, but I’m open to better terms.

Wilcox wants to skirt the spectrum and say that it’s irrelevant or meaningless, but it’s everything to this discussion. A newborn is something that a single cell isn’t. Think of the many words we have for subtle distinctions after birth: newborn, baby, infant, toddler, and so on. Surely English has a label that Wilcox will find acceptable for capturing the difference between the cooing, crying, pooping, sleeping, eating newborn and the microscopic, insensate cell.

Be honest with the facts. Don’t try to pretend that this immense spectrum doesn’t exist.

Miscellaneous arguments

[Seidensticker’s] comparison of the pro-life argument to PETA’s slogan of “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” is simply a false analogy.

Sounds like Wilcox missed my point. PETA tries to collapse a spectrum with this slogan. They want to argue that, no, we shouldn’t put animals into bins along a spectrum (in this case: vermin, livestock, pet, and human). Animals are animals—all the same.

Does Wilcox accept this? If he rejects PETA’s attempt to collapse or ignore this spectrum, then perhaps he sees the problem with ignoring the vast difference between newborn and cell.

Seidensticker’s point about how evangelicals thirty years ago supported abortion is simply irrelevant.

Not to people who bring up Christian arguments! If it doesn’t apply to a secular perspective, fair enough, but I was addressing more people than just you.

I have . . . soundly refuted the “spectrum argument.”

Gotta disagree with you there. You’ve mischaracterized it and sidestepped the argument. If you want to address it squarely, I’ll consider responding to your reaction.

If my oven quits working in the middle of making a cake,
do I call the undercooked mess a cake?
Nate Frein

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 1/24/14.)

 

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  • Not to mention the ‘personhood’ and ‘when is it a human’ arguments remain completely irrelevant. It still doesn’t have the right to use a woman’s body against her will.

    • Shan

      See, you’re thinking silly thoughts like a woman has rights equal to things like, say, a corpse. /sarcasm.

    • MichaelBrew

      That was my thought, exactly. The personhood argument is a red herring which distracts from the main issue of people taking away the right of pregnancy-capable people to decide who can and can’t do what with their bodies. In cases with adults (or even actual babies) who will die without the use of another person’s body, we don’t force people to donate their liver or kidney or what have you. It’s considered heroic to do so, but no one is legally or even socially obligated to. The only reason for making an exception here is an obscure bit of Catholic dogma that evangelicals used as a front for their racist beginnings which has slowly seeped into mainstream as a set of unquestioned assumptions.

      • wannabe

        People can be forced to donate their labor and risk their lives in service to their countries, via the draft. There does not even need to be a declared war.

        • A country at war is a big deal. A single cell isn’t. (Inherently, at least. You can personally assign all the value you want.)

        • MichaelBrew

          The draft hasn’t existed in the US since my dad’s older brothers fought in Vietnam. In fact, it was ended the year I was born. It’s widely thought that the draft was both unethical and impractical, and it has almost no public support. Besides which, how does a civil obligation to defend the country which has granted you citizenship in a time of need equate to being forced to host another entity in your body at statistically greater risk of injury and death than that faced by the average soldier?

        • Otto

          Even that can’t be completely forced, the draftee could renounce citizenship and leave the country, there is still a choice even if it is a severe one.

        • Carol Lynn

          “Amendment III Quartering of Soldiers. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” – so a fetus equals a soldier that can be quartered inside a women when we are at war? So, what war is this exactly?

      • TheNuszAbides

        The only reason for making an exception here is an obscure bit of
        Catholic dogma that evangelicals used as a front for their racist
        beginnings which has slowly seeped into mainstream as a set of unquestioned assumptions.

        which is why the personhood argument has purpose — some people can potentially reach the point of questioning those particular assumptions, and they will not all/each reach that point in a uniform fashion. the personhood argument is not The Reason to fight against anti-choice activism, but it still addresses what some people assume is a major issue; it’s another way to frame that issue for anyone who is/becomes willing to think about it.

      • skl

        “The personhood argument is a red herring which distracts
        from the main issue of people taking away the right of pregnancy-capable people to decide who can and can’t do what with their bodies.”

        As I said above to WithinThisMind, by that reasoning, you’d
        also be in favor of a woman killing a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.

        • MichaelBrew

          No I wouldn’t. Maybe if it were being argued that you should be able to birth the baby and have said baby still be alive and then you actively smother it, but that’s not what abortion is. That being said, if a person were actively violating a woman’s – or a man’s – bodily autonomy in such an intimate way at the time, killing that person in the moment is, in fact, currently legal. They call it “self defense.”

        • skl

          “… if a person were actively violating a woman’s – or a man’s – bodily autonomy in such an intimate way at the time, killing that
          person in the moment is, in fact, currently legal. They call it “self
          defense.””

          I think killing in self-defense may be currently legal if
          one has a reasonable assessment that one’s life is in imminent danger, that one is quite likely about to be killed. I don’t see that normally applying here.

          Also, how is a woman’s bodily autonomy violated in, say, the
          first trimester of pregnancy?

        • —-I think killing in self-defense may be currently legal if
          one has a
          reasonable assessment that one’s life is in imminent danger, that one
          is quite likely about to be killed. I don’t see that normally applying
          here.

          So, you’ve never once, in your life, taken a course in human biology and know absolutely nothing about how pregnancy works? The words ‘maternal mortality rate’ have never come across your awareness?

          http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulhttp://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

          Pregnancy can be absolutely brutal on a woman’s body. Mine nearly killed me.


          Also, how is a woman’s bodily autonomy violated in, say, the
          first trimester of pregnancy?—

          Her body is being used against her will. What about that is difficult to understand?

        • skl

          “The words ‘maternal mortality rate’ have never come across your awareness?”

          Certainly pregnancy carries risks. So does riding in a car or being admitted to the hospital. Somewhere over 30,000 are killed in auto accidents each year and about ten times that amount die from medical errors.
          You can usually choose not to get into a car or go into a hospital. You might even swear off such things.
          But even if you did, should you be allowed to kill the person who’s putting your barely conscious body into an automobile (ambulance) to go to the hospital?

          “Her body is being used against her will. What about that is difficult to understand?”

          Continuing with the hospital medical errors thing –
          If, while you were in the hospital, they made some errors in handling your body (e.g. Took off the wrong limb; gave you a serious infection), should you be allowed to kill the medical professionals responsible?

        • Greg G.

          But even if you did, should you be allowed to kill the person who’s putting your barely conscious body into an automobile (ambulance) to go to the hospital?

          If you are being kidnapped, you can use lethal force. Being forced to go to a hospital for an unwanted pregnancy is akin to kidnapping than being transported for an unpreventable threat to life.

          Continuing with the hospital medical errors thing –
          If, while you were in the hospital, they made some errors in handling your body (e.g. Took off the wrong limb; gave you a serious infection), should you be allowed to kill the medical professionals responsible?

          You can sue a doctor for medical malpractice. You are forced to pay for the pregnancy. You might be able to get child support at best, or not. Are there any legal tactics comparable to a malpractice suit to sue your infant child for ruining your life?

        • skl

          “If you are being kidnapped, you can use lethal force. Being forced to go to a hospital for an unwanted pregnancy is akin to kidnapping than being transported for an unpreventable threat to life.”

          I wasn’t talking about kidnapping.
          I was talking about putting into an ambulance a person who has foresworn riding in automobiles. His/her body is being handled against his/her will. So, death to the EMT.

          “You can sue a doctor for medical malpractice.”

          Yes, of course. But may you kill the doctor for medical malpractice?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “So, death to the EMT.”

          She has to kill them by stepping out of the ambulance- no more, no less. Without their dick in the person for the entire ride the EMT will just die even if they were given the best best care in the world.

        • If you get into an (unintentional) accident, the hospital takes care of it. If you get into an unintentional pregnancy, the clinic takes care of it.

        • —Certainly pregnancy carries risks. So does riding in a car or being
          admitted to the hospital. Somewhere over 30,000 are killed in auto
          accidents each year and about ten times that amount die from medical
          errors.—

          And?

          —You can usually choose not to get into a car or go into a hospital. You might even swear off such things.—

          And?

          —But even if you did, should you be allowed to kill the person who’s
          putting your barely conscious body into an automobile (ambulance) to go
          to the hospital?—

          The fact that you are pretending the two situations are in any way equivalent proves you aren’t debating in good faith.

          But, assuming you are conscious enough to do so, you can refuse medical attention and then yes, if someone persists, you could defend yourself.

          —If, while you were in the hospital, they made some errors in handling
          your body (e.g. Took off the wrong limb; gave you a serious infection),
          should you be allowed to kill the medical professionals responsible?—

          Why are you pretending that self-defense and revenge killing are in any way equivalent?

        • skl

          “—If, while you were in the hospital, they made some errors in handling your body (e.g. Took off the wrong limb; gave you a serious infection), should you be allowed to kill the medical professionals responsible?—
          Why are you pretending that self-defense and revenge killing are in any way equivalent?”

          I agree they’re not the same thing. But I want to make sure I understand this. You seem to be saying

          – Revenge killing of the doctor is wrong because the use/abuse
          is OVER (although the after-effects of the use/abuse may be lifelong).

          – Self-defense killing of the using/abusing fetus is OK
          because the use/abuse is ONGOING (although the use/abuse will be over in a matter of months).

          Yes?

        • Ski,

          My argument has been laid out quite plainly. Any misunderstanding on your part is deliberate. I am not going to play your game. What I said is stated clearly in my posts.

          Do you have an actual point, counter, or argument? Because if you are going to continue JAQing off, I’m just going to block you as a complete waste of my time.

        • skl

          The name is SKL.

        • Whatever you say, Fred.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I honestly thought it was a phoenetic spelling of ‘sky’ (in my phone’s font here is a lowercase ‘l’ and an uppercase ‘I’).

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          They did tell her that she would have to blow their brains out to make them get their dick out, so continuing to have their tiny insignificant sperm use her like a community pool seems to have been the only thing keeping them alive. Perhaps she should have let them get bored and exit her to be someone else’s problem?

        • Rudy R

          Driving does carry the risk of death, but is not a consent to being killed. Being treated in a hospital does carry the risk of death, but is not a consent to being put to death. So to is being pregnant; it is not a consent to being killed.
          Consent is imperative for autonomy. Having sex is not a consent to being pregnant, and being pregnant is not a consent to carrying the fetus to term.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          In the first trimester there is no conflict of rights. The woman has a right of bodily autonomy, but the organism in her womb has no rights at all! She may remove it for an reason whatsoever. This is not the case later on after the fetus becomes a person in the womb.

        • So you are pro slavery and pro-rape? You think a person should be able to use a woman’s body against her will?

        • Carol Lynn

          The casual assumption that pregnancy is no big deal ever is truly astonishing. How can anyone be so clueless? First trimester medical issues – http://www.webmd.boots.com/pregnancy/guide/7-first-trimester-warning-signs

        • skl

          “The casual assumption that pregnancy is no big deal ever is
          truly astonishing.”

          I agree. It’s in fact a huge deal. For goodness sake, it’s how you and I and everyone else got here.

        • Carol Lynn

          And yet you said, “how is a woman’s bodily autonomy violated in, say, the first trimester of pregnancy?” As if just the fact of being pregnant when a woman does not want to be is somehow not worthy of notice or that no health problems ever pop up in the first trimester. Pregnancy does not work that way.

        • skl

          “And yet you said, “how is a woman’s bodily autonomy
          violated in, say, the first trimester of pregnancy?” As if just the fact
          of being pregnant when a woman does not want to be is somehow not worthy of notice or that no health problems ever pop up in the first trimester.”

          Apparently you think autonomy means freedom from any pain or
          problems.

          I don’t.

        • Cynthia

          It means having the right to control your own body.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think “control” is too broad. We don’t have the right to control our bodies to pull a trigger and shoot somebody to death (most of the time).

        • Cynthia

          That is a pretty trivial limitation, unless it prohibits self-defense. The impact of pregnancy is not trivial.

        • Unless, of course, that person is attempting to use our body against our will. In which case, fire away.

        • Carol Lynn

          You say the fact of being pregnant only matters for the woman after the first trimester. [blink] WTF are you talking about?

          You are the one who keeps nattering on about precious life from day one, but now you say that for the first trimester, the fact of being pregnant doesn’t count as actually being pregnant? You should have absolutely no problem with early abortion, then, because, heck, pregnancy doesn’t count until later!

          A woman’s bodily autonomy is being violated if she is pregnant and she is prevented from terminating the pregnancy if she wishes to. Her bodily autonomy would also be violated if she wanted to be pregnant and was forced to terminate the pregnancy she wanted to continue. You’ve got some weird ideas about what autonomy is.

        • skl

          “You say the fact of being pregnant only matters for the woman after the first trimester. [blink] WTF are you talking about?”

          Apparently, something other than what you’re talking about.
          I never said being pregnant only matters for the woman after the first trimester.
          I think I brought up the first trimester (“Also, how is a woman’s bodily autonomy violated in, say, the first trimester of pregnancy?”) only because I recalled reading that the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester.

          “You are the one who keeps nattering on about precious life from day one…”

          I’ve made a lot of posts on this thread but I really don’t recall where I nattered on about precious life. I’ve talked a lot about, and asked questions about, essence and personhood and use of deadly force. For the most part, I’ve been asking questions to try to make sense of this topic. Could you show me an example of the “nattering on about precious life”?

        • Carol Lynn

          Any ‘personhood’ argument is ‘nattering on about unborn precious life’. You’ve done a lot of that. For you to claim otherwise is very dishonest.

          Your comments in this thread show you fundamentally do not care what “bodily autonomy” means, that you already know that, and apparently will not give up your inaccurate statements on the concept. This whole thing is feeling more and more like a waste of my time but I’ll give it one more go before I’m done.

          A person – any person – has the right to decide for themselves what they do with and what is done to their body. I am sure you would object to being raped or hooked up to provide life support for someone without your consent. You have already admitted that you understand the concept of bodily autonomy by saying up thread that you would not provide a life giving organ to even a cherished family member if it meant you would be at risk for permanent heath issues or death.

          Therefore, if a woman becomes pregnant and she decides – for what reason is none of your or anyone else’s business. The risk assessment anyone goes through is entirely personal and is a fundamental portion of the concept of ‘bodily autonomy’ – that she does not want to be pregnant and is prevented from ending the pregnancy, that is a violation of her bodily autonomy. The ‘personhood’ or lack thereof of the fetus is as immaterial to the argument on bodily autonomy as the ‘personhood’ of the rapist.

          The same way a person has the right to object to being raped using anything up to and including lethal force to prevent their body being used without their free consent, the woman has the right to object to her body being used by a fetus without her free and willing consent. Every person has the right to not have their body be used by anyone else for any purpose unless they freely consent to that use – that’s what “the right to bodily autonomy” is.

          That statement you made, “how is a woman’s bodily autonomy violated in, say, the first trimester of pregnancy”, is completely nonsensical in the context of bodily autonomy. Her uterus is being used without her consent. That is a violation of the concept of bodily autonomy no matter how long her uterus has been occupied. It is as nonsensical as saying a person is not being raped at all and that no one should object if the rapist only got in one deep thrust.

          In our culture, the concept of ‘bodily autonomy’ is sacrosanct for every other purpose and carries over even into death. The only exception to the bodily autonomy concept is demanded of pregnant women and for a completely specious reason* that is not present in any other use of the concept, and that’s just wrong on a lot of levels.

          * – the hypothetical ‘personhood’ of the fetus but that is outside the scope of the bodily autonomy position. Just to round this out, “I will remind you that the self-proclaimed “pro-life” crowd is entirely too obsessive about the imaginary people they claim to be concerned about. They need to calm down, switch off their circuit diagrams, get out of their home blueprints, sit in the shade of their acorns, listen to the pleasant songs of the eggs, and stop to smell the pollen.” – Richard S. Russel, shamelessly stolen from a different blog post on Patheos about the spectrum of personhood in a developing fetus.

        • skl

          Carol Lynn,
          I submitted a not-short response to you this evening. Do you see it?
          I tried looking at my response on my end and it now has a
          big red block next to it saying “Detected As Spam”.

        • Carol Lynn

          Wasn’t me. I’m done with you.

        • skl

          Second attempt…

          “Any ‘personhood’ argument is ‘nattering on about unborn
          precious life’. You’ve done a lot of that. For you to claim otherwise is very dishonest.”

          So then, you would say the same of Bob Seidensticker, the author of the OP here. As well as about most of the other commenters here who are making arguments about personhood.
          I have lots of company then.

          But I see you haven’t produced any examples of me “nattering on about precious life” that I asked you for.

          “You have already admitted that you understand the concept of bodily autonomy by saying up thread that you would
          not provide a life giving organ to even a cherished family member if it meant you would be at risk for permanent heath issues or death.”

          Now THAT really interests me. Would you PLEASE provide the quote where you think I said that.
          Please?

          “The ‘personhood’ or lack thereof of the fetus is as immaterial to the argument on bodily autonomy as the ‘personhood’ of the rapist.”

          I’ll include you then in the group here who think it’s OK to abort a person, a human being, because such personhood is overruled by a mother’s desire to preserve her bodily autonomy.

          “Every person has the right to not have their body be used by anyone else for any purpose unless they freely
          consent to that use – that’s what “the right to bodily autonomy” is.”

          You forgot to add ‘And every person has the right to kill any other person who violates that bodily autonomy.’

          But please don’t misunderstand. I’m all FOR bodily autonomy. But I’m just thinking along the lines that, in a pregnancy, more than one body is involved.

        • Carol Lynn

          Post that drivel again or anything else to me on this thread and I’m blocking you. I said I’m done with your dishonesty and JACing off, and I’m done.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think we need to abandon the traditional “pro-life” and “pro-choice” positions and instead adopt a new “pro-person” position. For the first 24 weeks the embryo is not a person and has no rights at all, but the woman is a person and has all the usual rights. However, after 24 weeks the embryo is a person and also has the same rights as the woman. If there is a conflict in their rights, then we need to grant priority of the fetal person’s right to life over the woman’s right to bodily autonomy (with two exceptions).

        • The only compromise should be that, if the extremely off chance a woman does for some reason want to abort a viable fetus in the third trimester (probably so she can ride a pegasus over the rainbow to visit Santa Claus or some shit like that, since we are talking about situations that don’t exist), the fetus should be removed from the woman’s body via c-section and cared for in a prenatal unit. If it cannot be safely removed, the woman should be allowed other means to induce abortion (especially since if it cannot be removed safely via c-section her life is in danger anyway if she continues the pregnancy).

          It still does not have the right to use her body against her will.

          Of course, in this particular case, you pro-lifers should by 100% financially responsible for the healthcare costs, being that if you didn’t put so many roadblocks in earlier she’d have been able to safely get an abortion sooner. Because that’s the only other reason a woman would need an abortion in the third trimester other than medical necessity such as her life being in danger or the fetus being non-viable.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          WTM: The only compromise should be that, if the extremely off chance a woman does for some reason want to abort a viable fetus in the third trimester (probably so she can ride a pegasus over the rainbow to visit Santa Claus or some shit like that, since we are talking about situations that don’t exist), the fetus should be removed from the woman’s body via c-section and cared for in a prenatal unit. If it cannot be safely removed, the woman should be allowed other means to induce abortion (especially since if it cannot be removed safely via c-section her life is in danger anyway if she continues the pregnancy).

          GW: Fetal viability is irrelevant to the moral question. When the fetus becomes a person, then it has a right to life. It should not be removed by any means (C-section or otherwise) unless this is done for a good reason, and there are only two.

          WTM: It still does not have the right to use her body against her will.

          GW: I disagree. If the fetus is still in the woman in the third trimester, then the woman has already given implicit consent to it for the use of her body. Consent is a done deal. However, I think that it would be wise for the doctor and the government to implement a written consent program.

          WTM: Of course, in this particular case, you pro-lifers should by 100% financially responsible for the healthcare costs, being that if you didn’t put so many roadblocks in earlier she’d have been able to safely get an abortion sooner. Because that’s the only other reason a woman would need an abortion in the third trimester other than medical necessity such as her life being in danger or the fetus being non-viable.

          GW: I am not pro-life; I am pro-person. Don’t confuse my position with their position. There should be no roadblocks to a woman getting an abortion before the fetus becomes a person. There are only two legitimate reasons for a woman to get an abortion after the fetus becomes a person. If neither of those reasons are applicable, then the abortion should not be allowed during the last 15 weeks of the pregnancy. I hope that you will come over from the pro-choice position to the pro-person position, which is the rational one.

        • —-It should not be removed by any means (C-section or otherwise) unless this is done for a good reason, and there are only two.—

          No, actually, there is exactly one good reason to remove the fetus. And that is – The woman doesn’t want the fetus in there

          —If the fetus is still in the woman in the third trimester, then the
          woman has already given implicit consent to it for the use of her body.
          Consent is a done deal.—

          No. Consent is NOT a done deal. Consent can always be revoked. Anything else is slavery or rape.

          —- I am not pro-life; I am pro-person.—

          So to you, the woman is not a person? She is just an incubator, whose bodily autonomy can be sacrificed? She is to be made a slave?

          —I hope that you will come over from the pro-choice position to the pro-person position, which is the rational one.—

          The rational stance is that since it is the woman’s body, she should get to decide what use it is put to. Anything else is rape or slavery. I wholeheartedly oppose both.

        • 8 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Women are people

          No, it’s not a person until birth.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree. Personhood has nothing to do with location.

        • Women are people

          It doesn’t matter if you disagree.

          In the US law, a person is defined as a member of the species that is born alive at any point of gestation.

          Born alive. Meaning, outside the uterus.

          In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
          (b) As used in this section, the term “born alive”, with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.

          Your beliefs does not reality make

        • Gary Whittenberger

          WAP1: t doesn’t matter if you disagree.

          GW1: My position matters as much, or more, than your position. What is your correct full name? What are your credentials?

          WAP1: In the US law, a person is defined as a member of the species that is born alive at any point of gestation.

          GW1: Which law? Provide quotes, citations, and links to support this claim if you want to pursue it. The laws differ from state to state. I’m addressing what the correct definition of “person” should be, regardless of laws. The laws should be reshaped to match the definition I have given. If you believe you have a better definition of “person,” then present it and defend it. BTW, the US Constitution does not define “person.”

          WAP1: Born alive. Meaning, outside the uterus.

          GW1: Why do you believe that a fetus which has acquired consciousness or mental life is NOT a person?

          WAP1: In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
          (b) As used in this section, the term “born alive”, with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.

          GW1: Is this a quote? If so, you should put all of it in quotation marks and provide the citation and link. I agree that an infant (at least 24 weeks old from the time of conception) is a person. But I think that fetuses inside the womb who have acquired consciousness are also persons. Some state laws already imply that they are persons by giving them rights and limiting abortion.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          It is not the “baby’s” or the pregnant person’s choice that the pregnancy continue but a group of people who are not them. When that “baby” might get pregnant it will be SSDD. Being happy to be a mother is nice but completely irrelevant. Such people are merely obedient slaves and would be forced by fear of protection being withdrawn to carry the pregnancy even if she thought the entire ordeal a nightmare.

          Autonomy means one makes their own decisions about their body. Since you believe the “babies” already have their own body that doesn’t still require a lot of hard labor to even get living bodies that can die, pregnant people who will not carry to term can give birth after learning they have been pregnant only a short while. Since the “babies” already have living bodies, they can just “grow” with an adoptive family.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The difficulty of pregnancy or labor is irrelevant. We are talking about the human rights of the pregnant woman and the fetal person. Sometimes their rights will come into conflict and we must have a sound morality and laws to deal with these situations.

        • —Sometimes their rights will come into conflict and we must have a sound morality and laws to deal with these situations.—

          And that sound morality is that nobody has the right to use another person’s body against their will.

          Forcibly harvesting organs – immoral
          Slavery – immoral
          Rape – immoral
          Forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will – immoral

          Note the pattern.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          As I said, by not getting an abortion of her fetus before it became a person, the pregnant woman has given implicit consent for the fetal person to use her body. So, it isn’t against her will.

          After the fetus becomes a person, then its right to life needs to be taken into account too. You seem to be ignoring that.

        • Consent can be revoked. Anything else is rape and/or slavery.

          Right to life does not give you the right to use another person’s body against their will. You are the one ignoring that your objection was already countered with a c-section. It could also be covered with induced labor, I suppose.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          No, under conditions we are discussing the implicit consent cannot be revoked except for two reasons.

          Yes, under the conditions we are discussing the fetal person has a right to life which trumps the pregnant woman’s right to bodily autonomy. The method of removal is irrelevant.

          This definition of abortion may be even better than the one I presented earlier: Abortion is the intentional removal of an embryo or fetus from a pregnant woman when the removal is medically unnecessary and is very likely to result in serious injury or death to the organism, and the pregnant woman has not authorized medical intervention for the removed organism.

        • Consent can always be revoked. Anything else is rape and/or slavery.

          You are supporting enslaving women, forcing them to be incubators. You are supporting what is effectively rape.

          The fetuses so called right to life, if we grant it has one, still does not entitled it to use the woman’s body. It can be removed via c-section or induced labor without affecting its ‘right to life’. It is still alive.

          You are arguing in favor of slavery. You are deciding the woman is irrelevant, treating her as less than human. Less than a person. That is not moral. That is not ethical. That is not rational. That is not reasonable.

          You also keep repeating your claims without addressing that they have been repeatedly refuted.

          Why can we not forcibly harvest your kidney if it matches someone in need of a donor? Doesn’t their ‘right to life’ trump your bodily autonomy?

        • Greg G.

          Consent can always be revoked. Anything else is rape and/or slavery.

          Exactly. When I go to work, I give consent to do what the boss says for 8 hours but I can revoke that consent for a family emergency. If I cannot leave, it becomes slavery. If the boss wants me to work overtime, I can give consent to do that. He can force me to work overtime under threat of not letting me work at all but he cannot kidnap me to force me to work. (Actually, it doesn’t take much to get me to work overtime because I get paid time and a half and I am money-grubbing scum.)

        • No kidding. But wait, it gets better.

          If I consent to giving blood, I can let them get the needle in and the IV all set and still revoke consent halfway through the little baggy getting filled.

          Why?

          Because not only can consent be revoked at any time, but –
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          wait for it….
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          My right to bodily autonomy trumps the ‘right to life’ of anyone who might need that blood.

        • Greg G.

          But once you give the blood, I don’t think they would give it back, absent a medical emergency.

        • Once it is entirely removed from you, it’s not part of your body anymore, so bodily autonomy no longer applies.

        • Nice.

        • 3 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • adam

          “After the fetus becomes a person,”

        • 5 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Women are people

          do you understand that consent is something that can be revoked?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Not in these circumstances.

        • Women are people

          In all fucking circumstances. Implied consent only applies to a medical situation where the patient is unconscious and unable to consent to life saving measures.

          Should it be discovered later on that they have a DNR, even if she is pregnant, then life support must be removed.

          Further, you keep saying that consent is implied…except that we are talking about women who have specifically revoked that consent.

          Basically you are trying to act like just because an orgasm is near, that a woman can’t say stop.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “The difficulty of pregnancy or labor is irrelevant.”

          I commend you for being honest about your intent for the “fetal persons”. You thought we didn’t know what all the people you say this to started out as? That is the essence of endless exploitation right there.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Thank you for your commendation. My position is neither pro-life nor pro-choice. It is pro-person.

          I don’t really care how people “started out as.” I care what their position now is.

          Fetal persons should not be exploited just like pregnant women, who are persons, should not be exploited. There is a moral solution to a conflict of rights. I think we now know what it is.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          It certainly isn’t telling a “fetal person”, “The difficulty of pregnancy or labor is irrelevant.” It’s their body. It is relevant. If that next “fetal person” is already a person and not just organ parts that have not been built into a person, then get it out of the pregnant person’s body and see if it is a living person or just decomposing organ parts that resemble a person.

          No matter how we slice it, if the pregnancy isn’t viable and the pregnant person will not continue the pregnancy, then any laws to use that person’s body against their will is exploitation of all current pregnant people and all who are to come. We have rights when we are living bodies ourselves and not one second before.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your first paragraph is almost incomprehensible. Please restate more clearly.

          Anyway, the fetal person is temporarily dependent on the pregnant woman.

          Viability is irrelevant. The intentions of the pregnant woman are what is relevant.

          The right to life of the fetal person takes priority over ther right to bodily autonomy of the pregnant, with two exceptions.

        • —The right to life of the fetal person takes priority over ther right to bodily autonomy of the pregnant, with two exceptions.—

          You keep making this claim. It has been countered, repeatedly.

          Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted.

          It has now been countered again.

          Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • 2 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “Anyway, the fetal person is temporarily dependent on the pregnant woman.”

          The fetus is dependant on a fetal person. Remove the fetus from the person and give it to a loving family to help it reach its full potential as a person- it will do the biological equivalent of discarded car parts rusting to scrap. A fetus is not a potential person anymore than those parts are a potential car. You need an actual person in both cases to build with parts and with a fetus to make a car and a person, respectively.

          A person who became pregnant is a person made using a fetus by another person (another “fetal person”). Once you coerce the current pregnant fetal persons into carrying their pregnancies, what happens to those fetal persons in a relatively few years? Oh, right! you drop the facade of caring and tell them, “The difficulty of pregnancy or labor is irrelevant.”, just as you did to the last incubators you exploited.

          The people here know your game by what you say you want to happen to the current pregnant people. Take your right to “life” front and shove it up your rear!

        • Women are people

          Forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy by removing her right to withdraw consent after you arbitrary decide makes you decidedly NOT pro-person.

          You are basically making her a biological slave.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are misunderstanding the pro-person position. Here it is again: “The “pro-person” position is one of three major philosophical-political positions with respect to abortion rights and personhood. (The other two are “pro-choice” and “pro-life.”) The pro-person position holds that all human persons should be assigned a set of basic human rights, among which is the right to life which has priority over all other rights. In the course of their development human organisms become human persons only after their brains acquire size, complexity, and specific structures which enable consciousness. According to current neuroscientific research and theory, this milestone is achieved no earlier than the end of the 24th week after conception. Before the fetus becomes a person, the host woman should have the moral and legal right to abort her fetus for any reason WHATSOEVER. On the other hand, after the fetus becomes a person, the host woman should have the moral and legal right to abort her fetus for only two reasons – to prevent death or permanent injury to herself. The host woman also has the duty to protect the fetal person from other kinds of harm, e.g. toxic drugs.”

          A right cannot be withdrawn if it is not given in the first place.

          My position is not arbitrary; it is rational.

          Forcing a woman to keep and maintain a fetus for the last 15 weeks of pregnancy is justified if it saves the life of a fetus which is a person. Your position supports killing persons for no good reason.

        • Forcing a woman to keep and maintain a fetus for the last 15 weeks of pregnancy

          So you’re OK with abortion up to 25 weeks?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Absolutely! When the human organism inside the woman is not a person (roughly the first 24 weeks), it is morally permissible and should be legally permissible for the woman to get an abortion for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER!

        • Women are people

          You are only pro-person if women aren’t people.

          Multiple people have explained this to you.

          You might think your position is reasonable, but since YOU will never be the one you are stripping rights from, it is that much moral
          Immoral.

        • Justin Hulley

          Inside the womb a baby is dependant on the mother, outside the womb its dependant on someone to feed and carefor etc. As a growing child it’s dependant on someone. As a young adult the same applies. As a college student the same. On receiving a salliary independence is achieved. Conception is the beginning of human life. This isn’t rocket science.

        • Greg G.

          An unfertilized ovum and a sperm cell are both human life, too. Does conception end the life of one or both? Conception might end up as twins, triplets, etc. It might end up as a half of a chimera. It may partially divide into twins like Abby and Brittany Hensel who each control an arm and a leg but share vital organs. A zygote may not be capable of dividing or progressing beyond a certain point due to deleterious mutations. A zygote may be viable but fail to properly attach in the uterus so no person develops. It’s not rocket science because the simple arithmetic doesn’t add up in your scenario.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “Inside the womb a baby is dependant on the mother”

          Get it an adoptive mother if it is a baby, then. Unless that is possible there is no baby that can be killed as one would still need to be built by a PERSON.

          Here’s the words of one of those babies aged up about what they think of the pro-forced-birth position:

          But, after listening to this anti-choice bullshit for most of my adult reproductive life, I’m sick and goddamned tired of this tired garbage from these so-called “pro-life” bible thumping assholes. They aren’t pro-life, they are pro-fetus, because as we all know, the minute it leaves the mother’s body as a baby, an actual human being, and PERSON, they don’t give two bloody shits about it. Then, they turn to talking about “personal responsibility”, blah, blah, and that “…women should keep their legs shut”, and no way should they be “forced” to pay for some unwed mother’s bastard child….especially if she’s not white! Queue up the racist bleatings of “welfare queen” from all those privileged conservative white fucks, mostly male, of course, and then you have Ryan, McConnell, et al., in charge of these decisions that, again, will never affect them in any way, shape or form.

          They are all fucking hypocrites. I can guarantee the minute a group of women started telling men when and how they could use their dicks, they’d lose their minds.

          -Sonyaj

        • —My position is neither pro-life nor pro-choice. It is pro-person.—

          It is only ‘pro-person’ if you don’t count women as people.

          — There is a moral solution to a conflict of rights. I think we now know what it is.—

          We do. It is to prevent slavery. Thus if the woman does not want the fetus in her womb, it should be removed. If it is viable, it should be removed intact and alive via c-section or induced labor. That preserves its ‘right to life’ without coming into conflict with her right of bodily autonomy. Problem solved.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: My position is neither pro-life nor pro-choice. It is pro-person.

          WTM2: It is only ‘pro-person’ if you don’t count women as people.

          GW2: No, it is pro-person because I count pregnant women and late-term fetuses both as persons.

          GW1: There is a moral solution to a conflict of rights. I think we now know what it is.

          WTM2: We do. It is to prevent slavery.

          GW2: How are you defining “slavery”? I don’t think this is relevant here.

          WTM2: Thus if the woman does not want the fetus in her womb, it should be removed. If it is viable, it should be removed intact and alive via c-section or induced labor. That preserves its ‘right to life’ without coming into conflict with her right of bodily autonomy. Problem solved.

          GW2: No, the fetal person should not be removed unless there is a danger of permanent physical harm or death to the woman. Otherwise, the fetal person should remain in the womb. This is the correct moral and legal position. Problem solved.

        • Paul B. Lot

          No, the fetal person should not be removed unless there is a danger of permanent physical harm or death to the woman. Otherwise, the fetal person should remain in the womb. This is the correct moral and legal position. Problem solved.

          Incorrect. The right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body is absolute. The correct moral and legal position is that the woman’s choice is final. Problem solved.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW2: No, the fetal person should not be removed unless there is a danger of permanent physical harm or death to the woman. Otherwise, the fetal person should remain in the womb. This is the correct moral and legal position. Problem solved.
          PB3: Incorrect. The right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body is absolute. The correct moral and legal position is that the woman’s choice is final. Problem solved.

          GW3: I think you are mistaken. The right to one’s own bodily autonomy is not absolute. (Most rights are not, BTW.) It prevails as long as it does not cause a disruption to somebody else’s rights. In that case, priority is determined by which rights are disrupted. If removing a fetal PERSON is not medically necessary and it is done with indifference or malice, then that is a moral failing. Also, in most states and many countries it is illegal. Problem solved.

          GW3: The pro-life and pro-choice positions are only partly correct, whereas the pro-person position is totally correct.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I think you are mistaken. The right to one’s own bodily autonomy is not absolute. (Most rights are not, BTW.) It prevails as long as it does not cause a disruption to somebody else’s rights.

          1) I didn’t cite “bodily autonomy”, I said “the right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body”.

          2) Presuming, for the sake of argument, that your assertion that this right is non-absolute were true: it certainly seems that it must logically be the most absolute of all the rights. You want to draw our attention to a hypothetical “disruption to someone else’s rights” – but those rights are dependent on that person have having “the right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body”.

          If removing a fetal PERSON is not medically necessary and it is done with indifference or malice, then that is a moral failing.

          Most abortions are chemically induced – no one/nothing is “removed” by force. The pregnant woman’s body is simply rendered inhospitable. “Indifference” or “malice” are likely not necessary or relevant to the majority of these cases – one can both wish one’s pregnancy terminated AND wish that there were no harm caused to any zygotes/fetuses.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW4: Paul, abortion is a very controversial subject and I appreciate your remaining civil in our discussion. One other person has decided to become uncivil.

          GW3: I think you are mistaken. The right to one’s own bodily autonomy is not absolute. (Most rights are not, BTW.) It prevails as long as it does not cause a disruption to somebody else’s rights.

          PL4: 1) I didn’t cite “bodily autonomy”, I said “the right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body”.

          GW4: I previously defined the right of bodily autonomy as “the right of a person to determine what goes into and what comes out of one’s own body.” So, that is real close to what you said.

          PL4: 2) Presuming, for the sake of argument, that your assertion that this right is non-absolute were true: it certainly seems that it must logically be the most absolute of all the rights. You want to draw our attention to a hypothetical “disruption to someone else’s rights” – but those rights are dependent on that person have having “the right to determine what occurs within the confines of one’s own body”.

          GW4: I don’t accept your concept of “most absolute of all the rights.” Rights are either absolute or they are not. Right now, I can’t think of any right that I believe is absolute. I think that all persons have the two rights we have been discussing here – the right to life and the right to bodily autonomy. However, if a pregnant woman’s right to bodily autonomy interferes with or conflicts with the right to life of the fetal person inside her, then the latter should have priority, with two exceptions already mentioned.

          GW3: If removing a fetal PERSON is not medically necessary and it is done with indifference or malice, then that is a moral failing.

          PL4: Most abortions are chemically induced – no one/nothing is “removed” by force. The pregnant woman’s body is simply rendered inhospitable. “Indifference” or “malice” are likely not necessary or relevant to the majority of these cases – one can both wish one’s pregnancy terminated AND wish that there were no harm caused to any zygotes/fetuses.

          GW4: The method of abortion and “wishes” of the woman are irrelevant to the morality or legality of abortion. Via abortion the pregnant woman is causing (or authorizing) a removal of the fetus which is the end of her pregnancy. What counts are intentions, actions, and consequences. Abortion of a fetal person is morally and legally wrong, with two exceptions. (Please keep in mind that I am not talking about any abortion of an embryo or fetus which is not a person.)

        • The one being uncivil is you. Once you start advocating that my gender can be enslaved, you lose the right to call those disagreeing with you ‘uncivil’.

          You continue to refuse to address that if the fetus is removed via c-section, its right to life has not been taken away. Your constant refusal to debate honestly is not civil.

          You will be treated with the same respect you show others. You have argued that I am no longer worthy of basic human rights. Thus, you have completely stripped any obligation to be nice to you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          WTM3: The one being uncivil is you. Once you start advocating that my gender can be enslaved, you lose the right to call those disagreeing with you ‘uncivil’.

          GW3: I disagree. I am not being uncivil. I am certainly not advocating that anyone be enslaved. Define “enslaved.” (The pro-choice people often throw around that word like the pro-life people throw around the word “Holocaust.” It is useless hyperbole.) You should not accuse anybody of being “uncivil” just because you don’t agree with them on abortion rights and especially after they caught you in the act of making an uncivil personal attack. Anyone can read the specific words you used.

          WTM3: You continue to refuse to address that if the fetus is removed via c-section, its right to life has not been taken away.

          GW3: I addressed that, but I’ll cover it again. The method of removal is irrelevant to the morality of abortion. The intentional removal of the fetus, when not medically necessary, ENDANGERS the well being and life of the fetus. Agree? The degree of endangerment increases as you go backwards from 38 to 24 weeks. Agree? Whether the woman getting the abortion authorizes extreme medical intervention upon removal of the fetus (and she usually does not), the fetus is still endangered. Agree? Also, if extreme medical intervention is applied, it is extremely expensive and may be ineffective. Agree? It is the INTENTIONAL ENDANGERMENT OF ANOTHER PERSON FOR NO GOOD REASON that is immoral. Abortion is never immoral when the fetus is not yet a person.

          WTM3: Your constant refusal to debate honestly is not civil.

          GW3: I have been honest the entire time of this debate. Please don’t accuse somebody of being dishonest simply because you disagree with their opinion.

          WTM3: You will be treated with the same respect you show others.

          GW3: Good. I treat people with respect, and expect the same in return.

          WTM3: You have argued that I am no longer worthy of basic human rights.

          GW3: No, I haven’t done that. All persons, including the fetal person, the pregnant woman, and even the two of us are worthy of basic human rights. .

          WTM3: Thus, you have completely stripped any obligation to be nice to you.

          GW3: Speaking civilly is your obligation. Try to stick to the topic of abortion rights as you speak civilly. When you make an uncivil personal attack, then try to justify it, and then make false accusations (e.g. about honesty, etc.), you are wasting our time. Do you want to continue discussing abortion rights or not? If you do, then get back to it.

        • —I am not being uncivil. I am certainly not advocating that anyone be
          enslaved. Define “enslaved.” (The pro-choice people often throw around
          that word like the pro-life people throw around the word “Holocaust.”
          It is useless hyperbole.)—

          This is another example of you being uncivil. I already did define slavery.

          — You should not accuse anybody of being “uncivil” just because you don’t
          agree with them on abortion rights and especially after they caught you
          in the act of making an uncivil personal attack.—

          I am accusing you of being uncivil because you are advocating taking away my most basic human right.

          —I addressed that, but I’ll cover it again.—

          No, no you didn’t. And you continued to not cover it.

          —The intentional removal of the fetus, when not medically necessary, ENDANGERS the well being and life of the fetus. Agree?—

          Irrelevant.

          — The degree of endangerment increases as you go backwards from 38 to 24 weeks. Agree?—

          Irrelevant.

          —Whether the woman getting the abortion authorizes extreme medical
          intervention upon removal of the fetus (and she usually does not), the
          fetus is still endangered. Agree?—

          Irrelevant.

          — Also, if extreme medical intervention is applied, it is extremely expensive and may be ineffective. Agree?—

          Irrelevant.

          —It is the INTENTIONAL ENDANGERMENT OF ANOTHER PERSON FOR NO GOOD REASON that is immoral.—

          The whole ‘no good reason’ thing? Yeah, that’s the part you are very, very wrong on. Her not wanting to be pregnant IS a good reason.

          —I have been honest the entire time of this debate.—

          No, you have not. You are still not being honest.

          —No, I haven’t done that. All persons, including the fetal person, the
          pregnant woman, and even the two of us are worthy of basic human rights.—

          Here is an example of you being dishonest. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right. You are claiming this right should be stripped from women.

          — Do you want to continue discussing abortion rights or not?—

          If you would like to at any point actually address the arguments raised, go ahead. But you aren’t discussing abortion rights. You are repeating the same debunked claims over and over again while ignoring where they have been debunked and failing to actually support your claims. That is rude and intellectually dishonest.

          These are the points you again fail to address on any coherent level:

          1) You have not demonstrated that there is any ‘right to life’. I have demonstrated there is not – health care, food, shelter, and other basic necessities for life are not guarantees, thus the ‘right to life’ cannot exist. A diabetic will die without insulin. They must pay for insulin. If they cannot, they will die. Since they have no right to insulin, they have no right to life.

          2) Even if we decide there is a ‘right to life’, it does not conflict with a woman’s right to bodily autonomy because the fetus can be removed alive via c-section or induced labor. The woman is not obligated to continue serving as a host body anymore than she is obligated to breastfeed a starving man.

          3) ‘Right to life’ does not trump bodily autonomy, and the proof of that is that organs and even blood cannot be taken from someone against their will even if it would save another’s life. There are laws in place to prevent even financially coercing someone into giving up their organs. The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 is merely one such law.

          4) Removing someone’s right of bodily autonomy and forcibly subjugating them to another is slavery and/or rape. This is immoral, uncivil, unethical, illegal, and unreasonable. We have a right to be secure in our persons (see Amendment 4 in the bill of rights) Involuntary servitude and slavery are also forbidden (See the 13th amendment)

          Considering I am a member of the gender you are advocating doing this to, you are actively dehumanizing and degrading me. That is not civil, so I have no obligation to be civil back to you. So kindly fuck off with your bullshit and either answer the points raised or admit you have absolutely nothing of worth to add to this debate.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You crossed the line again, as I thought you would. You made another uncivil personal attack. So, I’ll not waste my time with you. I’ll talk with others committed to civility.

        • Translation – You don’t want to face up to the fact that what you are advocating is essentially slavery because you want to preserve your idea that you are somehow the good guy. And since you know you can’t defend yourself or your stance, you’re going to go for the wounded gazelle gambit and run away pretending that somehow you are the victim here.

          Honey, you crossed the line be dehumanizing and degrading women. You don’t get to do advocate enslaving half the human race and still get to pretend you are nice. So fuck off.

        • Women are people
        • Gary Whittenberger

          Claiming the right to express your angry emotions in personal attacks and other uncivil remarks is the epitome of entitlement.

        • Women are people

          No. Telling women we have no bodily autonomy when *you* decide we don’t and expecting us to be nice about it is the epitome of entitlement.

          Fuck. Off.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You have distorted what I said. Women have a right to bodily autonomy all the time that they are persons. But this right should be superceded by the right to life of the fetal person, with two exceptions. You just aren’t understanding the concept of “conflict of rights.”

          And there you go again — losing your temper and making uncivil remarks. Can you express your opinion without doing this?

          What is your correct full name? What are your credentials? Why are you hiding behind the nickname “Women are people”? Are you ashamed of who you are? Are you afraid that your reputation may be tarnished if we know who you are?

        • His/her name isn’t necessary, especially for an issue as charged as this one. And you can judge their arguments on their own, whether or not they have impressive credentials.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Ok, it isn’t necessary to you for them to give their real name in order to participate on the forum. However, in this case it is morally necessary from my point of view.

          This person has been making personal attacks, ad hominems, and other uncivil remarks and hiding behind a nickname. He/she should present their correct full name, so that their reputation can suffer the consequences. As you know, anonymity encourages incivility, and this case is a perfect example of that.

          Credentials are relevant, whether they are impressive or not.

          After this person, known as “women are people” insulted me for the third time, I blocked them. I think you should have intervened earlier with at least a warning.

        • You don’t have your real photo here. Should I demand to see it? Retribution is a thing, and I can see how this person might want/need anonymity.

          Women are people has made 195 comments. That, and the arguments that they make, is their reputation.

          Suppose they were a gynecologist or a biologist or an abortion provider or an ethicist. Should we then say that, due to their impressive and relevant credentials, we should give their argument more weight? Of course not—you read their argument, and you evaluate it, whether they are a MacArthur Fellow or not.

          People sometimes use insults here. I’d prefer that they dial it back sometimes, but I moderate with a light touch. No, this person didn’t stoop to the level where I though a warning was necessary. You’ll just have to deal with that.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          BS1: You don’t have your real photo here. Should I demand to see it?

          GW1: Should you? I don’t know. If you demand it, I will provide it. I believe that on your blog you should require people to present their full correct names. That will lower the frequency of incivility and will enable reputations to rise and decline with the exposure of their thinking processes.

          BS1: Retribution is a thing, and I can see how this person might want/need anonymity.

          GW1: Yes, retribution is a thing, but physical retribution is rare for forums like this. The possibility does not justify hiding behind a nickname Incivility is a thing too, and we see it occurring on your own blog over which you have some control. This person in question does not “need” anonymity, but they may want it, but they should not be given it. Your best move would be to require all persons to give their full correct names on your blog. You have given your name, your credentials, and your photo! Readers and discussants should do the same.

          BS1: Women are people has made 195 comments. That, and the arguments that they make, is their reputation.

          GW1: But that reputation should be connected to a real unique identity, not a fabricated one! Nicknames are not allowed in scientific publications, newspapers, magazines, etc. I don’t see why they should be allowed here.

          BS1: Suppose they were a gynecologist or a biologist or an abortion provider or an ethicist. Should we then say that, due to their impressive and relevant credentials, we should give their argument more weight? Of course not—you read their argument, and you evaluate it, whether they are a MacArthur Fellow or not.

          GW1: Yes, we should give an expert more weight on specific issues and questions on which they have expertise.

          BS1: People sometimes use insults here. I’d prefer that they dial it back sometimes, but I moderate with a light touch. No, this person didn’t stoop to the level where I though a warning was necessary. You’ll just have to deal with that.

          GW1: Your “laissez faire” approach is not working very well. Insults are at a much higher rate than they would be if you took a more assertive approach. You are allowing too much harm to come to your readers. You should lower your threshold for interventions. I think it is your moral responsibility to do this. I don’t think you are adequately enforcing the Patheos rules and guidelines. Keep in mind how Facebook’s leaders are now under fire for their similar “laissez faire” approach.

          GW1: Try this thought experiment: A person X, using a nickname, makes a barrage of insults against another person Y, using their real name, on your forum and then finds and kills the person they were insulting. An investigation is done. It is discovered that you, as the moderator, did nothing to quell the insults of X. Think about it.

