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 Post subject: Worldviews & Abortion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 9:26 pm 
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As mentioned in the Ethical Relativism thread:

Ogredude wrote:
I don't understand how ethics and morals are *NOT* relative to the individual.

An example: Some people find abortion absolutely hideously evil, and equate it to shooting a 2 year old kid in the head because you don't want them anymore.

Personally, I don't think it's a very good idea in most cases, but I don't have any extreme moral problems with it.

That's ethical/moral relativism right there, isn't it?



sun tzu wrote:
Hm...I could be dead-wrong about this, but it seems to me that the disagreement about abortions is a matter of different morals, but of disagreement on the nature of the fetus: Some see it as a human being, same as you and me - others see it as a mindless bunch of cells that isn't important as long as it isn't a human yet. So, I wouldn't call this a case of realtive morals...Just different worldviews.





It seems that this worldview thing is at the heart of the issue, isn't it?

I mean, while I don't like abortion any, I feel that until the cord is cut, that fetus is a part of the woman's body, and I also feel that your body belongs to you and you alone, and it is your right to do with it whatever you wish.

Other people believe that before it's even a fetus, at the moment of fertilization, the fresh zygote is a human being with all rights and privileges thereof. And therefore, disposing of that zygote carries with it the same moral issues as cold-bloodedly killing any other human being.

What interests me is that the majority of people against abortion are Christians, and they play the "soul card" fast and heavy... Saying that you're endangering the child's immortal soul, that you're preventing the child from having a chance in this world, etc etc etc...

And yet, by their VERY BELIEFS, all babies that die are AUTOMATICALLY sent to Heaven to sit by God's side and yak it up with Jesus the Christ himself.

So it seems to me that even if you follow their worldview, the sin rests firmly on the shoulders of the mother and possibly partially on the doctor, and that it's actually BETTER for the child in the long run...

I mean, the poor kid doesn't have to put up with worldly suffering, and he/she never gets a chance to turn away from the Lord and thereby damn himself to eternal flames... Right? What's so bad about that?



I just can't figure out why they're so fiercely against it. To me, it becomes an issue of personal freedom. Your body belongs to YOU, and nobody else. And that fetus is a part of YOUR BODY. Giving YOU the right to do with it whatever YOU wish to do.

Same reason I'm opposed to the War On Drugs. You should be able to pollute your body with whatever you'd like to. But that's another thread.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:23 am 
I see most adults as a mindless bunch of cells that aren't important and aren't really human, so you can probably guess which way I swing on the issue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 9:43 am 
i'm for abortion,
I mean c'mon a foetus is just a foetus and nothing more, just a mindless bunch of cells, and i'm all for personal freedom that does not endanger the lives of others who are people.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:34 pm 
My opinion? If it doesn't have a mind, killing it isn't murder. Until the brain develops, abortion isn't worse, morally, than cutting down a tree.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:55 pm 
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I agree with sun tzu here. Until the brain develops to a level of complexity that is able to support sapient thought, it's not murder. That would be about third trimester, if I remember correctly.

Morally, I think it's not very intelligent behavior in the vast majority of circumstances... I do not agree with abortion used as birth control... BUT, it's not my place to tell YOU what to do.

The thing is, there are people who DO see it as murder. And they seriously regard abortion as being as hideous as murdering an adult. So based on that, they're not ABOUT to be willing to let YOU do something like that.

One argument I've gotten from one of these people is that they believe that if the fetus will develop into a human if left untouched, then it's murder. So, by their reasoning, from the instant of fertilization. If the mother is left alone to do her thing, eventually she's going to poop out a baby. Therefore, it'd be murder to abort the fetus.

After they said that modern medicine is what brought about the whole abortion issue, I tried explaining that herbal medicines have been used for centuries to trigger miscarriage, much like the RU-486 pill. But it didn't fly. They said "Well people have been killing each other for centuries, does that make it right?"

At this point, I escaped the conversation as gracefully as I could. By pointing to my watch, noticing it was 3PM, and saying I had a 3:15PM appointment, and rushing out the door. (I *did* have a 3:15PM appointment, too.)



Anyway. I think the fundamental disconnect in this argument is the idea of WHEN is the fetus just a mass of cells, and when is it a human being. And how important is a POTENTIAL human being.

I would be willing to agree to disagree with these people, except that THEIR viewpoint, were it to be made law, would remove rights from me and my fellow people. Which I cannot and will not put up with.

So... What's the solution here? The two sides of the debate are never going to agree. The anti-abortion people are going to bitch and whine and sometimes firebomb abortion clinics until abortion is ruled murder. The pro-abortion people are going to bitch and whine and protest and carry on, not without reason, until their rights to do with their body what they want are restored.

