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  1. #1
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    Default "Liberals and 'after-birth' abortion"

    Here, check it out.

    Some ethicists have made the argument, essentially, that 'if abortion is permissible, then so is the killing of newborns.' Hilariously, some people have misconstrued this, having completely missed that "if" clause and just wound up believing that a couple of liberal elitist academics want us to kill all of our newborns.

    So, they really don't like what they think the ethicists are saying:
    Well before they are able to murder any baby’s in my family they better hope they have found a cure for lead poisoning! Because they will be in for a SEVERE case of lead poisoning if they come anywhere near my family.
    Oh, sweet burn!!!

    Really, all these ethicists trying to do is point out potential inconsistencies in our value systems so that we can examine them and make them stronger.

    This whole thing makes me afraid to publish on the topic of ethics anymore. I haven't faced any backlash like this myself (though I have had some of my research touted as government mind control.. how fun), but.. man, you've got the capacity to push people's buttons when you talk about ethical issues.

    My post is not really about the argument itself, but rather about the hilarious lack of reading comprehension on the part of the commenters. But feel free to discuss both!


  2. #2
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    I'll go first. Weeee. Blood in the water everybody.

    Is this supposed to be new information?

    Duh. Pro-lifers have been saying this for years. Of course that's the logical progression. I'm actually puzzled as to why this is supposed to be some sort of new, ground-breaking controversial train of thought. That's one of the plethora of reasons why I'm against abortion.

    The threats and personal attacks are completely inappropriate. In no case is that acceptable.

    My guess would be that people are viscerally upset and highly emotional, and that that is influencing their disposition to appropriately and ethically react, or even comprehend, because they know on a gut level that ultimately, given abortion is legal, unless used to reverse the legality of abortion (highly unlikely given the altar we have set up to moral relativism) these type of arguments will continue to speed the inevitable slide down the slippery slope, wherein our society will continue to display even more barbarism and disregard for human life. This is our future, and it is deeply distressing.

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    The subject is interesting, but the paper is playing with semantics and deliberately using inflammatory language. Basically, the argument is false equivocation, shown here:

    "Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her."

    They take a 'person' (subject to amoral right to life) and a 'person (an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her), and then hand-wave these two things as equivalent without justifying it as so. Never mind that either definition on its own would be debatable. No attempt is put forth that either should follow the other, or that they are the same.

    So, the whole paper is nonsense before you consider the deliberately inflammatory language (fetus rather than embryo, deliberately invoking far less common late term abortions, 'after-birth abortion,' etc). Then they suggest that it might be easier to simply kill a newborn rather than put it up for adoption, because the conclusiveness of it is easier on the mother. The whole thing has a definite 'A Modest Proposal' air to it, and I can't help but think it is deliberately so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    Duh. Pro-lifers have been saying this for years. Of course that's the logical progression. I'm actually puzzled as to why this is supposed to be some sort of new, ground-breaking controversial train of thought. That's one of the plethora of reasons why I'm against abortion.
    Probably the same reason that each new wave of forumers raises all the same discussion topics over and over again.

    To a certain segment of the population, these conversations and ideas are "new."
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Probably the same reason that each new wave of forumers raises all the same discussion topics over and over again.
    That's got to be a blast for ya'll.

    We could go back and post on old, dead threads, thus reactivating them, but that seems to be as appreciated as reincarnating them is.

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    Reminds me of this proposed amendment:

    However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.
    Satirical Amendment
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Probably the same reason that each new wave of forumers raises all the same discussion topics over and over again.

    To a certain segment of the population, these conversations and ideas are "new."
    It might also be possible that now people are actually listening because it is coming from, ahem, *dons her best high-brow voice* acadeeeemia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    It might also be possible that now people are actually listening because it is coming from, ahem, *dons her best high-brow voice* acadeeeemia.
    There's a connection between acadeeeemia and macademia, and that connection involves the term "nuts".
    "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. #9
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    The writer should have used, perhaps, "hypothetically speaking". Less ambiguous.

