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Forums > Social Discussion > South Dakota outlaws abortion

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:BBC news story.
If you're in South Dakota abortians are now all but outlawed.

It's very sad that in this day and age the religious right has made this much head way. The anti-choice groups are trying to provoke a supreme court chalenge, aimed at over turning the Roe vs. Wade ruling which made abortians legal in the first place for Americans. If they succeed then abortions will once again be illegal across all of the united states (correct me if I've got my US legal code wrong).

Quite frankly this is a moral disaster. The rights of women to control their own bodies took a long time to win. It had to be fought for at every stage and now it looks like it's going to be eroded away again. I'm thankful that nothing like this could ever happen in Britain but it's still disheartening to see America heading back to the dark ages. frown


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:clap you just can't brush anything over the same edge. There are always exceptions to the rule (like pregnancy after rape and pregnancy despite birth control)...

And there are a few other laws that needed to be implemented and would benefit the public more than making adoption illegal. It's not about politicians NOT keeping their promises - it's that they use to keep the worst.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Zauberdachs

Written by: Patriarch917

The right of voters of South Dakota to choose what sort of laws they will be governed by

If Bush, for example, were to say "I don't care that you voted for it, I'm going to ignore your votes and keep abortion legal," that would be a clear act of dictatorship overruling democracy.



You are quite right.


But the law wasn't passed by referendum it was passed by the South Dakota senate. I'm sure everyone is aware that a 'representative' government often does things that the majority of the populace disagrees with. Look at British involvement in Iraq for instance.

That however is irrelivent. What is true is that an outlawing of abortion is illegal in America under the Roe vs. Wade ruling which established the rights of women to an abortion in US law. A misguided pressure group can't be allowed to take that away.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Dr Mike- Thats not going to happen. And here's why:



Before this law was passed, there were no doctors in south dakota performing abortions. They flew a doctor from Minnesota each week to perform abortions for a day at a clinic in Sioux Falls. Thats it, thats all the legal abortions they had.



They only performed about 700 a year- they were already fairly inaccesible. And North Dakota and Missisippi also only have one clinic each that performs abortions... Things arn't particuarly rosy. I suppose on a positive side the change is a lot smaller in real terms than you might think, as most people already had to travel, and will only be faced with different choices. But symbolically, of course, its going to mean more to most people.



**For the record, I8Beefy2/faithinfire, I would answer your question wholeheartedly with a yes.



edit: spelling mistakes

EDITED_BY: Kyrian (1140806335)


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Domino

Written by: Doc Lightning

Know what needs to happen?

OB/GYN's need to go on strike in S. Dakota.

They need to say "We'll deliver babies and see medical emergencies, but we're closing our clinics and there will be no elective operations until this is done."

It's been done before and it's moved mountains.



Really? How? When? Why?


- - - No sarcasm/disbelief, I'm just curious



In South Carolina surgeons went on strike to protest the fact that malpractice insurance costs were so high that they were literally paying over US$100,000 a year out of their own pockets to practice medicine.

So they went on strike. They canceled all scheduled and elective surgical cases and performed only emergent cases (appendectomies, trauma, etc.).

The problem was fixed within 2 days.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:The reason, incidentally, that they're doing this is because they know the law is going to get challenged and they want it to go to the Supreme Court because the supporters of this law think that they might overturn Roe v. Wade.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:sadly, with roberts as chief justice and alito in the swing vote seat, roe v. wade may very well be overturned frown

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:The funny thing about this is that they don't actually belive it will work -this time. Thats part of what they wanted with a law like this, was to make sure that (when) it got overturned at the federal level all the restrictions they already had in place wouldn't be booted out as well!

Sneaky, and disturbing. One big idealogical stand.

[rant] As if there arn't more importatnt things to worry about? I mean, sure, murder is a problem, and if you look at it as murder its part of that problem, but perhaps they should, oh, think about providing a life for these people to.... [/end rant]


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Let them overturn Roe v. Wade.

It would mean the absolute destruction of the GOP.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:You are optomistic, my friend.

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: pounce

sadly, with roberts as chief justice and alito in the swing vote seat, roe v. wade may very well be overturned frown



Actually, those two probably aren't enough to make a difference.


