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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  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —-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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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).

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —-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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • 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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.)

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

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

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nice.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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,”

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • 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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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!

        • 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

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.)

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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,”.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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?

        • Michael Neville

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

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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).

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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.

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.”

      • http://withinthismind.com/ 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.—

        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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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?

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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).

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        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?

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        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.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        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.

    • 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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • 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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        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.

  • 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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope
        • 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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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
        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          Former lifeguard here as well, that’s why I pointed out it’s not safe.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.”

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What is your reaction to point of the original post? Do you accept my points about the personhood spectrum?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —-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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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.’

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      ‘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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I couldn’t find the previous version, so I replied to another comment of yours with my response to this.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

          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.

        • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

          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.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          —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?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          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.

        • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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’…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s it! Simply rename it JimCrowCare and have the GOP take credit for it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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.)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          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).

          No, some do not reach the level of love and compassion shown by my two cats.

          Ouch. So much for your own compassion for your fellow man.

          You didn’t really answer the question.

          I thought I did. You’re not talking to someone who believes in an objective morality. I don’t place a value judgement on neutering pets from the pet’s perspective [edit to add: to be more explicit, I don’t see it as being either right or wrong]. Nor do I see that they have an opinion one way or another, like a human would, so I don’t equate the two at all in that sense. I love my cat, too, but I don’t think she really had an opinion about her reproductive future; my fellow human beings do.

          Yet, not the same as eugenics, in principal.

          Again, I disagree. I think certain populations would most certainly be impacted and it would essentially have the same effect.

        • Joe

          You dodged my point (it’s not for me to pass judgement) and strawmanned my position (no big deal).

          You did make a judgement regarding having kids. I quoted it back to you.

          Ouch. So much for your own compassion for your fellow man.

          My compassion extends beyond human beings.

          You’re not talking to someone who believes in an objective morality

          A non-sequitur.

          I think certain populations would most certainly be impacted

          Some positively. Again, this isn’t actually going to happen any time soon.

        • MR

          You did make a judgement regarding having kids.

          Which was essentially, it’s not for me to judge whether or not someone else should have kids. You obviously feel differently. If anything, my view of society’s role would be to educate and mitigate, not regulate.

          Your comment about love and compassion I took to be snark and simply responded accordingly.

          Regarding objective morality, it’s not a non-sequitur at all. It’s key to your point, just as it is when we discuss morality with theists. I’m just reminding you that I don’t have the same mindset as our theist friends that there is an objective right or wrong to provide us with a single, objective answer for our moral questions. I hold no moral position regarding pet neutering (from the perspective of the pet). You asked me if I thought it is right or wrong and I simply don’t hold a moral position on that topic; I wasn’t trying to dodge the question. I do hold a moral position regarding cruelty to animals. I also hold a moral position regarding imposing reproductive rights on my fellow human beings. I don’t think we should, whether it be preventing someone from having an abortion, preventing someone from having a child or even requiring them to have a license.

          Some positively? Oh, who cares about the populations who will be negatively impacted, amirite? (snark)

  • Ameribear

    Sperm and egg are potential human life. When fertilization takes place it’s an actual human life in it’s earliest stage of development. Everything that drives it’s development is contained within it in potentiality. There is no human line that gets crossed, it’s fully human from the start.

    • Phil Rimmer

      And? You haven’t made an argument yet.

      The dust in my vacuum cleaner is fully human also.

      • Ameribear

        Then verify your claim and go test the dust in your vacuum for the
        presence of human DNA.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Is human DNA in a vacuum really anything that needs verifying? I’d be more surprised if a used vacuum didn’t have DNA in it.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Dust has quite a proportion of skin flakes and skin flakes contain our DNA. Back in 2008 when they first bothered to look.

          The team collected dust samples from various rooms around their campus, from highly trafficked classrooms to quieter offices. Most of the DNA they recovered came from bacteria or fungi, but there was human DNA in all but one of their 36 samples.

        • Joe

          My vacuum is guaranteed to contain human and cat DNA. I throw it in the trash regardless.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Coincidentally, I just threw out a vacuum cleaner bag full of yuck just today.

          Wait a minute–you don’t suppose … ?

        • Joe

          Better start saving for child support, just in case.

    • adam
      • Ameribear

        It’s a new, distinct human person, a member of the human race, in it’s earliest stages of development from the moment of conception.

        • Kodie

          It’s not really.

        • Ameribear

          Then explain why.

        • Kodie

          It’s not a member of anything.

        • Ameribear

          Then explain why.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re saying a non-sentient cell invisible to the naked eye is a person?

        • Ameribear

          I said it’s a human person in it’s earliest stages of development.

        • Michael Neville

          We agree that the cell is human. The question is its personhood. I claim that a fetus becomes a person at birth.

        • Ameribear

          It’s a cell for a very short period of time. On what basis is a fully developed human in the womb of it’s mother seconds before birth not a human and seconds later after birth it is a human.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The cell is the extreme case, which is why it’s important to understand it. Your comment makes me think that you agree with me: that it’s a person (or human being or something similar) when a baby, it’s not one as a single cell, and it develops into a person over the 9 month period.

        • Ameribear

          No that’s not what I’m saying. You want to define a human based only on the level of development. If that’s true then any born person with any defect or flaw isn’t fully human. If full development defines what a human is, than even a born baby isn’t a human.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You want to retreat into the dictionary, because you know that if you come out and acknowledge the inescapable fact of the spectrum (single cell on one end, trillion-cell newborn on the other), your argument fails.

          The difference between an adult and a baby is negligible compared to the difference between the baby and the single cell. You need to acknowledge the spectrum.

        • Ameribear

          There can be no spectrum for personhood. If your standard for personhood is based on the number of cells present then what should that number be? I acknowledge a spectrum only for development not for personhood.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So the single cell has very little development and the baby has much development, but it’s a person all the way on the spectrum? If “person” is the wrong word, then correct this statement: The baby is a person, while the single cell isn’t.

        • Ameribear

          So the single cell has very little development and the baby has much development, but it’s a person all the way on the spectrum?

          That’s correct.

          If “person” is the wrong word, then correct this statement: The baby is a person, while the single cell isn’t.

          You keep insisting that a person is defined by their level of development
          and I reject that for a number of reasons. I pointed out that birth is only one more stage in a continuum of development. Why does birth have to be the point where personhood is defined when there is still a lot more development that has to take place? You haven’t addressed all the problems inherent in your own position.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Bob: If “person” is the wrong word, then correct this statement: The baby is a person, while the single cell isn’t.

          You keep insisting that a person is defined by their level of development

          Wrong again. I keep insisting that you make clear what the baby is that the single cell isn’t.

          You haven’t addressed all the problems inherent in your own position.

          I haven’t seen a single one, but perhaps you can list them after you’ve manned-up to the challenge above.

        • adam

          “There can be no spectrum for personhood.”

          But there is.

        • Ameribear

          Then explain why.

        • adam

          Why there is a spectrum?

        • Ameribear

          Yes.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hmm. You have a powerful grasp of the topics we’re discussing here.

        • Ameribear

          All sarcasm aside, you haven’t answered my questions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I replied to your succinct yet elegant “Yes,” which was meaningless to my simple mind.

          I’ve answered your questions.

        • adam

          Because no two things are exactly alike.

        • Ameribear

          Allow me to clarify. Why is the spectrum for personhood? Why is what comes into existence after conception not a person and what comes out of the womb at birth is?

        • adam
        • Ameribear

          So you admit you’re really incapable of answering the question and can only resort to posting more stupid memes that completely miss the point. Your a fine standard bearer for your world view. Keep up the good work.

        • adam

          I have answered the question many times.

          You seem unable to understand the whole concept

          Spectrum – Merriam Webster
          a : a continuous sequence or range a wide spectrum of interests opposite ends of the political spectrumb : kinds of organisms associated with a particular situation (such as an environment)c : a range of effectiveness against pathogenic organisms an antibiotic with a broad spectrum

        • Ameribear

          No, you’ve completely misunderstood the question. I reiterate. Why is the spectrum for person hood? Why is what comes into existence
          after conception not a person and what comes out of the womb at birth
          is?

        • adam

          ” Why is what comes into existence after conception not a person and what comes out of the womb at birth is?”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbde758ba5f4b72f0f90fe6ed10489dff5857c51f801273e6f554e8f08f20666.jpg

        • adam

          I have answered the question numerous times.

          Not my fault that you are too ignorant to have even a BASIC understanding of what a spectrum is.

        • Ameribear

          No you haven’t answered the question even once. I think it’s safe to say everyone here agrees on what a spectrum is. What I specifically asked is why does the spectrum apply to personhood and not development? Why is what comes into existence after conception not a person and what comes out of the womb at birth is? Your meme doesn’t cut it

        • adam

          “What I specifically asked is why does the spectrum apply to personhood and not development?”

          It IS development.

          ” Why is what comes into existence after conception not a person and what comes out of the womb at birth is?”

          DEVELOPMENT.

          The same reason a silk worm cocoon is not a silk dress.

        • Ameribear

          If you believe that what comes into existence after conception is not a person and what comes out of the womb after birth is, the the spectrum has to apply to personhood and not development. You’re linking personhood to development and if that’s the case at what stage of development does it become a person and why?

          If you believe that what comes into existence after conception and what comes out of the womb after birth are both persons then the spectrum applies to development.

        • adam

          ” You’re linking personhood to development”

          Just like a silk cocoon to a silk dress.

          ” if that’s the case at what stage of development does it become a person and why?”

          At the point where it can sustain life outside it’s host.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e837665e20b0f559722113ef2ddaa0c4b5cb92de117ddba6e3d9af6d7f6c282a.jpg

        • Ameribear

          Just like a silk cocoon to a silk dress.

          This isn’t even close to comparable. There are huge differences that you fail to take into account.

          At the point where it can sustain life outside it’s host.

          Then by your standard any born and living human that cannot
          sustain his or her own life without assistance is not a person either.

        • adam

          “This isn’t even close to comparable.”

          It is exactly comparable.

          “Then by your standard any born and living human that cannot
          sustain his or her own life without assistance is not a person either.”

          I didnt claim assistance, so YOU’VE LIED.

          I said host,

          I await your apology.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16ff24b0a7ceb21423959ec810a1e8a2520675c1cde50d310879942c65ff9482.jpg

        • Ameribear

          It is not by a long shot exactly comparable. You are comparing a substance to a human organism.

          When you said “outside it’s host” doesn’t that logically imply life that can sustain itself without relying on the assistance of another person?

        • adam

          “You are comparing a substance to a human organism.”

          And you are comparing a person to fertilized egg.

          “When you said “outside it’s host” doesn’t that logically imply life that
          can sustain itself without relying on the assistance of another person?”

          Actually, it does.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cfca0255af85259ee0f857563d91ecfc6cb97d776b9e3d512d8ae7e84f4ac9a6.jpg

        • Ameribear

          And you are comparing a person to fertilized egg.

          No, I’m defining a fertilized egg as a person in it’s earliest stage of development.

          Actually, it does.

          Alright then, anyone who is undergoing dialysis because their kidneys are failing, or suffers from cystic fibrosis and has to carry an oxygen bottle to help them breathe, or paraplegics who have to be fed through a tube by your definition are not persons.

        • adam
        • Ameribear

          Then explain why.

        • adam
        • Ameribear

          That’s a cop out, not an explanation.

        • adam

          Nope, that is the explanation.

          Why you are too ignorant to understand spectrum is the cop out.

        • Ameribear

          That’s another asinine meme that doesn’t come close to explaining anything.

          You’ve aptly demonstrated your inability to draw distinctions between organisms and substances and to offer any substantive reasons to support your views. All you can do is post infantile pictures which means all you can do is repeat talking points. Why am I not surprised?

        • adam

          “That’s another asinine meme that doesn’t come close to explaining anything.”

          You answer says it explains how myopic you are.

          “You’ve aptly demonstrated your inability to draw distinctions between
          organisms and substances and to offer any substantive reasons to support
          your views. ”

          No, I have aptly demonstrated spectrum, it is apparently beyond your ability to see past your own preconclusions

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

          “All you can do is post infantile pictures which means all you can do is repeat talking points.”

          Actually I can do whatever is most effective in getting my point across. Apparently I need to simplify it even more to reach your level of comprehension. Comprehension is a big word for you, isnt it?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e6eceefda06b08605b3653301b5e246ee7fbd6ce2a594a4e6a0d18e41ce10f5.jpg

        • Ameribear

          I’m certain by now that we all agree on what a spectrum is. I asked you whether the spectrum covers personhood or development and you mistakenly agreed with me that it covers development. You couldn’t even grasp the question well enough to correctly define your own view let alone defend it. When I pointed out to you that by your standard anyone who cannot sustain their own lives without the assistance of another person or machine wasn’t a person either all you could do was post your infantile memes. Like I said before, you’re a magnificent standard bearer for your movement. I know I can count on you to continue your fine work.

        • adam

          “I’m certain by now that we all agree on what a spectrum is. ”

          Well you dont seem to.

          ” I asked you whether the spectrum covers personhood or development
          and you mistakenly agreed with me that it covers development.”

          No mistake on my part, fertilized ovum develop into people, like an egg develops into a chicken.

          ” When I pointed out to you that by your standard anyone who cannot
          sustain their own lives without the assistance of another person or
          machine wasn’t a person either all you could do was post your infantile
          memes.”

          No you merely misrepresented what I said about the parasitic relationship to a host.

          “Like I said before, you’re a magnificent standard bearer for your movement. ”

          Well thank you, but pretty meaningless coming from someone as dishonest as you.

          ” I know I can count on you to continue your fine work.”

          And I can count on your dishonesty.
          Much like the dishonesty of The Church.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d13619b3ac0d17b32770ee151935462cade37c1c9734749144fd4cbbf530d40.jpg

        • Ameribear

          No mistake on my part, fertilized ovum develop into people, like an egg develops into a chicken.