Realistically, it's going to come down to the personal viewpoints of the Supreme Court justices. Ideally, I guess the only feasible solution is to come up with some solution that makes both sides equally unhappy. Because there's NO WAY you're going to be able to make both sides happy.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:07 pm 
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Ogredude wrote:
and equate it to shooting a 2 year old kid in the head because you don't want them anymore.


What's wrong with that? You mean my old man was bluffing when he said, "I put you into this world, I can take you back out again?" He can't really have done that?

/mindfark

Quote:
What interests me is that the majority of people against abortion are Christians, and they play the "soul card" fast and heavy... Saying that you're endangering the child's immortal soul, that you're preventing the child from having a chance in this world, etc etc etc...

And yet, by their VERY BELIEFS, all babies that die are AUTOMATICALLY sent to Heaven to sit by God's side and yak it up with Jesus the Christ himself.


Don't bother trying to reconcile the beliefs of an evangelical religious person with any kind of logic. It doesn't work.

It doesn't have to, they have what they call "faith".

For example, try this one on for size: many of them have absolutely NO problem with in-vitro fertilization, when they SHOULD. After all:

1. It is God's will that this couple should be barren. Going through such efforts to create embryos in a scientific laboratory and getting them to take hold in the uterus is quite a defiance of that.

(what's the difference? This creates life, instead of destroying it, and so they have no problem. In addition, the result is cute and giggly, not ten feet tall, green, and with bolts through the neck, so it's really hard to say that they're Playing God by creating life. But hold on, grasshopper, the story is not yet finished!)

The process of in vitro fertilization inevitably leads to a petri dish full of embryos that were NOT used for the final implantation. Dozens and dozens of them. This is because they still haven't gotten the success rate to 100 percent, so they make extras so they can repeat the implantation until it takes. What of them? Easy--they get disposed of. After all, the original parents got the one or two kids they wanted, and nobody else wants somebody else's embryos. (the people who are willing to raise somebody else's kid are called foster parents, and it is they who should really be blessed, but I digress.) Into the autoclave it goes! (this is where the scientists who are for stem-cell research were intending to get their stem cells from--after all, they'd just be going into the trash anyway)

2. By the rules of "a human is a human from the moment sperm penetrates egg", this isn't infanticide--it's infanticaust!
Conveniently ignored, eh?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:35 pm 
therefore according to things like that being gods will, they should NEVER take medicine or any kind of drug whatsoever
and no life support machines or anything of that sort
if that happens there'd be a lot less fundamentally religious people in the world who believe it to be "God's Will"


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 4:54 pm 
Ogredude wrote:
I agree with sun tzu here. Until the brain develops to a level of complexity that is able to support sapient thought, it's not murder. That would be about third trimester, if I remember correctly.

Morally, I think it's not very intelligent behavior in the vast majority of circumstances... I do not agree with abortion used as birth control... BUT, it's not my place to tell YOU what to do.

The thing is, there are people who DO see it as murder. And they seriously regard abortion as being as hideous as murdering an adult. So based on that, they're not ABOUT to be willing to let YOU do something like that.

One argument I've gotten from one of these people is that they believe that if the fetus will develop into a human if left untouched, then it's murder. So, by their reasoning, from the instant of fertilization. If the mother is left alone to do her thing, eventually she's going to poop out a baby. Therefore, it'd be murder to abort the fetus.

After they said that modern medicine is what brought about the whole abortion issue, I tried explaining that herbal medicines have been used for centuries to trigger miscarriage, much like the RU-486 pill. But it didn't fly. They said "Well people have been killing each other for centuries, does that make it right?"

At this point, I escaped the conversation as gracefully as I could. By pointing to my watch, noticing it was 3PM, and saying I had a 3:15PM appointment, and rushing out the door. (I *did* have a 3:15PM appointment, too.)



Anyway. I think the fundamental disconnect in this argument is the idea of WHEN is the fetus just a mass of cells, and when is it a human being. And how important is a POTENTIAL human being.

I would be willing to agree to disagree with these people, except that THEIR viewpoint, were it to be made law, would remove rights from me and my fellow people. Which I cannot and will not put up with.

So... What's the solution here? The two sides of the debate are never going to agree. The anti-abortion people are going to bitch and whine and sometimes firebomb abortion clinics until abortion is ruled murder. The pro-abortion people are going to bitch and whine and protest and carry on, not without reason, until their rights to do with their body what they want are restored.

Realistically, it's going to come down to the personal viewpoints of the Supreme Court justices. Ideally, I guess the only feasible solution is to come up with some solution that makes both sides equally unhappy. Because there's NO WAY you're going to be able to make both sides happy.


