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  1. #101
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    It also requires making the abortion debate actually about abortion and not a Mexican standoff between two groups of people with clashing values, each of which are convinced that their values are "right" and should become the societal norm. It seems like the debate about abortion always comes back down to "sex is for marriage and God condemns sex outside of marriage; everyone agree with me" vs "sexual activity is a personal choice and whether or not someone chooses to do it is none of your business; everyone agree with me." If we could just make the debate about abortion itself, as a medical procedure, and discuss what services should be available, what should be the barriers to access, etc we could actually make some progress on this issue IMO. Instead, we're stuck because for many people, the issue symbolizes their religious and cultural beliefs coming under attack.
    Wrong.
    The reason why this represents people's religious and cultural beliefs coming under attack is because people's religious and cultural beliefs ARE coming under attack and that goes for both sides.

    The solution to that is not a matter of finding the correct policy that somehow represents the middle, but rather finding the correct jurisdictional approach to issues that are laden with moral relevance. Historically we've dealt with the most moral issues on the local and state level. The idea is that we're not going to impose our morals on people who aren't actually a part of our community even when it comes to something as universally rejected as murder. And of course even you three are trying to impose your beliefs about abortion on the masses through your policy preferences.

    Again the reason why this all started was that SCOTUS made a huge power grab and subsumed the rights of states and local communities to make their own determinations about abortion. Before roe there was no religious right.

    Of course the reality is that taking back power from Washington is no easy task especially when there are all sorts of media groups that make billions of dollars off of nationalized controversies.
    Last edited by Beorn; 08-03-2013 at 05:54 PM. Reason: It's more of a jurisdictional issue than procedural
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  2. #102
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Again the reason why this all started was that SCOTUS made a huge power grab and subsumed the rights of states and local communities to make their own determinations about abortion. Before roe there was no religious right.
    I've always thought of the rise of the religious right in the 70s as being a reaction to the changes brought on in the 60s. Roe is symptomatic of it, but is not the primary cause. The 70s was a very weird time marked with uncertainty and nihilism, judging by the entertainment of the period. Half the movies seem to have characters just randomly die at the end or the earth blow up or something.

    Actually, the trends look very similar to trends that started happening around 2002-2005 or so.

    You even have Iraq "split" the Republican party just like the Vietnam war "split" the Democratic party. I expect a different morning will come to America in a decade or so.

    Either that, or the current two party system will witness an unexpected seismic shift of some kind.

    Did I just write something that optimistic?
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  3. #103
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I've always thought of the rise of the religious right in the 70s as being a reaction to the changes brought on in the 60s. Roe is symptomatic of it, but is not the primary cause. The 70s was a very weird time marked with uncertainty and nihilism, judging by the entertainment of the period. Half the movies seem to have characters just randomly die at the end or the earth blow up or something.

    Actually, the trends look very similar to trends that started happening around 2002-2005 or so.

    Iraq was the Republican Vietnam, I think.
    You're right that it was a reaction to the broader movement, but it was Roe that really brought it home that these changes could have broad political impacts on the entire country. Roe was specifically what motivated the early leaders of the religious right and enabled them to get followers. Guys like ajerry Falwell and Francis Schaeffer have said as much. Whenever a Christian said politics doesn't matter to the church the religious right just pointed to Roe.
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  4. #104
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    You're right that it was a reaction to the broader movement, but it was Roe that really brought it home that these changes could have broad political impacts on the entire country. Roe was specifically what motivated the early leaders of the religious right and enabled them to get followers. Guys like ajerry Falwell and Francis Schaeffer have said as much. Whenever a Christian said politics doesn't matter to the church the religious right just pointed to Roe.
    They would have found something else had that not happened. It's about much more than that. Whenever a case gets that high profile, people find more to attach to it than just the individuals involved.

    Things change. Once you lose something, you can't "conserve" it. Not indefinitely, for certain. Society underwent upheavals in the 60s because it betrayed its core principles in the hopes of spreading justice to far-off lands, and there were too many instabilities present that could no longer be swept under the rug. Gravity wins eventually.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  5. #105
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    It seems like the debate about abortion always comes back down to "sex is for marriage and God condemns sex outside of marriage; everyone agree with me" vs "sexual activity is a personal choice and whether or not someone chooses to do it is none of your business; everyone agree with me."
    The debate over abortion is about whether or not it constitutes the termination of human life, and whether or not pregnant women have any moral obligation to a human fetus conceived after consensual sexual activity that supersedes other liberties (namely, the liberty of terminating that life rather than carrying the pregnancy to term). The perceived morality of sexual activities has little to do with it, especially among young people, who support gay marriage (as a proxy for rejecting traditional notions of sexual morality) but are trending quickly toward opposition to abortion in most circumstances* (which is now about the same as with older age demographics).

    *The floor or ceiling of anti-abortion sentiment changes according to how questions are framed, but the trends are largely the same across different polls.