          If the spectrum is for development it is a person from the moment of conception. If the spectrum is for personhood it becomes a person at some later point. Does that clear things up for you?

          No you merely misrepresented what I said about the parasitic relationship to a host.

          From an earlier post

          I said “When you said “outside it’s host” doesn’t that logically
          imply life that can sustain itself without relying on the assistance of another person?”

          To which you replied “Actually, it does.”

          You’ve got dishonesty and evasion down to an art form.

        • adam

          “If the spectrum is for development it is a person from the moment of
          conception. If the spectrum is for personhood it becomes a person at
          some later point. ”

          No, it DEVELOPS into a person.

          “I said “When you said “outside it’s host” doesn’t that logically
          imply life that can sustain itself without relying on the assistance of another person?”

          To which you replied “Actually, it does.””

          Yes, the parasites host.

          You’ve got dishonesty and evasion down to an art form.

        • Kodie

          I should probably ask you what you think about healthcare being a right, or having enough to eat, and having a place to live. If you think a fetus has the right to take over a woman’s body against her will, because it is dependent upon her, how do you feel about those rights continuing throughout life? We all need other people to some extent, but those situations tend to be voluntary. If someone has a baby they can’t care for, someone voluntarily adopts that baby so it doesn’t die on the streets alone, begging. Even orphanages and foster families care for that child voluntarily. Or someone in a hospice hooked up to machines, or just old people in a nursing home – they are staffed by people who choose to do those jobs and it’s not up to one person who got into a situation so they have to continue to be in that situation. If someone at the nursing home quits because they are sick of helping old people, they find someone else to fill the position. They are not 100% relying on that person who wishes to get out of the situation. Homeless people and mentally ill and addicts? Society shits on them, poor people with too many kids, no relevant skills, no job, no place will either hire them or pay them enough to live? People like you don’t tend to give too much of a fuck. They have to find a job! You don’t want to be forced to pay for their meals like a fucking pregnant woman. It’s not your problem, you didn’t do anything to get yourself into that situation, keep blaming the victims. You would rather force pregnant women to have no choice to resort to but adoption so “good Christian couples” can have a child they actually want.

          It doesn’t work that way. Pregnant women aren’t there for you to scam them out of having an abortion or parenting their own child if they choose to. There is an economics to this, but supply does not have to meet demand in this case. It sucks if you want to have a child and you have to wait on a list or else adopt a 7-year-old black kid, huh. You’re not thinking of the “innocent life” of a fertilized egg, you’re thinking what a good home it can be bought into! You’re not thinking that society owes everyone the same accommodations as that “innocent” zygote until it can be born, you’re not willing to put yourself in the pregnant woman’s place and be forced to support life outside the host.

        • Ameribear

          I’m continually amazed at how
          myopic people like you who use these stupid talking points to defend
          abortion are. You insist on defining pregnancy as some tragic
          disease that befalls hapless women and turns them into slaves against their will while completely ignoring the fact that women are half of the responsible parties that got them into that situation in the
          first place. You want to portray women as victims but you believe
          that it isn’t their fault for consenting to the act that brings new
          humans into existence before they’re ready to accept the responsibility for them. It isn’t the men’s fault for demanding women
          become objects for their sexual gratification. It isn’t the fault of
          the pharmaceutical company who’s contraception failed. No, it’s the
          fault of the new human life that came into existence at the wrong
          time in spite of all the efforts to prevent it. In your view children
          aren’t great blessings full of hope and potential to improve the
          world around us. Children aren’t meant to help increase our capacity
          to love and cultivate a desire to give a lasting gift to others. No,
          in your view children aren’t human, they’re intruders and parasites.
          They’re pesky weeds that keep cropping up in the midst of your self
          centered, narcissistic existences. They’re unjust infringements on
          your self-proclaimed universal right to sexual license that you’ve
          redefined as freedom. Haven’t you ever bothered to actually think
          through your pathetic talking points instead of simply repeating what
          your told to?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You insist on defining pregnancy as some tragic
          disease that befalls hapless women

          No one does that. For some women, pregnancy is terrific. For some, it’s tragic. There’s little in between.

          completely ignoring the fact that women are half of the responsible parties that got them into that situation in the
          first place.

          You get into a car, not expecting to get into an accident. And you have sex, not expecting to get pregnant. There can be surprises in both cases. Let’s patch them up.

          No, it’s the
          fault of the new human life that came into existence at the wrong
          time in spite of all the efforts to prevent it.

          It starts out a one cell. It’ll be a big deal when it’s born, 9 months later, but not at the beginning.

          Haven’t you ever bothered to actually think
          through your pathetic talking points instead of simply repeating what
          your told to?

        • Kodie

          I just fucking love how you glide over actual points by calling them “talking points.” You don’t address anything in your post that I bring up. Nothing is different at all, AT FUCKING ALL, between having an abortion and not getting pregnant. No one suffers. You don’t grieve over lost children, you grieve over having to keep your face out of other people’s business, namely their sex lives, and how they enjoy sexual intercourse without the inherent obligation to gestate an organism that will need something from them for the rest of their lives. It’s actually part of the problem that fuckers like you like to deprive women of options, one of which happens to fucking be – continuing their pregnancy if it means they can parent their child.

          FUCKERS LIKE YOU want to deprive women of the opportunity to parent their own child, you want to deprive women of the choice to have sex without becoming pregnant in the first place, you want to deprive women who become pregnant of choosing what they really want – to be their child’s own parent by punishing her for being needy and bringing a child into a world she can’t afford. FUCKERS LIKE YOU don’t care about the biological reality that humans are animals that take about a decade longer to be educated to employability than to reach the age of sexual awakening. FUCKERS LIKE YOU think everyone has to behave the way you think they should, or suffer, and you think suffering is their apt consequence if their opinion of sex or pregnancy isn’t the same as yours. FUCKERS LIKE YOU want women to feel guilty if they have an abortion, even though there’s nothing ethically or morally wrong with it. FUCKERS LIKE YOU want to punish women as solely responsible for a literal nothing anyone would recognize or know or miss as a “person” until it’s born, then you are so happy to punish her AND THAT BABY, if only she were generous enough to let some other couple raise it, so you blame her AGAIN for that your guilt trip worked only halfway, because you’re a FUCKER LIKE YOU.

          I am not just pro-choice, I’m pro-get real. For far too long, pregnancy and parenthood has been promoted as the pinnacle of humankind’s achievements for us common folks. For men to “continue their family line” like that’s such a fucking prize, and for women – and something you probably have no idea – to be goddamned “picked” like fucking produce, and bear children because babies are cute and you’re made to feel that’s your ultimate purpose. Look around, that is not an amazing feat. Almost everyone can do that. It is the most ordinary thing anyone can do. Parenting effectively is something else. Being real about what it takes to parent effectively is something I think almost no one really considers before they do it. A lot of people wait a while, using your forbidden contraceptives, having lots of fun sex for years and years before they fit in parenting intentionally. You want everyone to get pregnant by accident like they used to, for women to seek nothing more than to make a man breakfast, lunch, dinner, and babies. If they don’t fit your standard, then you judge them. YOU FUCKER LIKE YOU judge them for being outside your narrow little norm. You think a speck is a person, you don’t care if it has no body or awareness or personal goals yet. I mean, fuck.

          Let’s talk about Joe and Jane, and let’s make them your perfect couple – they are married, and Jane just found out she is pregnant, and they decided that’s what they wanted anyway, let’s move ahead. They decide if it’s a boy, let’s call him Cole, and if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Lila. Not too much later, they find out it’s a girl, and start calling Jane’s stomach Lila before they start testing out Felicity, Camille, and Eloise. These fantasies of what kind of girl will she be, what kind of girl do we wish to design? Joe is already imagining protecting her against boys who will chase her or abuse her affection, and why. Because he knows that women are objectified? Or is he a sexist who thinks of her as his baby girl forever? The ultimate fact is she isn’t any of them. They aren’t talking about the person, they are talking about the generalized expectations of the life of a girl who will later become a woman, as girls are expected to be some way as women and trained from extremely early. That’s how I know it isn’t a fucking person. It hasn’t got any fucking qualities at all. It is imaginary, a projection. I can imagine that I am pregnant right now. I can imagine a person in my belly and try to pretend I will know its whole life ahead. I can also write a story with characters living lives I design and delete them now or many years later. You have a peculiar hoarding style about embryos in particular.

        • Greg G.

          If you came into my house against my will and started eating my food and I invited you to stay, I would be a host. If I wanted you to leave, you would be a parasite.

        • Ameribear

          If you invite me to stay, you’re a host which makes me a guest. If you don’t want me to stay, you’ve decided not to be a host which makes me a parasite. So then being a guest or a parasite in your view is what defines me or anyone else who breaks into your home as a person.

          If you’ve decided not to be a host, does that give you the right to kill the intruder because you’ve decided to define them as a parasite?

          If we apply your logic to pregnancy then a wanted child is a person and an unwanted child is not. If that’s the case then anytime before, during or after birth, the mother can decide the child is a parasite and legally end it’s life.

        • Greg G.

          If we apply your logic

          Stop it. You do not understand logic. Every time you start a sentence with that, it ends with you looking silly.

          When a woman wants to have a baby, she gives consent. When she does not want to have a baby, she does not give consent. A fetus or a person has no right to her body without her consent. After birth, you have a person with a functioning brain. She can keep it, give it up for adoption, or drop it off at a hospital or fire station. She cannot kill it.

          This real life stuff is too hard for you. Maybe you should get some Lego sets and see if you can figure out how to get the blocks to connect.

        • Ameribear

          Stop it. You do not understand logic. Every time you start a sentence with that, it ends with you looking silly.

          I understand logic just fine. You’re the one who insists on torturing it with stupid anologies and worn out sophistry that you keep shooting yourself in the foot with.

          When a woman wants to have a baby, she gives
          consent. When she does not want to have a baby, she does not give consent.

          If a fertile woman consents to the act with a fertile male she and he are assuming the risk of getting pregnant even if they’re contracepting.

          A fetus or a person has no right to her body
          without her consent.

          You have yet to prove that what comes into existence after conception is not a new, unique, separate, human in it’s earliest
          stage of development that is just as entitled to life as any born
          human person. All you can do is keep regurgitating someone elses same failed talking points that portray the woman as the victim and the innocent unborn child as an unjust intruder while willfully ignoring the fact that the woman and the man she consented to have sex with are the ones directly responsible for bringing that very child into existence to begin with. I keep trying to explain why your feeble bodily autonomy argument fails and you keep regurgitating it because you are the one who either can’t or plain old refuses to follow the logic.

          After birth, you have a person with a functioning brain.

          I told you earlier that the brain begins to function in the first
          trimester. I asked you before to clearly define for us what level of
          brain function we should use to determine personhood. What level of brain function is sufficient to cover the brain function of every
          living person? Where are you going to draw the line that clearly
          states everyone on this side of it is a person and everyone on that
          side isn’t?

          This real life stuff is too hard for you. Maybe you should get some Lego sets and see if you can figure out how to get the blocks to connect.

          Your inability to answer any of the most basic questions your
          pathetic talking points beg shows your the one the real life stuff is
          to hard for.

        • Greg G.

          If a fertile woman consents to the act with a fertile male she and he are assuming the risk of getting pregnant even if they’re contracepting.

          You are getting your information about sex from an organization of people who have never had a healthy sexual relationship. There is more to sex than making babies.

          You have yet to prove that what comes into existence after conception is not a new, unique, separate, human in it’s earliest
          stage of development that is just as entitled to life as any born
          human person.

          I have proven that a conception in not necessarily a unique or separate human life form. You are too dense to understand that twins are more than one person and a chimera is one person from two conceptions. It is irrelevant to the abortion issue because of consent.

          I told you earlier that the brain begins to function in the first
          trimester. I asked you before to clearly define for us what level of
          brain function we should use to determine personhood. What level of brain function is sufficient to cover the brain function of every
          living person? Where are you going to draw the line that clearly
          states everyone on this side of it is a person and everyone on that
          side isn’t?

          I don’t think a brain can be fully functional while its oxygen is coming from the placenta.

          It is an academic question and is separate from the abortion issue which is a matter of consent from the person with the uterus. Even if it was a person, it has no right to use another person’s organs without the consent of the other person.

          Your inability to answer any of the most basic questions your
          pathetic talking points beg shows your the one the real life stuff is
          to hard for.

          My explanations are coming out fine. The problem is at your end. You have been brainwashed by people who want to fuck up children while they are young.

        • Ameribear

          You are getting your information about sex
          from an organization of people who have never had a healthy sexual relationship. There is more to sex than making babies.

          Then explain to us what your definition of a healthy sexual relationship is.

          I have proven that a conception in not necessarily a unique or separate human life form. You are too dense to
          understand that twins are more than one person and a chimera is one person from two conceptions. It is irrelevant to the abortion issue because of consent.

          And I have told you that what results after conception has
          to be a unique and separate life form because it’s DNA is unique and separate from both parents which is completely relevant because it’s not a part of the mothers body.

          It is an academic question and is separate from the abortion issue which is a matter of consent from the person with the uterus.

          No it is not a separate issue because you insist on using it to determine personhood and you’ve dodged it once again. Don’t make up arbitrary standards for personhood if you can’t explain them.

          Even if it was a person, it has no right to use another person’s organs without the consent of the other person.

          It is a person and it has just as much right to life as it’s parents who are directly responsible for it coming into existence. The parents
          are responsible for it’s natural state of need which means it is entitled to stay in the mother until birth. Why do you keep glossing over that distiniction?

          My explanations are coming out fine. The problem is at your end. You have been brainwashed by people who want to fuck up children while they are young.

