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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


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:The only reason we might take the decision away from south dakota is that the common decision of america is that we can't deny people their rights. Arguably, it is the right of the mother to decide to abort the baby for health reasons. Some also argue this is not the case.

Possibly, arguablly, it is the right of the mother to abort the baby period, but that is the most controversial topic, and one I won't get into- I will only state that some people belive this to be a right and some people do not.

Some people do not belive there is a right for the woman to abort the baby at all unless her actual life is in danger, rather than it just being detrimental to her health. Presumably, rape and incest and the results therof could be defined as affecting health, largely mental, sometimes physical as well.

Of course in many cases the woman's needs will be better served by carrying the baby and giving it up for adoption, in some cases even by keeping it. And in some cases by aborting it. Unfortunatly which is the three is right is often hard to judge at the time. No one is forcing anyone to be a mother- (or they shouldn't be-) simply asking the woman to give the child a chance at its life.

The general consensus on the forum seems to be that the mothers health is more important than an unborn babies life (as a 12-16week or less fetus). The general consensus in South Dakota seems to be that the young fetus is more important than the mothers health, altho not more important than her life.

Is this a question which can be resolved absolutley, and what evidence supports it?


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Written by: FireTom

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...




My reason for supporting the embryo's right to life at early stages would be that its a unique individual, one we won't otherwise have in the world. Every life enriches the world, and changes it.

You may disagree that there is anything important about a particular unique individual, altho vis-a-vis the butterfly affect, you can't know what difference it makes if they live or die and neither can I.

Even if you disagree, tho, can you not see why to some people would be upset about the idea of a unique set of genes not being allowed to make their contribution? Not that all "right-to-lifers" actually have this as part of their agenda, or care... just that thats a reason why even a young fetus is special, to some people.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well - I feel urged to make a statement on this as my views/ thoughts and opinions are sometimes controversial and spark some anger...



NOPE - I DO believe that EVERY individual is IMPORTANT on this planet and has it's pristine RIGHT to be here!



Hence, I do consider the right of self-determination as one basic human right and laws that prohibit, or even criminalise abortion and therefore this right of a woman IMHO are against womans/ human rights.



I am not stepping into the discussion of at which point is "life" a "life" or "worth living" - I just want to point out that carrying and giving birth to a child is not like carrying a bag. There are a lot of resources required, it is stressful to the mothers body.



In addition I want to point out that it should be the legal choice of the mother whether or not to provide her body to carry this child and therefore to determin her very own future. How many teen-mums are out there, who can't get a proper education because of and therefore no suitable job? You may be putting forth the possibility of adoption, but it simply is a different state of mind if you're a parent... It's bio-logical and (legally) a non-reversible process...



Possibly ruining an existing life for the sake of a "speculation" (and sorry that I use this wording and that it sounds cold - it's not meant half as that)...



But to support war and death penalty on one side and to protect (unwanted) unborn life on the other, I call "hippocracy" - I don't mean you, Kyrian - I am talking about a society ( rolleyes I can hear the voices already, saying that this statement is diffamatory and generalising on the US-public - cool it and talk to the republicans, please, I am not the right recipient for your anger).



IMO the existing life goes over forthcoming...



Think momentarily - act eternally... or so...



But I am NOT propagating abortion - don't get me wrong on this one - I am not advising it at all. Personally I would (never again) abort *our* child, but I'd always respect the choice the mother is taking...



***edited for highlighting what I mean***

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1140942974)


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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:Written by: FireTom
But I am NOT propagating abortion - don't get me wrong on this one - I am not advising it at all. Personally I would (never again) abort *our* child, but I'd always respect the choice the mother is taking...



that actually sparked something i've been mulling over bringing up or not, that's kinda been pointed out a little earlier but not so much in detail. it's an excellent point...

i hate the terminology of "pro-life." it infers that the other side is ANTI-life, which is not the case whatsoever. i am pro-CHOICE. i believe in a woman's right to CHOOSE. that's a huge difference from saying that i support taking lives. in that respects, i am pro-life too. would i get an abortion if i was placed in that situation? i have no idea. but i do know i'd like the choice. while i see the reasoning behind the terminology "pro-life," i honestly see it as a more accurate and fair depiction to state "anti-choice."


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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Location: York University, United Kingdo...