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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:clearly you haven't been following past roe v. wade related cases that have come up. the bench was narrowly decided 4-3. with the lost of reinquest and sandra day o'connor (who was the swing vote in favor of upholding roe v. wade), the bench is now more towards the side of overturning it

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:There are nine justices on the supreme court, not seven. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I'll give you a quote from the article jeff posted:

"Even if new justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito were prepared to vote against the ruling - which is far from a given - they might still be in a minority on the nine-member bench."

There's not even a guarantee of 4 votes, much less 5.

We shouldn't be letting nine unelected people decide a state law issue like this anyways. If pro-abortion forces want a nationwide constitutional right to an abortion, they should try to get enough people on their side to amend the constitution to put it in there, or try to convince the voters of South Dakota not to outlaw it.


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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:sorry, you're right. i didn't look before i sent and mistyped the numbers by one.

but you're not entirely accurate either, and believe me, i know what i'm talking about too.
"In November 2003, President Bush signed the Federal Abortion Ban into law, becoming the first president since Roe v. Wade to criminalize abortion. (The ban is currently unenforceable pursuant to decisions from four federal courts.)"

you should also know...
"Supreme Court Reconsiders Ban on Abortion Procedures


February 21, 2006

Today the Supreme Court announced that it will consider the constitutionality of a federal abortion procedure bana law identical in effect to the Nebraska ban that was struck down by the Court in 2000 because it didn't protect women's health. We will soon learn whether the High Court's two newest justices are as devoted to precedent as they say they are, or whether their visceral opposition to abortion will lead them to overturn a clear precedent after only six years.

The new case, Gonzales v. Carhart, concerns the same doctor, the same state, and the same issues as Stenberg v. Carhart in 2000, when Dr. Leroy Carhart challenged a Nebraska law that banned certain vaguely-defined abortion procedures without including any exception for a woman whose health is at risk.

The Court's narrow 5-4 opinion in that 2000 case found the law unconstitutional. That precedent in Stenberg was the reason three federal courts of appeal have declared this federal ban unconstitutional as well. The outcome in this case could be different because now-retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who cast the deciding vote in Stenberg, has been replaced by an opponent of abortion." (http://www.now.org/press/02-06/02-21.html for full article)


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:That is correct in essense. However, the article you quote is from an organization that is highly, highly in favor of abortion, and so they have not clearly explained what the court decision was addressing. I will not horrify you with the details of what NOW calls "certain vaguely-defined abortion procedures," since this is a PG forum. Suffice it to say, it was the kind of abortion that used the "evil scissors" that (according to your signature) you used to wonder about.

It is no suprise that the descision was narrow regarding that kind of abortion. However, most experts expect a ruling about abortion in general to be decided differently. NOW claims that O'Connor has been replaced with an opponent of abortion. Their level of confidence is misleading. It is true that Alito may turn out to be slightly more conservative than O'Connor, but O'Connor didn't turn out the way people thought she would either (she was nominated by Reagan, who ran on the platform of overturning Roe v. Wade). They also don't seem to consider the fact that Roberts is almost certain to be more liberal than the chief justice he replaced.

Consider also that Roe v. Wade was not a close vote. It was 7-2. Most authorities that I have read do not think the court has moved enough to overturn Roe v. Wade. Most seem to think that the court may begin to allow more restrictions on abortion (which NOW would consider horrible enough), but for this court to overturn Roe v. Wade would require more than just the two Bush appointments.


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Perhaps a good way to think about the issue of abortion and the law is a way suggested by a guy named Langdell, back a long time ago. "Law as science" is a phrase you will likely find if you were to Google "Langdell." His approach to this issue would have been a scientific, experimental one.

There are two major competing theories about how we should structure the law regarding abortion. The first theory is that a mother has a moral right to abort the child. The second theory is that a child has a moral right to not be killed.

Which one of these should be given more weight? "Moral rights" are not tangible things that we can easily test for. We cannot measure them with rulers, or weigh them in scales. It is very difficult to determine whether they exist at all, much less whether one can sometimes "outweigh" the other.