  10. #10
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    I do kind of like how roughly 80% of the comments are all a variant of "we should after-birth abort these two lol" and 15% are "we should after-birth abort Obama and Pelosi lol."

    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    I'll go first. Weeee. Blood in the water everybody.

    Is this supposed to be new information?

    Duh. Pro-lifers have been saying this for years. Of course that's the logical progression. I'm actually puzzled as to why this is supposed to be some sort of new, ground-breaking controversial train of thought. That's one of the plethora of reasons why I'm against abortion.
    I hadn't thought about that, but you're right. Perhaps the 'big deal' is, indeed, that this is an effort to logically solidify the argument that states that there is such a progression.

    The whole "abortion" thing, to me, rests upon where one draws the line--how one defines "person." I think this article shows us just how arbitrarily that line can be set, which suggests that we need a good, solid way of examining the issue if it's ever going to be resolved.

    The threats and personal attacks are completely inappropriate. In no case is that acceptable.

    My guess would be that people are viscerally upset and highly emotional, and that that is influencing their disposition to appropriately and ethically react, or even comprehend, because they know on a gut level that ultimately, given abortion is legal, unless used to reverse the legality of abortion (highly unlikely given the altar we have set up to moral relativism) these type of arguments will continue to speed the inevitable slide down the slippery slope, wherein our society will continue to display even more barbarism and disregard for human life. This is our future, and it is deeply distressing.
    I've faced similar reactions that are similar in type (but not in magnitude) on some of my own research into the nature of 'evil.' Some claim that to study evil is to accept evil (and some make this claim more rationally than others; some just kind of get flustered and yell at me and tell me that I'm playing with the devil). Give me someone with a slight bit of curiosity, and I can explain exactly what I do, why I do it, and what the admitted limitations of my methods are.

    My hope for this sort of research is that it gets us to examine our ethical principles so that we emerge with an even stronger moral compass. @INTP's signature, the Jung quote "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling," very much resonates with me.

    Which leads me to..

    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    The subject is interesting, but the paper is playing with semantics and deliberately using inflammatory language. Basically, the argument is false equivocation, shown here:

    "Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her."

    They take a 'person' (subject to amoral right to life) and a 'person (an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her), and then hand-wave these two things as equivalent without justifying it as so. Never mind that either definition on its own would be debatable. No attempt is put forth that either should follow the other, or that they are the same.

    So, the whole paper is nonsense before you consider the deliberately inflammatory language (fetus rather than embryo, deliberately invoking far less common late term abortions, 'after-birth abortion,' etc). Then they suggest that it might be easier to simply kill a newborn rather than put it up for adoption, because the conclusiveness of it is easier on the mother. The whole thing has a definite 'A Modest Proposal' air to it, and I can't help but think it is deliberately so.
    I apparently didn't read the article so carefully myself, and you're pretty much spot on. We see in the article that the authors must clearly define "person" in order for their analysis to work--and their definition is rife with uncertainty.

    Sometimes, our logic has holes in it. Sometimes, arguments ought to be made so that they can be shot down (rationally or otherwise), which would hopefully make us stronger out the back end as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    The writer should have used, perhaps, "hypothetically speaking". Less ambiguous.
    Man, yeah.

    Those who study issues with such significant ethical impact have a responsibility to package their findings in an understandable way--because the reality is that people will take mental shortcuts (e.g. "abortion is wrong and therefore the authors are Satan") in trying to understand them.

    That said, those who read these articles and disseminate them for mass consumption aren't exactly acting in the highest ethical light when they completely misinterpret what the authors are trying to say--for example, in missing the entire "if" clause in an "if ... then" argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    It might also be possible that now people are actually listening because it is coming from, ahem, *dons her best high-brow voice* acadeeeemia.
    Actually, I think you're right. It's one thing for a pro-life organization to make this claim; it's another thing for it to come from an academic journal.

    I don't know if this is a case of "people are now actually listening," so much as it is a case of "wait, academia is saying this?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There's a connection between acadeeeemia and macademia, and that connection involves the term "nuts".
    Ouch. The words even sound the same, so it must be true

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