  6. #106
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The debate over abortion is about whether or not it constitutes the termination of human life, and whether or not pregnant women have any moral obligation to a human fetus conceived after consensual sexual activity that supersedes other liberties (namely, the liberty of terminating that life rather than carrying the pregnancy to term). The perceived morality of sexual activities has little to do with it, especially among young people, who support gay marriage (as a proxy for rejecting traditional notions of sexual morality) but are trending quickly toward opposition to abortion in most circumstances* (which is now about the same as with older age demographics).

    *The floor or ceiling of anti-abortion sentiment changes according to how questions are framed, but the trends are largely the same across different polls.
    I disagree. This is not the case amongst many people I know.

  7. #107
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    I disagree. This is not the case amongst many people I know.
    We must have completely different anecdotal experiences, then.....the only people I've heard speak of abortion in the terms you have outlined were attributing 'true motives' to the other side (puritanical oppression versus amoral libertinism, rather than conflicting opinions on higher moral principles regarding human life and liberty), not expressing their own.

  8. #108
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Yeah. It's mostly emotional rhetoric that is really divisive. Making abortion safe, legal, and very rare isn't rocket science but it also would require people to put their money where their mouth is. And that is where these folks that care so much about the unborn generally draw the line.
    How does one make abortion "very rare"? And why should one even try?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Happiness of an aggregate of individuals. I won't say either the individual or the human race. A human being can be happy at the expense of others, but the response to this is simply that the needs of the many out-weigh the few. I won't call my morality altruistic, because does not entirely say you treat any other individual's happiness as more important than your own, but it is sort of pluralistic in that it says that the happiness of multiple people is more important than your happiness alone. The right thing to do is whatever maximizes this out of all of your options in a given situation.
    Do you have aspirations to become a bean-counter? I think you'd make a good one. Alas, you cannot "sum" happiness.
    It's facile to regurgitate someone else's philosophy and call it "your" morality. Adolescent. When you've had a bit more experience you will understand that practical ethics are not so cut-and-dried.

    I don't think you understood. I never said it was more difficult to tell what was bad than it was to tell what was good.
    You did though.

    In the case of that statement you quoted, I was talking about the difficulties of deciding if someone should actually merit being killed, which is a much more specific thing.
    So your philosophy only works at the general level, not the specific? It sounds worthless...

    I keep using the term cost-benefit analysis.
    Yes, bizarrely. This is an accounting / economics term. You can't assign monetary value to human life. The very idea is absurd, and tasteless. If you think you can, go ahead, provide a worked example. Then you might realise your folly.

    You see, I find it hard to believe that what those parents did was the least costly way to deal with the fact that they were a bit put off by their child, or even close to the least costly way. The minimal net benefit choice loses to all the ones with higher net benefit. I also agree that happiness is not binary, which is another reason this isn't necessarily a net benefit anyway. I don't know what relief they got out of killing this child, but it probably pales in comparison to the relief the child would have had if spared of being starved and beaten, or all the potential happiness he is guaranteed to never experience.
    Don't you realise how absurd (and offensive) this sounds?


    I sometimes wonder if people with no 'moral sense' resort to this kind of utilitarianism, because they imagine it means they don't have to be personally responsible for their actions. Or for working out how they feel about emotive issues. If they can just find the right formula... I guess I can see why that might appeal to an immature INTP.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
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  9. #109
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Do you have aspirations to become a bean-counter? I think you'd make a good one. Alas, you cannot "sum" happiness.
    No? What's your evidence of this?

    I think from outside observation one can make significantly accurate if still sloppy generalizations about what will bring happiness. Furthermore, technology offers a future possibility of more directly perceiving this (though that may be opening sort of a Pandora's Box). I do think it stands to reason that as a configuration of physical parts, which your brain is, happiness is not an infinitely flexible thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    It's facile to regurgitate someone else's philosophy and call it "your" morality. Adolescent.
    I am well aware that I'm not the first person to come up with utilitarianism. I am aware of Jeremy Bentham and so forth. When I say my philosophy, I merely mean the one I subscribe to, not one I invented. That would be your misinterpretation.

    On the other hand, I did imagine most of this philosophy before actually reading about any established utilitarians, so while my ideas are not unique or original in their entirety, I did conceive of much of them independently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    When you've had a bit more experience you will understand that practical ethics are not so cut-and-dried.
    Perhaps I will understand this after someone like you proposes a good argument against my philosophy, but I'm still waiting. This is really just a silly ad hominem. And since, like you say, I did not invent this philosophy, there are many and have been many elderly people with PhDs in ethical philosophy and I wonder if you'd tell them the same thing about experience and understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    You did though.
    Okay. Let's see how long you can endure playing table tennis on this.

    No, I did not ever say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    So your philosophy only works at the general level, not the specific? It sounds worthless...
    There is no good reason to conclude that my philosophy can't work in the specific. That's not at all what I said. You completely misunderstood the reference or context of that statement.