        • Kodie

          Do you really think using your real name has given you a better reputation? Gary Whittenberger is a demanding un-self-aware, condescending passive-aggressive shitty little asshole, everyone knows it!

        • BS1: You don’t have your real photo here. Should I demand to see it?
          GW1: Should you? I don’t know. If you demand it, I will provide it.

          It was rhetorical.

          The issue with hiding behind a pseudonym is more an issue with trolls. That’s not an issue with Women are people.

          Incivility is a thing too, and we see it occurring on your own blog over which you have some control.

          My choice is to govern with a light touch. I’d probably agree with you on the advantages of more of a nanny approach, but that would take too much time.

          You have given your name, your credentials, and your photo! Readers and discussants should do the same.

          I’m the host.

          GW1: Yes, we should give an expert more weight on specific issues and questions on which they have expertise.

          None of this conversation is of the “Wow—I didn’t know that, but heck, you’re the expert, so I’ll just trust you on this bit of arcane knowledge” variety. We don’t need this commenter to have credentials. If you doubt a scientific claim, say so and demand a citation. The core of this topic is ethical opinion. No credentials necessary.

          GW1: Your “laissez faire” approach is not working very well. Insults are at a much higher rate than they would be if you took a more assertive approach.

          Comments take too much of my time as it is.

          I like your courteous tone, but this is a big tent.

        • Kodie

          Can you explain to Gary that if he doesn’t like the atmosphere here, he can go find someplace he likes better, but nobody cares for his mini-modding? All he wants to do is harass everyone with it, and it’s really annoying.

          Thanks!

        • I’ve suggested it (yet again in my comment to him 1 minute ago). Surely this time’s the charm.

          But I’ll look for chances to bring that up in the future.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          BS1: You don’t have your real photo here. Should I demand to see it?

          GW1: Should you? I don’t know. If you demand it, I will provide it.

          BS2: It was rhetorical.

          GW2: I took you literally.

          BS2: The issue with hiding behind a pseudonym is more an issue with trolls. That’s not an issue with Women are people.

          GW2: I disagree. It might be a problem with trolls, but it is definitely a problem with “women are people.” If you were to require participants to give their full correct names, your rate of uncivil behavior on the blog would go down quite a bit. As you probably know, there is research to show that anonymity facilitates aggression. I think you have a moral responsibility to do your best to curb incivility.

          GW1: Incivility is a thing too, and we see it occurring on your own blog over which you have some control.

          BS2: My choice is to govern with a light touch. I’d probably agree with you on the advantages of more of a nanny approach, but that would take too much time.

          GW2: I know that “light touch” is your choice, but I believe your touch is too light by about 50%. I think you should take a “teaching approach,” not a “nanny approach.” There are ways to make it work such that it does not take too much of your time.

          GW1: You have given your name, your credentials, and your photo! Readers and discussants should do the same.

          BS2: I’m the host.

          GW2: I don’t think there should be a double standard for the host and for the discussants. At a minimum you should require full correct names. Display of a photo is likely to reduce uncivil behavior also because it “humanizes” the other.

          GW1: Yes, we should give an expert more weight on specific issues and questions on which they have expertise.

          BS2: None of this conversation is of the “Wow—I didn’t know that, but heck, you’re the expert, so I’ll just trust you on this bit of arcane knowledge” variety. We don’t need this commenter to have credentials. If you doubt a scientific claim, say so and demand a citation. The core of this topic is ethical opinion. No credentials necessary.

          GW2: We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

          GW1: Your “laissez faire” approach is not working very well. Insults are at a much higher rate than they would be if you took a more assertive approach.

          BS2: Comments take too much of my time as it is.

          GW2: They might actually take less of your time if you took a more assertive approach to curtailing uncivil behavior. I kind of see you like a teacher on the playground. If you see one student beating up another, you shouldn’t just stand back and take a “light touch” approach. You need to assertively intervene.

          BS2: I like your courteous tone, but this is a big tent.

          GW2: I like your courteous tone also, but you are the ring master in this big tent and sometimes you need to curb misbehavior. And once in awhile, somebody has to be thrown out of the tent, if not permanently, then temporarily. For example, there should be a way for you to suspend a bad actor from participation in the discussion of one essay, but allow them to try again on another essay.

          GW2: You did not respond to the thought experiment I posed.

        • BS2: It was rhetorical.
          GW2: I took you literally.

          I’m glad I was able to clarify.

          If you were to require participants to give their full correct names, your rate of uncivil behavior on the blog would go down quite a bit. As you probably know, there is research to show that anonymity facilitates aggression. I think you have a moral responsibility to do your best to curb incivility.

          Thanks for the feedback. My policy won’t change.

          However, by curious coincidence, Disqus sent email (presumably all Patheos bloggers got it) about how to create a public comment policy. I might follow up, though don’t expect any changes than what I’ve already discussed with you.

          There are ways to make it work such that it does not take too much of your time.

          Sorry, but this isn’t a priority.

          GW2: I don’t think there should be a double standard for the host and for the discussants.

          We’ll have to agree to disagree.

          GW2: We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

          I guess I’m not the only one! But yes, you’re right.

          GW2: They might actually take less of your time if you took a more assertive approach to curtailing uncivil behavior.

          Let a thousand flowers bloom. In this little patch of meadow, things are unmoderated and a bit Wild West. I realize that’s not for everyone (but then again, whatever environment one creates wouldn’t be for everyone).

          GW2: You did not respond to the thought experiment I posed.

          Your thought experiment seemed irrelevant. But if you want to go down the bullying route, I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: the flip side of anonymity is that it helps someone who has a position that’s often attacked to state their position without fear of real world retribution. I suspect that there’s more violence against pro-choice people by pro-life people than vice versa.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW2: If you were to require participants to give their full correct names, your rate of uncivil behavior on the blog would go down quite a bit. As you probably know, there is research to show that anonymity facilitates aggression. I think you have a moral responsibility to do your best to curb incivility.

          BS3: Thanks for the feedback. My policy won’t change.

          GW3: You are welcome. Then your policy will remain inadequate.

          BS3: However, by curious coincidence, Disqus sent email (presumably all Patheos bloggers got it) about how to create a public comment policy. I might follow up, though don’t expect any changes than what I’ve already discussed with you.

          GW3: I hope that will spur you on to make some changes.

          GW2: There are ways to make it work such that it does not take too much of your time.

          BS3: Sorry, but this isn’t a priority.

          GW3: Decreasing conversational incivility and physical aggression in our culture ought to be everyone’s priority. I hope you’ll eventually change your priorities.

          GW2: I don’t think there should be a double standard for the host and for the discussants.

          BS3: We’ll have to agree to disagree.

          GW3: I agree.

          GW2: We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

          BS3: I guess I’m not the only one! But yes, you’re right.

          GW3: I think that is the case on both counts.

          GW2: They might actually take less of your time if you took a more assertive approach to curtailing uncivil behavior.

          BS3: Let a thousand flowers bloom. In this little patch of meadow, things are unmoderated and a bit Wild West. I realize that’s not for everyone (but then again, whatever environment one creates wouldn’t be for everyone).

          GW3: Mixed metaphors, so I’ll stick with just the one. Your little Western town is too wild, and as the sheriff, you aren’t adequately enforcing the laws to maintain peace.

          GW2: You did not respond to the thought experiment I posed.

          BS3: Your thought experiment seemed irrelevant. But if you want to go down the bullying route, I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: the flip side of anonymity is that it helps someone who has a position that’s often attacked to state their position without fear of real world retribution. I suspect that there’s more violence against pro-choice people by pro-life people than vice versa.

          GW3: Irrelevant? It is highly relevant! I presented it because I believe you are failing to properly evaluate the outcomes associated with your approach. The internet has changed the world, and the internet is changing. Here is a prediction: Media companies, software mangers, and blog moderators are going to come under increasing scrutiny and are going to face civil law suits at a higher rate in the next ten years for failing to take responsibility and do their due diligence. You should get ahead of the curve.

          GW3: I assume by “real world retribution” you mean material or physical retribution. Let’s just call that “physical aggression.” If you wish to minimize the probability of physical aggression, then you should do a better job at controlling verbal aggression on your own forum. You could do that by requiring correct full names, stating a clear easily-accessible policy against incivility, and implementing progressive discipline in responding to incivility. The first two would require very little time. And in implementing the latter, you could deal only with complaints brought to you and/or you could hire a person part-time to do that for you.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Ooof, what a terrible formatting style you’ve chosen.

          Also, are you the same person as “Gary J. Whittenberger”, who has two abysmally packaged books for sale on Amazon?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          My formatting style is excellent!

          My books are also excellent. If you’d like to discuss any of the specific issues raised in the books, ask a question or make a comment about one, and we’ll discuss it, as long as you remain civil.

        • Paul B. Lot

          My formatting style is excellent!

          I disagree. For one thing, Disqus has specialized formatting for both quotes *and* links – both of which would work to make your…ah…timelines more intelligible.

          My books are also excellent.

          I didn’t attack [the content] of your books, which I have no reason to believe is even acceptable, but rather [the packaging], which is objectively bad.

          But in any case, I didn’t ask you in order to comment about the packaging, which is a crime against humanity, but rather your byline.

          You represented yourself on the books as “Gary J. Whittenberger”, and yet here you are on Bob’s blog admonishing him for not “requir[ing] participants to give their full correct names”…using the handle Gary J. Whittenberger“.

          You, apparently, have at some point billed yourself as a former psychologist: https://infidels.org/kiosk/author/gary-j-whittenberger-804.html

          Perhaps, then given the training you claim to have undergone, you might be qualified to answer: why the hypocrisy?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: My formatting style is excellent!

          PL2: I disagree. For one thing, Disqus has specialized formatting for both quotes *and* links – both of which would work to make your…ah…timelines more intelligible.

          GW2: I disagree. My formatting is better than the suggesting formatting. The number after the initials indicates round number.

          GW1: My books are also excellent.

          PL2: I didn’t attack [the content] of your books, which I have no reason to believe is even acceptable, but rather [the packaging], which is objectively bad.

          GW2: That feedback, while interesting, is not relevant to any of the topics we have been discussing.

          PL2: But in any case, I didn’t ask you in order to comment about the packaging, which is a crime against humanity, but rather your byline.

          GW2: You mean your are going to actually get around to saying something relevant?

          PL2: You represented yourself on the books as “Gary J. Whittenberger”, and yet here you are on Bob’s blog admonishing him for not “requir[ing] participants to give their full correct names”…using the handle Gary J. Whittenberger”.

          GW2: I have previously referred to “full name” as being first and last name, but I think your suggestion is a good one — first name, middle initial, and last name. I think Bob would do well to go with that.

          PL2: You, apparently, have at some point billed yourself as a former psychologist: https://infidels.org/kiosk/
          Perhaps, then given the training you claim to have undergone, you might be qualified to answer: why the hypocrisy?

          GW2: I have a doctoral degree in psychology, worked decades in the field, and am now retired. There is no hypocrisy here. You are over reaching. Do you have anything relevant to say either about reducing incivility on forums like this or on the abortion issue which was the original topic?

        • Paul B. Lot

          GW2: I disagree. My formatting is better than the suggesting formatting.

          Incorrect.

          For one thing, it relies solely on you for categorization, affording no one else any means of looking up the context easily.

          For another you don’t make the necessary effort to quote people properly – and thus the meaning of the experts you pull is subject to cognitive degradation because it passes through your inept hands.

          The number after the initials indicates round number.

          Yes. That was obvious. It’s still a bad system.

          GW2: That feedback, while interesting, is not relevant to any of the topics we have been discussing.

          False: you claimed that your books were good. It is illustrative that you both:
          a) conflated [the packaging] of your books with [their contents], and
          b) are failing to grasp that neither [the packaging] nor [the contents] of your books are of particular interest to me.

          I only primarily asked you about them in order to establish that you were one and the same with their author.

          GW2: I have previously referred to “full name” as being first and last name

          I’m sorry, I missed that. Would you mind linking to where that occurred?

          GW2: I have a doctoral degree in psychology, worked decades in the field, and am now retired. There is no hypocrisy here. You are over reaching.

          You appear to have misunderstood the question, let me rephrase it for you so that you can perhaps better understand:

          “why the hypocrisy [of choosing to represent yourself on the books as ‘Gary J. Whittenberger’, and yet here you are on Bob’s blog, admonishing him for not ‘requir[ing] participants to give their full correct names’, using the handle ‘Gary J. Whittenberger‘]”.

          Edits @ 1:58pm cst

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW2: I disagree. My formatting is better than the suggesting formatting.

          PBL3: Incorrect.

          GW3: I disagree. You believe the suggested format is better than mine, but I believe that mine is better than the suggested format.

          PBL3: For one thing, it relies solely on you for categorization, affording no one else any means of looking up the context easily.

          GW3: I exactly quote the other person. For more context, just look at the preceding posts.

          PBL3: For another you don’t make the necessary effort to quote people properly – and thus the meaning of the experts excerpts you pull is subject to cognitive degradation because it passes through your inept hands.

          GW3: I exactly quote the other person.

          GW2: The number after the initials indicates round number.

          PBL3: Yes. That was obvious. It’s still a bad system.

          GW3: Glad you picked up on that. It’s still an excellent system. Our evaluations differ.

          GW2: I have a doctoral degree in psychology, worked decades in the field, and am now retired. There is no hypocrisy here. You are over reaching.

          PBL3: You appear to have misunderstood the question, let me rephrase it for you so that you can perhaps better understand:

          GW3: No, I understood your question. I disagreed with the premise of your question.

          PBL3: “why the hypocrisy [of choosing to represent yourself on the books as ‘Gary J. Whittenberger’, and yet here you are on Bob’s blog, admonishing him for not ‘requir[ing] participants to give their full correct names’, using the handle ‘Gary J. Whittenberger’]”.

          GW3: There is no hypocrisy in my choosing to represent myself on a book with first name, the middle initial, and last name and recommending to Bob that he require first and last names for posters on his blog. However, I do now think that Bob would do well to require middle initials also. If you think there was hypocrisy, then I strongly disagree with you.

          GW3: Do you have any suggestions for decreasing uncivil remarks on this blog or any opinions about the abortion issue we began with?

        • Paul B. Lot

          GW3: I disagree. You believe the suggested format is better than mine, but I believe that mine is better than the suggested format.

          That’s a good summation. The only thing you left out is that you are wrong.

          GW3: I exactly quote the other person.

          This is false. You *think* you do, but you don’t.

          Hence why I accuse you, correctly, of degrading the other person’s message through your ineptitude.

          GW3: … It’s still an excellent system.

          Incorrect, it’s quite bad. One of the worst I’ve seen yet. Perhaps even worse than [no structure at all].

          PBL3: You appear to have misunderstood the question, let me rephrase it for you so that you can perhaps better understand:

          GW3: No, I understood your question. I disagreed with the premise of your question.

          No….I don’t think that’s accurate. Certainly the exchange so far doesn’t seem to jive with that claim. Feel free to list “the premise” with which you see yourself as having been in disagreement.

          There is no hypocrisy in my choosing to represent myself on a book with first name, the middle initial, and last name and recommending to Bob that he require first and last names for posters on his blog.

          Every time I’ve seen you make reference to the bolded part, you’ve actually said “full/real name”, not “first and last names”.

          You had claimed otherwise before now:

          GW2: I have previously referred to “full name” as being first and last name

          In response, I asked you for evidence to support that claim:

          GW2: I have previously referred to “full name” as being first and last name

          I’m sorry, I missed that. Would you mind linking to where that occurred?

          In response to that request for evidence…you were silent. Why be coy? As I read the record, you have used the phrase “full/real name” at least 5 9 times before now….and yet I can find no record of you using the phrase “first name” or “last name” or “first and last name”….until you fibbed assured me that those terms were the antecedent to “full name” all along.

          #1.
          #2.
          #3.
          #4.
          #5.
          #6.
          #7.
          #8.
          #9.

          Why does the record show this, Gary?

          Are you perhaps lying, Gary? Is it possible that you confabulated this prior mentioning of “first and last names”?

          Because if you never said “first and last”, and if you chose to make your Disqus handle “Gary J. Whittenberger”, and if your full name is actually “Gary J. Whittenberger”…

          …then the fact that you’re berating other posters, and finger-waggling-at-Bob, for not-having-used-their-full-name means that you are, in fact, guilty of hypocrisy.

          You…ah…”strongly” feel you are not a hypocrite, though. So clearly, n>0 of those “ifs” are wrong. Which one(s)?

          GW3: Do you have any suggestions for decreasing uncivil remarks on this blog or any opinions about the abortion issue we began with?

          Yes, Gary, I do: I think posters should be self-aware. I think posters should be as precise and accurate as possible. I think posters should write in good-faith, and should respond to challenges about the record/matters of fact as best they can. I think posters should be as honest as possible.

          Edits for clarity, flow, and to correct mistaken numbers @ 4:31pm cst

        • Gary Whittenberger

          On almost all the points you have made I disagree and believe that you are mistaken. You have gone off on a tangent. And so, I see no reason to continue this discussion. If you need the final word, take it.

        • Paul B. Lot

          If you need the final word, take it.

          How generous of you.

          On almost all the points you have made I disagree and believe that you are mistaken.

          Where I come from, we value [actions] and not [posturing]. You believe that what I’ve said is “mistaken”, eh? How?

          I’ve spilled a lot of more-or-less precise ink interacting with you, and I’ve made many detailed accounts of [the mistakes you’ve made]….shouldn’t be to hard to demonstrate my errors, in return.

          Show us.
          Prove it.
          Put your money where you copious mouth is.

          Or don’t.

          Ultimately it doesn’t matter, it’s just that for here and now, for this audience, your failure to do so is…potentially telling.

          I see no reason to continue this discussion.

          Look, i get it.

          I, too, would hate to claim I said xyz, only to have some whippersnapper dig up nine episodes where I didn’t say xyz. It’s gotta be a little embarrassing.

          You’re not alone in that, by the way: we all say embarrassing things from time to time. It seems to me that the noble thing to do is acknowledge them, accept them, correct them, and move on.

          Or….you know…. run away.

          You do you.

        • Kodie

          Sir, I do not prefer your formatting style. Please change your ways and consider other people when you do things that piss them the fuck off.

          You’re not an innocent civil person, but a hostile fucking asshole nobody likes or needs around here.

        • Michael Neville

          My formatting is better than the suggesting formatting.

          I haven’t decided if your formatting sucks or blows. Perhaps it does both simultaneously. In any case, it’s not easy to read, which says it’s pretty poor formatting.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s ridiculously hard to read.

        • Michael Neville

          My formatting style is excellent! My books are also excellent.

          About his modesty he says nothing.

        • Kodie

          You can’t tell other people how to make a blog more welcoming to you. Maybe you’re not welcome, did you ever think of that?

        • BlackMamba44

          I agree. If he hates it here so much, he can leave.

          But no, he would rather be a tone troll and tell Bob how to run his blog.

          This guy is a total douchebag.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe he should start a blog and enforce his rules on the commentary as he sees fit to show us how it works.

        • BlackMamba44

          In this little patch of meadow, things are unmoderated and a bit Wild West.

          That’s what I like about CE. That and the commenters that are just really knowledgeable. I’ve learned a lot over the years just from your comment section.

        • Not anymore! Thanks to Gary’s encouragement, there’s a new rule: no more commenting in your underwear.

          Can we clean things up around here, people?

        • MR

          But we can still lurk in our underwear, right? Right?

        • Greg G.

          What about long johns? It’s too chilly to post nude.

        • You mean the magic kind, like for Mormons? Sure, those are OK.

        • Greg G.

          Is it OK to wear underwear on the outside like Superman?

        • There’s another way??

        • Pofarmer

          No. No it’s not.

        • BlackMamba44

          Nude it is, then. ;D

        • Greg G.

          Now I feel overdressed. I am at work. Decisions, decisions.

        • Kodie

          Alright, I’ll take them off. Jeez, Bob.

        • Pofarmer

          I suspect that there’s more violence against pro-choice people by pro-life people than vice versa.

          Which is – ironic.

          We don’t set up fake church’s. Or picket their church’s. Or picket their fake clinics. Or target their, well, non existent Dr’s and their fake clinics.

        • Greg G.

          As you probably know, there is research to show that anonymity facilitates aggression.

          There is a big difference between virtual aggression and real life aggression. Disqus anonymity facilitates virtual aggression but serves as a barrier to real life aggression.

          On talkorigins, a guy from Canada got some information about certain posters and his threats became much more frightening. He was identified, arrested, jailed (I think), and ordered to stay off the internet.

          Who is supposed to police every Disqus account to ensure they are not using an alias name that looks like a real name? How do we know that you are the real Gary Whittenberger? Maybe you are using a polite facade to lobby for real names so you can identify the posters you want to murder in real life.

          Maybe someone with a name like Giraffe for a last name might choose to just use an initial, which is not to say that I am referring to myself.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW2: As you probably know, there is research to show that anonymity facilitates aggression.

          GG3: There is a big difference between virtual aggression and real life aggression. Disqus anonymity facilitates virtual aggression but serves as a barrier to real life aggression.

          GW3: There are both differences and similarities of online verbal aggression and offline physical aggression. I don’t agree with your claim here about the barrier. I think it is the obligation of online moderators to TEACH people how to have a disagreement without becoming aggressive, verbally or physically.

          GG3: On talkorigins, a guy from Canada got some information about certain posters and his threats became much more frightening. He was identified, arrested, jailed (I think), and ordered to stay off the internet.

          GW3: Good! People should be punished for making threats.

          GG3: Who is supposed to police every Disqus account to ensure they are not using an alias name that looks like a real name? How do we know that you are the real Gary Whittenberger? Maybe you are using a polite facade to lobby for real names so you can identify the posters you want to murder in real life.

          GW3: That could happen, but it is unlikely. Most of the time if required to give their correct full names, most people will do so. That would be better than the use of nicknames. Some people hide behind nicknames so that they do not suffer reputation consequences from being uncivil.

          GG3: Maybe someone with a name like Giraffe for a last name might choose to just use an initial, which is not to say that I am referring to myself.

          GW3: That’s funny.

        • Greg G.

          GW3: That could happen, but it is unlikely. Most of the time if required to give their correct full names, most people will do so. That would be better than the use of nicknames. Some people hide behind nicknames so that they do not suffer reputation consequences from being uncivil.

          Unlikely? I think it is inevitable that some people would die from it.

          I’ll use this example because of the coincidences. Nine years ago today, Asia McGowan was murdered by Anthony Powell. Bob recently put a quote from VenomFangX at the end of an article. Powell was a big fan of VenomFangX and talked about killing atheists on his YouTube channel. Asia McGowan was an atheist. They had a class together.

          There are forums to have the kind of discussions you claim to prefer. Why not participate in those forums?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW3: That could happen, but it is unlikely. Most of the time if required to give their correct full names, most people will do so. That would be better than the use of nicknames. Some people hide behind nicknames so that they do not suffer reputation consequences from being uncivil.

          GG4: Unlikely? I think it is inevitable that some people would die from it.

          GW4: Still unlikely. Nevertheless, over the long run and over a large sample size it is inevitable that more people will die from lax control over incivility than from strong or even moderate control over it. Giving full correct names is only part of the solution, not even the biggest part.

          GG4: I’ll use this example because of the coincidences. Nine years ago today, Asia McGowan was murdered by Anthony Powell. Bob recently put a quote from VenomFangX at the end of an article. Powell was a big fan of VenomFangX and talked about killing atheists on his YouTube channel. Asia McGowan was an atheist. They had a class together.

          GW4: Murder is always morally and legally wrong. We should all do our part to minimize the risk. Part of a moderator’s responsibility is minimizing incivility online.

          GG4: There are forums to have the kind of discussions you claim to prefer. Why not participate in those forums?

          GW4: I participate in several forums. Why not reform every forum such that it minimizes incivility? Why don’t you speak out for this?

        • Kodie

          Because we’re not disturbed control freaks who can’t cope, and we like it here. If you don’t like the conditions, you can stop complaining one way or another. I prefer you get the fuck out.

        • Pofarmer

          How the hell does someone die from anonymous incivility?

          Dip shit.

        • Greg G.

          The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization. –Sigmund Freud

          That is all that can happen to an anonymous person in an online forum. People can hurl virtual sticks and stones but those are less than an insult. Hurling insults at an avatar in a forum is nothing.

          If you use your real identity, it gets personal.

          The moderator bans some people but those who use sock puppets come back anyway. Kendall Fields looks like a real name but his style, arguments, and people he doesn’t reply to indicate it is somebody who was here under the name “Frank” a few months ago. A person’s style is usually enough to recognize them no matter what name and avatar they have. It is a more reliable identify factor than the name.

          Moderating a blog forum shouldn’t have to be a full-time job. Reading all the posts is too much. Researching people’s backgrounds to ensure they are who they say they are is really an invasion of privacy.

        • Kodie

          Disqus doesn’t really do anything about people impersonating another poster, and what if they know your real name and use your picture? I was impersonated. I used to use a real picture of myself and was harassed and my picture was used to make fun of me in a comment. When World Table was forcing itself on us, I had to change the email associated with my account and I took down my picture. Gary needs to go find someplace on the internet that prefers World Table.

        • Pofarmer

          I can’t tell that Disqus really does anything about anything.

        • MR

          You mean besides providing a harboring ground for Russian bots and malware?

        • Greg G.

          I was thinking about that incident when I was typing out that post but omitted it because I thought you could tell it better.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GG5: The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization. –Sigmund Freud

          GW5: I am skeptical of that claim. It assumes that throwing stones preceded insults.

          GG5: That is all that can happen to an anonymous person in an online forum. People can hurl virtual sticks and stones but those are less than an insult. Hurling insults at an avatar in a forum is nothing.

          GW5: I disagree. Throwing virtual sticks and stones are making insults. It’s not nothing.

          GG5: If you use your real identity, it gets personal.

          GW5: I disagree. It’s already personal.

          GG5: The moderator bans some people but those who use sock puppets come back anyway.

          GW5: It is good that the moderator bans some people as a part of a program of progressive discipline. But the moderator’s “light handed” approach is inadequate.

          GG5: Kendall Fields looks like a real name but his style, arguments, and people he doesn’t reply to indicate it is somebody who was here under the name “Frank” a few months ago. A person’s style is usually enough to recognize them no matter what name and avatar they have. It is a more reliable identify factor than the name.

          GW5: In implementing discipline the moderator should focus on behavior. However, requiring people to give at least correct first and last names would likely reduce the frequency and severity of incivility.

          GG5: Moderating a blog forum shouldn’t have to be a full-time job. Reading all the posts is too much. Researching people’s backgrounds to ensure they are who they say they are is really an invasion of privacy.

          GW5: The advantages of my proposal outweigh the disadvantages. Moderating doesn’t need to be a full-time job. Reading all posts is not necessary. The moderator could respond only to grievances brought to him. Researching backgrounds is not necessarily an invasion of privacy. It could be, but usually isn’t.

        • Greg G.

          Anonymity allows people to discuss topics that one would not discuss otherwise. One can talk about interactions with others without betraying the identity of the the other person. I have said things about my family that I would not share under my real name.

          Anonymity has its good points and its bad points. We develop friendships in a public forum even though we do not actually know one another.

          If a person uses anonymity to be aggressive, it might be due to them being aggressive or it might be because they are timid and acting out to release frustrations.

          You be you but let others be them.

        • Pofarmer

          You be you but let others be them.
          Yeah, because that’s a Christian strong point.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GG4: Anonymity allows people to discuss topics that one would not discuss otherwise.

          GW4: That is probably true, but this advantage does not outweigh the disadvantages, and some other methods of communication can often serve the same function of anonymity.

          GG4: One can talk about interactions with others without betraying the identity of the the other person. I have said things about my family that I would not share under my real name.

          GW4: There are better ways of handling these situations than with anonymity. Try: “Here is a thought experiment…” or “I know a person who…” or “I’d like to get your input on a hypothetical situation. Suppose…”

          GG4: Anonymity has its good points and its bad points. We develop friendships in a public forum even though we do not actually know one another.

          GW4: We would develop even more friendships online if everyone were required to give their correct full names. This practice “humanizes” the interactions.

          GG4: If a person uses anonymity to be aggressive, it might be due to them being aggressive or it might be because they are timid and acting out to release frustrations.

          GW4: Either is possible, but it really doesn’t matter. Anonymity leads to increases in incivility, in both directions. Blog moderators have a responsibility to the public to minimize incivility.

          GG4: You be you but let others be them.

          GW4: No, I won’t sit idly by when one person engages in verbal aggression towards another, and neither should you or Bob. Be part of the solution, not an enabler of the problem. People can LEARN how to disagree with each other without being uncivil. You and Bob are pretty good at it. But in my opinion, both of you need to do more to FACILITATE civility in others on this forum, other forums, and elsewhere.

        • Kodie

          GW3: That could happen, but it is unlikely. Most of the time if
          required to give their correct full names, most people will do so. That
          would be better than the use of nicknames. Some people hide behind
          nicknames so that they do not suffer reputation consequences from being
          uncivil.

          If required to give my full name, I would not be able to say exactly what’s on my mind, because some bully like you would censor me. GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!!

          Bob, boot this jerk already.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m with kodie

        • Kodie

          I have to be so fucking nice to people all fucking day. Can’t I just be myself on the internet without people needing to know my real name?

        • Pofarmer

          Just replace Gary whittenberger with Douchey McDoucherton and you’d be right on target.

        • Pofarmer

          Gary. If you want to control a blog, get your own fucking blog. It’s that simple.

          If you weren’t a whiney asshole Douchy, there wouldn’t be as many insults.

          You’re actually trying to tell Bob how to run his own blog? Isn’t that a wee bit presumptuous?

          Douche.

        • Susan

          Gary, I made a point of using every curse word available to me after many attempts to courteously engage you. .

          Which is not my pattern. But I knew that would get you to block me. Which wasn’t my goal but was no loss to the conversation.

          Because you were a patronizing git who never supported very contentious claims but alluded to them endlessly.

          And you made rules up about how people were allowed to respond to that approach.

          And here you are again, months later, doing the same thing.

          As Pofarmer says, get your own blog.

          True courtesy means responding to the points that a person makes. (You have not responded to Women are People’s points. Instead you complain about her telling you to fuck off. Maybe if you responded to her points, she wouldn’t do that.)

          You don’t seem to have noticed that countless people have resorted to the same strategy with you.

          Instead, you complain to Bob about “tone”.

          When Bob says “I like your courteous approach.” I have to disagree.

          I don’t find you courteous at all.

          As much as I’m a fan of courtesy, it’s not my main concern. Charitably addressing your interlocutor’s position is important.

          But “courtesy” seems to be a one way street with you.

          You are talking about enslaving half the human race because they are biologically vulnerable.

          You have never justified that position.

          So, saying “fuck you” isn’t discourteous.

          It seems fair.

        • Pofarmer

          However, in this case it is morally necessary from my point of view.

          What the fuck does that even mean? And who is this asshole to come somewhere and make demands?

        • I’m surprised that he keeps pressing the issue. He’s fairly polite about it, but I’m not changing the commenting policy. You’d think he’d drop it.

        • Kodie

          Did they threaten you? Are you in fear of them, because you use your name, that you need to know exactly who you’re dealing with in case the neighbors complain of the smell and the flies gathering?

          The internet might not be for you.

        • Women are people

          My identity is as irrelevant as your address, phone number and social security number.

          Once agin, you are making uncivil remarks by saying women’s fundamental human right can be superseded.

          No it can’t. Not ever. Not for any reason.

        • Women are people

          It is uncivil to say that a group of people (women) have less rights than men do. If the right to life was primary, then it would supersede bodily autonomy for men as well.

          The fact that you aren’t advocating for this is to believe women are less than persons.

          It’s not civil. And fuck you for even thinking that it is.

        • Women are people

          *first bump*

        • Women are people

          Gary,

          Are you unaware that the pregnancy itself endangers the life and health of the woman?

          While it’s true there is a risk that the life of the third trimester fetus will be endangered the earlier it is removed, you are completely ignoring that the woman’s life is endangered the further into pregnancy she goes.

          If even endangering someone’s life is wrong, then it’s weong to endanger HER life.

          You have an untenable position.

          And as an FYI, you are not being civil when you honestly suggest that women have less rights than a corpse and that her fundamental rights should be removed.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          WAP1: Are you unaware that the pregnancy itself endangers the life and health of the woman?

          GW1: So? Killing a fetus which is a person does more than endanger.

          WAP1: While it’s true there is a risk that the life of the third trimester fetus will be endangered the earlier it is removed, you are completely ignoring that the woman’s life is endangered the further into pregnancy she goes.

          GW1: I am not ignoring that at all. What is abortion? “Abortion is the intentional removal of a fetus from a pregnant woman at her request, demand, or insistence when the removal is medically unnecessary to protect the life or well being of the fetus and when, in fact, the removal is dangerous to the life and/or well being of the fetus. Abortion may be moral or immoral and legal or illegal, depending on the circumstances.”

          WAP1: If even endangering someone’s life is wrong, then it’s weong to endanger HER life.

          GW1: In the last 15 weeks of pregnancy, the rights of two persons may come into conflict, and thus morality and the law must decide how these conflict of rights must be adjudicated. I believe that the right to life of the fetus should prevail over the right to bodily autonomy of the host woman, unless either of two exceptions are present. If you think otherwise, then specify and defend your position.

          WAP1: You have an untenable position.

          GW1: My position is tenable, clear, rational, and correct. If you have a different position, state it clearly and then defend it.

          WAP1: And as an FYI, you are not being civil when you honestly suggest that women have less rights than a corpse and that her fundamental rights should be removed.

          GW1: First, I am not suggesting either of those ideas. Secondly, even if I were, it would not be uncivil communication in this forum. FYI, here are some definitions which might help you understand what is inappropriate expression:
          “personal verbal attack – 1. verbal aggression by one person against another person (an opponent) usually in a discussion or debate, criticizing their cognitive capacities, motives, personality traits, character, group identity, behavior patterns, unchangeable physical attributes, or loved ones, usually instead of or in addition to criticizing a specific claim the opponent is making; 2. disparagement of a person in general rather than criticism of his specific beliefs, positions, policies, or behaviors; 3. a verbal attack directly or indirectly communicating “You are mistaken in your position because you are stupid, ignorant, crazy, evil, ugly, or subhuman;” 4. a form of bullying, and often a diversionary tactic, used during a disagreement.”

        • Women are people

          No, Gary. No one said anything about killing. As it’s been pointed out to you 3,000 fucking times now, in a third trimester abortion the fetus would be born alive.

          The fact that it’s life might be risked is untenable because the woman’s Life is risked the longer she stays pregnant.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          WAP2: No, Gary. No one said anything about killing.

          GW2: I did!

          WAP2: As it’s been pointed out to you 3,000 fucking times now, in a third trimester abortion the fetus would be born alive.

          GW2: Maybe, maybe not. Keep in mind that an abortion, at any time in pregnancy, is the intentional removal of a fetus from a pregnant woman at her request, demand, or insistence when the removal is medically unnecessary to protect the life or well being of the fetus and when, in fact, the removal is dangerous to the life and/or well being of the fetus.

          WAP2: The fact that it’s life might be risked is untenable because the woman’s Life is risked the longer she stays pregnant.

          GW2: Of course it is tenable. The risk to the life of the fetal person by removal in the third trimester is greater than the risk to the life of the host woman by continuation of the pregnancy, unless there are special medical circumstances.

        • Women are people

          No actually, the risk is not greater.

          More women die post partum, and in childbirth and pregnancy, than perfectly healthy premature babies die when born early.

        • Women are people

          No, Gary. The fact that you are pro-slavery and saying you are a moron is not an ad hom.

          Saying you are wrong because you are a moron is an ad hom.

          You’re a moral monster if you think that 1) you advocate for women to have less rights to their body than you do; and 2) we should be nice to you about it.

          Fuck right off to the edge of a cliff with that passive aggressive bullshit, and then when you get to the edge, fuck off a little farther.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There you go again — more personal attacks, ad hominems, and other uncivil remarks. That’s strike three! Yourrrrrrrr’e Out!

          Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make flawed excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

        • Women are people
        • Kodie

          Nobody gives a fuck what you think, Gary.

        • So you are supporting enslaving women?

          How do you feel that is in any way moral?

          There is no conflict of rights. The fetus’s right to life is not affected by being removed via c-section. It is still alive after the removal.

          —No, it is pro-person because I count pregnant women and late-term fetuses both as persons.—

          No, clearly you don’t, because you have removed the woman’s right of bodily autonomy.

          There is no conflict of rights. The fetus’s ‘right to life’ is not affected by being removed via c-section. It is still alive after the removal.

          — There is a moral solution to a conflict of rights.—

          Okay, I’ve already addressed this bullshit. There is no conflict of rights.

          The fetus’s right to life is not affected by being removed via c-section. It is still alive after the removal.

          —How are you defining “slavery”? I don’t think this is relevant here.—

          You are forcing women to be involuntarily subjugated to another. That is slavery.

          There is no conflict of rights. The fetus’s ‘right to life’ is not affected by being removed via c-section. It is still alive after the removal.

          —No, the fetal person should not be removed unless there is a danger of
          permanent physical harm or death to the woman. Otherwise, the fetal
          person should remain in the womb.—

          Removing it from the womb does not conflict with it’s ‘right to life’. Forcing the woman to continue to have it in the womb does interfere with her right to bodily autonomy. Therefore, the only moral, legal, rational, ethical, and reasonable position is to allow the woman to decide if it gets to stay or go.

          Again – There is no conflict of rights. The fetus’s right to life is not
          affected by being removed via c-section. It is still alive after the
          removal.

          Let me try making it a little more clear for you – THERE IS NO CONFLICT OF RIGHTS. THE FETUS’S RIGHT TO LIFE IS NOT AFFECTED BY BEING REMOVED VIA C-SECTION. IT IS STILL ALIVE AFTER THE REMOVAL.

          I have destroyed your entire argument. You no longer have any basis for your claims. You have been shown to be completely full of shit. You have failed to provide any sort of support for your claims, and you have not addressed any of the arguments against your claims. You have nothing.

          Slavery is not moral. Slavery is not legal. Slavery is not reasonable. Slavery is not ethical.

        • And you still haven’t addressed that legally, the right to life doesn’t trump bodily autonomy.

          Forcibly harvesting someone’s bodily organs is illegal.

          That alone completely invalidates your stance.

        • 1 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Already answered. See above.

        • Uh, no. You didn’t answer it. You in fact just brought up a scenario that serves to prove my point. In fact, the National Organ Transplant Act specifically forbids the buying and selling of human organs and did so in 1984. Why?

          Because the contracts are unenforceable due to….

          Yep. You guessed it.

          The simple fact that ‘right to life’ does not trump bodily autonomy.

        • adam

          “GW2: How are you defining “slavery”? I don’t think this is relevant here.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

        • 4 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          What if person X has signed a contract to donate his kidney to person Y in exchange for a fee. Do you think this contract should be enforced? Try that one.

        • Paul B. Lot

          What if person X has signed a contract to donate his kidney to person Y in exchange for a fee.

          Then nothing is being “forced”.

          Do you think this contract should be enforced?

          A contract that violates your rights is not enforceable – you cannot sign a (valid) contract, for example, which would result in your death. Should you sign a contract which purports to have such a stipulation, that stipulation is void, and can possibly render the entire contract void – depending on how it’s drawn up.

        • —What if person X has signed a contract to donate his kidney to person Y
          in exchange for a fee. Do you think this contract should be enforced?
          Try that one.—

          Legally ? The contract is unenforceable. Not only is it unenforceable, the contract itself is illegal. Why? Because it violates person X’s bodily autonomy. The court would demand a refund of the money, but could not legally demand giving up the kidney. It has actually happened.

          One of the reasons it is illegal is because bodily autonomy is so important a human right that the government realized they needed to do something to prevent human beings from being financially coerced into selling their body parts.

          You really should educate yourself on this topic.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, they can back out.

        • 7 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          In this context the right to bodily autonomy just means being free to decide what enters and exits one’s own body without interference or obstruction by others.

          The problem is that in the third trimester the woman’s right to bodily autonomy CAN (but usually does not) come into conflict with the fetal person’s right to life.

        • skl

          “In this context the right to bodily autonomy just means being free to decide what enters and exits one’s own body without interference or obstruction by others.

          The problem is that in the third trimester the woman’s right to bodily autonomy CAN (but usually does not) come into conflict with the fetal person’s
          right to life.”

          This context, the comment I responded to, was the first trimester not the third.

          However, you appear to be saying the third trimester fetus is a person (i.e. “fetal person’s”). That is closer to what I was proposing. However I also proposed why it seems to make sense that the life in the first trimester could also be a person.

        • And how often does a woman have an abortion in the third trimester?

          Hint – there are only two possible scenarios for a third trimester abortion

          1) It is of medical necessity, either to save the mother’s life or because the fetus is already dead.

          2) Asshole pro-lifers have prevented her from getting an abortion sooner because they are misogynistic asshats who don’t consider women to be adult persons.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Of course, abortions are rare in the third trimester, but we are talking about the morality and legality of abortions after the fetus becomes a person. In other words, we are talking about the way things should be, not necessarily about the way things are.

        • —Of course, abortions are rare in the third trimester, but we are talking
          about the morality and legality of abortions after the fetus becomes a
          person.—

          Sure. And no person has the right to use a woman’s body against her will. She has the right to defend her bodily autonomy, even if she must use potentially lethal force to do so.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Not always. If her right to bodily autonomy conflicts with the right of the fetal person’s right to life, then the latter takes priority (with two exceptions). Why is this? Because without a life for a person, there are no rights.

        • You have yet to demonstrate this ‘right to life’ exists. Or to support your claim that it trumps bodily autonomy.

          And you cannot, because the evidence is against you. There is no ‘right to life’ in the US. It is strictly pay to play. Can’t afford medication, you die. No right to life. Can’t afford treatment, you die. No right to life. Can’t afford food and shelter, you for. No right to life.

          And even if this alleged ‘right to life’ did exist, it does not extend to being able to use another person’s body against their will. That is why self defense laws exist and why forcible organ harvesting is illegal.

          Organs cannot even be harvested after death without consent. Why are you insisting women have fewer rights than corpses?

        • adam

          “After the fetus becomes a person,”.

        • 6 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The consent to have intercourse is not equivalent to the consent for an embryo to occupy one’s body. Once the embryo is in there the woman has at least 23 weeks to remove it. If she lets it stay and it becomes a person, then she has given it implicit consent to remain there till birth.

        • No. She hasn’t. Consent can be revoked at any time.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes she has. Consent cannot be revoked, morally or legally, in the third trimester for any reason at all. There are only two legitimate reasons she can revoke the consent during this phase of the pregnancy.

        • —Consent cannot be revoked, morally or legally, in the third trimester for any reason at all.—

          Consent can always be revoked.

          Anything else is slavery or rape.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Once you can acknowledge that the pregnant people were the unborn and their unborn will likely become many pregnant people, you have yourself the picture of forced surrogacy when we take into account that:

          1. They don’t have to be in a state-run breeding program. Certain leaders want abstinence only sex education to both make people more likely to get pregnant through ignorance and to condemn them when it happens frequently.

          2. Without state regulation of facilities like Planned Parenthood combined with jailtime or worse for doctors who perform abortions, stories like Gosnell will become far more frequent and maternal death rates country wide enlarge to Texas HUGE! We will be breeding forced surrogates by the threat of disobedience= we’re not going to help you.

        • Cynthia

          Really? Vomitting is common, and some women have a severe form that leaves them unable to eat or drink anything so they need to be admitted to hospital. Princess Kate had this with her pregnancies. One of the other moms on my birth board on Babycenter said that her husband reacted violently when her hospitalization cost them $20,000.

          Need to alter diet and cease medications.

          Need to forego some medical treatments. I know one case where a lung transplant had to be delayed due to the mom find g out she was pregnant.

          Fatigue and anemia are common.

          Personally, I had a condition called subchorionic hemorrhage, which caused a ton of sudden bleeding. Without warning, I was put on bed rest, which meant I had to scramble to deal with clients and their cases, we didn’t have my income while I was off and my husband had to juggle his very demanding schedule with our toddler’s care. If he hadn’t been available and supportive, I don’t know how I would have managed.

        • skl

          I’m sorry to hear that. You’ve had a rough time.

          But perhaps you meant autonomy is freedom from any pain or
          problems.

          I didn’t.

        • Susan

          Don’t you agree with the others here that personhood is
          irrelevant in this context

          No.

          Can’t a single one of you support your position instead of attack strawmen?

        • Michael Neville

          Autonomy means being able to take any necessary action to deal with problems. If being pregnant causes problems then abortion may be a necessary action. And it’s solely the woman’s decision as to what a problem is and what actions may be necessary. Moral whiners like you have no right to decide how another person deals with their problems.

        • skl

          I would say autonomy, personal autonomy, is the freedom and power to control or influence your own life, but not other lives.

        • Rudy R

          With that being said, is not the fetus inhibiting the female’s personal autonomy and the power to control or influence her own life?

        • skl

          And is not the abortion procedure inhibiting the fetus’
          personal autonomy?

        • adam

          “And is not the abortion procedure inhibiting the fetus’
          personal autonomy?”

          What personal autonomy?
          You havent demonstrated a person yet.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57fc02d9d9eb86554f705551ba2dbc89bf3ab7bfd35db508e5ec140698255ebb.jpg

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I regret that I have but one upvote to give.

        • Rudy R

          Since you consider a fetus a person, what exactly is your definition of a person?

        • Women are people

          No. Preventing you from remaining in my body is not inhibiting your autonomy.

          The woman isn’t using the fetus’s body to persist. The fetus is using her body. It’s rights aren’t being violated when it is prevented from further violation of her body.

        • Paul B. Lot

          If science ever finds a way to extricate the fetus without harming any of the female’s tissues and/or placing some other undue burden on the woman, I’ll agree that the law needs to change to protect fetuses.

          Until then: we don’t let born people live inside others who don’t want them, either.

        • Michael Neville

          You mean like the way you want to deny women the right to abortion? That kind of control?

        • Pofarmer

          I had forgotten what a douche this poster skl is till i wandered through this thread due to an upvote,

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          In that case, get the unborn child to a foster family as soon as an unwilling pregnant person finds out they are pregnant. The formerly pregnant person will then have no freedom and power to control or influence that child’s life.

        • Cynthia

          No, I meant that it is having control over your body.

          My pregnancies were very wanted, but choosing to go through with them meant some unanticipated limitations.

        • skl

          “No, I meant that it is having control over your body.”

          Yes, I would agree that’s part of autonomy.

          But in pregnancy, another body is involved, too.

        • Cynthia

          So can you at least agree that pregnancy does place significant demands upon a woman’s body and is associated with non-trivial risks, not all of which can be predicted in advance. And which include a risk of death?

        • skl

          Absolutely.

          On the risk of death during pregnancy, I was surprised to see recently that the U.S. rate of maternal deaths is far higher than in many other developed countries. We’re almost 3 times worse than the U.K. and over 6 times worse than Finland, Denmark, Italy.
          So, although only 0.026% of U.S. pregnancies result in death, we should be able to get the rate a lot lower.

        • Cynthia

          That is something we can agree on.

        • Women are people

          Another body that is unauthorized to be there!

          It does not violate a rapists autonomy to forcibly remove him from my vagina, even if he dies in the process of removal.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “But perhaps you meant autonomy is freedom from any pain or problems forced on people by other people.

          I didn’t.”

          Oh, we get you skl.

        • Rudy R

          The woman’s bodily autonomy is violated when the woman does not give consent to being pregnant.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Ah, but being a dirty slut is giving consent to every second until birth of pregnancy, don’cha’know!/sarcasm

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The fetus does not attack a woman the way an adult might attack the woman for which an argument of self-defense can be made.

          The pregnant woman has given implicit consent to the fetal person to occupy her body by not having gotten an abortion before the fetus became a person.

          In the first trimester the zygote, embryo, or fetus is not a person and thus has no right to life. The woman may remove it for any reason at all.

        • skl

          “In the first trimester the zygote, embryo, or fetus is not a person and
          thus has no right to life. The woman may remove it for any reason at all.”

          I realize that is the prevailing and probably unanimous view of the author and other commenters here. I’m not a Christian but this prevailing view doesn’t make solid sense to me. You can go through this thread to see why I say that.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          It makes solid sense to me and I don’t know why it doesn’t make solid sense to you. Rather than my going through the entire thread, can you briefly explain why it doesn’t make solid sense to you? Just give me a concise summary please.

        • —The fetus does not attack a woman the way an adult might attack the woman for which an argument of self-defense can be made.—

          Perhaps you should research just how dangerous pregnancy can be before making such claims. Pregnancy could kill me or paralyze me for life.

          —The pregnant woman has given implicit consent to the fetal person to
          occupy her body by not having gotten an abortion before the fetus became
          a person. —

          Consent can ALWAYS be revoked. Anything else is pro-rape. A person does not have the right to use another person’s body against their will. There are laws against kidnapping, battery, and rape for a reason.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Abortion is intentional removal of the fetus with either indifference or malice with respect to the life and well being of the fetus. If the fetus has become a person, then this removal is morally wrong and usually legally wrong (with two exceptions).