We must try to discover or invent a method by which we can test these theories for their validity, so that we can then know which one the Law should uphold. There are a few ideas for how one might go about doing this.

In the past, some have suggested that "rights" actually exist. The founders of the U.S. seemed to advocate this view in the declaration of independence, when they suggested that people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Of course, the paragraph preceding that quote indicates that the writers of that document had in mind that "God" was the Creator. We now know that science has proved this to be a quaint notion. Any attempt to suggest that there is some sort of transcendent moral lawgiver should be summarily dismissed from your consideration. We are rational human beings, after all.

The Humanist Manifesto I is a more modern document that advocates a moral view based on science and rationality. It established the values of Religious Humanism, a religion which is faithful to the basic idea that the universe and everything in it was self-existing, not created. This belief is a fundamental requirement of morality, science, and rational thought.

This belief is further expounded upon in the Humanist Manifesto III, a successor to the Humanist Manifesto I. It specifies that humans are "the result of unguided evolutionary change." We know this to be a scientific fact. Thus, we can dispense with the notion that humans are endowed with rights from some other source. If moral rights exist, it stands to reason that they must also be the result of unguided evolutionary change.

The Manifesto III affirms this, and states that ethics must be derived from "human need and interests." It stands to reason that right and wrong are not unchanging standards. Instead they adapt to meet the changing needs and interests that humans have.

The Manifesto goes on to state that humans have "inherent worth and dignity." This statement seems to suggest that humans have intrinsic rights that they inherit, presumably from their ancestors.
From those two statements, we can conclude at least two potential sources of moral rights: the needs and interests of humanity, and the inherent worth and dignity of humanity.

It would seem that these two could come into conflict. For example, if a child has inherent worth, but the needs of humanity require that the worth be disregarded, it would seem that we would have to choose one over the other. The text of the Manifesto seems, on its face, to not offer a solution to this conflict. However, I propose a simple yet elegant synthesis of the two sources that should help us resolve the dilemma.

Has evolution really endowed us with certain inalienable rights? This is a hard theory to test. As we work on interpreting the genetic code of humans, I very much doubt that we will find a section that spells out the rights that we have. Ideally, we must fashion some sort of repeatable, verifiable, observable experiment to test the theory similar to the ones that proved our foundational principles in the first place.

I propose that the way to test for the presence of "inherent dignity and worth" is actually to see whether it derives from the "needs and interests as tested by experience." In other words, if the needs and interests of humanity say that you have worth, you have worth. If the needs and interests of humanity say that you don't, you don't.

In this way, we can test the existence of any theoretical moral right by simply by asking whether it is required by the needs and interests of humanity. Whether a mother has a right to an abortion is measured by the needs and interests of humanity. Whether a child has a right to live is also measured by the needs and interests of humanity.

The final step is to invent an experiment that can test the needs and interests of humanity. There are three major ways to determine what human needs and interests are:

First, we can look to everyone. This is the choice of democracies, who think that the best way to determine the needs and interests of people are to let them vote on what they need and are interested in.

Second, we can look to an individual. This is the choice of dictatorships, who try to pick one well qualified, trusted individual that can accurately assess what human needs and interests are. This is also the choice of libertarians and anarchists, but those systems have not been submitted to peer review by other established nations (through warfare), and will be given no respect.

Finally, we can look to select individuals. This is the choice of aristocracies, republics, and the ACLU, who try to pick small groups of well qualified people who can decide what the needs and interests of humanity are.

Of course, many system (such as the U.S. constitution) try to blend aspects of all of these together. It is thought that by using each of these methods at the same time, we can check and balance erroneous tendencies.

Whichever method we decide on, the final conclusion is clear: The quaint notion that God gives us inalienable rights is no longer valid. The Government has replaced God. As the ultimate human institution best able to determine the needs and interests of humanity, the Government is the authority which establishes what human rights are. These rights are not inalienable they evolve.

Thus, if the Government in past has said that a certain race is not considered to have the same rights as other humans, this was a correct decision since the Government was the best experimental method we have devised to determine the needs and interests of humanity. The Government did not have to admit that it was "wrong" when it decided to give that race more rights the needs and interests of humanity had evolved, and the Government properly adapted to it.