    My philosophy can get into the specifics necessary to decide if killing someone would really be the optimal decision (in fact I would argue it can adapt to such specifics better than any other philosophy). The problem is that you were concluding that I had said bad cannot be determined and good can, but that was by equivocating two entirely different sorts of statements. On the level of the foundational principle (which all ethics need) determining good and bad is equal by way of basically quantifying happiness. The part where you claim I said it was difficult to determine what was bad, was me specifically saying it was difficult to determine if an individual, as a whole, is worthy of being called a "bad person" in such a binary fashion and therefore meriting being killed. There's nothing contradictory about this. Of course such a specific situation is more complex and therefore more difficult. That would be true of anything. Determining if someone is a "good person" in that sense is just as specific and complex and therefore difficult. There's no inconsistency there, and there's nothing about saying that more complex situations are more difficult that amounts to my philosophy being incapable of dealing with specifics.

    At this point, I'm going to return to a comment of mine and modify it; I am pretty positive you don't do cost-benefit analysis. If you did, you would understand its applicability to things big and small, general and specific, and you'd have a better grasp of how to apply an abstract value to a real situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Yes, bizarrely. This is an accounting / economics term. You can't assign monetary value to human life.
    I'm not assigning monetary value to human life, and obviously. Cost-benefit analysis is not confined to money. It can work with can anything that can be added and subtracted. It becomes a matter of picking what you consider the important value (which I already have).

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    The very idea is absurd, and tasteless. If you think you can, go ahead, provide a worked example. Then you might realise your folly.
    Of what? Measuring peoples' lives in money? I won't do that because I never intended to or said I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Don't you realise how absurd (and offensive) this sounds?
    Yes. So much so that I wrote my response in anticipation before you even replied.

    I think that ethics, kind of like physics, is bound to become absurd and counter-intuitive as you dig into it, and dissect it, and find the underlying truth. You reach a point where no answer, no possible answer, will avoid jarring you out of your every day sense of normality or troubling your basic assumptions. But also like physics, that doesn't prevent from being the optimal approach to the problem.

    So on that note, I want you to tell me what ethics you subscribe to, and I will show you how absurd it is.

    As for being offensive, of course you think it's offensive, it's in conflict with your moral philosophy. That's pretty much what decides what you consider offensive. If we confined our moral philosophies to what didn't offend people, nobody would come up with anything. Indeed, I find many elements of other moral philosophies offensive. I find it offensive that people come up with crude edicts and then go hunting and quibbling over their apparent manifestation, and make that issue more important than the real life consequences of any such action their quibbling about. I'm a offended by the philosophy that would refuse to kill one person to save 1000 because "killing is a sin". I'm offended by a philosophy that would rather people starve to death than allow them to steal, because "stealing is a sin". That is anathema to my moral calculus, and therefore offensive to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I sometimes wonder if people with no 'moral sense' resort to this kind of utilitarianism,
    That was like handing me a present. Thank you.

    You have revealed here something I suspected, which is that you don't know the difference between amorality and heteromorality (just made that word up). That someone's morals are different does not mean they lack morals. I may disagree with your moral scheme, I may even find some of its conclusions offensive, but I don't assume you are amoral. I assume you've thought about what you consider right and wrong, that you make some attempt to live up to it, that you would feel bad if you didn't, and that you do so with good intentions. As far as I'm concerned, that makes you moral regardless of how different your moral philosophy is. It just makes you heteromoral to me. Well, all of those thing apply to me too, very much so. So grant me that I am moral if not moral in the same way as you.

    The inability to know the difference between amorality and heteromorality is a significant problem for anyone who presumes to debate moral philosophy. It suggests you may not be cut out for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    because they imagine it means they don't have to be personally responsible for their actions. Or for working out how they feel about emotive issues.
    I do not see what those things have to do with utilitarianism at all. I don't see how you drew that conclusion. Yes, I feel personally responsible for my actions and I feel quite emotional about moral issues at times. Being a thing in this world that acts and creates results, I have to be responsible for something in my calculations, it is entirely about the responsibility one has to make a rational choice, and since utilitarianism is based on happiness itself, there's no possible way to escape feelings and emotions in these calculations.

    I don't think you understand utilitarianism even a tiny bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    If they can just find the right formula... I guess I can see why that might appeal to an immature INTP.
    Most of your criticism is applicable to not just utilitarianism but any form of consequence based ethics. Broadly speaking, there two other kinds of ethics, which are conduct based ethics and intent based ethics. I find both greatly inferior to consequence based ethics and would be happy to explain why. Again, I want to know which you subscribe to.
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  10. #110
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    How does one make abortion "very rare"? And why should one even try?
    I outlined the ways I think this can be accomplished in an earlier post and am too lazy to do so again.

    As far as why should we try, it's mostly a subjective preference that is shared by most Americans, even pro-choice ones. However, all medical procedures come with some risk, which makes preventing an unwanted pregnancy safer than having an abortion. They also cost more money and time than prevention and can be uncomfortable.
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