          Sorry but your explanations are completely incoherent because you’ve been brainwashed by people who want to murder unborn humans.

        • Kodie

          A wanted pregnancy is still not a person, but its host may consider it welcome to stay and assist in its becoming so, voluntarily building it out of her own blood and tissue. I mean, it is an “involuntary” process that the body does without asking you, so you can stop it by having an abortion, or allow it to continue because you want to, but it isn’t yet a person, it’s a projection some parents have of the future child they want.

        • Ameribear

          A wanted pregnancy is still not a person,

          Then explain why.

          but its host may consider it welcome to stay and assist in its becoming so, voluntarily building it out of her own blood and tissue.

          For the umpteenth time, it’s mother is directly responsible for it requiring the use of her body in the first place.

          but it isn’t yet a person, it’s a projection some parents have of the future child they want.

          Then explain when it does become a person and why.

        • Kodie

          Because it isn’t made yet!

          She’s not responsible for making a child with her own body.

          When it is born, it gets a birth certificate and is filed as a citizen of where it was born. When the state considers you a person is when you’re born.

        • Ameribear

          Because it isn’t made yet!

          If it isn’t made yet then when is it made? Your saying that an infant seconds before birth isn’t made and seconds after it is.

          She’s not responsible for making a child with her own body.

          She is responsible for making the child because she consented to the act that already made it happened at conception.

          When it is born, it gets a birth certificate and is filed as a citizen of where it was born. When the state considers you a person is when you’re born.

          Why should the state decide that a child is not a person before birth and is after? There has to be a concrete definition grounded in something other than it just is. The state once decided that blacks weren’t persons so the state has gotten it wrong before.

        • adam

          “Why should the state decide that a child is not a person before birth and is after?”

          Because they decided based on some book.

          Okay, first off, this is so important a theological question to an
          ancient society (When does life enter the body?) that it’s laid out
          right there in Genesis:

          And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
          breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living
          soul.

          Gen 2:7

          By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

          Psalms 33:6

          https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2014/03/19/1285933/-Bible-Life-Begins-at-Breath-Not-Conception

        • Ameribear

          More cut an paste.

          That’s talking about the beginning of the existence of the human race not about the beginning of the existence of an individual human life.

        • adam

          Nope it is about the beginning of Adam.

          But thanks for being so christian dishonest about it.

          You remind me of The Church:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/151925a51e6a55d5bd1418d3a12f8fa99b39d9a82fb1f8468f8e6fcd942470f3.jpg

        • Kodie

          She is responsible for making the child because she consented to the act that already made it happened at conception.

          You hate women and want to punish them for having dirty dirty sex! That’s all there is to this. You can’t possibly be so fucking goddamned dumb to think having sex equals being a parent. The situation is easily and morally reversible before it gets out of hand.

        • Ameribear

          You hate women and want to punish them for having dirty dirty sex! That’s all there is to this.

          No, I don’t hate women. I’ve been married to one for two decades and I have adult daughters. What I do hate is the abject ignorance people like you demonstrate when you can’t back up the talking points you’ve
          been spoon fed.

          You can’t possibly be so fucking goddamned dumb to think having sex equals being a parent.

          And you can be so brainwashed to think it doesn’t. Having sex is for making babies because damned if they don’t keep coming into being
          inspite of all your efforts and money spent to prevent that from happening.

          The situation is easily and morally reversible before it gets out of hand.

          When a new human life can be legally ended simply because the parents find it inconvenient, the situation is already out of hand and it’s anything but moral.

        • Kodie

          Lots of sexists are married and have daughters. That doesn’t prove you don’t hate women. Your attitude toward women and enslaving them proves you do hate women.

        • Ameribear

          Two people who willfully engage in the act that brings a new human into existence (regardless of their intentions) should do the adult thing and assume the natural responsibility of bringing it to term and raising it to become a functioning adult ready to make positive contributions to the good of society. Anyone like YOU who’s been brainwashed into believing that doing that amounts to punishment has some serious growing up to do. Your redefining of all the terms surrounding pregnancy and parenthood is beyond repugnant. A baby is a “parasite”, the mother is the “host”, becoming a responsible parent is “punishment”. Your definitions are rooted in a really infantile, immature, spoiled, self-centered, me first mindset. You’ve made the all-hallowed, self-enshrined right to party naked your greatest good to the extreme of being willing to kill to protect it. No child, I’m not the one enslaving anyone. You are starting with yourself only your to self-absorbed to realize it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sing it, brother! And a guy who willingly gets in a car and then has an accident can’t expect to blunder into the emergency entrance and expect that society will patch him up. Uh, hello, buddy–can you be a man and take some responsibility here??

          I suggest you use the car accident example along with the pregnancy accident. I think it highlights what you’re actually saying.

        • Ameribear

          redefining an unexpected pregnancy as an accident underscores just how wrong you have gotten it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Being unaware that some pregnancies are very much not wanted underscores just how wrong you have gotten it.

        • Ameribear

          In the past some persons were very much wanted as personal property to be bought and sold at the whims of others. Did that change the fact that they really were persons who shouldn’t have been dehumanized that way?

          Based on the number of abortions that have taken place in our lifetime, I’m keenly aware that more than some pregnancies are unwanted. That does nothing to change the fact of what a pregnancy actually is.

        • Kodie

          Two people who fuck and don’t want to have a baby might just want to fuck and there’s nothing wrong with having an abortion – it is NOTHING TO FREAK OUT ABOUT until it’s actually a baby. It’s your superstitious hoarding and sanctimonious judgment and horror alone that is in everyone else’s way. If you could explain exactly what you’re clinging to that isn’t a baby yet you think people are obligated to care for as though it is, that would be great. In case you didn’t understand me, I think abortion is a morally responsible action toward preventing a human baby from being born into circumstances in which it is not wanted, cannot be afforded, or any other reason. You hate women, that’s the only reason you have. You hate women having sex without having to examine her readiness for parenthood. You want to peek in everyone’s bedrooms and spy on them and dictate to them what you think sex is really for, and uphold people whose business of it is none of yours to your own personal opinions. Everyone doesn’t share your opinion. Everyone doesn’t live like you do, and you can’t handle people having a difference of opinion in how best and most moral to live their own fucking lives. That’s all there is to you.

        • Ameribear

          there’s nothing wrong with having an abortion – it is
          NOTHING TO FREAK OUT ABOUT until it’s actually a baby.

          Only in your brainwashed, pre-adolescent, narcissistic fantasyland.

          In case you didn’t understand me, I think abortion is a
          morally responsible action toward preventing a human baby from being born into circumstances in which it is not wanted, cannot be afforded, or any other reason.

          In case you didn’t understand me abortion is the willful ending of an innocent human life. You don’t want a child born into “circumstances in which it is not wanted, cannot be afforded, or any other reason” so instead of actually doing something about such circumstances your solution is to murder the child and then redefine that as compassion. You are a total wack job.

          You hate women having sex without having to examine her readiness for parenthood.

          Not readiness for parenthood has become an excuse for justifying first degree murder so yeah, kinda got a problem with that.

          You want to peek in everyone’s bedrooms and spy on them and dictate to them what you think sex is really for, and uphold people whose business of it is none of yours to your own personal opinions.

          Not my personal opinions, logical deductions based on what the facts show which you nor anyone else here has ever successfully refuted.

          … and you can’t handle people having a difference of opinion in how best and most moral to live their own fucking lives. That’s all there is to you.

          I’m always amazed at how much of the vitriol you spew actually fit’s you to a tee. The sanctity of human life is never, ever going to be a matter of opinion even though you seem to have self-proclaimed it to be. You’re the one expressing all the personal opinions and they’re based on nothing more than your juvenile fantasies.

          You don’t want to grow up and become a thinking, functioning adult instead of a brainwashed teeny bopper and that’s all there is to you.

        • Kodie

          You still haven’t explained what you’re freaking out about. It’s not a baby, and it doesn’t have any qualities such as “innocence”. That is your superstitious projection. I am not a teeny-bopper, I am being realistic. There is nothing there to be upset about, it’s just a lot of Christian propaganda hype.

        • Ameribear

          You still haven’t explained what you’re freaking out about. It’s not a baby, and it doesn’t have any qualities such as “innocence”.

          It is by (not my) definition, a new, separate, distinct human life in it’s earliest stage of development which, no matter how badly you wish to deny it, is what an abortion ends.

          That is your superstitious projection. I am not a teeny-bopper, I am being realistic. There is nothing there to be upset about, it’s just a lot of Christian propaganda hype.

          That is your willful denial of reality for the purpose of protecting a false concept of freedom. The repeated, habitual denial of what has been widely understood for decades is being anything but realistic.

        • Kodie

          I never denied what abortion is, does, or ends. I just didn’t get all emotional and superstitious about it like you.

        • Ameribear

          Then your admitting that
          abortion is the intentional ending of another human life and that
          your Ok with it.

        • Kodie

          I am admitting abortion is the end of a pregnancy and the prevention of a person being formed against a woman’s will, not only inside her but from her. If most of the “person” it becomes is still the woman’s actual body, blood, tissue, and time, etc. then why do you think it deserves to hold her hostage?

        • Ameribear

          I am admitting abortion is the end of a pregnancy and the prevention of a person being formed against a woman’s will

          Then you are admitting that it is a person being formed in
          the womb. If it is a person being formed in the womb, then that person’s right to life trumps the will of the mother.

          If most of the “person” it becomes is still the woman’s actual body, blood, tissue, and time, etc. then why do you think it deserves to hold her hostage?

          First of all the person develops from what comes into existence after conception not out of the mothers actual tissue. It is a new
          human life that the mother is partially responsible for bringing into
          existence. The people responsible for creating a human life should have no right to end it just because they aren’t ready to accept the responsibility for their actions. That’s a gutless, self-centered, cowardly mindset.

        • Greg G.

          Then you are admitting that it is a person being formed in
          the womb. If it is a person being formed in the womb, then that person’s right to life trumps the will of the mother.

          A “person being formed” is not a “person that is formed”. A “person being formed” is not yet a person.

          First of all the person develops from what comes into existence after conception not out of the mothers actual tissue. It is a new
          human life that the mother is partially responsible for bringing into
          existence.

          You don’t even understand the process. Once the embryo implants into the mother’s tissue, it takes nutrients from the mother’s blood in order to grow. Without her consent, it is theft.

          The people responsible for creating a human life should have no right to end it just because they aren’t ready to accept the responsibility for their actions. That’s a gutless, self-centered, cowardly mindset.

          Now you are blaming the person for their actions and giving birth is the punishment you want to impose. You are the one with the ” gutless, self-centered, cowardly mindset.”

        • Ameribear

          You don’t even understand the process. Once the embryo implants into the mother’s tissue, it takes nutrients from the mother’s blood in order to grow. Without her consent, it is theft.

          It is a human person from the start who’s right to life trumps the will of the mother and the mother is still responsible for it being in the state of need it’s in. Your brainwashing keeps cropping up in your
          macabre redefinition of the terms.

          Now you are blaming the person for their actions and giving birth is the punishment you want to impose. You are the one
          with the ” gutless, self-centered, cowardly mindset.”

          Pregnancy it’s the result of willful actions on the part of two people. They are the ones who are responsible for creating a new HUMAN
          BEING, not a parasite. If taking responsibility for their actions and raising the child instead of murdering it is your idea of punishment you are the gutless, self-centered coward.

        • adam

          “It is a human person from the start who’s right to life trumps the will of the mother ”

          but it is not, else you could clearly demonstrate.

        • Ameribear

          It is which is something you haven’t demonstrated it isn’t.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          it’s a human being because you say so. Others, as you have noticed, disagree. So your point is simply a definition of a word. And even if we all agreed with you that a human being goes back to include that single cell, it simply diminishes the definition of the term. You’ve changed nothing. You have no argument except the trivial one of how a particular term should be defined.

        • Objective Judgment

          It’s certainly a human being from conception on any rational analysis. However, it does not follow that a right to life trump’s the Mother’s rights. True emancipation of women requires that they be able to control their fertility. They also have rights to control their body. These are not insignificant matters to be weighed against the rights of the unborn.

        • Ameribear

          It’s certainly a human being from conception on any rational analysis. However, it does not follow that a right to life trump’s the Mother’s rights.

          If you agree that is a human being from conception then shouldn’t it have the same right to life as the mother?

          True emancipation of women requires that they be able to control their fertility

          Control of fertility is a different subject.

          They also have rights to control their body.

          But we’re talking about another human being here remember. If it’s another human being it can’t be a part of the mothers body.

        • Objective Judgment

          “Control of fertility is a different subject.”
          you are correct – I mis-spoke, i meant control over the decision to bear a child. Because contraception is uncertain (in access, implimentation and effect) and shit happens, abortion must be part of the picture.

          “If you agree that is a human being from conception then shouldn’t it have the same right to life as the mother?”
          I do not, but they certainly have some right to life to range against the mothers rights. Their are three points:
          1) Emancipation of women and their full participation in society is a societal good. It is another step in humanities road to its full potential. This is in my interest, as much as in any individual.
          2) We weigh rights against each other all the time – no right is absolute. The right to life that the mother holds can be abrogated for all sorts of reasons. She can starve to death or get sick and die, and others rights to keep their property (food or money) are stronger than her right to life. If she attacks someone she can be killed. She can be conscripted and sacrificed for the good of the community in war. This situation is no different – it is entirely legitimate to weigh the mothers rights to her own life, self-determination and bodily autonomy against the unborn’s right to life;
          3) Why not kill people? what’s the harm? We have a right to life, it seems to me, for two reasons. One is because of the harm our death will cause to those who live on, who love us or depend on us. The other is our inherent right to the few short years of existence nature allocates to us – this gift is what is robbed from us when we are killed before our time. As Atheists, we know these are especially precious because that’s all you get. The mother has, in most cases, both of these. The unborn has only one, or at least one and a more limited form of the other.