In the past, the Government has said that at a certain age a child is not considered to have the same rights as other humans. This was also a correct decision at the time. If the Government ever decides to give children of that age more rights it will be because the experimental data suggests that the needs and interests of humanity have evolved.

In conclusion, you should simply consider South Dakota to be a portion of an evolving population that has manifested a new mutation. It seems to be the sort of mutation that will enable them to reproduce more than other populations. We can wait and see whether the surrounding population will be able to compete with them, and we can rest assured that the fittest will survive. If, in another 30 years, the entire U.S. has outlawed abortion, this will not be a "moral disaster" as jeff(fake) erroneously suggested. It will simply be evidence that morality has evolved to allow humans to be better suited to their environment.

Bibliography:

http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html
br>http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.html
http://www.americanhumanist.org/3/HumandItsAspirations.htm


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:
Written by: Patriarch917

Democracy suggests that the needs of society are best measured by what the people want, and that the government should be subject to the people. If the people have democratically decided that they do not want abortions in their state, what reason do we have to deny them their choice?



Because it might be unethical? One of the biggest problems with Democracy is that you're assumed to be in the right if you have more people agreeing with you. That simply isn't true. Look at any repression of a minority and tell me that it's ethical. So they've democratically decided to outlaw abortion. Hooray. Remember it took a prolific campaign by a minority of people to excise racial discrimmination in the States.

Democracy sucks. Dictatorships suck. We should all just live in anarchy and get on with it. rolleyes


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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FireByNite
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

FireByNite

Are you up for it??
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 349
Posted:SOUTH DAKOTA SUX!!!!

I wonder what the majority of women would choose if they were in a violent relationship & had to choose between keeping the pregnancy & getting the living crap beaten out of you & your stomach/baby or having an abortion? I know what I'd choose.



Thank f@#k I live in New zealand smile



(Oh, & what I think of a women being raped & not being able to have an abortion isn't printable on here)


Are you up for it?
wink;)

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Sethis


Written by: Patriarch917


Democracy suggests that the needs of society are best measured by what the people want, and that the government should be subject to the people. If the people have democratically decided that they do not want abortions in their state, what reason do we have to deny them their choice?



Because it might be unethical? One of the biggest problems with Democracy is that you're assumed to be in the right if you have more people agreeing with you. That simply isn't true. Look at any repression of a minority and tell me that it's ethical. So they've democratically decided to outlaw abortion. Hooray. Remember it took a prolific campaign by a minority of people to excise racial discrimmination in the States.





I agree whole heartedly with Sethis. 'Democratic' is not the same as 'right'. A foetus is completely different from a fully functioning human child. As the foetus progresses it should gain more protection as it become more child-like, but giving full human rights in early pregnancy to an organism without an integrated nervous system is an insult to what it means to be human.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireByNite
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

FireByNite

Are you up for it??
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 349
Posted:Written by:
. A foetus is completely different from a fully functioning human child. As the foetus progresses it should gain more protection as it become more child-like, but giving full human rights in early pregnancy after to an organism without an integrated nervous system is an insult to what it means to be human.


I agree, hence why I think over here standard cut off time is 13 weeks & 16 weeks under extreme circumstances. After that it's not done


Are you up for it?
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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)


Written by: Sethis


Written by: Patriarch917


Democracy suggests that the needs of society are best measured by what the people want, and that the government should be subject to the people. If the people have democratically decided that they do not want abortions in their state, what reason do we have to deny them their choice?



Because it might be unethical? One of the biggest problems with Democracy is that you're assumed to be in the right if you have more people agreeing with you. That simply isn't true. Look at any repression of a minority and tell me that it's ethical. So they've democratically decided to outlaw abortion. Hooray. Remember it took a prolific campaign by a minority of people to excise racial discrimmination in the States.





I agree whole heartedly with Sethis. 'Democratic' is not the same as 'right'. A foetus is completely different from a fully functioning human child. As the foetus progresses it should gain more protection as it become more child-like, but giving full human rights in early pregnancy to an organism without an integrated nervous system is an insult to what it means to be human.





