Does It Make Sense to Be a Pro-Life Atheist?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Does it make sense to be a pro-life atheist?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!


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  • purr

    confused kitty is a good one

  • $7977616

    Look lady (you sound old the way you try to talk down to me). I’m not taking you seriously because it’s obvious you can’t see how close this regime is to Hitler. Youve made yourself blind to the truth. We are losing choice and liberty every day because of the hard-core agenda of the extremist leftist cadre who’ve seized control of at least one and half branches of our government. You don’t take my (our) moral objections to killing unborn life seriously. I can’t take you seriously. You diminish the significance of my concern, how do you expect me to listen and gravely consider the merits of your fake arguments and hokey hypotheticals.

  • purr

    Oh, you went there.

    Obama = Hitler

    fer realz?

    http://abillionlaughs.com/pics/7/Grumpy-Cat-And-Obama.jpg

  • $7977616

    The historical correlations are there. (History. it’s stuff that happened before 2008. Google it.) Ohbummer’s no different in that way than every other proponent of arbitrary pragmatic centralizing government that represses individual liberties and religious freedom and consolidates power in the hands of the corrupt few. Deal with it. But I wouldn’t go where you lied and said I did. I wouldn’t actually say that Obama = Hitler. (Hitler was not an incompetent fool and an empty suit for one thing, more’s the pity.) I would say that Obama = Marion Barry or that Obama = Jesse Jackson.

    I bet you threw in the “fer realz” to prove you’re not just an old white crone. (smirk)

  • ansuz
  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Okay, now I know I don’t have to take you seriously. I’m an actual leftist (center-left on the global scale) who has been immensely disappointed with the Democratic Party’s turn to the right. The US has no strong leftist parties- it has a center-right party (the Dems) and an extreme-right party (the Repubs).

    You know what an actual, full-on Social Democrat’s policy agenda would look like? Tax rates up to 75% on the wealthiest. Minimum wage of $15, indexed to inflation. Single-payer health care. Publicly provided daycare for all children starting at age 3 (not mandatory, of course, just available). A ban on vouchers. A massive infusion of cash into public schools, including paying teachers like the professionals they are. A return of Glass-Steagal. Cutting military spending by at least 10%, maybe more. A guaranteed minimum income wouldn’t go amiss.

    Obama has been a vast disappointment to the Left.

  • $7977616

    Wow. I knew there were still a few of you out there. Is it a huge embarrassment to admit this in public after last century? You know there’s something I’ve always wondered. Is blindness to history something you’re born with if you want to be a good leftist, or is it something you learn? How did you develop your own intellectual cataracts? How does it feel to espouse the bloodiest and most repressive political ideology mankind’s ever come up with?

  • purr

    Yeah honey, here’s a note: her ‘socialism’ is actually to the right of Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower.

    During Eisenhower’s time the tax rate on corporations was 50% 😛

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Don’t tell ’em that Adam Smith supported a graduated income tax, or that Hayek supported a social safety net. Or who created the National Park System, or what president signed OHSA and the Clean Air Act. Or which made that commie Interstate Highway System. Or what Barry Goldwater thought of abortion. Or Reagan, before he ran for president. Or how many times Reagan raised taxes.

    They’ll be bits of head-asplode shrapnel everywhere, and I’m not cleaning it up.

    Leftists. ROFL!

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Er, I’m pretty sure 90% was the top marginal rate for individuals. Top corporate rate was 52% (PDF warning).

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Because the Scandinavian countries, who do what I advocate and more, are doing so very poorly. Clearly, I have completely ignored history and current policy practice to kowtow merely to ideology.

  • $7977616

    Clearly you know very little about said Scandinavian countries.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Right. Because I have clearly not researched them in order to try to move there, nor have I made moves in that general direction only to be stymied by their fairly strict visa policies and really very difficult languages to learn.

    Your unsupported assertion has shown me to be completely ignorant of which I speak.

    /snark

  • $7977616

    My “unsupported assertion” (i.e. wild-ass guess) seems fairly well on target. You don’t even speak a Scandinavian language and you’ve never actually lived and worked there. You’ve “researched” it? Oooooo. You’re *such* an expert. /sarc

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Not at all! I read the experts though, especially the economic and political science ones. They do probably know what they’re talking about.

    It would be absurd for me to claim to be an expert about Scandinavian anything. An informed layperson, especially as regards their politico-economic structures? That I am.

    By what means do you dismiss my claims, oh-expert-one?

  • $7977616

    Everybody’s an expert these days, and everyone else is a skeptic. Anyways. Twenty-four seven effort for six months while fully immersed is what it takes to learn a language. Every language is difficult and complicated until you know it. It takes a year or two of continued full immersion to become completely fluent and possibly years longer to actually really begin to understand the culture (assuming that once you’re fluent you start studying the literature and art and spend a good deal of time traveling and meeting the people first hand). One can’t possibly really understand the workings of another culture’s political system and government without being fluent in not just the language but also the culture. One can of course make superficial (and mostly invalid) generalizations to be used from one’s own political bully pulpit at home, apparently a fairly popular habit of North American leftists. (Parenthetically, leftists elsewhere likewise make invalid generalizations about America to use in their own political advocacy efforts I’ve noticed, such as that there is class warfare or racial warfare going on in America, of the classically Marxist type that is.)

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    One can, however, point to certain political and economic choices across countries that seem to be uniformly working out well, as well as choices that seem to be pretty uniformly working out poorly. Would you argue that one must immerse oneself in the language and culture of North Korea to argue that charismatic tyrannical socialism is a bad idea?

  • $7977616

    No of course not (nor that state-sponsored abortion is a bad one). But I wouldn’t presume to explain why it works so frighteningly well in Korea or what those people need in order to attain a more humane and intelligent form of self-rule.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    So then, if I point out that Scandinavia seems to be doing a lot of things right, and we should maybe follow their lead because they’ve found some pretty good solutions to problems we’re also having, you wouldn’t presume to accuse me of claiming expertise I never claimed, right?

    Oh, wait …

  • $7977616

    First of all I disagree that they’re “doing a lot of things right”. Secondly, I would say that Scandinaviophilia’s a familiar old tune from the Left in America (that and “oh, Canada…”). But if you look at the details (wherein lie the devils) you’ll find that the best we could do for ourselves in terms of imbibing of that Swedish thrift and equanimity would probably be to move Washington DC to Minneapolis and by that simple Scandinavification of our federal government office staffing we’d probably eliminate close to three quarters of federal government waste. Make of that idea what you will.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    You mean Sweden’s not perfect? What other surprises can you pull out for me? The sky is blue, maybe?

    Yes, Sweden is having trouble integrating immigrants. Their systems are not perfect. However, given that I lived through the LA riots and remember some police brutality quite recently at both UC Davis and in New York City, I don’t think one riot means that Sweden is doing everything wrong either. And given that Scandinavia in general ranks highly on every measure of education, happiness, income and wealth equality, child mortality, life expectancy, child poverty, and so on, they’re obviously doing a lot of things right.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Is blindness to history something you’re born with if you want to be a good leftist, or is it something you learn?

    I know, right?

    After the Deluge, who could trust those sneaky Scandinavians ever again?

    Remember Warsaw!

  • $7977616

    So is this you making light of the hundreds of millions of victims of 20th century socialism?

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Clearly not. It is me making fun of you consistently not understanding even the simplest illustrations of difference between correlation and causation. Hitler ate sugar; are the victims of the Shoah victims of sugar-eating? Socialism can work just as easily alongside tyrants as democratic republics (USSR or modern Sweden, for just one contrast) just as capitalism easily can support either. One of the pleasant Cold War-era political shibboleths conclusively obliterated by the facts-on-the-ground over the last thirty years or so was the naive notion that market liberalization necessarily leads to political freedom; China has almost effortlessly demonstrated that a transition to market capitalism need not be accompanied by freedom and justice and all that other good stuff. Russia, post-USSR, is teaching a much similar lesson. Reality is inconvenient to cherished ideology.

    The thing of it is, Feminerd and I for sure and probably a few others you’ve talked at to have studied this stuff, for serious, from actual experts, and can claim a decent degree of expertise as a consequence ourselves. Now, you can reveal yourself as a real idiot by discounting the weight of expertise in favor of how you prefer against evidence to believe the world works, in which case Feminerd was right and there is no need to ever take you seriously, or you might learn something. This isn’t a left/right liberal/conservative collectivist/libertarian sort of deal; this is you just being an uninformed ideologue who only ever reaches for the surface feel-it-in-your-gut (or heard it once and it sounded good) so-it must-be-true explanation. I’m on the Right and think so, Feminerd on the Left, ditto. Flush your headgear or stop wasting our time.

  • $7977616

    Wow. I had to laugh a long time after I read that you and Fermi have “studied this stuff, for serious from actual experts”. Oh man, that’s priceless; it still makes it hard to type. I just can’t stop laughing. You are beautiful in your imbecility. Look, ‘nope. Think what you want, the truth is that you are a half-assed student while I am an expert with real experience. I’ve actually been to those countries you mention for the purpose of studying and engaging in these very issues. Moreover I’m fluent in four languages and conversational in half a dozen more. Boze, Vy ste ale somari.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    You hide it really well.

    Did you invent Capitalism, too?

  • $7977616

    Mockery. A sure sign you feel stupid and need something to help you save face.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Or, perhaps due to encountering someone or something ripe for mockery.

    Nah, that’s impossible, right?

    The last word is yours.

  • purr

    He is going to walk away thinking he won, which makes it even more amusing.

    The best part: He has been to those countries and speaks 4 languages!!!

  • $7977616

    Well phewy.

  • ansuz

    Also, wth. America’s left is so far to the right, it’s absurd. Other countries think your government is ridiculous. If you didn’t have your argumentum ad baculum military budget, it would be hilarious (except for the reasonable people living there). As it is, it’s terrifying.

    EDIT: Okay, bit of an exaggeration there. Mostly not, though.

  • $7977616

    Most real Americans I know think that most other countries are ridiculous so we’re even there.

  • $7977616

    You must be Canadian from Quebec or Ontario.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Please to point out any superstition, misinformation, or malevolence in my post, thank you. Assertion of claim requires evidence of claim.

  • $7977616

    Superstition – 1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.

    “Fetuses aren’t people until, maybe, 28 weeks (probably not until birth, though, given the hypoxic state of the fetus). Abortions don’t happen that late except in dire emergencies.”

    I rest.

  • purr

    You haven’t shut the fuck up yet?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    You just claimed medical FACT is “superstition”.

  • purr

    Yeah, and he also claimed that rape/slave victims who abort are depraved individuals.

    http://asset-f.soup.io/asset/2699/5252_f7ff_500.jpeg

  • $7977616

    No. (Don’t get discouraged though. Keep working on all those bald-ass guesses. You’re probably an intuitive person and all you need is practice.) What I claimed was that none of that “FACT” [sic] is a reasonable basis for a social policy of terminating pre-born human life at whim.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    You do realize that those are completely factual statements, right? The brain waves of a fetus don’t even begin to achieve the coherence we associate with sentience until 28 weeks. Fetuses are also known to be hypoxic, that is, oxygen-deprived. We know our brains don’t really work in hypoxic states, and so arguing that personhood arrogates to a fetus only once born and breathing (that is, when its oxygen levels rise to a high enough level for its brain to work) is a valid argument to make.

    Furthermore, only 1.5% of abortions take place after 20 weeks gestation. The vast majority of those take place before 24 weeks. Abortions at 28 weeks are extremely rare and only occur when the life of the mother is at risk or the fetus has been diagnosed with fetal anomalies incompatible with life.

    So please tell me how any of this is an irrational belief, let alone one that isn’t logically related to a course of events. Facts and evidence are your friends. If an irrelevant dictionary definition is the only argument you can muster, as the statement “I rest” indicates, you have already lost.

  • $7977616

    None of your arguments address the issue of personhood. You seem to equate personhood with sentience. Does that mean that smarter people have more value than dumber ones? What is irrational in your system of thought is the idea that any of these arbitrary developmental benchmarks give you the right to terminate human life at whim.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    General capacity for sentience is one of the markers of personhood to me. Existence independent of another person’s body is another. I do not consider a human being with anencephaly a person, nor a beating heart cadaver. No one considers beating heart cadavers people, by the way- we harvest organs from them while they’re still “alive” by your definition. Do you think this is murder? Or do you admit that capacity for sentience plays a big part in your idea of personhood?

    Besides, no person has the right to steal another person’s body or a piece of it for their own survival. The personhood argument is a red herring, but still worth pursuing to bring home the point that an embryo or fetus isn’t of the same moral weight as the woman it’s trying to suck dry. However, in the end, the reason abortion is moral is the same reason not donating a liver lobe is moral- it’s your body, and your bodily autonomy is strictly more important than another person’s life. The implications of arguing otherwise are horrific.

    Also note that assertions require evidence to back them up. You argue that sentience isn’t a marker of personhood, but why not? And what is your alternate definition? We already know DNA is just not going to cut it, so what do you suggest instead? You argue that sentience is also an irrational marker of personhood- why?

  • $7977616

    Well at least you’re willing to admit that your support for systematic killing of unborn human life is entirely based on your subjective personal conclusion (based on superstition) that according personhood to individual unborn humans depends on arbitrary developmental markers. Of course to me that makes you the moral equivalent of Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Un or Idi Amin, or Stalin or Hitler. You have delusions of Godhood.

  • Fred

    It must be opposite day on your planet.
    Still waiting on your definition of personhood.

  • purr

    You are the one who is superstitious – pretending that an insensate clump of undifferentiated tissue is a *person* deserving of more rights than the woman in which it resides.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Ah. Cute. Perhaps you could actually answer the questions put to you for once. If you don’t like my markers of personhood, what are yours? Why do you reject sentience as a marker for personhood?

    It’s only a superstition if there’s something supernatural about it. Sentience is a completely natural phenomenon.

  • $7977616

    The only logical marker for personhood is the beginning of life. Conception. Sorry for all the pointed attacks. It takes effort to break through the inertia of your erroneousness and the emotional and lifestyle investment you have in it. I’m fairly well content that I’ve effectively made my point. Farewell.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Not so much, no. Why is the only logical marker for personhood conception, and why does that matter when bodily autonomy clearly trumps the life of other people anyways?

    You have expended precisely zero effort in actually defending your assertions. Please do try.

  • $7977616

    Again. Res ipsa loquitur The thing is evident in itself. But one more time: Conception (the beginning of life for most humans) is the only logical marker for personhood because any other later marker is merely arbitrary, given that our understanding of concepts like “development” or “sentience” depends on the advances of our scientific paradigms and technology. We already know that there is pre-natal intrauterine sentience we were unaware of at the time of Roe v Wade. We are likely to make future discoveries about prenatal human development that will make our current state of technological advance seem primitive. Therefore the only logical way to avoid being regarded by future generations as the equivalent of Dred Scott v Sandford slave-owning America or of medieval Western medicine and it’s vein-draining is to set our marker for personhood where the Creator set it. Conception is the only logical marker because it is the only marker for personhood (and legal protection) that isn’t arbitrarily fixed by dint of opinion poll and political machination.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Which stage of conception is the point at which you consider personhood to begin? It’s a multi-stage process. Any marker of personhood is, ipso facto, arbitrary, and so we compare standards to see which causes the least harm and makes the most sense. Your standard enslaves women to non-sentient harmful parasites. Mine does not. Both standards allow for the ethical abortion of said parasites. So why pick your standard?