        • Again, you are stating here that if a woman is being raped, she shouldn’t defend herself because doing so could result in the loss of life of the person using her body against her will.

        • 9 -Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • —As I said above to WithinThisMind, by that reasoning, you’d
          also be in favor of a woman killing a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.—

          So you think women shouldn’t have the same rights to self defense as men do?

        • skl

          “So you think women shouldn’t have the same rights to self defense as men do?”

          Of course I think they should. And I think they should be allowed to use lethal force, especially if there’s a reasonable expectation they’re about to be killed.

        • —Of course I think they should. And I think they should be allowed to use
          lethal force, especially if there’s a reasonable expectation they’re
          about to be killed.—

          Then congratulations, you are pro-choice. A woman has the right to use potentially lethal force to defend her bodily autonomy, therefore she may get an abortion at any point she damn well wants to.

        • skl

          “Then congratulations, you are pro-choice.”

          Thanks!
          I like having choices.
          I’m just not clear on the fetus being a killer or rapist.

        • There you go with the straw men again

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          In what way does the child use that particular person’s body? Clearly, if we think the person might kill their child then they should keep the child with them at all times until adoption just happens. Having a child that would still go on living even if its mother was flattened by a Mac Truck in the next town over is totally analogous to a body part that will decompose if separated from the rest of the body!

      • Gary Whittenberger

        I disagree. There are good reasons for making an exception here which are secular and do not depend on any Catholic dogma.

        1) The pregnant woman already had an unrestricted opportunity to abort her fetus before it became a person. By not taking this opportunity, the pregnant woman has given implicit consent for the fetus (now a person in its own right) to occupy her womb thereafter until birth.
        2) Persons have special duties to their own children that they do not have to other persons. They have the obligation to protect the life and well being of their children.

        I think we are in agreement for the period before the fetus becomes a person in the womb.

        • —1) The pregnant woman already had an unrestricted opportunity to abort her fetus before it became a person.—

          Not in the US she certainly didn’t. Come to think of it, I’d be hard pressed to name a single country where she had unrestricted opportunity to have an abortion. Can you name one?

          Remember, your criteria was ‘unrestricted’.

          —2) Persons have special duties to their own children that they do not have to other persons. They have the obligation to protect the life and well being of their children.—

          Actually, this isn’t true either. They can surrender their children to the state, and even if they don’t, they still aren’t obligated to donate their own bodily resources to the child. They don’t even have to give blood to save the kid.

        • 10 – Right to life does not trump bodily autonomy. That is why forcible organ harvesting is not permitted. Your argument has been proved false. Try a new one or address the counter-argument.

        • Women are people

          Unrestricted? Bitch please. Mandatory waiting periods, astronomical costs (for people already living on the red line), as well as lack of transportation, childcare for existing children, job loss, and the list goes on and on.

          Very few women wait past 20 weeks, and those that do are not doing it because they sat on their thumbs.

          It may be a terrible diagnosis for a wanted pregnancy, it might be the fact that the nearest clinic is very likely 100s of miles away, with 72 hour waiting periods that drive the cost of that abortion into the thousands.

          Tsk tsk, you are woefully ignorant and privileged to assume that women have unrestricted access. Bullshit.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your post here is mostly a personal attack, completely out of line for a forum like this. That’s strike one! Please express your ideas while being civil rather than uncivil.

        • Women are people

          Strike one? Dude, fuck off.

          YOU are the one that is being uncivil when you advocate for women losing their rights to say no to their body being used.

          You think that because you didn’t use any swear words that it makes it civil?

          Not a fucking chance.

          Get it through your pompous and condescending head; telling women that their – and only their – bodily autonomy is superseded by someone else’s right to occupy their body, at great risk to them, is NOT, in any sense of the word, “civil.”

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There you go again — making more uncivil remarks. That’s way out of line. That’s strike two! Try to express yourself by being civil.

          No, I am not being uncivil at all. You seem to classify any expression of opinion which disagrees with your own as “uncivil.”

          All my statements have been civil. Now your are trying to take the focus off your own misbehavior.

          Yes, I believe that the host woman’s right to bodily autonomy should be superceded by the fetal person’s right to life, unless continuing the pregnancy poses significant risk of permanent injury or death to the host woman. My saying so is not uncivil. You just don’t like it when people disagree with you.

        • Kodie

          You have to get it through your thick fucking skull that your opinion is hostile, even if you think you’re covered by your polite tone. Demanding how other people are to speak to you is also hostile.

    • The pro-life advocate will respond that it’s person against person and that the inconvenience of the mother-to-be is outweighed by the life of the other person.

      That’s why my response is that the fetus isn’t a person.

      • That’s when I respond with ‘so you are saying that a rape victim should go to jail if they defend themselves, because their inconvenience is outweighed by the life of the other person’.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        It is certainly demonstrable that it is not a body. Outside of its own particular pregnant person in the middle of building a body that could live or die, the fetus (and earlier stages) will decompose like a removed organ no matter how loving its family or what machines and doctors try to make it live. An actual living body has a chance. Organ parts that have not been laboriously been built into a body always have 100% chance of decomposing like removed organ parts.

        • “Can live on its own without a host” is a good partial definition of “person.”

    • skl

      “Not to mention the ‘personhood’ and ‘when is it a human’ arguments remain completely irrelevant. It still doesn’t have the right to use a woman’s body against her will.”

      By that reasoning, you’d also be in favor of a woman killing
      a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.

      • Otto

        Potentially…yes. I don’t see the problem

        • skl

          And the death penalty for rapists, other abusers, and the husband
          who wants to have sex when she’d rather not.

        • Otto

          I didn’t say the death penalty for rapists or abusers or for an inconsiderate husband…you built quite a strawman there rather quickly…I would dare say you already had that one built and ready to go.

        • skl

          I don’t think it’s a strawman at all.
          But regardless,
          then exactly which persons should a woman be allowed to kill
          for using her body against her will?

        • Otto

          Well let’s see, you assumed my position, and then argued against that made up position you yourself created….yep that fits all the requirements for a straw man.

          Lets start with a rapist (btw I am equal opportunity, if a man is getting raped he should be able to kill the person too). A kidnapper, a slaver. I can think of a number of situations where a woman (or man) would be within their rights to kill a person. I don’t even think those situations are all that controversial.

        • skl

          Otto: “I don’t see the problem [of a woman killing a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want].”

          Followed by
          Otto: “I didn’t say the death penalty for rapists or abusers or for an inconsiderate husband…you built quite a strawman there…”

          Followed by
          Otto: “Lets start with a rapist (btw I am equal opportunity, if a man is getting raped he should be able to kill the person too). A kidnapper, a slaver. I can think of a number of situations where a woman (or man) would be within their rights to kill a person.”

          Quite a strawman. I guess the perceived straw was the “death penalty” part, not the legally killing part.

          Also, is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?

        • Otto

          Yes there is a big difference between death penalty and a person acting in self defense, but you paint with such broad strokes I can see why you have little time for putting any effort into understanding the distinction.

          >>>”Also, is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?”

          An embryo is not a person…didn’t you read the blog post? You are trying to smuggle that into the argument.

          In what sense is an embryo a person who’s rights should be able to supersede the bodily autonomy of someone else?

        • skl

          “Yes there is a big difference between death penalty and a person acting in self defense…”

          I don’t see the big difference. Both are legal forms of killing violators.

          “>>>”Also, is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy
          the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?”
          An embryo is not a person…didn’t you read the blog post?”

          I was hoping you would answer the question. Maybe you will in a follow up.

          But secondly, regarding the embryo you brought up, are you not in agreement with the other posters here that the personhood of the embryo is irrelevant?

        • Otto

          >>>”I don’t see the big difference. Both are legal forms of killing violators.”

          One is legal self defense, one is a punishment. C’mon this ain’t that hard.

          >>>”I was hoping you would answer the question. Maybe you will in a follow up.”

          I actually did answer the question by pointing out that your question is invalid because you are comparing persons (criminals in the act of committing a crime) and non persons (embryos).

          >>>”…are you not in agreement with the other posters here that the personhood of the embryo is irrelevant?”

          No I am not in complete agreement with them, I do think it plays a part in the situation. A woman IS a person, an embryo is not a legal person. The law often has to consider situations where the rights of 2 people come into conflict. Even if we grant a certain amount of personhood to an embryo, legally personhood is an emerging legal issue. A toddler does not have as many rights as a 14 year old, a 16 year old has more, and so on.

          A 2 year old cannot force another person to use their body to sustain the 2 yr old’s life. So explain why an embryo should have rights that a 2 yr old does not have.

        • skl

          “I actually did answer the question by pointing out that your question is invalid because you are comparing persons (criminals in the act of committing a crime) and non persons (embryos).”

          No, I don’t see how you answered the question. Again, it was this:
          Is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?

          “Even if we grant a certain amount of personhood to an embryo, legally personhood is an emerging legal issue. A toddler does not have as many rights as a 14 year old, a 16 year old has more, and so on. A 2 year old cannot force another person to use their body to sustain the 2 yr old’s life. So explain why an embryo should have rights that a 2 yr old does not have.”

          True, a 2 year old cannot force another person to use their body to sustain the 2 yr old’s life. But someone may go to jail if someone doesn’t use their body to provide protection and sustenance to the 2 year old. I think the charges are something like “child neglect” or “child abuse”.

          But going along on your continuum of increasing rights for the toddler vs. the 14 year old vs. the 16 year old, what might be the bare minimum of rights?

        • Is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?

          Is your body such that it warrants killing another person?

          But that’s kind of a stupid question, isn’t it? So’s yours. There’s no other person involved in your example.

          You disagree? Then show us that the single cell is a person.

        • skl

          “You disagree? Then show us that the single cell is a person.”

          Don’t you agree with the others here that personhood is
          irrelevant in this context?

        • Greg G.

          It is silly to talk about personhood when no brain exists. A zygote is a single cell but it isn’t even a nerve cell, let alone a brain cell. A single brain cell is not a brain. So the question is how complex a brain must be to be capable of performing personhood.

        • skl

          Don’t you agree with the others here that personhood is
          irrelevant in the context of the OP?

        • I haven’t been following “this context.”

          Let’s talk about where personhood (or some similar idea) is relevant, in the spectrum from single cell to newborn. You disagree? Tell me why.

        • Susan

          Don’t you agree with the others here that personhood is
          irrelevant in this context?

          Who here said that? If you can point me to one example, it doesn’t speak for “others here”.

          Personhood is central..

        • skl

          Who here said that? I think there were at least three people. Here are two of them: “WithinThisMind” and “MichaelBrew”:

          WithinThisMind • 4 days ago

          Not to mention the ‘personhood’ and ‘when is it a human’
          arguments remain completely irrelevant. It still doesn’t have the right to use a woman’s body against her will.

          MichaelBrew
          WithinThisMind • 3 days ago

          That was my thought, exactly. The personhood argument is a red herring which distracts from the main issue of people taking away the right of pregnancy-capable people to decide who can and can’t do what with their bodies…

        • Cynthia

          I think I said that the whole personhood focus, ie. trying to define a point prior to birth at which “personhood” is achieved, is a bit useless. I said that because there is no point at which the pregnant woman stops being a person with her own rights, and the notion that you can “protect” a fetus without considering the person in which it resides is simply false.

        • Susan

          there is no point at which the pregnant woman stops being a person with her own rights, and the notion that you can “protect” a fetus without considering the person in which it resides is simply false.

          Well said.

          And I understand the points people make that even if single cell/clump of cells/ were granted personhood,, the main issue is that one person cannot hijack another person’s body/organs in order to survive.

          skl decided to state that that meant personhood is irrelevant to the discussion but that’s nonsense.

          No discussion of rights, moral, ethical or legal can make personhood irrelevant.

          I think it’s likely that skl is strawmanning intentionally but it’s possible he/she doesn’t read for comprehension.

          Either way, no one here said that “personhood” was irrelevant to the discussion.

          Just that if your mechanic needed a piece of your liver, there is no legal justification to demand that you provide it.

        • Michael Neville

          You have yet to define “person”.

        • skl

          You have yet to say whether you think, as others here do, that personhood is irrelevant to the abortion issue.

        • Michael Neville

          I haven’t said if for the specific reason that I don’t know what you mean by person and personhood. Give me a definition of each of those terms and then we can discuss whether or not it’s relevant to you being icked out by abortion.

        • skl

          “I haven’t said if for the specific reason that I don’t know
          what you mean by person and personhood. Give me a definition of each of those terms…”

          Person = Human being.

          Personhood = The quality or condition of being a human being.

        • Michael Neville

          In that case I agree with the others that person is not applicable to a non-sentient clump of cells. Those are called zygotes and blustulae and suchlike terms, not persons.

        • Otto

          >>>”Again, it was this:
          Is a woman’s body in the first trimester of pregnancy the equivalent of a raped body, a kidnapped body, an enslaved body, or some other type of body which warrants killing another person?”

          Your question is fatally flawed and you have not addressed the issue I have raised, but if you need a example of an analogy I would use… I would have to go with a woman with a parasite, say a tapeworm.

          >>>”But someone may go to jail if someone doesn’t use their body to provide protection and sustenance to the 2 year old. ”

          No…no one goes to jail for refusing to ‘use’ their body. People go to jail for not providing essentials to children, or for abusing them when they have a legal obligation to protect them.

          Let’s take a look at when that starts… coincidentally it is at birth. Before birth a woman cannot be charged with giving a minor alcohol, after birth if they did so they could be charged with a crime. Before birth a woman cannot be charged for neglect if she starves herself (and therefore starves the potential child). After birth she could be legally responsible. So all things point to legal personhood starting at birth. Now you could argue that you think the laws should be changed but if you are successful you are gonna open a huge can of worms, you would have to track EACH pregnancy, because after all, if an embryo/fetus is as much a ‘person’ as a 1 year old is, there would have to be a way to legally protect said person, and that starts with legally identifying them. I don’t think you have any real clue on how to be able to do that, nor the problems that would inherently flow from such a legal morass. Sure right to lifers are all sanctimonious about their position, but they have not thought the issue through in any meaningful way, it is all emotionally driven.

        • skl

          “… if you need a example of an analogy I would use… I would have to go with a woman with a parasite, say a tapeworm.”

          OK.
          We readily kill tapeworms and other parasites and pests that bother us.
          So, we can kill persons that bother us?
          [Again, with personhood being irrelevant to the abortion issue.]

          “No…no one goes to jail for refusing to ‘use’ their body. People go to
          jail for not providing essentials to children, or for abusing them when they have a legal obligation to protect them.”

          How do they provide the essentials, with telekinesis?

        • Otto

          >>>”We readily kill tapeworms and other parasites and pests that bother us. So, we can kill persons that bother us?
          [Again, with personhood being irrelevant to the abortion issue.]

          I think I pretty clearly said that I did not consider an embryo/fetus to have personhood, and I have stated more than once that it is relevant. For some reason you do not care to address that issue.

          >>>”How do they provide the essentials, with telekinesis?”

          You missed the point…again. Seems to be a pattern.

        • skl

          “I think I pretty clearly said that I did not consider an
          embryo/fetus to have personhood, and I have stated more than once that it is relevant.”

          Got it, I think.
          But IF SOMEHOW the embryo/fetus was determined to have
          PERSONHOOD, would you still be OK with aborting it?

        • Otto

          Are you going to explain how legal personhood would be defined and how embryo’s would be legally identified so they could be protected or are you just going to throw out pie in the sky hypotheticals?

        • skl

          Some people here have said that the personhood of the fetus
          is irrelevant to the abortion issue, that protecting the bodily autonomy of the woman overrules protecting the person in her.

          I wanted to understand whether you agreed with them.

        • Otto

          Jesus fucking Christ on a Cracker, I answered that question like 6 times…

          I DON”T CONSIDER AN EMBRYO AS HAVING LEGAL PERSONHOOD.

          I don’t know what that would look like or how it would be accomplished, or even why it needs to be. The only argument for embryo personhood I have seen revolves around some idea of a soul entering at conception, it is religious based. The question becomes why should we as a society adopt the concept? Why wouldn’t the rest of us look at it as an imposition of a religious rule on a secular governed society?

        • skl

          Mine was simple a simple Yes or No question.
          You could have saved yourself about a hundred words.
          And yet I still don’t know whether you think protecting the bodily autonomy of the woman overrules protecting the life in her, even if that life were a person.

        • Otto

          >>>”Mine was simple a simple Yes or No question.”

          I wrote this 5 posts ago

          I actually did answer the question by pointing out that your question is invalid because you are comparing persons (criminals in the act of committing a crime) and non persons (embryos).

          Is that somehow unclear as to my stance regarding personhood or are you being intentionally obtuse?

          >>>”You could have saved yourself about a hundred words.”

          I have no idea how considering your inability to understand clear unambiguous language.

          >>>”And yet I still don’t know whether you think protecting the bodily autonomy of the woman overrules protecting the life in her…”

          Bodily autonomy IS an important aspect, it is just not the only one. Are you saying it should not be? And if not, why?

          >>>”…even if that life were a person.”

          It’s not legally or otherwise, and you have yet to offer anything to refute that position.

          So here is my position laid out as obvious as I can make it. We have a woman who clearly does have some legal bodily autonomy. We have an embryo that clearly does not have legal bodily autonomy, or legal personhood. So we have a woman that does have as much choice regarding her health decisions as anyone, an embryo that has as little choice in the matter as a non-person could have and will rely on the woman in all matters in the decision to bring it into the world. It could be the case that an embryo would not want to be brought into the world if it knew the situation it would find itself in that it had no control over. The decision to bring a child into the world subverts that potential child’s possible choice either way, it is unavoidable. The choice rests with the woman unless the state (society) takes that choice by determining there is an overriding interest. It is my opinion that the decision rests with the woman by default. If you want to argue that it shouldn’t, or that the situation is different than what I have laid out, I am all ears, make your case.

        • skl

          And yet I still don’t know whether you think protecting the bodily
          autonomy of the woman overrules protecting the life in her, even if that life were a person.

          This time you could have saved yourself over 350 words.

        • Otto

          Now I think you are being intentionally dense and I see no further benefit to continue.

        • skl

          Now almost 500 words, and still no answer.

          Yes, I agree. I see no further benefit to continue.

          Good night.

        • Otto

          It’s they’re….not their

        • Rudy R

          I’ve asked before, but you’ve given no response. What’s your definition of a person? I think it’s an important distinction, because it appears to be the basis of your argument, that a fetus is a person.

        • skl

          “I’ve asked before, but you’ve given no response. What’s your definition of a person?”

          I have no definition of a person, other than maybe “human being.”
          I’m just asking questions of others’ definitions here to see if they make sense to me. And right now I can’t say that they do.

        • Rudy R

          A person and a human being are essentially the same. A person consists of a body and mind, while a fetus, it can be argued, is just a body. A mind could be characterized by consciousness, or in other words, having elements that feel, perceive, think, will, and reason. A fetus may feel and perceive, but does not think, will and reason. Most animals feel and perceive, so these sensory powers are not unique among human beings. For that reason, I would not consider a fetus a person (as I would not other animals) and having the same or equal autonomy as the woman.
          I agree with BobS that there is a spectrum argument from abortion. In my view, on the far right of the spectrum, once a fetus is capable of being viable outside the woman’s womb, the justification for aborting the pregnancy should only be considered when the woman’s life is in danger.

        • skl

          “A person consists of a body and mind, while a fetus, it can
          be argued, is just a body. A mind could be characterized by consciousness, or in other words, having elements that feel, perceive, think, will, and reason.”

          But a newborn baby doesn’t reason, yet it’s considered a
          person. (And if it thinks and wills at all it’s probably a lot less than a full grown fox does.)

        • Paul B. Lot

          But a newborn baby doesn’t reason, yet it’s considered a person.

          ORLY? It’s a “full” person, with all the rights afforded one by full “personshood”?

          What share of the newborn vote did Trump get?

        • skl

          Are you saying people under the age of eighteen aren’t persons?

        • Rudy R

          People many consider a newborn baby a person, but they would be wrong, based on the literal meaning of person, with consciousness being one of the attributes of personhood. There have been studies that have shown infants to have a conscious experience of the world as early as 5 months and as late as 2 years. In keeping with the theme of this blog article, there is also a spectrum of when consciousness starts, but it’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that the fetus is not conscious in the first two trimesters.

          I would not consider a baby a person until it gains a conscious, just as I would not consider a human a person if they are brain dead or in a persistent vegetative state. And there is a strong argument that it would be humane and ethical to intentionally end the life of a brain dead human. Given that it is moral and ethical to end the life of non-persons, it would also be moral and ethical to end the life of a fetus, contingent on the woman’s choice.

          And your committing a taxonomic error by comparing a person, which is regarded as a human being, and a fox, which is of a different genus.

          So my question to you is, would you be OK with aborting a fetus if it was universally accepted that it was not a person?

        • skl

          “People many consider a newborn baby a person, but they would be wrong, based on the literal meaning of person, with consciousness being one of the attributes of personhood. There have been studies that have shown infants to have a conscious experience of the world as early as 5 months and as late as 2 years.”

          Then at a minimum, you would be OK with killing a baby 5 to 24 months after birth.

          I don’t think I would.

          “So my question to you is, would you be OK with aborting a fetus if it was universally accepted that it was not a person?’

          Yes.

        • Rudy R

          Then at a minimum, you would be OK with killing a baby 5 to 24 months after birth.

          No, I would not be OK, with killing a baby 5 to 24 months after birth, because I’ve stated “There have been studies that have shown infants to have a conscious experience of the world as early as 5 months and as late as 2 years.” I would consider a 5-month old baby to be in the infancy of consciousness, ergo, a person. And like I’ve stated earlier, I believe there is a spectrum of when consciousness begins and at present, the brain state of the fetus in the first two trimesters does not indicate consciousness.

        • skl

          Then you would be OK with killing a baby 5 to 24 months
          after birth who did not meet your criteria for an acceptable level of
          consciousness.

        • Rudy R

          No, I would not be OK with killing a baby 5 to 24 months. The abortion issue is not black and white and unless you’re a simpleton, there are nuances to every issue. Like I said in a prior comment to you, “once a fetus is capable of being viable outside the woman’s womb, the justification for aborting the pregnancy should only be considered when the woman’s life is in danger.” Aborting in this instance, is not killing the fetus, but ending the pregnancy and allowing the fetus to become a baby and live outside the woman’s womb.

        • skl

          “No, I would not be OK with killing a baby 5 to 24 months.”

          Not even one which did not meet your criteria for an
          acceptable level of consciousness?

          Remember, you said “many consider a newborn baby a person,
          but they would be wrong, based on the literal meaning of person, with
          consciousness being one of the attributes of personhood. There have been studies that have shown infants to have a conscious experience of the world as early as 5 months and as late as 2 years… I would not consider a baby a person until it gains a conscious…”

        • Rudy R

          The point I was trying to make is that, since a newborn baby isn’t a conscious being no earlier than 5 months after birth, it’s a given that a fetus in the first two trimesters is not a conscious being either.

          In summary, my position on abortion is that a woman (and all human beings) should have autonomy over her body in so far as it doesn’t conflict with the autonomy of another human being (a person). Since a fetus in the first two trimesters is not a person, the woman should have the right to her autonomy and have the freedom to choose abortion. In the third trimester, the fetus, in some/most cases, is viable outside the womb, so if the woman’s life is in danger, abortion should still be the woman’s right, and if at all possible, the fetus should be allowed to survive outside the uterus.

        • skl

          “The point I was trying to make is that, since a newborn baby isn’t a
          conscious being no earlier than 5 months after birth…”

          The point you made is that you would be OK with killing a baby up to 5 months after birth.

        • Rudy R

          Why are you quoting me out of context? That is not my point and I did not state it’s OK to kill a baby. This debate is over.

        • Cynthia

          Are you using the Pete Singer argument? Because his arguments are massively problematic. For starters, he has a truly warped concept of consent and declares that violations of bodily autonomy are fine unless there is clear consciousness and denial of consent, whereas everyone else who deals with consent would say that you don’t get to violate someone’s body UNLESS there is consent.

          So no, you don’t get to kill newborns for shits and giggles. Once born, the newborn isn’t depending on anyone else’s body for survival.

        • Rudy R

          I’m using the Rudy R argument. Had you read all my responses to SKL, you would know that I advocate a woman’s bodily autonomy and her right to choose and I don’t advocate killing newborns, especially for shits and giggles.

        • Cynthia

          That is a relief.

        • Cynthia

          1. If someone is not able to provide support for children, there may be others that can do so (change in custody, adoption, foster care), financial support may be available through social assistance programs and child support obligations are based on earning capacity.

          2. We have some degree of choice and control over how we support our children. That is what makes work different from slavery. Specifically, you can choose to do thing that don’t pose a significant physical risk.

        • Jason K.

          I don’t see the big difference. Both are legal forms of killing violators.

          The difference is self-defense stops a crime-in-progess while capital punishment eliminates a criminal who has already been neutralized.

        • —But regardless,
          then exactly which persons should a woman be allowed to kill
          for using her body against her will?—

          Oh, the same people a man would be allowed to kill for using his body against his will. Also, you know, any non-persons, such as germs, bacteria, viruses, parasites, wildlife, etc… that try to use / eat their body against their will.

        • skl

          “Also, you know, any non-persons, such as germs, bacteria, viruses,
          parasites, wildlife, etc… that try to use / eat their body against their
          will.”

          I don’t understand why you highlight “non-persons”.
          Aren’t you in agreement that personhood is irrelevant here?

        • Greg G.

          There is no personhood without a developed brain to put it in.

        • skl

          Aren’t you in agreement that personhood is irrelevant here?

        • Greg G.

          That’s is the point I am making. The question is when is a brain functional enough to be considered a person. I not certain that the amount of oxygen available to a fetus across the placenta is sufficient for a brain to be that functional. So it may be when the infant is getting oxygen through its lungs that the brain is completely functional.

        • You know exactly why I highlighted it. I was heading off your eventual strawmen.

        • skl

          So, you ARE in agreement that personhood is irrelevant here?

        • Okay, go up to the disqus control and click ‘sort by oldest’. Note the first post. Read it. Note the user name. Note my user name.

          Now, do you have an actual argument?

        • skl

          Right. So you ARE one of the commenters who said the personhood question is irrelevant in regards abortion. I had forgotten.

          So remind me, then, why you brought up “non-persons” above.

        • Jason K.

          It should be allowed in all situations where killing the person is the only way to stop them from continuing to use a woman’s body against her will.

        • skl

          “It should be allowed in all situations where killing the
          person is the only way to stop them from continuing to use a woman’s body against her will.”

          That seems pretty solid.
          Except killing is NOT the ONLY way to stop the using.
          The using isn’t indefinite, the using stops after only nine
          months at most.

        • —The using isn’t indefinite, the using stops after only nine
          months at most.—

          So you are pro enslaving women then?

          I mean, rape isn’t indefinite either. Most guys are finished in a few minutes. So she shouldn’t be allowed to defend herself from a rapist either by your argument, because killing is not the only way to stop the using. It’ll stop by itself, right?

          There is no pro-life argument that isn’t also a pro-rape argument.

        • skl

          “—The using isn’t indefinite, the using stops after only nine
          months at most.—
          So you are pro enslaving women then?”

          The road to freedom from slavery is long, WTM.
          Sometimes it takes 9 whole months.
          I long for the day when slavery is no more, by outlawing pregnancy.
          It will be quite a day for us, if not for those who would have come after us.

          “There is no pro-life argument that isn’t also a pro-rape argument.”

          That makes two statements here today that I hadn’t heard before.
          If it’s true, it’s good to know that when the pro-life groups finally die
          out, rape may too.

        • MR

          It will be quite a day for us, if not for those who would have come after us.

          Ha-ha! Oh, my, quite the drama kitty aren’t we? Nobody is coming after you. You’re the one trying to impose your unsubstantiated beliefs on others. No one is going to force you into an abortion. You would be the ones doing the imposing.

        • Sex is to rape what a wanted pregnancy is to an unwanted pregnancy.

          Consent matters.

          Knock off the bullshit straw men.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’ve only been reading. But I just have to comment on this.

          You want women to be either enslaved – I don’t gave a rat’s ass how long – or to put women in jail for terminating a pregnancy. Absolutely disgusting.

          You are a real bitch and a sorry excuse for a human being. It truly saddens me that there are humans out there that think like you do.

          Just know that you would be the slave master. And that makes you happy.

        • MadScientist1023

          So it’s OK for someone to borrow your organs without your consent if they give them back eventually?
          Let’s say I need a kidney for nine months. Let’s say you’re the only compatible donor. I should be able to take it from you and use it for nine months, right? I promise to give it back, but I’ll die if I can’t have it that long.
          I can’t promise you won’t suffer irreparable harm in the process, because you might. You have no problem with me taking it without asking, right? You don’t seem to think people should have no right to say “no” to someone co-opting their organs as long as it’s a temporary arrangement.

        • skl

          “So it’s OK for someone to borrow your organs without your
          consent if they give them back eventually?”

          It’s not really a question of it being OK. It’s a given.
          The ‘borrowing of organs’ occurs whether the mother wants
          that to happen or not. It starts at conception, even though the mother won’t be aware for some time that she actually conceived.

          The only question is HOW LONG the ‘borrowing’ continues. It
          definitely will end after about 9 months.

        • MadScientist1023

          Yes, I’m aware of the biology of reproduction. My PhD is in Molecular Medicine.
          You haven’t actually answered the question. Put this question of bodily autonomy in another context. Do you think people should have the right to decline someone who wants borrowing their organs? Should people be obligated to let another person use their organs, with no right to say no?

        • skl

          MadScientist,I submitted a not-short response to you this evening. Do you see it?
          I tried looking at my response on my end and it now has a
          big red block next to it saying “Detected As Spam”.

        • MadScientist1023

          Nope. Don’t see a thing.

        • skl

          Second attempt…

          “Put this question of bodily autonomy in another context. Do
          you think people should have the right to decline someone who wants borrowing their organs?”

          I don’t think I’ve heard of that.
          What is a real life example of someone borrowing another’s organs in another context?

          “Should people be obligated to let another person use their
          organs, with no right to say no?”

          If you mean should be a person be obligated to DONATE their
          organs (“Donate”, as in give/lose their organs, such that they can no longer use them but the recipients can), I’d say the answer is No.

          If you mean should a person be obligated to allow another
          person to USE their organs (“Use”, as in NOT GIVE/NOT LOSE their organs, such that they can CONTINUE TO USE them but the recipients can TOO), I’d say the answer is Yes for the following reason: The only instance of this I’m aware of is in the unique but
          natural process by which you and I and everyone else got here; It is a necessary, integral part of the natural process of human reproduction.

        • MadScientist1023

          So let’s say you wake up one day in a hospital attached to some kind of dialysis machine. Another person is on the other end of it. The doctors tell you that they’ve hooked you into them because it was the only way to keep them alive. In a few months they’ll recover and you can be removed. Until then, you have no right to remove the aparatus.
          Here is the question: should the doctors have gotten your permission first? Did they have the right to do this without your consent? Should everyone who wakes up in that situation be obligated to stay there and stay hooked up for however long it takes, risking any medical complications which may ensue in the process? They doctors are saving a life. That justifies them hijacking your organs, right?

        • skl

          “So let’s say you wake up one day in a hospital attached to
          some kind of dialysis machine. Another person is on the other end of it.”

          I thought the only person hooked up to a dialysis machine would be the patient.
          What IS this case of a patient being hooked up to the dialysis machine which is hooked up to the “lender”?

        • MadScientist1023

          The person is essentially hooked up to you. Your organs are keeping them alive.

        • skl

          Please show me a real life case of this.

        • MadScientist1023

          Sweetie, this is an analogy. Use some imagination.

        • BlackMamba44

          “Use some imagination”.

          Haha! That would require the ability to think.

        • skl

          “Sweetie, this is an analogy. Use some imagination.”

          See my sweet reply to Susan nearby.

        • MadScientist1023

          Except you don’t answer my question in that post. Please try again.

        • skl

          I thought I addressed and answered your question, or rather multiple questions, multiple times but I suppose I didn’t, at least not in your eyes.

          “Here is the question: should the doctors have gotten your
          permission first?”

          To hook me up to a machine without my permission, and it wasn’t
          even to try to save my life? Yes, they should have gotten my permission.

          “Did they have the right to do this without your consent?”

          See above.

          “Should everyone who wakes up in that situation be obligated
          to stay there and stay hooked up for however long it takes, risking any medical complications which may ensue in the process?”

          In that hypothetical, not-real-life situation, No.

          “They doctors are saving a life. That justifies them
          hijacking your organs, right?”

          In that hypothetical, not-real-life situation, they’re not
          justified in “hijacking your organs”.

        • MadScientist1023

          So, in this hypothetical situation, a person is hooked up to another human being. Their organs are providing life support for that person. If the support provider disconnects themselves from the machine, the receiver will die. You agree that the support provider should not be legally obligated to stay there for months on end while the receiver recovers.

          Do you think, as a matter of law, the support provider should be allowed to disconnect themselves, walk out of that hypothetical room, and return to their life?

          Follow up question. Now let’s imagine that the hypothetical support provider needs the help of a doctor to safely disconnect themselves from the machine. For simplicity sake, we’ll say it’s a different doctor than the one who started this process. Imagine the machine has lots of tubes running into the support provider, and the provider can’t detatch them all safely without a doctor’s help. Does that complication change whether or not the support provider should have the legal option of leaving that room?

        • skl

          “Do you think, as a matter of law, the support provider should be allowed to disconnect themselves, walk out of that hypothetical room, and return to their life?”

          I don’t think such a law would exist, because lawmakers don’t make laws based on hypothetical, not-real-life scenarios.

          But to answer your question, hypothetically Yes.

          Regarding your follow up question, I’d say the doctors are obligated to safely extricate the provider from the situation which the doctors were responsible for unlawfully putting him in in the first place.

        • MadScientist1023

          To review, you agree that as a matter of law, a person should be able to remove themselves from a human being who is using the person as a life-support system for a period of several months, even if that removal results in the death of that human being. Additionally, you agree that doctors are obligated to help the person in that situation remove said human being, even if it results in the dependent human being’s death.

          Now for the big question. Substitute the word “person” with “woman” and the word “human being” with “fetus” and reread the above statement. What is the meaningful difference between the statements with or without the substitution?

        • skl

          “To review, you agree that as a matter of law, a person should be able to remove themselves from a human being who is using the person as a life-support system for a period of several months, even if that removal results in the death of that human being.”

          I don’t think that’s what I meant.
          What I meant was that in a hypothetical, not-real-life, not-real-law situation, where you – against your will and without your consent – were hooked into a machine which is hooked into another person relying on the machine, you should be legally allow yourself to be unhooked from the machine.

          “Now for the big question…”
          I think your big question may be based on an incorrect understanding of what was actually agreed to. See again the above.

        • MadScientist1023

          I’m sorry, so which principle that you agreed to earlier would you like to renege on?

        • skl

          I’m sorry, I don’t see that.

        • MadScientist1023

          Doesn’t it give you any pause that you agreed to all the founding principles of the pro choice argument the moment someone found a way to put the same issues in different terms?

        • skl

          I don’t see that.

        • MadScientist1023

          Then why don’t you try explaining what the difference in rights are between those two situations? And don’t give me some crap like “one is hypothetical”.

        • skl

          “Then why don’t you try explaining what the difference in
          rights are between those two situations? And don’t give me some crap like “one is hypothetical”.”

          Maybe it comes down to what is the normal, natural course of
          things.

          Based on your prior posts, I’ll make the reasonable assumption
          that you are among the group of people here who hold that protecting the mother’s bodily autonomy overrules protecting the life growing inside her, even if that life is a person.
          If something, anything or any someone, is using the mother’s
          organs against her wishes, you think she should be allowed to remove that something/someone.

          So, let’s look at this from another angle:
          What if a woman asked doctors to remove the food in her
          stomach or the feces in her colon, because she didn’t want those things using her organs.

          Would you proceed with the removal operation?

          I wouldn’t.

        • MadScientist1023

          Fasting and antibiotics do that just fine. Doctors prescribe that all the time. What else you got?

        • skl

          “Food can’t use anything. It’s inanimate.”

          I don’t know that it being inanimate is the issue. The issue seems to be whether something, anything, should be allowed to use or occupy parts of your body against your will.

          “They are free to fast and take laxatives to get rid of it.”

          Yes, but that takes time. What if you don’t want to wait it out and let
          nature take its course?

          As to the rare case you describe (I read that only about 90 such cases exist in all of the medical literature), I would think the man should have the right to have the twin removed since this is a highly unusual and unnatural situation. I also think the medical professionals should then do what they can to save the life of the removed twin.

        • MadScientist1023

          Unusual, yes. Unnatural, nope. It happened in nature. Nature’s full of freaky stuff. The twin was human. It depended on the man for life, just like a fetus depends on its mother. Why is it acceptable to server one connection but not another?

        • skl

          “Unusual, yes. Unnatural, nope. It happened in nature.”

          Perhaps “abnormal” would be a better choice of words than “unnatural”.

          Or “a misfire/mistake, something not in the normal order of natural operations”.

        • MadScientist1023

          Uh huh. How about answering the real question?

        • skl

          I already answered. To repeat:
          I would think the man should have the right to have the twin removed
          since this is a highly unusual and *abnormal* situation. I also think the
          medical professionals should then do what they can to save the life of
          the removed twin.

        • MadScientist1023

          Saving the twin wasn’t an option. Removing it killed the twin. You seem fine with that fact. Since you can’t tell me what makes this situation different from a woman with an unwanted fetus, I can only conclude you are hypocrite. If you want to challenge that assumption, tell me why a twin who must depend on the man’s organs is different than a fetus who depends on a woman’s organs. And you need to do better than “it’s unusual”.

        • skl

          “Saving the twin wasn’t an option. Removing it killed the
          twin.”

          Well that’s a surprise. The first time you’ve said that about the twin.

          Why would it not be an option to try to save the life coming
          from another person?

        • MadScientist1023

          Because the twin’s organs were malformed and/or missing. It could only survive by tapping into the man’s blood stream and depending on his organs to do all the work.

        • skl

          “Because the twin’s organs were malformed and/or missing.”

          Whew! There go those goal posts. Again.

        • MadScientist1023

          Aren’t the typical fetus’s organs insufficient for maintaining their own life without the mother? Aren’t they missing entirely in blastocysts? Don’t you consider those to be human beings, right then and there?

        • skl

          “Aren’t the typical fetus’s organs insufficient for maintaining their own life without the mother? Aren’t they missing entirely in
          blastocysts? Don’t you consider those to be human beings, right then and there?”

          Holy gridiron, Batman! There they go again.
          Those goal posts may have set a record for most moves in such a short time.
          Now you switch from the right or wrong use of organs to the
          right or wrong WHO who is doing the using.
          And we come all the way back to the OP and most of the comments – the question of personhood.

          Go read all my prior questions here on acorns, oaks, and
          such.

          I’ve had enough.

          Good night.

        • Susan

          Those goalposts…

          You’ve got to be kidding.

          You seem to be against a person being forced to submit their bodily functions to the survival/well-being of another… except for impregnated women… ’cause … “it seems to me that nature…”

          I’ve had enough.

          Come back when you’ve developed some integrity and some arguments.

        • skl

          This “weaselly asshole” says good night to you, too.

        • MadScientist1023

          How is that shifting goalposts? I’m still asking why you think it’s acceptable to remove one human being from the organs of the person who is keeping them alive but not to remove another. You’re the one who keeps dodging the question with excuses about how common something is.

          I did nothing in my last post but state views which your entire philosophy is built on. I am pointing out that I am using your movement’s definition of human life. I am pointing out that your definition does not require separate or functional organs, not does it require an ability to independently sustain itself.

        • skl

          “I am pointing out that I am using your movement’s definition of human life.”

          I have no movement and I’m not much of a joiner of movements or groups or parties or clubs.
          I am a skeptic, if you will. I may even be skeptical of skeptics!
          I ask a lot of questions and play a lot of “devil’s advocate”. But one thing I’m less skeptical of is that which makes solid sense to me. And what has been presented by you and others here hasn’t made solid sense to me. Repeatedly.
          If you have more questions of me, you can reread all the many posts I’ve made on this thread. They cover the same issues and questions, multiple times.

          I’ve had enough for now.

          Good night again.

        • This is what we call a “thought experiment.”

        • Susan

          What IS this case

          It’s a thought experiment aimed at probing an issue.

          Very simply, “In other circumstances, is it OK to force someone to use their body in service to another?”

          “If not, why is it OK here?”

          Your dreadful answer which has no bearing on the OKness of using someone’s body against their will is that it’s unique.

          You’ll have to do better.

        • skl

          Second attempt to post this…

          “It’s a thought experiment aimed at probing an issue.
          Very simply, “In other circumstances, is it OK to force someone to use their body in service to another?””

          I see. What MadScientist1023 asked me about is not a situation that happens in a real life but is a hypothetical.

          Like the hypothetical I proposed earlier –
          “If
          a person was drowning but could easily and safely be rescued by Joe
          Person with the extending of Joe’s arm, but Joe decides not to extend
          his arm, and the person drowns as a result, I wonder
          if Joe could be legally liable for a crime.”

          (Someone, I forget who, responded that she wasn’t interested in hypotheticals, only in real life.)

          I
          wondered then as I do now. But if I had to guess, I’d guess that Joe
          Person would NOT be legally liable for a crime in that hypothetical
          circumstance.

          And I’m virtually certain no one should be forced to donate an organ.

          I
          would say that Joe Person extending his arm or another person donating
          an organ would be NOBLE things to do. But being noble can’t be forced,
          and being ignoble isn’t a crime.

          But I’ll repeat what I said to MadScientist1023:
          If you mean should be a person be obligated to DONATE their
          organs
          (“Donate”, as in GIVE/LOSE their organs, such that they can NO LONGER
          USE them but the recipients can), I’d say the answer is No.

          If you mean should a person be obligated to allow another
          person
          to USE their organs (“Use”, as in NOT GIVE/NOT LOSE their organs, such
          that they can CONTINUE TO USE them but the recipients can TOO), I’d say
          the answer is Yes for the following reason: The only real life instance
          of this I’m aware of
          is in the unique but natural process by which
          you and I and everyone else got here; It is a necessary, integral part
          of the natural process of human reproduction.

        • Susan

          If you mean should a person be obligated to allow another
          person
          to USE their organs (“Use”, as in NOT GIVE/NOT LOSE their organs, such
          that they can CONTINUE TO USE them but the recipients can TOO),

          As in a partial liver donation or blood donation?

          The only real life instance of this I’m aware of

          I’ve just given you two more real lie instances. Should people be obligated to donate?

          It is a necessary, integral part
          of the natural process of human reproduction.

          In societies where women have rights to medically safe abortions, humans still get reproduced without coercion.

          So, your reason makes no sense at all.

        • skl

          “As in a partial liver donation or blood donation? I’ve just
          given you two more real life instances. Should people be obligated to donate?”

          Similar to what I said to Cynthia,
          it seems to me that in the normal, natural order of things that
          your liver, blood, etc. were meant for your use and no one else’s. So, there would be no legal requirement to force you to give someone else those things of yours.
          It may be considered noble to donate such things, but it’s not
          illegal to be ignoble.

          “So, your reason makes no sense at all.”

          As I said before, I’m just asking questions of others here to
          see if what they’re saying makes sense to me. And right now I can’t say that it does.

        • Susan

          it seems to me that in the normal, natural order of things that
          your liver, blood, etc. were meant for your use and no one else’s.

          In the natural scheme of things, blood is meant for mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and a myriad of opportunistic bacteria. This has been true for a very long time, long, long, long before humans existed.

          If you want to make an argument from nature, “it seems to me”, is not one.

          Even if it were, it’s a fallacious argument.

          So, there would be no legal requirement to force you to give someone else those things of yours.
          It may be considered noble to donate such things, but it’s not
          illegal to be ignoble.

          If you include impregnated women in that point, then there’s nothing to argue about.

          I’m just asking questions of others here to
          see if what they’re saying makes sense to me. And right now I can’t say that it does.

          Seems pretty straightforward.

          Evem if one were to grant a cell or a clump of cells personhood., there is no justification tfor coercing someone to incubate that cell/clump of cells… etc. It’s a violation of that person’s personhood.

          But of course, there’s no reason to grant it personhood.

          None, that you’ve provided, anyway.

          .

        • skl

          “In the natural scheme of things, blood is meant for mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and a myriad of …”

          And all humans have had no qualms with swatting, spraying, killing every single one. (With the possible exception of some Hindus or such who worry about accidentally stepping on an ant.)

          “If you want to make an argument from nature, “it seems to me”, is not one. Even if it were, it’s a fallacious argument.”

          And how are you certain YOUR alternative argument is NOT fallacious?

          “If you include impregnated women in that point, then there’s nothing to argue about.”

          But my point was “no legal requirement to force you to give someone else those things of yours.” The woman doesn’t give, as in give up/lose, her organs or body.

          Let’s try looking at this a little differently. I’ll pose to you what I did to MadScientist earlier today:

          Based on your prior posts, I’ll make the reasonable assumption that you are among the group of people here who hold that protecting the mother’s bodily autonomy overrules protecting the life growing inside her, even if that life is a person. If something, anything or any someone, is using the mother’s organs against her wishes, you think she should be allowed to remove that something/someone.

          So, what if a woman asked doctors to remove the food in her stomach or the feces in her colon, because she didn’t
          want those things using her organs.

          Would you proceed with the removal operation?

          I wouldn’t.

        • Susan

          And all humans have had no qualms
          with swatting, spraying, killing every single one. With the possible exception…

          You have probably done no research on the specrum of human behaviour on this subject, but let’s grant that what you say is true. How does that help your argument?

          my point was “no legal
          requirement to force you to give someone else those things of yours.” The woman
          doesn’t give, as in give up/lose, her organs or body.

          Of course, that wasn’t your point. If that were your point, you wouldn’t revert to “it seems to me that in the normal, natural order of things”

          You would have addressed partial liver donation and blood donation. On top of that, I will add surrogate motherhood.

          You are claiming that there is a special reason to force a woman to donate her body to incubate a cell. But you wouldn’t force anyone else to under any other circumstances.

          What you haven’t done is provide that reason.

        • Paul B. Lot

          How does that help your argument?

          How indeed.

        • adam
        • skl

          “How does that help your argument?”

          Just an observation that all people agree it’s OK to kill mosquitoes taking your blood, but few people agree it’s OK to kill a person taking your blood.

          You didn’t answer my question, you may have missed it earlier:
          If a woman asked doctors to remove the food in her stomach or the feces in her colon, because she didn’t want those things using her organs, would you proceed with the removal operation?

          If not, why not?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Just an observation that all people agree it’s OK to kill mosquitoes taking your blood, but few people agree it’s OK to kill a person taking your blood.

          Last I checked, argumentum-ad-observation-that-few-agree-um is still a bullshit argument.

          Maybe they changed the rules since then?

        • Susan

          Last I checked, argumentum-ad-observation-that-few-agree-um is still a bullshit argument.

          Glad you typed it. He was wandering off in so many erroneous directions (after such a long time, it’s hard not to believe it’s intentional) that I let that one go.

          It’s the one I should have stuck on.

          It’s the most basic point of all.

          And it seems to be all he’s got.

          =====

          Edit: (Well, that and “it seems to me that nature”.)

        • Joe

          but few people agree it’s OK to kill a person taking your blood.

          It’s absolutely OK to use an appropriate amount force against someone trying to take your blood.

        • Susan

          Just an observation that all people agree it’s OK to kill mosquitoes taking your blood

          ,

          Of course, that’s not necessarily true. You even referred to some “Hindus” (you meant Jains) as an exception.

          but few people agree it’s OK to kill a person taking your blood.

          That’s an inept analogy. A strawman. You’ve ignored all the examples.

          Is it OK to force partial liver donation even if withholding that donation would result in the death of someone who heeded it?

          Is it OK to force blood donation even if withholding that donation would result in the death of someone who needed it?

          Is it OK to force someone into surrogate motherhood even if witholding that surrogacy would result in the termination of a cell/clump o cells?

          If a woman asked doctors to remove the food in her stomach or the feces in her colon, because she didn’t want those things using her organs, would you proceed with the removal operation?

          It is another inept analogy.

          Also, I asked first.

          .

        • skl

          I already answered your questions. See thread above.
          If you can deal only with one word answers, my answer is “No”
          in all three cases.

          Now, please answer my question. I don’t see it as an inept analogy. It’s not even necessarily a hypothetical or thought experiment. It could really occur. Stranger things have happened.
          So for the third time:
          If a woman asked doctors to remove the (safe, normal) food in her stomach or the (safe, normal) feces in her colon, because she didn’t want those things using her organs, would you proceed
          with the removal operation?

          If not, why not?

        • Susan

          my answer is “No”
          in all three cases.

          Then, you’re against someone being forced to provide their body even if one can demonstrate personhood for the recipient of that provision.