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Posted:Ah, Patriarch, I put in "Unconditionally" to try to avoid the blurred line problem. For reference, this is what I meant by "Unconditionally":

That they can survive without serious medical intervention i.e. they don't have to be put on a respirator, or have tubes stuck in them or other random life support stuff. Basically, if they were born then would they be able to survive like a normal full-term baby?

Note the use of the word "Normal" in that sentence. It means that a trip to hospital should not be necessary for the child's survival or prosperity. Only the presence of the parents.

So your point of test tubes is invalid...

Also your point about crippled adults: We're talking about when it is ethical to abort, if ever. Not talking about adults.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Sethis

Also your point about crippled adults: We're talking about when it is ethical to abort, if ever. Not talking about adults.


It is however similar to when we turn off the life support of people who are in a persistant vegatable state. A foetus doesn't have any higher brain functions either, meaning it isn't a sentient entity yet. I am argueing that simply having a human body or being alive isn't enough, thus the 'shock image' tactics of the pro-life groups are irrelevent and infantile.

This is and always should be about sentience.


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

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

Total posts: 607
Posted:We are still dancing around the true issue here, acting as if "medical care" and "cognitive ability" are in and of themselves intrinsic sources of moral rights. While that theory is possible on some level, if you want people to accept it you must be able to back the theory up with evidence.

For those who truly want to engage in a reasonable, serious discussion about whether a child (of any age) can have a moral right to life, let us approach the matter from the fundamental level and work are way up to the details.

First, let us ask some questions to get us started:

Question 1: What is the ultimate source of moral rights?

Suggested Possible Answers:
A. God is the source of moral rights. (the Bible, deism)
B. Moral rights come from the needs and interests of humans (Humanist Manifesto III)
C. Moral rights were created independent of humans, like the laws of physics. (Moral Naturalism)
D. There are no such things as moral rights (Materialism)
E. Other (Please summarize, if possible, in a sentence or two. Example "Moral rights come from the Light Side of the Force" or "Moral Rights come from the Constitution of the U.S.")


Question 2: Do moral rights change?

Suggested Possible Answers:
A. Moral rights do not change (Moral Absolutism).
B. Moral rights do change (Moral Relativism).


After answering these questions, we will be in a much better position to come up with a moral theory that we can then put to the test to see whether the particular moral right in question (the right of a child to live) can possibly come from such a source.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Option B is the obvious one, since we can all agree (I assume) that sentient organisms have a moral right to exist. If you wish to debate that I suggest that you open a new thread or use PMs.
Written by: Firetom
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...



Still waiting...


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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'm sorry jeff, but I would like to go into a bit more detail than merely assuming that sentient organisms have a right to exist. If they have a right, we need to try to figure out where this right comes from.



Your answer to the first question seems to suggest that the reason sentient organisms have a right to live, is because giving them that right meets the needs and interests of humans.



I'm still waiting for an answer to the second question.



I cannot give you a moral answer without first figuring out what sort of morality you believe in. I already explained why an embryo can be given a right to live under the values of humanism and moral relativism. Do you also wish for an answer from a different moral perspective?


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
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.



Written by: Patriarch917


I already explained why an embryo can be given a right to live under the values of humanism and moral relativism.



No you havenn't. You given an absurd reason based on a distorted and bastardised misrepresentation of humanism and moral relativism. Outlawing abortion doesn't in any way benifit society anyway so your entire premise falls apart at the seams.



You may personally feel that with God human beings are worthless but secular humanism is about how human beings have an inherant worth regardless or whether God exist or not (this would be the reason that God would say that that humans have inherant worth).



This arguement has been done to death by philosophers with far more experience than you and me so it would be pointless to go over the reasons for why human beings have value. In any case, unless you are argueing that sentient organism don't have an instrinsic moral right to exist this arguement is pointless and I suggest moving on.


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Option B is the obvious one, since we can all agree (I assume) that sentient organisms have a moral right to exist. If you wish to debate that I suggest that you open a new thread or use PMs.
Written by: Firetom
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...



Still waiting...


I don't suppose you'd care to say *why* you found my reasoning unreasonable?
Its more useful than just ignoring, you know.


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

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

Total posts: 607
Posted:If I have distorted or misrepresented humanism, then show me from the text of the humanist manifesto. Otherwise, the accusation is baseless and I will not respond to it again.

To recap the position of humanism.

1. Moral rights come from the needs and interests of humans.
2. South Dakota has decided that their needs and interests demand that an embryo be given a right to live.
3. Therefore, according to humanism, embryos in South Dakota have a moral right to live.