It may be true that "Democratic" does not mean "right." That is why I put in several alternative measures to determine what is right. One must choose a moral basis, and be able to back that up rationally. One can test a child to see how old it is, and how mature it is, but this does not reveal a "moral right" to life... or a lack thereof.



Sethis, you say it might be "unethical" but you do not say why. I AM looking at a repression of a minority and telling why it may or may not be ethical. I used two repressions of minorities as examples: black Americans in the past and young Americans in the present. I gave three alternative ways to measure whether these repressions met the needs and interests of humanity. According to the principles of humanism that I laid out, those repressions were "right" when they meet the needs and interests of humanity.



Some here seem to be suggesting that there is some sort of absolute moral standard that exists outside the needs and interests of humans, and that we can look to this standard to see whether other people are wrong. I suggest that, according to humanism and science, this is no more than your personal opinion, and is no more valid than saying "I like the color blue."



If you are going to assert that a triple measure of the needs and interests of South Dakota (a democratically elected representative body with a governor with veto power) should be trumped by some other source of morality, please explain where that source is and why it should be given more weight. However, if you are going to claim that they are "unethical" in an absolute sense, I must insist that this is completely contradicted by humanism and current science.



The whole idea of deriving ethics from humanism and evolution is that rights and ethics are not absolute, but evolve with us. Thus, if everybody (or, in some systems, the "select" people) decide that something is right or wrong, this is the highest authority to look to. According to rational humanism, people should not be expected to conform to some absolute set of ethics. Rather, ethics should be expected to conform to what people want.



Any other suggestion is contradicted by the facts of modern science and the rationally based values of religious humanism.



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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:The moral basis in this case is a reduction of suffering. A six week old embryo can't experience pain. But if carrying it to term would cause the mother massive psychological pain then the moral option would be to terminate it. After six months the situation is not so clear, so abortions should only be carried out under extreme circumstances in later pregnancy.

I have yet to hear a rational reason why an early embryo should possess a right to life at extremely early stages.

I have also yet to hear at what stage during the proscess of conception that pro-lifers think that the right to life begins, but thats anouther matter.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Pain is not an adequate objective measure to use. I could kill someone in their sleep in a manner that gives them no pain, yet society would still charge me with murder.

Even the suggestion that "pain and suffering should be avoided" is not itself a rational moral claim. Why should they be avoided? Is there something intrinsically "evil" about suffering? I suggest that the reason this seems to us to be a moral value is precisely because so many people agree to it. Thus, our standard of morality is still the needs and interests of humans. If the needs and interests of humans change to allow some suffering and pain, this is not "unethical" because "avoiding pain and suffering" never had any intrinsic moral weight in the first place.

At least, according to rational humanism and science.

A rational reason for a child having the right to life is the same rational basis for every other right: the needs and interests of humanity. One cannot rationally and scientifically dispute this from a humanist perspective, given the facts of science. One can, perhaps, dispute how best to measure the needs and interests of society, but that is a political choice (democracy vs Aristocracy, for example).

The question of when life begins is not a moral question. It is a scientific question. Technically, life is an unbroken chain that "began" with our first ancestor. Scientifically, a distinct genetic individual is formed when the DNA from the sperm and the egg unite.

The question of whether moral rights should attach at that moment, or some later moment, or never, is a moral and political question. Religious humanism suggests that the rights should attach whenever the "needs and interests" of humanity demand it. Current political theory suggests that the best organization to measure the "needs and interests" of humanity is a Government of some sort.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917


Pain is not an adequate objective measure to use. I could kill someone in their sleep in a manner that gives them no pain, yet society would still charge me with murder.



It is but one measure of morality. In killing an unconscious person you are ending the existance of a sentient being which was happy and wished to continue living (unless it was euthanasia). A foetus is neither sentient nor does it wish to continue living. Simply having a complete set of human DNA doesn't make it a human being, otherwise a HeLa cell culture would be considered a human being.

