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  1. #91
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Heh you did the same thing as edel weiss. You explained the cultural situation in India while avoiding the question.
    No... I answered a question someone asked.
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  2. #92
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    Since then, there's been a debate about abortion. Why do we think that it's okay to abort a 12 week old fetus but not one who is older? These divisions were purely arbitrary ones. Either you say that life begins at conception, or that life begins at birth.
    I think the problem is, that for most people, they, don't believe that "conscious life" begins at conception or birth, but somewhere in the middle. Therefore, since we have no real way of telling when exactly that occurs, you get arbitrary divisions that attempt to define it for people.

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  3. #93
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    I figure with modern screening technology and advanced medical knowledge, people should generally be able to isolate most potentially traumatic birth defects in a baby well before the 20th week... therefore, it seems that's a pretty good cut-off. But I'm not well-verse in medical knowledge, so I wouldn't know about defects that are only detectable, say, in the 6th or 7th months... but it seems in poor taste to abort a fetus a two or three months away from birth... why wasn't the decision made much, much earlier?
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  4. #94
    Senior Member edel weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    So would you consider it inethical to abort a fetus because it is a girl? Why or why not?
    Yes, I would think it is inethical. Parents should have a child because they want to have a child, not becuase they want to have a girl or a boy. I believe that in some places people are allowed to abort a baby because of its gender if they've already had two or three children of the same gender before.

    The cultural situation in India is quite a problem. The sex ratio in the last census was 933 females for every 100 males. It's not just in the poorer families, either. The rich are equally likely to sex-selectively abort. The situation is so bad that the government has requested people - Give birth to your daughters and leave them with us - We'll bring them up. Some States even try to give incentives to families who have daughters by paying them. Imagine that. Paying people to raise a daughter.

  5. #95
    Wannabe genius Splittet's Avatar
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    Back in my early philosophical days I was dealing with this question, but by know I find it irrelevant. The problem was always being able to undefine fetuses as human being, but still having all dysfunctional people defined as human beings. If you take the moral absolutist point of view it is wrong to kill a human being, then you cannot be pro-abortion. I think one really only can use the biological definition of what a human being is, everything else becomes arbitrary and has too big issues. Since I am not a moral absolutist I have no problems with abortion though.

  6. #96
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    The cultural situation in India is quite a problem. The sex ratio in the last census was 933 females for every 100 males. It's not just in the poorer families, either. The rich are equally likely to sex-selectively abort. The situation is so bad that the government has requested people - Give birth to your daughters and leave them with us - We'll bring them up. Some States even try to give incentives to families who have daughters by paying them. Imagine that. Paying people to raise a daughter.
    You're pretty much spot-on in what you're saying, though I don't think the rich are "equally likely to sex-selectively abort". I think economics is a major factor in gender-based abortions and I've rarely heard of upper-middle class families aborting their babies because they're female. This is not to say that the wealthy are more moral, but rather that they're less bound by the cultural mores which affect women of lower economic standing.

    An example... it's far easier for an upper-middle class family to deal with a girl-child: they know that because the girl will go to a good school, like Cathedral in Mumbai or the Doon School, and, following that, a great college, like St. Stephen's College in Delhi, the girl will be far better equipped to get a job and also to find a mate, since that family will be more able to pay her dowry (if a dowry is demanded... more and more wealthy families are also less tradition-bound)... for a girl born in the slums or a village, her life is instantly dedicated to making money, to bringing in bare essentials for the family unit by doing farm labor, becoming a servant, or even begging. There's no time for school, so the girl has very little ability to break out of her economic situation. Her only chance at marriage is really dependent on how much a boy's family wants to have her and how much dowry the girl's family can cough up. A few members of my family who employ teenage girls as cooks and maids pay their dowries when the girls get married.