You are still refusing to answer whether you believe that moral rights are absolute, or whether they can evolve to fit the evolving needs and interests of humans. I stand by my claim that humanism teaches that if the needs and interests of humans change, moral rights can change as well.

A reluctance to answer the question is understandable, since the choices seems to be either

1. There are moral absolutes that come from a source other than the needs and interests of humans.
2. The needs and interests of humans do not evolve, thus moral rights that come from them are absolute and never change.
3. When the needs and interests of humans change, moral rights change with them.

The first two contradict the fundamental principles of humanism. The third allows for the possibility that the changing needs and interests of humanity could possibly give an embryo the right to live.

Either one must reject humanism and moral relativism in favor of a moral system which allows you to make an absolute statement that an embryo can NEVER have a right to live, or one must allow for the possibility that it is possible for an embryo to be give.

It is no use debating whether giving an embryo a right to live ACTUALLY meets the needs of South Dakota, if you cannot bring yourself to accept the possibility that evolving needs and interests can actually alter moral rights. You will simply decide "I don't care whether or not the needs and interests of humans change, I will nevertheless believe in the moral absolute that an embryo cannot have a right to live." That is a claim based entirely on faith in a moral absolute, and I doubt that any rational discussion can shake that faith.

If you would like to discuss this from a belief that there ARE moral absolutes, and thus an embryo always does, or does not, have a right to life, that is fine. I am quite happy to have such a discussion, but it is necessary for you to first identify the ultimate source from which you believe all absolute moral rights come from.


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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

Ah, Patriarch, I put in "Unconditionally" to try to avoid the blurred line problem. For reference, this is what I meant by "Unconditionally":

That they can survive without serious medical intervention i.e. they don't have to be put on a respirator, or have tubes stuck in them or other random life support stuff. Basically, if they were born then would they be able to survive like a normal full-term baby?

Note the use of the word "Normal" in that sentence. It means that a trip to hospital should not be necessary for the child's survival or prosperity. Only the presence of the parents.

So your point of test tubes is invalid...

Also your point about crippled adults: We're talking about when it is ethical to abort, if ever. Not talking about adults.



Does this requirement of "no serious medical intervention" also apply to babies that are born premature, and require a stay in the hospital (including, sometimes, feeding tubes and a respirator) in order to grow into adulthood?

Of course, there are also adults who need respirators and tubes in order to survive. Obviously, if this issue of medical intervention is truly dispositive then it will apply to all people who require serious medical intervention to survive. If you wish to advocate that all people who require serious medical intervention in order to survive have no right to life, that is a difficult claim (but one that has been accepted and advocated in the past).

If the issue of medical intervention applies to babies in the womb, but not to premature biths or adults, that is proof that requiring medical intervention is not, by itself, truly something that makes a moral difference to you. There must be some additional factor that you have not stated that is actually the true justification.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Kyrian
I don't suppose you'd care to say *why* you found my reasoning unreasonable?
Its more useful than just ignoring, you know.


Certainly.
Written by: Kyrian
My reason for supporting the embryo's right to life at early stages would be that its a unique individual, one we won't otherwise have in the world. Every life enriches the world, and changes it.



Being 'unique' isn't a moral reason for existing. Would a perfect copy of yourself have no moral right to exist? Would you be within your rights to murder it? By this logic I should stop using condoms and we should should outlaw all forms of birth control, since they prevent other 'unique' individuals form coming into the world and 'enriching and changing' it.
Written by: Patriarch917
To recap the position of humanism.

1. Moral rights come from the needs and interests of humans.
2. South Dakota has decided that their needs and interests demand that an embryo be given a right to live.
3. Therefore, according to humanism, embryos in South Dakota have a moral right to live.


BZZZZZ...wrong. Humanism does not allow follow the leap from 2 to 3 because:
A:South Dakota is not a human
B:This ruling doesn't enhance the humans within South Dakota's needs or interests.
C:The South Dakota senate is wrong in this ruling for the reasons I've given in detail in my previous postings here.
Written by: Patriarch917
A reluctance to answer the question is understandable, since the choices seems to be either

1. There are moral absolutes that come from a source other than the needs and interests of humans.
2. The needs and interests of humans do not evolve, thus moral rights that come from them are absolute and never change.
3. When the needs and interests of humans change, moral rights change with them.

The first two contradict the fundamental principles of humanism. The third allows for the possibility that the changing needs and interests of humanity could possibly give an embryo the right to live.