          This, when personhood is granted to something for which you can’t demonstrate personhood.

          So, we’re done.

        • skl

          “Then, you’re against someone being forced to provide their body even if one can demonstrate personhood for the recipient of that provision.”

          Except that in the case of the normal, natural process of pregnancy there is no forced partial liver donation or forced blood donation or forced surrogate motherhood.
          In pregnancy, any “donating” is simply utilizing the mother’s blood and organs as designed. For example, she doesn’t donate her uterus to the baby, just as she doesn’t donate her stomach to food or her colon to her waste.

          Which reminds me, you still haven’t answered my REPEATED question.
          So for the FOURTH time:
          If a woman asked doctors to remove the (safe, normal) food in her stomach or the (safe, normal) feces in her colon, because she didn’t want those things using her organs, would you proceed
          with the removal operation?

          If not, why not?

        • MadScientist1023

          Are you still using that one? Really? Let’s review the problems with it:
          1. Fasting does that without surgery
          2. Over-the-counter drugs do that without surgery
          3. Prescription drugs can do that without surgery
          4. You generally need to fast before surgery anyhow. If they’re doing anything in the colon, you also need to down a ton of laxatives to completely flush out your system before doctors will do anything.
          5. How would that even work surgically? I’m a scientist, and I can’t even imagine what kind of surgical technique you would use to flush someone’s entire intestinal tract of food.
          6. We have surgery to remove food once it’s been digested and stored. It’s called liposuction, and it’s perfectly legal.
          7. Food can’t use anything. It’s inanimate.

        • skl

          I told you in the last post that what has been presented by
          you and others here hasn’t made solid sense to me. Repeatedly. And that if you have more questions of me, you can reread all the many posts I’ve made on this thread. They cover the same issues and questions, multiple times.

          You would have seen that your items 1 – 4 are just matters
          of TIMING, of HOW LONG the condition CONTINUES.

          I addressed this A WEEK AGO when I responded to Jason K. with

          “It’s just a matter of time.
          That the ‘occupation’/’borrowing of organs’ happens and
          continues is a given.
          It starts shortly after conception, even though the mother
          won’t be aware for some time that she actually conceived.
          The only question is how long the ‘borrowing’ continues. It
          definitely will end after about 9 months.”

          And I actually said essentially the same thing TO YOU, MadScientist, THREE DAYS AGO when I responded to you with

          “Yes, but that [fasting or taking laxatives] takes time. What if you don’t want to wait it out and let nature take its course?”

          And you would have seen that I said your item 7 is irrelevant,
          that the issue is that SOMETHING, ANYTHING, is using or is on or is in your organs. Because in THE SAME POST 3 DAYS AGO I told you

          “I don’t know that it being inanimate is the issue. The issue seems to be whether something, anything, should be allowed to use or
          occupy parts of your body against your will.”

          Lastly, your items 5 and 6. The practicality or exact logistics
          of the surgery wasn’t really the issue. The question, considered as at least a hypothetical or thought experiment, was whether you’d do the surgery if you had the capability. (Although in the real world I have heard of the “surgical” pumping of stomachs and surgery for impacted colons or rectums.)

          I’ll end by repeating what I’ve already repeated:

          What has been presented by you and others here hasn’t made
          solid sense to me. Repeatedly.
          If you have more questions of me, you can reread all the
          many posts I’ve made on this thread. They cover the same issues and questions, multiple times.

          Please don’t expect any further responses from me.

          Good bye.

        • MadScientist1023

          I know this doesn’t make sense to you, because you would have to think about something for it to make sense.
          If your hypothetical surgical procedure existed, then what of it? It’s certainly wouldn’t be healthy for someone to do something like that regularly, but if someone wants to spend their money on something like that for reasons that dumb, what is it to me? What gives you standing to object to it?

        • Cynthia

          Not “all” humans. Jains are actually meticulous about avoiding any loss of life, human or not.

        • Cynthia

          Surgery for impacted stool is a thing. So is pumping the stomach if something was consumed that is harmful.

          Some pregnancy do in fact result in the loss of organs or functioning. Those can’t always be predicted in advance. I know women who needed emergency hysterectomies. I know a woman who had hearing loss. My SIL developed facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy). She also has a 4th degree episiotomy. Google that and think about how a tear through the anal sphincter might affect someone.

          What is the point of the question?

        • skl

          “Surgery for impacted stool is a thing. So is pumping the stomach if something was consumed that is harmful.”

          I was talking about safe, normal food in the stomach and safe, normal feces in the colon.

        • I wonder if this argument can be extended. A pregnant woman is given what amounts to a utilitarian argument: your hardship is less than the benefit to this person-to-be.

          But now imagine the organ donation thought experiment: you have 5 sick people whose lives would be saved with various (essential) organs of yours. Wouldn’t the same logic demand that you provide them?

        • MadScientist1023

          I wouldn’t go there. It’s too easy to say “if you have to kill the person, it’s wrong” without really forcing anyone to confront the issue of bodily autonomy. The point of my example was that the person serving as a life support system isn’t killed, but they lose all rights to make decsions about their body and are essentially imprisioned while it happens. It might be noble to stay there and save them, but I’m trying to get people like skl to answer whether it should be legally obligatory. Alas, skl is either determined to dodge the question or incapable of the level of abstract though needed to answer it.

        • MR

          Skl has determinedly dodged a number of questions that have been presented by various posters.

        • Cynthia

          What about blood, bone marrow and liver donation? These all regenerate and therefore don’t result in a permanent loss to the donor. Kidney donations result in the loss of one kidney, but one is all you need to survive.

        • skl

          It seems to me that in the normal, natural order of things
          that your blood, bone marrow, liver, kidney, etc. were meant for your use and no one else’s. So, there would be no legal requirement to force you to give someone else those things of yours.

          It may be considered noble to donate such things, but it’s
          not illegal to be ignoble.

        • Cynthia

          You are correct that there is no legal requirement to be a donor, and that people are permitted to refuse even if it means that other people die, because the law holds that it cannot violate your rights over your own body.

          So, two questions:

          1. Why should pregnancy be any different? After all, we can agree that someone in need of a liver or kidney can die without it, and these people surely have “personhood”. Moreover, in the case of a bone marrow, someone might be a 1 in a million match and it might be impossible to find another potential donor, so the refusal to be a donor would mean certain death for the potential recipient. Being a donor is no more physically demanding than pregnancy and birth, and in some cases, it is significantly less demanding.

          2. What does the natural order of things have to do with morality? It might describe how things are, but why do you think that it has anything to do with how things should be?

        • skl

          “1. Why should pregnancy be any different?”

          Perhaps it could be considered different for several reasons,
          – No donation occurs whereby the mother loses her organs
          or the use of them.
          – The use of the organs in question is in keeping with
          their design or natural order, just as food “uses” your esophagus and stomach and feces “use” your colon. (No doctor would agree to surgically remove the (safe) food in your stomach or the (safe) feces in your colon because you didn’t want them “using” your organs anymore.)

          “2. What does the natural order of things have to do with morality?” It might describe how things are, but why do you think that it has anything to do with how things should be?”

          I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s just a hunch or intuition. Certain things just seem meant to be used in a certain way. If I saw someone trying to use his head as a hammer, I might just try to stop him, because it not only doesn’t seem to be a proper use of the head, it could be lethal to him.
          He might say ‘But this is how the use of my head should be.’

          Well, at least I got him to stop banging his head for the time being. 🙂

        • Cynthia

          Re point #2 – this is what we sometimes call the naturalistic fallacy. I have a cute book called Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You, by Dan Riskin, that does a great job of explaining why this is a bad idea.

          I mean, there was nothing natural about my contact lenses, or my c-sections, or flying in an airplane, but all of these things have improved my life and been used for moral purposes.

          So, back to point #1: in the natural scheme of things, childbirth is inherently dangerous. Look up old family histories and see how many women died in childbirth and how many babies died. It can absolutely lead to loss of an organ or function of an organ. Google uterine rupture or anal fistula.

        • skl

          “I mean, there was nothing natural about my contact lenses, or…”

          I agree that contact lenses aren’t natural. But eyes and the vision they allow are. It IS natural to want to aid vision if it’s deteriorating. However, I think it’s not natural to try to deteriorate the functioning of otherwise healthy eyes.

          “So, back to point #1: in the natural scheme of things, childbirth is
          inherently dangerous.”

          Life itself is inherently dangerous. Nobody gets out of it alive.

        • Cynthia

          So should women need to put their lives at increased risk and by denied the ability to reduce that risk because “life itself is inherently dangerous”?

          Why not leave it to the person involved to decide what additional risk she is prepared to accept, and how she feels about the appropriate use of her body?

        • skl

          “So should women need to put their lives at increased risk and by denied the ability to reduce that risk because “life itself is inherently
          dangerous”?”

          So should mothers reduce the danger to their lives by making other peoples’ lives more dangerous and killing them?

          Or, back to the analogy, should people with healthy functioning eyes close them or gouge them out?

        • MR

          So, what is your answer to this:

          [S]hould women need to put their lives at increased risk and b[e] denied the ability to reduce that risk because “life itself is inherently dangerous”?

        • skl

          What I said:
          So should mothers reduce the danger to their lives by making other peoples’ lives more dangerous and killing them?

        • MR

          No, I mean I want to know your answer to that question. Asking another question doesn’t tell me your view. Different people will answer differently and I want to understand how you would answer the question.

          Should women need to put their lives at increased risk and be denied the ability to reduce that risk because “life itself is inherently dangerous”?

          Yes or no? I mean, I don’t mind if you give an explanation, but yes or no? What do you think?

        • skl

          My answer is Yes and No, specifically
          Yes, if the mother can reduce the danger to her life by NOT making
          other innocent peoples’ lives more dangerous and killing them, but
          No, if the mother tries to reduce the danger to her life by making
          other innocent peoples’ lives more dangerous and killing them.

        • MR

          Yes, the mother needs to put her life at increased risk and be denied the ability to reduce that risk if she can reduce the danger to her life by NOT making the fetus’ life more dangerous and killing it; and

          No, the mother does not need to put her life at increased risk and be denied the ability to reduce that risk if the mother tries to reduce the danger to her life by making fetus’ life more dangerous and killing it.

          So, you’re saying if she can reduce the danger to the fetus, she needs to put her life at increased risk; but she does not need to put her life at risk as long as she puts the fetus’ life at risk.

          It sounds to me like you’re trying so hard NOT to say what you want to say that you confused yourself, but maybe that’s what you believe. Feel free to clarify, though.

          Side note: and you don’t have to answer this, but, because this so strongly concerns women’s issues, may I ask if you are a woman or a man?

        • skl

          “So, you’re saying if she can reduce the danger to the fetus, she needs to put her life at increased risk; but she does not need to put her life at risk as long as she puts the fetus’ life at risk.”

          No. Also, you omitted the “by killing them” part of my statements.

          Good night.

        • MR

          I was just trying to simplify, I have no problem if you include that because I want to know your stance. It just seems that you got it all twisted up. Maybe if you restate what you mean more simply instead of trying to twist it.

        • Susan

          So should mothers reduce the danger to their lives by making other peoples’ lives more dangerous and killing them

          Not consenting to the use of your bodily functions is not equal to “killing” someone.

          I made great efforts along with others to have some honest conversations on the subject.

          You diverted to stomach contents as though it had any bearing on

          A) Moral or legal justiication for forcing one person to surrender their bodily functions to another person or

          B) The personhood of a cell/clump of cells etc. at any point in the continuum in which you are trying to claim a special case (without justification, so far) of that cell/ clump of cells etc.

          I didn’t even know you knew what goalposts are. You’ve shown such disregard for them.

        • skl

          “I made great efforts along with others to have some honest conversations on the subject.”

          I did, too.

          But this “weaselly asshole” has had enough.

          Again, good night.

        • MR

          You’ll notice the hoops skl went through not to explicitly state his stance. I think that shows that he knows his stance is repugnant, all the options are, but he wants to play only one card. Hold his feet to the fire, and off to bed he goes. He’s been completely disingenuous in the few threads I’ve followed if you ask me. The implications of what he avoids saying make me kind of sick to my stomach. He needs to express them out loud in all their vileness. It saddens me that in this day and age women have to face such thinking.

        • Cynthia

          I have to say I found that “life is dangerous, you have to die sometime” argument to be shockingly callous toward women’s lives.

        • Susan

          You’ll notice the hoops skl went through not to explicitly state his stance.

          About as subtle as a herd of stampeding elephants.

        • Susan

          Life itself is inherently dangerous.

          This can be used to justify anything. Genocide, murder.. you name it.

          It’s the statement of a weaselly asshole.

          People here know I do my best to show restraint for the most part.

          And I did my best there. It deserves much worse.

        • skl

          Skl: “Life itself is inherently dangerous.”

          Susan: “This can be used to justify anything. Genocide, murder.. you name it.”

          No. Everyone dies, but not everyone kills.

          “It’s the statement of a weaselly asshole. People here know I do my best to show restraint for the most part.”

          Then apparently you could have done better.

        • Velvetpage

          Re: Point #1: The mother doesn’t exactly lose the use of her organs most of the time, but the drain on her organs and her body is significant and long-term. There is a fairly high likelihood that she will have her abdomen cut open, including cutting through all abdominal muscles, in order to facilitate someone else’s use of her uterus. In that case, she loses the ability to drive, lift heavy objects, and is otherwise effectively disabled for a period of about eight weeks after that surgery. I’d call that a loss of use, personally, and I’ve done it twice.

          Even if she doesn’t need a c-section, she still loses a large portion of her mobility by the end of pregnancy, some more than others of course but you don’t know for sure what category you’ll fall into until it happens. Even a safe, fairly uneventful pregnancy permanently changes the mother’s body and drastically affects her use of it for many months.

          And you want that to be expected of her because that’s the natural use of a uterus? Without her agreeing to it?

        • Jason K.

          Waiting out something for 9 months is not equivalent to “stopping” it. That’s a ridiculously pitiful argument.

        • skl

          It’s just a matter of time.
          That the ‘occupation’/’borrowing of organs’ happens and continues is a given.
          It starts shortly after conception, even though the mother won’t be aware for some time that she actually conceived.
          The only question is how long the ‘borrowing’ continues. It definitely will end after about 9 months.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Greg G.

          It’s legal to kill teenagers who are just trying to steal an old TV. A fetus is taking nutrients from a woman’s blood, dumping toxic wastes into her blood, releases pheromones to affect her emotions, makes structural changes to her body, might kill her in the end, and then she might be forced to take care of a kid for the next 18 years, and maybe shell out college tuition.

        • MR

          Heck, old testament you can kill your child for being stubborn and rebellious. Or, as my mother used to say, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out!”

        • Greg G.

          Unfortunately, I just read an article where a mother in Georgia took out her three kids and the social worker who was trying to help them.

        • MR

          I think some people (and I think it’s often religious people) do have a sense of ownership over their children’s lives. Sometimes that only comes out in times of crisis, but I’ve certainly seen enough of it in my lifetime. Think of honor killings, people who would rather kill their children than let the state or another spouse take custody, cultures that would leave deformed children out to die. Throughout cultures, times, religions, individuals…, people’s beliefs have varied. Heck, the people in my protestant church weren’t opposed to abortion until it became a political football. I just find the whole thing bogus. I think it’s a very hard case to make for any kind of objective judgement on the issue. As a man in particular, I know I’ll never have to put myself through it. I look around and look back through history and all I can say is, it’s not for me to judge.

        • skl

          Sounds like pregnancy should be illegal. Like rape or murder.

        • Anat

          Unwanted pregnancy. If someone chooses to remain pregnant that is fine, just like any other choice which may have negative effect for the person making it (and we should allow people to choose more things that might be bad for them).

        • Greg G.

          No, intended pregnancy should be legal. It should be illegal to force unwanted pregnancy on anybody.

        • skl

          I don’t know.
          Taking nutrients from your blood and dumping toxic wastes and such sure sounds like it should be illegal.

        • Susan

          Taking nutrients from your blood and dumping toxic wastes and such sure sounds like it should be illegal.

          No more than donating a kidney should be illegal.

          But it should be illegal to coerce someone to do it.

        • skl

          Along with dumping toxic wastes, maybe it should be illegal
          to coerce someone to take a dump in the toilet. Although, I suppose no coercion is ever really called for in the case of something like that.

        • adam

          “Along with dumping toxic wastes, maybe it should be illegal to coerce someone to take a dump in the toilet. ”

          Why?

          Isnt that what the toilet and sewer system is designed for?

        • skl

          I think you may be right.
          No need to coerce something that happens naturally as part of the design.

        • adam

          Yes, the sewer system was designed to take human waste.

        • Susan

          maybe it should be illegal
          to coerce someone to take a dump in the toilet.

          Probably.

        • Greg G.

          But a person can give consent to do that. If a person doesn’t give consent, then the person should be able to stop it.

          Sex with consent is a wonderful thing. Sex without consent is rape. Consent is very important. You want to do away with consent.

        • skl

          Yes, consent is very important. I do not want to do away with consent.

          But I question whether it is right to withhold consent when withholding
          that consent would destroy human life.

        • Susan

          I don’t think it’s a strawman at all. But regardless.

          Smotth.

        • Michael Neville

          Define “person”. Be specific. If you want to claim that non-sentient clumps of cells are persons then justify that claim.

        • MR

          This. Define the term and no equivocations.

        • skl

          Do you agree with other commenters here that personhood is irrelevant to the abortion issue?

        • Greg G.

          The personhood of the fetus is irrelevant. Personhood is a function of the brain. The mother has a brain and personhood. The fetus doesn’t have a fully functioning brain so it has no relevant personhood.

        • skl

          “The personhood of the fetus is irrelevant.”

          I want to understand your position better.
          So, IF SOMEHOW the fetus was determined to have personhood,
          would that be relevant to the abortion issue for you?

          The reason I ask is that some here have stated the personhood
          of the fetus is NOT relevant to whether it may be aborted.

        • Michael Neville

          What part of “define ‘person'” do you have trouble understanding? I can’t discuss something if my understanding of an ambiguous term differs from yours. Since you are the one trumpeting “person” and “personhood” then you should be the one defining what you mean by those terms.

        • —And the death penalty for rapists, other abusers, and the husband
          who wants to have sex when she’d rather not.—

          Are you saying she should just lay back and take it because she doesn’t have the right to defend herself with potentially lethal force?

        • skl

          “—And the death penalty for rapists, other abusers, and the husband
          who wants to have sex when she’d rather not.—
          Are you saying she should just lay back and take it because she doesn’t have the right to defend herself with potentially lethal force?”

          No I’m not saying that.
          What I am saying, or I guess asking, is why don’t we have the death penalty for a person who touches a woman inappropriately or for the insensitive selfish husband who wears down his wife to have sex when she really doesn’t want to. Or for the rapist.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Duration.
          Severity.
          Potential Side Effects.
          Ease of Remediation.

          By each of theses measures there is (or can be) a stark difference between the events compared.

        • —What I am saying, or I guess asking, is why don’t we have the death
          penalty for a person who touches a woman inappropriately or for the
          insensitive selfish husband who wears down his wife to have sex when she
          really doesn’t want to. Or for the rapist.—

          Because the death penalty is a completely different subject than self defense.

        • skl

          Yes, the death penalty may be a different topic technically, but it is not a completely different subject for this discussion, since it too is the legal killing of a violator.

        • —but it is not a completely different subject for this discussion—

          It really is, and we’ve explained why.

        • Cynthia

          You are talking about punishment after the fact.

          I would say that a woman has the right to use force to stop any attack on her. There is no point where we say “oh, the rapist wasn’t likely to kill you so you had no right to pick up the knife and should have just endured a few minutes of inconvenience.”

      • —By that reasoning, you’d also be in favor of a woman killing
        a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.—

        Yep. I absolutely believe a woman has the right to use any amount of force, up to and including lethal, to defend herself against a rapist.

        Do you not?

        • skl

          You seem to be drawing an equivalence between the life of a rapist
          and the life in the womb.

          Do you not?

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          The rapist and the unwanted fetus are using the same body part of a woman against her will. There is a possibility of harm to the woman from each.

        • skl

          “The rapist and the unwanted fetus are using the same body
          part of a woman against her will.”

          I don’t think rapists use, or even think about, uteruses and
          fallopian tubes and such when they’re raping.

          “There is a possibility of harm to the woman from each.”

          And as I noted earlier, a woman or man encounters the possibility of harm just about every day, whether driving in a car or being admitted to a hospital or any number of other things.

        • Greg G.

          And as I noted earlier, a woman or man encounters the possibility of harm just about every day, whether driving in a car or being admitted to a hospital or any number of other things.

          A person can take risks voluntarily. A person can choose to have a child. Being forced to carry an unwanted child to term is not a choice.

          Your arguments are repetitive even after they have been refuted. The arguments that are not repetitive are worse.

        • skl

          “Your arguments are repetitive even after they have been refuted.”

          If my arguments seem repetitive it may be only because your
          counter-arguments are repetitive.

          This seems to be causing you some stress.
          In any case, I think ending our dialog would be a good idea.

          Good night.

        • Kodie

          So you have a very narrow definition of rape, and do not consider a uterus a sex organ. I would also not blame the fetus for anything – it’s the mindfucking of millions of guilt trippers and laws that prevent her being able to make her own decision to abort. It’s fiends like you who want her to feel guilty and martyr herself for your cause.

          You’re the rapist, not the fetus.

        • epeeist

          There is a possibility of harm to the woman from each.

          And in certain places the woman has a risk of further harm.

        • Greg G.

          Ugh. That article illustrates how religion perverts common sense.

        • —You seem to be drawing an equivalence between the life of a rapist
          and the life in the womb.

          Do you not? —

          What’s the difference? Are they not both ‘life’? If they are both people, then yes, they are equivalent. If they are not both people, then what’s your problem with abortion?

          Sex is to rape what a wanted pregnancy is to an unwanted pregnancy.

          Consent matters.

        • skl

          “—You seem to be drawing an equivalence between the life of a rapist and the life in the womb.
          Do you not? —
          What’s the difference?”

          One’s a rapist.

        • What makes rape bad?

          Oh, right. The whole ‘against their will’ thing.

          Sex is to rape what a wanted pregnancy is to an unwanted pregnancy.

          Consent matters.

        • skl

          Rapists can be caught and jailed after their deed is done.

          So, let’s jail the newborns.

        • And it’s clear you aren’t interested in honest debate and are just going to keep up the strawmen. Blocked.

        • Anat

          Abortion is about removing the embryo or fetus from where it is unwanted. If technology makes it possible to keep them alive after being thus removed I will not object (though would object to making use of such technology obligatory).

    • ClayJames

      If a woman has a newborn who only drinks breast milk and she is stuck in a snow storm with no food, can she let the baby die because she doesn´t want her to use her body?

      • If a grown man and a woman are trapped in a storm with no food and the woman happens to be lactating, can she let the man die because she doesn’t want to use her body?

        If another woman needs a bone marrow transplant and this woman happens to be an exact match, can she let the first woman die because she doesn’t want her body used?

        If a child needs a kidney and a man is a match, can the man let the child die if he doesn’t want his body used?

        If a man needs a liver and a child is a match, can the child let the man die if the child doesn’t want their body used?

        All these questions have the same answer.

        • ClayJames

          ¨If a grown man and a woman are trapped in a storm with no food and the woman happens to be lactating, can she let the man die because she doesn’t want to use her body?¨

          Yes, because the woman is not responsible for keeping the grown man alive and the she is not lactating for the purpose of keeping him alive.

          ¨If another woman needs a bone marrow transplant and this woman happens to be an exact match, can she let the first woman die because she doesn’t want her body used?¨

          Yes, because the woman is not responsible for keeping the other woman alive and also because that bone marrow is naturally there to keep her alive and not the other woman.

          ¨If a child needs a kidney and a man is a match, can the man let the child die if he doesn’t want his body used?¨

          Yes, because that kidney is there to keep hem alive and not someone else.

          ¨If a man needs a liver and a child is a match, can the child let the man die if the child doesn’t want their body used?¨

          Yes, same reason as above.

          ¨All these questions have the same answer.¨

          Yes, they actually do have similar answers but this is different from the newborn example.

        • No, it’s really not any different from the newborn answer. It’s still her body. The resources she takes in are to keep her alive. You are demanding she sacrifice them and thus her own chances for survival for someone else.

          A woman is NOT obligated to breastfeed. In fact, there are women out the that cannot breastfeed.

      • Also, it’s a dipshit question because in that scenario, they will both starve

        • ClayJames

          By no food I mean no food for the newborn, the mom could still have food that the newborn could not eat.

        • You’d be surprised at what a newborn infant can eat. It may take special preparation, but she can feed the infant other foods. She is still not obligated to breast feed. She is, in fact, no more obligated to breastfeed the infant than she is to breastfeed the man. Unless, of course, she has freely and consensually accepted a responsibility for that individual. That is the other reason why it is a bullshit scenario.

          If she has the infant in the snow storm, that likely means she has custody of the infant. That means she has accepted responsibility for the infant and the obligations that come with that responsibility. Which means that your scenario and abortion have absolutely not one fucking thing to do with each other and are not the slightest bit analogous.

          Seriously, what the fuck about the fucking concept of fucking consent is so fucking hard for you fucking pro-lifers to fucking understand?

          Consent

          verb (used without object)

          1.
          to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield (often followed by to or an infinitive):

          noun

          3.

          permission, approval, or agreement; compliance; acquiescence:
          He gave his consent to the marriage.

          Consent.

          It fucking MATTERS.

    • Gary Whittenberger

      When the fetus becomes a person is not irrelevant! It is absolutely relevant.

      After the fetus becomes a person is does and should have the right to use a woman’s body against her will because its right to life trumps her right to bodily autonomy (with two exceptions).

      • So you think that if a woman is being raped, she should just lie back and take it instead of defending herself, because a ‘person’s right to life’ trumps her right to bodily autonomy?

      • Are you also a supporter of forcible organ harvesting? Your kidney matches someone in need, they should be able to come take it from you, right? Because their right to life trumps your bodily autonomy?

        Also, what the fuck is this whole ‘right to life’ nonsense anyway? We don’t have that here in the US. There is no right to life. If there was, healthcare, food, and shelter would be absolutely free. Your ‘right to life’ is entirely dependent on your ability to pay.

        So, now let’s talk about your hypocrisy and double standards.

  • Greg G.

    If you piled all the food a woman would eat and digest for the next 10 months, you would have a potential baby in there.

    • Cozmo the Magician

      or a ‘potential’ president of the USA.

  • eric

    The spectrum argument fails to adequately address the fact that there is
    a continuity of human development that begins at fertilization and
    doesn’t stop until after birth. Logically, that suggests that teenagers
    are “more of a person” than toddlers ….

    He was so close! But so wrong. Yes, the major issue here is that human development is a continuity, not a binary thing. But the spectrum argument acknowledges that, while it’s pro-lifers that want to try and shoehorn that continuous development into a binary decision. Most pro-choicers do not. If you take Roe, for example, as a classic pro-choice position, we can see that it’s very in line with a developmental continuity; in the first trimester, the woman has essentially unlimited decision-making authority. In the third trimester, the state has most of the decision-making authority, and in the middle trimester, they share it. The foetus’ rights (as separate from the mother; represented by the State) develop as the foetus itself develops. That’s pro-choice.

    The second amusing wrongness about Wilcox’s counterpoint is that he’s right about the logical implication…but appears unaware that yes, teenagers do indeed have more rights than toddlers. We do indeed continue the ‘rights of personhood’ spectrum/continuity after birth. Children are not legally allowed to make major decisions for themselves – they become ‘that much of a person’ around 18. But they still can’t drink. At 21 they become ‘enough of a person’ to handle alcohol – but they still can’t be a Representative. At 25 they become ‘enough of a person’ to run for office in the House of Representatives – but they still aren’t person enough to become a Senator. At 30 they become ‘enough of a person’ to run for Senate – but not enough to be VP or President. Then, at age 35, we finally give people all the rights they are entitled to get as a citizen. But it takes that long. It certainly doesn’t stop at birth!

    So the way the legal system treats us outside of the question of abortion is very much consistent with the pro-choice position that human development is continuous and that to reflect this, our rights should develop as we develop.

    This view is of course messy. It’s complicated. It’s legally more difficult than a bright white divining line. But it is also more reflective of reality.

    • Jim Jones

      > In the first trimester, the woman has essentially unlimited
      decision-making authority. In the third trimester, the state has most of
      the decision-making authority, and in the middle trimester, they share
      it.

      In Canada there are no laws, so it’s up to the woman and the doctor (except at a Catholic hospital),

      • The Eh’theist

        It’s unfortunate that Justin Trudeau didn’t learn from Brian Mulroney’s approach to abortion when it came to physician-assisted death (PAD). Mulroney realized that any sort of criminalization legislation would prolong the legal fights and hinder the transition to abortion as a purely medical service. There was no upside to a new law, so he dropped it. Looking at the ongoing wrangling about PAD we can see what might have been the result for abortion if legislation had been enacted.

        • Cynthia

          Could it be avoided though? You need some safeguards in place to ensure that the person is truly giving informed consent. That is what separates it from murder.

  • lady_black

    First, there is nothing “secular” about Secular Pro-Life. They claim to be secular, but base their arguments upon religious principles. You posted a great example of that.
    This person who is claiming that a zygote is a human being. Technology now can allow any nucleated cell to become a potential human being via cloning.
    So what’s the difference between that zygote and the thousands of skin cells a person sheds when they scratch their arm, shampoo their scalp, take a dump and blow their nose? There must be something somehow “different” about that cell than any other cell? Is it because it’s located inside the body of a woman, and therefore useful in controlling her behavior, or that it’s unique genetic makeup constitutes some juju like a “soul?”
    What about embryos created in vitro, for possible implantation? At that moment, there is absolutely ZERO chance that they will ever develop beyond what they are right now. Being that gestation is missing, and all… are these “persons” and do they have rights? What exact rights can we give them? Can we snatch a woman off the street and forcibly implant her to give these embryo “persons” what pro-lifers believe they are due? Why or why not? And what difference is there between an IVF embryo, and one created in vivo?
    Yep. “Secular”, MY ASS. They aren’t fooling anyone. Just try asking a few inconvenient questions on their site, and you can be called a baby-killing whore like I was. And be banned like I was. They don’t want to hear it.

    • Joe

      First, there is nothing “secular” about Secular Pro-Life. They claim to be secular, but base their arguments upon religious principles.

      Couldn’t agree more. Whether consciously of not, the actual arguments against abortion are all rooted in religious notions.

      • lady_black

        Precisely. Taking arguments based in religious notions and applying a thin patina of science-y language and legal mumbo-jumbo doesn’t make something “secular.”

    • Good point. I was shocked when I looked up the author of that article to find him a staff apologist at the Life Training Institute.

      • lady_black

        Gee, that doesn’t sound real secular to me. Bet it isn’t…

        • At best, this is a Christian who is limiting himself to only secular arguments.

        • lady_black

          As is anyone who is anti-choice.

        • lady_black

          I don’t even find his argument particularly secular. He might THINK it is, but it is not.

    • Haecceitic

      I was called a Nazi in fairly short order. When I invoked Godwin’s Law, they claimed to have no idea what that was. :-/

      • lady_black

        That doesn’t surprise me.

      • TheNuszAbides

        actually knowing what it is/means already implies some capacity for critical analysis and/or self-reflection. they couldn’t possibly have a use for Godwin’s law.

    • skl

      “Technology now can allow any nucleated cell to become a potential human being via cloning. So what’s the difference between that zygote and the thousands of skin cells a person sheds when they scratch their arm…”

      I’d imagine it’s the difference between nature and technology. The former is the way all of us got here, and the latter is not.

      “What about embryos created in vitro, for possible implantation? At that moment, there is absolutely ZERO chance that they will ever develop beyond what they are right now.”

      Why would the embryo in vitro have ZERO chance but the arm’s
      skin cell DOES have a chance?

      • lady_black

        Who SAID the arm skin cell had a chance? That would require technology, just as IVF does. And your fallacy of appeal to nature is duly noted and dismissed. Lots of things are “natural” but not desirable.
        Here’s what you may not know about IVF. The goal is to create as many embryos as possible. The reason is that they will be examined, and some found to be developing abnormally. These are culled out and de-selected for implantation. Pro-lifers shed a lot of crocodile tears about that, but it makes me happy. People are paying big bucks for this technology, and the goal is success, not to implant ‘just anything.’
        Still, none of the IVF embryos have any rights at all. Therefore, neither does an embryo created by more conventional means. Either can simply be discarded rather than brought to term. Furthermore, IVF embryos are considered property. Property has no rights.

        • skl

          “Who SAID the arm skin cell had a chance?”

          You did.
          And you said the IVF embryo had ZERO chance.
          Reread your post.

        • Paul B. Lot

          “You did.”

          She did? Where?

          I don’t see it.

          Are you perhaps lying, or wrong, or confused?

        • skl

          I saw it when I read these words of hers:

          “Technology now can allow any nucleated cell to become a
          potential human being via cloning. So what’s the difference between that zygote and the thousands of skin cells a person sheds when they scratch their arm…”

        • Paul B. Lot

          Thanks for answering at least one of my questions.

          However, it now falls to me to point out the obvious fact that you’ve avoided answering the other question, the one where I asked you if you were lying, wrong, or confused.

          @lady_black:disqus compared [zygotes] to [doctored skin cells] in the [context A] of already being inside the woman’s body, asking what [the pro-life-person’s differentiation between the two might be].

          She then she went on to point out that, when discussing in vitro fertilization, [context B] outside a woman’s body, an un-implanted zygote has no chance at all of becoming a person. Left unsaid/implied, of course, was the basic truth that if in [context B] a [zygote] would have “zero chance”, then a [doctored skin cell] would also have “zero chance”.

          So: no.

          She didn’t say [what you claimed she did].

          Instead, it seems to me, you either misread, misunderstood, or lied about what she said.

        • skl

          So she said or implied that the arm skin cell had a chance
          of becoming a human being in some context, and had no chance in another context, and the same for the chance/no chance zygote.

          Good work!

        • Paul B. Lot

          You claimed that she said or implied something which fit with the following paraphrase:

          Why would the embryo in vitro have ZERO chance but the arm’s skin cell DOES have a chance?

          She did not.

          You seemed to come to a realization of this fact, here:

          I guess you were saying that both the arm skin cell and the
          IVF fertilized ovum have zero chance.

          But, having come to the realization of your error, one wonders why you have not also come to the realization that you should probably make some sort of apologetic noises for a) misconstruing such a basic point, and b) doubling-down on your error when called on it. Repeatedly.

        • skl

          I’ll make you a deal.
          I’ll apologize after you and lady_black apologize for trying to equate
          extraordinary and unnatural technology practices with natural operations.

          Deal?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Deal?

          Who are you, Howie Mandel?

          No deal.

          I’ll make you a deal.
          I’ll apologize after you and lady_black apologize for….

          These are serious and difficult topics.

          Deflecting, or playing what-aboutery games, while attempting to discuss serious/difficult topics is not a good tactic. It’s logically unsound, which is all you should need to know to stop using it – but it’s also deeply frustrating to your interlocutor and it makes you seem like you aren’t discussing in-good-faith.

          …trying to equate
          extraordinary and unnatural technology practices with natural operations…

          You want us to apologize for….saying true things and making apt comparisons…..before you’ll apologize for failing basic English comprehension, and repeatedly doubling-down on your mistake like an ignorant, close-minded jerk?

        • skl

          “These are serious and difficult topics.”

          Well, they’re certainly interesting enough to me to post
          many comments on this thread. Maybe you’ll read some, besides the one to lady_black.

          But no briefcase for you.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Maybe you’ll read some, besides the one to lady_black.

          But no briefcase for you.

          Oh, how I long to meet a [pro-life advocate] online who is honest, serious, and interesting.

          Maybe some day. 🙁

        • adam

          Maybe some day. 🙁

        • Greg G.

          She was talking about “in vitro” which is technologically fertilizing an egg outside of the womb. A nucleated cell technologically made into a viable cell equivalent to a zygote still needs to be implanted, just like an in vitro zygote.

        • lady_black

          At the point of creation, the IVF fertilized ovum has ZERO possibility of becoming anything other than what it is. In case you didn’t realize this, embryos only develop past the blastocyst stage in the uterus of a woman.

        • skl

          I guess you were saying that both the arm skin cell and the
          IVF fertilized ovum have zero chance.

        • Greg G.

          If not implanted in a prepared uterus.

        • lady_black

          Yep. That’s what I said!

        • Greg G.

          She said that the IVF embryo had zero chance unless it was implanted in a uterus. “IVF” stands for “in vitro fertilization” which means the egg and sperm come together outside of a human body.

          By studying the fetal stem cells that the conservatives were so worked up over about 15 years ago, scientists figured out how to make other cells into stem cells. That’s why she compared the various cells to a zygote. Such a cell would then need a uterus.

          But it seems that an artificial uterus is on the way:

          https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/25/15421734/artificial-womb-fetus-biobag-uterus-lamb-sheep-birth-premie-preterm-infant

          Then, instead of having abortions, conservatives and religious nuts could adopt unwanted embryos and take care of them in large ziplock bags.

      • Cynthia

        Is this the naturalistic fallacy BS? The false idea that whether something is “natural” determines whether it is desirable or moral?

        My kids are not here because of “nature”. They are here because of technology, which makes ultrasounds and c-sections possible. My kids were all breach, and the fact that Girl 2 also had the cord wrapped around her neck multiple times means that the odds are good that she would have died if the only option was vaginal birth.

    • Ameribear

      First, there is nothing “secular” about Secular Pro-Life. They claim to be secular, but base their arguments upon religious principles. You posted a great example of that.

      Then specifically cite the religious principles they base their argument on.

      So what’s the difference between that zygote and the thousands of skin cells a person sheds when they scratch their arm, shampoo their scalp, take a dump and blow their nose? There must be something somehow “different” about that cell than any other cell? Is it because it’s located inside the body of a woman,
      and therefore useful in controlling her behavior, or that it’s unique genetic makeup constitutes some juju like a “soul?”

      It has its own distinct, separate, unique DNA which means it is a distinct member of the human race and not a part of the mothers body even though it’s in the mothers body. It’s not even close to being just another cell, it’s a rapidly developing human organism that is doing things no other cell will ever do. Comparing it to any other
      bodily cell is dishonest.

      What about embryos created in-vitro, for possible implantation?

      The means used to conceive have no bearing on what comes into existence at the moment of conception. It’s still a new human being in it’s earliest stages if development regardless of how it was caused.

      At that moment, there is absolutely ZERO chance that they will ever develop beyond what they are right now. Being that gestation is missing, and all… are these “persons” and do they have rights? What exact rights can we give them? Can we snatch a woman off the street and forcibly implant her to give these embryo “persons” what pro-lifers believe they are due? Why or why not? And what difference is there between an IVF embryo, and one created in vivo?

      They are still new human beings in the earliest stages of development and it’s precisely because they have been artificially conceived and thereby denied the chance to gestate that the whole practice of IVF should be banned. No we cannot snatch a woman off the street and forcibly implant her.

      Yep. “Secular”, MY ASS. They aren’t fooling anyone. Just try asking a few inconvenient questions on their site, and you can be called a baby-killing whore like I was. And be banned like I was. They don’t want to hear it.

      No on should be vilified like that for questioning anyone else’s arguments. That being said, please cite exactly what religious principles they or I use to support our arguments.

      • Kodie

        Comparing it to any other bodily cell is dishonest.

        Comparing it to a human person is dishonest.

        • Ameribear

          Then explain why you believe that.

        • Kodie

          Being based in reality and not superstition.

        • Ameribear

          So why don’t you simply admit you can’t explain why you believe what you do?

        • Kodie

          I explained it, doofus.

        • Ameribear

          Where?

      • lady_black

        SO WHAT if the zygote has unique DNA? So what if you think IVF should be banned. It will not be banned. Lots of NON-artificially “conceived” blastocysts are ALSO “denied the chance to gestate.” So, cry me a fucking river! I cannot be bothered to be concerned about that.
        I mentioned the religious aspects and you are right here being religious yourself. So WHAT if they are members of the species Homo sapiens? What makes that species any more valuable than Lupus canis familiaris or felis catus? They also have unique DNA, and nobody gives a rat’s behind when unborn animals are aborted in a spay surgery. You must be arguing that humans are somehow of more value than other species. WHY? See what I mean?
        And YES, I was banned for questioning the “arguments” over there, and I wasn’t the only one that happened to. You have your Echo Chamber. Now go back to it. You’re only fooling yourself by calling it “secular.” It hasn’t been secular since Students For Life took it over. They want to ban contraception, you know? That is not going to happen!

      • it’s a rapidly developing human organism that is doing things no other cell will ever do. Comparing it to any other
        bodily cell is dishonest.

        Sounds like your argument is the Argument from Potential–it’s not a person (or human being or baby or whatever) now, but it will be.

      • Women are people

        The whole practice of IVF should be banned? Why?

        There are no more embryos that don’t get to gestate than what occurs when couples try for years to achieve a viable pregnancy.

        The people who are generally against IVF have a colossal ignorance over the processes, and are largely ignorant that all those “wasted embryos” are embryos that would have been wasted through miscarriage anyway.

        Here is reality: 90% of all fertilized eggs fail to make it to term. 70% will arrest development before they reach blastocyst stage. Of the ones that do, another 50% will fail to implant or will implant for a few days but will fail to develop beyond that. Of the ones that survive implantation, another 30% will die in the first trimester, from a multitude of factors. Of the ones that make it past the first trimester, another 10% will die in the second, and another 5% in the 3rd.

        When an egg is fertilized, a series of events has to happen in perfect succession or there is no viable pregnancy, even if there is nothing genetically wrong with the embryo. Science doesn’t yet know why this happens.

        That’s reality. That’s the cold, hard reality.

        This is why it was considered “bad luck” to announce a pregnancy in the first trimester because the chances were good that it wouldn’t last beyond that, as if talking about it affected the outcome.

        So when you try to insist that there is something even remotely special about dna, it belies your ignorance on the issue as well and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way.

        There is no baby until a live birth. Until then, it is only the potential of a child. The sadness parents feel when they miscarry a wanted pregnancy is the sadness over the loss of hope for a child at the end of those 40 weeks. This is why you’ll see a lot of emotional bargaining…”we’ll try again”. It’s to restore the hope that is lost.

        I’ve had more than 50 eggs fertilized with my husband’s sperm. Those weren’t my “children”, they were my hope for a child.

        And when I lost 41 of those hopes for a child, I didn’t grieve the actual loss of a child. I grieved the loss of hope. And when I lost 7 of those pregnancies, I wasn’t grieving that particular embryo, I was grieving the loss of hope.

        Out of those 50 embryos, I have one child, a son. If that child died, I would grieve HIM specifically, not some vague notion of parenthood or the hope of having a child.

        To try to claim that the embryo that my child started out as and the person my son is now is morally, biologically, or even emotionally equivalent is complete and utter horseshit. It completely diminishes who my son is, diminished his personhood, and his existence by comparing him to 5 undifferentiated cells, or to claim a quivering cardiac tube deserves the right to someone else’s body, but my son, who is very much a person, doesn’t deserve any organs, not even from dead people, should he need them to survive.

    • ClayJames

      ¨So what’s the difference between that zygote and the thousands of skin cells a person sheds when they scratch their arm, shampoo their scalp, take a dump and blow their nose? ¨

      Those cells are body parts as opposed to individual living and developing whole organisms with their own distinct human dna.

      • lady_black

        Your body is constantly developing new cells and there is nothing special about them. Nor is there anything special about a zygote. The zygote is not an individual, because an individual isn’t biologically dependent upon another individual for continued life. Furthermore, most zygotes never develop past the blastocyst stage, and are passed harmlessly out of the body without ever beginning to gestate.
        Who cares about “distinct” human DNA? A zygote can just as easily end up as two, three or more individuals (at birth) whose DNA is NOT distinct from the others.

        • ClayJames

          You are confusing cells that are body parts and cells that are individual distinct organisms. Not all cells are the same. I said that a zygote is an individual organism and being biologically independent is not a prerequisite for something to be an individual organism. The case of twins does little to change this distinction since the main point here is that body parts do not have dictinct human DNA from the human organism they come from.

        • lady_black

          The only cells that are individual distinct organisms are not human. But you know that, right?

        • ClayJames

          That is not true. It is scientific consensus that a human zygote does exist.

        • lady_black

          But, it is neither an individual, nor distinct.

        • ClayJames

          A zygote is an individual human and it is distinct from the mother. The only way to argue that a zygote is not an individual human is to say that it is a body part of the mother and this would make no sense.

        • lady_black

          As I said, it may result in three or more non-distinct individuals. It is not a body part of the woman (whether or not she’s a “mother” yet is not in evidence). But it is more analogous to a body part or a parasite rather than it is to another human individual. Now I’m going to explain why.
          My hand is both alive and human. But it’s not going to remain alive very long separated from my circulatory system. Neither is an embryo or fetus prior to viability. If I am pregnant, my circulatory system is the one that matters. If the fetal heart ceases, that isn’t going to kill me. If MINE ceases the fetus will be killed.
          That’s one of many reasons I cannot consider an embryo or fetus a person or an individual. The other reasons have to do with mind theory, and the human rights to bodily autonomy (in essence, a non-autonomous body cannot possess autonomy).
          I will not repeat myself again.

        • Dago Red

          Can you possibly get any more ad hoc in your definition of what constitutes an “individual human”? How many zygotes are wearing clothes? What does a zygote look like when it smiles? How many hours does a zygote typically sleep each day? What color are a zygote’s eyes?….

          On one hand you are willing to call two very different things (a fully formed human and a zygote) by the same label (“individual human”) despite their many abundant, profound, and obvious dissimilarities, while on the other you attempt to highlight very minor differences between the zygote and any other human cells as reason enough to define them as entirely different things.

          Its as of you are willing to argue that a red and blue are just different hues of the same color, but charcoal-gray and midnight-gray are wholly distinct and different colors altogether.

          Next you will be telling us your guitar amplifier is louder than others because its volume control goes to eleven!

        • ClayJames

          My definition of an individual human is any whole organism that is a member of the human race. That is not ad hoc. Ironically, saying that an individual human must wear clothes, smile, sleep a certain number of hours or have eyes with a certain color is ad hoc.

          Red and blue are different colors but they are both colors. Similarly a zygote and and adult are different stages in development of a human being but they are both human beings. This is a scientific fact.

        • Yes, we can see how the newborn and the single cell are similar–they both have Homo sapiens DNA. The question here, though, is: What makes them different?

        • ClayJames

          That is not the question. It does not follow from the simple fact that there are differences that a zygote is not a person. The question is what difference makes a zygote not a person? I see no difference that you have given in these responses tha take away the personhood of a human being.

        • Hopefully you now see the complete waste of time arguing over the definition of a word is. If “person” doesn’t highlight the difference between newborn and single cell, then we must find a word that does.

        • Greg G.

          The question is what difference makes a zygote not a person?

          Having no brain. Many body parts can be transplanted but the person with the brain identifies as the same person. A functional brain is the quintessential factor to personhood.

        • Women are people

          Personhood is completely irrelevant.

          A 2 year old in undoubtably a person. It is a unique individual with unique dna and a unique member of the species. It is undoubtably a human being. It has a heart (not just the quivering tube you all like ignore when you talk about the heartbeat at 6 weeks). It has a brain.

          And yet that 2 year old does not have any rights to the organs, bone marrow or blood of anyone else to persist, not even from his/her own parents who had sex knowing that there was some non-zero risk of that child needing bone marrow or a kidney.

          If, as you say, there is no difference between a zygote and a 2 year old, then why doesn’t the unique dna matter when it comes to the 2 year old? The consent to x risk doesn’t matter either. Nor does it matter that it has a heart or is a human being.

          You are attempting to grant more rights to a fetus than a 2 year old, and in the process, a woman less rights than a corpse.

          Quite simply; is there a right to life using the bodies of others to persist? That answer is a resounding no.

        • “You are attempting to grant more rights to a fetus than a 2 year old, and in the process, a woman less rights than a corpse.”

          Wow.

        • Pofarmer

          Wow, indeed.

        • ClayJames

          I am not granting more rights to a fetus than a 2 year old. There is a difference between a dying 2 year old needing someone else´s organs to survive and killing a completely healthy developing fetus. Also, your kidneys exist to keep you alive, not anyone else and chosing to donate is clearly an extraordinary event. This is not the case for the uterus, whose only purpose is to support the life of the unborn child. You do not kill someone by not donating your kidney since that person would be killed by of their condition. This is completely different than killing a fetus because you do not want him to use an organ with the purpose of keeping her alive.

          I also reject your comparison regarding a 2 year old dependency and a parent. Having sick 2 year old is by definition an abnormal situation and in no way similar to the relationship between sex and reproduction. It would be absurd to claim that it would be ok to make your 2 year old dependent on one of your kidneys to survive and then chosing to remove that kidney killing her in the process. Clearly this should not be acceptable and is a closer comparison to what happens in abortions.