And there you have one sad truth of life: Sometimes, you have no other choice but to give someone the shaft.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:17 pm 
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Ish: Bravo!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:43 am 
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Ogredude wrote:
Ish: Bravo!


Thank you, Oggy!

I came upon this line of logic during a debate on stem cell research, when I said I couldn't figure out what in blazes they were going on about "destroying embryos, which are life"--the embryos are slated for the incinerator ANYWAY! Not like the scientists made them for the specific purpose of taking them apart. Stem cell research would at least make the death of the embryos mean something; the possibility of improving life for the already-grown-but-then-injured.

Then I realized how the embryos came to be in the first place, and the fact that thousands of embryos are just considered another industrial waste product--which the only objection they had was that some would be used for other scientific uses, instead of merely thrown out.

Attilla: there are some that adhere to that strict version. They are called Jehovah's Witnesses.

They drive modern medical doctors crazy--M.D.'s aren't used to people saying "No, don't do that thing that will save my life."

My take on abortion: the world today is far more complex than the one that these religious type shaped their worldview for.

If a couple does not WANT a child, they should not be forced to HAVE it...because if they don't want it, that means that they have self-identified as being mentally, socially, and financially unready to properly raise this child. Do the "pro-lifers" think that deciding to abort a fetus is an easy, flippant choice? I don't think so. As for their accomplishment: saving a life by forcing the parents to bear the child? No, damning a child to a life of being raised by the unready and unwilling. Can it be done? Of course it can--but the parents (ASSUMING both hang around) must want to do it, must be properly motivated, not forced into it. Otherwise, they would probably focus their dissatisfaction on the source--namely, the child.

I know, I know. The flippant answer, "Then they shouldn't have had sex" comes to the tongue instantly. But that too has changed: hundreds of years ago, if you weren't betrothed and popping out offspring by 18, you were slow off the starting blocks, considering the life expectancy...quick, how old were Romeo and Juliet? Right, Shakespeare was writing what today would be considered a lolita story.

If you really want to get on their nerves, ask them how old Mary was when she bore Jesus. (don't know that one? <a href="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm">Let me help</a>--I didn't either until I just now decided to look it up, but Google is my friend. That page is a pain to read, but the relevant passages would be, "We do not know how long after the betrothal the angel announced to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, nor do we know how long the doubt of Joseph lasted, before he was enlightened by the visit of the angel. From the age at which Hebrew maidens became marriageable, it is possible that Mary gave birth to her Son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age. No historical document tells us how old she actually was at the time of the Nativity.")

Today, at 18, if you have kids you are in pretty deep shit...too bad biological drives haven't changed with social and economic pressures!

What about older couples looking into abortion? Answer's unchanged--they self-identify as being unready. Is life really life if it's miserable?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:50 am 
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Another of their arguments was that people are sending away out of country for kids to adopt, why not ban abortions and put the unaborted kids in orphanages to be adopted?

I couldn't even come up with an intelligent response to this one. It's just so stupid on the face of it that I have no idea how to respond to something like that.

Oh yeah, and another argument I couldn't come up with a response to, because it's so bloody OBVIOUS is, "And WHY exactly is abstinence not a valid solution?"

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:42 am 
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Ogredude wrote:
Oh yeah, and another argument I couldn't come up with a response to, because it's so bloody OBVIOUS is, "And WHY exactly is abstinence not a valid solution?"


Because most men aren't priests...oh wait, bad example. Use the "Abstinence until what age, exactly" argument I outlined using Romeo and Juliet.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:04 am 
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These are the people who want to deny what humans and dolphins have in common...

Both species enjoy sex for recreation, as well as for procreation.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:59 am 
I think the logic I'm going to apply on that one is "If God had wanted us to fly, he'd have given us plane tickets."


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:36 am 
Ishidan wrote:
Don't bother trying to reconcile the beliefs of an evangelical religious person with any kind of logic. It doesn't work.

It doesn't have to, they have what they call "faith".


Excuse me.

Even though I have renounced such viewpoints and declare myself as a deistic agnostic, once upon a time in a land far, far away I was an evangelical religious person who actively tried to apply logic to my beliefs, and, even at the height of my beliefs, I had the respect of even the campus militent atheists for being open-minded and willing to discuss my viewpoint in a rationed and oranized manner.

So.

Before you go about taking a cheap shot (not un-deserved, mind you, but cheap none the less) at such people think about that there are always counter-examples to your stereotypes.

Really.