Number three is bang on right. Did you think you were making a clever point or something? wink

It's entirely possible that the human race and society could change in such a way that embryos would gain a moral right to life. Human may evolve so our embryo become sentient for example. However nothing like that is likely to happen in the near future so it's irrelevent to the discussion. Human emotions and sensations are roughly the same in all members of the human race except for those with severe mental problems. We can all agree that happyness is good and suffering is bad for example. Thus we can all agree roughly analogous moral codes when we discuss them rationally.

Its possible to argue that an increase in population would be a benifit to humans (I disagree however). If that were the case then embryo would have a pragmatic reason to be born on moral grounds, but still not a moral right to exist like a fully fledged human being.


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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)


"This ruling doesn't enhance the humans within South Dakota's needs or interests."



"The South Dakota senate is wrong in this ruling for the reasons I've given in detail in my previous postings here."







Then you have not pointed out any flaw in my explanation of humanism, you have merely tried to cast doubt on whether or not the needs and interests of the "humans within South Dakota" actually have changed so as to give an embryo the right to life.



Written by: jeff(fake)


"Number three ("When the needs and interests of humans change, moral rights change with them.") is bang on right."



"It's entirely possible that the human race and society could change in such a way that embryos would gain a moral right to life."





I suggest that the best way to determine the needs and interests of the people of South Dakota is by asking them, and not you. If you wish to speak for what the needs and interests of South Dakota are, society has established an experiment to see whether you are qualified to accurately measure them: running for office in South Dakota.



I can see now that you do not really have a problem with my explanation of the mechanism by which humanism distributes moral rights. You merely have a problem with the fact that the experimental data (the Government that the people of South Dakota have elected) indicates that the interests and needs of South Dakota have changed in such a way that they now justify giving an embryo a right to live (with the exception for the life of the mother).



Your best tactic, then, is not to try to attack the values of humanism that I have explained (since you seem to agree with the principles). Instead, you must come up with a better experiment that can more accurately test the needs and interests of South Dakota.



Your claim that "sentience" has something to do with an embryo's right to life is an expression of your interests and needs. The best experimental data we have indicates that the humans in South Dakota do not see your opinion as describing their interests and needs.



In order to call their decision immoral on humanist, rational, scientific grounds, you must be able to invent and conduct and experiment that will prove that their interests and needs require them to take away the embryo's right to life. You must also be able to prove that your experiment is better than the current way of testing their interests and needs (the Government that the people of South Dakota have elected).


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

Does this requirement of "no serious medical intervention" also apply to babies that are born premature, and require a stay in the hospital (including, sometimes, feeding tubes and a respirator) in order to grow into adulthood?




No. We're talking about abortion and at what point (if any) it would be ethical to terminate them. We're not talking about babies that have been born and need medical care, neither are we talking about adults who happen to have had accidents. Just unborn foetuses. (Foetus'? Foetusi? umm ubblol)

Written by: Patriarch917

Of course, there are also adults who need respirators and tubes in order to survive. Obviously, if this issue of medical intervention is truly dispositive then it will apply to all people who require serious medical intervention to survive. If you wish to advocate that all people who require serious medical intervention in order to survive have no right to life, that is a difficult claim (but one that has been accepted and advocated in the past).




Adults on life support are a different argument, and there are IMO different moral standards. Start or bump a thread on it if you are interested in hearing what I have to say.

Written by: Patriarch917

If the issue of medical intervention applies to babies in the womb, but not to premature biths or adults, that is proof that requiring medical intervention is not, by itself, truly something that makes a moral difference to you. There must be some additional factor that you have not stated that is actually the true justification.



How do you work that out? I just have different moral standards that apply to:

1. Foetuses
2. Babies
3. Adults

So like I said, I will discuss my moral standpoint on 2 and 3 in another thread. Here they are off topic. I don't have to have the same attitude towards all three, because they are not the same. smile


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917



For those who truly want to engage in a reasonable, serious discussion about whether a child (of any age) can have a moral right to life, let us approach the matter from the fundamental level and work are way up to the details.

First, let us ask some questions to get us started:

Question 1: What is the ultimate source of moral rights?

Suggested Possible Answers:
A. God is the source of moral rights. (the Bible, deism)
B. Moral rights come from the needs and interests of humans (Humanist Manifesto III)
C. Moral rights were created independent of humans, like the laws of physics. (Moral Naturalism)
D. There are no such things as moral rights (Materialism)
E. Other (Please summarize, if possible, in a sentence or two. Example "Moral rights come from the Light Side of the Force" or "Moral Rights come from the Constitution of the U.S.")