    Roe v. Wade on ensure abortion access up until viability, which is 24 weeks. There is no possibility of sentience until 28 weeks at the very earliest.* We have learned much about it in the 40 years since Roe, and guess what? We don’t kill sentient beings with abortions unless there’s something seriously bad going on (like, woman will die if fetus isn’t aborted sort of bad). You can’t have sentience without a working brain, and the brain simply hasn’t developed enough connections to make meaningful brainwave patterns until that time. You know what we call people with the brain wave patterns of a 26 week old fetus? Beating heart cadavers. We stop their hearts to harvest their organs for donation (with familial and prior consent, of course) because for all intents and purposes, the person isn’t there any more. We are our brains. If a once-person with brain wave patterns of X pattern is legally dead, why would you call a fetus a person when it has the same (lack of) brain waves?

    The only way to avoid being seen with the horror of Dred Scott is to acknowledge that women are people, and they have the right to determine who uses their bodies, how, and when. They also have the right to kill anyone or anything using their bodies against their will. You know, self-defense. I have mentioned before that personhood is a red herring and tangential to the abortion debate. I could grant you your supposition that fetuses and embryos are people, and abortion would still be moral and ethical and would still need to remain legal and accessible. I don’t grant it because your assertions are factually incorrect, but it’s also irrelevant.

    *http://tigtogblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/fetal-brain-development-myths-and.html, http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/your-baby/week-30/headway.aspx#, and http://brainmind.com/FetalBrainDevelopment.html for some reading

  • $7977616

    Ah right. It’s a process. Who cares? As I think I said earlier I’m quite confident in the ability of today’s judiciary to wander the grey areas and draw fine lines. I just don’t believe they have a moral compass to guide themselves. Odd that you don’t feel men are people too. And you seem to be attempting some sort of sleight of hand. Wasn’t the discussion about the unborn people in the equation? You are female-ocentric. Didn’t that used to be called chauvinistic and sexist? You’re a Female Chauvinist.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    It’s a process, so the point at which we call something a person is always going to be arbitrary. Thus, you cannot use the argument that birth is arbitrary (which is isn’t, I’ve given you exactly what criteria make it the best standard) without admitting that every point is equally arbitrary.

    Why do you think I don’t count men as people? Nice try at accusations of misandry, but you’re pulling that out of thin air. At what point do I deny any male person ownership of his own personal body? Also, which male people are involved in the pregnancy, exactly? I thought it was self-contained within a woman’s body. Have we discovered a way to force men to share the burden?

    As I’ve said before, there are no unborn people. There are only blastocysts, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. You get to be a person when you’re born. Also, the discussion is about abortion, not anything else. If the discussion were only about b/z/e/fs, we’d be completely erasing and ignoring the women whose bodies they were feeding off of. That wouldn’t be right at all, now would it?

  • $7977616

    Life is a process. Every process has a beginning and an end. The beginning of the beginning. Is that hard to comprehend? The “women whose bodies [b/z/e/fs][sic] are feeding off of”[sic] is a turn of phrase that belies a cold-hearted inhumane approach to human life that I abhor. Those women of whom you speak bear an inherent responsibility for life fostered in their bodies. They are not the only ones with a direct interest in the well-being of that life. The moment it’s developmental process is initiated, a “red light” of living human relationship turns on (if it helps you to visualize it), relationship with the mother yes, but also the father, the grandparents, other family members, society at large and if nothing else with our Creator. Now of course we wouldn’t want to ignore mothers or worse, promote and foster irresponsible motherhood on a massive scale. We wouldn’t want entire segments of certain demographics to think that the universe revolves around them and that the quality or nature of their personal impact on all generations of society is unimportant or entirely a matter for them to dispose with at whim. We wouldn’t want to alienate the sexes or exacerbate rifts between generations would we? We wouldn’t want to create artificial gaps in generational demographics and massively overburden our precious “safety nets” for entire decades either would we? That wouldn’t be right at all now would it? That wouldn’t be completely blindered self-absorbed anthropologically near-sighted and just all around stupid would it? You only have the wherewithal to hold your regressive pro-whimsy views on abortion because past generations were not as selfish or barbaric.

  • purr

    Those women of whom you speak bear an inherent responsibility for life fostered in their bodies.

    No, they do not. Just because a person has a uterus does not mean that it is their biological duty to bring every pregnancy to term.

    Anatomy is *not* destiny.

    EDIT: and human BEINGS, sentient humans, have relationships. A pregnancy is not a human relationship – it is functionally a parasitic relationship, and the woman owes the zef nothing.
    You can hug a baby.
    You can’t hug a zygote.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    The “process” of life on this planet started with a single self-replicating RNA strand and we have no idea if/when it will end. The time period at which a new organism is alive is fairly stated to be its conception. The timeframe at which it becomes a new organism of its type is when it is conceived, or laid, or seeded, or spawned. The point in time it becomes valued as a member of its species is when it is born, or hatched, or breaks dirt, or develops its adult form.

    You are entirely ignoring women. You know, real live people like your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, and daughter? Fetuses hurt them. It’s an inherent part of being a fetus to hurt your maternal parent while gestating by pulling as many resources as possible from that body without regard to the health or wellbeing of the person being fed upon. If that person doesn’t want to be fed upon, why does the fetus’s right to steal nutrients override the woman’s right to control her body? Why do you think treating women like people with full control over their bodies will lead to anything bad?

  • Cake

    Assertion after assertion after assertion.
    Good Riddance.

  • $7977616

    probably seems like assertions to you, I’m sure. have a merry christmas yourself, cake.

  • Cake

    Farewell? I thought you were leaving. Since you seem to be unable to communicate honestly you should understand why we won’t take your bald assertions with anything approaching good will or consideration.

    When you don’t back up what you say with anything more than, “because I say so.” Why should anyone take you seriously?

  • $7977616

    Can’t help but note your scientistic bias here. That’s not religion? Your worship of science? How do you define natural and supernatural? For someone so enamored of sentience and rationality you have some fairly irrational presuppositions. (And you’re completely typical of the mass of the Lame Stream.)

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Of course not. Science is really just the scientific method, which is a method by which we investigate the world. It is the best method humanity has for determining reality. If we should come up with a better method, I would use its methodology to determine reality, but thus far science is what we have. I certainly don’t worship a method, though! That would be silly.

    Natural things are everything in the universe. Supernatural things are things that either cannot exist in the universe as we understand it or for which we have no evidence, yet people claim exist anyways for some reason. Things can move from supernatural to natural if we find evidence for them; sometimes the thing itself is natural, but people didn’t understand the phenomenon and gave it supernatural explanations. For example, the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon of the magnetic field around the earth, but for a long time people thought it was evidence of gods or something. It’s not.

    Perhaps you should point out what “irrational presuppositions” I supposedly hold, if you’re going to accuse me of them. As accusations go, that’s so broad as to be meaningless.

  • $7977616

    broad and effective. I’m a little tired of this convo but hey, thanks for the exercise.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Translation: I have no responses, I am thoroughly beaten, and I am going to flounce now.

  • $7977616

    Alternate translation: I have a life and I’m going to live it now.

  • Gehennah

    What was a superstition? I’m really curious here.

  • purr

    Sentience as a marker for person hood as opposed to DNA. Heh.

  • $7977616

    Read, hellion, read.

  • $7977616

    Fair enough, you’re right. I didn’t answer your concluding question:

    Sentience – Sentience is an irrational marker for personhood because of the varying degrees of sentience one actually finds in individuals. If sentience is your primary marker, you end up with another arbitrary sliding scale of value. That probably doesn’t sound all that strange to you given what you’ve explained of your thought-system, you probably already think of “intellectuals” (the people who buy into and perpetuate the silly notion of the sanctity of a high IQ score) as the samurai, the creme de la creme of the human race. However, as I often say, it doesn’t take a genius to be right or an idiot to be wrong. Having a right to choose is only possible if one has a right to life and both living and choosing are done post-natally by the minimally sentient all the time. Human reason is a finite substance. It can only stretch so far. Our knowledge paradigms are constantly shifting and changing and undergoing revolution as we discover knowledge and experience of which we were not previously cognizant; and the same in reverse, when we lose knowledge and experience by the death of the living or when our libraries burn down.
    So acknowledging that there are varying degrees of sentience and that future technological advances in the laboratory may lead us to discover degrees of sentience at the molecular level someday (or perhaps the spiritual level even), the only safe marker is the beginning of life itself. At that point the genetic blueprint for that individual human being is already complete. That person exists, even if only at the initial stage of development. He or she should be protected from the outset, and accorded protection from that point on, regardless of the level of development or sentience he or she achieves pre- or post-natally.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    First, degrees of sentience don’t really matter to me. Once sentience is established, “book smarts” are irrelevant. Sentience is literally the capability to interact deliberately with and be aware of the world around us; that’s it. Sapience, a higher standard, is awareness of ourselves as individuals. All animals have sentience as far as I am aware- most do not have sapience. Humans don’t develop sapience for several months or even into the toddler years, depending on how we measure it. Humans don’t develop actual sentience until birth, while the capacity for possible sentience occurs at ~28 weeks’ gestation, maybe later. Degrees of intelligence are completely irrelevant to any argument of sentience, though you have made a nice try to sideline this argument into talk of IQ when it isn’t about that at all.

    Second, I always have the right to kill anything invading my body. A guinea worm, a cold virus, a pneumonia bacteria, a botfly larva, a tapeworm, a fetus, or a rapist are all unwanted invaders into my body, and thus have exposed themselves to lethal consequences. A rapist is most definitely a person, and yet by hir unwanted presence in my body has completely lost any right to life ze might have had. How much moreso a fetus, which is even more invasive and life-threatening than a rapist?

  • $7977616

    If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    So explain it. Why do you think I can kill a rapist but not a fetus?

  • $7977616

    Guilt.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Can I kill a fire ant, a guinea worm, or a wasp? It wasn’t guilty either; it didn’t mean to hurt me.

    Can I kill a mentally ill person in the midst of delusions, who is attacking me but doesn’t mean to hurt me?

    Guilt requires sentience, so a fetus is neither guilty nor innocent, because it has no sentience. This is irrelevant to whether it is causing harm and can thus be killed in self-defense.

  • $7977616

    The reason you and I will disagree about pretty much everything is that you believe in the insanely improbable odds behind the fiction of “Macro Evolution” whereas I believe in an intelligent first creator of life on this planet. In your universe, morality is subjective and arbitrary (and fundamentally irrational and absurd) whereas in mine it is systematic and hierarchical (and logical). For you there is no difference between a zygote or a petri dish culture because neither the living cells nor the petri dish itself (nor you for that matter) have any larger moral value or significance. Morality in your universe is literally a figment of your imagination and no one else’s (other than people you mimic). For me the difference in moral value between a petri dish and a mold culture and a human zygote is obvious. All other logical syllogisms we might bandy flow from there. Adieu, therefore. And Merry Christmas.

  • purr

    So, what you’re saying is, you only do “the right thing” because you’re scared of some mystical invisible supernatural man in the sky who loves you so much that he’ll send you to burn and suffer for all eternity if you don’t do exactly what he says… and you believe this because a bunch of ancient tribal goatherding sand people said it was true.

    Yeah, that’s logical all right.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    If God created all the first life, so what? What does that have to do with the harm a fetus does to a woman, or the position that she is morally and ethically allowed to kill it in self-defense?

  • purr

    Rats are sentient.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Oooh, fun word salad full of pure ad hominems and no actual argumentation. My favorite!

  • purr

    ‘word salad’ does describe his writing style, doesn’t it?

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    It really does. He’s just spluttering incoherently now and not answering anyone’s arguments.

  • ansuz
  • purr

    hahahahhaha brilliant

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    So awesome! The glare over the glasses is perfect.

  • ansuz
  • purr

    good one!

    do you think stories like this are faked:

    http://clinicquotes.com/testimony-of-a-medical-student/

    Every few months there is some depressing ‘testimony’ from some poor soul who saw an abortion and became pro-life…

  • ansuz

    That one? Probably yes. If I’m reading it correctly, the writer contradicts hirself regarding whether the fetus stayed intact or not, and covers the emotional things while fudging the technical things.

    How easily the person dismisses their pro-choice arguments in the face of a little gore when they would have probably already seen videos or pictures and when they already should have known exactly what was going to be happening? Also sits a bit wrong. I’m not exactly typical, but I don’t understand seeing something upsetting and then completely throwing out the old views because of a single emotional reaction. Taking that as a reason to reexamine views? Yes. Toss them? No, especially as people tend to be pretty emotionally attached to their views.

    Generally? I’d guess that more than half of them would be made up, but I’m pulling that out of nowhere.

  • purr

    It sounds like a typical conversion story.

    I didn’t believe in God, but then I crashed my car, and I saw Jesus, so now I am no longer a God-hating atheist, but a follower of Jesus, praaaise the Laawwwwd!!!

    http://www.gamerdna.com/public/images/user_image/set69/image/69083/JesusCat.jpg?1225157443

  • ansuz

    D’aw, Jeezuscat.
    But yeah, pretty much.

    Anyway, I distracted myself long enough to eat something. I should probably get back to studying (or possibly go to sleep) now.
    Goodnight!

  • purr

    I just realised the other day that I have spent the last few months spelling ‘hydatidiform’ as ‘hydratiform’

    I saw it spelled the wrong way just once, and ever since then my mind has simply ignored the proper spelling when I saw it and inserted the incorrect spelling. Every time.

    And nobody bothered to correct me!!!!

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    That’s cuz no one knows how to spell it lol. It took me awhile to be like, okay, hy-da-ti-di-form, because that t sound then d sound isn’t common in English.

  • purr

    hi dat

    idi

    form

    yeah, that’s how I will remember it for now on

    that is one unintuitive word all right

  • $7977616

    No. I despise the agenda of the NEA and the teachers’ unions and the mess they’ve made of public education.

  • $7977616

    yes, money for poor foreign students. Obama benefited a lot from that sort of generosity.

  • ansuz

    No, dude. My parents are in the 1%, and they (and I) were born in the same country as (and in my case and my dad’s case, within two hours’ drive of) the school in question. It was a purely merit-based scholarship — decided based on reading comprehension and mathematics test scores. Nice try with the classism and racism, though.

    EDITed for a typo.

    http://www.sabinabecker.com/media/shakespeare-cat.jpg

  • $7977616

    Well that explains your elitism and insensitivity. (Also your incapacity for understanding the plight of the vast majority of girls who seek abortions.) I was making a facetious point. Sorry if the sarcasm didn’t translate well.

  • ansuz

    Elitism and insensitivity? Where? What is your understanding of the plight of the vast majority of girls who seek abortions, and how am I not understanding?