I'm sorry, this is a pet-peeve of mine. I have a extreme dislike for any narrow-minded opinion toward a certain faction, and I have to wonder about the level of hostility towards religion that I'm increasingly seeing from the everyone.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:04 am 
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Gerald wrote:
Ishidan wrote:
Don't bother trying to reconcile the beliefs of an evangelical religious person with any kind of logic. It doesn't work.

It doesn't have to, they have what they call "faith".


Excuse me.

Even though I have renounced such viewpoints and declare myself as a deistic agnostic, once upon a time in a land far, far away I was an evangelical religious person who actively tried to apply logic to my beliefs, and, even at the height of my beliefs, I had the respect of even the campus militent atheists for being open-minded and willing to discuss my viewpoint in a rationed and oranized manner.


Then you would have been the first, last, and only one such that I have ever met. To have gained the respect of the "militant atheists"--a lovely phrase, by the way--I'm certain you must have been able to form arguments using sources other than religious texts (that is, committing a circular argument): a feat I have never seen performed by those who profess to be acting on their faith.

Of course, come to think of it, there are historical precedents. You would be a Galileo or an Arius, capable of forming a logical thought from facts other than those presented as gospel, even if said facts do not rigidly agree. Of course, the Powers that Be, a vast majority, gave both an academic whipping using the kind of arguments outlined.

So, Gerald, you say that you have turned away from such viewpoints. You decided that these viewpoints, held for so long as absolute truth, were not.

What event caused you to do so, and was it based on logic? If so, then your logic has indeed proved the counterthesis to faith.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:31 am 
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Gerald wrote:
I'm sorry, this is a pet-peeve of mine. I have a extreme dislike for any narrow-minded opinion toward a certain faction, and I have to wonder about the level of hostility towards religion that I'm increasingly seeing from the everyone.


Forgot to address this. The hostility is a reflex, directed at the hostile practicer of religion. Fight fire with fire, and all that. Moderate religious practitioners are not the focus of rage: only those who seek to force their viewpoints upon others.

I recognize that only a small majority of religious people are marching in the streets in an attempt to foist their beliefs upon others. For example, my grandparents on my mother's side are Catholic, but they are not evangelical. Suits me fine: they don't bother me, I don't bother them, when I go to see them religion is never mentioned, and I love going home to see them. Their religion guides them, gives them structure and focus, but they are also capable of thinking "outside of the box". To this kind of person, hostility is rarely directed, because it is not earned.

One of my aunts turned evangelical a few years back. I made it a POINT to avoid encounters with her until she figured it out and toned it down. Every other sentence was "Praise God" and "Jesus Saves", and so forth. All talk, yes, but people of a similar mindset who decide that their viewpoint should be allowed to override others are the ones that earn the wrath of those that they repress.

The hostility towards religion is not offense, but defense.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:41 pm 
Ishidan wrote:
Is life really life if it's miserable?

I've been waiting a long time to see someone else ask this... thanks. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:50 pm 
One of the more interesting things about the abortion debate is all of the time that is spent debating the circumstances of the parents. Someone will say that a parent denied an abortion willr aise their child badly, or that the foster system is poor, or on the other hand will say that the parents should have practiced abstinence, which will be countered with tales of rape or talk of the unreasonableness of reserving sex for procreation.

However, this rather misses the point. If a fetus is a person, it is both legally and morally murder. The US's legal and moral (moral majority, anyway ;) ) standpoint does not allow the killing of a person by another because their standard of living is low. Nor does it allow for killing because a person belongs to a demographic with a high crime rate. Killings are allowed in self defense, in response to certain crimes, and possibly in the near future as a form of legalized assisted suicide, _with the consent of the person to be killed_.

If a fetus is a person, it is murder to kill it unless there is a severe medical threat to the mother's life. The circumstances of the parents are irrelevant except as it applies to an immediate and severe threat to the pregnant mother's health. To let issues of finances and personal preference decide whether it is ok to kill another person is opening a very large can of worms.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:57 pm 
Or if you want a giant monkey wrench thrown into that entire argument: "How much of a person is it?" Who says the answer need be binary?

Fun examples: Gollum of LotR, catatonics, "ain't never gonna come out of this" comatose...

So if it's half a person, it's half a murder? ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:08 pm 
It's been a while since fractions of people were accepted by US law, Raif.

Again, that's placing a value judgement on someone according to quality of life. Would a comatose person be better off dead?

Or, a judgement according to contribution. Is an Einstein worth more than a pizza delivery guy?

It's easy to answer yes to both, but to extend that to allowing someone to kill them... how would you work that?