Question 2: Do moral rights change?

Suggested Possible Answers:
A. Moral rights do not change (Moral Absolutism).
B. Moral rights do change (Moral Relativism).


After answering these questions, we will be in a much better position to come up with a moral theory that we can then put to the test to see whether the particular moral right in question (the right of a child to live) can possibly come from such a source.





Written by: Patriarch917


E. Other (Please summarize, if possible, in a sentence or two. Example "Moral rights come from the Light Side of the Force" or "Moral Rights come from the Constitution of the U.S.")





How about- 'Moral rights are decided by individuals'

This avoids many of the problems inherent in attributing morality to God or as some absolute aspect of the world.

How do individuals determine their 'moral truths'? In varying ways including the following in different degrees and mixtures-

1. feel- they feel that inflicting unnecessary pain is wrong for example. Most humans have empathy for others hard-wired into their make-up.

2. Reason- not so much in deciding what is right/wrong, but very applicable to clearing up confusions surrounding certain moral issues.

An example would be someone who considers blacks to be inferior on the basis that they 'beat their women' (this is an actual example I've encountered in real-life. A rational argument pointing out that all races have individuals who beat women negates that particular justification for the belief.

3. Tradition, consensus etc.

=====================

As I see it, possibly the main objection to this view is that morality is then rather subjective- when two individuals have opposing moral views, how is it to be determined which is righ/wrong; who is entitled to decide?

I would reply to this by saying-

Firstly, I'd point out that difficulties in determining what is right/wrong are evident in every system purporting to clarify morality- IMO, more so than in this one.

Secondly, given that morality is, on this version, chosen by individuals, even if resolution is difficult/impossible, it's not a problem for the system itself- difficulty in making absolute choices is simply not relevant to a system which specifically does not rely on absolutes.

Thirdly, using 2 above, much progress in moral debate can be made using reasoned discussion. In my opinion, where progress is made in morality-based discussions, it's generally through clarifying points of view and facts, rather than by focusing on 'morality' itself (ie whether its absolute, relative etc).

Basically, there is in general, consensus and agreement in what humans choose to be right/wrong.

For example, the majority oppose torture for fun, sexual abuse of children etc.

The minority of humans who approve of torture/child abuse are certainly not a problem for this view of morality.

To the extent that these individuals are a problem for society and those who live in it, practically speaking, that majority can simply deal with them as they see fit (legislation, education,imprisonment etc) according to their chosen moral views and consensus.


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

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

Total posts: 607
Posted:@ Sethis: Regarding premature babies. Your argument seems to hinge a lot on location.



Imagine two babies developing in the womb. At 25 weeks, one of the mothers goes into premature labor. The premature baby is put into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. You seem to suggest that it would be ok to kill the fetus that is still in the womb, but not the fetus (now called a preemie) that is in the NICU. Why is it not also ok to kill the one in the NICU?




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Assuming the two mothers are equal in every other way. The preemie is going to be a lot more trouble, more stressful, more expensive, less healthy, and every other justification that is commonly used for aborting the "fetus" that is in the other womb.



You keep saying that you don't want to talk about it, but drawing a bright line between one and the other is the whole idea. We call one of them a preemie, a miracle baby, vest it with the right to the highest degree of care, and do all in our power to save it. If a doctor drowns it in a sink (as has been done before), we charge him with murder.



We call the other a fetus, and give no right to live. We can chop it up, pull out the pieces, and throw them away. If you are poor, sometimes society will even pay the bill.



The thing is, there is no intrinsic difference between the two kids besides the one in the womb being healthier than the other. Nothing magic happens to the kid when you take it out of a womb and put it in a diaper. A soul doesn't "enter" it. It doesn't suddenly "gain" sentience.



I loath the suggestion that parents should be given the right to kill preemies, but that suggestion has been made before. It has even seriously been suggested that parents should have the right to "terminate" for up to two months after birth. These positions are coherent and rational... they are based on a clear principle that children do not have a right to live if their parents don't want them. I may disagree, but at least I can see the logic.



To make a distinction based on requiring "serious" medical attention is simply not convincing if you aren't really willing to follow it through and apply it. The position you described seems to say that if a child is born that can survive with medical attention, it has a right not to be killed. However, if that same child merely could be born and survive with medical attention, we can still kill it.