    *so confused* (about what your facetious point was, and in general)
    http://mealtimehostage.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/confused-cat.jpg

  • purr

    Such pretty blue eyes.

  • $7977616

    meh.

  • $7977616

    No. I just like picking on bullies.

  • Red-Star

    Ah I see you proved yourself as either a really good troll or a full on teabagger. Yes their are places that aren’t majority religious that are OMG! peaceful and even prosperous. Crazy to comprehend I know!

    This guy has nothing to debate guys. Stop doing it. He thinks Obama is a Stalinist or whatever paranoid fantasy he has in his little head. Clearly he has no history knowledge outside of “America is great except when them Liberals are in charge”

  • purr

    Apparently he was born in Canada, but escaped to the USA, hates Candians, British, and people from NE USA, and is living as a pilgrim on a farm in wyoming or some shit.

  • $7977616

    You’re a flat out moron. Sorry. Tried to think of something less blunt but it didn’t work.

    I’ve lived and worked in countries on four different continents including several post-communist/post-socialist countries. I’m intimately familiar with the fall-out of your ideology, unlike you I’m afraid.

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    What’s with the whole ‘right to life’ argument anyway? What exactly does that even mean? ‘I’ve totally got the right to live so screw you cancer!’. And cancer totally is going to tuck it’s tail between it’s legs and slink off to find somebody who doesn’t know their rights? ‘No, Mr Blue Ringed Octopus, you can’t sting me, I know my rights and that would totally violate my right to life!’ And don’t even get me started on the weather. ‘Fuck you, hurricane, you can’t go blowing in here, I’ve got a right to life!’

    And oh, wait…. sorry, little fertilized ova that just naturally miscarried like 90% of them do, totally sorry your right to life got violated, let me get you signed onto the class action lawsuit and we’ll get your settlement to you in 4-6 weeks, don’t spend it all in one place.

  • purr

    Yes, and if they start with that premise how can they ever lose? (according to them)

  • purr
  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    He… might want a shovel, there, if he’s gonna keep digging.

  • purr

    I have never used a facepalm emote/kitty pic.

    Until tonight.

    With yippee.

    He is a special individual.

    Actually, if I was going to create the most idiotic pro-life troll, I would have created him.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I’m not sure if he’s a troll, or just. that. much. of a douchenozzle.

  • purr

    I’d go with douchenozzle. Troll is giving too much credit.

  • $7977616

    not a bad closer. have to admit. raw. but honest. I can deal with that.

  • purr
  • $7977616

    Of course they’re not Nazis literally (hello? historical disconnect? anyone?). They’re obviously not even “Nazis” in the banale 20th century leftist quasi-intellectual ala Bill Maher sense of the word. What a silly suggestion. But what they are is adrift in a sea of human depravity. I’d like to hear the stories of the courageous women who didn’t abort their babies… since you so stridently insist on abusing the stories of those who after being raped and impregnated then murdered the poor unborn innocent conceived as a result of the rape for your modern day political agenda. Maybe poll the descendants of those rape survivors and see if they’d all rather have not existed.

  • purr

    Ok, rape victims who abort their pregnancies are depraved individuals.

    Slaves who are raped and impregnated from the age of 12 up until they die are even *more* depraved if they try to end a pregnancy.

    You, sir,have some fucked up ideas. Then again, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to have any empathy whatsoever for a rape victim, let alone a woman who is born into slavery and beaten, abused, raped, and treated like actual livestock for her entire life.

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    http://www.imnotsorry.net

    Hey, and while we are at it, let’s poll the descendents of all the people whose fathers didn’t get blowjobs and see if they’d all rather have not existed!

    Down with the oral sex! Donja know it kills babies!

  • purr
  • $7977616

    Is that a roundabout way of saying that if you’re pro-life but you don’t support federally-mandated abortion funding you’re not really pro-life? Are you arguing that unless you love you some federal government you’re not even alive? That’s so absurd.

  • Sayak Banerjee

    I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility and not to jump to conclusions about my point of view. Now some clarifications.

    Even today medical practitioners routinely make calls in case of complications whether to counsel for abortions to mothers who may not want it. Since Marshmellow was talking about harm caused by pregnancy and arguing for abortion that way, i merely pointed to the fact that this decision should be done by the medical community. If one is putting a medical argument, why such outrage when I say doctors get to decide if the argument of medical danger works or not? To some extent Marshmellow was putting up an odd argument, very few mothers who have normal pregnancy go for abortion because of the relatively modest physical inconveniences caused by the presence of the fetus. (If there are surveys that show this not to be the case, i will retract this assertion.) The causes are primarily sociological and psychological and economic. They are potentially very reasonable causes, but they were not the ones you were talking about.

    Rapist Question:- In the extreme off-chance the victim has a perfectly obvious way of incapacitating the rapist without killing him and she knows it at that time but still chooses a second deadlier alternative, then I am not sure. Never happens for a rape in general. But in a police-offender situation more common and the police person can be punished for using excessive deadly force when other means of incapacitating the offender were available. Secondly the the degree of harm done by a rapist is usually of a greater magnitude than a fetus. Bodily infringement is not some holy cow that justifies everything, If my dog jumps in your lap and you blast its brains off with a pistol because it was infringing ur space, i am going to sue even if you have some mild allergy to dog hair and put it as ur defense.

    Let’s take this self defense argument off the table shall we? Most mothers don’s suffer severe complications and if fetus’s right to life were to be recognized, all that would be needed to redeem “inconvenience caused” concerns is to mandate adequate compensation (generous disability benefits) to pregnant women! While that might be good idea in and of itself (i will vote for it), that is hardly sufficient to redress the kind of reasons that REALLY motivate a woman to choose abortion.

    Let me be clear, for many people are mistaking my stance. I am PRO-ABORTION, but (except for medical complications) I believe abortion to be analogous to Positive Discrimination being temporarily in place to balance out the effects of an existent social evil. This evil is the heavy burden of motherhood being laid upon women by society. This burden ranges from social taboos (single moms, teenage moms), economic burdens (loss of career, jobs, educational opportunities) and many others. But the point of a Positive Discrimination is to alleviate some of the consequences of a social evil while efforts are being made to cure the evil in the first place. There would be no need for positive discrimination when a women no longer has any concerns about raising a child regardless of her station in life and society, a point where one does not have to plan ahead for 10-15 years to feel comfortable about starting a family. I think what the bodily autonomy and self defense argument misses is that most women choose abortion because of deeply inlaid socio-economic and psychological duress in a society that either actively punishes or is indifferent to the hardships of child rearing responsibilities.

  • purr

    I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility

    I am deeply sorry Mr. Banerjee. Allow me to apologize on behalf of Jennifer. She, and other persons with uterii, really need to learn some civility after being told (as you have so eloquently explained in your above post) that women are:

    1) too stupid and/or mentally incompetent to make their own medical/health decisions or decide who or what will use their bodies

    2) she and other persons with uterii should just accept that they are for making babies, and that with enough social/financial support they can fulfill their evolutionary/god-given role as baby factories

    Thank you so much for laying it all out so clearly. You have single-handedly solved the abortion debate.

    I don’t know where the women of the world would be without kind souls such as yourself to mansplain to them about what reproductive rights and choices a woman should be permitted to make.

    God Bless

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    —-I would urge Marshmellow and Jennifer to maintain civility and not to
    jump to conclusions about my point of view. Now some clarifications.—

    Then I would urge to not to be a dumbass who supports slavery.

    Let’s say I am 12 weeks pregnant. I wish to have an abortion. How do you intend to stop me?

    —-very few mothers who have normal pregnancy go for abortion because of
    the relatively modest physical inconveniences caused by the presence of
    the fetus. (If there are surveys that show this not to be the case, i
    will retract this assertion.)—

    No, they have abortions because of a combination of the physical, mental, emotional, lifestyle, financial, etc… inconveniences.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    You haven’t said anything to shut off communication, so I’m replying.

    “What sacrifice could be greater. . . . What sacrifice would you consider equal to that?”

    Here you’re talking about the degree of the sacrifice, which I think is a very valid point to talk about. As I’ve explained to others on this page, I don’t think some issues that people raise (and that would include your earlier “control over your body” and so-called “enslavement”) are key issues IN THEMSELVES if the degree of the sacrifice doesn’t happen to be much. As I said, “You can always define a certain nature of sacrifice that group A might make that group B would be unable to make, and then say, ‘Since group B doesn’t make it, group A shouldn’t have to either.’ But the important consideration is the degree of the sacrifice.”

    You wrote: “Women go blind. They get osteoporosis. They get sick. Their veins and arteries break under the strain of high blood pressure. Their organs are damaged or destroyed by high blood sugar.”

    You’re right, these would be big sacrifices. What I had said was that pregnant women should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them, and that men should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them, and that unpregnant women should sacrifice for helpless children who will die without them. And I also said, “There is some [upper] limit to the degree of the sacrifice that society should expect.”

    But it seems to me there must be some lower limit also. Even Judith Jarvis Thomson, who made a famous analogy in which a violinist is plugged into a person’s kidneys, suggested that the person (meaning anyone) should be ready to tolerate the situation for an hour, if that would suffice to save the violinist’s life. Wouldn’t you feel that that hour should be an obligation? (This question is similar to the question I asked that started this whole discussion.)

    I had previously referred other commenters to an article in which I wrote:

    “A person who physically resides in a room within another person represents an extra degree of complication for the second person, opening up the possibility of exceptional measures by the second person under some circumstances. . . . In any society, the decision should be made (except in a medical emergency) by a judicious and sensitive panel. It would be desirable for all the panelists . . . to be women . . .”

    The complete article is here:

    http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/personhood-and-citizenship/

    When an abortion is proposed, the panel should take into account the mother’s potential remaining future life and potential quality thereof (considering her mental resilience or lack thereof, and her attitude toward the unborn child, among other things); and the unborn child’s potential remaining future life and the quality thereof; and the family members’ potential remaining future life and the quality thereof; and the support society can offer, and the impact on society; and make a decision aimed to maximize life.

  • purr

    And how many of your medical decisions should be left in the hands of a committee?

  • Jennifer Starr

    Probably none, after all he’s a MAN, don’t ya know. But the woman’s body and uterus belong to the government and society–how dare we have the gall to think we own our body parts instead of breeding for the good of society? Just who do we think we are–actual people? *snort*

  • purr

    Did you read Sayak’s reply to us?

    Holy hell in a handbasket.

    He mansplained that pregnancy is a modest inconvenience, and that women should *temporarily* be permitted abortions in order to counteract the effects of a society that treats pregnant women poorly. However, once women are given financial incentives and appropriate support, they can go back to their job as broodmares.

    I linked it to you on the other site.

  • Jennifer Starr

    I’ve read it. I swear, it’s like he’s related to Acyu–what is it with these long-winded blocks of five-dollar word salad? Did no one ever teach these guys to be concise? And I’m going to reply to him as soon as I’ve stopped repeatedly banging my head against hard surfaces :)

  • purr

    I wasn’t gonna go here…but…

    What country is currently the rape culture capital of the world?

  • Jennifer Starr

    I think it’s India, but I’m not one-hundred percent sure of that. But if it’s not number one it is definitely somewhere in the top 5.

  • purr

    I surprised myself. I was going to reply to Sayak with something long winded, but I managed to condense it. Because that really is his position in a nutshell. That everyone but women should make health decisions for pregnant persons. Kinda similar view to Acyu…

  • Jennifer Starr

    I guess when you believe in mandatory organ donation and that you’re related to women and their fetuses, it’s not a far jump to believing that women should be forced to have their most personal medical decisions decided by a panel of strangers. Did anyone ever explain to you that The Handmaiden’s Tale isn’t a how-to manual?

  • Jennifer Starr

    And you still don’t seem to realize that true sacrifice and altruism means something because it’s done voluntarily by choice, not forced upon people by law.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    An hour of being forced to give my blood to someone? No. I have every right to remove an intrusion, from a person or a machine or an IV line, from my body for any intrusion of any length. Many rapes take less than 10 minutes- are they less harmful for being short in duration?

    Now, would I give blood to the dying violinist if it only took an hour? Almost always, the answer would be yes. I would weigh the factors of my time, what I had to do that day, what harm was likely to result, and then reluctantly consent to the hour because the harm done to me would most likely be minimal. Whoever hooked us up, though, would get both an earful and a whole lot of criminal charges against them, because doing that is not acceptable. And if that hour happened at a time that, say, I needed to be at my chemotherapy session, or at the hospital giving birth,or defending my dissertation for my last chance ever, or I was severely anemic and giving blood was a huge risk for me, or losing my job and my house and watching my kids starve because I can’t afford to be late? I’m ripping out that IV line. Even an hour is too much if it’s the wrong hour.

    A person in the same room as you is not the same as a person in your body. Get that through your head. Unwanted pregnancy is a rape that won’t stop for nine months. It is never moral or ethical to force someone into that position.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “A person in the same room as you is not the same as a person in your body. Get that through your head.”

    I’ve got it so far. In those two sentences, you’re saying that the nature of the sacrifice is important, not only the degree. The first paragraph of your post probably says the same. But here —

    “Unwanted pregnancy is a rape that won’t stop for nine months”

    — you change direction. (For this discussion, I will ignore the peculiar analogy between a rapist and a totally innocent and helpless person, and stick to the main point.) Here you’re saying that the issue is the period of time, that is, the degree.

    So it’s still not clear. Is “in your body” an important issue IN ITSELF, apart from degree of sacrifice, or isn’t it?

    An example that (like all of Thomson’s analogies) would be far-fetched, but might make the question clear, would be this: If pregnancy were risk-free and only for 90 minutes (you refrain from killing an innocent baby, which means you lend your body, for 90 minutes, including labor and delivery), followed by immediate adoption of the baby by someone, would you have a moral obligation to carry the baby to term, or would it be only a morally-optional act of generosity for you to do so? You are at the hospital already (so abortion is an option), but your health is fine, and you will not lose your job or anything by having the baby. The hospital folks can kill the baby in 15 minutes if you say so. Do you have any moral obligation?

    One more way to put it: Should society declare an unborn baby’s life to be forfeit NOT to spare the mother a sacrifice that is proportionate to the value of the baby’s life, but just to uphold an ideological point?

  • purr

    The nature *is* the degree because it’s inside your body. Tell us acyu, would you let yourself be raped for an hour, non-violently, if that would save a life? And what if you were forced by law to undergo rape on a regular basis to save a life? Would you sign off on that? Should all of society?

  • ansuz

    “If pregnancy were risk-free and only for 90 minutes (you refrain from killing an innocent baby, which means you lend your body, for 90 minutes, including labor and delivery), followed by immediate adoption of the baby by someone, would you have a moral obligation to carry the baby to term, or would it be only a morally-optional act of generosity for you to do so?”
    Maybe morally superior, but the law should not be able to compel someone to go through with the ninety minutes or to not go through with the ninety minutes. Period. Ever.
    An intrusion — determined by my state of mind — on my body is functionally rape. A pregnancy that I want to abort is an intrusion on my body. The moral agenthood of the thing doing the intruding is not relevant to the fact that it is in my body and I do not want it there.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    Thanks for your reply. I in turn have written you a reply, and due to its length, I have posted it here:

    http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/personhood/#comment-86

    In that reply I have referred to you as ASZ and to Feminerd as FMD. If either of you would like to appear there as ansuz or Feminerd, please let me know.

