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Thread: On abortion

  1. #1
    Member DaDaMan's Avatar
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    On abortion

    Does life begin at conception?
    (
    - the fetus can only experience pain from 20 weeks
    - short term memory only develops around week 30
    - people cannot remember childhood events that occurred to them before the age or 2 or 3.
    )

    Since a child is entirely dependent on the parents for support during the first few years of its life, surely it is the parents decision to decide if they are ready to take on such a responsibility?

    What about exceptional circumstances? (suppose adoption is not an option)
    - single mother having an unintended pregnancy?
    - finding out about pregnancy subsequent to a breakup\divorce with the partner?
    - lacking financial means to take care of a child?
    - lacking family\societal support for the upbringing of children?
    - pregnancy while one of the parties is either facing incarceration or a terminal illness?
    - inability to give the child a dignified upbringing (possibility of childhood trauma)?

  2. #2
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    A distinct human being begins once the umbilical cord is cut on a delivered child. Prior to that, the baby is merely a potential human being, but while still attached, it is an outgrowth of the mother's body, nothing more in actual fact, and so is fully under her disposal however she sees fit. Emotions and moralizing about the matter be damned otherwise. Facts are what facts are. Cut the cord, you have a discrete, distinct new human being, and the game instantly changes.

    As for parents and their responsibility. As far as I'm concerned, people have no business breeding prior to carefully weighing the realities and responsibilities involved, planning the resources and so on to properly raise a child (or children). If you engage in sex, regardless of the contraceptive strategy (or strategies) in use, you must realize that you run a nonzero chance of conceiving a child, and be prepared to accept the full and real responsibility of things should one result. There is no evading it; you know exactly what you're doing, what biological consequences are involved, however remote -- you must own that responsibility. And if you're not prepared to, you ought not be having sex. It is that simple. Again, emotions and moralizing otherwise be damned. Facts be facts regardless.

    That aside, however, I maintain that a child is nothing more than an outgrowth of the mother's body, hence under her full power of disposal however she likes, until the moment the umbillical cord is cut. Physically, factually, that is the moment of a distinct human being emerging from mere potential, the moment when the mother must accept her full and proper parenting responsibility, or be prepared to default on it in some way not injurious to the newborn human being.

    That's how I see it.

  3. #3
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Abortion should be unrestricted, as well as infanticide. If it's not old enough to complain or fight back effectively, just let it die and move on. Also, if the state has to take babies away from unfit parents then the babies should just be terminated. It's the most humane thing rather than the half-assed measures we take to provide for kids knowing they're gonna have fucked up lives and lots of disadvantages. If you kill a baby, what are you taking away? It doesn't have a life, hopes and dreams, an identity. Personhood shouldn't be granted until there is an actual person. And even then, little kids should have a probationary period, where serious fuck-ups or illnesses can get them on a list to be put down and have their useful parts re-purposed.

  4. #4
    Member DaDaMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    A distinct human being begins once the umbilical cord is cut on a delivered child.
    How did you determine that that is the point when a distinct human being begins? The child is still entirely dependent on the mother\provider at this stage. A distinct human being begins at conception but they still have a long race to run.


    As for parents and their responsibility. As far as I'm concerned, people have no business breeding prior to carefully weighing the realities and responsibilities involved, planning the resources and so on to properly raise a child (or children). If you engage in sex, regardless of the contraceptive strategy (or strategies) in use, you must realize that you run a nonzero chance of conceiving a child, and be prepared to accept the full and real responsibility of things should one result. There is no evading it; you know exactly what you're doing, what biological consequences are involved, however remote -- you must own that responsibility. And if you're not prepared to, you ought not be having sex. It is that simple. Again, emotions and moralizing otherwise be damned. Facts be facts regardless.
    Suppose you(Ptah) get into a relationship and despite all contraceptive "strategies", your partner gets pregnant. Now suppose you breakup with your partner for whatever reason, and a few weeks later she informs you that she is pregnant. So now you have an unwanted pregnancy with someone you are no longer in a relationship with. Lets also assume that due to some catastrophe, you are also not in a financial position to raise a child or perhaps you just found out that you are terminally ill. Considering all of this, what will you do?
    Last edited by DaDaMan; 01-03-2018 at 10:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    The concept of a soul as a metaphysical entity that continues after death is silly to me, but many of the arguments I hear from anti-abortion activists are predicated on the idea that an unborn human baby has some sort of special metaphysical property so sacred that destroying it will cause damage to your own metaphysical self. We may as well be arguing about the effects of back yard stump removal on unicorns as far as I'm concerned.