          Balancing all of these things is of course a judgment call, but it is still a balancing, same as goes on for every other human right there is. I fall on the side of Roe v Wade. I think the right balance is to give the mother a meaningful period in which to make a choice, but once that period is at an end the mother’s right’s are overridden by those of the unborn and (leaving aside late-term abortion for health reasons) she is compelled to bring the baby to term (and should be prosecuted if she does not).

          Now I accept that you might do the same balancing exercise and come to a different conclusion, but you should accept that we are doing the same exercise. As long as that is done fairly and honestly, I don’t consider any view has a particular moral judgment attached, reasonable people can differ on these things. At the moment, the balance of opinion favors the status quo. I certainly hope that in the future science will give us contraception and artificial gestation techniques which make abortion unnecessary, but that is a very long way off for most people in the world

        • Ameribear

          Because contraception is uncertain (in access, implimentation and effect) and shit happens, abortion must be part of the picture.

          So we also agree that in spite of all our efforts to prevent it from happening those pesky sperm and eggs have the nasty habit of doing what they’re supposed to. What bothers me the most about this is the mindset that so callously refers to new human life coming into existence as “shit happens”.

          1) Emancipation of women and their full participation in society is a societal good. It is another step in humanities road to its full potential. This is in my interest, as much as in any individual.

          A society that looks upon it’s next generation as intruders and allows it’s members the option of exterminating it for the sake of mere convenience is on the road to it’s eventual destruction, not it’s full potential.

          This situation is no different – it is entirely legitimate to weigh the mothers rights to her own life, self-determination and bodily autonomy against the unborn’s right to life.

          The only instance that I can think of where that statement is legitimate would be in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. The child has no chance of implanting and continuing normal growth and not intervening to correct it threatens the life of the mother. If the pregnancy appears to be going along normally then, you cannot willfully end it.

          Why not kill people? what’s the harm? We have a right to life, it seems to me, for two reasons. One is because of the harm our death will cause to those who live on, who love us or depend on us. The other is our inherent right to the few short years of existence nature allocates to us – this gift is what is robbed from us when we are killed before our time. As Atheists, we know these are especially precious because that’s all you get.

          It seems to me that you answered your own question.

          The mother has, in most cases, both of these. The unborn has only one, or at least one and a more limited form of the other.

          The unborn are what is supposed to ensure societies will reach their future full potential. Murdering them tends to have the opposite effect.

          Now I accept that you might do the same balancing exercise and come to a different conclusion, but you should accept that we are doing the same exercise.

          I don’t think about this issue in the same context as you. Your grasp of the issue seems to be from a purely utilitarian perspective and completely ignores some very important aspects. Having children and raising them has a key effect that society desperately needs more of right now. It’s supposed to increase it’s members capacity to genuinely love. It’s supposed to imbue far more important values like self sacrifice and the desire to leave the world a better place than one found it. It’s supposed to teach it’s members to subordinate ones own self interests for the good of the whole of society. The mindset that unborn children are to be looked upon as unjust intruders and dealt with accordingly and equates parenthood with punishment is the absolute antithesis of that.

        • Kodie

          I see what the issue is, and that’s why abortion is such a controversial issue. Society wants everyone to want to carry on their genes, to plan their lives around growing up to procreate, and be thrilled to have a family, no matter if it’s going to be tough financially – the symbolism of a new child is everything to you. But realistically, children are expensive and annoying, and people can decide if they invite the expense and annoyance or not. I mean, I get it, it’s a very special kind of annoyance, that precious blah blah blah. However, while it’s still in utero, before it has grown into anything worth loving, it is still abstract, and people can choose if they want ALL that having a child entails, not just the romanticized version you cherish. Women can and should be able to choose abortion without you pressuring their societal sentimental obligations TO YOU, because of the way you feel about it. That kind of shit is just emotionally charged bullshit whipping up a lot of nonsense about an abstract concept, and it seeps into lots of other areas, such as child-free couples, and people not just expecting young women to want to be mothers, but judging them if they wait too long, or judging them if they don’t want children, or women who can’t have children feeling obligated to bear children or adopt or knock themselves out in surrogacy and in vitro fertilization clinics and weeping their eyes out because they are made to feel incomplete. And let’s not forget people who do not fit into your conventional attitudes, i.e. people who are gay, lesbian, trans, etc., and how they may or may not be able to have children a traditional way, or that they do not fulfill traditional societal expectations to be their own gender, to be attracted to another gender, or to want to raise a family despite their biological inability to procreate in normative ways. As previously mentioned, plenty of hetero-cis-gendered normative people can’t “fulfill” your expectations.

          And look, who should give a shit about impressing “Ameribear” and meeting his expectations of how a person checks all the regular-person boxes for his picture of perfect society. We don’t need all the people we have – we really don’t. I am not suggesting killing them, but population is high, and we don’t need your version, where everyone repeats everything everyone else does. Christians love to think and say that everyone is unique, and then turn around and beat the uniqueness out of everyone by forcing them to conform to narrow behaviors, and that’s their “purpose”. You all just can’t keep on the tracks. We have plenty of people, but you don’t care about reality. You care about fantasy.

        • Ameribear

          We don’t need all the people we have – we really don’t. I am not suggesting killing them, but population is high,

          If we really don’t need all the people we have then that includes you, moron. So if you really believe that’s true then what reason do you have for allowing your self-absorbed existence to continue? Why is your shallow, egocentric life more valuable then anyone else’s?

          and we don’t need your version, where everyone repeats everything everyone else does.

          No you don’t need any other version because repeating what everyone else does is what you’ve already mastered.

          Christians love to think and say that everyone is unique, and then turn around and beat the uniqueness out of everyone by forcing them to conform to narrow behaviors, and that’s their “purpose”.

          Your hypocrisy is beyond breath taking. It is a the signature habit of your ilk to first express your wanton bigotry and ignorance and then accuse anyone who opposes you of doing the exact same thing you do but are to self-absorbed to recognize it.

          No, you don’t get it. You don’t come anywhere near getting it. You suffer from a sickness that will never allow you to get it. You are both the root of the problem and happily, carry within that shriveled up speck you call a heart the seeds of your own demise. No society or world view made up of self-centered, delusional, narcissistic, spoiled brats like you has has a snowballs chance in Haiti of lasting. People like you make me so hopeful about the future because your warped, ego-driven, acid trip is going to ensure you won’t be in it.

        • Kodie

          What is there to get? You have a superstition and you can’t handle a difference of opinion, and want to force your opinions on others.

        • Ameribear

          You are a narcissist and a monumental hypocrite who can’t think for him/herself and can only repeat the BS you’ve been spoon fed all your
          life.

          Why is your life any more valuable than anyone else’s?

        • Kodie

          I really don’t think that it is, but I am already a person, so there’s that. You seem to think there’s something wrong with abortion because it destroys abstract concepts like hope for the future. That’s sentimental garbage. We are not going to run out of people, but if you are in favor of pumping the world with every available unwanted, unafforded clump of cells as though they are necessary to the future of people, you are in ignorance of all the wanted children who can be afforded, as well as the excess of people who are born unwanted and unafforded. You are a hoarder. That is a mental illness.

        • epeeist

          I really don’t think that it is, but I am already a person

          Yeah, but you are only a female…

        • Kodie

          Men are just jealous ’cause they’re not me.

        • adam

          “You are a narcissist and a monumental hypocrite who can’t think for
          him/herself and can only repeat the BS you’ve been spoon fed all your
          life.”

          No, that would be YOU:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • Kodie

          I don’t know how I am a hypocrite or repeating whatever I’ve been spoon fed. I mean, you’re the one living in the brainwashed hypocrisy that every sperm is sacred but babies are a woman’s punishment for having sex you think she should have avoided having.

          That sounds like hypocrisy that you can’t even think it through. You just believe something so fundamentally absurd and unempathetic to actual people because you superstitiously believe abortion is murder.

        • Ameribear

          I don’t know how I am a hypocrite or repeating whatever I’ve been spoon fed.

          “I am admitting abortion is the end of a pregnancy and the
          prevention of a person being formed against a woman’s will, not only inside her but from her. If most of the “person” it becomes is still the woman’s actual body, blood, tissue, and time, etc. then why do you think it deserves to hold her hostage?”

          “However, while it’s still in utero, before it has grown into anything worth loving, it is still abstract, and people can choose if they want ALL that having a child entails,”

          “Women can and should be able to choose abortion without you
          pressuring their societal sentimental obligations TO YOU, because of the way you feel about it.”

          “Christians love to think and say that everyone is unique, and then turn around and beat the uniqueness out of everyone by forcing them to conform to narrow behaviors, and that’s their “purpose”.”

          “That kind of shit is just emotionally charged bullshit whipping up a lot of nonsense about an abstract concept,”

          “I mean, you’re the one living in the brainwashed hypocrisy
          that every sperm is sacred but babies are a woman’s punishment for having sex you think she should have avoided having.”

          “You just believe something so fundamentally absurd and unempathetic to actual people because you superstitiously believe abortion is murder.”

          This is just a small sample of the superstitious tripe and repeated talking points you’ve posted none of which comes close to refuting the main points of my argument.

          “We don’t need all the people we have – we really don’t. I
          am not suggesting killing them, but population is high,”

          Third time. Why is your life more valuable than anyone else’s?
          If we don’t need all the people we have, why do we need you?

        • Kodie

          How am I a hypocrite? You’re having an emotional reaction. We have billions of people, I don’t know or personally care about most of them. Every day, some of them die, and I don’t miss them. I know someone does, but that doesn’t mean we need to hoard every fetus to become a person. Your whole argument seems to be some emotional bullshit about hope for the future that we need to hoard everyone and not let anyone die, but that’s only until they’re born, then you don’t care. I am in favor of abortion for people who choose it because they know their own lives, and you don’t. You don’t care about their lives. You don’t care about an actual living person’s life, you care only about an abstraction of life.

        • Susan

          Your whole argument seems to be some emotional bullshit about hope for the future

          No. His whole “argument” is to proclaim personhood for a microsopic, brainless being without a nervous system.

          Everything else you’ve said is a response to the sort of thinking that comes from that.

          you care only about an abstraction of life.

          But think of their tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny little souls.

          In the meantime, screw anyone who can barely support four kids and has sex with her husband.

          Add to that, that Ameribear (and his child-raping church) is against contraception.

          Also, that that church fought against marital rape laws.

          So, if you’re a woman… (or a good, decent man in a relationship with a woman, or one of the children they’ve produced…) screw you.

          ‘Cause tiny, tiny brainless souls.

          Actual children can be raped and the Vatican will protect the child rapists and the protectors of the child rapists.

          And YOU’RE a narcissist.

        • Kodie

          Well, he had started going on about future people being the only hope we have, and that we have to hoard every single one of them or else you’re a selfish murderer.

        • Susan

          Well, he had started going on about future people being the only hope we have

          Which is, as Bob S. pointed out numerous times just the argument from potential. But Ameribear denies it and repeatedly makes an argument from potential.

          and that we have to hoard every single one of them or else you’re a selfish murderer

          Which is a declaration of personhood at an arbitrary point.

          That he has to use terms like”murder”, “innocent”, “genocide” all of which are designed to push our moral buttons (because sentient beings suffering should push our moral buttons) in order to give a non-sentient being “personhood” undermines his argument completely.

          Two things are basic.

          1) Morality should be reserved for beings who have the capacity to suffer and/or thrive. Things that directly or indirectly affect that are morally imporant. That is what “personhood” should be about.

          2) One should not be forced to donate their body to another person. No one is forced to give blood or part of their liver or bone marrow.

          Ameribear ignores those basic points and just spews out christian (in his case, the RCC version of) apologetics on the issue.

          He declares personhood without basis. Just flat out declares it.

          And he denies basic rights to bodily autonomy only in this case.

          He has formed no argument. Just assertions.

          The irony is that he calls you a narcissist for not agreeing with him.

          You are pretty uppity for a chick.

          That probably annoys the bejeezus out of him.

        • TheNuszAbides

          That he has to use terms like”murder”, “innocent”, “genocide” all of which are designed to push our moral buttons (because sentient beings suffering should push our moral buttons) in order to give a non-sentient being “personhood” undermines his argument completely.

          this is crucial to remember when confronting manipulative little shits and their tools. i overlook it all the time, inadvertently leaving oxygen for their “see, look at the cold heartless atheist” horseshit.

        • Ameribear

          Every time you’ve replied to my posts it has been abundantly clear that you haven’t bothered to even try to understand what I’ve been saying. You posted a bunch of prejudiced, bigoted crap about what you
          mistakenly thought I said or decided to project onto what I said. You have also failed to answer my direct question about the value of your life three times now.

          “We don’t need all the people we have – we really don’t. I am not suggesting killing them, but population is high,”

          Anyone who goes around saying things like that is the one who doesn’t care about actual living person’s life, nor do they care about the future that anyone has to live their lives in. The only thing you care about is yourself.

          Your replies lack reason and logic and are therefore nothing but emotions, prejudices and regurgitated talking points. In other words you’ve been doing everything you’ve accused me of doing which is totally in character and the textbook definition of a hypocrite.

        • adam

          “Every time you’ve replied to my posts it has been abundantly clear that
          you haven’t bothered to even try to understand what I’ve been saying.”