If onewheeldave is right, then you have the ability to create your own morality. However, he seems also to suggest that the people of South Dakota may also create their own morality that is different from yours. Even if you strongly believe what you say, surely you cannot fault them for deciding to create their morality in a different way?



edit: Don't be alarmed at the picture. The baby is not being killed, the hand is just there to show the size. The baby grew up to be an honor student.

EDITED_BY: Patriarch917 (1141005696)


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917



If onewheeldave is right, then you have the ability to create your own morality. However, he seems also to suggest that the people of South Dakota may also create their own morality that is different from yours. Even if you strongly believe what you say, surely you cannot fault them for deciding to create their morality in a different way?




You couldn't fault them on the grounds that their morality is wrong; however you could oppose their choice on the grounds that-

1. you consider some aspect of the rational element of their belief to be faulty (for example, if they are taking a base moral view as a foundation and derive a conclusion with reasoning which is actually faulty).

or-

2. you simply don't like their choice of moral beliefs- despite the fact that you can't fault them on moral grounds, you may still simply choose to oppose them and do whatever is within your power to hinder their efforts at legislation.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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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: Patriarch917

The preemie is going to be a lot more trouble, more stressful, more expensive, less healthy, and every other justification that is commonly used for aborting the "fetus" that is in the other womb.



At 25 weeks the "majority" of prem babies (I say majority as I don't have any stats) will not survive without extreme physical disability &/or mental defects. offtopic


Are you up for it?
wink;)

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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:Written by:
The position you described seems to say that if a child is born that can survive with medical attention, it has a right not to be killed. However, if that same child merely could be born and survive with medical attention, we can still kill it.



Patriarch, you make an interesting point here. but consider this....our technology has exponentially increased to the point that many argue we have exceeded what God intended for us, what is morally right and ethical, etc. 50 years ago...heck 10 years ago...preemies born like the one you show would never have lived to begin with. it was our Darwinian natural selection at work. whereas women have successfully had DNCs throughout history. this is not a new medical procedure. some women have elected to have them every month in lieu of having a period, not as a method to abort a child.

i'm certainly not saying that we shouldn't ignore the advantages technology has brought us in saving the life of a baby born too early (although FireByNite brings up an excellent point of the mental and physical defects that often arise, which then brings up the question of quality of life, which is a whole different subject for a different thread). but from a moral standpoint (whichever type of moral standpoint you want to classify it, i think we lose sight of the question), how can we justify taking the role of "God" through saving a baby's life who should in all natural circumstances would be dead if it weren't for our advances in technology, but not justify taking the same role in ending a pregnancy through means that have been around longer than most medical procedures?


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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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:I still lack the "mothers' right of self-determination" in the entire discussion here... umm

IMHO and I have pointed this out before: The right of the unborn child to live does not go over the life of the mother (who has to provide herself as the "breeding ground"), anything else I personally consider absurd - as absurd as argueing against or pro abortion on the grounds of religion. Period.

Moral values and standards vary, depending on society, culture and environment.

Are we talking here about mankind/ humanity as a whole or are we going into the very different views of life inside the human race? In a number of Asian countries - for say - the ammount of abortions raise, as parents find out that "it's going to be a girl" - and a girl doesn't count. Therefore those governments are now pondering upon whether or not to make the information on the gender of the future child confidential...

So what are we talking about in here?

Are we approaching the issue from an isolated view on SD, or the US, the West? Or are we approaching it on mankind as a whole? Are we debating about the moral, or legal rights? - which don't have to be the same necessarily...

offtopic

Sure I dislike umm debating about the "quality of life" and whether or not "killing" is "okay" on these grounds... this is a very very tricky aspect and the rabbithole goes down deep. The question what healthy individuals perceive "quality TO live" is sometimes very different to the view of a disabled, or handicapped. I have worked with (mentally) handicapped people for about a year and found that they are just as human as everybody else - but different. As a society we can "afford" to support handicapped ppl these days and even make a "disabled" life possible.

If the individual suffers (from pain) and deliberately wants to die for this (or similar reasons) - I believe it's his right to choose so.

offtopic


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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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:Written by: FireTom

I still lack the "mothers' right of self-determination" in the entire discussion here... umm

IMHO and I have pointed this out before: The right of the unborn child to live does not go over the life of the mother (who has to provide herself as the "breeding ground"), anything else I personally consider absurd - as absurd as argueing against or pro abortion on the grounds of religion. Period.



brilliantly said. sadly though, that piece tends to always be overlooked or brushed over onto the issue of right to life and whatnot. that's why i argued the component of language here....i am pro-CHOICE. i believe it is the woman's rights that need to come first, as it is her body and her decision.