        • Women are people

          Forgive me, clay, but your comment reflects a breathtakingly ignorance on the biological reality of not only the uterus but also reproduction

          1) the uterus’s function is NOT just the host an embryo. It directs blood flow to the vagina and pelvis during sex. Its role is rather important for orgasms.

          2) you think the uterus is the only thing that’s used during pregnancy? Hmmmmm why would pregnancy cause anemia or kidney issues or pancreas issues or heart issues if the uterus is the only organ the fetus uses?

        • ClayJames

          A woman can absolutely chose whether or not to donate an organ. However no person can take back an organ that is already donated. I have no problem at all with contraception which would be analogous to the former. What you defend is the latter, not the former.

          This would apply in most cases of abortion except in the case of rape but even then, the fact that there is a huge diference between 1) killing a perfectly healthy human and 2) chosing not to save a dying one and that the presence of the child is a completely natural occurance in line with the biological necessity of certain organs in her body, makes abortion in no way analogous to not donating an organ to a dying 2 year old. And like I said before, even if we were to accept your argument (I don´t), that would only justify disconecting which would eliminate abortion for most of the pregnancy after the point of viability.

        • Women are people

          You speak as if the moment a woman finds herself pregnant, that the donation is complete.

          It’s not. And she can refuse to continue donating. Imagine if in order to donate bone marrow, it occurred in phases and over time. A little bit here, a little bit more there.

          A woman can donate a little bit, but then refuse to donate *any* more.

        • ClayJames

          This thought experiment is out of left field but I am curious to know your answer.

          Imagine that reincarnation is real and that at the moment of someone´s death they can decide to start their life over again as a fetus. But in this world, that embryo is randomly implanted in a woman and it is the woman´s life that is depdendent on that embryo to survive for the length of the pregnancy. If the fetus could make the decision to disconnect at some point in the pregnancy, should they be able to do so? What do you think?

          My response would be no because because 1) they are responsible for making the mother dependent on them 2) the mother´s dependency is a completely natural state (in this alternative world) and 3) the mother is a perfectly healthy human being so that her death would be a result of the disconecting and not of some other illness or injury.

        • Women are people

          Since a woman doesn’t need a fetus to live, and lived before the fetus was reincarnated into her body, I’m not sure how this thought experiment holds, but I’ll bite for the sake of argument.

          A fetus can absolutely disconnect itself from the woman, killing her, if it decides it no longer wants to support her with its body.

          You can cause a car accident by veering your car directly into mine, putting me in a state of dependence on blood, for which you happen to be a match. You are not obligated to donate blood to me, even though you are directly responsible for my needing blood.

          While you are liable for my death, you are NOT liable for my death BECAUSE you didn’t donate. You can never be jailed solely on your refusal to give me bodily support. You cannot be held liable in a civil matter because you didn’t donate.

          You seem to be unable to grasp the fact that bodily autonomy supersedes any right to life.

        • Women are people

          Removing a fetus is no different from removing someone from life support.

          The fact that a fetus dies when it is denied the use of someone else’s body is not any different than a 2 year old that is denied your kidney.

        • ClayJames

          Killing a perfectly healthy human being is no different than taking life support away from a human being that is dying?

          After viability, killing a perfectly healthy human being that could live without dependence on the mother is the same as taking life support away from a human being that is dying?

          The irony to all this is that even if you are right that the mother´s right to her body trumps the rights of the person inside of her to live at all, that would only permit abortion until the point of viability. After viability, the mother could only disconect the child and not to abort her (which entails killing her).

        • Women are people

          Good god. It is not a “perfectly healthy human being”

          Perfectly healthy people don’t need someone else’s lungs to breathe for them. Perfectly healthy people don’t need a body of another to live.

          My son is perfectly healthy. He pumps his own blood, breathes his own air, filters his own blood, swallows his own food, pisses his own urine, and maintains homeostasis without anyone else’s body doing it for him.

          You know who might be also perfectly healthy? The woman. Should she be forced to make herself unhealthy by pregnancy? You do know that pregnancy is a medical condition, yes? One that puts her st great risk for a number of complications, including death. This is why anti-choices are viewed as anti woman. You completely disregard her health in deference to an embryo.

          Embryos are not miniature babies that just need to grow in size. A LOT of things need to happen in perfect succession for there to be a live birth.

        • ClayJames

          I don´t know how old your son is, but when he was a newborn he was not a ¨perfectly healthy human being¨. My grown son feeds himself, does not piss on himself, can prevent infections with proper higiene and can turn over so he doesnt sufficate on a pillow.

          This is just as ridiculous to say that being ¨healthy¨ is a function of what you can do instead of a human being´s state of being free from illness or injury. It is a scientific fact that if a fetus is free from illness or injury that they are a ¨perfectly healthy human being¨ and we should not be able to kill ¨perfectly healthy human beings¨ unless in the most extreme cases (which often include the life of another ¨perfectly healthy human being¨).

        • Women are people

          This is why conversations with people who are anti-women get so damn frustrating.

          You compare doing things with your hands as equivalent to doing things with my internal organs that puts me at great risk.

          My son is 10 months old. Feeding him cereal with a spoon because he doesn’t know how to feed himself doesn’t risk my health the way feeding him through my body does. I’ve never heard of any woman getting diabetes and having her kidneys shut down because she used a spoon to feed rice cereal.

          Changing a diaper doesn’t cause my liver function to rise to dangerous levels the way eliminating a fetus’s waste does.

          Can you for one second stop being so intellectually dishonest and recognize that pregnancy is dangerous?

          Again, the fetus is INSIDE the body of someone else. There is no obligation of anyone to allow someone else to live inside their body.

          Why do you want to grant more rights to a fetus than anyone else has? No one has rights to use someone else’s body. If a fetus is so healthy, it can be removed and it can live or die on its own organs.

        • ClayJames

          I am not anti-woman and my argument would apply equally to men if they were placed in the same situation.

          I simply pointed out that your definition of a ¨perfectly healthy human being¨ was 100% wrong. Any doctor would say that a fetus is healthy even if they can´t live on their own outside the womb. You can´t possible say you are being intellectually honest and keep using the word in this way.

        • Women are people

          You seem to object to the fetus dying during the procedure.

          So you’re fine with the abortion pill that basic just starts early labor and pushes the embryo out whole? Then it’s not “being killed”. It’s dying of natural causes because it has no developed organs to sustain itself. That’s fine with you then, right?

        • ClayJames

          An embryo is still a human being so I would not support him being extracted to a hostile environment to die just as I would be against throwing a 2 year old into a freezing lake.

          However, before the existence of that human life, anyone can do what they want.

        • Women are people

          Lol. The uterus IS the hostile environment. Are you not aware that 90% of all fertilized eggs fail to make it to term naturally? It’s often because the uterus is a hostile environment that tries to kill the invading embryo at every turn.

          You seem to have a rather juvenile understanding of gestation. It’s not some symbiotic relationship. It’s an all out biological war.

        • ClayJames

          In that case nature itself is also a hostile environment since it kills 100% of human beings.

          There are many places in the world where 50% of children die but this in no way justifies killing these children by artificial means.

          By hostile I mean an environment completely antagonistic to the survival of a human being. A freezing lake is a hostile environment for a 2 year old similarly to how the outside world is a hostile environment to a 15 week old fetus. Both of these humans are naturally ordered to live within certain environments so that casting then to environments where they can definetly not survive is the same as killing them.

        • Women are people

          You keep equating abortion with killing.

          Abortion is, in legal and medical terms, the termination of a pregnancy. It is not the termination of a fetus. You know what else terminates the pregnancy? Induced labor. C-sections.

          The abortion pill is the inducement of labor. It’s just so early that the fetus can not survive outside.

          It is not the woman’s fault or really even her problem that a fetus dies absent her body. It didn’t matter for McFall when Shimp denied him his body to live.

          Either organ donation is mandatory, and if so, it’s mandatory for everyone in all cases, and at all times, or it’s not mandatory for anyone. You are trying to special plead pregnancy as a mandatory donation without justification.

        • Women are people

          Yes you are! You are absolutely granting a fetus more rights than a 2 year old has.

          You are giving a fetus the right to not only it’s own body, but you are giving it a right to *someone else’s* body. Having rights to 2 bodies is greater than the right to 1.

        • ClayJames

          A fetus does not have a right to your body in that it should not choose to kill the woman any more than a woman should be able to kill the fetus. However, the fetus, like the 2 year old, has a right to live within its natural environment and should have their lives protected from being ended for no other reason than the desires of another human being.

          A human being should not be able to make another perfectly healthy human being dependent on one of their organs only to take it away and killing them in the process. If I take my perfectly healthy 2 year old, remove his 2 kidneys, give him one of mine so that his life depends on it and the next day I decide to take it back, killing him in the process, then I would be liable for his death since I am the one who put him in the position of dependency. This is a much closer analogy (even though it is still not perfect).

        • Women are people

          You don’t have a right to my body even if your use of it would not kill me. You cannot have sex with me without my permission, even if you putting your penis inside of me won’t kill me or harm me physically.

          There is no right to live in someone else’s body. That’s ridiculous.

        • ClayJames

          Who said that someone can be inside you simply because it won´t kill you or harm you? I surely didn´t. You are also correct about the sex example however it is completely irrelevant to abortion.

        • Women are people

          You did. You seem to think a woman must leave a fetus in her body unless the abortion is to save her life.

          Which means, by default, you think someone can use her body so long as it isn’t harming her.

        • Women are people

          The woman does not put the fetus in a state of dependency. The embryo put itself there.

          Do you think a woman implants the embryo or controls if the embryo implants? No. She doesn’t. If she did, there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of people trying for years to get pregnant. Infertility wouldn’t exist if people had control over ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. There would be no unplanned pregnancies if a woman could simply control the process.

          You keep acting like the woman willfully created said embryo, and implanted it herself. That’s why your analogy of removing kidneys to donate yours then taking it back fails.

          You also fail to understand consent and how consent works. I can consent to sex yet I have no obligation to continue said consent until the act is complete. I can consent to sex and then in the middle of sex, withdraw my consent and the sex has to stop or it’s rape.

          You seem to think a woman has less rights to her own body, and has no right to say “no. Stop.” That’s a disgusting view of women.

          You still haven’t answered my question about whether or not men, who control more in the reproductive process than women do, and would therefore be MORE responsible for the embryos dependency than a woman, have an obligation to donate bone marrow or organs should his child need it.

          Are men required to donate their body’s fluids, organs or tissue to their child, yes or no?

        • ClayJames

          You can be responsible for a certain situation even if it is ordered toward that result even if the chance of it happening is not 100%.

          Yes, a woman can consent to stop sex at any point and it must stop. I have no idea how you could believe that I would accept the opposite unless you are bringing incredible prejudice to this argument.

          To answer your question, I don´t believe the father has an obligation to donate bone marrow to a born child, but this would also apply for the mother. However, I do think that it should be the obligation of the father to donate bone marrow to a perfectly healthy developing fetus in its natural environment in order to keep it alive. Hell, if it were possible through some medical advancement for a man to carry a fetus to term, then I would also think it is their responsability to do so (unless their life is in danger).

        • Women are people

          You don’t know how I would feel otherwise?

          Because you seem to think that once a woman has a fetus inside her body, that she is obligated to leave it there, until the fetus has finished doing what it does to her. I don’t see any logical difference between that and allowing a man to finish what he is doing.

          You keep ignoring the fact that a woman’s body is her own. She gets to decide how it is used, by whom, how long and for what purpose. You seem to be perfectly fine with saying that her body belongs to someone else to use as they want. No. Just no.

        • ClayJames

          If you really think there is no logical difference between an offspring in the womb and a rapist in a woman, then there is little more that can be gained by debating this issue. Our values are too far apart.

        • Yes, debate may well be pointless. You’ve successfully removed your beliefs from critique.

        • ClayJames

          Every debate requires that both people have some foundation from where to start. I have no established foundation with someone who believes an offspring in a the womb is the same as a rapist in a woman.

          Similarly, if you were having a debate with someone who claims that no one has the right to live, then you should similarly not waste your time discussing abortion since you share no foundation from where to start.

          It is nothing personal.

        • I have no established foundation with someone who believes an offspring in a the womb is the same as a rapist in a woman.

          Is there a typo in here? I’m not sure what you’re saying.

          And it’s not an offspring if it’s not born yet.

          Foundational to me, as explained in this post, is the idea that the single cell and the newborn are very different. We might have legitimate differences in opinion about specifics of how and why they’re different, but if we don’t agree that they’re different then we would indeed not have any common ground.

        • ClayJames

          I am saying that she believes that there is no logical difference between a rapist in a woman and a fetus in the womb. We are so far apart on our values that we have no common ground from which to have a fruitful conversation. This, along with the fact that she literally attributed the opposite of what I clearly stated to her makes this conversation with her a waste of time. Its nothing personal, just time management.

          Sure, it can still be considered an offspring but you can consider it whatever you want. That semantic distinction make no difference.

          The foundational point was a response to her, not to you. I addressed your points elsewhere.

        • Greg G.

          I am saying that she believes that there is no logical difference between a rapist in a woman and a fetus in the womb.

          You do not get the “consent” issue. It it isn’t something you are subject to, it isn’t important. The difference between working for a living and being a slave is consent. The difference between sex and rape is consent. The difference between choosing to be a mother and forced birth is consent.

        • ClayJames

          The difference between driving drunk and killing someone is consent.

        • Women are people

          There is no difference when it comes to a non consenting woman.

          Both the rapist and the fetus are using the woman’s body without her consent.

        • Women are people

          Why would birth end that obligation to a product of your sexual activity?

          If having sex means that you are obligated to use your body to sustain that life, then birth cannot be the end to that. Otherwise, you are engaging in special pleading fallacies.

          If consent to sex = consent to bodily life support, then it exists all the time. For everyone who engaged in sex. Including men. There is no logical reason for it to end at pregnancy.

          The uterus is just a location, remember? You all keep saying that a fetus is the same thing as an infant. So why does a fetus get bodily life support but an infant does not if they are the same and the only difference is the location?

        • ClayJames

          It doesn´t end the obligation in that the parents are obligated to keep the baby alive. It ends the obligation of the body toward the fetus because 1) the woman´s body is not anymore the natural environment the offspring needs to survive and 2) if the baby at this point needs an organ donation he is not healthy to begin with.

        • Women are people

          The natural environment is irrelevant. Are you saying that the uterus is some kind of special place where rights of the woman to decide how her body is used is suspended? That’s absurd.

          Is this about life or is this just about punishing women for having sex by requiring them to literally risk their lives and health?

        • Women are people

          “It doesn’t end the obligation in that the parents are obligated to keep the baby alive.”

          Ok then, so if it needs bone marrow, it has a right to get that from its parents because they are the ones obligated to keep it alive. Either the requirement to keep alive extends to bodily support or it doesn’t.

          “1) the woman’s body is no longer the natural environment the offspring needs to survive.”

          Ok? Isn’t that an admission that you are giving a fetus MORE rights to someone else’s body than anyone else gets?

          Let’s say that there is an infant born without any kidneys. (This is a legitimate medical occupancy). There is also a fetus whose kidneys have not been developed enough to function on its own.

          1) you are giving that fetus MORE rights to the woman’s kidneys than a fetus.
          2) you are acknowledging that the location does matter, since you are giving rights to someone else’s body based on where they are located.

          You’re argument is done.

        • Women are people

          Here is your special pleading fallacy.

          You: having sex means you are obligated to allow the use of your organs, blood and tissue to support the life that resulted from that sex.

          Me: ok, then men are obligated to donate bone marrow or a lobe of liver because he had sex with the knowledge of some non-zero risk of a child resulting from that sex needing one. *i use bone marrow or liver because both regenerate, much like the regeneration of her bones from the calcium the fetus stripped from her.

          You: no. Men have no obligation to donate.

          So you are basically engaging in a special pleading fallacy to say that bodily life support only exists in one situation and you exempt it from another without justification.

          This is about forcing people to save the lives that they create by donating their body, right? If so, then it applies to both people who created that life, regardless of location, because both those people are responsible for creating that life. It’s ironic because men have more responsibility for creating that life because they control at least one aspect of reproduction while the woman controls zero aspects of it.

          (In case you don’t understand, the woman does not control ovulation. She doesn’t control fertilization. She doesn’t control implantation. She also doesn’t control ejaculation. The man, however, does control where and when he ejaculates. The woman does not. Women can have sex all day long, with a million eggs released during that sex. No sperm = no fertilization)

        • ClayJames

          Are you even reading before responding?

          I said that a man does have that obligation. This is what I wrote:

          [blockquote]I do think that it should be the obligation of the father to donate bone marrow to a perfectly healthy developing fetus in its natural environment in order to keep it alive. [/blockquote]

          You literally attributed to me the opposite of what I said. Talk about disingenuous.

          Thanks for the conversation. I am done.

        • Women are people

          Oh my god. Dude. I’m asking specifically about after birth and you are trying to hide your special pleading fallacy.

          Basically, you have no valid logicly reason as to why birth would end the obligation of bodily support….unless you are making a special pleading case so that men are exempted.

        • Women are people

          I’m familiar with your tactic. I ask a question. You answer a question I didn’t ask. Then you claim that I’m not listening when I refuse to talk about your strawman.

          You think men should be required to donate bone marrow to a fetus. How heroic of you to require something of men that is not medically possible.

          You don’t think I don’t see right through your disingenuous tactic?

          If this is about saving lives through bodily support because you had sex, then birth doesn’t not end the obligation. You keep harping on putting someone in that state of dependence. Your child developed leukemia because you gave them the gene for it. So you put that child in the state of dependence on your healthy bone marrow.

          So sorry, but you have no logical reason to end the obligation of bodily support at pregnancy…

          Unless of course you are trying to say only women have to give their bodies…

        • Women are people

          Are you saying there is no difference between killing and letting die? If so, men kill their children by refusing to donate their organs or donate organs to others using a directed donation exchange, and yet you don’t seem to be too concerned about that.

          There are kids RIGHT NOW that Be the Match tries to find donors for. Kids that will die without that bone marrow. Why isn’t every father whose child is on a donor list, signed up to donate to someone else’s kid to secure a donation from someone else’s father? Hmmmmm? Where is your paternalistic accusations that they are killing their child by refusing to donate?

          If this was about saving lives (by using your internal organs as life support) for you, then pregnancy wouldn’t be the end of that.

          Women are people. Not walking life support machines. They have a right to say no to their body being used for any reason. Just like you do.

        • ClayJames

          Huh? No, I am saying the opposite. I have said time and time again that there is a huge difference between killing someone and not saving them so that they die from some other injury or disease.

        • Women are people

          The fetus is dying of natural causes since it dies when it is removed from the woman. Why? Because it’s organs are insufficient to sustain itself. In the same way a child on dialysis has kidneys that are insufficient to sustain itself.

          If a woman has a heart attack and dies while pregnant, her fetus dies. From what? The fetus’s cause of death was not a heart attack. It was from natural causes of being indirectly separated from the organ of the woman.

        • Women are people

          The disconnect is that you see an abortion as an active killing of a fetus as the primary goal, like murder is the primary goal of killing a personZ While I view abortion more akin to self defense where the primary goal is removing something from your body. The fact that it dies (which is not the sum total of all abortions, btw. It’s still an abortion if the heartbeat has stopped but the body did not evacuate it. This is called a missed miscarriage) is secondary to the goal. In self defense, my primary goal is to defend myself. If you happen to be killed while I’m defending myself from you, oh well. It’s not murder. It’s not even homicide.

          You need to provide adequate rationale as to why a woman is not allowed to defend her body from an unwanted intruder.

        • Women are people

          And yet, it is perfectly legal for me to deny the use of my kidney, even if I originally consented. Even if they die in the process of blocking that use.

          If I consented to let you be hooked up to my body to filter your blood, I can decide to cut that cord, separating us. Even if you die.

          I don’t understand your point about sex and reproduction. Are you saying that having sex means that you are consenting to the use of your internal organs to sustain someone else’s life?

          That must mean you support laws that require men to donate organs, regardless of the risk to them, to their kids, under that paradigm, right?

          You had sex with the knowledge of some non-zero risk of your child needing a kidney. You would be forced to donate because you had sex, right? Even if it kills you, right?

        • killing a completely healthy developing fetus

          I think this is the key word. This is the Argument from Potential.

        • ClayJames

          Human beings don´t stop developing the moment they are born. If the fact that a human being is developing justifies abortion then it also justifies infanticide.

        • Human beings don´t stop developing the moment they are born.

          True. And trivial.

          The development a newborn undergoes to become a child, teen, and then adult is trivial compared to going from a single cell to a trillion-cell organism. And, of course, that is trivial when you consider that those trillion cells are differentiated into a brain and nervous system, heart and circulatory system, stomach and digestive system, skin, pancreas, arms and legs, eyes and ears, and so on vs. a single undifferentiated cell.

          Everyone else sees the difference. How about you?

        • ClayJames

          I clearly see the difference between an embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, teenager and adult. I also see no reason to accept that personhood is a function of this biological difference.

          Even if I did, it seems completely arbitrary to make birth the end of the spectrum where someone has a full right to live.

          Let me ask you a question. At what point do you think killing a developing human being should be illegal?

        • I clearly see the difference between an embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, teenager and adult. I also see no reason to accept that personhood is a function of this biological difference.

          Then I guess “person” is a useless word since we can’t agree on its definition.

          Tell you what: you tell me what word to use. Fill in the blank: “a newborn is a ___, while the single cell 9 months prior isn’t.” I’d use “person,” but perhaps you can suggest a better word.

          Let me ask you a question. At what point do you think killing a developing human being should be illegal?

          This has been decided by numerous jurisdictions around the world. I’ll let the experts decide.

        • ClayJames

          Tell you what: you tell me what word to use. Fill in the blank: “a newborn is a ___, while the single cell 9 months prior isn’t.” I’d use “person,” but perhaps you can suggest a better word.

          Lets define it your way. Call a born human a person which makes an unborn human not a person. So what? This would just mean that you can not be a person and not have the right to live. Its just semantics.

          This has been decided by numerous jurisdictions around the world. I’ll let the experts decide.

          My question is not how it is decided but what you personally think. If the experts decide that you can kill a human being up to 12 years of age then you would clearly disagree. At what point do you think killing a developing human being should be illegal?

        • Right. Why can you kill rats as you please? Because they’re not people.

          At what point do you think killing a developing human being should be illegal?

          That’s a different subject, on which I don’t have an interesting opinion. Like I said.

        • ClayJames

          No, under your definition you can kill rats because they are not individual members of a rational kind. The word ¨person¨ for me is a place holder for ¨an individual member of a rational kind¨. Clearly, you want to define ¨person¨ in another way and that is fine, we will go with your definition but if you do, then I would disagree with your claim that you can kill any being that is not a person. Its all semantics.

          That’s a different subject, on which I don’t have an interesting opinion. Like I said.

          So all that you are doing is defining personhood as a spectrum of development between an embryo and a newborn and then saying that this has little bearing on the abortion issue to begin with. One could accept your spectrum and still think abortion should not be allowed for most or all of pregnancy. I don´t mind if your opinion is not interesting. I am eager to see how you take your spectrum and make conclusions about abortion especially considering that the so called ¨experts¨ you want to leave this question to are people like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

        • So all that you are doing is defining personhood as a spectrum of development between an embryo and a newborn and then saying that this has little bearing on the abortion issue to begin with.

          It has considerable bearing on the issue; it just doesn’t define where the OK/not-OK line should go.

          One could accept your spectrum and still think abortion should not be allowed for most or all of pregnancy.

          Of course! The point is (and it’s a simple and obvious point) that the single cell is really, really, really different from the newborn it becomes 9 months later. The “It ain’t a newborn . . . but it will be!” is just the Argument from Potential fallacy—it’s admits the difference but then tries to ignore it.

          The OK/not-OK line for abortion is an acknowledgment that, while the mother’s right to choose applies, at some point along the spectrum, the inherent value of the fetus overrides that, and the state must overrule the woman and prohibit abortion. Where that line is isn’t specified by the spectrum argument, but it’s informed by it.

          I don´t mind if your opinion is not interesting.

          I have lots of uninteresting opinions, but I don’t have lots of time. One must focus.

          the so called ¨experts¨ you want to leave this question to are people like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

          I actually had doctors and scientists in mind.

        • ClayJames

          It has considerable bearing on the issue; it just doesn’t define where the OK/not-OK line should go.

          Why is the OK/not-OK question a line? It seems like if this is a spectrum then the rights given to human beings along their stages of development should also be a spectrum. It makes no sense that there ought to be a line within the spectrum. It seems that the rights along the specturm should look something like this:

          25 week old human: can be killed
          45 week old human: cannot be killed but can be tortured
          100 week old human: cannot be killed or tortured but can be hurt
          200 week old human: cannot be killed, tortured or hurt but the parent has no responsability to keep her alive
          400 week old human: cannot be killed, tortured, hurt, must be kept alive but parents have no responsability to keep her healthy
          ….

          If the most basic rights depend on personhood and personhood is a spectrum, why wouldn´t these basic rights also be granted along that spectrum? Why are they all granted at one point?

          The “It ain’t a newborn . . . but it will be!” is just the Argument from Potential fallacy—it’s admits the difference but then tries to ignore it.

          I have never argued from potentiality. I grant the right to live to an embryo not because of what it will become but because of what it is.

          The OK/not-OK line for abortion is an acknowledgment that, while the mother’s right to choose applies, at some point along the spectrum, the inherent value of the fetus overrides that, and the state must overrule the woman and prohibit abortion.

          Based on my experience talking about this with atheists (including on this comment section), I am surprised that you believe that the fetus´ right to live can trump the mother´s right to chose what to do with her body. I agree with you completely.

          I actually had doctors and scientists in mind.

          A doctor or scientist cannot tell you when a fetus has the right to live since this is a philosophical question. You, a doctor and myself would agree 100% on the biological realities of a developing human being from embryo to natural death. However, I believe these rights should be given to all members of the human race regardless of their location or stage of development. In my philosophical grounding of these rights, your spectrum is irrelevant just as you believe that many other spectrums are irrelevant when determining the right to live.

        • Why is the OK/not-OK question a line?

          Why is 16 years old for a driver’s license a line? Or a drinking age or a voting age or anything else that’s a line? Some things are just binary—you can’t have a 30% driver’s license.

          I have never argued from potentiality. I grant the right to live to an embryo not because of what it will become but because of what it is.

          It’s a single cell. Big deal. If you don’t want that killed, that’s fine. Just don’t stand in someone else’s way.

          Based on my experience talking about this with atheists (including on this comment section), I am surprised that you believe that the fetus´ right to live can trump the mother´s right to chose what to do with her body.

          I suggest you read a little more carefully and ask before you assume. Few pro-choicers would demand that the woman can abort at any time. Roe certainly doesn’t allow that.

          A doctor or scientist cannot tell you when a fetus has the right to live since this is a philosophical question.

          And yet philosophers are rarely the ones that make the decisions—go figure. Ethicists certainly do weigh in, but so do doctors and scientists.

          I believe these rights should be given to all members of the human race regardless of their location or stage of development.

          And there’s the problem with our discussion. We need a word that differentiates between the single cell and the newborn, that puts a name on the spectrum. “A newborn is a person, while the single cell isn’t”: change the word “person” to a word that makes more sense for you.

        • ClayJames

          Why is 16 years old for a driver’s license a line? Or a drinking age or a voting age or anything else that’s a line? Some things are just binary—you can’t have a 30% driver’s license.

          You are confusing binary rights with granting a lot of basic rights at a certain point instead of granting them over the spectrum. Every single right that I posted (to live, to not be hurt, to be kept alive, etc. ) are all binary rights, but clearly if personhoood is a spectrum, they should all be given at different points in that spectrum and not all at once.

          This spectrum of personhood that depends on human development should lead to human beings receiving these rights at different points of their development from embryo to fully developed adult and not all at one arbitrary point. You can´t have it both ways.

          It’s a single cell. Big deal. If you don’t want that killed, that’s fine. Just don’t stand in someone else’s way.

          Every human being is just a bunch of cells. If you don´t want that killed, that´s fine. Just don´t stand in someone else´s way.

          In the real scope of the universe, the difference between an embryo, an ant and you is negligible.

          And there’s the problem with our discussion. We need a word that differentiates between the single cell and the newborn, that puts a name on the spectrum. “A newborn is a person, while the single cell isn’t”: change the word “person” to a word that makes more sense for you.

          You are hung up on this irrelevant semantic argument. Your developmental spectrum does exist and I give the right to live at the point of the spectrum where the organism is a human being. Call it a ¨person¨ whenever you want, it is irrelevant to me.

        • Every human being is just a bunch of cells.

          Oddly, we can’t agree that a single cell is very, very different from a trillion cells, each one differentiated into lungs and brain, skin and liver, arms and legs, and on and on and on. Not much point in talking to you, is there?

        • Greg G.

          My question is not how it is decided but what you personally think. If the experts decide that you can kill a human being up to 12 years of age then you would clearly disagree.

          Is it illegal to kill a 12 year old with an assault rifle who is threatening to shoot into a crowd?

          At what point do you think killing a developing human being should be illegal?

          When it is developing inside of another person with the other person’s consent.

          Your right to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose. Your right to life ends when it requires the use of another person’s organs without their consent.

        • ClayJames

          Your right to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose.

          You have managed to use a comparison that works directly against your point.

          I agree with you 100%, your right to use your body (swing your fist) ends at the next person´s nose because the health or life of another person trumps your decision to chose what you want to do with your body.

        • Otto

          >>>”because the health or life of another person trumps your decision to chose what you want to do with your body.”

          Not when it comes to personal health care decisions. There is nothing that should force someone to use their body to support the life of another. We don’t force people to give blood or donate kidneys for very good reasons.

        • Greg G.

          Would this be OK with you then if it was real doctors taking half a liver if your decision about what you do with your body doesn’t trump the health and life of someone with a bad kidney?

          https://youtu.be/Sp-pU8TFsg0.

        • ClayJames

          I have gone over this before on here but I don´t mind repeating it. The responsibility to not kill someone inside your body comes from the fact that 1) they are dependent on your body because of your actions (except in the case of rape), 2) a human being in the womb is perfectly healthy (unlike a someone dying and needing your organs), 3) their existence inside the uterus is a completely natural event (in comparison to the extraordinary event of giving your kidney to someone else) and 4) not saving someone from dying by not donating is different than killing a healhty human being.

          These 4 reasons make abortion a completely different scenario than the Monty Python video.

        • Greg G.

          You are giving the fetus rights that nobody else gets, taking away the right of body autonomy and decisions for who can use one’s own organs, punishing the woman for having sex, making her a bond servant, and forcing her to risk her health and life against her will.

          Rape really makes the difference, doesn’t it? If it was about the fetus, rape should be irrelevant but you know that a rapist should not be rewarded with a child and a woman shouldn’t be forced to have her rapist’s kid.

          Just because someone decides to have sex does not mean that they consent to having a baby. Even if the intent of the sex was to have a baby, situations can change where having a child would be disastrous. That’s why you should never get to decide whether somebody else should have a baby.

        • ClayJames

          You are giving the fetus rights that nobody else gets, taking away the right of body autonomy and decisions for who can use one’s own organs, punishing the woman for having sex, making her a bond servant, and forcing her to risk her health and life against her will.

          Absolutely not. If I took you in your sleep, made you dependent on me to live and then decided to unplug you because I have a right to my bodily autonomy, then I should be responsible for your death.

          Rape really makes the difference, doesn’t it? If it was about the fetus, rape should be irrelevant but you know that a rapist should not be rewarded with a child and a woman shouldn’t be forced to have her rapist’s kid.

          I actually gave 4 reasons for why abortion is different from organ donation. Rape does make a difference but there are 3 other reasons for why we shouldn´t kill a fetus that is a result of rape. If most pro-choice people believe we should not be able to kill the rapist then why should we be able to kill an innocent human being that is a product of the rape? Like I said before, the bodily autonomy argument is trumped by another human´s right to live.

          Just because someone decides to have sex does not mean that they consent to having a baby. Even if the intent of the sex was to have a baby, situations can change where having a child would be disastrous. That’s why you should never get to decide whether somebody else should have a baby.

          Situations can change where having a child could be disastrous after the child is born but you don´t believe someone should be able to kill a newborn, do you?

          You are right, I should not ever get to decide when someone else has a child. However, when someone is pregnant, they already have a child and I think a parent should not be allowed to kill their child.

        • Greg G.

          Absolutely not. If I took you in your sleep, made you dependent on me to live and then decided to unplug you because I have a right to my bodily autonomy, then I should be responsible for your death.

          Yes, but that is quite different than a sperm with no consciousness biologically fertilizing an egg with no consciousness, without the consent of the person with the ovaries.

          I actually gave 4 reasons for why abortion is different from organ donation. Rape does make a difference but there are 3 other reasons for why we shouldn´t kill a fetus that is a result of rape. If most pro-choice people believe we should not be able to kill the rapist then why should we be able to kill an innocent human being that is a product of the rape? Like I said before, the bodily autonomy argument is trumped by another human´s right to live.

          I think self-defense during an attack includes killing the attacker rather than waiting to see how far they might go with a choke hold or a knife.

          The fetus is neither innocent or guilty. It is just biologically taking oxygen and nutrients from the woman’s body. If she gives her consent, that is her choice, not yours. If she does not give her consent, that is her choice and you do not get to force her to continue, even if you are the fetus..

          Situations can change where having a child could be disastrous after the child is born but you don´t believe someone should be able to kill a newborn, do you?

          A newborn is not using anyone’s body or taking nutrients from anybody who has not given consent.

          You are right, I should not ever get to decide when someone else has a child. However, when someone is pregnant, they already have a child and I think a parent should not be allowed to kill their child.

          A person gets the right to life when they do not need to use somebody’s organs or they have consent to use them.

        • ClayJames

          Yes, but that is quite different than a sperm with no consciousness biologically fertilizing an egg with no consciousness, without the consent of the person with the ovaries.

          If I went to my local carnival and played a game where I had a 99% chance of winning a stuffed animal but a 1% chance of making you dependent on me to live and I choose to go ahead and play that game only to decide later to kill you because I have a right to my bodily autonomy, I should be responsible for your death. Blaming a pregnancy on the sperm and/or egg is like blaming a homocide on a bullet.

          The fetus is neither innocent or guilty. It is just biologically taking oxygen and nutrients from the woman’s body. If she gives her consent, that is her choice, not yours. If she does not give her consent, that is her choice and you do not get to force her to continue, even if you are the fetus..

          No, the fetus is 100% innocent in the rape. We do not kill the person guilty of the rape and we should not kill a completely innocent party. A woman should have the right to do what she wants with her body, unless it means killing a healthy human being in its natural course of development.

          A newborn is not using anyone’s body or taking nutrients from anybody who has not given consent.

          So you would support making abortion illegal after the point of viability right? If a fetus no longer needs to depend on the mother, it seems like based on your view, the acceptable alternative would be to deliver her and not abort her, right?

          Also, why should autonomy stop there? If you have had a newborn you would know that it takes a physical, emotional, mental and financial stress on a woman. Why should a woman´s autonomy stop at bodily dependency? Just because someone decides to have sex does not mean that they consent to having a baby.

        • Why are you focused on abortion? If you want to reduce abortion, you should focus on the cause: unwanted pregnancy. With comprehensive sex ed plus easy access to contraception, you could arguably cut the abortion rate to 1/10 what it is today. That’s a far better result than you’re likely to get, even if you overturn Roe. You do realize, I hope, than illegal abortion doesn’t mean no abortions.

        • ClayJames

          Um, I am focused on abortion because the post that I am responding to, that you wrote, is about abortion.

          I also think we should do everything possible to reduce unwanted pregnancy including sex education and making contraception available to everyone.

          You do realize, I hope, that illegal rape doesn´t mean no rape right? The fact that people still do illegal things is no reason to not make things illegal.

        • The fact that people still do illegal things is no reason to not make things illegal.

          I’m bypassing legality and focusing on results. Reducing unwanted pregnancy is the way to go. Perhaps we’re on the same page here. If so, that’s great. Bizarrely, I find that rare among anti-abortion advocates.

        • ClayJames

          You probably live in the US. Most pro-life advocates have a silly definition of ¨life¨.

          We are on the same page in aknowledging that making abortion illegal would not solve the entire problem. Being pro-life should consider all life and if society does not support the mother and born child (like most Republicans fail to do) then they are not pro-life to begin with.

          However, preventing pregnancy but still allowing abortion is not something we should accept since allowing the killing of innocent human beings is never an acceptable solution. Hell, a better solution than abortion would be to castrate all the men so that they cannot reproduce. And yet if no one would accept this as a valid solution, we should also not accept killing other innocent human beings as a solution.

          You do everything possible for women who do not want children to avoid getting pregnant, you prevent them from killing their child when they do get pregnant while at the same time supporting them every step of the way.

        • I agree with your first two paragraphs. Unfortunately, I agree with basically none of the rest. If you equate a single cell with a trillion-cell newborn, we’re not going to find common ground.

        • ClayJames

          Yes, this is possibly as far as we can get. Just a final clarification (that I have made before), I am not equating a human being´s development at different points, clearly there are differences (that do not stop at birth). I am saying that it is an objective fact that this is a human being at every one of those points and that we shouldn´t kill innocent human beings.

          Thanks for the conversation.

        • it is an objective fact that this is a human being at every one of those points

          Which means that this is exactly what we don’t need to talk about. It’s pointless.

          You have a definition of what “human being” is. And it doesn’t change across the spectrum. So our goal of exploring this spectrum isn’t advanced by the term “human being.”

          What we need is a term that does change: “A newborn is a ___, but the single cell 9 months prior isn’t.”

          Fill in the blank.

        • Greg G.

          Why are you focused on abortion?

          Since he ended a four or five month Disqus hiatus two weeks ago, 30 of his 32 posts have been on this subject in CrossExamined articles.

        • Michael Neville

          Will you allow abortions in the case of rape and incest, or to put it in other terms, if the woman didn’t enjoy sex then she can have an abortion?

        • Otto

          I think the question is does a person get to consent to what happens to their body? In the case of donating a kidney the answer is yes. In the case of donating blood the answer is yes. You have set up a special circumstance (pregnancy) where that is not the case and you really haven’t answered why they no longer have the right to ‘consent’.

          In 1) you admit that “they are dependent on your body”…in 2) you claim ‘a human being in the womb is perfectly healthy’….is it perfectly healthy? I would argue that such a human is not ‘perfectly healthy’ if it has to depend on another person’s body for survival. If that embryo/fetus was removed intact how long would it survive…it couldn’t. The medical community has a word for this, it is called being ‘viable’. 3) “their existence inside the uterus is a completely natural event”…so? How does that overcome a person’s right to consent? 4) “not saving someone from dying by not donating is different than killing a healthy human being”….it is not an independent healthy human being.

          Also as Bob pointed out below, what people who do not like abortion should be doing is pushing to provide comprehensive sex ed and contraception. People have been aborting pregnancies for thousands of years…and making it illegal is not going to stop that. The best thing to do is to stop unwanted pregnancies before they happen. You should really as yourself why religious people are so against sex ed and contraception if they don’t like abortion. It makes no sense. I have a daughter, I would rather that she not have an abortion…which strategy would be best to facilitate that…telling her to never have sex, or giving her the information to be able to make a responsible decision before she has sex?

        • ClayJames

          I have not set up a special circumstance. Pregnancy is a special circumstance.

          Your definition of ¨healthy¨ is wrong. Healthy just means without injury or illness. Any medical professional would agree with the conclusion that you can have a healthy fetus.

          Also, why should only a woman´s consent over her body trump another human rights to live? Why not consent over her freedom, her mental health, her education, her career, etc.?

          Yes, people have also been raping, stealing and killing for years even though those things are illegal. Therefore, we should not make them illegal in places where they are legal? This is a terrible argument.

          I also think you should give your daughter the information to be able to make responsible decisions before she has sex (including contraception). I am all for reproductive rights. This should not be confused with killing another human being after someone has reproduced.

        • Otto

          >>>”I have not set up a special circumstance. Pregnancy is a special circumstance.”

          But that is the point, you haven’t established that pregnancy means a person should have to give up her right to consent.

          >>>”Any medical professional would agree with the conclusion that you can have a healthy fetus.”

          Any medical professional would agree that the health of a embryo/fetus is dependent on the status of the person that it is dependent on.

          >>>”Also, why should only a woman´s consent over her body trump another human rights to live?”

          Because the woman gets to have a say on how her body is used. You think she should not have consent and you haven’t explained why she gives up that right with any rationality other than to argue pregnancy is somehow special over other times when she would get to consent.

          >>>”Yes, people have also been raping, stealing and killing for years even though those things are illegal.”

          Killing is not always illegal. Killing can be justified in many, many circumstances.

          >>>”This should not be confused with killing another human being after someone has reproduced.”

          I am not confusing the 2, I am pointing out that very often the people who want to make abotion illegal are the same people that are more than happy to keep other people ignorant on matters of sex and limit access to contraception thereby setting up a situation where MORE unwanted pregnancies happen and therefore more abortions would happen. Making abortion illegal would not stop abortions from happening. Do you really think rich people would ever stop having access to safe abortions even if it was made illegal? Nope, only poor people.

          If you want to spend your time wisely in fighting what you believe is a huge injustice your time would be better spent working for comprehensive sex ed and availability of contraception and/or convincing those on your side of the issue to do the same. While I don’t share you specific opinion on it being an injustice I would rather have it where abortions were not needed because unwanted pregnancies did not happen to begin with, I am glad we can at least agree on that. There is a whole lot of work to be done on that front on the anti-abortion side of the fence though.

        • Susan

          not saving someone from dying by not donating is different

          In what way? Demanding that someone develop a zygote is precisely demanding that they donate their body to the development of it.

        • ClayJames

          When you chose not to donate a kidney to someone and they die, their death is not a result of you not donating a kidney, it is a result of their illness.

          Abortion is the direct killing of a human being in the womb.

          This is the difference.

        • Greg G.

          A kidney weighs about a quarter of a pound. A newborn weighs about 7 pounds while the afterbirth and amniotic fluid weigh over three pounds. All of that comes from the bloodstream of the woman, mostly from the digestive system but some from her bones. Then there is the nutrients that became waste products due to biological processes.

        • Dago Red

          BTW, not only are you using an ad hoc definition for “individual human” (and, yes, it is) you’ve just defined it here as a tautology as well. So kudos to you for making your point even more trivial!

          Also, I’m wondering what constitutes a “whole organism”? Is there such thing as a “partial organism” in your mind?

          Lastly (and setting snark aside for a moment) you are not correct: a zygote and adult human are NOT different stages of development of a human being (and no, your way of stating this was decidedly NOT a scientific fact either). A zygote and an adult human are different stages within human DEVELOPMENT. You don’t get to presume your conclusion here by slipping it in through the semantic back door! Stages of human development are just that — stage of DEVELOPMENT — in the context of science. They are not, as you attempt to force into science, different stages of human beings. A given stage of human development (or the development of anything, for that matter) does not equate to the final product — no way, no where, no how, never. Your argument is essentially trying to equate yeast, flour, and water sitting on the counter – uncombined, unproofed and unbaked – with the final baked good we call bread. This conflation would clearly be wrong in the case of any and all baked goods, and, as an analogy, illustrates exactly why its wrong to equate a zygote with a fully developed human being. You are choosing to ignore the important contribution that development plays in the process of forming the final product (be it bread or a baby). Its simply WRONG no matter how you slice it!

    • Objective Judgment

      Nonsense. It’s perfectly straightforward to consider that the unborn deserve human rights without resorting to religion. Science and reason is quite enough, although i suspect the vast majority of these people on both sides act because of a knee-jerk emotional ‘feel’ for the issue. Extreme pro-choicers seem to revel in ignoring the rights of the unborn, while extreme pro-lifers seem to equally ignore the rights of the mother. You’re all as irrational and bad as each other.

      Of course they are human beings, don’t be silly – if ‘development’ was any sort of issue, born babies would be equally not human. This comparison to skin cells is absurd, a skin cell will not develop into a unique human, love, laugh, have its own children and love its grandchildren. Really, it’s about equivalent to “if we are descended from monkeys why are there still monkeys”.

      Of course embryo’s have rights, just very limited ones (they can’t be grown for human organs for instance). Certainly not the right to over-ride the freedom and bodily integrity of another human and be forcibly implanted, and you know what? Nobody, apart from you, is suggesting they do.

      Stop demonising people by pretending they have no basis or dishonest bases for their beliefs just because they have different opinions to you – its the chief reason your country is descending into polarised political chaos. They just see things differently, they are not evil, and no, its not all a conspiracy to persecute women.

      • lady_black

        There simply are no “rights” to the use of someone else’s body. Knowing that, what “rights” can you give to “the unborn” without violating the rights of the undead?

        • Objective Judgment

          We’ve had this argument before. As you know, Roe vs Wade establishes a right to use a women’s body from viability onwards. Also military conscription. Also, the unborn has a body too – why does only the woman get rights over what happens to their body?

        • Kodie

          The unborn’s body relies on the woman’s body for not only a place to be and grow until it can live on its own, but for its nutrients and material. The woman’s body is actually harmed by pregnancy, so she is not relying on the fetus for her own health, wellness, or the ability to live. It’s actually depleting her physically, it’s not even neutral to her – that’s why.

        • lady_black

          No, actually, Roe does no such thing.

        • Objective Judgment

          Apologies. It holds that laws restricting rights to abortion following viability are constitutional. The effect in practice is as described.

        • lady_black

          Yeah. People LEAVE. That’s the effect. So, it’s silly.

        • The woman has rights over the fetus because it’s a fetus, not a person.

        • Objective Judgment

          Bit like the white person had rights over the black person because he was an animal, not a person? Sorry, denying humanity to those you want power over is an old and long-discredited trick.

        • Bit like the human having rights to kill and eat the farm animal.

          Get with the program. We’re all morally the same–“a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy,” as PETA phrases it.

      • Of course they are human beings, don’t be silly – if ‘development’ was any sort of issue, born babies would be equally not human

        The gap between newborn baby and adult is negligible compared to the gap between newborn and the single cell it started as 9 months prior.

      • Kodie

        I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy to persecute women, but a conspiracy to leave women with no options but adoption, using Christians as pawns in the plot. There are a lot of related issues that are appealed to separately. Why should poor women get to have a lot of extra children and why should I pay for them, for example? Well, if you don’t allow abortion or you make it a guilt issue or a legal obstacle to abortion, and a woman happens to be poor, then she “deserves” a hard time of it… unless she does what she should do and give it to a loving Christian couple, but never a gay couple.

        I mean, think. It’s a pile of related, intricately associated issues, and every single one expects women to behave “badly” and then leave them with no other options.

      • Women are people

        There is a assumption that you make that destroys your credibility. You “assume” that the DNA within the zygote is complete. The fact is that the DNA during meiosis is goes through the process of “crossing over” and replication. Those processes are pre speciation events that change the DNA of the gamete by calculable degrees. Those changes and others lead to the expression in the zygote of life that cannot form a human being at least 70 percent of the time. As you know, in order for a product of conception to be classified as human life, let alone a human being, it must be to some extent capable of yielding a human rspecies through birth. So most zygotes are not human life at all let alone human beings. Most are simply products of conception. One stage of life before human life is the speciation stage during meiosis. If meiosis does not produce a human gamete/haploid or if mitosis every does not produce a human diploid life there isd no human life possible. In such a case, fusion during fertilization will not create a human species. As a biologist you are aware that most zygotes do not produce human life. The reason is because speciation can change the DNA during meiosis such that human life is impossible

        • Objective Judgment

          Sorry, it makes no difference to the argument whatsoever. Humans are humans, they continually change throughout their existence from zygotes to old people. You may as well say children are not human because they are different from adults (which they are in many ways from reproductive capacity to brain chemistry). The only question is, is this particular ‘thing’, if left unhindered and excepting mischance, going to broadly develop as all humans do. Of course it is.

          Your second argument seems to suggest that something is only human if a human can be created from it. Its certainly a difference, but like black and white people, the difference needs to be material to the question at hand before its relevant. Why is it necessary for something to be capable of producing another human to be allowed human rights and be considered human itself? If my DNA was damaged, by radiation etc. such that anything produced by me was unviable, would I not be human? If I was sterile, would treating me differently to other humans be justified? Of course not. Why is it that this difference you identify material to the question of the humanity of the zygote? I assume you are not suggesting that the zygote is somehow a non-human species, so what’s the point?

        • Women are people

          It does make a difference.

          You are presuming the very thing you need to prove. A zygote is *not necessarily* a human being because due to replication errors, and there is a lot of them, the zygote will never be anything other than some genetic material within a handful of cells.

          There no real difference between a child and an adult beyond some genes turning on or off due to a myriad of reasons, some environmental and some unknown.

          A child has all the organs they will ever need, even if those organs have not fully matured.

          A zygote has nothing beyond undifferentiated cells that can literally be anything.