    If you reply, you may reply on that page or here or both, as you wish. I will continue checking here for a few days.

    And if anyone, for the sake of the discussion on this page, would like to quote here my entire above-linked reply, they may of course do so, but my judgment is that it would be too long.

  • ansuz

    1. I’m not a woman. Please use gender-neutral pronouns.
    2. What, in your view, distinguishes rape from sex? What makes rape horrible? If rape is not horrible solely* because it is an intrusion — which, yes, is determined by my state of mind, because if I wanted the sexual contact it wouldn’t be rape — on my body… then what?
    Do you consider date rape to be ‘real rape’? Is it rape if it’s my spouse? Am I not equally violated if the rapist is determined by a court to be incapable of criminal responsibility?

    *other things can add to the horribleness, but the horribleness of my body being used without my consent is quite enough horribleness to be getting on with

  • purr

    He ignored my reply. I wonder why.

    EDIT: I guess it just wasn’t intellectual enough. The thought of being violated with a dildo to save a life was just too offensive a thought for the poor boy. I lack civility, and refuse to discuss uterus owner’s rights in a genteel fashion.

  • ansuz

    Rape culture, Libby Anne’s ‘two box’ sexual ethics, purity culture, and punishment-based ideas of justice… really fuck up this issue.
    And the discussions are further fucked up by people not understanding that being offended is not the issue with slurs, so that there’s a difference between saying that uteruses and the meat sacks they’re inside are for ‘babies’ and saying the word ‘fuck’.
    *sigh*

  • purr

    His entire argument can be distilled to ‘biology is destiny’

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    While you’re thinking about mental paradigms, try out this one for a minute: “My neighbor’s unborn baby is my kid sister or brother (or other sibling), looking up to me with complete trust that I will always protect it.”

    You don’t have to believe it. Just pretend you believe it for a minute, and see what happens.

    Will get back to your other post as soon as possible.

  • ansuz

    I’ve done this one before. Many times. I don’t care if what’s attached to me is my teenaged brother, my favourite author, Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ, or Nelson Mandela. I have every right to eject them from my body.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Okay, now you try this one:

    “My neighbor is my sister, looking up to me with complete faith that I respect her as a person and will always support her. She knows I see her as a full person, always, no matter what. I will never render her invisible nor depersonalize her completely by literally erasing her existence in a metaphor of mine.”

    You don’t have to believe it. Just pretend you believe it for a minute, and see what happens.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “My neighbor is my sister, looking up to me with complete faith that I respect her as a person and will always support her. She knows I see her as a full person, always, no matter what. I will never render her invisible by literally erasing her existence in a metaphor of mine.”

    I had written: “My neighbor’s unborn baby is my kid sister or brother (or other sibling), looking up to me with complete trust that I will always protect it.”

    First please notice that while I certainly implied that I found the baby’s mute appeal moving, I didn’t say that I would respond exactly as it wanted me to. I’m moved by its plight, but I’m moved by the woman’s plight also. The woman’s plight has been represented reasonably well, including by me, throughout this discussion, so my metaphor or thought experiment was designed to make people think about something they hadn’t thought about before. I care about both the baby and the woman, but I don’t take a loyalty oath to either of them one-sidedly. If you mean that you will always FULLY support your sister, you are being one-sided.

    I have just said some more about caring for both sides, in a reply to Jennifer Starr. Search for “So far we had been communicating”

    By the way, has anyone in this discussion attacked you as creepy for speaking of an unrelated person as your sister? I better warn you that you have to be careful around here.

    Also by the way, when I talk of “neighbors,” I mean all my neighbors on this small planet. Why should Lincoln and the free states have cared what the slave states were doing to some people? The causes of the Civil War were complex. But one important causal factor was that people in the free states saw their neighbors treating some humans as sub-human, and were repelled by it. Perhaps all the bloodshed could have been somehow avoided, but the wrongs being done by the neighbors did need to be addressed one way or another.

    But I like that expression “erase one’s existence in a metaphor.” That is what I have always tried to explain, but was never able to explain perfectly, about formulations such as “women’s right to control their own bodies”: they erase the existence of one of two human beings; and the sleight of hand is so cunning that you don’t notice anything important has been disappeared. So, thanks for the expression. “What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.”

  • purr

    A slave isn’t at all comparable to a zygote/embryo/fetus.

    Slaves were actual living, breathing people who were forced to work on behalf of another….which is what you want to force women to do simply because they had the misfortune to be born with a uterus instead of a dick!

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    What makes you think no one thought about the fetus? I certainly have. It simply doesn’t matter. If you invade someone’s body, you have exposed yourself to the lethal self-defense efforts of the other person. A fetus is not a person, but even if it was, abortion is still entirely morally and ethically legitimate. And pro-lifers do nothing but erase women. That’s how they tick. They think women’s lives, hopes, and dreams simply don’t matter, because women have uteruses and thus aren’t real people, but fetuses are people because … Jesus. Or something. I never could pin down why.

    And when you present it in the light you did, you literally erase the woman who is pregnant. You should never, ever do that.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “If you invade someone’s body, you have exposed yourself to the lethal self-defense efforts of the other person.”

    This moral premise is just a restatement of your earlier “Yes, ‘in your body’ is an important issues IN ITSELF.”

    You tried to defend that earlier with:

    “Our bodies are our selves. We exist purely for the time our flesh and brain are alive and functional. There is nothing more personal than the self, nothing more private than one’s own body, nothing more important than the body’s survival and integrity.”

    I then rebutted those two sentences (with a view to showing they were untrue or arbitrary). What is the point of just restating your premise now without addressing my rebuttal? Without that, I will continue to think that this just appears to be some new religion. Not Jesus, but some other gospel.

    “And when you present it in the light you did, you literally erase the woman who is pregnant.”

    As I mentioned in my previous reply to you, you read more into the thought experiment than was there. I agree I should never. I have said a number of times that in some situations, the baby should die for the sake of the pregnant woman’s life or quality of life (and I would never say the opposite). That is not erasing the woman. For example:

    Feminerd: Do I have to submit myself to an hour of torture . . . ?

    Acyutananda: “Torture” is by definition suffering that is high in degree, so in that case no, you don’t.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    They are neither untrue nor arbitrary. They are all we have evidence for. You believe in souls because you want it to be true, but there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for your claim. I can only live my life based on the evidence we have, not what I want to be true, because that would be intellectually dishonest and lead me down all sorts of wrong paths.

  • ansuz

    And why am I so invested in what’s going on in my neighbour’s body? That’s a bit creepy.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    R’amen to that. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I’ve replied about neighbors to Feminerd. Search for “Lincoln”

  • purr

    Why are you refusing to address my numerous arguments?

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    After seeing your thoughtful “Supreme Court” post, I thought “Maybe we can talk now.” But then I saw where you invented an imaginary pal for me, based on a perceived unsatisfactory ethnicity, and where you wrote: “I lack civility, and refuse to discuss uterus owner’s rights in a genteel fashion.”

    I’d be happy to have a polite, non-demonizing, non-stereotyping conversation with you, but is it possible?

    If it were, it would have to go on bit by bit over a period of time.

  • purr

    Well then why did you ignore my post about the dildo?. And your views really are quite sexist. You shouldn’t be surprised when you get pushback. You appear to believe that anatomy is destiny, and that women should be subservient to a mindless biological function. And you expect women to be nice to you while treating them like mindless incubators. Do keep in mind that dehumanizing women like this is quite offensive to those with uterii. And it does not matter how much you dress it up with flowery language. You still want to force women to give birth against their will because you value embryonic life over female liberty.

  • Jennifer Starr

    That’s a cop-out if ever I heard one.

  • Jennifer Starr

    You really don’t seem to understand why women get upset at your posts. Why we get angry and emotional about this subject, and I’ll tell you why that is. You see, for you, this is just a rhetorical exercise that you can approach with a degree of detachment, but for us this is our bodies, our health and our lives. You can blithely talk about sacrifice and life-threatening pregnancies and wanting women to go in front of ‘life panels’, secure in the knowledge that it will never be you who is faced with that choice. We can’t. So instead of getting all huffy and sensitive at perceived insults and indelicate language, why don’t you at least try to understand where we’re coming from?

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    So far we had been communicating about abortion, and I appreciate your insight that at this point it might be better to step back and communicate about communication and perceptions. You seem to want to improve communications (which is not how some of your earlier posts affected me, by the way, for comparison).

    To give part of the credit, it was really marshmallow who first raised the communications topic, asking why I was refusing to do so.

    “You really don’t seem to understand why women get upset at your posts.”

    I do understand some things, which I will get to, and your post has helped me understand a little more, thank you, though I’m sure there is more yet that I will learn. “If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.” I do have a good enough sense of being in a bad situation in this discussion: I don’t like angry posts, and would have preferred a rapturous response. But I am being asked questions, and the only honest answers I can give infuriate people. I sometimes even know in advance that they will. Still, I’m not sure what I can do about it, short of proposing a Skype conference call as a possible de-demonizing and non-verbal-content-hearing measure. But that would probably be greeted as the creepiest idea yet. And I would hang up if it became abusive.

    I think that I am largely capable of seeing things from your perspective, but that perspective includes perceiving the unborn as inconsequential. That is not a difficult perspective for me to adopt as an exercise, because that was in fact my perspective when I started out in life — I think for most people it is. When I adopt that perspective as an exercise, I completely feel that the woman has absolute rights in the matter of abortion. I completely feel that pro-lifers are oppressors, and must be lying when they say they care about the unborn, and must really have some other motivation — some psychological hangup or hidden political agenda. And maybe it would have helped if I had tried to make it clear that I can adopt that perspective. Or maybe it would have been, and will be now, greeted with disbelief.

    I said, “I’m not sure what I can do about it”: Giving dishonest answers or failing to give honest answers doesn’t seem like the solution, so maybe my remaining option is to see how far my style in giving the answers is at fault. But I will get to style below. For a moment let me turn it around and ask you to think about the possibilities for improvement of perceptions on your side (and that of others).

    At —

    http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/personhood/

    — there’s a little appendix, “Perceptions of Each Side by the Other,” where I expressed the idea that it’s harder for pro-choicers to believe the sincerity of pro-lifers than vice versa, and why that might be.

    Along those lines, here is a key question I would like to ask you:

    Do you think that a man who cares about women, and cares about unborn children — both — and thinks that once there’s an unwanted pregnancy there is no perfectly happy solution, and wants to minimize the overall loss of life and/or loss of quality of life, and thinks that the prevailing “choice” solution is an unfairly one-sided one, is a possibility? — whether or not the man is logical as well as caring?

    If you say yes, you may also say that I personally don’t qualify. But in that case, I think there’s a chance for us to eventually understand each other, because it is genuinely possible that I don’t qualify as well as some men, and on your side the perception has not gone to the generic level.

    Whereas if you say no, I don’t think we will ever be able to communicate, because in that case you hold a false premise about men, at the generic level, that will cloud your perceptions.

    A similar question:

    Have you ever met, or can you imagine ever meeting, someone who says they care about unborn babies whom you would take at face value, or would you always think, No, that cannot be, therefore the person must be a man who hates women or a woman who hates women or a holy roller or must be against contraception and gun control and sex education and everything?

    If at some point you come to think that I really do care about the unborn (however deluded it may be to care), and also understand that for me, the recently-contrived idea of bodily autonomy per se (unrelated to degree of suffering) as a gold standard, does little to offset the value of the babies’ lives, I think you will understand me.

    I will have to claim one thing for myself as a communicator, and that is that I think all of you in this discussion who think the unborn are sub-human, are sincere. Whereas I don’t know if any of you give me credit for being sincere in my opposite perception. If you did give me that credit, you would find it quite to be expected that I would be horrified by many abortions, though not to the exclusion of caring about the plight of pregnant women. And I don’t see how you would then be able to think that where I’m coming from is hatred of women or some other cliche.

    In fact regarding the wishful idea that a pro-life man must hate women and that once that problem is solved, opposition to abortion will go away, I would just say get over it. There will always be some men like that, but if you think that that is the wellspring of revulsion against many abortions, get over it.

    On the pro-life side also, there are people who think that, for instance, “Given the indifference that a lot of male abortion proponents show towards the lives of their children, it stands to reason that they would treat their female targets with a similar measure of depravity. On this matter, they are at least consistent.” ( http://www.lifenews.com/2013/12/10/abortion-activists-falsely-claim-pro-lifers-think-women-who-abort-are-sluts/ )

    http://www.cogforlife.org/abortionquitters.htm

    “Former ultrasound technician Joy Davis reported that in an Alabama clinic where she once worked, there were doctors who were ‘doing abortions because they hated women.’ Dina Madsen, who worked in a feminist clinic in California, admitted that she didn’t have much sympathy for her patients. Her attitude was, ‘Well, you got yourself into this position; you better tough it out.’ A couple of the doctors there, she said, ‘hated women. And there was a lot of comment-making . . . crude jokes . . . sarcasm. . . .’ Some of the women staffers ‘wouldn’t let any of these guys touch ’em with a ten-foot pole,’ Madsen said. Yet they told women coming to the clinic that: ‘They’re wonderful doctors. They won’t hurt you. They’re the best at what they do. He’s really a nice man.'”

    Somewhere on YouTube there’s a video made by Dr. George Tiller while he was alive, and the video is introduced by a couple of Christians who claim that he was motivated by hatred of women.

    Now, “why women get upset.” You say this as if it were inevitable that you and they must get upset at me. That, you say, is because of the one-sidedness of the fact that only your bodies, health and lives are at risk, while mine are not. As I have said, I would consider myself equally obligated to risk and sacrifice if I were the only hope for life of a child and if my assistance entailed risk and sacrifice, but such a situation is much less likely for me than for you, and such an obligation doesn’t necessarily mean I am obliged to go out of my way to find the situation. But you have portrayed all women’s anger at that one-sidedness as inevitable, and it is not, because there are many women whose bodies, health and lives are at risk who are quite happy when they hear my views. They perceive me quite differently than you do. If some ingredient in the equation were to change, you would perceive me exactly as they do.

    The main different ingredient that I can think of, if not the only such ingredient, is that they love the unborn. They love the unborn in their own right. They feel that an unborn child is a person, and that its humanity is not determined by whether it is wanted.

    Those women would get insulted if I implied, as I am implying about the women in this discussion, that they did not love the unborn. But I think that this is one statement by me about which you all will not get upset, because all, I think, who have posted a significant amount, have made it clear that if the child is not wanted or not developed, it is a parasite or a rapist or whatever. You yourself said less than anyone to this effect, but you said —

    “It is about stating that until that fertilized egg implants inside the uterine wall, there is no pregnancy . . .”

    The context was who is a “member of our human family,” so at least at that stage, to you, it is not.

    Back to the topic of perceptions from your side about pro-life men, here is something you may just not have thought of. You wrote: “You see, for you, this is just a rhetorical exercise that you can approach.with a degree of detachment, but for us this is our bodies, our health and our lives.”