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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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

You seem to suggest that it would be ok to kill the fetus that is still in the womb, but not the fetus (now called a preemie) that is in the NICU. Why is it not also ok to kill the one in the NICU?



Because I assume that the mother wants to have that child. smile If the other mother chooses to abort her child then it is obvious that she doesn't. I think you've slightly misunderstood what I've been saying.

I do not use the "Could it survive outside the womb" argument to justify the abortion itself, or as a reason to abort. I use it to determine when it is ethical to abort. The justification for the abortion comes from the wishes of both parents. If they are going to suffer serious hardship, psychological damage or other reasons why they do not want the baby, then that is how I work out whether it is alright to agree to an abortion. After that, then it's just a matter of checking what term the foetus is in.

Written by: Patriarch917

The thing is, there is no intrinsic difference between the two kids besides the one in the womb being healthier than the other. Nothing magic happens to the kid when you take it out of a womb and put it in a diaper. A soul doesn't "enter" it. It doesn't suddenly "gain" sentience.




Your beliefs. People have different ones. smile

You seem to have repeatedly tried to hypothesize as to what my rationale is. This is commendable in that you're trying to understand my point of view. However you are then arguing against what you yourself have assumed to be going on in my head, rather than hypothesizing, waiting for my response, then arguing against it.

But kudos for the debate regardless. smile


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

If onewheeldave is right, then you have the ability to create your own morality. However, he seems also to suggest that the people of South Dakota may also create their own morality that is different from yours. Even if you strongly believe what you say, surely you cannot fault them for deciding to create their morality in a different way?


By your logic if the government of South Dakota were to declare rape legal then it would be moral. rolleyes


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

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I agree jeff(fake), its a sad day when the clock is turned back to the bad old days of illegal and unsafe abortions.

I would be surprised if the politicians in South Dakota are actually representing the community in this matter. More than likely, a few fundamentalist religious nutters have gained power and are now in a position to dictate their moralistic views in areas that are clearly none of their business.

As far as the politics goes. In Australia, our politicians have just finished discussing control of RU-486, 'the abortion pill'. This was done through a conscious vote where politicians could vote according to their conscious, not their party.

I think the irony of the South Dakota laws, is that these same fundamentalists that claim to be protecting innocent lives are probably the same ones calling for "blood" in the American led invasion of Iraq.


eek


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:Written by: Stone

I agree jeff(fake), its a sad day when the clock is turned back to the bad old days of illegal and unsafe abortions.

I would be surprised if the politicians in South Dakota are actually representing the community in this matter. More than likely, a few fundamentalist religious nutters have gained power and are now in a position to dictate their moralistic views in areas that are clearly none of their business.

As far as the politics goes. In Australia, our politicians have just finished discussing control of RU-486, 'the abortion pill'. This was done through a conscious vote where politicians could vote according to their conscious, not their party.

I think the irony of the South Dakota laws, is that these same fundamentalists that claim to be protecting innocent lives are probably the same ones calling for "blood" in the American led invasion of Iraq.


eek




first, an abortion is just a drive away if they really want it...i hope that this will make them think about it before they do it...SD is not that big and you can drive from one end to the other in a day or so
second i think that it is unfair and highly judgemental and stereotypical to say that a)fundamentalists are the only ones who want abortions outlawed-i am not one and i would at least like to see them not offered to every woman that gets an unwanted pregnacy but only to those who cannot live because of a pregnancy...i have had a few friends that were born of rape and i wouldn't like to think of a world without them because they are beneficial to the world and b) that these same people are warhawks-i am studying to be a mediator-so not into war


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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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: Patriarch917

If onewheeldave is right, then you have the ability to create your own morality. However, he seems also to suggest that the people of South Dakota may also create their own morality that is different from yours. Even if you strongly believe what you say, surely you cannot fault them for deciding to create their morality in a different way?


By your logic if the government of South Dakota were to declare rape legal then it would be moral. rolleyes



I assume you are speaking to onewheeldave's logic. However, it is also true that by the principles of humanism, it is theoretically possible for the needs and interests of humans to change so as to make rape legal. That's the whole point of moral relativism: there are no such things as moral absolutes.