Written by: Patriarch917


Even the suggestion that "pain and suffering should be avoided" is not itself a rational moral claim. Why should they be avoided? Is there something intrinsically "evil" about suffering? I suggest that the reason this seems to us to be a moral value is precisely because so many people agree to it. Thus, our standard of morality is still the needs and interests of humans. If the needs and interests of humans change to allow some suffering and pain, this is not "unethical" because "avoiding pain and suffering" never had any intrinsic moral weight in the first place.



Pain and suffering are inherintly unpleasant. This is hardwired into our brains and we cannot avoid it (although some masochists might be considered as subverting it). Try putting your hand into a fire and then tell me that its simply a matter of consensus.

Written by: Patriarch:917


A rational reason for a child having the right to life is the same rational basis for every other right: the needs and interests of humanity. One cannot rationally and scientifically dispute this from a humanist perspective, given the facts of science. One can, perhaps, dispute how best to measure the needs and interests of society, but that is a political choice (democracy vs Aristocracy, for example).



The needs and interests of society? Society is composed of individuals (this is the only Thatcher quote you'll get from me). Society exists to make individuals happier. If a society can only exist by making its members unhappy then it shouldn't exist. If we were the last generation of humans and the human race died with us but we all still lived happy lives, why would that be a bad thing?

Written by: Patriach917


The question of whether moral rights should attach at that moment, or some later moment, or never, is a moral and political question. Religious humanism suggests that the rights should attach whenever the "needs and interests" of humanity demand it. Current political theory suggests that the best organization to measure the "needs and interests" of humanity is a Government of some sort.



Humans beings are important because the have thoughts and feelings. Humanity as an abstract concept doesn't, nor do six week old embryos, so humanity and six week old embryos aren't as important as human beings.

EDITED_BY: jeff(fake) (1140887570)


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

It is but one measure of morality. In killing an unconscious person you are ending the existance of a sentient being which was happy and wished to continue living (unless it was euthanasia). A foetus is neither alive nor does it wish to continue living. Simply having a complete set of human DNA doesn't make it a human being, otherwise a HeLa cell culture would be considered a human being.




Scientifically, a fetus is a living, human, genetically distinct individual. Its level of ability to think rationally is certainly not as developed as an adult human, but this is not itself a source of moral rights. A newborn is also not able to rationally want to live on the same level as an adult, and through drugs any adult can be temporarily deprived of the ability to wish to continue living (simply by knocking them unconscious.) The theory that moral rights flow from these sources cannot be experimentally verified, and has thus has little standing in a rational, scientific discussion of morality. If it makes sense from the needs and interests of society to value sentience and a "wish to live," then these things are important. If the needs of society do not require such consideration, the theory has no support from rational humanism.

Written by: jeff(fake)


Pain and suffering are inherintly unpleasant. This is hardwired into our brains and we cannot avoid it (although some masochists might be considered as subverting it). Try putting your hand into a fire and then tell me that its simply a matter of consensus.




I do not dispute that personal pain and suffering is considered "unpleasant" by the chemistry of our brains. However, I do dispute that pain and suffering is inherently morally wrong. The chemistry in our brains may lead to a consensus, which influences the needs and interests of humans. However, it is also true that the needs and interests of humanity sometimes require pain and suffering (such as imprisonment of criminals, or partial birth abortion). Thus, we can see evidence that pain and suffering has no intrinsic moral substance. Rather, it derives it's moral weight from our needs and interests.

Written by: jeff(fake)

The needs and interests of society? Society is composed of individuals (this is the only Thatcher quote you'll get from me). Society exists to make individuals happier. If a society can only exist by making its members unhappy then it shouldn't exist. If we were the last generation of humans and the human race died with us but we all still lived happy lives, why would that be a bad thing?




The assertion that "society exists to make individuals happier" is an unfounded claim. So is the suggestion that "if society can only exist by making its members unhappy then it shouldn't exist." These theories must be backed up with evidence in order to be taken seriously in a rational, scientific discussion. The evidence proves conclusively that societies DO exist while making some members unhappy. "Unhappy" does not mean "immoral." The people we put in jail are not happy about it, yet we think that it is morally right to make them unhappy.

The suggestion that we should try to maximize total happiness (utilitarianism) is not itself an absolute moral truth. Utilitarianism is only valid because we think it is, as there is no such thing as an extrinsic moral truth. If we decide that the goal of society should be to maximize unhappiness, maximizing unhappiness would become the "moral" thing to do (under the values of science and humanism) since it would be meeting the needs and interests of society.