          At the end of the day, you are ignoring the heart (and not just the primative cardiac tube*), brain, sentience and health of the woman in favor of a cluster of undifferentiated cells that may not even have the appropriate chromosomes to ensure that life is even possible.

          And you know that a zygote/embryo/fetus is not the same as an infant. You know that. You know that morally, ethically or biologically they are not.

          That is why you would grab the child and not the canister of embryos in a fire.

          That is why you don’t put the caveat “that I know of” when someone asks you how many children you have. Because you don’t even give a second thought to the dozens of zygotes that your sperm has helped to create that pass through your sexual partner’s uterus and onto the sanitary pad or toilet paper. It isn’t even a blip on your radar.

          And that’s why you don’t demand investigations into miscarriages by law enforcement like would happen if a child drown in their bathtub on accident. Or fell out of a tree and broke their neck. Or a fatal car crash killed the backseat occupants.**

          *prolifers like to utilize layman’s descriptions to misrepresent biological reality. For example, you all like to insist that at 6 weeks, there is a heartbeat. That’s true. The pacemaker cells are beating. However, there is no heart at that point. Prolifers never seem to want to give the full story. Instead they stick to half truths. Or that the brain waves develop at 8 weeks. While that is true, there is only the most rudimentary and primitive beginnings of a brain. It’s a neural tube. Nothing more. There is no brain stem, no hemispheres, no nothing. And as far as the waves; it is simply the smallest of electrical pulses with no neurons to receive any of those pulses. Hardly impressive. I think a fly has a higher brain function at that point than an 8 week embryo.

          Women, though, are people. People with the moral, ethical and biological right to decide whom uses their body and for what purpose. That’s not up for negotiation. No one and nothing uses my body for its own purposes without my ongoing consent.

          Same rights, btw, that you have.

        • Greg G.

          I have no compunction against stealing opinions that are better than my own. I am the same with arguments. I am stealing this.

        • Women are people

          Which one? The fact that the zygote’s replication errors during meiosis that change the gamete by such varying degrees that human life is impossible?

          Or that prolifers like to utilize half truths of simplistic descriptions (ie, heartbeat means there is a heart that is beating or that brain waves mean there is a brain)?

          Or that he acts in direct contradiction of his stated or implied belief that a zygote is a human being and should be treated as having more rights than any human being has?

          I just wanna know which argument you are stealing, you scoundrel, you.

          Since I’m in a generous mood, I am happy to share the argument I use once prolifers start on the mythical natural state that pregnancy supposedly is without bothering to remove their rose colored glasses. Ya know the argument. The whole, women are born with a natural instinct to reproduce and nurture their offspring…

          Here it is:

          when abortions are banned or not successful for lack of medical technology, desperate parents will often abandon or expose the neonate, or even commit outright infanticide. This has been the case throughout history right up to the present day in all cultures. Infanticide was a common method of population control in the face of famine or other circumstances where the mother and/or father could not provide for a child, or if the infant was deformed or sickly and not deemed worth the resources necessary to sustain it. There’s a fascinating book, chock full of years of research, by the primatologist/anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, called “Mother Nature”. It’s all about how females of all species control and limit their investment in reproduction based on available resources, circumstances, and a pragmatic balancing of cost, benefit, and likelihood of survival of the offspring to reproductive or “useful” age. There is no such thing as an inborn nurturing instinct unique to females, even human females. Many species are able to spontaneously abort their embryos, destroy or reabsorb fertilized eggs, or kill their newborn offspring if the circumstances for their continued survival are lacking or the mother is in poor health or her own survival is in jeopardy. Humans simply do this consciously, and for the same underlying reasons. The exigencies of survival take precedence over whatever warm fuzzies we may wish a pregnant woman felt, and over any rosy glasses through which we may view human “nature”.

        • There’s a debate about whether a woman’s body can be used against her will (for a fetus). Until there’s an analogous issue with men, I wonder what role they have in the debate? That is, they don’t have any skin in the game, so how objective are their conclusions?

        • Women are people

          Oh I’ve tried to bring them into the game.

          Their entire argument boils down to the fact that having sex means that women lose their bodily autonomy due to the known “risk” of pregnancy.

          Basically, don’t do the no pants dance if you aren’t prepared to “take responsibility.”

          So when I point out that MEN do the no pants dance with the known risk that their child might need bone marrow, or a lobe of their liver, and that they should be legally compelled to give it, regardless of the risk (which is a significantly less than risky than pregnancy and childbirth), suddenly it’s all “oh no, That’s totally different.”

          And watch them twist around into pretzels with the special pleading fallacy, appeal to nature, and begging the question fallacy.

        • Greg G.

          Oh, my. I seem to have turned into a kleptomaniac this evening.

        • Women are people

          I can keep going if you like.

          The entire prolifer argument boils down to “consent to sex equals consent to bodily support.”

          Well, men have sex. And since they insist that it’s the same child inside the uterus as it is out of the uterus, they cannot logically engage in special pleading here. (They do it anyway but that’s besides the point)

          Men have sex with the knowledge of some non-zero risk of their child needing bone marrow or a kidney or any other bodily fluid just as a woman has sex with the knowledge of a small risk of pregnancy.

          And yet they get their tit’s twisted over the fact that the government – again, under their paradigm – can compel the use of their body for their child against their will.

          Oh they’ll say that a woman doesn’t donate anything. That is completely false and an utter ignorance of the biological reality of gestation. The fetus doesn’t get the iron it needs to build its own hemoglobin, the calcium it needs to build its bones, etc, out of thin fucking air. It literally sends out chemicals to strip the calcium from her bones, and iron from her blood. That’s why osteoporosis and anemia is an extremely common side effect of pregnancy. She doesn’t get back those minerals. That is a permanent donation. She doesn’t get back those molecules. She has to rebuild her own bones and replenish the iron in her blood. Doctors don’t prescribe prenatal vitamins for shits and giggles.

          Bone marrow is regenerated. Liver lobes are regenerated. Blood is regenerated. So why don’t they have to donate it under the paradigm that a woman restores her bones and blood and vitamins so it’s not really a permanent donation.

          Never mind that a temporary donation is still a donation. Priceless works of art are donated to museums and returned to the owner.

          I can donate the temporary use of my car to meals on wheels. I don’t get back the wear/tear on my car. I can’t roll back the miles which diminishes it’s value. I cannot get back the use of my car during the time it was donated.

          So it doesn’t matter a lick if the resources or use of an organ is what they would consider temporary or not. I can’t get back the use of something while it’s in use by another for that period.

          And yet….they still do not think men should lose their autonomy for having sex. Because prolife is about controlling women. Not men. It’s not about life. If it was about life, then it shouldn’t matter it’s location (as they keep telling us), and the child in need of bone marrow still has allllllll the attributes they claim is so important and even more so since those attributes are developed. Unique dna, beating heart, brain waves, ability to feel pain, etc.

          Which brings me to my next point available for your thieving ways…

          If it was about life, and making sure we save that life no matter the cost, then where is the research into curing miscarriages or even improving/decreasing the rates? Where are all the 5k walks? Where is the fundraisers?

          90% of all fertilized eggs, which is “life at conception” fail to make it to term. Which means, by rough estimates, a billion lives that are lost worldwide each YEAR. Are those lives unimportant?

          “People die of natural causes all the time” they argue.

          Well sure. But we try to stop that don’t we? Over a TRILLION dollars (combined) is spent on finding cures for cancer (breast, prostate, testicular, penial, brain, lung, bone, leukemia, skin, etc), ALS, Huntington’s, AIDs, HIV, lymes, Cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, coronary heart disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, hep A,B,C…you get my point.

          And a lot less lives are lost per year from allll of the aforementioned conditions than the lives lost to failure to gestate. By several powers of 10.

          We spend hundreds of billions researching cures for things that don’t even kill you. Like erectile dysfunction, anxiety, depression, Schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, celiacs disease, lactose intolerance, eating disorders, arthritis, obesity, mobility issues due to spinal injuries or lost limbs.

          How much is spent trying to find cures for blastocyst failure? A. big. Fat. ZERO. Nunca, nilch, NADA.

          A Billion “people” die in utero every year (worldwide). That’s more than every plague we’ve ever had. It’s a pandemic of – since they are so fond of the book – biblical proportions.

          If embryonic death is morally, ethically, and biologically equivalent to infant death, then miscarriage should be of greater moral urgency than abortion, IVF and stem cell research combined.

          It’s almost as if life isn’t their primary concern….weird.

        • Greg G.

          90% of all fertilized eggs, which is “life at conception” fail to make it to term. Which means, by rough estimates, a billion lives that are lost worldwide each YEAR. Are those lives unimportant?

          When I first read about how fertilized eggs do not make it to term, it was 40% of all fertilizations, and that was a long time ago. I figured that was low. The most recent estimate I had seen was 60%. Where does the 90% come from?

        • Women are people

          It’s not an exact number, but the research suggests blastocyst failure as high as 70%. Although anecdotal, this was consistent with my rates through all 3 rounds of it.

          “In mice, about 80 to 90 percent of embryos develop to the blastocyst stage. In humans, it’s about 30 percent,” said Reijo Pera. “In addition, about one in 100 mouse embryos are chromosomally abnormal, versus about seven out of 10 human embryos. That’s why human studies like these are so important. Women, their families and their physicians want to increase the chances of having one healthy baby and avoid high-risk pregnancies, miscarriages or other adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. It’s truly a women’s health issue that affects the broader family.”

          https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2010/10/earlier-more-accurate-prediction-of-embryo-survival-enabled-by-research.html

          Couple that with miscarriage rates once’s pregnancy is established, and you have roughly that amount of failure.

        • Greg G.

          Fascinating!

        • BlackMamba44

          Here’s something I found. Interesting.

          How many eggs does a woman have?

          During fetal life, there are about 6 million to 7 million eggs. From this time, no new eggs are produced. At birth, there are approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 remain. Of these, only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman’s reproductive lifetime. Fertility can drop as a woman ages due to decreasing number and quality of the remaining eggs.

          https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9118-female-reproductive-system

          ETA: Not really the topic since the discussion is fertilized eggs, but interesting.

        • Greg G.

          I wondered whether that happened to ova. I know that children born to elderly men have a higher incidence of trisomy-21.

        • I hadn’t heard 90%. I’d heard that 50% of fertilized eggs spontaneously abort. But even if that were the case, your argument still stands. Nicely done.

        • Women are people

          while there is no way to measure or determine blastocyst failure in a woman, the numbers of those who seek IVF shows a consistent 70% of blastocyst failure to develop beyond day 3. Of the ones that do develop long enough to be transferred to the uterus, only 40% will successfully implant. Or implant but then arrest. (Chemical pregnancy). Of the ones that successfully implant and show up on a pregnancy test, 25% will arrest in the first trimester. Of the ones that make it past the 1st, 5% will arrest in the second, and 1% in the 3rd.

          When you add up these numbers, you get an approximate number of 90%.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, you just, uhm, blew my mind.

          Thanks.

        • Their entire argument boils down to the fact that having sex means that women lose their bodily autonomy due to the known “risk” of pregnancy.

          I imagine them as an ER doctor: “Sorry, pal. You got into that car knowing that there was a chance you’d be in an accident. This is your own fault. The medicine you need is going home and having a good think about what you’ve done and your responsibility in it.”

        • Greg G.

          I just wanna know which argument you are stealing, you scoundrel, you.

          I like the wording of every point you make. The points I like best are about the earliest “heartbeats” and “brainwaves”. I haven’t seen it put that way before.

        • Women are people

          Ahhh. The funny thing is that the prolifers don’t even realize that the pacemaker cells start being around 5 weeks. They just don’t beat in any synchronized fashion to really register on the ultrasound. Well…not with the kind of machines that is found in the average OB’s office.

          At 6 weeks, they start beating in synchrony. There still isn’t a heart though. There are no chambers, no valves, no pericardium, no aorta, no ventricle. The heart isn’t really considered to be a heart capable of pumping blood until around 10 weeks. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63f4cf776feb933d2f36ad0680619c1c7296d6efb26784d18d9cfceb03257a78.jpg

        • Women are people

          **whenever a child does, there is always some kind of investigation to determine if there is any foul play.

          In order to be consistent with your argument, you would demand tha miscarriages be given even the same cursory review that is warranted for accidental death.

          Otherwise, you will have just revealed that you don’t think an embryo deserves the same protections and justice that an infant would get if found dead in their crib.

        • Sorry, it makes no difference to the argument whatsoever. Humans are humans

          I’m not sure if this is deliberate, but this is just a word game. I say a newborn is a human but the single cell isn’t. Then you argue that they’re both humans. So (being a flexible guy) I argue that a newborn is a human being, while the single cell isn’t. Again you disagree. OK, a baby? Nope.

          You tell me then: what is the newborn that the single cell isn’t? They’re vastly different. Surely you can find an appropriate label.

          I suggest: a newborn is a person and the single cell isn’t.

          The only question is, is this particular ‘thing’, if left unhindered and excepting mischance, going to broadly develop as all humans do. Of course it is.

          Nope. Half of pregnancies end in spontaneous (natural) abortion.

          And your second problem is that this is just the argument from potential: it ain’t a person now . . . but it will be. OK, I’ll agree with that. Get back to me when it’s a person, and then we can worry about that. Until that point it’s not.

        • Cynthia

          You wrote: “The only question is, is this particular ‘thing’, if left unhindered
          and excepting mischance, going to broadly develop as all humans do. Of
          course it is.”

          How do you know that? At the point of fertilization, you have absolutely no way of knowing whether there is a proper set of chromosomes that will allow a child to be born 9 months later, nor do you know if implantation will occur successfully. With my pregnancies, there was a 50% chance from the date of positive pregnancy test that they would continue to term.

          It does a disservice to us who have had miscarriages to pretend that they don’t exist or don’t common occur due to no fault of the mother.

  • skl

    “Wetness is an emergent property—we see it only when enough water molecules get together. Similarly, thinking and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain.”

    But couldn’t the brain itself be an emergent property of the product of conception?

    “You tell me: tell me what a newborn is that a single cell isn’t. I say that a newborn is a person and the single cell isn’t, but I’m open to better terms…
    A newborn is something that a single cell isn’t.”

    Couldn’t the cooing, crying, pooping, sleeping, eating be emergent properties of that single cell?

    • Greg G.

      No, the emergent properties have not emerged when there is but a single cell. That why BobS gave the example of a molecule of water. The emergent properties of water are not present in a single molecule. Likewise, the emergent properties of the brain cannot emerge until there is a functioning brain. Fertilized ova don’t cry.

      • skl

        Greg,
        What’s the distinction between a “property” and an “emergent property”?

        • RichardSRussell

          What’s the difference between a fertilized egg and a malignant cancer cell? They’re both single cells with tremendous growth potential and the need to parasitize a human body to do it. Is the cancer cell — complete as it is with a full complement of Homo sapiens DNA — a human being? A person?

        • Greg G.

          I see that Herald Newman has given an excellent answer here:

          http://disq.us/p/1k857jb

          Your question is like, “What is the difference between a mammal and a cat?” An emergent property is a property that appears with certain arrangements. Water has different properties as a gas, as a liquid, and as a solid. As a liquid, it has “wetness” that is not like most liquids. The arrangements of it atoms causes the molecules interact more with each other than molecules of most other liquids which alters the boiling point and how it acts as a solvent.

          If you take the same atoms of each of the elements that make up a certain person and stirred them up, you get a mess of atoms. Arrange them into functional cells and you get functional cells for a little while, which is an emergent property resulting from the arrangement. Arrange the functional cells to human form with the memories arranged to form my memories, and you get someone who thinks they are me, which is an emergent property of the arrangement. Arrange those long-term memory connections to mimic your memories, and you get a person who thinks they are you, yet another emergent property.

        • skl

          Michael Neville below said
          “A property is something that someone or something has. An emergent property is something that the someone or something could or will have. A prepubescent has the emergent property of parenting a child but does not have that property yet.”

          Is that a good answer?

          I responded to him with
          “But couldn’t you say the same thing about the fertilized
          egg? The only difference is how long the emerging takes.”

        • Joe

          I’m not certain I agree with Michael’s use of the word in this case.

        • Michael Neville

          Having reread my post, I don’t think I agree with my use of the word either.

        • Joe

          I feel you’re using the term in the same way as our friend here. something will emerge, rather than something which is emergent.

          Either way, we don’t necessarily legislate for future states, so it’s not a defeater of the pro-choice viewpoint.

        • Greg G.

          I am not sure I understand Michael Neville’s last quoted sentence but I like the defintion Herald Newman gave.

          Properties of something are in the present tense. Possible future properties are future tense and not present properties.

          A fertilized egg is about as likely to be expelled during menstruation as not, without anybody knowing it happened, so potential emergent properties are not a given.

        • skl

          “Properties of something are in the present tense. Possible future
          properties are future tense and not present properties.”

          Do you mean possible future properties are emergent properties?

          “A fertilized egg is about as likely to be expelled during menstruation as not, without anybody knowing it happened, so potential emergent properties are not a given.”

          Of course. Dead things don’t have emergent properties. But I don’t see what that has to do with what we’re talking about.

        • Greg G.

          Do you mean possible future properties are emergent properties?

          Maybe or maybe not. Some properties are emergent. If it survives, then yes. If not, then it becomes food for bacteria.

          Of course. Dead things don’t have emergent properties. But I don’t see what that has to do with what we’re talking about.

          Not all fertilized eggs are viable. Not all viable fertilized eggs will necessarily implant in the uterus.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s relevant at least in part because certain groups want to outlaw contraceptives that might cause the expulsion of a fertilized ovum.

        • I’m not sure where you’re coming from. Personhood is an emergent property that gradually comes as a fetus becomes more developed.

          You seem to be focused on what came before that property. Is that interesting?

        • skl

          “Personhood is an emergent property that gradually comes as a fetus becomes more developed. You seem to be focused on what came before that property. Is that interesting?”

          What’s interesting is the idea of personhood as a property. I’ll have to
          think about that.

        • Greg G.

          The mind is a process of certain parts of the brain which we call personhood. Without a brain, there is no mind or personhood.

        • skl

          If the mind makes the person, what makes the oak?

        • Greg G.

          Oak trees don’t identify themselves as individuals. Maybe you are thinking of Ents.

        • skl

          Mine was actually a serious question.

        • Greg G.

          I answered your question with the first sentence. Trees are not like people. Trees are plants. People think and value their own lives.

          Your question shows your confusion.

        • skl

          “Trees are not like people. Trees are plants. People think
          and value their own lives.”

          Monkeys and dogs think and value their own lives, too.

        • Greg G.

          Monkeys and dogs are more like people than they are like trees. You are still confused and your arguments are getting worse.

    • Joe

      But couldn’t the brain itself be an emergent property of the product of conception?

      Eventually. Eventually that brain will have a mind too. Eventually that mind will be conscious. And so on….

      Couldn’t the cooing, crying, pooping, sleeping, eating be emergent properties of that single cell?

      Not unless a single cell can do any of those things. In which case they would simply be properties.

      • skl

        What’s the distinction between a “property” and an “emergent property”?

        • Michael Neville

          A property is something that someone or something has. An emergent property is something that the someone or something could or will have.

          A prepubescent has the emergent property of parenting a child but does not have that property yet.

        • skl

          But couldn’t you say the same thing about the fertilized egg? The only difference is how long the emerging takes.

        • Joe

          Only after it’as grown up to be a person. At the moment of fertilization, it only has a few basic properties. It certainly can’t think or talk.

          You’re thinking of emergent in terms of its future tense, “A flower will emerge after the rain.” It also has a different meaning as explained by others here.

        • Greg G.

          Liquid water does not have the properties that solid water has. It is not a matter of future states. A fertilized egg does not have the properties liver cells or nerve cells or other specialized cells so it does not have the properties of a human being.

        • Joe

          An emergent property is one that isn’t present in an individual instance, but is when more than one (but an undefined number) subject is present.

        • IMO, and emergent property emerges from the whole. It’s not present in the individual components.

      • crden

        “Eventually that mind will be conscious.”

        Eventually it *might* be conscious. You don’t know that it will ever get there even if it comes to term, and there’s evidence that most conceptions don’t make it to term under natural progression.

      • TheNuszAbides

        i think the opponents with more narrowly-focused imaginations are also working with a narrow (and unexamined) definition of “eventual[ly]” — meaning more like “if you leave it alone” or “if nobody intervenes” and ignoring positive dependence on events.

        • Cynthia

          Well put. In a test tube, you can get a zygote to start cell division, but it cannot grow beyond an embryo. Developing into a baby requires a womb and therefore the support of the pregnant woman to whom the placenta is attached.

    • Anat

      A newborn can breath on its own. Can survive without inevitably imposing on someone’s body.

    • lady_black

      No. Those things do not exist in a single cell. Here’s what you are doing. You are anthropomorphizing the zygote. The zygote lends itself less well to that nonsense than your pet dog, cat or bird does, simply because those things have brains and personalities. A zygote does not.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Homunculus.

        • lady_black

          Pretty close. The homunculus theory was that an entire child, in miniature, came from the male, grew in the female (like a plant in soil, I suppose) and just got bigger as time went by.
          Yeah, we got past that long ago.

  • Anat

    The whole ‘is it a person’ argument is irrelevant. If the *person* who is pregnant doesn’t want to carry it they should not be made to, regardless of the personhood of the embryo/fetus.

    • epeeist

      The whole ‘is it a person’ argument is irrelevant.

      No, the personhood argument is extremely relevant.

      Too often the pro-forced birth advocates equivocate between “human” and “person”. Is the foetus human? Of course it is. Is it is a person? No, it is not.

      Is the woman carrying the foetus human? Yes, of course she is. Is the woman carrying the foetus a person? Yes, she is.

      One has to be aware of them using the two terms interchangeably and make sure one doesn’t fall for it.

      • Cynthia

        Potential person is the definition that makes the most sense to me (and it is also the approach of my religious tradition), but the ability to survive outside the womb is still the dividing line, and birth is the key event because that makes the point at which baby can survive without mother and at which baby no longer can imperil mother’s life or health.

      • BlackMamba44

        Ameribear in another thread has replaced “person” with “whole human being” and then claims that’s what the science of embryology calls it.

        Of course that was a lie, too.

        • Herald Newman

          If I had a dollar for every lie, or distortion of truth, that Ameribear has spewed forth, I could probably live very comfortably!

        • lady_black

          That commenter is extremely obtuse, to put it mildly.

        • Pofarmer

          Brainwashed dumbass is more like it. And not uncommon. These are the people who post on facebook “what you should know if you’re invited to a Catholic wedding this summer.” And “The joys of confession.”

        • BlackMamba44

          He replied and yes, very obtuse and a real ass, too.

          I said what I needed to say and have blocked him – I told him I was done responding but he’s still talking. He apparently didn’t like being proven inaccurate. (I checked his links.)

          I’m on my phone and could only figure out how to copy the patheos link:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/06/27/10820/

        • lady_black

          Those people never check their links, and whatever you told him was likely told to him 1000 times before.

        • Joe

          I’m still carrying on that debate, on occasion.

          She’s (?) insisting on humans having an ‘essence’, which I’ve explained is nonsense, but she can’t demonstrate the fact.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Purity of Essence

          This gives the lie to the alleged nonreligious nature of their position.

        • Joe

          Ameribear is an unabashed theist.

          I agree that the secular pro-lifers unconsciously hold the theistic ideas of ‘ensoulment’, and sometimes judgement.

        • Michael Neville

          Ameribear is a Catholic who objects to any criticism of the Catholic Church.

        • Joe

          They must spend their whole time objecting to things.

        • BlackMamba44
      • Anat

        ‘Person’ is a matter of definition. It depends on what traits one decides matter. It is a philosophical and legal term, not a natural one.

        • You’re missing the point. The point is that there is a spectrum. I call it a spectrum of personhood. If you disagree, that’s fine. When the argument devolves into what the dictionary says or should say, I’m out. What I want to see instead is for the pro-life person to define the spectrum. If it’s not “personhood,” what is it? An honest labeling that acknowledges the enormous change from single cell to newborn should work for me.

        • crden

          I also want an honest labeling of where they consider the pregnant woman on that spectrum.

    • lady_black

      That’s pretty much the bottom line, isn’t it?

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Yes.
        You say woman, they say baby factory. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

        • lady_black

          In a PIG’S EYE!

    • skl

      As with two of the commenters above, by that reasoning, you’d also be in favor of a woman killing a person who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.

      • TheNuszAbides

        no surprise that you prefer to torture the reasoning of others. that doesn’t follow at all, because it’s already abundantly understood that persons have rights.

        • skl

          “no surprise that you prefer to torture the reasoning of
          others. that doesn’t follow at all, because it’s already abundantly understood that persons have rights.”

          I’m not torturing their reasoning, and what I said sure seems to follow. They’re saying EVEN IF the thing making use of her body is A
          PERSON, the mother should be still be allowed to kill it.

      • Pofarmer

        Pretty much, yes. There are laws about such things.

      • Joe

        You mean, self defense?

      • Anat

        I am in favor of stopping the unwanted use of a person’s body by another. If the stopping results in a death, so be it. When the one doing the using is a being that can survive without using a person’s body it is possible to stop unwanted use of a person’s body without death resulting.

        • skl

          “I am in favor of stopping the unwanted use of a person’s
          body by another. If the stopping results in a death, so be it.”

          Yes, as I said, you’d be OK with a woman killing a person
          who uses her body in a way she doesn’t want.

          “When the one doing the using is a being that can survive
          without using a person’s body it is possible to stop unwanted use of a person’s body without death resulting.”

          That doesn’t make sense to me.
          You had said your rationale/justification for the killing is the unwanted using of the body.
          So, the unwanted USING is the key,
          NOT the VIABILITY of the unwanted USER.

        • Anat

          If it is reasonably possible to stop the unwanted using of one’s body while preserving the life of the user that is preferred, but the priority is to stop unwanted using of people’s bodies. People are not entitled to other people’s bodies in order to preserve their lives.

        • skl

          “If it is reasonably possible to stop the unwanted using of
          one’s body while preserving the life of the user that is preferred, but the priority is to stop unwanted using of people’s bodies.”

          “Preferred” is not the same as mandatory. So, are you saying
          the woman can kill the user (viable user or not) if she prefers to?

          “People are not entitled to other people’s bodies in order
          to preserve their lives.”

          If a person was drowning but could easily and safely be
          rescued by Joe Person with the extending of Joe’s arm, but Joe decides not to extend his arm, and the person drowns as a result, I wonder if Joe could be legally liable for a crime.

        • Anat

          The victim of an ongoing rape does not have a responsibility to preserve the life of their victimizer.

        • skl

          We weren’t talking about rape specifically.

        • adam

          You werent discarding rape were you?

        • Anat

          Doesn’t matter. Unwanted pregnancy is equivalent to rape and anyone standing between a pregnant person and an abortion is at the very least an accessory.

        • skl

          “Unwanted pregnancy is equivalent to rape…”

          Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before.

        • Anat

          Nothing new about it, and pretty obvious when you think about a woman who really doesn’t want to be penetrated or one who really doesn’t want to keep carrying a pregnancy.

        • Greg G.

          Not all rape is violent force. Inserting any object into certain orifices without consent is rape, even if the person is unconscious and didn’t know about it. I think rape has an element of intent involved so a fetus without a brain or personhood is not culpable but anybody who is in favor of forcing a pregnant person to keep the fetus would be culpable in that sense.

        • Greg G.

          You are talking about a woman’s sex organs being used against her will.

        • skl

          “You are talking about a woman’s sex organs being used
          against her will.”

          I doubt most people consider uteruses and fallopian tubes to
          be sex organs. Certainly the porn industry wouldn’t.
          Regardless, the argument seems to be that ANY part of a
          person used against his/her will is worthy of death to the user.
          Like someone screwing with your hair organ by giving you a buzz cut or Mohawk. That person could be a dead man, legally.

        • Greg G.

          I doubt most people consider uteruses and fallopian tubes to
          be sex organs.

          Then we can say reproductive organs.

          Like someone screwing with your hair organ by giving you a buzz cut or Mohawk. That person could be a dead man, legally.

          If someone did it for a half hour, it may not be worthy of a revenge killing.

          If your whole body was being changed, nutrients being stolen from your body, toxic wastes being put into your bloodstream that made you sick every day, and getting worse every day, how many days of this would it take to justify killing someone who was doing that to you?

        • —If a person was drowning but could easily and safely be
          rescued by
          Joe Person with the extending of Joe’s arm, but Joe decides not to
          extend his arm, and the person drowns as a result, I wonder if Joe could
          be legally liable for a crime.—

          No. Joe is not. Joe is not obligated to risk himself to save the other person.

          Joe is also not obligated to donate blood, organs, or carry them for any length of time.

        • skl

          “No. Joe is not. Joe is not obligated to risk himself to save the other
          person.”

          But in my hypothetical I posited that there was no risk, that the potential rescue was easy and safe.

        • Greg G.

          I gave you a link to a rudimentary plastic uterus used for about a month to bring animals to term.

          If it becomes possible for human embryos to develop for the last six months of gestation, how much obligation would you accept to save a dozen unwanted fetuses with artificial uteruses?

        • skl

          “If it becomes possible for human embryos to develop for the
          last six months of gestation, how much obligation would you accept to save a dozen unwanted fetuses with artificial uteruses?”

          This is an idea I hadn’t heard of before, so I first need to
          ask some questions, in line with what we’ve been talking about, to try to understand this better. Two that come quickly to mind are

          – How much health risk is involved for the mother and for the 3 month-old fetus in going inside her to extract the fetus,
          compared to the risk of a regular 9 month pregnancy delivery

          – In opting for this procedure, is the mother saying it was OK for the baby to use her body for 3 months but not for 9 months?

        • Greg G.

          The procedures have never been done so for the purpose of this hypothetical, we’ll say the health risks are less than carrying a fetus in public for several months.

          The time period is nominal. It is whenever the woman decides she doesn’t want the child and when an appointment for the procedure can be made.

          Any other questions you have, just assume whatever makes you feel the most favorable.

        • Cynthia

          Greg – appreciate what you are trying to do, but we don’t need to use sci-fi hypotheticals.

          We already have the tools to support women and babies in a way that would drastically reduce the number of abortions. Provide comprehensive sex ed and promote the use of contraceptive implants and doubling up methods (far more effective than either the Pill or condoms alone). Provide free access to those contraceptive implants or Mirena IUDs. Ensure everyone has access to decent health care, with no exclusions for maternity or children. Reduce the maternal mortality rate, which is far higher in the US than in other developed countries. Provide better protection against pregnancy discrimination and make sure to include schools and placements as well as employment. Provide decent financial support for those who need it. Allow people to use food stamps to buy diapers. Have supports available for anyone with increased needs during pregnancy, such as a need to care for young children while on bed rest. Have better parental leave policies.

          Unfortunately, too many of the same politicians that would put legal restrictions on abortion oppose the very measures that would reduce the demand for them.

        • adam
        • So you created a strawman. Hint – Rescuing someone from drowning is neither easy nor safe in the vast majority of cases.

        • Carol Lynn

          Pregnancy is not necessarily or always easy or safe for the woman. Why do you think that it is? And who are you too decide what level of safety or health or well being she ought to risk?

        • Cynthia

          Exactly. There is no such thing as a pregnancy that poses NO risk to the pregnant woman, and there is certainly no guarantee of a safe and easy birth.

        • IIRC, the mortality risk to the woman of carrying a fetus to term and delivering is about 14 times worse than with an abortion (hardly surprising, since the fetus only gets bigger with time).

        • adam

          “But in my hypothetical I posited that there was no risk, that the potential rescue was easy and safe.”

          then it really depends on the laws of that land.

        • Cynthia

          Reality matters. As I mentioned above, there IS a risk to Joe in this situation. He can’t be useful if he drowns as well.

          Likewise, pregnancy has non-trivial risks. The pregnant woman, in consultation with medical professionals, is in the best position to assess those risks and make her own decisions.

        • Cynthia

          With the warm weather here, I feel an obligation as a former lifeguard to point out that for Joe, extending an arm is NOT a risk free procedure and that we see tragic cases of double drownings where well-meaning rescuers die because they failed to protect themselves. Someone who is drowning is in a panic. They have a surge of adrenaline that increases their strength and a primal urge to climb so they can pull Joe into the water and then end up pushing him under. Professional lifeguards will do a Pia carry, approaching from behind and propping the person up so they stop panicking. Others should use something that floats or at least extend an object like a pole or towel, and keep low so they aren’t pulled in themselves.

        • Former lifeguard here as well, that’s why I pointed out it’s not safe.

        • —That doesn’t make sense to me.
          You had said your rationale/justification for the killing is the unwanted using of the body.
          So, the unwanted USING is the key,
          NOT the VIABILITY of the unwanted USER.—

          If it’s not making sense to you, that’s because you aren’t actually listening to what we are saying and you are not arguing in good faith.

          Yes, the unwanted using is the key.

          Yes, lethal force is the minimum necessary to immediately stop the using, it is acceptable.

          However, if there is a lesser amount of force that can be used, it is preferable. Thus if a C-section or induced labor can be performed that results in a viable infant without that procedure being more dangerous to the woman than an abortion, it is the optimum outcome.

          Before you start in on the bullshit strawmen again, do note that we will call you out on the whole ‘women aborting viable fetuses just because they feel like it’ shit. It doesn’t happen. Late term abortions occur for health reasons. Don’t pretend aborting at nine months is a thing and try using that to argue against abortions. That’s like saying unicorns are killing people and trying to use that to argue against having horses.

        • skl

          I had to reread your post. I’m still in awe, especially with the first part –

          “—That doesn’t make sense to me.
          You had said your rationale/justification for the killing is the unwanted using of the body.
          So, the unwanted USING is the key,
          NOT the VIABILITY of the unwanted USER.—

          If it’s not making sense to you, that’s because you aren’t actually
          listening to what we are saying and you are not arguing in good faith.

          Yes, the unwanted using is the key.”

        • I see you still have no argument to present or any counter to my arguments.

    • TheNuszAbides

      it’s irrelevant to the rights of the host, not absolutely irrelevant. it’s highly relevant to those who want zygotes to be granted rights.

      at risk of mangled analogy, the fact/opinion of its relevance is about as significant as the fact/opinion of the relevance of “does any god exist” or “is any Christian apologetic both sound and valid” when we all know countless people won’t care about one particular instance of factuality or relevance if they think they’ve got a hold of something that keeps them from worrying about something they haven’t got a hold of. the personhood argument means giving some of them less cog-dis cover.

      • Anat

        it is irrelevant to my position. My position does not rely on personhood starting at time X or Y, as long as the one being pregnant is a person.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it is irrelevant to my position.

          that would be a useful edit to your original comment.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    “Logically, that suggests that teenagers are “more of a person” than toddlers ….” having dealt with both, I would say most teenagers are less of a person. Toddlers have curiosity, compassion, and a certain glee in being in the universe. Teenagers… not so much (; Come on folks, it takes YEARS to learn how to be the kinda aholes many teens are. /old fart rant mode off

    • lady_black

      I happen to prefer teens to babies and toddlers. It’s a matter of personal taste, I suppose.

      • Cozmo the Magician

        IDK, ageing them does not seem to improve the taste, but with the right marinade you do wonders with anything (;

    • GubbaBumpkin

      “Logically, that suggests that teenagers are “more of a person” than toddlers ….”

      This appears to be a losing argument for the anti-abortion side, since society does grant many personal rights to teenagers which are not granted to toddlers. The right to drive, to vote, to drink, etc. are granted at various times on the “teenage” spectrum.

    • TheNuszAbides

      “socialization” my ass!

  • crden

    I should point out one thing that’s bothering me in this article — we’re assuming that the cell *will* develop into a newborn here, and that’s often not the case. Almost a third of pregnancies confirmed after implantation end in miscarriage. This is a case where the cell *may* develop into a newborn. That’s not even counting the situations where the fetus has a condition not compatible with life outside the womb.

    • Cynthia

      Shrodinger’s zygote/embryo/fetus, if you will. That is how my pregnancies felt. Since half of them ended in miscarriage, I never knew if a positive preg test would lead to a baby or to a loss.

      • crden

        Yep. And on top of that, I’ve known several women now who aborted pregnancies because there were conditions completely incompatible with life outside the womb. I know women who’ve been told that carrying a pregnancy to viability again would kill them, so baby and mother would both die, leaving the kid already in this world without a mother at all.

        • Cynthia

          Those are the late-term abortion situations. We need to be clear about that, because crazy hypotheticals that have no basis in reality get thrown around, and then they inflame people who think that there are a bunch of abortionists killing fetuses a day before delivery. That’s why doctors who perform abortions, particularly later abortions, are living in fear of being murdered by anti-abortion terrorists.

          These are tragic situations with no happy options. Those who need to cope with those tragedies shouldn’t also have to cope with outrageous expense, the need to travel long distance, and the risk to their lives due to terrorist violence, not to mention that the last thing someone who is forced to terminate a wanted but doomed pregnancy needs to hear is that she is a murderer.

        • crden

          Absolutely. This stuff is important, and it’s really down to the case of people putting the rights and well-being of a potential baby that would have maybe a few hours alive outside the womb ahead of the rights and well-being of the woman actually carrying said being. Giving birth is still a risky operation, and those are often situations where there’s extra risk to the woman involved if she waits until term.

          In those situations, the only life really at risk is the pregnant woman’s. I live in the Bible Belt and had to actually fight to get language included in the “fetal pain” bill (it passed in the amended version) that would allow a woman to have an already dead fetus removed from her body in the case of a miscarriage that did not expel on its own and that would allow for the removal of a fetus with conditions incompatible with life outside the womb. Women’s lives were considered of so little worth by our legislators that they were willing to favor the rights of something DEAD over ours.

        • Cynthia

          Yikes! Tell me more about this. I had to have a D&C when I was in my 17th week of pregnancy, after they discovered that the fetus had no heartbeat and had stopped growing at 9 weeks.

        • crden

          That was Georgia — HRB 954 in 2012. The first bill opposed the procedure after 20 weeks in all cases, no exceptions, in a strongly Republican dominated legislature. The fight to get it at least amended was rough — all the female Democratic legislators walked out for about 14 hours of the argument, there were fistfights between lobbyists, etc. That’s the one where a Georgia house representative, Terry England, went on the House floor and said that if waiting until the body expels a dead fetus is good enough for the pigs on his farm, it’s good enough for women living in Georgia. They ultimately passed a revised version with exceptions for the health or life of the mother (not including mental health — if you’re mentally ill and have to go off your meds, so be it, even if it means you engage in self harm) and for medically futile pregnancies (the fetus must be diagnosed with a congenital or chromosomal condition that is incompatible with life after birth). There are restrictions on method even then — essentially it must be performed as an early birth.

          It’s not exactly heartwarming to hear that representatives in your state legislature consider your rights to be about the same as those of their prize pig, if not worse.

        • Cynthia

          I just googled that. A diagnosis of Tay Sachs disease would not be considered medically futile, because the baby doesn’t die at birth but slowly deteriorates in pain until they die before age 5, with no treatment or cure in existence. As well, a severely hydrocephalic fetus would require a c-section due to the live birth requirement, even though this carries a higher risk to the mother. Because her life can be risked for a dead baby, apparently.

        • crden

          Yep. It’s pretty horrifying, isn’t it?

    • Agreed. I didn’t pursue that, wanting to keep the post simple.

      • Cynthia

        I think it’s an important point because:

        1. When we are discussing late-term abortion, we are almost always talking about those tragic cases where there will be no happily ever after, no matter what choice is made. These are situations where there are really serious risks to the pregnant woman, or severe fetal defects.

        2. A big fear is that a pregnant woman could find herself under criminal investigation or otherwise be blamed for failing to produce a live baby. This is not paranoia. I’ve seen a report where a child protection agency manager suggested that a mother in prison was to blame for the death of her premature newborn twins simply because she had a past history of drug use, when the actual evidence suggested that prison staff failed to allow her to go on bedrest and failed to respond when she first complained of labor pains, and the report also failed to consider that preterm labor is really common with twin pregnancies. There have been criminal cases where women were arrested, despite a lack of evidence that they actually did anything to cause fetal death.

      • crden

        I do think it’s quite important, though. There is serious concern, as Cynthia mentioned, that women will be blamed and subject to prosecution for failing to produce a live birth. We get held responsible for things that happen to the potential baby before and/or at birth, sometimes for things that happened before we knew there was a pregnancy, and this is especially true for women who are already in vulnerable situations.

        This giving birth thing is a risky endeavor, and we’re being asked to risk our health and possibly our lives for something that might not make it Increasingly women are having to fight for the right to get a fetus that’s NOT going to make it removed from our bodies.

        Most acorns never make it to tree status.

  • Kev Green

    The only significant difference between an unfertilized egg and a fertilized egg is that the latter indicates a woman had sex. As a necessary condition for Wilcox’s argument to be valid he would have to justify why only the fertilized egg should be treated as a potential person with rights. And, since he’s ‘secular’ he can’t invoke the concept of a soul.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      The only significant difference between an unfertilized egg and a fertilized egg is that the latter indicates a woman had sex.

      Nope. Not since the advent of in vitro fertalisation methods.

      • Kev Green

        Good point. But in the case of artificial fertilization there’s even less of an argument that the fertilized egg is somehow a person with rights when the component parts were not.

  • wannabe

    Interesting that you should choose the blue/green spectrum for your argument in that some human languages (and presumably peoples) do not clearly distinguish between those two colors, e.g.: Wikipedia: Blue–green distinction in language, and Language Log: It’s not easy seeing green (and the many interesting comments).

    To further derail things, the LL post references “That Dress” which to my eyes is clearly periwinkle and olive green.

    • Greg G.

      Vietnamese uses the same word for blue and green but they do distinguish the difference by saying something like “blue/green like the sky” or “blue/green like a leaf”.

    • RichardSRussell

      Just because people don’t have different words for them doesn’t mean that they literally, physically can’t tell them apart. The human eye (at least in a non-color-blind person) can distinguish over a million different colors, and we probably don’t have names for all of them. And some of us have fewer names than others: Color Names If You’re a Guy

    • It could be just about any spectrum, but I imagine that we’re on the same page here.

  • RichardSRussell

    The self-proclaimed pro-life* crowd is entirely too obsessive about the imaginary people they claim to be concerned about. They need to calm down, switch off their circuit diagrams, get out of their blueprints, sit in the shade of their acorns, listen to the pleasant songs of the eggs, and stop to smell the pollen.

    ––––––
    *short for “proliferators”

    • crden

      Given my experience watching people creating and arguing for more restrictions on abortion, frankly, my concern is where they feel pregnant women lie on this spectrum of “personhood.” I am quite convinced at this point that most of the anti-abortion crowd do not view women in this state to be actual people.

    • Carol Lynn

      That’s brilliant.

  • skl

    Bob S.,
    What’s the distinction between a “property” and an “emergent property”?

    • Herald Newman

      Here’s what Dictionary.com has to say about “emergent properties”

      any unique property that “emerges” when component objects are joined together in constraining relations to “construct” a higher-level aggregate object, a novel property that unpredictably comes from a combination of two simpler constituents

      Examples

      The familiar taste of salt is an emergent property with respect to the sodium and chlorine of which it is composed.

  • ED Austin

    No, an acorn is not an oak tree….Yes, it’s a potential oak tree….But the acorn’s sole purpose of existence (if not eaten by an animal) is to become an oak tree…..The sole purpose of a male sperm is to fertilize a female egg of its own species…The sole purpose of a female egg is to be fertilized by the male sperm of its own species, then to develop into a copy of that species…..Therefore, a human sperm, fertilizing a human egg, can only do one thing….Create a human when joining (conception)

    • Joe

      There is no ‘purpose’ to any of those things.

      Even so, what difference does that make?

      • ED Austin

        There is no purpose to our reproductive system?! You were never taught about the birds and the bees?

        And the difference is that when aborting a fetus, you’re destroying a copy of yourself. The word “zygote”, was created to dehumanize abortions. Like pretending you’re cutting a mole off your skin. And calling the fetus a “parasite” may be a technical term that’s correct. But it doesn’t explain the whole reason why its parasitical in the first place.

        Just so you know, I’m an agnostic. So I’m not viewing this from a religious perspective.

        Just a commonsense one.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          There is no purpose to our reproductive system?!

          This gets into teleology vs. teleonomy.

        • Joe

          There is no purpose to our reproductive system?

          ?

          There is a purpose? My sex education stopped after the functions were described.

          And the difference is that when aborting a fetus, you’re destroying a copy of yourself.

          Even if that were true. Even if. So what?

          And calling the fetus a “parasite”

          Where did I do that?

        • ED Austin

          I wasn’t implying that you said anything about the fetus being a parasite Joe. I’m sorry you read it that way. I’ve just learned from chatting with pro abortion folks that they like to through that term out a lot in their discussions.

        • RichardSRussell

          Well, maybe Joe didn’t, but let me fill in the gap.

          parasite n. an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.

          Shoe fits, nu?

        • ED Austin

          Technically you’re right….But just another way of dehumanizing the fetus.

        • adam

          “But just another way of dehumanizing the fetus.”

          But just another way of humanizing a parasite…

        • RichardSRussell

          Ignoring what it’s doing to the host’s body is just another way of dehumanizing women. Stop and consider everything that’s entailed for a woman to give birth to a baby.

          It starts off with having to pee all the time, occasionally involuntarily. Then her breasts get swollen and achy. Morning sickness kicks in next, as she pukes her guts out every day for a couple of months. That’s at one end. At the other, she gets to deal with uncomfortable constipation and painful hemorrhoids. Her libido nosedives. She waddles as she walks, and the backaches which will soon become a constant presence kick in. Leg cramps? Yup, those too. Tired all the time because she can’t sleep comfortably and she has to carry a heavy load wherever she goes. Ankles and feet swell up. Varicose veins. Random gut punches from within. Everything hurts.

          This all concludes with the grand finale, a multi-hour process in which the most sensitive part of her body is slowly ripped asunder by a bowling ball being shoved relentlessly thru a tiny opening in her flesh, and it doesn’t stop no matter how loud or how long she screams. This part is invariably excruciating, sometimes crippling, and occasionally fatal.

          Yes, many a woman signs up to do this voluntarily, as is her perfect right, since it’s her own body. But suppose a woman would (understandably) rather not have to endure such prolonged pain and misery. The anti-abortion religiots want to force her to do it anyway.

          Let’s pull no punches here. If this 9-month program of heartless torture were being committed by a cruel military dictatorship on a helpless captive, we’d have them up on war-crimes charges in The Hague as soon as we were able to bring them to justice. Anti-abortionists are no better than medieval torturers, and arguably worse, because they’re so arrogantly smug and self-righteous about the horrors they gleefully impose on their unwilling victims.

        • Kodie

          Contrarily, it’s you who humanize the zygote by calling it a baby. It’s not a baby. Why be so dramatic and unrealistic?

        • Joe

          You did more than imply that, you boldly stated it as fact when it wasn’t.

          Plus you didn’t apologize, you put the blame on me for ‘reading it that way’.

          How about engaging with the topic at hand, instead of making up false statements and straw-men to attack?

        • ED Austin

          OK…I’m sorry I hurt your feeling Joe.

          The topic at hand is abortion. Is it right or wrong? Are we killing a human, or eradicating a clump of needless flesh?

          So where was the straw-man attack? And do you have definitive answers to my questions?

        • Joe

          You didn’t hurt my feelings. You lied. Again with the non-apology.

          You’re even reading emotion into plain speech, which suggests you’re a fantasist to some degree.

          The topic at hand is abortion. Is it right or wrong?

          No, the topic is the spectrum of personhood.

          Are we killing a human, or eradicating a clump of needless flesh?

          That’s not the question either. It’s needlessly begging in your favour.

          So where was the straw-man attack?

          Two listed above, plus the claim that I said a foetus was a parasite.

          And do you have definitive answers to my questions?

          Yes.

        • ED Austin

          You seem to be an overly sensitive person Joe. So I’ll apologize profusely again. I’m not here to hurt anyone or attack with ad hominem. I’m just a curious person who likes to hear other opinions on things.

          I think my answer of the topic being, (is abortion right or wrong) fits along with the topic being (the spectrum of person-hood). After all, the main contention between the anti’s and pro’s is , are we killing a human with abortions?

          So I don’t see my answers or questions as “straw-men”. I think they pertain to the subject and would like some answers.

          Unfortunately, you’ve spent your time attacking my style of asking questions and giving of my opinions, and not enough time giving me any of your opinions or proof that I might be wrong.

        • Paul B. Lot

          After all, the main contention between the anti’s and pro’s is , are we killing a human with abortions?

          Is it?

          It seems to me that the “main” contention of pro-choice advocates, it seems to me, is that [within the confines of my body = I can do what I will].

        • ED Austin

          But some will say that it’s not just your body anymore. You share it with a life you helped create. But now want to destroy.

          If the fetus is truly a human life form. Than it should also have a say in whether it wants to be ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb.

          That brings us right back to the subject on “the spectrum of person-hood”.

          Is a human fetus a “person”?….If so, when does it become one?….If not….Why?