Written by: Sethis

Written by: Patriarch917

You seem to suggest that it would be ok to kill the fetus that is still in the womb, but not the fetus (now called a preemie) that is in the NICU. Why is it not also ok to kill the one in the NICU?



Because I assume that the mother wants to have that child.




But what if the mother doesn't want to keep the preemie? Should she have a moral right to kill it?

Written by: Sethis

The justification for the abortion comes from the wishes of both parents. If they are going to suffer serious hardship, psychological damage or other reasons why they do not want the baby, then that is how I work out whether it is alright to agree to an abortion.




Still, however, many people (and U.S. law) draw a seemingly arbitrary "bright line" between allowing parents to kill the baby in the womb if they no longer wish for it, and allowing them to kill the baby outside the womb if they no longer wish for it.

If this position is held by someone, then it is obvious that, to them, the parents wishes alone are not alone enough to justify the killing of the child. There must be some additional thing that allows one to follow the parents wishes to kill the child when it is in a womb, but not when the kid is in a NICU.

In other words, somehow the child's right to live "grows in size" in relation to the parents right to kill their child whenever they wish. Right now, the law says that the child's right to live starts to "outweigh" the parent's desire to kill it when we move it from a womb to a NICU (or simply into the mothers arms, if it is full term).

However, it is a fact that children can continue to be burdens on parents that impose serious hardship, psychological trauma, and other things even after being born. This is the reason why some people have seriously suggested legalizing what have been called "fourth trimester abortions." Obviously, if the source of the child's right to live is the parent's desire to keep it, it is hard to argue against allowing parents to kill children even after they are born.

Some have brought up that another thing to consider in deciding whether to kill the child is the "rights of the mother." Assuming that whatever you believe to be the source of human rights has actually given rights to a mother, it is appropriate to ask what these rights are, and whether any of them are worth more than the life of a child.

I am hard pressed to be able to come up with any way to justify holding anything to be more valuable than the life of a child. If a car were rolling down a hill, and I could see a lady sunbathing in the road, and it was apparent that the car would run over her legs, I would probably not toss a baby under the wheels of a car in order to stop it. Even if I could see that the car was going to kill the woman, I probably would not toss the baby under the car to save the woman.

It seems from my answers that I must value the life of the baby over the life of the woman. However, if we change the scenario we can see that this is not the case with me. If I could see a car rolling down a hill that was going to hit and kill the baby, and the only way I could stop it were to throw the woman in front of the car, I still would not push the woman.

Thus, it is apparent that, to me, the life of a baby and the life of the woman are of equal value.

South Dakota apparently sees it differently. They have made an exception in their law to allow an abortion in order to save the life of the mother. Now, it is true that one can hardly ever find an example where what we think of as a regular "abortion" (as opposed to radiating the uterus, or removing a fallopian tube) can actually save the life of a mother. Still, they have decided to throw this in there just in case.

One possible explanation for this exception is that:
1. Since the lives of the mother and child are equal, it doesn't matter which one we pick. and
2. A good mother will probably be willing to risk her life in order to save her child, so mothers will probably only kill the child if they know that otherwise both of them are going to die otherwise.

An effort to find some other right besides a "right to life" that someone could have that would justify the otherwise unnecessary murder of a child is difficult. One can simply "announce" a right such as saying "psychological trauma is more important than the life of a child," but to actually be able to prove that statement by any commonly accepted moral system (or, to keep us on topic, any moral system operating in South Dakota) is very difficult.


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:faithinfire, it was a generalisation but clearly there is more to this legislation than meet the eye, as outlined in the article. This was brough home to me by recent comments by right wing politicians in Australia on the abortion drug RU486.

Danna Vale expressed concern that Australia could become a Muslim nation within 50 years and said Australians are "aborting themselves out of existence". From [Australian parliamentary debate on the abortion drug RU486.(ABC)

I dont see how unwanted pregnancies will ever be eradicated by legislation, but I do see how this type of legislation fosters religious intolerance and misunderstanding.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

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

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Patriarch, you're doing it again. You've seen superficial similarities between my position and a position that you have come across when talking to other people.

You have then assumed that my argument is the same, because it is similar. It isn't. You're arguing against some other people you've heard/spoken to, not me. smile

I could go into the justification of abortion, but I'm afraid that will spiral very quickly off topic away from the argument about whether the government of South Dakota has made a reasonable decision. This isn't a thread about whether abortion is justifiable. I repeat, if you want to argue about it (and that goes for everyone else too) then bump/start a thread on it. smile


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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