    If a magical metaphysical entity is formed upon human conception, here's some of the idiocy that one must needs consider when making laws to protect said magical mystical MacGuffins.

    How many souls are formed at conception? Is it one per undifferentiated cell, and then all the souls duke it out until one is left? Does a new soul form at the point god knows this baby is going to be born, and if so, why can't god tell if there is going to be an abortion?

    Or maybe it is one soul per conception...so do identical twins share one soul, or do they have 1/2 a soul each, or perhaps one has a soul and the other does not? Perhaps different sets of twins have different soul splitting scenarios depending on what you think makes sense according to their personality...because coming up with facts to support the conclusion you want is fun.( @Madrigal ...which of these scenarios best fits you and your twin?)

    Or perhaps the soul isn't formed until the baby is viable. If that's the case, are souls like cars? Do they lose value as soon as you roll them off the lot and then continue to lose value as you drive them? Is that why we the new soul has more worth than the mother's soul? Wait...do you think mother's have souls?

    You can see how pretending there is some sort of magic bean inside human babies that must be protected at all costs leads to unproductive arguing.

    OK, silliness aside, if I was king of the world, abortion would be free and readily available to everyone. I can't think of a better thing to spend tax dollars on than safe, free, no questions asked abortions for any pregnant person who wants it, regardless of age. Nothing is more costly to taxpayers and society than an unwanted or unaffordable child.

    http://freakonomics.com/2005/05/15/a...d-you-believe/

    Why is it that most people who think abortion should be illegal also think taxpayers should not invest in social welfare programs? If one makes abortion illegal, but also refuses to help the products of unwanted pregnancies achieve any kind of social relevance, it isn't unreasonable to expect a shift toward third world country demographics to result. If we could just desist with the insistence on making laws to protect unicorns from stump removal, we might end up with a better society.

    Religion is problematic for society. If there was a drug that could do the equivalent of a chemical castration of one's religiosity, I'd be all about implementing a government conspiracy to put it in the water supply. Sure people would be annoyed by the fact that they'd been drugged against their will, but having been drugged, they'd be able to see the logic of it.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  6. #6
    unbeknownst Lilith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    Abortion should be unrestricted, as well as infanticide. If it's not old enough to complain or fight back effectively, just let it die and move on. Also, if the state has to take babies away from unfit parents then the babies should just be terminated. It's the most humane thing rather than the half-assed measures we take to provide for kids knowing they're gonna have fucked up lives and lots of disadvantages. If you kill a baby, what are you taking away? It doesn't have a life, hopes and dreams, an identity. Personhood shouldn't be granted until there is an actual person. And even then, little kids should have a probationary period, where serious fuck-ups or illnesses can get them on a list to be put down and have their useful parts re-purposed.
    Agree that abortion should be unrestricted. However, infanticide for me is only justifiable if the newborn has some physical or mental abnormalities which hinders them from experiencing life to the fullest. Otherwise, adoption is still the most humane thing to do considering there are "responsible" and "loving" couples out there who would be willing to provide care and home. I understand the system needs to level up. If only abortion is legal this could reduce the "list".

    Quote Originally Posted by DaDaMan View Post
    Suppose you(Ptah) get into a relationship and despite all contraceptive "strategies", your partner gets pregnant. Now suppose you breakup with your partner for whatever reason, and a few weeks later she informs you that she is pregnant. So now you have an unwanted pregnancy with someone you are no longer in a relationship with. Lets also assume that due to some catastrophe, you are also not in a financial position to raise a child or perhaps you just found out that you are terminally ill. Considering all of this, what will you do?
    Speaking for myself, both parties' financial and psychological readiness are more important than relationship status.

    What would be interesting is if the father wants the baby and the mother doesn't. Is it morally right for the father to demand that the mother carries the fetus up until its term expecting no obligations from her after? Is it morally right for the mother to deny such?
    We cling to our past as if they define us. What we do defines us.

  7. #7
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    When does the sperm and egg combo reach the status of person?

    There is an implied assumption that once it reaches that state, it is a person and thus has a "right to life."