    There’s a lot of truth in that, but one thing is missing (the same thing that is usually missing, I would have to say): The bodies, health and lives of the unborn are at stake even more than yours, and when someone makes a unilateral choice to kill them, they cannot fight back, scream, or write to Amnesty International (who would sell them out if they did). Their only hope is representation. And should one of their representatives be completely blamed, or abandon them, if he happens to be in a luckier position in terms of risk than either of the principal parties? [Edit: He will be less effective than if he were a woman, but he shouldn’t quit.]

    One thing more that unborn children cannot do, though it reflects well their position and though it would be all the more true than your saying it to me, is say to a male pro-choicer, “You see, for you, this is just a rhetorical exercise that you can approach with a degree of detachment, but for us this is our bodies, our health and our lives.” But you probably don’t get angry at male pro-choicers — please think about the inconsistency.

    The difference in perception of the unborn, between pro-lifers and pro-choicers, is the most fundamental, and a fairly intractable, cause of the policy divide over abortion. A policy divide doesn’t have to be a communications breakdown, but in this case it almost is, because pro-choicers simply find the vision that pro-lifers have incomprehensible.

    Above I said that I would “see how far my style in giving the answers is at fault.” When I decide that I perceive bad thinking, I probably don’t have to be as blunt about it as I am. But then it’s also possible that if I tried to say the same things in a tactful way, I would be attacked for being mealy-mouthed.

    Another topic:

    “instead of getting all huffy and sensitive at perceived insults and indelicate language, why don’t you at least try to understand where we’re coming from?”

    When someone is in an abusive mode, some of where they’re coming from is obvious, and regarding the part that is not obvious, if I were to try to probe into it, wouldn’t they misinterpret that also? All I can think of is to wait and hope they cool off.

    In case you’re still going strong, I will very soon send replies to Cake and Feminerd. Search for “Ah, the parasite argument” and “I don’t take a loyalty oath to either of them.”

  • purr

    I don’t have the right to enslave my neighbour if my neighbour doesn’t want to have kids.

  • Cake

    I pretended.
    Then I wondered why I was ascribing thoughts and feelings and innocence to something that isn’t sentient and is parasitizing another human being.

    Now pretend that its opposite day and see…….

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I had written: “You don’t have to believe it. Just pretend you believe it for a minute, and see what happens.”

    And you have replied: “I pretended. Then I wondered why I was ascribing thoughts and feelings and innocence to something that isn’t sentient and is in the process of parasitizing a human being.”

    What happens after you finish pretending doesn’t matter. I wanted you to see what happens while pretending. It sounds like you weren’t able to pretend long enough to find out.

    Ah, the parasite argument. Let’s see:

    1. An unborn baby is a parasite.

    2. It’s okay to kill parasites for any reason.

    3. Therefore it’s okay to kill unborn babies for any reason.

    But what if 2, the moral premise, is wrong? What if the correct moral premise is “It’s okay to kill parasites, except unborn babies, for any reason” — ?

    There is actually no golden tablet from pro-choice heaven, or anywhere else, saying that all parasites are equally deserving of a particular treatment.

    Ethics tries to look for categories that are as broad and universal (no exceptions) as possible, because it satisfies the logical mind, and it is easier for members of society to agree among themselves on logic than on intuition. Basing ethical principles and laws on intuition is messy. But ultimately they are all based on intuition anyway. I tried to explore this in an article —

    http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/personhood

    The logical mind is so puny. Based on logic, people commit all kinds of atrocities. Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment — his immediate motivation is, as with everybody, selfishness. He finds some satisfying logic to justify it, and he kills. One woman I know who bitterly regrets her abortion says, “The freedom of choice, woman’s-right-to-her body rhetoric seemed quite natural to me” — in other words, logic. First she had a desire to abort for typical reasons — Guttmacher says “Having a baby would dramatically change my life” is the most typical — then she found a logic that seemed to justify it. Years later her higher intuition come to govern and she saw through the logic, and regretted. She would want me to tell this story, by the way.

    It’s outrageous to demand sacrifice if there is no other body involved! Or if that other body is just like what we usually mean by “parasite.” I would be the first to agree. With logic, one can convince oneself of things like that, and outrage at those who want to protect the other body follows naturally from the conviction.

    In the abortion debate, ultimately the wisest person may be the one who says, “It just seems wrong to me.” They may add, “It’s wrong to just let it happen, also.”

    The president of Feminists for Life has said, “Women aren’t stupid. We know it’s a baby that is growing just like we did in our mother’s wombs. . . . For years, abortion advocates have been pitting women against their unborn children, dehumanizing the growing child with misleading phrases like ‘blobs of cells’ and ‘products of conception.’ Fetus is a Latin word meaning offspring. But in practice, fetus has become a clinical, dehumanized term for an unborn child.”

    For the sake of argument, I have been conceding that the unborn baby is a parasite. It does not seem conceptually useful to me to use that term for it, but I see limited value in debating semantics.

    I’m not sure if I understood your last line.

    I have just said some more about the humanity of the unborn, and about caring for the unborn (and their mothers), in a reply to Jennifer Starr. Search for “So far we had been communicating”

  • purr

    In the abortion debate, ultimately the wisest person may be the one who says, “It just seems wrong to me.” They may add, “It’s wrong to just let it happen, also.”

    It just seems wrong to enslave women to the contents of their uterii.

    But in practice, fetus has become a clinical, dehumanized term for an unborn child.

    Can’t dehumanize something that isn’t yet a fully realized human being. This is why forced birthers don’t put pictures of zygotes on their propaganda posters. People can’t really empathize with an actual blob of cells. Pro-liars instead prefer to use photos of late term fetuses and stillborns.

    This is a typical abortion:

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls6w7phG8f1qi68z9.jpg

    Can’t dehumanize a clump of undifferentiated tissue because there is nothing human about it except for the DNA and the potential to be a human being.

    For years, abortion advocates have been pitting women against their unborn children

    If we consider the fact that pregnancy is not at all healthy, that the fetus is genetically programmed by the father’s genes (genomic imprinting) to grow as big as possible at the woman’s expense; that the fetus suppresses her immune system, takes sugar and iron from her blood (resulting in anemia and diabetes) – it is safe to say that the fetus is pit against the woman by nature itself.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I would like to reply your “It just seems wrong to enslave women” post, hoping we can continue to talk on the relatively civil level of that and your other latest post.

    “This is a typical abortion:”

    Oh. I would have thought that a typical one would be less matter.

    I had quoted Serrin Foster:

    “Women aren’t stupid. We know it’s a baby that is growing just like we did in our mother’s wombs. . . . For years, abortion advocates have been pitting women against their unborn children, dehumanizing the growing child with misleading phrases like ‘blobs of cells’ and ‘products of conception.’ Fetus is a Latin word meaning offspring. But in practice, fetus has become a clinical, dehumanized term for an unborn child.”

    You are saying that in a typical abortion, the child is small. The place to start responding to you now that is most obvious to me, is the part of the Foster quote represented by “. . .” above:

    “As feminists, we don’t believe in discrimination based on size, age or location. Do you believe that a child has less of a right to exist because he or she is small? Are large or tall people more valuable than small or short people? By that logic, most women would have fewer rights than men!”

    You wrote: “Can’t dehumanize a clump of undifferentiated tissue because there is nothing human about it except for the DNA and the potential to be a human being.”

    As Dr. Maureen Condic has said, it’s the DNA and the potential that make it human (not the potential to be a human being, which, she explains, it already is, but the potential to be a more developed human being):

    “Building the complex architecture of the brain is a continuous process that is initiated at sperm-egg fusion and proceeds through orderly steps under the direction of a ‘builder,’ that is, a human organism that is present from the beginning. The presence of an agent capable of constructing the mature body, including the brain, is the only sustainable definition of a human being. This agency should not be misconstrued as some kind of mystical or spiritual element that is merely attributed to an embryo or fetus based on personal or religious belief. The fact that the embryo acts as an agent is entirely a matter of empirical observation; embryos construct themselves.

    “As a scientist, I view the manifestation of this agency as a sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos. Others may choose to see this agency in more spiritual or poetical terms, but such a viewpoint does not alter the scientific facts; embryos manifest a unique molecular composition and pattern of behavior characteristic of an organism, and this conclusively demonstrates a level of agency that is definitive of a human being.

    “To assert that a human being is only present once a specific anatomic landmark has been achieved is absurd.”

    Foster: “For years, abortion advocates have been pitting women against their unborn children”

    You replied: “If we consider the fact that pregnancy is not at all healthy, that the fetus is genetically programmed by the father’s genes (genomic imprinting) to grow as big as possible at the woman’s expense; that the fetus suppresses her immune system, takes sugar and iron from her blood (resulting in anemia and diabetes) – it is safe to say that the fetus is pit against the woman by nature itself.”

    It’s a good reply, but it doesn’t justify abortion advocates pitting women against their unborn children MORE than nature ever did.

    If conditions remain good, I’ll work on your previous questions.

  • ansuz

    I’m not sure if that Dr. Maureen Condic quote is more offensive to science or to philosophy. It might be most offensive to human beings.

    I don’t have time of fix the whole thing, but here:

    “I view the manifestation of this agency as a sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos.”
    should be
    “I view this sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos as the manifestation of agency.”
    Fuck knows why she does that, but that’s the only way I can get the whole thing to mean something.

    Million dollar question: can you tell me why I’m supposed to care about my species qua my species?

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “I view the manifestation of this agency as a sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos.”
    should be
    “I view this sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos as the manifestation of agency.”
    . . . that’s the only way I can get the whole thing to mean something.

    Let A = “manifestation of this agency”

    Let B = “sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos”

    If “I view B as identical to A” meant something, then “I view A as identical to B” would mean something also, wouldn’t it? You are saying that if we transpose the word “this” from “agency” to “sequence,” then “I view B as identical to A” does mean something. So your argument must come down to “The word ‘this’ should be applied to ‘sequence’ rather than to ‘agency’.” Or am I missing something?

    Since “agency” is a new word that Condic is introducing, it might have been more normal to say “I view B as identical to A,” but that does not mean that “I view A as identical to B” does not mean anything or does not make the same point.

    She has been saying, in effect, “That which is responsible for the development of the embryo is contained in the embryo [a very important point] and can be called an ‘agency’.” I understand her main purpose in the sentence that you criticize, as simply to bring in the fact that the development is in terms of biochemical processes.

    If you say yes to my above “If” question, then, as mentioned, your argument comes down to “The word ‘this’ should be applied to ‘sequence’ and not to ‘agency’.”

    You say that “I view this sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos as the manifestation of agency” means something. If it means something, it means something referring to the agency she has previously defined, so why not say “THIS agency”?

    By contrast, Condic has NOT in the preceding part of what I quoted mentioned a sequence of biochemical processes, so wouldn’t “this,” applied to “a sequence of biochemical processes,” be confusing?

    If the most egregious flaw you can find in her argument that an embryo is a human being were not really a flaw, then in order to justify many abortions you would have to resort to something like:

    “Million dollar question: can you tell me why I’m supposed to care about my species qua my species?”

    Well, the 2 million dollar question is, Why am I supposed to care about anything? In my “Personhood” article, I argued that ethics all comes down to intuition, and that some people’s intuition is better developed and therefore more accurate than that of others, but that everyone’s is developing in the same direction. Therefore what we should all hold as moral values is what the most intuitive people hold. (I’m sure I cannot have been the first person to say that, but I haven’t studied much philosophy.)

  • ansuz

    Sorry, I made a small mistake, too (just finished an exam, tired.)(philosophy of science, as it happens):

    “I view this sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos as a manifestation of agency.”

    What I meant was, the sequence of biochemical processes is what is actually there. The agency is not unequivocally there, so stating that first is begging the questions and assuming it’s there.
    See: “I view this [intangible quality] as a [rock].”
    vs. “I view this [rock] as [intangible quality].”
    Her whole argument is that the biochemical processes that make humans are manifestations of agency in some kind of meaningful sense, and it’s so terribly constructed with so much wrong in a tiny space that it makes my head hurt. So much begging the question, and eliding concepts, and Doing Science Rong, and appealing to Science as an authority, and I’m going to go make a cup of tea now.

    EDIT: The ‘this’ is not the issue. And re: caring, nothing can have intrinsic value that is not capable of valuing itself. And while it’s nice for me to value things that do have their own value, it isn’t really necessary as a condition for them to have value (as they’re quite capable of being valuable without my help). (That last bit is a restatement for clarity.) In a moral/ethical sense it isn’t hard to prove that I ought to value (or at least recognize the value of) things that have intrinsic value as defined above, but I’ve yet to see a decent moral/ethical argument for why we ought to value anything that isn’t intrinsically valuable by the above definition (except for a consequentialist argument for valuing the environment).

    EDIT II: The rock mentioned in the example should NOT be mistaken for a metaphorical rock.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “I view this sequence of biochemical processes that proceeds in a manner characteristic of human embryos as a manifestation of agency.”

    I had said that your suggested word order would be more normal (ignoring the fact that Condic, in what I quoted at least, hadn’t previously mentioned biochemical processes as such), but I think your objection would carry more weight if not for Condic’s preceding paragraph, for instance “the embryo acts as an agent.” Maybe more on this later.

    Just a few questions for now:

    “nothing can have intrinsic value that is not capable of valuing itself”

    Does this mean that a post-natal person in dreamless sleep has no intrinsic value?

    “. . . nothing can have intrinsic value that is not capable of valuing itself. And while it’s nice for me to value things that do have their own value . . .”

    You haven’t quite said how the things got their value. Do you mean that all things capable of valuing themselves DO value themselves? Some people think they’re worthless, better dead.

    A person who does value [“himself” — you can fill in the pronoun you’d prefer] by definition has value of a kind, but is it the same kind we’re talking about in the abortion debate, particularly the legal aspects of that debate? The values of a society, on which its laws will ideally be based, don’t necessarily coincide with what one lone person values. Society doesn’t grant a right to life to post-natal person X because X values [“himself” — you can fill in the pronoun you’d prefer].

    “In a moral/ethical sense it isn’t hard to prove that I ought to value (or at least recognize the value of) things that have intrinsic value as defined above”

    Since it’s not hard, maybe it wouldn’t be asking too much that you do it. (I’m not asking this idly in terms of the abortion debate.)

  • ansuz

    “Does this mean that a post-natal person in dreamless sleep has no intrinsic value?”
    No. Not valuing themselves currently is not the same thing as being incapable of valuing themselves. Depending on the level of determinism we get to, the boundaries can get a little blurry (i.e., is someone capable of doing something if they aren’t, in fact, doing it?), but I’m quite comfortable with that.