It denies the most basic human right, and the idea that humans even HAVE inaliable rights and worth. Is murdering a junkie or a bum not really murder?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:15 pm 
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Since the medical/legal definiton of death in most countries is brain death, doesn't that kind of imply that the definition of human life is based on the ability for thought?
In that case, you can make a pretty good case for infanticide :D

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Last edited by gnolam on Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:24 pm 
Actually, no. Brain death is when the brain is too badly damaged to even support basic functions like breathing and heartbeat, thus 'turning off the machines'. There are also sustained vegetative states in which family members or doctors will decide not to do extreme interventions, ie restarting a stopped heart, but a Do Not Resuscitate is NOT equivalent to actively killing a healthy human being.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:49 pm 
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Raif wrote:
..."ain't never gonna come out of this" comatose...

So if it's half a person, it's half a murder? ;)


Ah. I believe this scenario can today be called the Terry Schiavo Scenario. (right now, in Florida)

And then you can twist the wrench by invoking the McCoy Modification.

(Scene: Star Trek V, in a Vulcan-induced flashback--"Bones" McCoy, himself a doctor, stands over his father, who is hooked to life support machines with crippling disease that even Star Trek medicine can't cure.

Father: "Son...turn off the life support. Stop the pain."
McCoy: "Dad...I..."
Father: "Stop the pain."
McCoy: *reaches over and hits the overrides, shutting down the life support. In seconds, natural circulation and brain activity stop.*
Sybok: (the Vulcan) "Why did you do it?"
McCoy: "To preserve his dignity."
Sybok: "You were a doctor. And yet, you..."
McCoy: "I was his SON!"
Sybok: "But that wasn't the worst of it, was it?"
McCoy: "No...not long after, they found a cure! A damned CURE!" )

But we've drifted from abortion to voluntary refusal of heroic lifesaving measures by injured adults. Back to the subject.

IS a fetus a human? This would be the next subject of debate, for it forms the basis of both arguments.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:55 am 
Kerlyssa wrote:
It's been a while since fractions of people were accepted by US law, Raif.

Ah but this is a question of morality. US law is far from it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:55 am 
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I guess US law must decide once and for all when the fetus actually qualifies as a human being.

According to the dictionary... A zygote is a fertilized ovum before splitting. An embryo, in humans, is up till the 8th week, and a fetus, again in humans, is after the eighth week.

So when does it officially become a human being?

As a zygote?
As an embryo?
As a fetus?
When the cord is cut?


My personal view on this is that it becomes an actual human when, first, the brain has developed enough complexity to support sapient thought, and second, when the fetus has developed enough to be able to survive unsupported outside the womb. Before that, it's an organ of the woman's body.

But these folks I was arguing with the other day believe that it's a human as a zygote... From the instant of fertilization.

It's gonna have to be up to the Supreme Court justices. Let's just hope they're not total schmucks about it.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:41 am 
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Ogredude wrote:
It's gonna have to be up to the Supreme Court justices. Let's just hope they're not total schmucks about it.


Just remember that over the next four years, it is likely that many of the current judges will retire. They will be replaced by ones in which George W. Bush has a hand in their selection.

Which way do you think it's going to swing?

Don't bother with the dictionary argument. Definitions are made to be changed, for both sides.

There's this anti-abortion group tooling around here in a big panel van. They've got the attention-getting wide-load-vehicle style yellow strobe lights and everything. On the sides of the van are graphic pictures of aborted fetuses. They're a rolling Rotten.com. They think that this is an effective method of getting their point across.

There are some sickos in any crowd, I guess...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:33 pm 
Raif wrote:
Kerlyssa wrote:
It's been a while since fractions of people were accepted by US law, Raif.

Ah but this is a question of morality. US law is far from it.


Are you saying that US law is immoral, or that it is not based on morality?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:22 pm 
Kodiak Claw wrote:
The federal abortion laws are unconstitutional.
Sorry but thats how it breaks down. The constitution states that all powers not expressly given to the federal government are reserved by the states.

If you're going to invoke that particular clause, then 90% of the laws that the U.S. Congress passes are unconstitutional. Everybody in Washington D.C. (including the Supreme Court) agreed to collectively ignore the tenth amendment over 200 years ago.

However, that's a discussion for another forum


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:00 pm 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2002 3:03 am
Posts: 1621
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Kodiak Claw wrote:
If you're going to invoke that particular clause, then 90% of the laws that the U.S. Congress passes are unconstitutional. Everybody in Washington D.C. (including the Supreme Court) agreed to collectively ignore the tenth amendment over 200 years ago.


I agree, and it's time to stop ignoring that.

Kodiak Claw wrote:
However, that's a discussion for another forum


But I don't go into that forum anymore.

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