    A zygote is not a person. An embryo is not a person. If I ever fell pregnant, I'd seriously consider terminating a pregnancy and would have no qualms about it (though sidenote, better prepared to keep a secret forever or be disowned).

    I used to think that until the fetus was birthed and the cord detached (aka @Ptah's viewpoint), that it was a fetus and not a person and thus abortion would be permissible. I have since changed my position, as I now see this as an arbitrary position and the fetus is in the same stage of development as newborns. Personally I am uncomfortable with abortion past the point of viability, except in cases of disability, incompatible with life issues, or serious risk to the mother's health. The time when fetuses reach viability is roughly 24w-25w into a 40w pregnancy.

    I don't believe that children have souls. Though at around 25w-26w pregnant with my first I went to a movie. During the movie, there was a tremendously loud BOOM sound during a quiet scene, and I literally felt him jump scare. Granted, critics may say that this startle reflex doesn't indicate any consciousness or awareness beyond simple lizard/brain stem processes (I wouldn't know, I have not researched it), but between some of those experiences and the ultrasounds at that same point in time, I tend to view the fetus as more of a person and less of an alien parasite.

    My current viewpoints would be very unpopular with decade-ago me.

  8. #8
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post

    What would be interesting is if the father wants the baby and the mother doesn't. Is it morally right for the father to demand that the mother carries the fetus up until its term expecting no obligations from her after? Is it morally right for the mother to deny such?
    The man's choice ends when he blows his load.

    I have boys and I will teach them that it is their responsibility to practice birth control for their own piece of mind on what happens in their life. Do not rely on someone else to take responsibility for both of you when the stakes are that high, unless you are ok with all the possible outcomes.

  9. #9
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxyjen View Post
    The man's choice ends when he blows his load.

    I have boys and I will teach them that it is their responsibility to practice birth control for their own piece of mind on what happens in their life. Do not rely on someone else to take responsibility for both of you when the stakes are that high, unless you are ok with all the possible outcomes.
    You mean condoms? Not nearly good enough for peace of mind. As a guy your only real options are abstinence or trusting the woman.

  10. #10
    Shiny and Eww Charde's Avatar
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    Religion doesn't even provide a straight answer. The evangelical right-wing in the USA pretends that they've always believed in a fetus being a baby, but these kind of views were not pushed forward until the late 70's. There were other POVs in the Catholic and Protestant church wings in the USA that were far more moderate in their views. It has been said by Jewish rabbis that a baby is alive when it draws its first breath, not necessarily before. There has been a variety of opinion, despite what political views dominate today.

    In the Old Testament, a fetus was viewed as property; someone who assaulted a pregnant woman so that she miscarried was merely fined (and the money given as compensation to the husband) for the loss of his progeny, rather than being put to death as a murderer. There's also a passage alluding to forced miscarriages to determine whether a woman had been sleeping around or not on her husband and pregnant with another man's child; it's not viewed as murder, the primary focus is on whether the husband has suffered a loss by his wife potentially birthing someone who is not his actual heir but then could lay claim.

    Of course, there are variations in stories occurring throughout the middle ages. Sperms actually had a complete human inside of them, for example, and the female just provided a womb, based on one image. There were just many odd ideas about how babies/people were created.

    Science has progressed now to a point where fetuses feel more like actual children to people -- women discover they are pregnant within a few weeks rather than a few months into the pregnancy, and ultrasounds can show images of the fetus, and people name their future children early, and we do have the ability to possibly keep something alive as soon as the lungs are properly formed if it is delivered far too early, although in the past this would have spelled death.

    I'm not at all for state interference with pregnancies to the 20-24 week mark; the parents are responsible, the parents must decide. I think the ability of men and women to create new life is special even if common, and it's good to personally soul-search on the impact of raising a child vs having an abortion rather than treating it blithely and still tend to think other entities should butt out. Both parents are responsible as well, even if women typically carry a potential child to term.

    In discussions with some friends, we also broached the idea that a "soul" is not an intangible fixed quantity; a person is "evolving" their whole life, it's not like they are just born and boom, that's that. People are accumulations of all their experiences and ideas and contributions, even if there's a potential there you wouldn't want to blindly squelch. It's just a lot more complex and nuanced than some people try to make it. I am not fond of the popular concept that a fetus matters, yet then once it is born, the same people don't give a crap about it.

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