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  1. #401
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I completely disagree.

    Isn't it disconcerting to think of a world where people didn't assertively stand up for their biggest value? The pro-life stance centers around the belief that abortion is an act that kills a person.

    What a pathetic world it would be if those in the minority quieted down and didn't stand up for their beliefs.
    If it makes someone feel good, I suppose that has some value in and of itself. But it's not pragmatic. If the goal is to lessen the number of fetuses being aborted, it would make more sense to use that energy promoting the use of contraception. Or abstinence, but that doesn't work as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    The pro-life stance centers around the belief that abortion is an act that kills a person.
    I really question just how many people consider abortion to be the moral equivalent of killing an actual grown person.

    If that many people really thought mass murder was occurring, they'd be busting down the doors of abortion clinics. A fair number would be taking up arms; anything to stop something worse than the Holocaust.

  2. #402
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    God, your argument is ridiculous. Usehername nailed it; I don't have much else to say except, God, your argument is ridiculous.
    Simply saying so doesn't make it so. Besides I did concede that when considering parallels in limited circumstances, an analogy can be made, but it's still a poor and unwise one to make.

    For one thing, the Supreme Court's decisions are not infallible by nature(for there is no legal parallel to dogma) nor are they technically the "final arbitrator" which would violate the principle of checks and balances. The Constitution is subject to ammendment, and when that happens the Supreme Court has to abide by it. Only in a de facto sense can you claim the Supreme Court as the final arbitrator.

  3. #403
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    The main purpose of the law, as I see it, is to protect each individual's personal freedom--in other words, to ensure that every person has the opportunity to pursue his happiness where that pursuit does not impinge on another's opportunity to do the same.

    I don't believe a fetus has a desire to survive; in order to have a concept of survival, you need foresight, and that requires a good deal of life experience. So if we assume that an abortion is painless, the only wish that gets violated here is the wish of someone who opposes abortion. That isn't a violation of that person's rights, however; they're still perfectly free to pursue their own happiness. Anti-abortion laws, on the other hand, restrict the rights of the mother while they protect no one else's.

    Granted, you could say I'm making an artificial distinction here. There isn't an inherent difference between causing someone unhappiness and violating their rights; in order to cause someone unhappiness, you have to impose on them in some way, however small. And that's just the thing: in this case, the imposition is tiny. A mother who aborts her child doesn't put another person in chains, she doesn't torture them, she doesn't commit mass murder; what she has done has a negative impact only on those who decide to get involved in her personal affairs. Those people are free to step away; she's the one who has to carry the burden, no matter what, and for that reason, her wishes should take priority.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  4. #404
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    I don't believe a fetus has a desire to survive; in order to have a concept of survival, you need foresight, and that requires a good deal of life experience.
    Would you say a house fly has a desire to survive? How much foresight and life experience do house flies have?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #405
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Would you say a house fly has a desire to survive?
    I'm thinking the point was just that there is a difference between a conscious desire to survive (hence calculated conscious responses) vs an inborn automated survival response that is simply triggered when a threat appears.

    How much foresight and life experience do house flies have?
    It doesn't need it, it's all reflexive.
    But it speaks nothing of whether there is intention there.


    it's kind of hard to comment on whether a conscious desire (and the content of those desires) exists within what is to us a "black box." So... should conscious intent to survive even be a criteria?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #406
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm thinking the point was just that there is a difference between a conscious desire to survive (hence calculated conscious responses) vs an inborn automated survival response that is simply triggered when a threat appears.

    It doesn't need it, it's all reflexive.
    But it speaks nothing of whether there is intention there.
    That difference is not measurable, if it even exists at all.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #407
    Sniffles
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    *Sigh* In regards to issues of "Civil Rights":
    "One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong."
    --Martin Luther King jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

  8. #408
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That difference is not measurable, if it even exists at all.
    Well, I'm guessing they're thinking that conscious intent -> "autonomous life form w/ awareness" -> killing it is murder, VS a tree that closes its leaves at night reflexively by nature or a venus flytrap that eats bugs when they touch it a certain way -> no conscious thought, all as reflexive as a mousetrap -> no life -> not murder to terminate it.

    So there's a declarable difference in how it works.
    Does that convey a moral difference as well?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #409
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I completely disagree that Terri Shiavo was a human (subjective, unsubstantiable opinion). Whereas in an honour killing, the girl is definitely human. I think I'm being consistent here? (Genuine question.)
    That's one of the premises that I work with, the science of it.
    So one moment you claim that the definition of human is largely a subjective, unsubstantiable opinion, yet try to back it up with the objectivity of science? No that's not consistent. You're conceding that there is an objective element to defining what is human. Then again, defining personhood as I said earlier is largely an ethical matter, which does makes claim to objectivity as well.

    The whole concept of justice and law is based upon an objective standard; otherwise you leave room for things like the Nuremberg laws as I mentioned earlier. And here's a little piece of the subjective morality that undergrid that regime:
    "Whether the other peoples live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur. Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany. We shall never be rough or heartless where it is not necessary; that is clear. We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude to animals, will also adopt a decent attitude to these human animals, but it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and to bring them ideals."
    --Heinrich Himmler, October 4, 1943 in Poznan

  10. #410
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm thinking the point was just that there is a difference between a conscious desire to survive (hence calculated conscious responses) vs an inborn automated survival response that is simply triggered when a threat appears.
    Yes, this is pretty much what I meant. More specifically, that a developed consciousness has desires that pertain to the future, whereas a fetus simply reacts to pain on an instinctive level. I'm not sure I would say a fetus lacks foresight altogether, since foresight is a property of consciousness, but what foresight a fetus does have would be very small like that of an insect.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

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