          Interesting how you HAVE to blame everyone else for YOUR inability to have a rational intelligent discussion.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2604d74a3602b9a653ca3bde07f9b615e04ef5423e93efc36252eaded367c6a.jpg

        • Kodie

          Sorry, you loser. You are the one who doesn’t care about humans. You care about imaginary creatures. Humans have finite bank accounts and finite time. I care that they are able to make a rational decision about how to proceed than taken hostage by your sentimentality and superstition. Plenty of people still procreate! We’re not in any kind of shortage that you think we’re in danger of. People want to have kids, and people get pregnant unplanned and still choose to carry to term and raise a child. You know what I hate? I was listening to a morning show on the radio, which generally sucks, but some guy recorded his confrontation of a woman berating her own child. The DJs decided he was the one who sucked more, but the idea of “blah blah blah then you shouldn’t have children” idea – I mean, if you could be realistic about it instead of emotional… there’s some website I am not looking up of women who are married with children who regret having kids. It’s an irreversible decision that could have been prevented at abortion. You’re the Judgy Judgerson who thinks women should be thrilled to become moms, and if they’re not, they deserve to be punished by being forced to be moms.

          YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT BABIES OR CHILDREN That is your attitude. You can’t reconcile with reality. In reality, your CHURCH wants women to have as much wanton sex as they can and be left with zero options what to do, in order to provide healthy white infants to infertile Christian couples. This isn’t about sex, or sin, this is about feeding the popular notion that women should be mothers, and fulfilling sad empty insecure Catholic women with the one thing they believe will fulfill their purpose – by depriving other women of choice! By depriving other women who had sex who can’t or don’t want to be mothers of their own choice and forcing them into the only fucking option you – Ameribear – some schmuck on the internet – approve.

          Every idea I have is something I thought from observation and listening to assholes like you. You don’t have an argument, you just cower in your tent of pretending pro-choice people are the ones subject to propaganda. You have never thought your position all the way through, and you aren’t willing to listen to another take on it without guarding your position with more propaganda. I don’t need to hear you pretend any more. I know you are lashing out and spraying your skunk spray to protect your shitty ideas from being caught out, but you are caught out. There is nothing you can say to me that makes me change my mind, you are fucking backed into your shitty superstitious corner with no way out but “I’m rubber, you’re glue” kind of 4th grade shit of a typical Catholic.

        • Ameribear

          You’re not a well person.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          You’ve reached the end of being able to think of weak arguments. I know you are not that smart.

        • Ameribear

          No you’ve reached the end of not being able to refute the ones I set out nor defend any of the eugenic proclivities you hinted at. I’m still waiting for you to explain why your not an extra person that isn’t needed and other people are.

        • Kodie

          I am not in favor of eugenics. I didn’t say I was needed. Everyone who is alive would almost certainly be missed by someone, but not everyone. People die every day and I don’t miss them or feel bad or anything. Do you weep for the 125, 000 people that have already died today alone?

          I know I don’t. If someone gets pregnant and they know what type of expense and effort that entails, quitting the pregnancy early harms no one. NO ONE. Over 300,000 babies have already been born today alone. Don’t you think that’s enough to keep the hopes and dreams of humanity alive without getting sentimental over nothing?

        • Ameribear

          I am not in
          favor of eugenics. I didn’t say I was needed.

          You said we don’t need all the
          people we have today. You are by logical extension saying that some
          human lives are of greater value than others. What basis should
          determine who’s needed and who isn’t?

          People die
          every day and I don’t miss them or feel bad or anything. Do you weep
          for the 125,
          000 people that have already died today alone?

          True and certainly tragic but
          irrelevant to the point.

          I know I
          don’t. If someone gets pregnant and they know what type of expense
          and effort that entails, quitting the pregnancy early harms no
          one.

          Quitting the pregnancy early
          intentionally ends the life of another human person.

          Over 300,000
          babies have already been born today alone. Don’t you think that’s
          enough to keep the hopes and dreams of humanity alive without getting
          sentimental over nothing?

          It’s not about hopes, dreams or sentimentality.
          It’s about ensuring the future existence and well-being of the human
          race. Every new life has the potential to contribute to that,
          extinguishing those lives before they’re born undermines that.

        • Kodie

          You said we don’t need all the
          people we have today. You are by logical extension saying that some
          human lives are of greater value than others. What basis should
          determine who’s needed and who isn’t?

          Well, are they people?

          Are they just abstract projections of people?

          That’s a place to start.

        • Ameribear

          Do you believe that some human persons/lives are of greater value then others? Yes or no.

          If the answer is yes, what makes some human persons/lives more valuable than others?

        • Kodie

          If you have a bucket of sand, do you need a roomful of sand?

        • Ameribear

          If you mean by your response
          that you really do believe that not all the humans living right now
          are necessary then you really do believe that some lives are more
          valuable then others. Why?

        • Kodie

          Can you even grasp the concept I’m trying to talk about? There is a category of humans called “don’t exist”. The past, present, and future of humanity is full of all kinds of these people, and many of them will eventually exist. Many of them will miss the boat and not exist. I don’t know them and I won’t know them, and if you never know them, you won’t miss them either. I am not into sorting people into better or worse for humanity, but of existing and not existing. You are into hoarding. Your religion prevents you from comprehending that an embryo is abstract, like, not anyone. It is not going to go missing, it is not yet a mouth to feed, it is not yet a college education to save for, or a giant pain in the ass, or a loser, or a class president or anything. It does not have a personality or a consciousness, it is absolutely the same as any person that never was anyway, because two people didn’t fuck that day, but the next day, etc. It is just as abstract, it is your own projection that it is completely necessary as you or me or its parents.

          It doesn’t exist. We have plenty of people, we can create many more. The whole “god” concept is people like you clinging to the idea that you matter in the vast universe, and hating atheism because we should be so depressed to realize we don’t have any ultimate meaning. Nobody has ultimate meaning. That means you and I are replaceable and will be replaced. You’re going to die, I’m going to die, whatever happens here might be great or not, might just be taking up space, holding a place, being, eating, drinking, pooping, keeping busy, maybe raising a family, working, cleaning, re-cleaning, neverending cleaning, driving, bathing, all kinds of revolving door of activities similar to the next person. What can be the ultimate meaning? What is the future for an embryo that you think has a shot at being some kind of superhero that is not going through the ordinary motions of humanity? If the woman doesn’t want to carry to term, that’s fine. There’s nobody there, there is no life lost, or person missed. That is just some fantasy you have, that that was a person who needed to be born. It doesn’t. She can try some other time if she wants. What is the difference, to you, between a woman who has an abortion and then goes on to have 4 children and a woman who didn’t get pregnant and has 4 children? Should they both have 5 or just the one who had an abortion? What if the first one negates the last one and she still has 4? By continuing to term on the first, is she murdering her 5th child?

          That’s the kind of shit I’m talking about. What is the bloody goddamned difference between this abstract “baby” and another one? You just don’t get it because you hate women and want to punish them.

        • Ameribear

          So the past present and future of humanity is full of people that don’t exist. More atheist brilliance on display for us to marvel at I guess.

          Your brainwashing prevents you from comprehending that what comes into existence after conception is actual, existing human person which you
          have yet to offer any proof to the contrary. So check back when your
          ready to offer something more substantial than open contempt for the human race and the denial of reality.

        • Kodie

          I comprehend reality. You want to attribute qualities to something based on fantasy. I don’t agree that it’s a person, what it is is none of your business, since it’s not inside of you.

        • Susan

          I don’t agree that it’s a person.

          Yes. Ameribear hasn’t made his case. Just proclaimed it and whenever cornered, compares your non-agreement to wanting to do terrible things to things that can feel, bond, fear and hope.

          That’s why he has to rely on terms like innocent, helpless, murder,, eugenics and genocide, while failing to acknowledge that those terms entail at least most of, if not all the moral considerations entailed b feeling, bonding, fearing and hoping (in no particular order). .

          it is none of your business since it is not inside you

          Ameribear wouldn’t think it was my business if he were making a decision about a partial liver transplant. He wouldn’t think it’s anybody’s business about investing their bodily functions in another person.

          There is a unique case where Ameribear suggests that it’s everybody’s business what medical decisions a person makes about her own body and her own future (and often the future of her whole family).

          That unique case is where a woman has sex willingly or unwillingly.

          1) Ameribear defines “personhood” based on biological AND philosophical ignorance. That is, he’s made no effort to investigate the subject outside of the RCC apologetics that support the points they want him to make. .

          2) He hasn’t shown that, even if it’s a full grown violin virtuoso, that anyone is legally and/or morally obligated to donate her body to the cause.

          In short, it’s none of his business.

        • Ameribear

          I comprehend reality.

          No, you comprehend a depressing, self-serving, spoon fed delusion which serves as your version of reality.

          I don’t agree that it’s a person, what it is is none of your business, since it’s not inside of you.

          You still haven’t offered a shred of evidence to back that up.

          It is a person and it’s been well defined as a person for some time which does make it our business because that means abortion is murder even though some are too brainwashed to admit it. Just because you suffer from a meaningless life doesn’t give you the right to force your meaninglessness onto anyone else.

        • adam

          “No, you comprehend a depressing, self-serving, spoon fed delusion which serves as your version of reality.”

          Says someone who still defends pedophilian https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cfca0255af85259ee0f857563d91ecfc6cb97d776b9e3d512d8ae7e84f4ac9a6.jpg in his Church.

        • Kodie

          It’s not a person no matter how badly you wish for it to be. You haven’t demonstrated that it is a person. You have attributed personhood to a thing and think we wouldn’t know the difference.

          I know you’re too much of a moron to get the point, but I think we’re done here. How many times around are you going to spout off the same idiotic nonsense that you’ve been brainwashed to say.

        • Ameribear

          It’s a person no matter how badly you wish for it not to be. You haven’t demonstrated that it isn’t a person. You have denied personhood to a living human being and think we wouldn’t know the difference.

          I know you’re too much of a moron to get the point, but I think we’re
          done here. How many times around are you going to spout off the same
          idiotic nonsense that you’ve been brainwashed to say.

        • adam

          “You haven’t demonstrated that it isn’t a person.”

          the LAW demonstrates that.

          “You have denied personhood to a living human being and think we wouldn’t know the difference.”

          of course we think you are that stupid, afterall you still support the Catholic Church

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7b26fa63bd62710b5b0bda13321c325b5f32009b7ac947dd6169bdc88c7b54d.jpg

        • Susan

          that you really do believe that not all the humans living right now
          are necessary

          Humans living right now to not have to be “necessary” in order for us to agree that we grant them equal value.

          Big, fat switcheroo there, Ameribear.

          Kodie was responding to your night terrors that humans will fall off the face of the earth and that children will be considered something abominable.

          Providing reproductive rights to families and individuals has never led to that. Just another prediction your church makes that hasn’t come true.

          Also, she asked you a question

          If you have a bucket of sand, do you need a roomful of sand?

          Rather than answer her question or ask her to make her quesiton clearer, you’ve made up all sorts of strawmen.

        • Greg G.

          Do you believe that some human persons/lives are of greater value then others? Yes or no.

          Yes.

          If the answer is yes, what makes some human persons/lives more valuable than others?

          Their value to my ideal of humanity. For example, a doctor who would perform an abortion to save the mother’s life is more valuable than one who would let both die rather than perform an abortion on the premise that an imaginary being might exist and be more angry about the abortion than anything.

          Who are you more likely to feed: the neighbor’s kid who missed lunch and the parents won’t be home for a couple of hours or a starving child on another continent who will be dead from starvation tomorrow? (This is Kodie’s question that you avoided but in a different form.)

        • Ameribear

          Their value to my ideal of humanity.

          So your saying the lives of those who agree with your ideal of humanity and are willing to contribute to the value of it are worth more than those who disagree with your ideal of humanity and are not willing to contribute to it. What’s to stop you and your group from gaining power and exterminating everyone who disagrees with your ideal of humanity and refuses to conform to it?

          Who are you more likely to feed:

          Both.

        • Greg G.

          What’s to stop you and your group from gaining power and exterminating everyone who disagrees with your ideal of humanity and refuses to conform to it?

          I’m not Catholic.

        • Ameribear

          No but you’re a smart ass. If one group of humans gets to decide the value of the lives of another group of humans there’s nothing stopping them from declaring the extermination of that group to be their duty.

        • Greg G.

          There is nothing stopping one group from exterminating another group. Some genocides are based on religion so religion doesn’t help. The Catholic Church has done that many times through history during pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, wars, and massacres. I have never, ever personally participated in an action that resulted in somebody’s death, though I am prepared to defend an innocent person against an aggressor.

          My point was that we all have to figure it out on our own. You shouldn’t let the Pope make decisions for you. You shouldn’t base your decisions on 2500 year old traditions that no longer apply. You should not base your sexual decisions according to what you are told by people who are either professionally celibate or lying about being celibate. You should not base your actions on what you are told by people who pretend God communicates with them.

        • Ameribear

          You conveniently gloss over the fact that genocides and massacres have been the result of plenty of secular authorities.

          My point was that we all have to figure it out on our own.

          Some people have figured it out on their own that others are
          unworthy of life and should be eliminated.

          You should not base your actions on what you are told by people who pretend God communicates with them.

          You should actually try to offer effective counter arguments instead of throwing up the religion block when you can’t. You should not base your beliefs on what you are told by people who believe we have to figure it out on our own.

        • Greg G.

          You conveniently gloss over the fact that genocides and massacres have been the result of plenty of secular authorities.

          Yes, and when those secular authorities claim to be pious and moral, it is all the more hypocritical. But they don’t claim to be doing it with God’s blessing.

          Some people have figured it out on their own that others are
          unworthy of life and should be eliminated.

          The Catholic Church does that and claims moral authority and God’s blessing.

          You should actually try to offer effective counter arguments instead of throwing up the religion block when you can’t. You should not base your beliefs on what you are told by people who believe we have to figure it out on our own.

          You are rehashing PRATTs. I see no reason to counter the arguments already countered. If you keep repeating them like a clown, you will be laughed at like a clown.

        • Ameribear

          The Catholic Church does that and claims moral authority and God’s blessing.

          Where?

          You are rehashing PRATTs. I see no reason to counter the arguments already countered. If you keep repeating them like a clown, you will be laughed at like a clown.

