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  1. #21
    Member MJ_'s Avatar
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    (And for the sake of argument, no one can tell another person what they do or do not consent to. Consent must be freely given).
    Doesn't engaging in sex (assuming a person knows what the possible consequences could be) imply consent?
    No. Consenting to sex does not mean a person consents to continuing a pregnancy. If a person decides that they will continue any unplanned pregnancy because they had sex and understood the risks involved, that is still consent. They made a decision, but its not a decision that everyone makes the same way. Like I said, you can't tell people what they do or do not consent to.

  2. #22
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, let's turn the question around. Should temporary theft of these resources be a capital crime?
    MJ, you going to take this one on?

  3. #23
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Oberon,

    A definition cannot be established by 'empirical criteria'. The definition of 'human being' is no different. There are innumerably many ways of carving up the universe with language, and particular ways can only be better or worse with respect to their usefulness for particular ends, insofar that 'empirical criteria' are imortant it is only in the evaluation of how useful the distinctions which definitions carve are--evaluations which depend heavily upon the arbitrary choice of what they are to be used for.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #24
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    A definition cannot be established by 'empirical criteria'.
    No, but our conduct can.

    EDIT: By this I mean that I agree with you that the definition of what is a "human being" cannot be established by 'empirical criteria.' That is why I prefer to not attempt to do so. If we establish that some human organisms are non-people, we find ourselves at sea in a morass of 'empirical criteria.'

    Better to avoid that trap and decide that humans are prima facia people. Or are we going to fall into the old tribal habit of deciding that "Us" is people, and those who do not resemble "Us" are non-people?

  5. #25
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ_ View Post
    No. Consenting to sex does not mean a person consents to continuing a pregnancy. If a person decides that they will continue any unplanned pregnancy because they had sex and understood the risks involved, that is still consent. They made a decision, but its not a decision that everyone makes the same way. Like I said, you can't tell people what they do or do not consent to.
    Not with the current laws it doesn't. But should society enforce sex as a contract of responsibility for any resulting child, it would be.

    What argument is there for not having such a contract in place?
    wails from the crypt.

  6. #26
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    As long as the fetus directly depends on the mother to exist, they should be allowed to abort it. After it is born, that is when it should gain rights as a human being.

  7. #27
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Oberon,

    A definition cannot be established by 'empirical criteria'. The definition of 'human being' is no different. There are innumerably many ways of carving up the universe with language, and particular ways can only be better or worse with respect to their usefulness for particular ends, insofar that 'empirical criteria' are imortant it is only in the evaluation of how useful the distinctions which definitions carve are--evaluations which depend heavily upon the arbitrary choice of what they are to be used for.
    The dilemma is not whether the invocation of the term "human being" is always referring to a fetus as well as a breathing human, the dilemma is whether the specific use of the term in the field of human rights refers to them.

    We are not attempting to enforce this definition on every use of the term, only a very specific one.
    wails from the crypt.

  8. #28
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    As long as the fetus directly depends on the mother to exist, they should be allowed to abort it. After it is born, that is when it should gain rights as a human being.
    I love your reasoning.
    wails from the crypt.

  9. #29
    Member MJ_'s Avatar
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    Well, let's turn the question around. Should temporary theft of these resources be a capital crime?
    Its not temporary. Women don't get back their iron reserves (well, some of them if they eat their own placenta, if they've gestated far enough along), their calcium stores ('one tooth for every child' used to be the saying, IIRC). They don't get back the extra nutrients they took in to maintain a pregnancy. Its not as though 'stolen goods' are returned to a woman after they're recovered in a pawn shop, no worse for wear.

    Theft also implies that the fetus/human had intentions of stealing or the mental capacity to understand what 'theft' is. To prosecute a human for theft would require that a person be of age to understand what 'theft' was and why it is wrong. This isn't the case at all.

  10. #30
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    I would say that a fetus is a human being from the start but philosophically I would say that when a featus gets his/hers first thought. I have no idea when that happens.

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