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  1. #11
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMohican View Post
    What would you consider to be a person's "sphere of responsibility"?
    The scope and length of this responsibility is handled on a case by case basis so I can't answer this properly without writing a book.

    But to generalize a bit? When an individual is considered by society to be responsible for a dependent. For example, a surgeon is intensely resposible for a disabled patient under the knife, somewhat responsible to provide medical information afterwards, and then at some point the relationship ends.

    How can the level of awareness of the child be determined?
    It would be interesting to know how well we've researched the mental capacity of a fetus. I do know that there's a point at 12 weeks where brain activity is first registered, so that would seem a safe 'most conservative' mark. There may be another critical point in brain development that allows basic cognition, and if this consistantly takes place (say at 13 or 14 or whatever) this would also be a safe point.

  2. #12
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I feel so ambiguous about the issue of abortion. If pushed to take a stance, I am pro-choice, and mainly for practical purposes. Women will always try to abort their fetuses, accepting that reality and regulating it/making it safe is the best option, imo. But am I morally OK with abortion? No, not completely. Nor would I have one myself. And I am less OK with it the further along a pregnancy goes. If someone were to conclusively discover that a fetus can feel pain or suffer at X weeks, I would reconsider being pro choice.

    If accepted for legal purposes, this argument would have some interesting implications for the procedures of abortion. It would be legal to remove a fetus from the womb, but not to kill it directly (especially not when it is capable of breathing on its own). That could necessitate some strange practices, but it would, at least in my opinion, make the legalization of abortion philosophically consistent. The basic rule is that we are not allowed to kill children, but we are not required to nurture them, either. It gives us the simple freedom to keep to ourselves.
    The bigger problem with this would seem to be the consequences for already-born children. Morally, the remove-but-don't-actively-end-the-life of a fetus seems similiar to ethical end-of-life issues, where we have terminally ill patients dying of starvation and dehydration because it is illegal for a doctor to take active steps to end that person's life, so it becomes this passive process. Remove the means to life, but don't actively end that life.

    Again, not sure how I feel about that.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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  3. #13
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I always find it strange that people who are most heavily invested in pro life, tend to be grand mothers, and men. That is a personal observation, and in no way fact...I used to run a medical lab, near an abortion clinic, so I often had to dodge protesters.
    I'm pro-choice, but not vehemently so. It irritated me though, when the grannies, used to hassle the young girls though. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't support both mother and child.
    One regular protestor, it turns had all her kids taken from her by social services...I found her somewhat morally repugnant, but my point is 1) those who not capable of carrying a pregnancy either because they weren't ever capable, or no longer capable, seemed to be the most invested in pro life
    2) because of this, view the moment of conception and carrying the pregnancy to term as sacred. No matter how logically you present the issue, a great deal of pro-lifers won't or can't see it as such because there is so much emotionality attached to the issue.

    They cannot compromise in the slightest.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Something I've read that struck me is the phrase "moment of conception," when the sperm enters the egg. The idea that "new life" is created at that moment doesn't seem true, because a fertilized egg is actually an extension of two different organisms. They grow life out of pre-existing life. Eventually, the fertilized egg might develop to have its own consciousness, but its life didn't start at its conception. If you don't try to make that distinction, you can trace it back beyond that.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  5. #15
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    I feel so ambiguous about the issue of abortion. If pushed to take a stance, I am pro-choice, and mainly for practical purposes. Women will always try to abort their fetuses, accepting that reality and regulating it/making it safe is the best option, imo. But am I morally OK with abortion? No, not completely. Nor would I have one myself. And I am less OK with it the further along a pregnancy goes. If someone were to conclusively discover that a fetus can feel pain or suffer at X weeks, I would reconsider being pro choice.

    The bigger problem with this would seem to be the consequences for already-born children. Morally, the remove-but-don't-actively-end-the-life of a fetus seems similiar to ethical end-of-life issues, where we have terminally ill patients dying of starvation and dehydration because it is illegal for a doctor to take active steps to end that person's life, so it becomes this passive process. Remove the means to life, but don't actively end that life.

    Again, not sure how I feel about that.
    Intuitively I tend to agree with what you posted here. Of course, this is sans the consideration of any other philosophical or legal arguments on the matter.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #16
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallentineChen View Post
    Something I've read that struck me is the phrase "moment of conception," when the sperm enters the egg. The idea that "new life" is created at that moment doesn't seem true, because a fertilized egg is actually an extension of two different organisms. They grow life out of pre-existing life. Eventually, the fertilized egg might develop to have its own consciousness, but its life didn't start at its conception. If you don't try to make that distinction, you can trace it back beyond that.
    The fertilized egg is a new organism formed from special parts of two other organisms. It has unique DNA. I think that makes it separate life form.

  7. #17
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMohican View Post
    The fertilized egg is a new organism formed from special parts of two other organisms. It has unique DNA. I think that makes it separate life form.
    If it has unique DNA making it a seperate life form, does that qualify it as a living being.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    The anti abortionist would argue that the choice is not after realizing you're pregnant, but the choice involved in having sex.
    Whenever pro-life people bring up this point, I always bring up rape. I know it's a touchy subject, but it always makes people think. What if you were raped and got pregnant? Personally, I'm pro-choice, but I would never have an abortion myself.

  9. #19
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    If it has unique DNA making it a seperate life form, does that qualify it as a living being.
    That definition could be twisted given certain examples like mitochondria, but in the context of conception, I think it's sufficient.

  10. #20
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMohican View Post
    The fertilized egg is a new organism formed from special parts of two other organisms. It has unique DNA. I think that makes it separate life form.
    It does make it a separate life form, but it's still derived from pre-existing life. So, does having unique DNA mean that it deserves its own argument for existence? If so, what are the implications for twins that share DNA? What about the sperm and the egg before they unite, are their existences meant to be preserved. My feeling is more that as human beings, we try to put a logical structure on topics such as abortion that determine whether something is right or wrong, where right and wrong are ultimately determined by what makes us human in the first place. And saying so doesn't mean that I try to devalue morality. I'm just trying to point out how we try to find imperfect solutions to perfect problems.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

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