    The value argument (which I think I came up with myself, though I probably read it elsewhere) begins by not assuming that value is a thing that exists in the universe on its own, and asks okay, then, where does value come from? Valuing and being valued, i.e., minds.
    I actually don’t have time right now to go through everything, but take that, some Rawls, and a (primarily) consequentialist idea of morality that focuses on minimizing harm and maximizing awesome (and pretty much allowing each thing-capable-of-valuing to define its own harm and awesome).
    I think it’s possible for anyone to get there.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I would say that a zygote will wake up soon enough, in the sense of “waking up” that should concern us here, and will live for 80 years. You would probably say that a sleeping person whose doctors have given her only a week to live has intrinsic value, and that that value should not be discarded. Your position can be argued, but using abstractions that would seem arbitrary to me.

    I wouldn’t mind Googling for Rawls and consequentialism if necessary, but I don’t think it’s necessary in order for me to understand that the proof you’re offering isn’t a scientific one, and that what you and Rawls and consequentialism will come down to will be helping me to find my moral intuition. And I’m sure that they would help me find it — philosophical “proofs” can do wonders in that sense — but I won’t do the research right now, because I already intuit that a person who values themselves has value (I have “gotten there,” as you say). And because I now understand that you know that values come down to intuition.

    My intuition says that a zygote has intrinsic value. You intuit or think otherwise. So are there no absolute values? I think there are, as absolute as anything can get in this universe, but I think some people’s intuition is better than that of others.

    Certainly (again according to my intuition) my intuition now is better than when I intuited that zygotes have no value, as I once did.

    To conclude about your “Sorry . . .” post:

    First, in my “Personhood” article, I quoted Condic’s scientific “proof” that embryos deserve legal protection, but soon followed that with this:

    “. . . the problem is that ‘personhood’ . . . is a word. A word does not have undebatable properties as does a molecule of sodium chloride. Scientists may agree, as a convention for their own use, on a definition of some word, but that does not mean that the definition is scientifically proven, or even that the editor of any dictionary is bound to include it.”

    So I don’t ultimately accept Condic’s or anyone’s premise that a scientific proof is possible. But as a science-based argument appealing to our intuition, I think Condic does a very good job that would not be diminished if she spoke more rigorously in your terms. Suppose, for instance, she said “that which causes the development of the embryo” instead of “agency.” You cannot deny that the development must be caused, yet her argument would not be diminished by this more rigorous expression.

    “. . . that’s the only way I can get the whole thing to mean something.”

    As I now understand, what you meant was that Condic’s sentence does mean something, but gets the meaning across underhandedly. If you had said “misleading” or “begging the question” at the outset, I would have understood better.

    And getting back to this post —

    “Each individual gets to define hir own experiences. . . . Is it not valid, when she experiences those things, to take steps reasonably proportioned to end any immediate and ongoing physical violations or feelings of violations? If she taps the person blocking her way out of the corner on the shoulder, or shoves them away from her in a panic, is that not a valid response. . . . To label an experience ‘rape’ does not mean that the person who triggered my friend with PTSD is a bad person, or a rapist, or should go to jail, or that my friend would be justified in shooting them in the head. . . . Same thing with a fetus. . . . the physical harm done by pregnancy [is] huge. . . . we have no means of ending a pregnancy that is being experienced as rape (through most of the pregnancy) that is not fatal to the zef”

    — your “[not] justified in shooting. . . . Same thing with a fetus” seems to me like a good intuition, and seems contradictory to the implication of what follows.

    (On a lighter note, it has been said that if abortions were performed by shooting, American conservatives would consider them the woman’s right.)

    Also, your lines that I have quoted were intended to support your “standing by” this — “ANY intrusion, even an accidental touch or an event that didn’t really happen at all, is functionally rape if I deem it or even imagine it to be an intrusion” — which was my paraphrase of your first sentence here: “An intrusion — determined by my state of mind — on my body is functionally rape. A pregnancy that I want to abort is an intrusion on my body.”

    It seems to me that your introducing a high degree of suffering (“the physical harm done by pregnancy [is] huge”) shows that you recognize the near-irrelevance of bodily autonomy per se.

    And, your PTSD person wouldn’t be justified even in shoving if she did not have PTSD. Most pregnant women don’t have PTSD.

    “hir” works as a gender-neutral pronoun in writing, but it wouldn’t in speech.

  • ansuz

    “It seems to me that your introducing a high degree of suffering (“the physical harm done by pregnancy [is] huge”) shows that you recognize the near-irrelevance of bodily autonomy per se.

    And, your PTSD person wouldn’t be justified even in shoving if she did not have PTSD. Most pregnant women don’t have PTSD.”

    You are forgetting that the degree of suffering is a thing that exists in the mind, and that only the person who experiences it can know it. It is, therefore, not my business to decide whether or not the degree of suffering experienced by someone whose bodily integrity was infringed upon outweighs or is outweighed by the steps that person takes if those steps are reasonably proportioned to end the infringement (by which I mean, if those steps a. could reasonably be expected to end the violation, and b. are within a reasonable distance from the minimum amount of retaliatory action that would end the violation).
    It just so happens that in the case of abortion, it is the minimum amount of retaliatory action that will end the violation.

    I would experience a pregnancy as rape and as psychological torture (physical torture, too, at times). Why should anybody be able to force me to endure that?

    “”hir” works as a gender-neutral pronoun in writing, but it wouldn’t in speech.”

    I pronounce it ‘heer’ in my head. There are alternatives, though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-specific_and_gender-neutral_pronouns#Summary

    Feel free to pick your favourite.

    EDIT: I don’t have PTSD now (officially, at any rate. There are a couple things that might put me close to it.), but I bet I would if I got pregnant — especially if I couldn’t get an abortion. (Though there’s probably a >90% chance that I’d end up dead in that case, so.)

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I had written —

    “It seems to me that your introducing a high degree of suffering (‘the physical harm done by pregnancy [is] huge’) shows that you recognize the near-irrelevance of bodily autonomy per se.”

    — and you have replied —

    “You are forgetting that the degree of suffering is a thing that exists in the mind, and that only the person who experiences it can know it. It is, therefore, not my business to decide whether or not the degree of suffering experienced by someone whose bodily integrity was infringed upon outweighs . . .”

    This is a valid point, but it is not a reply to what I said about the near-irrelevance of bodily autonomy per se. What you have offered is a degree-of-suffering argument — adding a valid point about who can determine the degree.

    1. Ethics only makes sense when it’s future-oriented — how much future suffering and future happiness does each party stand to gain or lose? (I discussed this in a blog post called “Too Young for Rights?”) It’s true that the woman knows best (imperfectly, but best) what in the future she stands to gain or lose, but she cannot know how much the baby stands to gain or lose, nor could she be impartial if she did know.

    And why should an unborn baby count at all? Let’s look at in terms of what you value:

    You think we ought to value a being that values itself. But that being’s past is over, and its exact present has no duration, so all IT can value, and all you can value, unless you value an abstraction of a present, is its future. Why is it not okay to deprive a presently self-valuing being of its future, while according to you it should be okay to deprive a being who may not presently value itself, of a self-valuing future probably LONGER than that of the first being?

    “only the person who experiences [mental suffering] can know [the degree of] it.”

    2. If a pregnant woman is extremely distressed emotionally by the pregnancy, that might be justification for ending it. But that would be true if the distress were caused by fear of her parents finding out (she never heard of bodily integrity and is not thinking about it), as well as if it were caused by a sense of trespass on her physical boundaries.

    Some person other than your example, whose bodily integrity is infringed on, might take that infringement lightly. When a child is given a compulsory vaccination, that is an infringement of bodily integrity: let’s call this a “compulsory bodily-integrity infringement that society has found necessary.” A compulsory vaccination usually doesn’t cause much emotional distress, and I don’t know if a child would be exempted because of a CLAIM of severe emotional distress (on the basis of the infringement per se or the pain or the fear of a contaminated needle or whatever) without some attempt by others to evaluate the credibility of the claim.

    Normally it would seem more acceptable to probe into the stated motives of a child than of an adult, but if an adult wants an exemption from some unborn child-protection laws — since those laws constitute a compulsory bodily-integrity infringement that society has found necessary in order to protect the life of another, albeit junior, member of society, a very serious matter — some probing might be justified.

    It is “only the the child who can really know” ULTIMATELY, yes, but it’s an everyday occurrence that a child somewhere will claim illness to avoid going to school, and the parents will say, “Are you REALLY sick,” and the child will say, “Well, no, but Jimmy and Tony aren’t nice to me.” I think a lot of the time the parents are able to figure out the truth. For practical purposes, it is sometimes possible for others to know something.

    “I would experience a pregnancy as rape and as psychological torture (physical torture, too, at times). Why should anybody be able to force me to endure that?”

    Again, this is about the degree of the suffering.

    “I don’t have PTSD now (officially, at any rate. There are a couple things that might put me close to it.), but I bet I would if I got pregnant — especially if I couldn’t get an abortion.”

    Here someone, apparently the blogger herself, blames her PTSD on abortion:

    http://clinicquotes.com/my-only-child-a-post-abortion-testimony/

    “I have been diagnosed with PTSD, complete with nightmares and flashbacks. Like what happens in war, only I paid someone to put my innocent baby’s fragile body on a landmine. . . . I have flashbacks of this baby I love so much struggling against the curette, safe one moment, about to be cut to pieces the next. ‘Mom help me!’ ‘Mom, make them stop!’ And I can’t. I would if I could. I cannot reverse time. My precious one, I would crawl over broken glass to get you back. I would stand in front of a moving train if it would bring you back.”

    It gets worse, it made me cry . . . it’s really not reading for the fainthearted.

    She protected her bodily integrity, but now she can’t stop those images from violating her mental integrity.

    “(Though there’s probably a >90% chance that I’d end up dead in that case, so.)”

    Sorry to hear about what is apparently a physical condition that could be or is serious. Certainly a legitimate reason for abortion. Hope it doesn’t come to that.

    In my last post I said:

    “Certainly (again according to my intuition) my intuition now is better than when I intuited that zygotes have no value, as I once did.”

    When I used to think of an embryo, I thought of it exclusively as what it is at a particular moment, as if it were frozen in time. Now I automatically see it as part of a process, and can see where that process is probably leading, including the being’s eventual demise (not occurring before it has had the experience of a life of whatever length). Science tells us that the embryo is indeed in process, so surely my perception now is more accurate than what it used to be. In addition, I experience various more subjective components of a “ring of truth” when I think of an embryo as a person, and I could go deeper into this question of epistemology, but will leave it here for now.

    While responding about pain at —

    http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/personhood/#comment-86

    — I cited a 2004 Guttmacher study in which none of the 1209 respondents seemed to have expressed a concern about pain as a reason for abortion. Similarly, none seem to have mentioned bodily integrity. You may say that it is bodily integrity which gave them a right to abort for their stated reasons, but if a violation of integrity is not an affliction in itself, such a statement would be to set up bodily integrity as a value arbitrarily.

    Thanks for the pronouns.

    No one is commenting here any more, so probably no one is reading either. If you wish to reply, it might be better to comment on my blog. At least a few people are reading there.

  • purr

    Oh we are reading. And it’s clear to us that you value the potential future of a zygote over the actual future of a living, breathing, feeling, pregnant person.

    BTW, the zygote does not in fact ‘have a future’. It gives rise to something that can live a life – but again, there is no guarantee that the z/e/f will survive the construction process/be born whole.

    You seem to ignorantly believe in the ‘homunculus’ theory of development. That each and every zygote simply ‘gets bigger’ which has been proven to be false. Of course, we can’t dare to counter your views on this, because you have declared that our views are ‘arbitrary’ – unlike your view, which is that every zygote has a soul!

    Furthermore, you reserve the right to be ‘offended’ when we talk about how it might feel for *you* to be gently butffucked to save a life (yes, you ignored that post of mine) yet you think you can talk to women as if they are nothing more than incubators and you think that women should *not* be offended by it? Your words may be civil, but your views are *rude* *offensive* and *misogynist*

    This portion here, of a post from Slacktivist, describes your attitude towards those unfortunate enough to be born with the ability to incubate a fetus:

    “”But much of what is presented as good and proper manners, or as “civility,” has nothing to do with respect for other people. It is, rather, about respect for the status quo — no matter how unjust, oppressive, exclusive, or otherwise evil that status quo may be.

    We should treat other people with all due respect, and we should treat an evil status quo with all due respect. In the latter case, “all due respect” doesn’t mean deferential politeness, it means crying “weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. ”

    There’s nothing polite about paying deferential respect to injustice. Allowing injustice to endure, serenely imperturbed, is disrespectful to both its victims and its perpetrators. It is thus, in a word, rude.””

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/12/07/good-manners-is-often-bad-morals/

    Your opinions are rude. And we do not need to treat you with deference when you treat us like livestock and erase women from pregnancy.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    I will get back to you, including your question about homosexual anal intercourse. Pro-life work on the ground has been taking up more of my time, and right now on my blog a discussion is going on about the definition of bodily integrity. If any clarity comes out of that, I’ll be able to bring it to bear here also, so I should give priority to that.

  • purr

    The question was not about homosexual sex. It was about how *you* would feel if your body was violated. You don’t seem to believe that women have the same rights to bodily integrity that you feel entitled to because you are a man.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “The question. . . . was about how *you* would feel if your body was violated.”

    Yes, and the example you used in your question involved homosexual sex. I think I understood the question.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    The manner of the violation is irrelevant.

    What is relevant is: would you want your body used without your consent?

  • purr

    I ventured over to his blog and he is making the argument that pregnancy may be ‘unique’ and it may be something that men don’t have to face, but pro-choice really just gives women a default ‘win’ because it confers upon them special treatment in service of equality.

    For example, if you have a sore ankle, and that ankle injury is ‘unique’, that doesn’t give you the right to hit kids with your car just because your ankle is ‘too sore’ to hit the brakes first.

    Yeah. I mean, it’s basically just a fancy way of saying ‘biology is destiny’.

    And he wonders why we accuse him of misogyny.

  • purr

    No. It involved rape.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    You used the word “consent” (not consent happily, but consent in order to save a life). Isn’t that the question I should answer?

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    On Dec. 27 I wrote: “I will get back to you . . . right now on my blog a discussion is going on about the definition of bodily integrity. If any clarity comes out of that, I’ll be able to bring it to bear here also, so I should give priority to that.”

    Sorry for my delay getting back to you.

    If you’re interested in the discussion on the blog about a definition, see http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/personhood/#comment-98 Scroll down to “‘Violation’ implies harm.” Take a look at at least the first reply to that post, also.

    Now I’m ready to reply to your posts of 2:33 p.m., Tuesday Dec. 24 and 3:06 p.m., Tuesday Dec. 24, and your earlier question using the example of a man submitting to an unwanted homosexual act, in order to save a life.

    However, the name on all your posts has changed from marshmallow to RonPaul2012, and your replies to me which were in my Profile/Dashboard have somehow disappeared, so I’m wondering if you’re still there — ?

  • purr

    90% of women feel relief after abortion:

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4512213.html

    While some women did experience feelings of regret if the abortion was closer to the gestational age limit, many of these women experienced negative feelings because they were previously denied abortions. And even the majority of women who did have negative feelings or who expressed regret still felt it was right: “Most (95%) women who had obtained the abortion felt it was the right decision, as did 89% of those who expressed regret.”