        • Paul B. Lot

          But some will say that it’s not just your body anymore.

          “Some will say” this? Who cares? Others will say “so what”?

          If someone comes to my home tonight and cuts open the epithelial layer over my abdomen and shoves their hands under my skin — they would still be a “human life form”, and yet I don’t think a jury in the country would convict me of murder for killing them.

          So.

          The fact that an entity is or is not “truly a human life form” has no power to determine whether or not we, as a society, should mandate that that entity get “a say” in whether or not must be allowed to continue to exist inside another “truly human life form”.

          That brings us right back to the subject on “the spectrum of person-hood”.

          For the reasons I laid out above, and in my previous comment; nope.

        • ED Austin

          It has been shown that a fetus does indeed react to the process of an abortion. Some might call it experiencing anxiety or even pain.

          If the fetus is actually feeling these emotions or pain, and protesting its demise. Then is it conscience enough to have a say in whether it wants to continue with the abortion?

        • It has been shown that a fetus does indeed react to the process of an abortion.

          Does this go back to day 1 with the single cell? If not, then I presume we’re on the same page about the spectrum of personhood.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It has been shown that a fetus does indeed react to the process of an abortion.

          Leaving aside the questions raised by your use of the phrase “process of an abortion”, I’ll just point out that flatworms react to stimuli as well. So do bacteria.

          If the fetus is actually feeling these emotions or pain, and protesting its demise. Then is it conscience enough to have a say in whether it wants to continue with the abortion?

          You’re ignoring the content of my replies to you. I would appreciate it if you would stop doing so. Please start paying attention.

          You want us to imagine that given fetus has a developed enough ?”conscienceness”? to be given “a say” in whether or not the woman aborts the pregnancy, presumably because of the emotional weight you imagine is associated with a “conscience” being “protesting its demise”.

          But I’ve already responded to you with an example which relies on a fully-formed-and-“conscience”-adult. In other words, your poorly-worded argument is relying on a point which I’ve already granted for the sake of argument: the rightness or wrongness of allowing abortion does not, on my view, hinge on the status of the conscienceness of the inner-matryoshka doll.

        • BlackMamba44

          Citations needed.

        • adam

          “Some might call it experiencing anxiety or even pain.”

          So?

          Can this anxiety be demonstrated?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e137fbcb53ac95fe112ba7671e922efda9b9c621e3651bb0a112935a0045fc75.jpg

        • adam

          “If the fetus is truly a human life form. Than it should also have a say in whether it wants to be ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb.”

          It has had it’s say, and it is incapable of saying anything.

          “Is a human fetus a “person”?”

          Certainly not legally, where it counts

          http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/personhood

        • Joe

          But some will say that it’s not just your body anymore.

          On what grounds can they say that?

          If the fetus is truly a human life form. Than it should also have a say in whether it wants to be ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb.

          So far, they haven’t voiced any objections.

          Is a human fetus a “person”?….If so, when does it become one?….If not….Why?

          It starts at birth, for almost all countries. Because that’s when rights are conferred on the child. Although personhood develops at a later stage.

        • Is a human fetus a “person”?

          That was the question addressed by the post. I’ve already answered it. Do you dislike my answer? Then tell us why instead of restarting the conversation at square 1.

        • ED Austin

          I guess I have to agree with Wilcox when he says…”The spectrum argument fails to adequately address the fact that there is a continuity of human development that begins at fertilization and doesn’t stop until after birth.”

          As I’ve said here before. The male human sperm has but one function to perform in its life. That is to fertilize the human female egg to produce another “human”.

          The human female egg has but one function to perform in its life. And that is to be fertilized by the male’s sperm in order to reproduce another “human”.

          If you have evidence that they have functions other than these, please explain.

          Your spectrum theory is moot due to these facts. The spectrum is only used for the purpose of choosing when a person could feel comfortable in ending the fetuses life. Which, in my opinion, started at conception.

        • MR

          So, I presume all that dancing means the answer is no.

        • ED Austin

          I think my answer was perfectly clear.

          Abortions kill humans!

        • BlackMamba44

          Giving birth kills humans, too. But then, you don’t care about that human.

        • ED Austin

          You shouldn’t make any assumptions about me BlackMamba.

          I never said that abortions are never “necessary”. I believe they are sometimes. Such as saving the mothers life, rape and incest.

          But that doesn’t negate the fact that abortions DO kill humans.

        • Rudy R

          So you agree that killing humans may be necessary.

        • BlackMamba44

          No assumptions here. Your posts in this comments section are my evidence.

          An abortion at any time in the pregnancy is saving the woman’s life if that is how she sees it. And its none of your goddamn business how she sees it.

          Your kind make me sick.

        • Kodie

          They don’t.

        • MR

          So, the answer to Bob’s question is still no. I get that you think whatever-it-is is (for lack of a concrete term) worth saving, but it’s important to define our terms, and you clearly are avoiding stating the obvious fact that whatever-it-is is not a person. If I were to stop anyone on the street and ask them the definition of a person, no one is going to tell me, “a clump of cells.” Similarly, you’re “human” term has issues, too. If I were to ask someone on the street to describe “a human,” no one is going to tell me, “a clump of cells.” If I were to ask, are these cells that make up whatever-it-is “human.” The answer is going to be yes. The two are not the same. It’s important to make the distinction. I get that you place value on whatever-it-is, but it’s not “a person” and it’s not “a human,” it’s something else. I think that is Bob’s point. That you dance around the definition shows a weakness in your argument. Embrace your belief that it is worth valuing, but let’s not pretend that anyone would call it “a person” or “a human.”

        • It’d be nice if ED would confront the issue directly or admit that he can’t, but that’s not how it usually works.

        • MR

          And like it’s our fault he can’t, sheesh. Don’t rail against atheists, they didn’t make the definitions. Clearly everyone makes a distinction. And everyone is comprised mostly (in the U.S. and other countries, anyway) of Christians.

        • adam
        • You want to recommend no abortions, for whatever poorly argued reason you have? That’s great–free speech and all that. Welcome to the conversation.

          The problem is when you want to impose your beliefs on the rest of the country by law. Is that your goal?

        • adam

          “Abortions kill humans!”

          Humans kill humans.
          God’s claim to kill humans.
          So what?

        • ED Austin

          Yes…Humans kill humans, And in our society, that’s a punishable crime.

          I’ll let you have the God thing, cuz I see no evidence of one and consider it a myth.

        • MR

          And in our society abortion is not a punishable crime.

        • adam

          “And in our society, that’s a punishable crime.”

          Sometimes.

          Depends where the killing occurs on the spectrum of law, doesnt it?

        • Your spectrum theory is moot due to these facts.

          Agreed. These facts are completely irrelevant to the point of this post.

          The spectrum is only used for the purpose of choosing when a person could feel comfortable in ending the fetuses life.

          The spectrum is only used for seeing reality clearly. A newborn is really, really, really different from the single cell it started as 9 months earlier. To dismiss that and say that the single cell is a baby or a person is to dismiss reality.

          Of course, I don’t much care what the parents-to-be call the single cell (and then zygote and then fetus). If they want to name it and call it a baby, that’s terrific. The problem is when someone wants to impose “baby” on it and burden the rest of society with that declaration.

          Which, in my opinion, started at conception.

          I agree again. Maybe we’ll find something to disagree about if you respond directly to my case for the spectrum argument.

          You could say that there’s no beginning of life (since we’re not talking about abiogenesis here), or you could say that the new fetus-to-be started at conception. All this is, again, irrelevant to my point that a single cell isn’t a person. And if you disagree that “person” is the right word to use, then you tell me: tell me what the newborn is that the single cell isn’t. I’m happy with “person” or “human being” or “baby.”

        • Greg G.

          A sperm may have one function to perform but the vast majority of them do not perform that function. Most women have more menstrual cycles than pregnancies in their lifetime and they have leftover egg cells that never ovulated by the time menopause hits. Since most reproductive cells never end up reproducing, there is no reason to force pregnancy on a woman because two happened to have caused a conception.

          A whisker is not a beard. Fifty thousand whiskers would be a beard. There is a spectrum between a few whiskers and a goatee. One end is not a beard, the other end is a minimal beard.

          A newborn is not an elderly person. We have words for many stages between the two situations but there is no specific second when a person passes from one stage to the next.

          These are all spectra. It is wrong to equivocate an infant with an old geezer, it is wrong to equivocate a whisker with a beard, and it is wrong to equivocate a zygote with a person.

          A single conception could result in quadruplets. Two conceptions could result in a chimera. Most conceptions do not even result in pregnancy as many are inherently not viable.

          Since a conception may end up as zero people, a half of a person, one person, or multiple people, it is unreasonable to equate that stage with a newborn. It is wrong to equate a zygote with a person because the arithmetic doesn’t add up.

          Personhood is a function of the brain so a functioning brain would be the best measure of personhood.

        • ED Austin

          “A sperm may have one function to perform but the vast majority of them do not perform that function. Most women have more menstrual cycles than pregnancies in their
          lifetime and they have leftover egg cells that never ovulated by the
          time menopause hits. ”

          Umm, So what? The fact that one sperm and one egg DID complete their mission, is what the discussion is about.

          “there is no reason to force pregnancy on a woman because two happened to have caused a conception.”

          No….There’s no reason to kill an unborn child because the conception just happens to inconvenience your life.

          Except for rape and incest, there is hardly any reason to “accidentally” conceive, while birth control meds are so readily available these days.

          This spectrum theory is just another tool to use when one is deciding at what point they might feel they can shake culpability in ending a human life.

        • MR

          And yet no one refers to the union of egg and sperm as a “child” either. Large swaths of individuals, cultures, religions, groups within the same religion, people across time, sometimes even the same people in different times view it differently. Not even the Bible condemns abortion. It’s not a child and it’s not a person. People see it differently for a reason, and that’s good enough for me not to judge.

        • ED Austin

          But the union of a sperm and an egg have only one purpose. Let alone, they eventually do create a child.

          As for the Bible and religion. They never could agree on anything anyway.

          I’ll stick with the science.

        • MR

          Ascribing purpose to the process is meaningless. You’re projecting something that isn’t there.

          Science only describes, it doesn’t give you a basis to judge. Some people think the Bible and religion give them a basis to judge. That did not appear to be the case to me, even when I was a Christian.

          Clearly we muggles do not see a fetus as a person (take note how you yourself danced around the issue), we see abortion as different than murder. That is enough for me not to judge. I see no basis for you to judge either.

        • ED Austin

          “Ascribing purpose to the process is meaningless. You’re projecting something that isn’t there.”

          I’ll say this once again…The only reason (we know of so far) that the sperm and egg exist, is for them to merge and reproduce the animal from which they came. That gives it purpose!

          “Science only describes, it doesn’t give you a basis to judge.”

          Science give us the information to make decisions and “judge” with the information we have at the time. Facts may change in the future though. So we work with what we know as fact at this moment. If science could empirically show that a zygote is aware of its surroundings (conscientiousness) like a new born, then we could label that zygote as a human-being, and “judge” the parent and doctor for aborting (killing) it under our current laws.

          “Clearly we muggles do not see a fetus as a person ( take note how you yourself danced around the issue)”

          I danced around this issue because, I, like you, have no empirical proof of the person-hood, or the lack of, when contemplating aborting zygotes and fetuses.

          So we sit here sharing our “opinions”.

        • MR

          The only reason (we know of so far) that the sperm and egg exist, is for them to merge and reproduce the animal from which they came. That gives it purpose

          You’re simply ascribing purpose. Science does not. They don’t do what they do with purpose anymore than sodium binds with chloride to form salt. As Adam pointed out, you might as well say that the principal purpose of sperm is to die.

          Do you apply the same judgement for animal sperm and egg? Is it wrong to prevent an animal zygote from coming to term? Or is it simply our human bias as humans that we care? What is your basis for judgement?

          If science could empirically show that a zygote is aware of its surroundings (conscientiousness) like a new born, then we could label that zygote as a human-being, and “judge” the parent and doctor for aborting (killing) it under our current laws.

          I presume you mean consciousness. If science could show such a thing, society might change its opinion and the laws might change. (No one would be tried under current laws because our understanding would have changed. New laws would have to be instituted first.) But, how likely is it that a clump of cells has consciousness? My hair, my fingernails, the piece of skin I just pulled off where I cut myself are all clumps of cells. Do you suppose they have consciousness? Should they be protected, too?

          I danced around this issue because…

          You danced around the issue because you understand that humans don’t equate the two. So much so, that it’s baked into our language. To me that is striking. It gives me pause when I think about judging another on the issue. The fact that very religious people, who feel they do have foundation to judge, disagree on the topic is striking. That gives me pause when I think about judging another person. The fact that, as a man, I will never have to go through such a thing myself gives me pause when I think about judging another person.

          It’s a noble thought to want to save every potentiality for life (human or animal), but it’s not a ground on which to judge another person.

        • adam

          ” Is it wrong to prevent an animal zygote from coming to term?”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e5cdb8eb5f354b5742050dc8bf44e3726d169c2667d28a844e176ab7b147fe3.jpg

          Then what would I have for breakfast?

        • MR

          A little side note to the others: On re-reading his comment above, I was struck by this rather creepy statement:

          If science could empirically show that a zygote is aware of its surroundings (conscientiousness) like a new born, then we could label that zygote as a human-being, and “judge” the parent and doctor for aborting (killing) it under our current laws.

          Wow, why would you say that rather than a statement along the lines that he’d hope people’s minds would be changed about the nature of the fetus, that it would induce change in society or something to that effect? I mean, it’s almost like he’s chomping at the bits to throw people in jail!

          It’s kind of hard for me to believe that there isn’t a religious motive behind this guy. I’ve seen the “Oh, I’m not religious, I go by the science” trick before. Uh-huh…, new account, check, misrepresents science, check, unsubstantiated grounds for passing judgement, check, creepy statement (wow, just face palm again when I read that), check….

          And then elsewhere this statement:

          The word “zygote”, was created to dehumanize abortions

          Yeah, ri-ight…, that’s why the term was created; “stick with the science,” my ass. I’m not buying it. (NB: first known use of the term is 1887.)

          Regardless, it’s rather frightening to me to think that someone would make a statement like the one above in this day and age. (Even creepier if the guy isn’t religious!) The message I hear to women is that “‘Life’ is precious, but yours, not so much. You deserve to be locked up.”

          I think I’m beginning to understand your concerns.

        • Kodie

          It is not their purpose. This is how biology works, but that does not mean they have to. If all the sperm you had were lost except one, was that that sperm’s purpose to become your child? No, just luck. The billions of other sperm “failed” at their purpose, so it’s not really a purpose, is it? Sperm’s purpose seems to be to become NO ONE and just be forgotten. What makes fertilizing an egg so monumental for the sperm, above what it used to be, that stuff in the tissue, that wet spot on the sheet?

        • adam

          ” Let alone, they eventually do create a child.”

          Let alone they do nothing.

          And dont forget TRILLIONS and TRIILLIONS of sperm cells never make it to the egg.

          So their purpose is simply to die.

          “I’ll stick with the science.”

          When will you start?

        • MR

          Two excellent points, Adam.

        • —But the union of a sperm and an egg have only one purpose. Let alone, they eventually do create a child.—

          Let alone, they don’t do jack shit.

          They have to implant in a woman’s body to have even a chance at viability.

        • —There’s no reason to kill an unborn child because the conception just happens to inconvenience your life.—

          There is no reason to kill that rapist because the rape just happens to inconvenience your life.

          —Except for rape and incest, there is hardly any reason to “accidentally”
          conceive, while birth control meds are so readily available these days.—

          I was using three types of birth control when I got pregnant. On the pill, spermicide, and condom.

          —This spectrum theory is just another tool to use when one is deciding at
          what point they might feel they can shake culpability in ending a human
          life.—

          If that ‘human life’ is using your body against your will, you may defend yourself with whatever level of force is necessary to make them stop, up to and including lethal.

        • adam

          “Which, in my opinion,”

          Why should your ‘opinion’ carry weight on this matter? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87e18056e8935b5339c7ea863d4e0a6633571c050f941790fa21e45fef9f0287.jpg

        • ED Austin

          Well, since science is still undecided about when “life” actually begins. This whole thread is nothing but opinions.

          So that makes my opinion just as valid as the next I guess!

          By the way. The message in your meme is true in some sense. But still a little cruel I think.

          Sorry….There I go giving my opinion again.

        • adam

          “Well, since science is still undecided about when “life” actually begins.”

          Dishonesty on your part.
          The discussion is about when ‘personhood’ actually begins.

          “By the way. The message in your meme is true in some sense.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a18a3237d360e002dbdd901e4a3f5688a3463b7d939dbc595090ceadb5ae4faa.png

        • Kodie

          A little cruel how?

        • BlackMamba44

          In over 90% of abortions, nothing is being “ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb”.

          Well, the ZEF can’t say anything. It’s non-sentient.

          My body is ALWAYS my body.

        • adam

          “Than it should also have a say in whether it wants to be ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb.”

          Then let it speak.
          It is capable correct?

        • it should also have a say in whether it wants to be ground to bits and sucked out of its mothers womb.

          Sounds like you don’t like third-trimester abortions. What do you think about first-term abortions? Are they just as bad?

          That brings us right back to the subject on “the spectrum of person-hood”.

          It does because I haven’t seen you address the point of the original post. Could you?

        • Kodie

          You don’t share it you dumbfuck. The zygote does nothing for the host. It is built into a baby over time from pieces and flesh and blood from the mother. The woman can survive just fine without it and could die with it. It’s not a cooperative relationship at all.

        • Cynthia

          With a side order of “you really can’t protect a zygote/embryo/fetus without having any regard for the person in which it resides, nor can you effectively prevent abortions through laws without addressing the root causes”.

        • the main contention between the anti’s and pro’s is , are we killing a human with abortions?

          But this allows for semantic games, which I have no patience for. I say it’s not a human as a single cell, and you say it is, so we go back and forth. Pointless.

          There’s obviously a spectrum from single cell to newborn. I call it a spectrum of personhood. What do you call it?

        • adam

          “After all, the main contention between the anti’s and pro’s is , are we killing a human with abortions?”

          And IF we are, so what?

          Killing humans is what makes the free will world go round….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/399c1022fd17d83255a20fac5966c628aa950fa0fd4a935be54e8b676bde95e7.jpg

        • Joe

          You are wrong, because you’re asking vague, begging questions.

          For example:

          After all, the main contention between the anti’s and pro’s is , are we killing a human with abortions?

          Is that proof enough?

        • ED Austin

          Well Joe, you haven’t contributed one intelligent thing to this conversation. And it’s apparent you have no answers at all.

          Thanks for the chat

        • adam

          “Well Joe, you haven’t contributed one intelligent thing to this conversation. And it’s apparent you have no answers at all.”

          Pot meet kettle…

        • Joe

          Well Joe, you haven’t contributed one intelligent thing to this conversation.

          Says who?

          And it’s apparent you have no answers at all.

          I just gave you an answer. I’ll repeat it again, in bold so as you don’t miss it:

          You’re questions don’t address the topic of Bob’s post, and are begging in nature. That means they affirm the premise within the question.

          That is my answer. If you don’t like it, so be it.

        • Michael Neville

          You seem to be an overly sensitive person Joe.

          Most people are “overly sensitive” when someone lies about what they said. They get even more “overly sensitive” when the liar makes an apology which says being insulted is the victim’s fault.

          An apology should take the form of “I’m sorry that I insulted you by saying or doing X and I’ll sincerely try not to say or do X again.”

        • Michael Neville

          When teaching marching drill in the military, one thing that’s emphasized is “don’t anticipate the command”. In this case, don’t accuse some of using the word parasite until they actually use it.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I wasn’t implying that you said anything about the fetus being a parasite Joe.

          Yes, yes you did imply that Joe had said something to that effect.

          I’m sorry you read it that way.

          He didn’t read it “that way” – that’s what you said.

          Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with you dim-witted prolifers being unable to own up to plain language?

        • ED Austin

          Oh, you mean this?

          “And the difference is that when aborting a fetus, you’re destroying a
          copy of yourself. The word “zygote”, was created to dehumanize
          abortions. Like pretending you’re cutting a mole off your skin. And
          calling the fetus a “parasite” may be a technical term that’s correct.
          But it doesn’t explain the whole reason why its parasitical in the first
          place.”

          Maybe if you weren’t so much in a hurry to find a place to write the word “fuck”. You would notice that the name “Joe” is not in my comment. It was a generalization of comments I’ve heard

          Thanks for trollin though!

        • lady_black

          ROFLMFAO! @ “The word ‘zygote’ was created to ‘dehumanize’ abortions.”
          NO, Sparky. That is the scientifically correct term for a fertilized ovum. At the stage where it might implant, it’s called a blastocyst. It’s a hollow ball of cells that looks NOTHING like a human being.
          You deny religiousity, yet it’s pouring out of your comment like hail from a thunderstorm. Your common sense needs a lot more cognitive sense.

        • Greg G.

          That “zygote” comment was the silliest thing I read or heard all day and I spent most of the day with more four year old nephew.

        • Kodie

          You have a super-serious nephew.

        • ED Austin

          “ROFLMFAO”?…..”Sparky”?…”You deny religiousity, yet it’s pouring out of your comment like hail from a thunderstorm.”?

          Looks like you may have found this information on the web, and copied and pasted it here lady_black. Cuz it sure didn’t take long to reach your intellectual limits did it?

        • lady_black

          NO. But we’ve certainly reached the limit of yours.
          I have no need of Googling things about pregnancy, Ed. I’ve forgotten more about it than you will know on your best day. And that isn’t today, unfortunately.
          I’ve heard a lot of silly things roll out of the minds of anti-choicers. However, the notion that scientific terms were somehow deviously crafted to provide cover for abortions takes the top prize for arrogant ignorance.
          Put your listening ears on! The words zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus apply to every viviparous vertebrate on the planet. (That’s animals that give live birth and have spinal columns for the scientifically illiterate.) There aren’t any special terms for unborn human animals, Cutesy Pie.
          You’re welcome to Google all this for yourself if you want to. If you can rove me wrong, I welcome that. But you can’t, and you won’t, because you don’t pack the gear. Now *that* I could be wrong about. Perhaps you are educable. If so, good for you. If not… kindly piss off.

        • ED Austin

          Well lady_black. It seems you’re most educated in ad hominem attacks. As most internet trolls are. But I gotta say that I don’t mind being called “Cutesy Pie”

          I’m glad that you think you know more about reproducing than a 63 year old man with ten kids and as many grand-kids. But we’re not here to discuss that I guess.

          So tell me using your vast wisdom on this. What are the functions of the male sperm and female egg? What is the reason for their existence? And are there more than one function for either?

          What is the result, if we allowed the process of sperm meeting egg to run through to completion? Approximately nine months for humans. Do we end up with a fully developed “zygote”? At what point in this process do we finally say this is a reproduction of the species that started it, and not just a parasitic “zygote”?

          Oh…And I don’t remember ever saying I’m an anti-choicer….I just remember 10th grade biology class….You might have skipped school that day hon.

        • adam

          “What is the result, if we allowed the process of sperm meeting egg to
          run through to completion? Approximately nine months for humans. Do we
          end up with a fully developed “zygote”?”

          Sometimes

          “Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy.[12] Among females who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 10% to 20% while rates among all fertilisation is around 30% to 50%.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage

        • Michael Neville

          You need to learn what ad hominem is. It’s attacking the person making an argument instead of attacking the argument. lady_black insulted you and then explained why your statement “the word ‘zygote’ was created to ‘dehumanize’ abortions” was wrong.

          Ad hominem is “you’re wrong because you’re an idiot.” But it’s not ad hominem to say “you’re wrong because of fact A, you idiot.”

          Approximately nine months for humans. Do we end up with a fully developed “zygote”?

          This bit of nonsense shows that you were asleep in biology class when zygotes were discussed. For your information, a zygote is a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes. Notice that humans, vertebrates and even animals are not needed for that definition, just two haploid gametes. Flowering plants reproduce by producing haploid gamates, so the seeds are zygotes.

          Learn some biology before you spout off any more nonsense, idiot.

        • lady_black

          Look, I cannot talk to you. Managing to spawn does NOT make you an expert in science and medicine, Sport. Dogs and cats manage to do that. Come back when you have graduated from medical school, nursing school, PA training, or have any kind of licensure in the medical field.
          Trying to talk to you is like trying to explain brain surgery to a nine year old. Now kindly piss off, and do not natter at me about tenth grade biology in high school. I went beyond that. The fact that a newborn and a zygote are far more different than a newborn and an adult is something any halfway bright child knows. Maybe you should try looking up the word “zygote” in the dictionary before further making a fool of yourself.

        • Bryan Elliott

          She’s a nurse and has given birth to children. What you could know ‘more’ about reproduction than she does is a mystery.

        • What is your reaction to point of the original post? Do you accept my points about the personhood spectrum?

        • —-So tell me using your vast wisdom on this. What are the functions of the
          male sperm and female egg? What is the reason for their existence? And
          are there more than one function for either?—

          The function of the webbing between our fingers is to help us be better swimmers. Are we therefore all obligated to take to the water?

          No?

          Huh.

        • Cynthia

          In some cases, if the sperm is able to meet egg and is able to achieve fertilization (not a given), and if that meiosis and mitosis go according to plan so that you end up with an embryo that doesn’t have a chromosomal problem (as many will), and if the blastocyst is able to implant in a good spot (not in the tube or elsewhere), and if the luteal phase works as it should so that the uterine lining is perfect and there is enough progesterone, then you get to the point where you have a pregnancy instead of a period.

          At that point, of course, the embryo still needs to make it through all the pitfalls of a pregnancy and birth before it will become a baby. Despite my best efforts, my diagnosed pregnancies only had a 50/50 shot of making it, and even that wouldn’t have happened without modern medicine.

        • ED Austin

          Well, if you had a healthy child, congratulations.

          Sometime we all need a little help from modern medicine.

        • —Oh…And I don’t remember ever saying I’m an anti-choicer….I just
          remember 10th grade biology class….You might have skipped school that
          day hon.—

          And yet, you never learned a uterus is kind of necessary to the whole ‘developing from a fertilized ovum’ process.

        • Greg G.

          The word “zygote”, was created to dehumanize abortions.

          You should have read more when you were young. You should have taken more challenging courses.

          Did you hear someone else say that and you believed it or did you make it up yourself?

        • ED Austin

          Thanks for the comments Greg. But I guess you disagree with me just cuz you want too

          You’ve left no information “schooling” me on the subject

          Maybe you’re spending too much time with 4 year old kids!

        • Greg G.

          You have the entire internet at your fingertips but you are doubling down on your claim that “the word ‘zygote’ was created to dehumanize abortion.” Wow!

          Here’s a link where the word “zygote” being used in the late 1800s about the development of plants.

          https://books.google.com/books?id=W9E-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA584&lpg=PA584&dq=zygote&source=bl&ots=5NryGmPFY1&sig=8DpyGqgzQXkjywLFaoEhA0mpomU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2oYLCu_LUAhUM0oMKHeLlDJ04ChDoAQhTMAk#v=snippet&q=zygote&f=false

          Please cite your source(s) for your claim.

        • adam
        • Bryan Elliott

          The word “zygote”, was created to dehumanize abortions

          Citation needed.

        • Bryan Elliott

          Children aren’t copies of ourselves. That would be clones.

        • RichardSRussell

          Since the word “zygote” applies not merely to human beings but to hundreds of thousands of viviparous species, the vast majority of which will never have an abortion, it seems a stretch to think of it as a euphemism for “person”. Isn’t your normal play that “abortion” is a euphemism for “murder”?

        • Greg G.

          I provided a link for him where “zygote” is used in the study of plant biology in the late 1800s.

        • adam

          “And the difference is that when aborting a fetus, you’re destroying a copy of yourself.”

          A fetus is NOT a clone…

        • Kodie

          So you’re kind of making it like we have to reproduce, because we have parts, and it is suicidal to have an abortion because our purpose is to xerox ourselves.

          That’s fucked up and lacks intellectual perspective.

    • Greg G.

      But the acorn’s sole purpose of existence (if not eaten by an animal) is to become an oak tree.

      Not quite. The animals eating the acorns is what enables the animals to spread the acorns. Since some of the animals die or forget, some of the acorns are planted. So one “purpose” of the acorn is to pay for the service of planting them.The acorns must have a value to the animal to make it worth their while. An oak tree produces far more acorns than will ever become a tree. The “purpose” of a ten thousand acorns is the hope of one becoming an oak tree.

      Millions of sperm are ejaculated every time whether the partner is ovulating or not. Fertilizing an egg is not in the cards for most sperm.

      Most ova of a female are not fertilized.

      It is thought that most fertilized eggs do not end up a human being just from natural causes or failure to implant.

      There is more to sex for humans than just reproduction. It is important to bonding and sometimes for reproduction.

      • ED Austin

        I agree. The trees use the animals as a delivery system. Just as male mammals use the seminal fluids to deliver the sperm. Some sperm make it. Some don’t.

        But I think the argument here was, what are we destroying AFTER the sperm and egg ARE successful in doing what they were designed to do?

        I say that if it is human sperm and human egg. And the only purpose of those two’s existence are to connect and reproduce a human. Then the clump of flesh some are so happy to tag as parasitic zygotes, can only be a human.

        • adam

          “I say that if it is human sperm and human egg. ”

          “Then the clump of flesh some are so happy to tag as parasitic zygotes, can only be a human.”

          Yes, it can only be a parsitic human zygote, so what?

        • Greg G.

          A zygote isn’t a parasite. That stage happens later.

          The math doesn’t add up though. A single zygote could end up as monozygotic triplets. Two zygotes could end up as one individual called a chimera. It’s about as likely as not to not implant or to die because it was never viable.

        • MR

          Except people don’t call that clump of flesh “a human.” That’s not an atheist thing, ask a Christian to define a human; it’s not going to be a clump of flesh.

    • lady_black

      Fail, fail, FAIL. That’s also how moles and partial moles are created. There is no human at conception, There is a single human cell. It may or may not have the full complement of chromosomes, or there may be too many.
      The most likely outcome of a “conception” is that it passes harmlessly out of the woman’s body without anyone ever knowing it existed. That’s what happens 50-70% of the time.

    • RichardSRussell

      This is a prime example of the teleological fallacy — the idea that there’s some kind of “purpose” behind everything we observe.

      • ED Austin

        I’d be interested in hearing something that has no purpose. No cause and effect?

        • RichardSRussell

          “Purpose” is a human construct. It has no intrinsic existence in nature. What is the purpose of a hydrogen atom, for example? Or of a supernova? Or of gravity? Or, to pick a more human-scale phenomenon, of rain?

        • ED Austin


          Purpose” is a human construct. It has no intrinsic existence in nature.”

          I agree we humans attach purpose to most things. But eating and breathing to stay alive has no intrinsic (purposeful) existence in nature?

        • Joe

          But eating and breathing to stay alive has no intrinsic (purposeful) existence in nature?

          Not sure exactly what you mean by that, so I’m going to say: No.

        • Greg G.

          Life exists. Life reproduces. Eating and breathing is necessary for aerobic life forms to exist and reproduce. That’s more than intrinsic to nature, it is nature itself.

        • adam

          Male nipples?

        • TheNuszAbides

          they’re for piercings, duh.

        • adam

          You mean I am defying God’s purpose for male nipples?

        • TheNuszAbides

          if you can read this message, it’s not too late to purify your temple.

        • Joe

          Purpose

          Cause and effect

          Those are different things. Would you like an example of one, the other or both at the same time?

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s the purpose of the Milky Way Galaxy or the moths swarming around the street light outside my window? Be specific.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    … since he doesn’t use overtly religious pro-life arguments.

    FIFY.

  • Dago Red

    Much to my chagrin, I’m sticking to my original conspiracy theory. The secular pro-life movement is nothing more than a group of failed religious zealots who disguise themselves as a secular group in hopes of being relevant someday. There is no other way to explain their rather familiar mixture of utter incompetence and arrogance (“…soundly refuted…” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).

  • GubbaBumpkin

    The same is true for a spectrum of personhood. Imagine a single fertilized egg cell…

    This is starting off on the wrong track to a category error. Personhood is not a biological question. It is a social and legal question. Consistently throughout human history, personhood has been recognised at or after birth. Let us make it clear that so-called conservatives which to change this long-standing practice.

    And yet, so few of them celebrate their conception day.

    • Joe

      Personhood is not a biological question. It is a social and legal question.

      But that means they (right wing anti-abortion advocates) can’t address issues such as race and gender as a simple biological issue, which they’d be unwilling to do.

    • TheNuszAbides

      indeed, when the significance of conception is so ideologically profound, it’s curious that anti-choice parents haven’t got a commensurate consumer mob love for cutting-edge pregnancy tests and monitoring.

  • skl

    “Back to Wilcox: “He resorts to the tired old arguments that
    an acorn is not an oak tree (no, but it is an immature oak tree) ….”
    An acorn is not a tree at all. It’s a potential tree, and it may become one in twenty years, but it’s not a tree right now.”

    Perhaps the problem here is in focusing on properties instead of essence. A tree is our concept of something with the properties of a trunk, branches, leaves. But the trunk property is not the oak and neither is the branch property or leaf property the oak. The OAK TREE PROPERTIES are NOT the same as the ESSENCE of the OAK tree.

    A better and simpler way of saying this might be
    ‘The acorn is not an oak tree but it IS an OAK.’

    • ‘The acorn is not an oak tree but it IS an OAK.’

      Similarly, a single cell isn’t a human being, but it is human.

      • skl

        “’The acorn is not an oak tree but it IS an OAK.’
        Similarly, a single cell isn’t a human being, but it is human.”

        And while a single cell may be identified as human, it will
        never grow to what everyone recognizes as a human being.
        With the exception of the fertilized egg cell.

        • Human cells can be modified to be totipotent.

          “The single cell will be a human being” is an argument from potential. It isn’t a human being now, but it might be.

        • skl

          “Human cells can be modified to be totipotent.”

          Do you mean a human cell other than the fertilized egg cell
          could become a human being?
          Like a cell from your skin or your brain?

        • Right.

        • skl

          Wow. Maybe that’s the cloning thing.

          But in nature, in the natural course of events, no human
          cell other than the fertilized egg cell has become a human being. Right?

        • islandbrewer

          After a zygote has multiplied a couple times, the individual blastomeres (early embryonic cells) can still be divided from each other, and each has the potential to grow into individual embryos. This is how monozygotic twins form (although the embryo typically divides into two “clumps” of cells), which are, strictly speaking, clones.

          These are not fertilized eggs at this point, but they are still totipotent.

          Why does the “in nature, in the natural course of events” matter?

        • skl

          “Why does the “in nature, in the natural course of events” matter?”

          Because living things have always come from nature, in
          the natural course of events, and so I’m interested in understanding what is and always has been before we get into what might be.

        • lady_black

          So?

        • lady_black

          Yes. Finally, you “get it.”

        • Joe

          Careful now, don’t jump the gun. I don’t think this poster wants to ‘get it’.

        • RichardSRussell

          Yup. So every time you scratch your nose, you’re killing several hundred skin cells that could well become full-fledged human beings under the proper conditions.

        • Greg G.

          A fertilized egg divides in order to develop. Sometimes the multiple cells can separate to become twins, triplets, etc. These are called monozygotic twins (triplets, etc.) as they come from a single fertilized egg, aka identical twins. Each twin, triplet, etc. develops an individual mind, so it is not correct to think of a fertilized egg as a person.

          Then there are fraternal twins that result from different ova being fertilized by different sperm. They are as closely related as brothers and sisters, but they happen to be in the womb together.

          There are also chimeras, which are two different fertilized eggs that happen to implant so close to one another that they merge as they grow, becoming one individual. A mother was tested with a DNA swab from her cheek that showed she was not the mother of her children because the part of her body with the ovaries developed from a different fertilized egg than the one her head developed from. Some people have different colored eyes because half their head developed from a different egg than the other half. Yet these people think of themselves as an individual person.

          Any of us could be a set of monozygotic twins that happened to merge back into one individual but there would be no way to tell.

          The math doesn’t add up for equating a fertilized egg with a person. One fertilized egg can be zero people, or it could end up being multiple people and two fertilized eggs can end up as one person. Personhood arises at some point after the brain is well developed.

        • skl

          That all may be true but it doesn’t seem to negate what I said –
          that the only single cell leading to a human being is the fertilized egg cell.

        • Greg G.

          But it is more likely to not lead to a human being. Since it could be triplets, it is not a unit that should be considered a human being.

          We know that a human can lose many body parts and still identify as the person they always were. But lose the brain, or even some brain functions, and the person is gone. A person requires a brain to be a person. The same DNA can produce many brains. One body with two heads is two people. See Abby and Brittany Hensel.

        • skl

          “But it is more likely to not lead to a human being. Since it could
          be triplets, it is not a unit that should be considered a human being.”

          Would it be better if I said that the only single cell leading to human beingS is the fertilized egg cell?

          “A person requires a brain to be a person.”

          But we would at least agree that many things with brains
          are not persons (e.g. Bison with brains.).

          So, maybe personhood just comes down to DNA.

        • adam

          “So, maybe personhood just comes down to DNA.”

          Uh, a bison has DNA…

        • MR

          Is DNA a person?

        • skl

          “Is DNA a person?”

          Certainly not necessarily. Because Bison have DNA, along with brains. But a Bison is not a person.

        • MR

          And babies aren’t usually referred to as a “person” either, much less fetuses. The word is meaningless for your purpose.

        • The opening post discussed the spectrum of personhood. Could you respond to it?

        • skl

          “The opening post discussed the spectrum of personhood.
          Could you respond to it?”

          OK. I’ll respond by reiterating some of the observations I’ve
          posted multiple times already in this thread:

          – Several commenters here have said the PERSONHOOD
          question is IRRELEVANT in regards abortion.

          – At least one commenter has said the mind/brain determines personhood, to which I responded: ‘But animals have minds/brains, too, but they’re not persons.’

          – If there is such a thing as personhood (and I think virtually all people think there is), I wondered if DNA, human DNA, then determines personhood.

        • All of this sidesteps the opening post. Could you respond to it?

        • skl

          “All of this sidesteps the opening post. Could you respond to it?”

          I have. See my many posts nearby.
          But I’ll add this one:

          I don’t recall your OP giving a definition of the hard to
          define “personhood”, but in any case, could it be that there IS NO spectrum of personhood but only a spectrum of personhood growth characteristics?
          Stated differently, could it be that personhood is present at
          the beginning, at the first instance of human DNA?

        • adam

          “could it be that personhood is present at
          the beginning, at the first instance of human DNA?”

          That certainly has NOT been demonstrated.

          Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy.[12] Among females who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 10% to 20% while rates among all fertilisation is around 30% to 50%.[1][4] About 5% of females have two miscarriages in a row.[13]

          Are you prepared to add these as ‘people’?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f64750bdb9436f05b4b80d5df43b09378201c1a56a73e279278df839233cbaa5.jpg

        • skl

          So, according to the chart, a newborn baby is three-fiftieths (3/50) a person.
          Interesting.

        • adam

          Nope, try again.

          But it does show that a single cell zygote is about 1 trillionth of a baby.

        • What’s interesting is your ability to be willfully clueless. I stand in awe.

          Let us know when you want to engage in the conversation.

        • skl

          See my just-submitted response to your earlier post.

        • Kodie

          It’s not even that much. People who want to have a baby will call it a baby from as soon as they find out they’re pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that soon it is a baby. It doesn’t serve any function of a person at all except attributions by prospective parents who have wishes, hopes, and dreams about the future. That doesn’t mean we should adopt that type of thinking, if having a baby isn’t what you wanted. You don’t “have a baby” until you have the baby.

        • Cynthia

          There is no way of knowing, at the point of a positive pregnancy test, whether or not the DNA would even allow a baby to develop. Chromosomal disorders are fairly common and account for about 50% of miscarriages. In molar pregnancies, there is no embryo at all. In ectopic pregnancies, the embryo implants in a way that will not allow it to develop to term.

        • I don’t recall your OP giving a definition of the hard to
          define “personhood”, but in any case, could it be that there IS NO spectrum of personhood but only a spectrum of personhood growth characteristics?
          Stated differently, could it be that personhood is present at
          the beginning, at the first instance of human DNA?

          Do we agree that there’s a spectrum of something? Can we possibly disagree that the change in those 9 months is dramatic, far more than from a newborn to adult? Name the spectrum. I’ve already asked you: if you don’t like personhood (it’s not a person as a single cell, but it is as a newborn), then give me a better term.

        • skl

          “Do we agree that there’s a spectrum of something?”

          Yes.

          “Can we possibly disagree that the change in those 9 months is dramatic, far more than from a newborn to adult?”

          Possibly.

          “Name the spectrum.”

          I suggested a spectrum of growth.

          “I’ve already asked you: if you don’t like personhood (it’s not a person as a single cell, but it is as a newborn), then give me a better term.”

          Human being.

          I’m thinking that maybe the single cell IS a human being, AND is as a newborn – just as an acorn is an oak, and is also
          an oak as a sprout or a sapling.

          Bob, on another matter, I submitted three different somewhat lengthy responses here yesterday and I noticed on my end
          they now have red blocks next to them saying “Detected As Spam”. I asked the recipients and two responded saying they didn’t know why. Can you help?

        • “Can we possibly disagree that the change in those 9 months is dramatic, far more than from a newborn to adult?”
          Possibly.

          You disagree? Explain.

          “Name the spectrum.”
          I suggested a spectrum of growth.

          So a newborn is a “growth” and the single cell isn’t a “growth”? That won’t work.

          Your challenge is to find a better word than “person” in the following: “A newborn is a person, but the single cell isn’t.”

          “I’ve already asked you: if you don’t like personhood (it’s not a person as a single cell, but it is as a newborn), then give me a better term.”
          Human being.

          So you’re saying that a newborn is a human being and the single cell isn’t? I could live with that. I’m surprised that “person” won’t work when “human being” will, but OK.

          I’m thinking that maybe the single cell IS a human being, AND is as a newborn – just as an acorn is an oak, and is also
          an oak as a sprout or a sapling.

          So then, no, you aren’t able to respond to my challenge.

          I noticed on my end
          they now have red blocks next to them saying “Detected As Spam”. I asked the recipients and two responded saying they didn’t know why. Can you help?

          I don’t know, sorry.

        • skl

          Second attempt at posting this:

          “You disagree?”

          I answered “Possibly”, as in possibly disagree.
          I’m not certain about any of this stuff. I’m just trying to get to
          something that makes solid sense to me.

          You ask “Is the change in those 9 months dramatic, far more than from a newborn to adult?”
          Yes, it would certainly seem to be far more dramatic.
          But doesn’t this view elevate the DEGREE of drama over the drama ITSELF?
          Who’s to say such elevation is justified?

          You mention the newborn in your question. Some people on this thread believe or proposed that the brain makes
          the
          person, that the mind makes the man. But as I’ve pointed out, animals
          also have brains/minds, but they’re not considered persons. Furthermore,
          how advanced are the thoughts and aspirations of a newborn compared to a
          physicist PhD, or even to a precocious three year-old?
          Or even compared to the brain of a self-sufficient, fully-grown fox?

          So why would the mushy mind of a newborn make it a person? Many people would answer that it’s the POTENTIAL, the
          potential
          to act like the recognizably human precocious three year old or the
          PhD. But so does the brain of the six month old fetus have that
          potential. And for that matter, so does the even earlier human life that
          hasn’t yet grown its brain.
          So, maybe the earlier human life without a brain, but with the POTENTIAL to be even a PhD, is also a human being, a
          person. Maybe it is.

          “So a newborn is a “growth” and the single cell isn’t a “growth”? That won’t work.”

          I don’t think I’d say they’re “growths”. I might say they could be considered the same essential thing but at different
          stages of natural growth.

          “So you’re saying that a newborn is a human being and the single cell isn’t? I could live with that. I’m surprised
          that “person” won’t work when “human being” will, but OK.”

          My mistake. What I meant to say is both
          1) that another word for person is human being, and
          2) that the newborn and the single cell could both be persons/human beings.

          “So
          then, no, you aren’t able to respond to my challenge [to find a better
          word than “person” in the following: “A newborn is a person, but the
          single cell isn’t.”].

          I’ll just say, again, that it seems to me that a reasonable case COULD be made (see above) that both the newborn
          and the single cell is a person.

        • I couldn’t find the previous version, so I replied to another comment of yours with my response to this.

        • You ask “Is the change in those 9 months dramatic, far more than from a newborn to adult?”
          Yes, it would certainly seem to be far more dramatic.

          Then we agree. Then why possibly disagree?

          But doesn’t this view elevate the DEGREE of drama over the drama ITSELF?
          Who’s to say such elevation is justified?

          No idea what this means.

          So why would the mushy mind of a newborn make it a person?

          Do you think the newborn is a person? Me, too. Not sure what the problem is here.

          Many people would answer that it’s the POTENTIAL

          The newborn is basically identical to Einstein compared to the gulf between newborn and single cell.

          “So then, no, you aren’t able to respond to my challenge [to find a better word than “person” in the following: “A newborn is a person, but the single cell isn’t.”].
          I’ll just say, again, that it seems to me that a reasonable case COULD be made (see above) that both the newborn
          and the single cell is a person.

          Can you or can’t you respond to this challenge? The spectrum is wide enough. Surely we can find a word to describe it.

        • skl

          SKL: But doesn’t this view elevate the DEGREE of drama over
          the drama ITSELF? Who’s to say such elevation is justified?

          Bob: No idea what this means.

          What I mean is like when someone says ‘Yes. X and Y differ,
          but only by degree.’
          For example, X may be someone killing twenty people and Y someone killing two people.

          I don’t know. Maybe it would be helpful to go back to the oak
          tree and the acorn. The oak TREES are like DEGREES of the acorn or of oakness.
          The acorn is every bit an an oak as the oak tree. In fact, you could say the acorn made the oak tree.

        • Greg G.

          So, maybe personhood just comes down to DNA.

          I have explained why this is stupid. Monozygotic twins and triplets come from the same zygote: “mono” means “one”, “zygotic” means “fertilized egg”. “Monozygotic twins” means “two people from the same fertilized egg.” “Monozygotic triplets” means “three people from the same fertilized egg.” Guess what “monozygotic quadruplets” are. That means you can have two, three or even more people from the same DNA because they all come from the same conception event.

          If the same DNA can result in more than person, personhood is not dependent on DNA. If you transplant a kidney, a heart, a lung, an iris, etc., the recipient is the same person. If you could successfully transplant a brain into another body, which person would the patient identify as, the person who had the body or the person the brain came from? I have seen articles that some European doctors are planning a head transplant. A man whose body is deteriorating wants his head to be transplanted to the new body. Nobody thinks that success would result in the crippled man getting a new body instead of a the body getting a new head.

          It is the brain that defines personhood, not the DNA.

        • skl

          Skl: So, maybe personhood just comes down to DNA.

          Greg G: I have explained why this is stupid. Monozygotic
          twins and triplets come from the same zygote…

          Then are you saying monozygotic twins and triplets don’t
          have human DNA?

          “It is the brain that defines personhood, not the DNA.”

          You or someone else already said that.
          And I already responded with
          ‘But Bison (or beavers or Billy Goats, etc.) have brains, too,
          but they’re not persons.’

    • Joe

      properties instead of essence.

      Probably because properties are more useful than ‘essence’, whatever that is?

    • Greg G.

      The essence of a tree is leaves and branches. Acorns do not have them. Try making tables and chairs out of an acorn.

      • skl

        “The essence of a tree is leaves and branches.”

        But isn’t that like saying the essence of a human being is hair and limbs?

        • Greg G.

          Hair and limbs are part of the essence of being mammals. Large brains, certain kinds of teeth, upright stance are part of the essence of being human. The part of being an individual human is the mind.

        • skl

          Maybe it just comes down to DNA.
          Because some human beings might be born without legs or in any case may never be able to walk, only crawl.
          They’d be the same as a furry crawling seal.
          And the seal and the human both have brains and minds.

          Maybe the DNA is the only essential difference.

        • Greg G.

          Monozygotic twins and triplets have the same DNA because they come from the same fertilized egg. Yet they are not one person, monozygotic triplets are three people with identical DNA.

          In case you missed it, Abby and Brittany are two people, they each control an arm and a leg and share many organs. They came from the same fertilized egg. But they are two different people.

          It’s not a simple as they pretend it is in church. You can forget what they tell you.

        • MR

          It’s not a simple as they pretend it is in church.

          On a similar note, things like gender identity, homosexuality and choice. If these things are truly about choice, how do we explain hermaphrodites? Are they the only ones who get to truly choose their sexuality? If the hardware can get mixed up, why not the software?

      • lady_black

        Somehow, I get the feeling if these people ordered oak planks, and I delivered a load of acorns, they would get really PISSED about that. I know I would.

        • Greg G.

          Squirrel embryos would love to live in those acorns.