Written by: jeff(fake)

Humans beings are important because the have thoughts and feelings. Humanity as an abstract concept doesn't, nor do six week old embryos, so humanity and six week old embryos aren't as important as human beings.



The theory that thoughts and feelings give rise to "importance" and perhaps even "rights" is a religious belief based on faith, not a scientifically valid moral truth. That theory must be tested be experimentation in order to see whether it is true. Science and Religious Humanism provide a mechanism to test the theory. Depending on which test you consider to be the best one, the voters, the representatives, or the dictator have the authority to say whether thoughts and feelings are important, and to change their minds as their needs and interests change.

"Humanity" as an abstract concept is difficult to work with. Thus, we must try to invent experiments (voting, Supreme Court cases) to try to determine what the needs and interests of humanity are. Unless you can provide evidence of some other, higher, better moral standard, rational humanists have no choice but to assent to the best evidence that we have at the moment.

Religious claims about the moral character of "suffering" or "thoughts and feelings" have no place in an age of science and humanism.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:What on Earth are you talking about? You are seriously confusing the moral principals involved. Thoughts and feelings are part of our humanity. Just because they are subjective experiences doesn't mean they can't exist.



This is a serious discussion on abortion. Please stop the patronising tone and the sad atempt to parody science. It's neither clever nor fitting.

EDITED_BY: jeff(fake) (1140890768)


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:I am not denying that thoughts and feelings exist. They certainly do. However, this does not mean that they have an intrinsic moral value. You must provide a basis for your morality. I have explained one basis for morality that is based on science and rationality: religious humanism. If you don't like it, and would like to believe something else, you are certainly free to do so, and you may try to explain the basis for your beliefs. However, you cannot simply say "feelings exist, therefore it is morally wrong to kill people with feelings."

This is a serious discussion on abortion. I am not offering a parody of anything, I am describing a rational view of the world based on the fundamental principles of humanism and science. If you disagree with humanism, you are free to provide evidence for a different view.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I disagree with your bastardised distortion of humanism. rolleyes

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Erm, I can't say I'm that well up on Humanism or anything, my only point was that sometimes the majority of a country/government is wrong. smile

I believe abortion to be perfectly valid up to the point where the foetus would be able to survive unconditionally outside the womb, the rights of the fully developed human being (mother, in this case) take precedence over the rights of a less developed human (the foetus).

But this was always going to be a controversial topic... rolleyes


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Sethis

I believe abortion to be perfectly valid up to the point where the foetus would be able to survive unconditionally outside the womb,



That used to be an important part of the original supreme court case in the U.S. At the time, not a whole lot was known about kids in the womb. They were still under the influence of the idea of "quickening." There was a time when it was thought that when a baby started to kick it signified that "life had entered into the child."

Medical advances have eliminated the concept of "quickening." We have also pushed "viability" (the ability of a baby to survive outside the womb) back further and further. For instance, now it is possible for a child to survive outside of the womb at conception (in vitro fertilization "test tube babies"). One can no longer claim that a child is ever "part of a mother's body." The difference between a zygote and a newborn is the same as the difference between a newborn and an adult: all they need is time, nutrition, and shelter in order to mature.

The idea of being able to "survive unconditionally outside the womb" is thought by some people to be a fairly clear cut line. But modern science has blurred the line all the way back to the point of conception. An embryo in a Petri dish is "surviving" outside the womb it simply needs to later be put into a womb in order to be in the best environment to survive. Someday, I expect that we will be able to construct artificial wombs that will first be used to help premature babies survive. I would not be surprised if artificial wombs will eventually be capable of nurturing a child from conception to "birth."

One can argue that an embryo can "survive" outside the womb, but not "unconditionally." In other words, it needs special care and attention in order to remain alive long enough to grow into adulthood. However, this is also true for a newborn, who is not able to survive unconditionally outside the womb. If left on its own, a newborn cannot take care of itself. It still demands a high level of special care from adults.