          You haven’t countered anything clown and I’m the one laughing.

        • Greg G.

          Where?

          I explained that to you two posts up.

          You haven’t countered anything clown and I’m the one laughing.

          You just proved to us that you have the memory of brain-damaged goldfish. That’s why you think nothing has been countered. Maybe you should get tattoos like the guy in the movie Memento when you learn something so you can be reminded of it every time you forget.

        • Ameribear

          The Catholic Church does that and claims moral authority and God’s blessing.

          You’re insinuating the Catholic church still does that. You said DOES THAT which means you’re accusing it of still doing those things today. Show me where it still conducts any of those things you mention TODAY, NOW.

          You can’t, which means all you’re capable of doing is resorting to the same typical BS atheist cheap shots we’ve all heard before that do nothing but reveal your intellectual dishonesty and laziness.

        • adam

          ” Show me where it still conducts any of those things you mention TODAY, NOW.”

          AIDs and Condoms

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16ff24b0a7ceb21423959ec810a1e8a2520675c1cde50d310879942c65ff9482.jpg

        • Greg G.

          You’re insinuating the Catholic church still does that.

          You are trying to break down the sentence into separate clauses to try to make it say something I am not saying. You are trying to be dishonest yet you accuse me of resorting to cheap shots.

          When someone points to what the hierarchy of the Church does, you say that the Church is the members. When someone points to things the members are doing, you say that it is not official doctrine. It’s all you can do to deflect blame when all that matters is that the Catholics are doing it and you can’t argue that what they are doing is OK.

          Your arguments have been refuted over and over. Maybe you don’t know what a PRATT is. It is an acronym for Point Refuted A Thousand Times, though in your case, we can replace “Thousand” with “Trillion”.

          You are defending a criminal organization that sells pie-in-the-sky with fear and guilt. You don’t care whether your argument is honest or whether your “facts” are true. You have earned all the scorn you get.

          The internet is huge. Go wear out your welcome elsewhere.

        • Michael Neville

          The internet is huge. Go wear out your welcome elsewhere.

          +10

        • Ameribear

          You are trying to break down the sentence into separate clauses to try to make it say something I am not saying. You are trying to be dishonest yet you accuse me of resorting to cheap shots.

          “The Catholic Church does that and claims moral authority and God’s blessing.”

          There’s your sentence. Show me how I’m trying to break it into separate clauses. You said DOES THAT. Prove that statement is true by showing us that the Catholic church continues to engage in pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, wars, and massacres.

          I’m not going to respond to the rest of this post because A you’re lying about what I previously said and B I don’t have anything left to say about this because we already spent weeks on this earlier this year.

          You don’t care whether your argument is honest or whether your “facts” are true.

          You don’t care that you’re incapable of thinking through the talking point’s you keep puking up and that you can’t back up the asinine assertions you make.

          You have earned all the scorn you get.

          Oh dear, how will I ever be able to go on because some atheist BS artist (pardon the redundancy) has scorned me?

        • Greg G.


          The Catholic Church does that and claims moral authority and God’s blessing.”

          There’s your sentence. Show me how I’m trying to break it into separate clauses. You said DOES THAT.

          Right there.

          Prove that statement is true by showing us that the Catholic church continues to engage in pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, wars, and massacres.

          You are like an alcoholic saying, “Prove that I haven’t stopped drinking. I haven’t had a drink in thirty minutes.”

          They have been involved in wars and massacres within the last century. The Church was friendly with the Nazis and the Catholic Centre Party voted to essentially make Hitler a dictator.

          Massacre or pogrom?
          Rwanda genocide: Catholic church sorry for role of priests and nuns in killings [Link]

          Rwanda’s Catholic Church says sorry for its role in 1994 genocide [Link]

          Own up to it or prove that the Church won’t ever do anything like that the next time they get the chance. Also prove that they are not involved in anything like this now that we won’t find out about until twenty years from now.

        • Pofarmer

          The Cristeros rebellion is just barely past a Century.

        • Ameribear

          They have been involved in wars and massacres within the last century. The Church was friendly with the Nazis and the Catholic Centre Party voted to essentially make Hitler a dictator.

          The Nazi’s sought the destruction of the church and many priests, nuns and religious died in their concentration camps. There was a Papal encyclical issued condemning what the Nazi’z were spreading and Pope Pious the 12th was known to have been directly involved in a plot to assassinate Hilter. Pious the 12th also supervised a rescue network that saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of jews.

          http://mentalfloss.com/article/70776/when-pope-ordered-death-adolf-hitler

          https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2016/06/17/pius-xii-active-conspirator-three-anti-hitler-plots/

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest_Barracks_of_Dachau_Concentration_Camp

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_persecution_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Poland

          https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/catholic-martyrs-of-the-holocaust

          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/860-000-lives-saved-the-truth-about-pius-xii-and-the-jews

          That’s it? You posted links to pieces from two of the top leftist propaganda mouthpieces about a handful of Africans involved in a tribalistic purge and call that your proof that the church is still involved in massacres. You’re an absolute joke but then again you are an atheist.

          Own up to it or prove that the Church won’t ever do anything like that the next time they get the chance. Also prove that they are not involved in anything like this now that we won’t find out about until twenty years from now.

          You are already responsible for enabling, defending and supporting the ongoing massacre of millions of innocent lives that you’re too brainwashed to recognize the presence of and you have the temerity to demand that I prove the church isn’t going to engage in what you’re still supporting. Un-freaking-beleivable. Wow, you really are that demented.

          No we’re not going to engage in any of that for one simple reason. You are already doing a fine job of eliminating yourselves so you don’t need anyone’s help. The level of dementia your worldview is rooted in has zero chance at anything remotely resembling a future so all we’ve got to do is sit back and wait.

        • Greg G.

          Are you saying the Catholic Church did not also support Hitler? Then you are a liar.

          Are you saying the Church did not apologize for their role in Rwanda? Then you are a liar.

          You admitted that the Catholic Church has done pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, wars, and massacres in the past and you do not know that they will never do them in the future, and you do not know that they are doing any now. Fortunately, the Catholic Church doesn’t have the political power theses days to do crusades and inquisitions as they did in the past.

        • Ameribear

          Are you saying the Catholic Church did not also support Hitler? Then you are a liar.

          I posted plenty of support (which you apparently didn’t bother to read) for the claim that the Church not only did not support Hitler but actively sought to undermine him and the third Reich on numerous fronts included conspiring to having him assassinated. You still believe that if some Catholics are guilty of malfeasance then the entire Catholic Church supports it which makes you an intellectual slug and a prejudiced bigot.

          Are you saying the Church did not apologize for their role in Rwanda? Then you are a liar.

          I am saying that the local hierarchy apologized for the actions of a handful of it’s members who failed to properly subordinate their tribal loyalties to their Catholic faith. Tribalism is a huge problem in Africa that the Church is still combating. You are trying to pass this off as evidence that the entire Catholic Church is still engaging in atrocities which is beyond laughable. This is a pathetic joke that could only come from a matching source.

          You admitted that the Catholic Church has done pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, wars, and massacres in the past and you do not know that they will never do them in the future, and you do not know that they are doing any now.

          I do know that YOU are but your so fricking brainwashed that you don’t see it. I could power a carrier group off your hypocrisy. This is stunning!

        • Greg G.

          You are trying to pass this off as evidence that the entire Catholic Church is still engaging in atrocities which is beyond laughable.

          It doesn’t have to be the entire Catholic Church doing something. There were Catholics doing bad things in their official capacity in the Catholic hierarchy. It took twenty years to apologize for it.

          Now prove that the Catholic Church has finished doing those things and will never do them when they get the chance.

        • Pofarmer

          You are trying to pass this off as evidence that the entire Catholic Church is still engaging in atrocities which is beyond laughable.”

          Pretty much guarantee you somewhere it is, it someone is in it’s name.

        • Ameribear

          There were Catholics doing bad things in their official capacity in the Catholic hierarchy.

          This is NOT the same thing. You said the Catholic Church DOES THAT. In order for that statement to be true you have to produce documents and encyclicals that officially proclaim said behavior to be endorsed, encouraged and binding on every Catholic.

        • adam

          “I posted plenty of support (which you apparently didn’t bother to read)
          for the claim that the Church not only did not support Hitler but
          actively sought to undermine him and the third Reich on numerous fronts https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e80ae3342e94d0907369de9b1ee6138bd97ae2280fa9634600d5ad09d36f6ca2.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          Holy fuckin shit Dude!!!!! The Catholic Church CAUSED a lot if the tribalism. These guys worked for the organization that is supposed to he the fount of all morality. You ignorant, amoral, missguided fuckstick. Holy fuckin balls I detest you and all the disshonest branwashed, mindnumbed, ignorant masses that follow those like you. God Damn you, except there ain’t one.

        • Ameribear

          You ignorant, amoral, missguided fuckstick. Holy fuckin balls I
          detest you and all the disshonest branwashed, mindnumbed, ignorant
          masses that follow those like you.

          Your entire tirade can be applied to you and everyone else that supports abortion numbnuts.

          Those of you living in the abortions glass house are the last ones to be throwing stones only your to dishonest, brainwashed, mind-numbed, and ignorant to realize it.

        • Pofarmer

          FUCK. YOU. We’re talking about 100,000’s of thousands of living, breathing, loving, feeling, caring people largely hacked to death by other people with Machete’s. You’re talking about a dot the size of a period at the end of a sentence failing to implant. Let me reiterate. FUCK. YOU. You ignorant deluded douche. The fact you can’t tell the difference is stunning.

        • Susan

          The fact that you can’t tell the difference is stunning.

          But think of the tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, (I wish I knew the code for exponents) souls

          So, la de dah.

          Reproductive rights are the same as hacking people to death in numbers (also requiring exponents)

        • Pofarmer

          I probably shouldn’t have tee’d off like that. But, holy shit. He’s here being an apologist for an organization that had slaves up until the 19 fuckin 90’s. An organization that stole hundreds of thousands of kids from single mothers till who knows when. An organization that promoted a woman who caused suffering through poor medical practice. And these things were done BECAUSE of their doctrines, not in spite of it. It’s such a warped view of the world.

        • Ameribear

          We’re talking about one group of humans that dehumanized
          another which exactly what abortion is and the fact that you can’t make that connection is what’s stunning.

          Most abortions take place between 8 to 13 weeks so what gets aborted is nothing like a dot the size of a period.

        • Pofarmer

          I didn’t think there was a distinctiodistinction, according to you?

        • Ameribear

          There is no distinction in personhood only in development. You guys are the ones who justify abortion by continuously referring to the single cell as if that’s all it ever is.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No, you are determined to ignore reality, so we’re working with you slowly.

          Let’s just start with the cell. No brain, not sensation, nothing. Your own actions (wanting to ignore the cell and focus on the morality of abortion later in the process) make clear that you know what we do, that the cell is very much not the same thing as a newborn baby. The moral error of killing the cell is insignificant (I would say nonexistent) compared to that of killing the baby.

          Get it?

        • Ameribear

          Let’s just start with the cell.

          Let’s just start with the fact that you intentionally insist on using misleading definitions in your arguments. I will not accept your premise that it is just a cell.

          that the cell is very much not the same thing as a newborn baby

          Only in terms of development, not in personhood. Every bit
          of the newborn baby develops from the organism that comes into existence after conception.

          The moral error of killing the cell is insignificant (I would say nonexistent) compared to that of killing the baby.

          To you it is because you either deny or refuse to acknowledge
          the distinctions science makes regarding human development.

          Get it?

        • adam

          ” I will not accept your premise that it is just a cell.”

          We already understand that you do not accept reality by your undying support for The Church

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ee57cb233d671c38fb55fe6e7f6f030457fc4070e7ae4a15a1e148e58eba246.jpg

          “Only in terms of development, not in personhood.”

          but it IS developing into a person.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38105552a1ee7bdfd6f9024d3e27ed0f405887ee3fd5341d468f517d8fdaf963.jpg

        • adam

          “To you it is because you either deny or refuse to acknowledge the distinctions science makes regarding human development.”

          You mean like you refuse AND deny personhood development

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0461e824b813e55655838136eed283929cc1dafcd1df35e526e2692bc407d7a8.jpg

        • Ameribear

          That’s right and I’ve offered plenty of reasons why and asked you and everyone else here to make a convincing argument for the belief that personhood develops and I’m still waiting. If you disagree then offer up a cogent argument instead of irrelevant memes.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “If you’re going to be mean and not use my definition of a ‘person,’ well, then I’ll just take my ball and go home.”

          Ask yourself why you’re so keen on using particular definitions of words. I’m happy to discuss things and don’t need any particular definition at all. I wonder why that doesn’t work for you.

        • Ameribear

          I could ask you the same question. You’re keen on using particular definitions of words because it’s a tactic you use to presume what you’re arguing for. Is there some reason you won’t accept the embryological definition? If you won’t why should anyone accept yours?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You still don’t get it? Because of people like you, hung up on definitions, I don’t get attached to the definitions of the interesting words in a high-emotion conversation. You want to call a half-eaten tub of yogurt a “person”? OK, for our conversation, that’s a “person.” That particular definition is useless to me, so I won’t use it.

          And, going back to the “person” example, my next move is to demand that you tell me what the newborn is but the single cell isn’t. That is, what word captures the vast difference between them?

          You don’t like “person”? No problem—then you tell me. Correct my statement: “The newborn is a person, and the single cell isn’t.”

          And you can’t do it. Which pretty much makes my point.

        • Ameribear

          So you won’t accept the
          scientific definition and you won’t give me a reason to accept yours.
          This is understandable because accepting the scientific definition
          requires you to come up with a cogent counter argument instead of
          simply assuming what you actually have to prove, and proving that the
          scientific definition is false hasn’t been done yet. And you can’t
          do it. Which pretty much makes my point.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you won’t accept the
          scientific definition

          Definition of what?? We’ve been over this. We can use your definitions.