    Unfortunately, though, edel weiss reminds me that it is still true that even in economically better-off families in India, women are frequently pressured (or, in Indian English, "pressurized") into marriage, since a woman unattached to either father (family) or husband is a maverick who's flouting the social order.
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  7. #97
    Senior Member edel weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    You're pretty much spot-on in what you're saying, though I don't think the rich are "equally likely to sex-selectively abort". I think economics is a major factor in gender-based abortions and I've rarely heard of upper-middle class families aborting their babies because they're female. This is not to say that the wealthy are more moral, but rather that they're less bound by the cultural mores which affect women of lower economic standing.

    Unfortunately, though, edel weiss reminds me that it is still true that even in economically better-off families in India, women are frequently pressured (or, in Indian English, "pressurized") into marriage, since a woman unattached to either father (family) or husband is a maverick who's flouting the social order.
    True... I suppose I mean that a wealthy family would be be equally likely to abort a female fetus if they already have a daughter/s. They don't mind having a girl. But they still want to have a son.

    Pressurised isn't a real word?
    And here I thought that my English was too good to ever be Indian English!

    It does seem in poor taste to me to abort a baby two-three months before it is due. I think that's because at that point, it is possible for the baby to survive without it's mother. Could that be a point where the fetus is said to be a human being? The point where, if for some reason it is born early, it can still survive?

  8. #98
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    Pressurised isn't a real word?
    And here I thought that my English was too good to ever be Indian English!
    No no! Pressurize/pressurise is a real word alright... but generally in America and, I believe, the UK, I haven't heard pressurize utilized as a transitive verb between both a human agent and human object... usually "pressure" suffices... so one might say "The strips of balsa wood were pressurized into solid blocks" but on the other hand "John pressured Maya into marriage."

    Your English generally reads perfectly... in fact, I believe I was the only one who used 'pressurize' in this thread.

    Indians who speak English aren't necessarily speaking "Indian English"... and "Indian English", for that matter, isn't a bad thing... that's why I regularly prepone appointments when slots open up in my schedule...

    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    It does seem in poor taste to me to abort a baby two-three months before it is due. I think that's because at that point, it is possible for the baby to survive without it's mother. Could that be a point where the fetus is said to be a human being? The point where, if for some reason it is born early, it can still survive?
    Ah, I guess you're saying an infant doesn't need its biological mother for survival postnatally... well, then we get into social services and foster homes and that's a sticky situation... more people need to adopt...
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

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    I razed a slum, Amen.

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  9. #99
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    Yes, I would think it is inethical. Parents should have a child because they want to have a child, not becuase they want to have a girl or a boy. I believe that in some places people are allowed to abort a baby because of its gender if they've already had two or three children of the same gender before.

    The cultural situation in India is quite a problem. The sex ratio in the last census was 933 females for every 100 males. It's not just in the poorer families, either. The rich are equally likely to sex-selectively abort. The situation is so bad that the government has requested people - Give birth to your daughters and leave them with us - We'll bring them up. Some States even try to give incentives to families who have daughters by paying them. Imagine that. Paying people to raise a daughter.
    Thank you for your input. I like to hear the answer to this question from someone who has a different cultural perspective than I do. In the US abortion comes down to which is more important: the "rights" of the fetus or the economic well being of the mother/parents. In India their is a third dimension, because India is chauvinistic in their views toward newborns, since parents will be financially rewarded with a son, but financially penalized with a daughter. So in your view it seems that chauvanism is the most important issue, then the economic status of the parents and thirdly the "rights" of the fetus.

    Also I think it shows how culture affects our views of morality. In India the disproportion in male and female #'s is an issue making the gender bias be more important. In the US one of our issues is children raised without a stable environment like in a single parent home or by teenagers who are not financially stable. I think this is a big reason why abortion is permissible in the US. The vocal minorities on each side of the issue either talk about "right to life" or "woman's right to choose", but in reality the silent majority is content to let abortion happen, so they don't have to deal with as many people raised in unstable homes. It may not be an ideal solution to most, but it is a convenient one.
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  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Can you tell I ride the fence here? As usual.
    The "fences" in issues like this are actually Great Walls. They give a great vantage points for what is on either side, and there is plenty of room there.

    I've agreed with every post of yours on this thread so far.

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