In the same way, handicapped people, people who use iron lungs, and other adult patients are incapable of surviving on their own without special intervention from other people. The ability to fend for one's self is rather a harsh way to decide whether someone has a moral or legal right to live or not.

These are just a few more examples of how abortion is on such shaky ground, and why is beginning to lose some of its former justifications. The pro-life movement's current focus is on teaching people the facts about the development of children in the womb, and they see medical science and education as their primary allies in this debate. Pro-life organizations used to hand out tracts with Bible verses about the value of children, now they hand out information pamphlets on the developement of babies in the womb.

Pro-choice advocates used to be able to say things like "it is just a blob of tissue," or "it's just a growth in the woman's body." These arguments are no longer used. It used to be said by Pro-lifers that "if wombs had windows" almost no one could favor abortion. The advance of science has allowed those windows to be constructed. And a newer, more sophisticated pro-life organizations are starting to act more like civil rights advocates rather than moral philosophers.

Pro-life advocates used to use pictures of late term (third trimester) abortions to try to show people what was going on. These are no longer used. Now there are plenty of pictures of children that have been killed at 7 weeks. These pictures are considered some of the most valuable tools in the discussion.

The pictures are important because, in a moment, they convey the message that abortion is an act of violence committed against a baby. Most people realize that partial birth abortion is clearly a form of infanticide, but there is still a misconception that a 7 week old baby is a "blob." The pictures prove that even the earliest first trimester abortions are not "removed blobs of tissue." They plainly reveal tiny little babies that have been hacked to pieces.

This tactic has been borrowed from previous civil rights movements. When black Americans conducted sit-ins at lunch counters, they took racism out of the shadows and put it in front of people in broad daylight. They forced people to confront the reality of what was being done.

In the same way, organizations like the Center for Bioethical Reform are showing people the truth of what abortion does. I was never particularly impressed by the slogan "abortion stops a beating heart," but apparently it matters to a lot of people that the heart starts beating at 3 weeks after conception. The pictures reveal clearly that even the early first trimester abortions do not simply remove a blob they mutilate a little person with eyes and a brain and a heart and little fingers and toes. Even if this does not change your mind on abortion, you can understand why these facts make a powerful impression on voters.

Obviously, I will not post any of the pictures here. This is a PG forum, and the photos are far more horrible than anything you will see in an R rated movie (I've never seen a mutilated baby in a film before). Google "Center for Bioethical Reform" and check out the link to "abortion photos" if you are an adult and haven't seen what I'm talking about.

Words are important, but there is a big difference between talking about the holocaust and actually seeing the photos from the concentration camps. Although you may personally favor abortions, one should not be too quick to condemn the people of South Dakota for deciding that such a thing is not required by their "needs and interests."


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)
I have yet to hear a rational reason why an early embryo should possess a right to life at extremely early stages.




I support this question and would like to read a reasonable explanation... The sheer possibility of a Fetus to exist and survive outside the womans body (to me) is not enough... if this is the case, I'm inclined to suggest that those embryos should then be raised "outside" (i.e. artificial).

Someone has stated this before and I think it's another valid point: in abusive relationships or when a baby is used to make the woman dependant... I simply can come up with a variety of reasons where the womans/ mothers rights for self-determination are violated if abortion is banned.

One big problem is that these days womens rights do exist on paper, but very often not in mind/ reality. The value of a child can - IMHO - never stand beyond the right of the mother.

I regard it as irresponsible to put this upside down. What is the benefit to "force" a woman to become a mother - it might/ will reflect on the raise/ education of the child and will affect the woman for the rest of her life.

Basically I can't fight the impression that many consider it "easy and fun" for a woman to abort a child. This is not the case. Out of my experience this event is not easy for the woman to sort out. In some cases she experiences problems for many years after (counting birthdates of the unborn) - this can be a traumatic event (unfortunately some women only find out after)...

Partiarch I do understand your legal point, though I do agree upon Sethis' view of morals... and

to me the question is: Are there any protests/ rallies/ demonstrations of South Dakotan citizens against the decision of their government? We may argue back and forth but lately it's the matter of South Dakotans - it just falls into the picture of todays political situation inside the US...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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