    The study acknowledges that, of course, every woman is different and will experience various emotions depending on herself and her situation. I think it’s important to show that while many of these women did feel negative emotions, so many of them felt relief. And the majority of women who experiences negative emotions had difficulty getting an abortion or got an abortion when the pregnancy may not have been unplanned.

    http://www.imnotsorry.net/ <—women who are not sorry about obtaining an abortion

    Women who are denied abortion go on to have lower quality of life than those who obtain an abortion:

    http://www.ansirh.org/research/turnaway.php

    Poverty

    The women in the Turnaway Study were in comparable economic positions at the time they sought abortions. 45% were on public assistance and two-thirds had household incomes below the federal poverty level. One of the main reasons women cite for wanting to abort is money, and based on the outcomes for the turnaways, it seems they are right.

    Most of the women who were denied an abortion, 86%, were living with their babies a year later. Only 11% had put them up for adoption. Also a year later, they were far more likely to be on public assistance — 76% of the turnaways were on the dole, as opposed to 44% of those who got abortions. 67% percent of the turnaways were below the poverty line (vs. 56% of the women who got abortions), and only 48% had a full time job (vs. 58% of the women who got abortions).

    When a woman is denied the abortion she wants, she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line. Another conclusion we could draw is that denying women abortions places more burden on the state because of these new mothers' increased reliance on public assistance programs.

    Violence and Drug Use

    In the Turnaway Study, the researchers could find no statistically significant differences in drug use between women who get abortions and women who don't. There appears to be no correlation between abortion and increased drug use. One interesting bit of data they did find was that drug users who couldn't get abortions were more likely to give their babies up for adoption.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic violence, being denied an abortion makes a really big difference. Turnaways were more likely to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner than women who got abortions. A year after being denied an abortion, 7% reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months. 3% of women who received abortions reported domestic violence in the same time period. Foster emphasized that this wasn't because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships. It was simply that getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily. So it's likely that these numbers actually reflect a dropoff in domestic violence for women who get abortions, rather than a rise among turnaways.

    This pattern of violence is also part of a larger pattern that shows turnaways are more likely to remain connected to the fathers of their children. Obviously, this isn't always a good thing, as the violence statistics reveal. But even in the vast majority of cases where violence isn't involved, Foster noted that these men aren't living with the turnaways. The researchers asked women about cohabiting with partners, and found that men were no more likely to live with a turnaway who'd borne their children than they were to live with a woman who had an abortion. "The man doesn't stick around just because you have the baby — that's the crude way of putting it," Foster said.

    Physical and Mental Health

    The Turnaway Study found no indication that abortion could be linked with increased mental health disorders. There were no statistical differences between turnaways and women who had abortions when it came to developing clinical depression.

    But turnaways did face a greater health risk from giving birth. Even late stage abortions are safer than giving birth. The researchers said at the APHA meeting:

    We find physical health complications are more common and severe following birth (38% experience limited activity, average 10 days) compared to abortion (24% limited activity, average 2.7 days). There were no severe complications after abortion; after birth complications included seizure, fractured pelvis, infection and hemorrhage. We find no differences in chronic health conditions at 1 week or one year after seeking abortion.

    _———————–

    Abortion = the right to self-determination. Which you want to deny women because you don't consider their 'reasons' to be good enough. It is none of your business WHY a woman would choose abortion. Pro-tip: don't seek to make medical and quality of life decisions for people unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.

    PS You keep talking about how a zygote/embryo has more of a right to life than a toddler or a grown woman because it is 'younger'. Well, no. Because a zygote is incapable of experiencing life. It is 'alive' in the sense that a beating heart cadaver is alive. It is alive in the sense that a tumour is alive. That isn't a life. It will not be 'alive' in any meaningful sense until it is born. You are pretending that the blueprints to a building somehow have more value than the building because the blueprints are 'younger' than the building. Which is ridiculous. Burning the blueprints is not at all equivalent to your house burning down.

  • Cake

    “I wanted you to see what happens while pretending.”

    Throwing logic and reason out the window to play lets pretend games doesn’t get anywhere. In fact trying to play lets pretend games only confuses the issue and shows that all you have are emotional arguments that “this is right because I say so.”

    The rest of your post is TL DR.

  • Gehennah

    Why would my neighbor’s fetus be your kid brother or sister?

    But even pretending that it was, it doesn’t change anything because I know it is a fetus. It isn’t actually my kid brother or sister. Just like I can pretend Santa is real and delivers presents to me on Christmas, but my mind calls BS on thoughts like that.

  • Jennifer Starr

    Kind of creepy that you would think this way about your neighbor’s pregnancy. You don’t own other women, or their fetuses. Are you one of those people who likes to go up and rub strange women’s stomachs?

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    “1. I’m not a woman. Please use gender-neutral pronouns.”

    Oh, sorry. I’ve fixed it on the blog. Is “his” good enough?

    “If rape is not horrible solely* because it is an intrusion — which, yes, is determined by my state of mind, because if I wanted the sexual contact it wouldn’t be rape — on my body… then what?”

    You had written:

    “An intrusion — determined by my state of mind — on my body is functionally rape.”

    This could be paraphrased “ANY intrusion, even an accidental touch or an event that didn’t really happen at all, is functionally rape if I deem it or even imagine it to be an intrusion,” couldn’t it?

    So I replied, “‘Determined by my state of mind’ means regardless of any degree of real harm or risk, hence a purely ideological commitment to bodily autonomy.”

    Note that “regardless” does not mean that there WAS no intrusive intention or harm done, it just means that there MAY HAVE been none (for instance if the event was accidental or imaginary).

    If, even when there was no wrong intention or harm, you consider it as rape (since “rape” means wrong intention & some degree of harm, at the very least in terms of your time), I’m calling that a purely ideological commitment to bodily autonomy.

    Wasn’t my reply correct?

    “Do you consider date rape to be ‘real rape’? Is it rape if it’s my spouse?

    This is a new topic, isn’t it? I’m open to the possibility of new topics (though not infinite new topics), but I ask because I’m wondering if this is a rebuttal to anything I wrote. If it is, to what?

    “Am I not equally violated if the rapist is determined by a court to be incapable of criminal responsibility?”

    If I understand correctly, your question is in response to this sequence:

    ===================================
    ansuz: The moral agenthood of the thing doing the intruding is not relevant to the fact that it is in my body and I do not want it there.

    Acy: . . . treating an unborn baby like a rapist, since a rapist does not need your body to live, means considering the life of the unborn baby to be not only forfeit — due to being inside your body — but also completely valueless. [I see that I should have said: “. . . treating an unborn baby like a rapist, since a rapist does not need your body to live, means not only considering the life of the unborn baby to be forfeit — due to being inside your body — but also treating it as completely valueless.”]
    ===============================================

    My reply wasn’t necessarily to your “moral agenthood” sentence, because elsewhere also you equated an unborn baby to a rapist. But since now you are asking about criminal responsibility, maybe you thought that I had addressed “moral agenthood,” and maybe you understood me to be saying that moral agenthood was relevant to “intrusion/violation.” I didn’t mean to say that, but now you’re asking me to weigh in on a similar question:

    “Am I not equally violated if the rapist is determined by a court to be incapable of criminal responsibility?”

    Do you mean violated according to the terms of your argument (“determined by my state of mind”)? If so, the answer is contained in the question.

    Or according to me? I think that in your mind, it should be possible to be supremely indifferent either way, and that you should try for that. But as far as your outward response, I think we should act toward “capable” wrongdoers in one way, and “incapable” wrongdoers in another way.

    Or according to the court? That might depend on what country we’re talking about.

    Now I’m no longer so open to new topics! Enough time’s being spent on the present ones.

  • ansuz

    “This could be paraphrased “ANY intrusion, even an accidental touch or an event that didn’t really happen at all, is functionally rape if I deem it or even imagine it to be an intrusion,” couldn’t it?”

    Yes, and I stand by it. Each individual gets to define hir own experiences, and rape is a designation that is about the one who was raped, not about the rapist. If, for example, my friend with PTSD from the sexual abuse she experienced as a child has a nightmare, or is accidentally pushed into a corner by someone two feet taller than her, is it not valid for her to freak out? For her to say that, psychologically, she did just experience rape, even if she was just reliving something from the past?

    Is it not valid for her to use the label when she looks for comfort or support?

    Is it not valid, when she experiences those things, to take steps reasonably proportioned to end any immediate and ongoing physical violations or feelings of violations? If she taps the person blocking her way out of the corner on the shoulder, or shoves them away from her in a panic, is that not a valid response — thinking of ending her feeling of rape rather than on whether or not she is, by her response, labelling the person who bumped her into the corner a rapist and whether or not zie deserves that designation?

    “If, even when there was no wrong intention or harm, you consider it as rape (since “rape” means wrong intention & some degree of harm, at the very least in terms of your time), I’m calling that a purely ideological commitment to bodily autonomy.”
    Rape has nothing to do with wrong intention, in my view (though a criminal charge of it might). I don’t believe in punishment for the sake of punishment, and I do believe in consequence mitigation. To label an experience ‘rape’ does not mean that the person who triggered my friend with PTSD is a bad person, or a rapist, or should go to jail, or that my friend would be justified in shooting them in the head — it just means that zie needs to not be blocking her way out of the corner. And is my friend not being harmed? Not all harm is physical, and to call something ‘rape’ implies harm.

    Same thing with a fetus. It isn’t (necessarily) that a fetus’s life has no value, it’s just that:
    1) the physical harm done by pregnancy and the psychological damage done by rape (and remember: we can’t know how much psychological damage is being done, but pregnancy is much more intimate, changes the body much more, and lasts much longer than rape) are both huge
    plus
    2) we have no means of ending a pregnancy that is being experienced as rape (through most of the pregnancy) that is not fatal to the zef.

    And… there are a few more points in there I should get to, but I’m really tired.
    Also, I’m not a man, either. Wikipedia’s got a page of gender neutral pronouns.

  • purr

    treating an unborn baby like a rapist, since a rapist does not need your body to live

    So what. Just because someone might need your organs to live doesn’t mean they have the right to take them. Fetus, rapist, or person needing your kidney to survive.

    You are falling back on ‘biology is destiny’ as your argument. Your pal Sayak Banerjee didn’t manage any better. You misogynists are saying that women should be subservient to a mindless biological process because women were ‘made for it’ and too fucking bad if they don’t like it. The ‘baby’ needs their body to live, and who cares if they might feel it is rape, all that counts is the value of the *potential* yet not actualized life inside them.

  • purr

    1) On the basis of the Supreme Court precedent interpreting the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude to protect individual liberty and equality, the government may not prohibit abortion. To do so would be to require physical service from a woman for the benefit of a fetus. And according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (fetii are not mentioned, only born people):

    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4.
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    2) How, you ask, can one treat a fetus as some sort of alien parasite, and pregnancy as a unnatural violation, when pregnancy is the most natural thing in the world? Well, sexual intercourse is also the most “natural” thing in the world; but when it is involuntary, it becomes rape. Likewise, when the “natural” process of pregnancy is involuntary, it too becomes an alien intrusion or violation.

    3) A woman is clearly justified in killing a rapist in self-defense (assuming no lesser measures would be successful). Rape is one of the most profound and traumatizing assaults on one’s personhood that it is possible to inflict; so killing is not a disproportionate response to the seriousness of rape. But a rape need not involve physical injury or pain; if the rape victim is intimidated into failing to resist, then in purely physical terms a rape may be indistinguishable from normal, consensual intercourse. Rape need not be violent in any overt sense. Yet it is a rape for all that; for any sexual use of another person’s body without that person’s consent is a rape. What gives a woman the right to kill as rapist in self-defense, then, is not that he threatens her with pain or injury, but that he uses her body in the most deeply intimate and personal way, without her consent (even if she originally consented, then changed her mind). And it is precisely this same fact that gives a woman the right to kill her unwanted fetus not that it threatens her with pain or injury, but that it uses her body in the most deeply intimate and personal way, without her consent(even if she originally consented). Hence abortion is not a disproportionate response to the seriousness of the boundary-violation it counteracts:

    (a) One has the right to kill in self-defense if the threat is sufficiently serious.

    (b) The threat posed by an unwanted fetus is sufficiently serious.

    (c) Therefore, one has the right to kill an unwanted fetus in self-defense.

    Doesn’t this analogy ignore a vitally important difference – namely, that the fetus is innocent? The fetus did not choose to violate its mother’s boundaries; the violation occurred as a result of natural processes over which the fetus, in the nature of the case, could have no control (since these are the same natural processes that produced it).

    Yes, this is of course an important difference; but it is not important in the relevant way. An unwanted fetus is an innocent threat, but is a threat nonetheless. A boundary-violation does not cease to be a boundary-violation just because the boundary-violator was acting involuntarily; nor does such involuntariness transform a profoundly personal intrusion into a minor inconvenience. When the threat is as personal and intrusive as an unwanted pregnancy, it is difficult to see how the innocence of the fetus could make enough of a difference to justify forcing the mother to quietly endure nine months of what is tantamount to rape. Analogously, even if someone has been involuntarily hypnotized into becoming a literal rapist, his victim still has the right to kill him in self-defense.

    A woman never has an obligation – or at any rate, never has an enforceable obligation – to let herself be raped. Which is why, acyu, I could not FORCE you to undergo 9 months of being gently butffucked with a dildo even IF that would save a life.

    4) The process of childbirth is (a) life-threatening, and (b) extremely painful.(If the pain involved in childbirth were induced by other means, it would generally be recognized as a form of torture, and a nation that required women to undergo it would be found in violation of Article V of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) As things stand, then, abortion is not disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat it counteracts, and so is not a wrongful boundary-invasion; we surely have a right to kill in order to avoid being tortured.

  • purr

    I have an idea acyu. I will donate bone marrow and even half a liver to save a life if you consent to…

    Having a nice fellow:

    http://newseastwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Amit-Singh-copy.jpg

    Gently insert this up your rectum for 5 minutes every week:

    http://pleasuremenow.com/ProductImages10/cherry_dichroic_glass_dildo.gif

    Very gently. With lube, even. It will be painless. A ‘modest’ inconvenience.

    And at the end of 9 months you’ll get this in the ass:

    http://www.teamorganicnyc.org/photo/Cantaloupe.jpg

    ——————————-

    Now what do you say? The *degree* of sacrifice that you will be expected to endure will actually be a lot less than what I will endure, as I will be giving up parts of my body and undergoing potentially fatal surgery to save a life.

    You will just be gently fucked in the ass. Which is, really, a minor inconvenience.

    What do you say?

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Yes, “in your body” is an important issues IN ITSELF. Our bodies are our selves. We exist purely for the time our flesh and brain are alive and functional. There is nothing more personal than the self, nothing more private than one’s own body, nothing more important than the body’s survival and integrity.

    Your 90 minute theoretical question- there is no moral obligation to carry the baby. It is a morally optional act of generosity to do so. Like the with the dying violinist, even an hour can be too much, too long, too hard, if it is the wrong hour. Do I have to submit myself to an hour of torture for a stranger to survive? Do you consider that morally obligated? Do you think it should be legally obligated?