      • Clinton

        The essence of a tree is to be a plant, not to have leaves and branches. Its leaves and branches flow from its nature as a plant. It develops leaves and branches *because* it’s a plant, not the other way around. The acorn develops into a mature oak tree specifically because it’s an immature oak tree, just like a human embryo develops into a human adult specifically *because* it’s a human being.

        • Greg G.

          The essence of a tree would be what distinguishes it from other plants.

          A acorn has none of the traits that makes it a tree so calling it an “immature oak tree” is straining the word tree. Maybe leaving it at “immature oak” is better.

          A human embryo is an immature human. But it has no higher brain functions so it is not yet a person.

          But even if it was a person, it would not have the right to live inside another unwilling person.

        • Clinton

          An acorn has the trait that it is an immature oak. The reason an oak tree exists is because it developed form an acorn. Every capacity that oak tree will have when it is fully developed is present in the acorn in a latent form. The reason an oak tree will develop leaves and branches is because the acorn it develops from has the inherent capacity to have leaves and branches. It just requires time to develop them.

          So the question, then, is why is higher brain function necessary for one to be a person? Why not the inherent capacity that all embryos and fetuses have for higher brian function?

          “But even if it was a person, it would not have the right to live inside another unwilling person.”

          Yes it does. The Supreme Court even affirmed in the Roe v. Wade decision that if it could ever be proved that the embryo/fetus is a person, then no right to abortion would exist. Your right to bodily autonomy does not justify killing or harming another person.

        • Joe

          An acorn has the trait that it is an immature oak.

          No it doesn’t.

          The Supreme Court even affirmed in the Roe v. Wade decision that if it could ever be proved that the embryo/fetus is a person, then no right to abortion would exist. .

          That’s true. Of course, a foetus in not a person.

          Your right to bodily autonomy does not justify killing or harming another person

          Except it does in the case of people waiting for blood transfusions or organ donations. Even a corpse has that right.

        • Clinton

          “No it isn’t.”

          That’s not an argument, that’s just contradiction.

          “…a foetus is not a person.”

          Yes it is. A person is an individual substance of a rational nature. Why do you deny that the unborn organism is a person?

          “Except it does in the case of people waiting for blood transfusions or organ donations. Even a corpse has that right.”

          I don’t understand the analogy you’re trying to draw here. Can you amplify on it? Are you saying that my refusing to donate blood or an organ is harming the person who needs it?

        • Joe

          That’s not an argument, that’s just contradiction.

          Pardon me, I must have missed the point where you made an argument?

          Yes it is. A person is an individual substance of a rational nature. Why do you deny that the unborn organism is a person?

          Because 1) I haven’t heard your definition before, and 2) the organism is not capable of being rational.

          Are you saying that my refusing to donate blood or an organ is harming the person who needs it?

          Yes. Quite obviously yes.

        • Clinton

          “Pardon me, I must have missed the point where you made an argument?”

          Then I’ll refresh your memory. This was my argument:

          “An acorn has the trait that it is an immature oak. The reason an oak tree exists is because it developed form an acorn. Every capacity that oak tree will have when it is fully developed is present in the acorn in a latent form. The reason an oak tree will develop leaves and branches is because the acorn it develops from has the inherent capacity to have leaves and branches. It just requires time to develop them.”
          ****

          “Because 1) I haven’t heard your definition before, and 2) the organism is not capable of being rational.”

          1) My definition is the same one that philosophers have been using at least since ancient times. It’s only a modern idea that being a person depends on the kinds of functions you can perform.

          2) It is. It has the inherent capacity for rationality, which is why it will become presently rational later. A hedgehog does not have this capacity, so they will never develop it presently. Everything that the human being needs to be able to function rationally will develop from within the embryo herself.
          ****

          “Yes. Quite obviously yes.”

          I don’t find it obvious at all. In fact, I think it counterintuitive to say that if I refuse to donate blood to someone that I am harming them. If they die, they are not dying from my refusal to donate blood, they are dying because of the underlying pathology that they suffer from. Now that’s not to say that I don’t think there’s an obligation to give blood if someone needs it. But I think it is wrongheaded to consider it a harm if someone needs blood and you don’t donate it.

        • Joe

          Your ‘argument’ was an assertion. A baseless one.

          My definition is the same one that philosophers have been using at least since ancient times. It’s only a modern idea that being a person depends on the kinds of functions you can perform.

          So modern is wrong, old is good? How is that not an appeal to history.

          It has the inherent capacity for rationality hich is why it will become presently rational later. A hedgehog does not have this capacity, so they will never develop it presently. Everything that the human being needs to be able to function rationally will develop from within the embryo herself.

          Another untrue assertion. Hedgehogs aren’t rational? WTF.

          In fact, I think it counterintuitive to say that if I refuse to donate blood to someone that I am harming them. If they die,

          So if they die, they aren’t harmed? Do you read your posts back before you click ‘post’? Death is the ultimate harm, in my book.

        • the acorn it develops from has the inherent capacity to have leaves and branches. It just requires time to develop them.

          Right. This is the argument from potential. The single cell isn’t a person . . . but it will be.

          It has the inherent capacity for rationality, which is why it will become presently rational later.

          Argument from potential.

          A hedgehog does not have this capacity

          Right, and neither does the single human cell!

        • Sharon Diehl
        • Michael Neville

          Here we have yet another forced birther who believes that a clump of non-sentient cells has more rights than an adult woman.

        • Clinton

          I don’t believe a human embryo has more rights than an adult woman. I believe the human embryo has the *same* rights as an adult woman, which is why I believe it is wrong to kill them through abortion, just like it was wrong to kill the adult woman through abortion when she was an embryo.

        • Michael Neville

          So a woman has no rights to make medical decisions about her body. Don’t lie about a clump of non-sentient cells having the “same” rights as a woman. You would strip all rights from the woman. If you think we haven’t seen your type of misogyny before you’re wrong. You and your kind despise women because they might make decisions you find “icky”.

        • Pofarmer

          But it quite obviously doesn’t. A human embryo doesn’t have sentience or sapience, nor has it ever had. It is not, by definition, a person. Also, no one has the right to use anothers body. Even if I injure you, I can’t be forced to put myself at any risk to help you. And, if I would decide to help you, I can’t be compelled to continue.

        • Sharon Diehl

          Sweetie, you cannot give the “same” rights to a non sentient embryo as to the actual woman, who is permitted to remove that embryo from her system. You do, indeed, accord a non sentient embryo MORE rights than the conscious WOMAN, who owns her bodily contents and is free to make her own medical decisions.

          Do the 60 to 80 percent of embryos, which fail to implant within 6 to 12 days after fertilization and are shed from sexually active women onto hygiene products or straight into the toilet, have the same “rights” as the woman? Are you demanding that those embryos be scooped up and shoved back into the woman since their “rights” are being denied?

          You people would be a major giggle, but alas, too many of our citizenry is as dumb as you are, and a menace to women’s access to reproductive health care.

        • It requires quite a bit more than time. Living things eat in order to grow; in this case, soil nutrients and photosynthesis. The temperature must be in a certain zone, or no tree will result. The sunlight intensity must be in a certain zone, or no tree will result. The pH of the soil must be in a certain narrow band, or no tree will result. Some insects must be present to aerate and nitrate the soil, while if other insects are present they would attack the root structure.

          The potentiality you allude to would not exist if any number of critical things were missing or altered; why does the acorn get all the credit for this potentiality, rather than the entire complex of necessary conditions?

        • Clinton

          The potentiality would still be there. You’re confusing “potential” with “fulfillment of that potential”. Just like a human infant has the potential to grow into an adult but the infant’s potential to grow into an adult would be frustrated if the infant was killed in a car accident.

          “why does the acorn get all the credit for this potentiality, rather than the entire complex of necessary conditions?”

          Because the potential exists in the acorn itself. The outside factors help the acorn actualize its potential, but the potential exists inside the acorn, itself.

        • My entire comment regards how the potentiality does not rest in the acorn. An acorn, alone, in the vacuum of space has zero potential to grow into a tree, and that potential will remain absolutely zero unless and until other necessary factors are introduced.

          Aristotle was a smart guy, and subtle about making distinctions between causes. You seek to call formal and final causes the truly important ones, but that is simply idealistic bias. Material and efficient causes are in every way equally important, and without them no potential exists for anything.

        • —Your right to bodily autonomy does not justify killing or harming another person.—

          So you are claiming nobody has the right to defend themselves against a rapist because they might hurt or kill the rapist?

        • Clinton

          No, I’m not claiming that. It should have been obvious from the context I’m talking about harming or killing an *innocent* person, but I apologize for not being clearer.

        • Joe

          What does innocence have to do with anything?

          Innocent of what?

        • How are they innocent if they are using a woman’s body against their will?

          But you go on ahead. Keep moving those goalposts!

        • MR

          The “essence” of a tree? What kind of bullshit woo is that Greg?

        • Greg G.

          Just trying to utilize the terminology that was thrown at me.

        • MR

          But then both sides end up talking past each other. You’re talking map, they believe territory. It’s important to make the distinction. Essence for you is a label, for them it’s a thing. There is no essence. Plant and tree likewise are arbitrary labels we apply to organisms with certain evolved characteristics. Characteristics that are constantly changing. There is no “tree” essence. “Trees” will eventually evolve into something else (or disappear). It’s nothing more than an arbitrary label for a temporary state. At best, essence is a label to describe common characteristics between groups of organisms with similar DNA. Once you reify “essence,” you fall into the trap of trying to defend something that doesn’t even exist.

        • Greg G.

          You are correct. I think my very next reply was about how an essence is a categorization method that may not be an intrinsic property of the thing itself. So conflating mental notes with something that is a property would tend to confuse things. The map/territory distinction is a better way to put it.

        • Joe

          The essence of a tree is to be a plant

          No it isn’t. That’s just something that may happen in the future.

        • Clinton

          Yes it is. If it wasn’t the essence of a tree to be a plant, then it wouldn’t develop as plants do.

        • Joe

          That is not a recognizable sentence.

        • MR

          The guy’s never heard of DNA, he’s still stuck in platonic forms.

        • Joe

          Or Thomism.

          Yet they don’t understand either.

        • Clinton

          Actually, I am a Thomist. Your assertion that I don’t understand Thomism or DNA is false. There are modern day Aristotelian/Thomistic philosophers who are well aware of the existence of DNA. Of course, none of the responses to anything I’ve said have been substantial or in any way refute the idea of nature and essence, so maybe you should focus on understanding that to help your arguments. You should at least try to understand what you criticize.

        • Joe

          I’ve said have been substantial or in any way refute the idea of nature and essence

          I’m struggling to recall posts I made three weeks ago but I’d wager that essence can be refuted quite easily. What is it?

        • Pofarmer

          Actually, I am a Thomist

          Well, there’s your problem right there. Get a philosophy that hasn’t been dead since Hume and Newton and get back to us.

        • Clinton

          Yes it is. In fact, it is a conditional. Since trees develop as plants do, then it is in their nature to be plants (which would be the conclusion). Just like humans are animals because they develop like animals do, but what sets them apart is their rational nature. It is in the nature of plants to develop leaves, which is why trees do that (and it’s in the nature of trees to develop branches, though not necessarily other kinds of plants). Trees are also considered plants in the field of botany.

        • Joe

          Just like humans are animals because they develop like animals do

          That’s not how the animalia kingdom is defined.

          It is in the nature of plants to develop leaves

          Is it in their nature, or is it something they do? That’s my issue with what you’re saying. It seems to be splitting hairs.

      • TheNuszAbides

        point taken, but weird inversion.
        zygote = human but not a human
        acorn = an oak [if only allowing skl’s hamfisted attempt] but not oaken

      • Kodie

        You can make a lot of things out of acorns that people delight in.

        http://www.theidearoom.net/acorn-craft-ideas/

    • eric

      Perhaps the problem here is in focusing on properties instead of essence.

      You are assuming it has an essence worth considering when in fact this is a religious assumption, unproven, unevidenced, not shared by everyone…and which the law should generally not consider, given the 1st amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of religion.

      So, before we focus on essences, produce some evidence that acorns have essences (and analogously, that zygotes have souls).

      • skl

        “You are assuming it has an essence worth considering when in fact this is a religious assumption…”

        As I said to Makoto nearby, I think essence is a PHILOSOPHICAL concept. (If religions sometimes use philosophical terms, that’s their business. But the philosophy came first.)
        And while it may be philosophical, essence is also UNAVOIDABLE in SCIENCE-type questions like ‘What IS an oak tree, or what IS an oak?’

        • eric

          Vitalism and essentialism are indeed philosophical concepts. Ones largely considered irrelevant and ignored since we started figuring out things like “fire requires oxygen” and “animals use DNA to reproduce and develop”.

          Why should we bring back this philosophical concept that has made such wrong predictions over the past 100+ years? Why should it limit a woman’s right to choose?

        • skl

          eric, what is your definition of personhood?

    • Kodie

      Who gives a shit about the essence. We have plenty of essence.

  • skl

    As a followup to my post below, I had another thought that might lend further support to differentiate oak properties from oak essence.

    Although the oak has properties such as bark, branches and leaves, if you planted the bark in the ground it would never become what we think of as an oak tree. Same negative result if you planted one of its branches or leaves.
    The oak bark is not an oak, the oak branch is not an oak, the oak leaf is not an oak.
    But the acorn IS an OAK.

    • Greg G.

      The acorn is an oak but it is not an oak tree. Acorns feed squirrels which hides the acorns. If one of the squirrels gets eaten by a hawk or a fox, maybe an acorn will grow into a tree.

      • Melanisia

        Actually *pushes up glasses* squirrels forget where they put as much as 74% of the nuts they hide. So, the acorn has a 3 out of 4 chance even if the squirrel is fine. (Still, you wouldn’t say a squirrel ate an oak tree if it ate an acorn)

        • Greg G.

          Squirrels never forget. They just prepare for a worst case scenario and are tired of nuts when Spring arrives. Wait, maybe I am confusing squirrels with elephants.

        • Kodie

          No, I think it’s because sometimes squirrels fake-hide a lot of the acorns. It’s like this – the oak tree generates a lot more acorns than can ever become trees, and squirrels obsessively collect and stash more acorns than they will ever eat, so they may bury acorns they were going to eat so they would never become oak trees, but then they become oak trees anyway, because the squirrel got hit by a car or something. I think we’re all forgetting about the saplings that emerge from the soil that never grow into full oak trees because there’s still the competition for nutrients in the soil and access to sunlight for photosynthesis. The floor of the forest is full of dead baby oak saplings.

        • MR

          Ew, just ew.

        • lady_black

          “Actually *pushes up glasses* squirrels forget where they put as much as 74% of the nuts they hide. ”
          That’s why they keep raiding my %#$$ bird feeder! Silly, forgetful squirrels!

    • islandbrewer

      Actually, if properly nourished and kept moist, a branch could grow roots and become eventually become a tree. It’s a common type of plant cloning.

      • Gehennah

        Is this any tree or just certain types? I knew like bannana trees were done similar to this but unsure if it was all types of trees.

        • islandbrewer

          Not all types are amenable to this kind of cloning. And with oaks, it’s far easier to just plant a bunch of acorns (which are free) and hope some grow, rather than making the effort to try to nurture and clone from a cutting.

          Theoretically, all types of tree are clonable this way, but I think various species don’t clone very well, or are nigh impossible to clone, for sundry reasons.

        • Gehennah

          Cool, you learn something every day.

        • RichardSRussell

          As the little kid said at his first spelling bee, “I know how to spell ‘banana’, I just never know when to stop.”

        • Greg G.

          I have that problem with “Cananada”.

      • Cynthia

        …And this is why it’s not helpful to make non-human analogies.

    • Makoto

      I’m still not entirely sure what you mean by “ESSENCE” of a tree. You say it’s not the bark, or the limbs, or the leaves. So, what is it that is the ESSENCE of an OAK?

      Certainly not DNA. The leaves, the bark, and so on all have that.
      As island says, in many cases you could coax branches to grow new root systems from many plants. Now, I haven’t tried this with an oak, but I have with roses.
      The ability to grow and replicate itself? So does cancer, I know from experience we cut that stuff out because it’s better at it than normal cells are.

      So please, describe what an ESSENCE is. In a way that doesn’t require one to know about branches and bark and leaves and other properties that you don’t think should count.

      • skl

        Essence is more of a philosophical term. It’s a hard to define thing that makes something what it truly is. It is distinct from properties (I think the philosophical term is “accidents”). You can Google and read up on it.

        While it may be philosophical, essence is also unavoidable
        in science-type questions like ‘What IS an oak tree, or what IS an oak?’

        – When the oak tree loses all of its leaves in the fall is it still an oak tree? Yes.

        – If you chop off some of its branches, is it still an oak tree? Yes.

        – If you chop off ALL of its branches, so that only a trunk remains, is it still an oak tree? Er, maybe.

        – If the oak is just a sprout about to break through the soil for the first time, is it an oak tree? Most would say NO to Oak TREE. But all would probably say YES to its being an OAK.

        So, the oak’s characteristics/properties/accidents (e.g. bark, branches, leaves) don’t determine what an oak is, but rather are properties
        eventually springing from the oak-ness.

        Or something like that.

        • Joe

          Essence is more of a philosophical term.

          Which is not really popular anymore.

          While it may be philosophical, essence is also unavoidable
          in science-type questions like ‘What IS an oak tree, or what IS an oak?’

          It’s completely avoidable.

          – When the oak tree loses all of its leaves in the fall is it still an oak tree?…..[SNIP]examples of Sorites Paradox. for some reason[SNIP]……But all would probably say YES to its being an OAK.

          None of this really advances the discussion in any way. .

        • Cynthia

          Essence of oak sounds like a fragrance, or at least an air freshener.

        • Kodie
        • Makoto

          Yes, I could google it, or use my own terminology, but I was looking for what you meant, since it was your argument. Apparently it’s “something like that”.

        • skl

          And what is your response to the “that”?

        • Makoto

          That ESSENCE is essentially meaningless.

        • Greg G.

          Essence is how you might categorize something but it is not necessarily an intrinsic property of the thing. If you don’t recognize that, you will conflate properties with imaginary differences without realizing it.

        • skl

          “Essence is how you might categorize something but it is not
          necessarily an intrinsic property of the thing.”

          I think essence IS necessarily an INTRINSIC property, although “property” may not be the right word.
          Essence would be above “properties”. Maybe a ‘meta-property’?

        • Greg G.

          Essence would be above “properties”. Maybe a ‘meta-property’?

          How is a meta-property not a property? A property is related to reality. I presume that a meta-property is more imaginary.

        • skl

          “How is a meta-property not a property? A property is
          related to reality. I presume that a meta-property is more imaginary.”

          I’m not sure. I just made up that term on the fly.
          Could be like more recognizable terms such as metaphysics or metadata or epigenetics.
          Could be.

        • These days the closest you get to talking about non-material essences in philosophy is discussions about qualia, and even there, they are only possible aspects of human experience, not of physical reality.

        • NurseRatched

          yada yada yada

    • lady_black

      It’s definitely a product of the oak species. It is not a tree.

    • RichardSRussell

      Although the oak has properties such as bark, branches and leaves, if you planted the bark in the ground it would never become what we think of as an oak tree.

      That’s true. And if you held an acorn over your head, it wouldn’t provide as much shade as an oak branch. Nor would it engage in photosynthesis like an oak leaf. So what? They aren’t the same parts of an oak tree, and they perform different functions in the Quercus life cycle, but no one of them is an entire oak, all by itself.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Suppose I take a branch, and apply rooting hormone before sticking it in the ground.
        Voila! Instant essence of oak.

        • RichardSRussell

          Suppose you do. I’d be rooting for you!

        • Joe

          I’d take a leaf out of his book.

        • Otto

          I would go out on a limb…

        • Joe

          Branching out, I see?

        • MR

          You guys are sapping my patience for puns lately.

        • Michael Neville

          Isn’t your mind limber enough for this conversation?

        • MR

          I’ll take a switch to y’all if you keep snapping at me.

        • Michael Neville

          You don’t have to bark at us.

        • MR

          Pussy willow.

        • Otto

          Your opposition has been logged and noted.

        • MR

          No need to put my head on the chopping block just because you think we’re at loggerheads.

        • Otto

          You are kinda going against the grain

        • MR

          You’re just green with envy.

        • Joe

          You’re all bark and no bite.

        • Greg G.

          That’s oakay, these are the acorniest puns I ever saw.

        • Otto

          Personally I think they are treemendous

        • Greg G.

          This many oak puns floored me.

      • skl

        “So what? They aren’t the same parts of an oak tree,
        and they perform different functions in the Quercus life cycle, but no
        one of them is an entire oak, all by itself.”

        I agree the various parts by themselves don’t make an oak tree.
        I guess I’m thinking of something more fundamental.
        Like, the parts don’t make the oak, but rather the oak (the oak-ness) makes the parts of the tree. In other words, maybe, the oak is superior, in a sense, to the oak tree.

        • RichardSRussell

          And is it your understanding that this “oakness” exists in its entirety in an acorn?

        • skl

          Yes, I think I’d say that seems reasonable.

        • RichardSRussell

          And is it your further understanding that this “oakness” does not exist in its entirety in a branch, root, or leaf? If that’s the case, could you please explain your reasoning?

        • skl

          “And is it your further understanding that this “oakness” does not exist in its entirety in a branch, root, or leaf? If that’s the case, could you please explain your reasoning?”

          I’ll try it this way:
          The branch, root, or leaf are expected ultimate characteristics
          of the oak but they did not make themselves. They were made by a controlling force, the oak essence.

          May the oak force be with you!

        • Greg G.

          The characteristics of an oak tree do not come from oak essence. Your categorization of a thing has no bearing on the thing.

        • skl

          “The characteristics of an oak tree do not come from oak essence.”

          What would you say they come from?
          DNA?

          Maybe DNA is the essence.

          “Your categorization of a thing has no bearing on the thing.”

          And ‘A rose by any other name is still a rose.’

          But what IS a rose (or an oak)?

          Inquiring minds want to know!

        • Greg G.

          There are hundreds of species of oak trees. Each has different DNA. Each tree has a different combination of genetics coded in the DNA. All of the DNA is contingent on their ancestors and the selection forces they survived.

          We look at characteristics of the trees and see similarities. You call that “essence” as if it is some kind of force.

          A rose by any other name is still a rose

          The quote is “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It would not be a rose, it would be the other name. Our categorization is not imposed on the flower.

          Variations of roses or oaks are types of plant that exist and we put them in categories. Our categorizations may or may not correspond to the historic contingencies of those types. We tend to separate humans from apes, putting chimpanzees and bonobos in the ape category despite the fact that they are more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas and orangutans.

          Inquiring minds should avoid imposing categorization on reality by using a perceived essence.

        • skl

          “There are hundreds of species of oak trees. Each has different DNA.”

          And doesn’t each human being have DNA different from the next human being?
          Yet they all can be identified as human DNA?

          “We look at characteristics of the trees and see similarities. You call that “essence” as if it is some kind of force.”

          No, I do NOT call the characteristics of the tree their essence. Look back at my other posts and you’ll see.

          “The quote is “A rose by any other name would smell as
          sweet.””

          Good catch on the wording.
          But the meaning is the same as ‘A rose by any other name is still a rose.’

          “Variations of roses or oaks are types of plant that exist and we put them in categories.”

          Yes.
          Kind of like the case with Blacks and Whites and Indians and Asians.

        • MR

          Where, I wonder, does the essence of book lie? Does bookness reside in the words on the page? Does its essence reside in a synopsis? In its title? In the first spark of an idea by its author? Does it reside in the ink? In the cells that make up the pulp the paper is composed of? Does it become a book when it first comes intact off the printing press with cover, spine, title page, bibliography and words, words, words?

          Or is essence and -nesses nothing but bullshit labels that have no bearing in reality. Wank-job arguments that mistake the map for the territory?

        • RichardSRussell

          But the acorn didn’t make itself, either. In fact, if it weren’t for the vascular system of the roots and branches delivering mineral nutrients and the photosynthesis of the leaves delivering energy-bearing chemicals to process them, the acorn wouldn’t have existed at all! Why do you think it does partake of “oakness” while the other structural parts of the oak do not? It seems to me that they’re all inter-dependent, vital components of the organic whole, and that none of them could exist in isolation from the others. (At least, not as a living organism; obviously we use oaken planks, etc., but they’re no longer alive.)

        • skl

          “But the acorn didn’t make itself, either.”

          Ah, the old ‘Which came first, the oak tree or the acorn?’

          An oldie but goodie. Just like the chicken/egg one.

          “Why do you think it does partake of “oakness” while the other structural parts of the oak do not?”

          No, I DO see the other structural parts of the oak as partaking
          of “oakness.” I guess in the same way I see your scalp and limbs partaking of human-ness.

        • RichardSRussell

          So they all partake of “oakness”, which I would agree with. Then the acorn is nothing special compared to the branches or leaves, right? All players in the great game of oakitude?

        • skl

          “So they all partake of “oakness”, which I would agree with. Then the acorn is nothing special compared to the branches or leaves, right? All players in the great game of oakitude?”

          No. You can reread my prior posts.

        • RichardSRussell

          I have reread your prior posts, and AFAICT the only reason the acorn is somehow or other more “oaky” than the branches and leaves is simply because you say it is. That’s not particularly convincing.

          Think of it this way. Humans are very intelligent, so we prize intelligence. But cheetahs are very fast, dogs have wonderful senses of smell, bats have astoundingly good hearing, turtles are defensive geniuses, and condors can fly extremely high. You are making a comparison that’s the equivalent of saying that intelligence is more important than any of those other characteristics because you’re fonder of it. But I don’t think you’d convince many dogs or condors of it.

        • MR

          Humans evolved through fish stages and reptilian stages and proto-mammalian stages, and ape stages. My DNA is made up of all those stages. Am I to suppose I also have fish essence, and reptile essence and all the rest?

        • Greg G.

          I ain’t descended from no proto-mammalians!

        • MR

          Most of us have neanderthal genes, can we talk about my neanderthalhood…-ness? We share 60% of our DNA with fruit flies. Let’s talk about our essence of insecthood while we’re at it!

        • skl

          “Think of it this way. Humans are very intelligent, so we prize
          intelligence.”

          I definitely don’t think of it that way.
          That’s like saying ‘Humans are very dishonest/lazy/self-centered/etc., so we prize dishonesty/laziness/self-centeredness/etc.

        • RichardSRussell

          Really? Do you prize those traits? And do you think that, say, laziness is an outstanding characteristic of all human beings? Because intelligence (as compared to any other animal) certainly is! That’s my point. It’s an outstanding attribute of human beings in general — not merely of some subset of human beings — the same way that stupendously good hearing is an outstanding attribute of bats in general.

        • skl

          “Really? Do you prize those traits? And do you think
          that, say, laziness is an outstanding characteristic of all human
          beings?”

          I don’t. I just don’t think along the line you presented –
          ‘Humans are very X, so we prize X.’

        • RichardSRussell

          You don’t think humans are fond of things that they’re good at? I grant that it’s kind of chicken-and-eggy here, in that we work harder (and thus are more likely to get better) at things we’re fond of to begin with, but it still seems to me that the correlation is unmistakable, whichever way the arrow of causality is pointing.

        • skl

          “You don’t think humans are fond of things that they’re good
          at?”

          No, I DO.
          But that wasn’t the argument you presented initially. That’s all.

        • RichardSRussell

          OK, well, then, what I was leading up to is that people attach more importance to things that they’re good at and/or fond of. Thus you seem to be attaching more importance to the part of the oak that carries the potential for reproduction (the acorn) than you do for, say, the sturdiness of the trunk (a trait akin to humans being bipedal) or the nutritive capacity of the leaves (similar to human color vision, good for seeing game). My take is that you appreciate these additional features, but they’re not paramount for you. Is that about right?

        • skl

          I’m sure the acorn attaches importance to/is fond of the
          sturdy trunk and nutritive leaves it produces, if you know what I mean. 😉

          More seriously, as to your question, I’d answer “Not really.”
          I probably appreciate the benefits of the oak tree’s beauty and wood and shade more than I do the acorn. But that doesn’t change what I’ve been saying about oak essence.

    • crden

      Meanwhile, if you plant a newly fertilized catkin (you know, the newly fertilized flower) in the ground, no oak tree.

      Abortions are only done when the product of pregnancy is such that it can’t live outside the mother. If there is a birth at that stage, it won’t survive. In abortions done via medication, my understanding is that you’re really starting an early birth. After 20 weeks in Georgia, abortions can only legally be done by, again, inducing an early birth.

    • eric

      I think this whole ‘essence’ argument is bunk but let me try a different tact. Let’s assume fertilized embryos (and no other individual cells!) have “human essence.” How do you get from the claim “has human essence” to “should be prevented from dying”? We let people die all the time. Nature lets people die all the time. Women’s own bodies probably kill or expel something like a third to a half of those zygotes you claim have human essence. The oak tree you like to talk about is even more wasteful and disrespectful of the value of “essence” – it probably produces tens of thousands of acorns for each one that actually becomes a tree. To claim “essence of oak = should be supported in becoming a tree” is to misunderstand oak tree reproduction, quite badly in fact. But the same is true for humans – thinking we are animals for which “one conception -> one adult” is to misunderstand how our anatomy is adapted to work.

      Now, I’m not claiming the naturalistic fallacy is a good pro-choice argument. It isn’t. But at the same time, your essentialism claim seems to be making an equally fallacious and invalid assumption that the ‘is’ of essential humanness should lead us to an ‘ought’ of no abortion.

      So it seems to me you’ve got two really bad problems with this argument. First, you can’t show essentialism is even real or worth believing in. So you’ve got at best a conditional argument: “if we assume x…then y” without showing us any reason to assume x. But second, there doesn’t even seem to be a rational connection between the x you want us to posit and the y you want us to conclude; your argument relies on the naturalistic fallacy itself, reasoning from a hypothetical “is’ of human essence to an “ought” about how we should treat human embryos.

      • skl

        “How do you get from the claim “has human essence” to “should
        be prevented from dying”? We let people die all the time. Nature lets
        people die all the time.”

        All people will die.
        The question at hand, I think, is not whether humans will die but whether
        humans should be killed.

        “The oak tree you like to talk about is even more wasteful and disrespectful
        of the value of “essence” – it probably produces tens of thousands
        of acorns for each one that actually becomes a tree.”

        I’d like to talk some more!
        If ANY of the thousands of acorns have oak essence, they ALL do.

        “To claim “essence of oak = should be supported in becoming a
        tree” is to misunderstand oak tree reproduction, quite badly in fact.”

        I never made that claim.
        And I’ll tell you another thing, eric. If any oak tree on my property is inconveniencing me, I’ll chop it the hell down!

        “… your essentialism claim seems to be making an equally fallacious and
        invalid assumption that the ‘is’ of essential humanness should lead us to an ‘ought’ of no abortion.”

        Well, I guess I DO seem to be thinking along the lines that,
        if one IS a human being, he/she ought not be killed
        (“Killed” as in deliberately and willfully destroyed.).

        Do you, eric?

        • Greg G.

          When a person is doing things to you that you do not want, there are things you can do to them, depending on the threat and time considerations. You can sue or call the police. When the issue is more important and time is an issue, killing the other person is an acceptable option. Right now, there is no other option for an unwanted pregnancy.

          Maybe when a pregnancy is transplantable to men, then men who really care about the babies can become surrogate mothers.

        • Paul B. Lot

          The question at hand, I think, is not whether humans will die but whether humans should be killed.

          The vast majority of fetuses which die as the result of an aborted pregnancy do so in a non-invasive way: ie. the woman ingests chemicals into her own body which cause her body to no-longer-accept-the-pregnancy.

        • eric

          The question at hand, I think, is not whether humans will die but whether humans should be killed.

          You just assumed “something with human essence” is the moral equivalent of “human.” But this is arguing circularly; you are trying to demonstrate that we should think embryos have that status, so you can’t assume they do and make a cogent argument. You must provide reasons for us to move from “has human essence” to the moral prohibition without merely assuming that connection is already there.

          If ANY of the thousands of acorns have oak essence, they ALL do.

          Correct. This hurts your argument, it doesn’t help it. Because clearly neither humans nor oaks nor any other part of nature treat acorns-with-oak-essence like oak trees. And as far as I can tell, you are not proposing we humans treat acorns like oat trees either. So if the oak essence doesn’t require us to treat acorns like mature oaks, why should human essence require us to treat zygotes like mature humans?

          Well, I guess I DO seem to be thinking along the lines that, if one IS a human being, he/she ought not be killed

          There you go again, assuming what you are trying to prove. It appears to me that your whole “essence” argument is nothing more than a way to assert without argument that zygotes are humans without appearing to make that assertion. You’re merely inserting a middle step to make this baldfaced assertion less transparent. Instead of “I assert zygotes are human,” you’ve obfuscated it by instead saying “I assert zygotes have human essence…and oh by the way, I also assert having human essence is the same thing as being human.” As a rational argument, the latter works no better than the former. Its actually worse, since you have no evidence or independent argument for us to even believe there is such a thing as a human essence. You’re now asserting two things without reason instead of one.

        • MR

          Right over her head, Eric. Sigh.

        • skl

          I submitted a not-short response to you this evening. Do you see it?
          I tried looking at my response on my end and it now has a
          big red block next to it saying “Detected As Spam”.

        • skl

          Second attempt…

          “You just assumed “something with human essence” is the moral equivalent of “human.” But this is arguing circularly…”

          I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

          I DO know, at least, that I did not equate the “human” (adjective) with “human essence” (e.g. Saying a human hair
          had human essence would be silly, in my view.)

          But I WOULD equate the “human” (noun) with “human essence”. I mean, if anything has human essence it’s a human, right?

          Maybe I would expand this a bit to say
          – If something is a human, then it has human essence, and
          – If something has human essence, it can be ONLY a human.

          “You must provide reasons for us to move from “has human essence” to the moral prohibition without merely
          assuming that connection is already there.”

          I’m thinking something like this:
          Whatever results from humans reproducing has human
          essence; that reproduced human essence are also called, of course, humans.
          Then, the moral prohibition would naturally follow. I mean, it would assuming one’s not OK with deliberately destroying innocent humans.

          “So if the oak essence doesn’t require us to treat acorns like mature oaks, why should human essence require
          us to treat zygotes like mature humans?”

          Because we don’t treat people like plants.

          I mean, assuming one’s not OK with deliberately chopping up innocent humans.

          “There you go again, assuming what you are trying to prove
          [by skl saying “Well, I guess I DO seem to be thinking along the lines that, if one IS a human being, he/she ought not be killed.”]

          So, you DO think that innocent human beings SHOULD be
          killed?

        • Kodie

          If you abort a zygote, who will miss that “person”? Has it an essential role in the human story or beloved by a family that will grieve its removal from the human chain of life? Humans die all the time, and we don’t do everything to save every one of them. It’s silly to stand in between a woman and her future if her choice is abortion when there are living children who are loved and would be missed if they died, who are very close to dying from a preventable cause like hunger or pneumonia or clean water. You’re placing your efforts in judging adult women for their choices or even their errors if the outcome is really no harm or business of anyone OVER the rescue of actual humans who have gained the context of mattering to others.

          Basically, being against abortion is to interfere in business that’s not yours because you want to judge women for being irresponsible and control them to do what you think they should do for a thing that has no meaning, no matter, no role, no social context, and will not be missed. Don’t control women over that.

        • MR

          I think this is a huge point, Kodie. Anti-abortionists are all up in arms about saving every zygote possible that they would never even know about or care about, but should an unwanted child be born, they’ll never know about or care about it either. It’s none of their fucking business.

        • Michael Neville

          The forced birthers who allow abortions in the case of rape or incest are saying that abortion is acceptable if the woman did not enjoy the sex but unacceptable if she did.

        • MR

          It puts them in a bizarre position.

        • Michael Neville

          I think it shows they’re more concerned with controlling women’s sexual lives than in “saving da babbies”.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s silly to stand in between a woman and her future if her choice is abortion when there are living children who are loved and would be missed if they died, who are very close to dying from a preventable cause like hunger or pneumonia or clean water.

          https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3575/8755/original.jpg

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “The immediate problem with this argument is that he gives no attempt to argue at what point we actually do become persons.”

    For Wilcox to claim he’s refuted *anything* goes beyond wishful thinking to willful stupidity. In fact, his arguments are so poorly reasoned that it’s hard to believe he doesn’t know that. It’s one thing when this thinking comes from a religious person, who considers magical thinking to be a virtue. The secularists have no excuse.

  • Scooter

    “Since conservatives seem determined to get votes by making an issue out of abortion”
    It seems to me that ultra- liberal Mrs. Clinton was quite vocal about the women’s rights ideology during her speeches.

    • Michael Neville

      If you think that Hillery Clinton was an “ultra liberal” then you probably think that Genghis Khan was a socialist and Pope Benedict was a Communist.

      • Kodie

        There’s apparently a book about Genghis Khan not being that bad a guy that a person who I am related to has read and that guy is a rich white dude.

    • Joe

      What world do you live in where Neocon Clinton was ‘ultra liberal’?

      Also, relevance?

      • Daniel Niehoff

        The same world in which he thinks Obama is “ultra liberal” and the ACA was based on “ultra liberal” philosophy. The same political world that has shifted so far to the right that the Republicans have had to move further right (right off the edge) in order to appear to have alternatives that their supporters deem conservative/right enough.

        • That would be the ACA that was modeled on Republican Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan.

          https://obamacarefacts.com/romneycare-romneyhealthcare/

        • Daniel Niehoff

          You got it; along with provisions originally touted by Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation as an alternative to Single Payer Healthcare.

        • I have a simple solution for the Republicans’ health care quandry: rename Obamacare as Trumpcare (or whatever) and take credit for it. “We just provided health care for 22 million more people than the current Senate proposal! You’re welcome, America.”

        • Daniel Niehoff

          Yeah. Rename it and then get bipartisan support to improve it and fix the issues going forward. That might happen in a rational political climate.

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          One of the major objections that the Republicans have against the ACA is its nickname is Obamacare.

        • MR

          I think for a good-sized majority of that base, it’s the only objection.

        • I thought they were the ones who gave it that nickname.

          Rename it Minuteman American Flag Screaming Eagle Red, White, and Blue Patriotism care. Problem solved.

        • Greg G.

          Republicans came up with the moniker but Democrats accepted it as it gave tribute to Obama. But there are Republican rubes who want to do away with Obamacare but they want to keep the ACA. They don’t understand they are one and the same. Many want to do away with government healthcare altogether, as long as the politicians keep their hands off their Medicare.

        • MR

          I had an older republican friend turn to me upon seeing Trump on TV and say, “I don’t know about this guy, I think he’s going to get impeached.” I was surprised by the comment (I’d never spoken politics with this person), and asked, “Oh, why do you think that?” “Well, this healthcare thing, prices are going to go up and….”

          Ahh…, I see, it’s all fun and games, ’til your own pocketbook gets hurt.

        • Kodie

          This was a while ago, the same year ACA took effect, I think: I called my doctor that I had when I had a regular job and regular job insurance, and I didn’t have that anymore, and the new receptionist answered the phone when I called for an appointment, and asked me what insurance I did have, and since I live in Massachusetts, I have had Romneycare longer than all y’all called it Obamacare, anyway, at the time I didn’t know, because I lived most of my young adult life up to that point without any insurance as I think most of you might have if you didn’t have a job that handed you insurance, and really not missed it, as I was young and healthy, except the Commonwealth will fine you if you’re not insured.

          Anyway, the new receptionist at my doctor was all bitchy, “Well, we don’t take Obamacare” as if I had just announced that I had recently enrolled in the ACA and would like an appointment. I said back, I don’t think I have “Obamacare.” But she was really kind of an asshole about it because of the way it just came out of her like it was offensive to her if I did have “Obamacare.” As it actually turned out, I did not have “Obamacare,” and whatever I had was accepted.

          And I want to say the next part when I went for my appointment and check-in at the window, that she asked me what was wrong that I was stooping on the counter (because that’s what you kind of do when you’re tall and there’s a counter), I said nothing, I’m here for my appointment, and I took a seat, and they called for some woman named Genevieve. Seriously, that receptionist was fucking fucked up. She thought I was some walk-in named Genevieve, and I had an appointment and they even called Genevieve first. What the fuck. She didn’t ask me who I was, she thought I was someone else.

          Dr. was great, but his receptionist was fucking loony and unprofessional.

        • Otto

          Freedomcare

        • Susan

          Freedomcare.

          Americare.

        • Michael Neville

          Americare is a company which runs several “assisted living communities” in the Midwest.

        • Susan

          Americare is a company…

          Even as I typed it, I knew that it had to be taken.

          Anyway, I should have said “Trumpcare”.

          That’s what that’s all about.

        • MR

          Actually, you could name it WeHateObama-Care and not change a thing and it would be an instant hit.

          That’s what it’s about.

        • Michael Neville

          The Republicans have never forgiven Obama for Presidenting while Black. They wanted to make that an impeachable offense but couldn’t quite figure out how to work it.

        • adam

          I think this is probably the TOP reason.

          Anything done by the black man while he was in office, is what they are trying to get rid of.

          They are trying so hard to do CPR on Jim Crow, revitalize The FAILED Drug War, get rid of Health Care.

          Anything to put people back in their place back to where America WAS ‘great’…

        • That’s it! Simply rename it JimCrowCare and have the GOP take credit for it.

    • One group likes the status quo, and the other wants to roll back rights. A big difference.

    • Otto

      Yeah…those pesky women and their ‘rights’ ideology…sheesh

    • Paul B. Lot

      ultra- liberal Mrs. Clinton

      Nah, she was more of a center-right candidate.

    • Herald Newman

      I’m guessing that you see Clinton as “ultra-liberal” because she’s actually qualified to hold the office, and didn’t make the presidency about the faith she wears on her sleeve?

  • Cynthia

    I get that you were trying to be helpful with the acorn is not an oak tree thing – but can we not compare people to plants? Down thread, I was reading about the Georgia politician who compared pregnant women to barnyard animals.

    For starters: acorns don’t need to gestate in oak trees, and the ground is not a person with their own human rights.

  • Phil Rimmer

    I see this argument has essentially run out of steam. Its time to examine the meta aspects of essence. Lets all take a step back and consider what the essence of essence actually is.

    Or, we could simply take a vote on whether it is ok to kill a pre-conscious, pre-identity thing that may grow to have a capacity to suffer. OK by me.

    Me, I’m troubled more by the morality of the selfishness of breeding. Kids didn’t ask for the grief you gift them, just so you can live a second vicarious life.

    (I love my two and they appear to have forgiven me, but I’m not sure my atonement is done.)

    • A recent article suggests requiring a license to have children (a parenting license, like a driver’s license).

      http://www.ozy.com/pov/a-license-to-have-a-child-we-asked-you-answered/79429

      • Phil Rimmer

        Its a useful discussion starter but would be a comprehensive train-wreck of an idea in practice.

        The motivation to have kids is dissipated in advanced societies, where women are more fully empowered and poverty is scarce. These are the main, decent levers to pull to control population and parenthood. These also stop “kids as a solution to boredom”. As for having the necessary skills for parenting, providing metrics and establishing standards will be a spurious fiasco, endlessly controversial and stultifying family life with the inevitable inspectors calling.

        No. Fix poverty, fix education especially for women (until done) and grow a culture of responsibility for kids and understanding that parental responsibility not ownership is the thing.

        Finally go for Finnish style education of the child with highly paid teachers studying and noting progress of their charges and ensuring external input of the highest quality for all kids. “Captain Fantastic” is a fantasy and needing homeschooling is a country’s shame. Kids need to be more of their society. Denying the opportunity to reliably and comprehensively indoctrinate them will reduce their appeal in some quarters.

        (Hmm. I clearly haven’t used enough, “merelys” in the above.)

      • Cynthia

        It is an idea that sounds good on paper until you fully think it through and realize that implementing it would be a freaking nightmare and massively prone to human rights abuses.

        There are ways to have some basic screening in place. I remember that a social worker at my hospital met with new moms briefly, asked about support systems and got us registered for a home visit by a public health nurse and a free post-natal public health new moms group. The hospital also wanted to know that we had our first visit with the pediatrician booked before they discharged us. You have mandated reporters. These things aren’t a license, but they are ways to check that parents are plugged in and to flag any child protection concerns.

        Licensing, though, wouldn’t work. You obviously don’t need a license to give birth, and what happens to babies born to unlicensed parents? I’ve been a part of child protection apprehensions at birth, and it’s not something you want to do except for extreme circumstances (I consider something like “already lost custody of 10 children and went into labor with #11 during a drinking binge” to qualify).

        Race and class issues already result in biases within the child protection system (and I say this as someone who has worked for a child protection agency in the past). This would amplify that.

        • That people could simply ignore the license and have children anyway is certainly an issue.

          I haven’t thought about this issue except to marvel that we demand licenses for so many other things, and yet this monumental topic is unregulated and left completely to the individual.

        • MR

          You have got to be kidding me! Don’t interfere in abortion, but it’s okay to issue a license to have a child? The most basic, natural, necessary thing for any and every species and you would actually consider regulating it? Wow, just wow.

        • This isn’t my argument. Since I had coincidentally come across a somewhat relevant article, I tossed it into the mix for consideration. That’s it.

        • MR

          To me the idea is as crazy as some of the stuff we hear from some of the whack-a-doodles around here.

        • Kodie

          The only reason it’s not licensed so far is because it would be pretty much impossible, and yeah, for a society against a lot of birth control and abortions, forcing unlicensed pregnant women to abort or give up their baby to adoption would be …. like how crisis pregnancy centers do it.

        • Joe

          Well, it should be regulated. It’s impossible to do so though.

        • MR

          Why?

        • Joe

          Because we already have too many people to support to a reasonable standard of living, and children can be born into extremely bad situations.

        • MR

          And who is going to make these decisions and on what grounds?

        • Joe

          Nobody, because as I’ve already said, it would be impossible to implement and to ensure fairness.

        • MR

          And yet you think it should be regulated; don’t anti-abortionists essentially want to do the same thing, impose regulations on reproduction?

        • Joe

          And yet you think it should be regulated

          No, I do not. I think hypothetically it should be regulated. There’s a difference.

          No, anti-abortionists don’t want to do the same thing. They want the opposite.

        • MR

          I disagree. I see both as imposing somebody else’s will on the individual’s reproductive rights. Who am I to say that being a parent isn’t exactly what a person needs to become a responsible adult? What is it about forcing someone to have a child, then, that you object to?

          Clearly unhealthy eating is an issue in society, too. Should we insist that people take a test and have a license in order to eat? I know I’m pushing it to the absurd, but that’s precisely how I see the idea of regulating parenthood. I mean, reproduction is one of the most basic and natural things for all animals. I just find the idea abhorrent whether you’re preventing a person from having or forcing a person to have a child.

        • Joe

          Who am I to say that being a parent isn’t exactly what a person needs to become a responsible adult?

          So children are just props to facilitate a positive change in the parent?

          What is it about forcing someone to have a child, then, that you object to?

          It’s an unnecessary infringement of their rights.

          Clearly unhealthy eating is an issue in society, too. Should we insist that people take a test and have a license in order to eat?

          Ridiculous, specious reasoning. If you want a rational debate, don’t put up straw men such as this.

          I mean, reproduction is one of the most basic and natural things for all animals. I just find the idea abhorrent whether you’re preventing a person from having or forcing a person to have a child.

          Is it wrong to neuter pets?

        • MR

          So children are just props to facilitate a positive change in the parent?

          Eh, eh, eh, Joe. Don’t accuse me of a strawman and throw one up yourself! I didn’t mean mine as a strawman, nor even to be a rational comparison, I’d hoped I’d made that clear when I called it absurd. I wanted to illustrate that emotional aspect that, frankly, I’m shocked you don’t feel yourself.

          It’s an unnecessary infringement of their rights.

          Are you implying that preventing people from having children would be a necessary infringement of their rights?!

          Is it wrong to neuter pets?

          Do you equate your fellow human beings with pets? I do not. If I believed in an objective morality that transcended all living beings, I’d be inclined to say yes, but as you know I don’t believe such a morality exists. Regarding my fellow human beings, though, and taking into account our shared subjective morality, well, I find the idea absurd.

          Now, I think we should do everything in our power to make education about parenting and how to be a good parent available to every parent, but the idea of regulating reproduction is as abhorrent to me as eugenics.

        • Joe

          Eh, eh, eh, Joe. Don’t accuse me of a strawman and throw one up yourself!

          It wasn’t. It was responding to a direct quote you made.

          Are you implying that preventing people from having children would be a necessary infringement of their rights?!

          Yes. I’ve already outlined my reasons: overpopulation and suffering.

          Do you equate your fellow human beings with pets?

          No, some do not reach the level of love and compassion shown by my two cats.

          You didn’t really answer the question. We control the reproduction of multiple species in nature, against their will, often purely for our benefit. Is this a good or bad thing?

          but the idea of regulating reproduction is as abhorrent to me as eugenics.

          Yet, not the same as eugenics, in principal.

        • MR

          It was responding to a direct quote you made.

          You dodged my point (it’s not for me to pass judgement) and strawmanned my position (no big deal).