        • Ameribear

          The correct scientific definition say’s what you insist on referring
          to as a single cell is way more and that the only difference between it and a newborn is it’s stage of development. Your stacked deck question presumes that the single cell isn’t a person but never proves it. There’s no other way of wording it. That’s dishonest and I’m not falling for it.

        • Susan

          This is what I got when I looked up “zygote, a scientific definition”:

          a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes; a fertilized ovum.

          That sounds more like a sdientific definition than your “way more”. It certainly doesn’t say it’s a person.

          “Personhood” is not a scientific subject.

          Your stacked deck question presumes that the single cell isn’t a person

          (bangs head on desk)

        • Ameribear

          Your definition is selectively missing some key distinctions. The zygote is still a whole human organism that is genetically distinct from both parents. It is nothing like any other cell or organ which you have to prove otherwise and you haven’t.

          There is no reason to think they were “designed” and it’s none of your business how other people’s reproductive systems
          function.

          Stick to the points you haven’t refuted yet.

          No one said that. The point is that it’s not your body and it’s none of your business.

          That’s what their whole mindset infers. The point is it’s not the mothers body either dimwit. When are you going to stop letting the abortion industry do your thinking for you?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The correct scientific definition say’s what you insist on referring
          to as a single cell is way more and that the only difference between it and a newborn is it’s stage of development.

          And the only difference between my bank account and Bill Gates’s is pretty much all of Bill Gates’s bank account. So you can see that we’re pretty much identical in the finances department.

          Your stacked deck question presumes that the single cell isn’t a person but never proves it. There’s no other way of wording it. That’s dishonest and I’m not falling for it.

          What you shouldn’t fall for is your own deceptive agenda. I’ve told you so many times that I’m pretty sure you’ve gotten it by now: I don’t care about definitions for controversial words. If a word is causing us difficulty, I’ll just drop it and not use it. I’m so easygoing that I’ve invited you to correct my sentence: “The newborn is a person but the single cell isn’t” by replacing the word “person” by whatever you want.

          So, no. I’m not the one being difficult here. You’re clinging to your definition of the word “person” like a life preserver because that’s all you’ve got. When someone doesn’t want to fight you within the pages of the dictionary, you don’t know what to do. You say “I’m not falling for it” when you mean “uncle.”

        • Ameribear

          So you can see that we’re pretty much
          identical in the finances department.

          A bank account is still a bank account regardless of the size of the balance.

          You’re clinging to your definition of the word “person” like a life preserver because that’s all you’ve got.

          I’m clinging to my definition of the word person because it’s a well-recognized datum of science. I am also clinging to it because if
          personhood is linked to development, it raises a whole host of moral and ethical difficulties that I’ve brought up that you and many others here have failed to address. No one here has offered any other suitable definition only the patently ridiculous insistence that it’s not a person while it’s still in the womb. Your question assumes personhood isn’t present at conception but never explains why and allows for no other answer that would still allow it to make sense.

        • adam

          “There is no distinction in personhood only in development. ”

          Development into personhood

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/121670126727fb70083ce9688c4d61a65733742a289d1710ab2e6475100ee6eb.png

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Most abortions take place between 8 to 13 weeks so what gets aborted is nothing like a dot the size of a period

          So you’d be OK with abortions that did act on a zygote that was no bigger than a dot the size of a period?

        • Ameribear

          Uh no. A person is a person from conception to natural death.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yup, I knew I could count on you to retreat into your dictionary argument.

          Let’s forget the p-word since it confuses you so much. Why did you say, “Most abortions take place between 8 to 13 weeks”? Were you just making conversation? Or is it significant to your argument that most fetuses aborted aren’t microscopic? Seems to me that if a person is a person from conception until death as an old person, it shouldn’t matter. You should be as horrified by someone taking a Plan B pill the morning after the condom broke as someone getting a third-trimester abortion.

        • Ameribear

          Were you just making conversation? Or is it significant to your argument that most fetuses aborted aren’t microscopic?

          You keep trying to justify abortion by continuously referring to the single cell in an attempt to equate it to any other single cell or to convince yourselves that that’s all that gets aborted. Eight to thirteen weeks later
          it’s way more than just a single cell.

          You should be as horrified by someone taking a Plan B pill the morning after the condom broke as someone getting a third-trimester abortion.

          Yep.

        • adam

          “You keep trying to justify abortion by continuously referring to the
          single cell in an attempt to equate it to any other single cell”

          What?

          The ‘single cell’ isnt a single cell?

          “Let’s just start with the fact that you
          intentionally insist on using misleading definitions in your arguments. I
          will not accept your premise that it is just a cell. ”

          Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/recent-comments/#1Z1ySFiZG6zujdbB.99
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb3cf31802ee6a04952cbcc243fc939a9c7733dab0b439304cafbbd0cdb0c969.jpg

        • Ameribear

          One more time. Embryology defines what comes into existence after conception as a new, distinct, separate, living human being in it’s earliest stages of development. No it’s not just another single cell. If you can prove otherwise have at it.

        • adam

          Still not a person, if you can prove otherwise have at it.

        • Ameribear

          Still no counter argument or refutation. You are assuming your premise and you and everyone else here still haven’t proven it.

        • adam

          No, YOU are assuming your premise

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Eight to thirteen weeks later it’s way more than just a single cell.

          It’s hilarious (or face-palmingly frustrating) that you still don’t understand what you’re saying when you come back to this point over and over and over again. How thick are you?

        • Ameribear

          What is it you think I don’t understand?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You keep making the Argument from Potential–the single cell ain’t much now, but it will be. You’re confusing what it is as a single cell and what it will be–either at 8-13 weeks or as a newborn. That’s the fallacy inherent in the Argument from Potential.

          But forget all that. You’re saying that it’s a person as a single cell just as it is as a newborn. That is, they’re equivalent in the moral sense (development, number of cells, and all that presumably are unimportant)–which is the only sense that’s important. As a result, you should be delighted to talk about it as a single cell. It’s morally equivalent to a newborn, right? If your antagonist would be a monster for being OK with killing a newborn, he’s just walked into your trap–because you want him to see the moral equivalence and take his abhorrence for killing the newborn to the single cell.

          But you keep bringing up the argument from potential, which defeats your entire position! That you even think the substantial development by 8-13 weeks is worth mentioning shows that you see a difference.

          Kinda sad when the other guy has to help you avoid the pitfalls in your own argument, isn’t it? You’re welcome.

        • Ameribear

          You keep making the Argument from Potential–the single cell ain’t much now, but it will be.

          I keep making the argument that it is a human organism in its earliest stages of development which you intentionally ignore and have yet to disprove.

          You’re confusing what it is as a single cell and what it will be–either at 8-13 weeks or as a newborn. That’s the fallacy
          inherent in the Argument from Potential.

          Your assuming that the argument from potential only involves personhood and it doesn’t.

          You’re saying that it’s a person as a single cell just as it is as a newborn. That is, they’re equivalent in the moral sense (development, number of cells, and all that presumably are unimportant)–which is the only sense that’s important.

          Development, number of cells, and all that have no bearing on personhood.

          As a result, you should be delighted to talk about it as a single cell.

          I am delighted to talk about it in it’s correct scientific definition.

          It’s morally equivalent to a newborn, right? If your antagonist would be a monster for being OK with killing a newborn, he’s just walked into your trap–because you want him to see the moral equivalence and take his abhorrence for killing the newborn to the single cell.

          We’re making progress.

          But you keep bringing up the argument from potential, which defeats your entire position!

          Only if you insist on framing the argument from potential in terms of personhood. You’ve correctly extrapolated my argument above so I’m baffled as to why you still believe I’m arguing that personhood is what exists in potentiality. If, as you deduced earlier that I “want him to see the moral equivalence and take his abhorrence for killing the newborn to the single cell.” then logically I can’t be arguing for the potentiality of the person but that the person is there from the moment of conception.

          That you even think the substantial development by 8-13 weeks is worth mentioning shows that you see a difference.

          I see a difference in development not personhood and I bring it up because so many here keep believing that a single cell is all that get’s aborted which is false. By the time the mother realizes she’s pregnant, decides to get an abortion and makes an appointment it’s 8 to 13 weeks later which means it’s way past being just a single cell. This in no way defeats my argument that it’s still a person from the moment of conception.

          Kinda sad when the other guy has to help you avoid the pitfalls in your own argument, isn’t it?

          I’m certain I can count on you to do that when It actually happens.

        • adam

          “We’re talking about one group of humans that dehumanized another”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/151925a51e6a55d5bd1418d3a12f8fa99b39d9a82fb1f8468f8e6fcd942470f3.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          We’re talking about one group of humans that dehumanized
          another

          That is exactly what the pro-forced birth crowd is doing to women.

        • Ameribear

          No that’s what you’re doing to women by redefining a properly
          functioning human reproductive system as a disability and pregnancy as some infection.

        • Pofarmer

          No one here has done that. What you’re doing is redefining a woman as property who has no rights over her own body. If all you have is this emotional, straw manning nonsense, you could surely be on your way?

        • Ameribear

          That’s what’s at the root of your mindset. A Woman with a naturally functioning reproductive system is not a woman but a woman with a suppressed or disabled reproductive system is. You’re also redefining unborn human lives as unjust intruders and parasites.

        • adam

          ” A Woman with a naturally functioning reproductive system is not a woman
          but a woman with a suppressed or disabled reproductive system is. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d450afc215bc8072fb8f6e52f592d6f7e75b209f815f55ef048d449996a9e1f4.gif

        • Greg G.

          Your idiocy is growing by the day. You are creating strawmen to argue against because you can’t argue what was actually said.

        • adam

          “You are creating strawmen to argue against because you can’t argue what was actually said.”

          Reminds me of CSNY

          And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey

          Love the one you’re with

          Love the one you’re with

          Read more: Crosby Stills Nash – Love The One You’re With Lyrics | MetroLyrics

        • Greg G.

          It reminds me of Conway Twitty’s It’s Only Make Believe.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          Here here.

        • Ameribear

          Then tell me what you think is actually being said.

        • Greg G.

          Hint: it’s nothing like “woman with a suppressed or disabled reproductive system”.

        • Ameribear

          I do not wish to misconstrue your point nor put words in your mouth so please be more specific.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s great to know you’re against contraception as well. Hypocrit.

        • Ameribear

          It’s great to know you haven’t
          refuted my point.

        • Pofarmer

          You mean your strawman?

        • Pofarmer

          This is kind of ironic, coming from someone who is obviously starting to use arguments from “Natural Law” which states that the Womans main purpose is to have children. I’m sorry that your religious teachings have damaged you to the point you can’t understand an honest disagrement.

        • Ameribear

          If it’s not at least one of a woman’s purposes then why is she equipped for it?

        • Pofarmer

          You are committing the fallacy of turning an Is into an Ought, ala Hume, whom I’m sure you disagree with. There’s also a bunch of other theological baggage there I don’t feel like unpacking.

        • adam

          Since you have an asshole and a penis, isnt one of your purposes Gay Sex?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7128a3eb16308d24c6b38263e28d5a2baa3e91f3884491e9cdfe71444bc0263.jpg

        • Greg G.

          If it’s not at least one of a woman’s purposes then why is she equipped for it?

          You are a disgusting human being and your religion is just as much to blame as you are for allowing it.

          I think a person gets a say in their own purposes. For most of history, people traveled from place to place by walking. We are all equipped for it but I drive to work everyday that I work, because I have a choice.

          A woman might be biologically capable of having babies but if the woman is not prepared mentally, financially, or any other reason she does not want to have a child, she should not have a child and nobody should force her to do it for their own religious reasons.

        • Pofarmer

          You are a disgusting human being

          The Catholic Church is good at bringing out the worst in people. Obedience as love. Fear as commitment. Hate as concern.

        • Ameribear

          You are a disgusting human being and your
          religion is just as much to blame as you are for allowing it.

          You are a monumental hypocrite and your brain washing is
          just as much to blame as you are for allowing it.

          I think a person gets a say in their own purposes. For most of history, people traveled from place to place by walking….because I have a choice.

          The millions of persons who’ve been aborted never got a say
          in their own purposes because others had a choice.

          A woman might be biologically capable of having babies but if the woman is not prepared mentally, financially, or any
          other reason she does not want to have a child, she should not have a child and nobody should force her to do it for their own religious reasons.

          Then she shouldn’t be assuming the risks of getting pregnant
          if she’s not ready or unwilling to accept the responsibilities and she shouldn’t be lied to about the effectiveness of birth control. Advocating for the murder of unborn children as a final stage of contraception is just about as vile and reprehensible as it gets. Hypocrite.

        • Kodie

          I’m going to go ahead and say any fetus inside any woman’s uterus, if they were able to make a choice, would be a person. As it is, they must defer to the executive decision of the WOMAN IT IS INSIDE OF AND HOLDING HOSTAGE.

        • Ameribear

          Who is the they you are referring to?

          Any mindset or world view that equates pregnancy with a hostage crisis has no future.

        • Kodie

          Oh, you think you make a clever trap? Your argument is really shallow. I think it is healthy and responsible to consider abortion as an option, considering the alternative. If you are FORCED, the way you want women to be FORCED, it is a hostage situation. Your future is bleak compared to a future with choices that are not burdened with the superstition you have.

        • Kodie

          Why do men have nipples? Why do you have feet if you’re not designed to be a dancer? Why do you have a brain if you’re not going to use it? It’s not my purpose to be a mother, it’s not my purpose to be a cow for all men and raise children. I am not the feeder and the chauffeur and the scheduler and the nurse. Those jobs aren’t part of my equipment. You are a total misogynist, if you think being pregnant is a woman’s “purpose”. That’s so fucking hateful toward women of you to even say such a thing. We knew this already so we are only repeating ourselves.