    Pregnancy and labor are torture- they are so painful and so dangerous that they were considered a curse from God in at least one notable ancient culture (the Israelites). Women got to Valhalla in Norse cultures by dying in childbirth; childbirth was recognized as being as dangerous, bloody, painful, and traumatic as a battlefield. Women in much of Africa, even today, bid farewell to their families when they become pregnant and even in the US, it is highly encouraged to update one’s will when one discovers one is pregnant. In at least one African country, a woman announces her pregnancy by saying she has one foot in the grave.

    Society should absolutely declare any person or entity’s life forfeit NOT to spare anyone any sacrifice, but to uphold the absolute integrity of the principle of bodily autonomy. If you need to rape someone in order to survive, is anyone morally obligated to let you? Or should we declare your life forfeit for a principle? That is what you are asking. My answer, in the famous words of Patrick Henry, is, “give me liberty or give me death”. You have no legal or moral right to rape anyone, even if not doing so means you will die.

  • http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/ Acyutananda

    Thanks for your reply. I in turn have written you a reply, and due to its length, I have posted it here:

    http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/personhood/#comment-86

    In that reply I have referred to you as FMD and to ansuz as ASZ. If either of you would like to appear there as ansuz or Feminerd, please let me know.

    If you reply, you may reply on that page or here or both, as you wish. I will continue checking here for a few days.

    And if anyone, for the sake of the discussion on this page, would like to quote here my entire above-linked reply, they may of course do so, but my judgment is that it would be too long.

  • purr

    I can’t help but notice that you ignored my response completely. It wasn’t ‘genteel’ enough for your finely tuned pseudo-intellectual brain.

    It also cut to the heart of an uncomfortable truth. That having your body repeatedly violated, in service of another, isn’t exactly the most pleasant thought now, is it? Even *if* it is to save a life.

  • $7977616

    you didn’t really read the entire conversation did you.

  • ansuz

    Well, it’s possible I missed something, but the comment you actually responded to with this:

    “A leftist resorting to accusing his opponents of being Hitler… That’s so unusual. I’ve never heard of that. You accuse Christians and conservatives of being Nazis? Now who on earth has ever seen such a thing? How profound. How truthful and insightful. How original. How cutting. Oh man, now I’ll have to go and search my soul and probably just to make sure I’m not a Nazi I’m going to have to come out on the side of eugenics and euthanasia and discriminating against all Christians and of slaughtering unborn people and lying to the public about what I’m doing. …. (wait a cotton-pickin minute)

    You probably admire Hitler because he was an early “pro-choice” advocate.”

    Was about cats.

  • $7977616

    Really then it wasn’t about anything. It was pointless and frivolous, much like my response.

  • Red-star

    So can somebody tell me why so many against abortion are also against Contraceptives? I’m aware their is significant overlap in the religious community and many there feel premarital sex is an extremely bad sin. and the pro-life community but is that all there is too it? I know many Christians who don’t look at premarital sex as something worth getting so angry you’ll kick someone out for so what other reasons are there?

  • purr

    Because contraception leads to abortion. Contraception separates sex from it’s ‘purpose’ – which is to make babies. And once you separate sex from it’s ‘purpose’ all sorts of bad things happen – abortion, bestiality, homosexuality etc etc. And any kind of sex that isn’t directly procreative will surely lead to the downfall of humanity. Moral decay of society etc. A lot of it probably comes down to conservative squeamishness. The fact that people are out having the sexy sex just makes them feel all icky inside. The fact that hot young women are fucking hot young guys and not middle aged Republican anti-choice lawmakers drives them crazy.

    Also, these beliefs are rooted in misogyny. Allow women contraception, and abortion, and suddenly they don’t need a man to depend on. Suddenly, women are at the *mercy* of their biology.

    Lastly, many strongly believe that contraceptives are abortifacients.

  • Ella Warnock

    The people I’ve known who had a somewhat butthurt attitude that my husband and I didn’t have kids didn’t really go ballistic until they found out we were serious enough about it to have a tubal ligation and vasectomy. Then we became demonic for so thoroughly rebuffing “god’s greatest gift.” It never was about the “innocent babies” at all. It was that I, as a mere woman, could choose for myself the course of my reproductive life.

  • Gehennah

    Same with my wife and I (well vasectomy for me, we decided against a major surgery for her because we felt it was a bit overkill, and going under scares her). People freak out because we say we don’t want kids, then when they find out I’ve been “fixed” some of them get even more upset.

  • Ella Warnock

    I think up until that point they think you could still have an “accident,” and that, of course, would totally make you want a baby. For some reason they think that sort of situation is funny. It’s not.

  • purr

    That and societal expectations. Both men and women are expected to settle down and have 2.5 kids. And if they don’t they are ‘selfish’. It’s all about conformity.

  • almond_bubble_tea

    “In the US, the maternal mortality rate is 21/100,000. ~30,000 women each
    year will nearly die, and ~1.7 million per year will be permanently
    injured/maimed.”

    Do you have a source for these statistics? I’ve been looking for some numbers like these to refute the argument that women in developed countries don’t suffer from pregnancy complications. Thanks.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    “That means each year in the U.S., about 700 women die of pregnancy-related complications and 52,000 experience emergencies such as acute renal failure, shock, respiratory distress, aneurysms and heart surgery. An additional 34,000 barely avoid death.”
    -http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/why-are-so-many-u-s-women-dying-during-childbirth/article_dd916b4b-38f0-5bae-ba42-ddee636e4cf4.html

    Data modeling suggesting 21/100,000 US maternal mortality rate

    In 2004/2005, 1.7 million women per year suffered adverse health effects

    You may also wish to bring up Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland of a pregnancy complication called chorioamnionitis.

  • almond_bubble_tea

    They already think an abortion would not have saved Savita.

    http://liveactionnews.org/3-things-you-should-know-about-savita/

  • purr

    As I said, they lie. They blame her death on poor personal hygiene. They care so deeply that abortion remain illegal that they don’t care if women die.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    The medical treatment for chorioamnionitis is “evacuation of the uterus”. The medical treatment was not followed.

    How on earth could anyone argue abortion wouldn’t have saved her? When she was already extremely ill, they did an abortion to try, it was just already too late. If they’d done it even a day earlier, she may have survived.

    Gah, people can be so dumb sometimes.

  • purr

    I have used those same links and arguments on the folks over at LAN.

    They have told me that:

    1) pregnancy is still really safe, so stfu

    2) if a woman has problems, it is because of pre-existing conditions and pregnancy itself is not inherently harmful

    3) if pregnancy wasn’t safe, the human race would have died out long ago

    4) women were made for it

  • almond_bubble_tea

    Thanks – I guess there’s no use debating these people. :(

  • purr

    They play word games and lie.

  • almond_bubble_tea

    Over at Live Action News, I was mocked for saying a fetus leeched nutrients from the mother’s body. Several folks pinpointed stories of how feti have helped the mother host and therefore could not be parastic.

  • purr

    If pregnancy extended the average lifespan of a woman by a large number of years, as compared to women who never became pregnant (such as nuns), the fact would have been noticed a long time ago.

  • almond_bubble_tea

    But, but but . . .

    it’s a scientific fact that feti have been very beneficial to pregnant ladies! So say the folks over at LAN when I tried to posit that fetuses were parasities. I got these links:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2517436/My-unborn-baby-saved-life-Mother-didnt-know-expecting-discovers-pregnancy-hormones-destroyed-cancerous-tumour.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2296254/Jane-Heffey-28-beats-cancer-pregnancy-complications-alerted-doctors-9cm-tumour-cervix.html

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-discover-childrens-cells-living-in-mothers-brain

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21185-fetus-donates-stem-cells-to-heal-mothers-heart.html#.UrTzto3jA8o

    Plus they also argued that parasitism couldn’t apply in this case because in parasitism, the host and the parasite had to be members of different species.

    Sigh.

  • purr

    It’s a functional parasite like a parasitic twin.Furthermore, fetii have been known to cause cancer in some cases and even worsen its effects. If pregnancy was so damn healthy doctors would prescribe it as a cure all don’t you think?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ PlumDumpling

    “Another life” is OTHER. It can stand next to me in line at the supermarket. I do not become two people the moment the sperm hits the ova. What nonsense.

    If there were a “right to life,” the state could not execute anyone. Such a “right” does not exist.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ PlumDumpling

    What is the “unborn?” Is that kind of like The Undead?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ PlumDumpling

    Abortion is 14 times safer than gestatng to term. The right to self defense is absolute.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ PlumDumpling

    What 100% mortality rate? Fetuses die or are in the process of dying in the womb sometimes. Stop your lying. It is disgusting.

  • ockraz

    hi there Spectrall

    I’m ockraz

    now you have

  • ockraz

    “Wait, are you actually asserting that there’s no life before conception?” There’s no living ORGANISM, and you and I are both organisms that began as zygotes. Neither of us have been gametes.

    Where is the claimed pseudoscience and superstition?

    Defining yourself as a person is less naturalistic than defining yourself as a an organism. One has a pretty clear definition and the other is vague with competing definitions. Organisms are physical things that take up space, and human ones form with syngamy. Your personhood was acquired when your self-awareness developed at… 18 months?

  • ockraz

    You can’t throw a person in jail for shooting themself through the arm if there’s someone behind their arm.

    Of course, you can just arrest someone for unlawful discharge of a firearm much of the time, but my point remains: I went through my body to injure you doesn’t excuse knowingly injuring another, even if the primary intent was affecting my body

  • ockraz

    That’s jumbled thinking.

    The legal right not to have a kidney removed against your will is a right not to have your body assaulted- even to save someone who’s dying. The legal right not to be bodily assaulted is a strong right. You’re arguing for a legal right to act upon one’s own body, which is a weak right (eg, surgery and what you can put into your body by injecting, swallowing or inhaling are highly regulated).

    With the transplant maintaining the status quo is your desired outcome, but it results in a death. With abortion, if no one takes any action, no lives are lost. With the kidney, you didn’t cause the situation. He’s dying and you bear no responsibility. With pregnancy, the woman (either with a man or by herself) acted so that that action was the proximate cause of the situation. No one is dying. Someone is dependent, but they’re not responsible, whereas she does bear responsibility.

    With the kidney the question is whether there’s any duty to save a life. It’s clear that there’s no legal duty (though moral obligation is much less clear. With abortion it’s a duty not to kill. That’s a strong duty.

    ——-

    right not to have your body assaulted ≠
    right to have someone be able act upon your body

    desiring someone not be able to act against you ≠ desiring someone be able to act for you

    you bear no responsibility ≠
    you are responsible

    duty to save a life ≠
    duty not to kill

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    There is no moral or legal duty not to kill a cell in meiosis, gamete, zygote, embryo, fetus. They are all of less value than a born human. And one must kill a born human to force the life of a zygote. http://www.scientificabortionlaw.com

  • ockraz

    you prioritize the prenatal life above temporarily limiting her autonomy

    the only human being erased is the one we grant a right to kill

  • Jennifer Starr

    Well when you get pregnant, you are free to downplay your pregnancy as just a ‘temporary little inconvenience’. Until that time, please leave those determinations and decisions up to the woman who is actually carrying the pregnancy.

  • ockraz

    and there’s no law you’d change because of a current lack of a legal right which you consider a moral right?

  • ockraz

    bah
    how is the notion of a dead person’s rights at all rational?
    seems like a vestigial religious notion to me

  • ockraz

    There’s nothing scientific at all about the argument that whether it’s a person is the crucial question.

    What is determined by science is when in development a particular definition for personhood is met.

    What is determined by science is when the life of a human organism begins.

    “Genetically unique” is only relevant insofar as some people suggest fetuses are part of the mothers body.

    It’s not religious to say you regard yourself as an organism which wasn’t always a person rather than a person who didn’t always exist in your body!

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    “There’s nothing scientific at all about the argument that whether it’s a person is the crucial question.”

    Whether or not it is a person is based — in the first instant–upon the scientific fact that until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype there is no human life.

    “What is determined by science is when in development a particular definition for personhood is met.”

    The determination of science is when personhood is possible, not when it is met. Personhood is not possible until the correct phenotype is confirmed at birth. Until that point, the product of conception may not be human or alive.

    “What is determined by science is when the life of a human organism begins.”

    Science has determined that life is continuous. It does not begin anew. It began 3.5 billion years ago and has since evolved.

  • ockraz

    the preventing being born via time travel is silly
    preventing something being made
    and destroying it are different
    that’s true even/especially of a human life

    they equally possess life,
    but the teeth aren’t organisms
    they won’t become sapient
    if you simply allow them to develop
    I was a fetus, I was never a tooth

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    The entire pro life argument is disproved by one scientific law. The “Law of Charity” makes it clear that there are more people dying in the world than can be saved. For example there are 7 billion people dying at the rate of 1.8 per second. But the number and rate are irrelevant because the fact is that everyone dies.
    Because all people die, if one claims to be pro life, they must choose whom to save. They may choose to save a born human that is dying or they may choose to save an unborn human. If they choose to save an unborn, then a born person dies. If they choose to save a born person an unborn person dies. For that reason the logic of the pro life movement that “we are saving life” is invalid.
    The issue is complicated by the fact that it is impossible to tell if the DNA of the genotype of a zygote will “express” the correct phenotype. In fact 70 percent of the time it will not produce human life. For that reason, a choice to save a zygote/embryo/fetus is foolish. If one chooses to let a born person die in an effort to save an unborn, then they will loose both the unborn and the born life on many occasions depending on the statistical chance of the stage of life of the zygote/embryo/fetus.
    Search “Scientific Abortion Laws” on Google.

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    The fact is that from a retrospective view life can be said to start at conception. But from a retrospective view life can be claimed to have started anywhere. And the important point is that life is a prospective arrangement, not a retrospective view.
    All scientist agree that until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype one cannot tell if the product of conception is alive or human. Carried to its logical conclusion, the point that the phenotype is proved is at birth.

    For that reason your claim that there is life at conception is deceptive and for that reason untrue. A cell in meiosis is just as much a baby as a zygote.

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    A cell in meiosis is genetically unique. If fact all DNA is presumed genetically unique in space and time when the fact that it is comprised of 100 trillion atoms is included in the conversation.

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    The issue of abortion is a black white issue. There are scientific laws that resolve the debate. Search “Scientific Abortion Laws” on Google.

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    Killing a cell in meiosis, a sperm or egg, a zygote, a embryo, or a fetus is not ending the life of another. Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype one cannot tell if the product of conception is alive or human. The odds are that a zygote will not be a human life 70 percent of the time. And in order to save the zygote one must cause the death of a born baby. See “Scientific Abortion Laws” on Google.

  • http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com/ Russell Crawford

    Genetically unique material exists at meiosis.

  • ockraz

    no it’s more analogous to conscription

    chattel slavery and abortion are analogous because a human life becomes disposable property

  • ockraz

    Carla’s saying, I don’t mind your having a legitimate secular belief that there’s mass killing going on. I mind if you try to do something about it.

    That’s backwards. You should mind people saying you support murder when you think it isn’t murder.
    You should mind someone who fails to act if he believes millions are being killed.