        • adam

          “No that’s what you’re doing to women by redefining a properly
          functioning human reproductive system as a disability ”

          You are thinking of the bible again:

          King James Bible
          Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04e5ae761fe126105b4d80b68041c49653909ef1043f9de201675c854345be9a.jpg

        • adam

          “We’re talking about one group of humans that dehumanized another”

          AGAIN, you mean the Church:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04e5ae761fe126105b4d80b68041c49653909ef1043f9de201675c854345be9a.jpg

        • Greg G.

          If a full-grown adult was living in another person’s body without consent, the host person should be able to have the other person removed, even if it meant the other person would die.

        • Ameribear

          That’s absurd since that cannot happen. If you keep referring to the mothers body as her property, property rights cannot trump the
          right to life. If a drunk breaks into your house and passes out on your couch you can call the Police to have him physically removed but you can’t use lethal force on him.

        • Greg G.

          If a drunk breaks into your house and passes out on your couch you can call the Police to have him physically removed but you can’t use lethal force on him.

          Depends on where you are. Some places you can shoot him if you are afraid of him. The step-son of a guy I used to work with broke into a house to steal a TV and was legally shot to death. The kid was still in high school.

          Exodus 22:2 (NRSV)If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred;

        • Kodie

          They are physically removed and cannot live outside the womb. That means it’s not a person yet. People can live outside of a uterus. Greg G. did not mention lethal force, only that the hypothetical full-grown adult human would die if removed from inside the other person. I gave you this problem the other day, but you didn’t get it then, and you don’t get it now. If you have a drunk break into your house, but if you called the police to remove them, they would be forced to kill the drunk in the process, is it then your responsibility for not locking your doors to house a drunk stranger for the rest of their life?

        • Ameribear

          They live inside the womb because the mother sustains them with nutrients and other things to allow their development to continue. By your warped logic, any human outside of the womb who cannot feed themselves or breathe without the use of external equipment or who relies on some other person to take care of anything a normal healthy person can isn’t a person. Are prematurely born children in neonatal ICU incubators not a persons until they can live and breathe on their own?

          It is patently absurd and cold blooded to try and make the distinction that an infant seconds before birth isn’t a person and can be killed and is a person and cannot be killed as soon as the are out of the birth canal.

        • Kodie

          As we’ve tried to hammer into your skull before, the mother doesn’t merely sustain it, she contributes physical matter to build it. It didn’t have matter, where does the matter come from?

          They live inside the womb because they are not ready to be born yet. Because they’re not built yet. Because they are not persons yet.

        • Ameribear

          And I’ve tried to hammer into your skull that the person grows out of what comes into existence after conception.

          http://www.ehd.org/prenatal-images-index.php

          You have also once again evaded addressing the consequences of your warped, self-absorbed delusions so I’ll point them out to you again.

          Any human outside of the womb who cannot feed themselves or breathe without the use of external equipment or who relies on some other person to take care of anything a normal healthy person can isn’t a person.

          Any prematurely born infant in a neo-natal ICU Incubator wasn’t ready to be born either so that isn’t a person.

          Newborns don’t stop developing after birth so birth is an arbitrary point in the spectrum. Since that is widely known and accepted, by your heartless mindset you shouldn’t have any problem with infanticide.

          You must accept these consequences of your argument if you wish to remain intellectually honest and consistent which makes you truly heartless. Refute it or own it.

        • Kodie

          So you’re avoiding what I said and going back to your imbecilic accusations. I think it’s absurd to obligate care to a thing that doesn’t even have lungs yet. It’s not inside of you, so it’s none of your business.

        • Ameribear

          No, you’re avoiding what I said and are by default embracing the logical consequences of your belief even though you don’t have the courage to admit it. You believe in subjugating human life to sexual gratification. Own up to it.

        • Kodie

          What the fuck is your hang-up, man? If something didn’t exist before two people had sex, what do you think makes it exist immediately after? If someone wanders into your home that you don’t want there, would you call the police knowing the only way to get him to leave would be lethal force, or let the stranger live in your home indefinitely? 9 months? This thing can’t live outside the womb, it’s not ready to be a person yet, so therefore, it isn’t a person, it’s a parasite.

          That’s not to say the stranger in your home is not a person, by comparison, they are, but you would not expect them to die just because they had to live somewhere besides your house. Funny you should label them “drunk”. Some “drunk” stumbles into your home, etc.

          You really are a judgmental fuck who only cares about yourself and not anyone else. You have your rules and standards and you apply them to other people’s situations with whom you cannot empathize. A woman is a person – the period at the end of a sentence is not a person. If it could live outside the womb, it would be ready to be a person. That’s how biology BIOLOGY works. Not the fantastical way you imagine.

        • Greg G.

          They live inside the womb

          They live inside somebody else’s womb. That’s important. You are depersonalizing the owner of the womb. It may be living inside somebody else’s womb without consent. When it’s born, the mother may consent to take care of it or not. The people who take care of the infant do so willingly.

        • Pofarmer

          The owner of the womb is merely an incubator. Incubators have no rights.

        • Ameribear

          They live inside somebody else’s womb.

          Because the owner of that womb is 50% responsible for them being there and in their state of need.

          You are depersonalizing the owner of the womb.

          I’m depersonalizing the owner of the womb because I’m pointing out that it is part of a human reproductive system that happened to work
          like it supposed to and created another human.

          It may be living inside somebody else’s womb without consent.

          If it’s there it’s because the mother consented to the act that caused it to be there regardless of whether or not she attempted to prevent it.

          When it’s born, the mother may consent to take care of it or not.

          Irrelevant.

        • Greg G.

          If it’s there it’s because the mother consented to the act that caused it to be there regardless of whether or not she attempted to prevent it.

          There is more to sex than reproduction but you listen to people who don’t have sex as a profession. You are being judgmental about the act of sex. You revel in trying to punish sex every time you get the chance.

          When it’s born, the mother may consent to take care of it or not.

          Irrelevant.

          Exactly, but it needs to be said when you bring up such bullshit as:

          “By your warped logic, any human outside of the womb who cannot feed themselves or breathe without the use of external equipment or who relies on some other person to take care of anything a normal healthy person can isn’t a person. Are prematurely born children in neonatal ICU incubators not a persons until they can live and breathe on their own?”

        • Ameribear

          There is more to sex than reproduction but you listen to people who don’t have sex as a profession. You are being judgmental about the act of sex. You revel in trying to punish sex every time you get the chance.

          Your brain washing prevents you from being honest enough to
          admit to what’s staring you in the face. How is pointing out that reproductive systems exist and tend to function as they were designed to being judgemental? Your brainwashing won’t allow you to acknowledge the most obvious part of our human nature is to have reproductive systems and to use them to further the human
          race. In your ass backwards universe someone with everything intact and functioning properly is less of a human than someone who has voluntarily suppressed a part of their biology.

          Exactly, but it needs to be said when you bring up such bullshit as:

          Those are the logical consequences of linking personhood to development. If you think they’re BS then refute them.

        • Susan

          How is pointing out that reproductive systems exist and tend to function as they were designed to being judgemental?

          There is no reason to think they were “designed” and it’s none of your business how other people’s reproductive systems function.

          In your ass backwards universe someone with everything intact and functioning properly is less of a human than someone who has voluntarily suppressed a part of their biology.

          No one said that. The point is that it’s not your body and it’s none of your business.

        • Ameribear

          There is no
          reason to think they were “designed” and it’s none of your
          business how other people’s reproductive systems
          function.

          Stick to the points you haven’t refuted yet.

          No one said that. The point is that it’s not your body and it’s none of your business.

          That’s what their whole mindset infers. The point is it’s not the mothers body either dimwit. When are you going to stop letting the abortion industry do your thinking for you?

        • Susan

          Stick to the points you haven’t refuted yet.

          Is that an admission that your claim that something is “designed” is completely unsupported? I addressed that point. You haven’t supported it.

          That’s what you’ve done so far. I don’t have to refute your points. You haven’t established them. Your ignorance of biology and the philosophical history of personhood arguments is evident.

          A brain is necessary but not sufficient to establish personhood. You don’t just get to declare a single cell a person and demand that I refute it. You’ve never made a case.

          That’s what their whole mindset infers. The point is it’s not the mother’s body either dimwit.

          And there you go, going off the rails again. Of course, it’s the woman’s body and everything it entails. That single cell is nothing without using her body.

          It’s not a unique mindset. You haven’t provide a single case where you would be forced to donate even a pint of blood to preserve an actual person’s life.

          Nor have you demonstrated the personhood of a zygote (which is where you draw the line).

          No. You are special pleading for women to be incubators, whether or not they choose to be.

          You have not made a single point that demands refutation.

          It’s as simple as saying I don’t accept your points because you haven’t made them.

        • Ameribear

          Is that an admission that your claim that something is “designed” is completely unsupported? I addressed that point. You haven’t supported it.

          No, it’s an admission by you that you’re attempting to change the subject because you’ve failed to defend anything you’ve said.

          That’s what you’ve done so far. I don’t have to refute your points.

          I’m betting it’s because you don’t have any coherent counterpoints just like everyone else here. You don’t convince anyone by refusing to refute their points and offer any of your own.

          You haven’t established them. Your ignorance of biology and the philosophical history of personhood arguments is evident.

          My points are that embryology says it’s a human being from the start and that means it’s a person from the start. If you insist on linking personhood to development then tell us clearly and unambiguously when and why it becomes a person. I’ve asked that question repeatedly and no one has been able to give an answer that isn’t racked with horrific logical consequences that they’ve never even attempted to address so put up or shut up.

          A brain is necessary but not sufficient to establish personhood.

          The brain is present and functioning in the first trimester and has developed out of what came into existence after conception. No one opened up the embryo and installed it. What else is needed to make a person?

          You don’t just get to declare a single cell a person and demand that I refute it. You’ve never made a case.

          I have made the case but you either are unable to, or more likely deliberately refusing to, grasp or acknowledge the important distinctions between what you keep referring to as a single cell and what embryology says it really is. It is in the form of a single cell in it’s very earliest stage of development and for a very brief period of time. By the time the mother even realizes she’s pregnant it’s way past being just a single cell. If you disagree, stop puking up your pre-programmed talking points and tell us why.

          And there you go, going off the rails again. Of course, it’s the woman’s body and everything it entails. That single cell is nothing without using her body.

          It is genetically distinct from both parents so it is not a part of the mothers body you plank. The human organism that came into existence after conception is there and in it’s state of need because the reproductive systems of two persons who willfully assumed the risk worked properly. Once again I have to ask are you able to offer something other than worn out talking points that were discredited decades ago? Judging by your continuing pattern of responses I’d say no.

          Nor have you demonstrated the personhood of a zygote (which is where you draw the line).

          I’ve learned that I can never successfully demonstrate anything to a goose stepping zombie who can only follow orders from her bureau of propaganda.

          No. You are special pleading for women to be incubators, whether or not they choose to be.

          You’ve allowed someone else to convince you to dehumanize an entire class of persons on baseless talking points that you’ve robustly demonstrated you cannot think outside of.

          It’s as simple as saying I don’t accept your points because you haven’t made them.

          It’s as simple as saying you don’t accept my points because you’re too brainwashed for them to even register. Refute the points I made (which I’m betting you can’t) or I’ll take it as an admission that that is an accurate assessment.

        • Susan

          No, it’s an admission by you that you’re attempting to change the subject

          No. That was me responding to your question:

          How is pointing out that reproductive systems exist and tend to function as they were designed to being judgemental?

          You brought it up. Not me. It was hiding there all along but you out and out said it. I addressed the subject.

          I’m betting it’s because you don’t have any coherent counterpoints just like everyone else here.

          You claim a cell is a person because science says so. You have skipped over learning anything about biology and/or the philosophical arguments about personhood (except from RCC approved forced-birth literature and websites.)

          I have said that a brain is necessary but not sufficient. If you could show I was wrong, you wouldn’t use terms like “murder”, “innocence” and “genocide”. You wouldn’t claim the cell “needed” anything.

          All of those terms refer to things with brains. Sadly, only humans with brains because we’re a self-absorbed species.

          Also, you haven’t shown a single example where you can successfully argue that someone should donate their organs to another person even if they have a brain and have been born

          You haven’t shown personhood. You’ve only asserted it. You haven’t shown the moral/legal obligation for a woman to donate her organs/long term health/life (real consequences, which I know are not a concern of your supernatural belief system) .

          It is genetically distinct from both parents so it is not a part of the mothers body you plank

          Yay it. It’s nothing. No brain. No consciousness without a woman’s body to feast on. Many women have good reasons to choose that option. Many others have good reasons not to choose that option.

          Her body. She can have four kids and not be able to have five. You don’t care. ‘Cause a brainless cell. That is your church talking. Not scientific knowledge about biology nor an honest attempt at assessing what it means to be a person.

          Once again I have to ask are you able to offer something other than worn out talking points that were discredited decades ago?

          I was dying to ask you the same thing. The difference is that I have a point. You can’t show that biologists agree with you, that philosophers agree with you, that medical ethicists agree with you, nor countless other people who’ve put some thought into this.

          They overwhelmingly don’t.

          You can show that the RCC agrees with you (an insttitution based on a tradition of making stuff up) and that other christian organizations (who seem to do much of the same) agree with you.

          Meh.

          I’ve learned that I can never successfully demonstrate anything to a goose stepping zombie who can only follow orders from her bureau of propaganda.

          I have learned that when people show you why your argument doesn’t succeed and/or fails, you attack their character instead of considering how to make a better argument.

          It’s as simple as saying you don’t accept my points because you’re too brainwashed for them to even register

          See above.

          No, Ameribear. As always, I don’t accept you