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Old 12-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #856
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Fabulous post, jeevy.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:11 AM   #857
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Nail on the head there Jeevey.
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Seriously, how can anyone seek to influence or control any person's actions without understanding their motivations?
Besides this, I still wonder WHY people like this man feel like they should control another person's actions. Isn't something like abortion incredibly personal? It's different for everyone, the motivations and situations are, so shouldn't we all be supposed to decide this for ourselves?

It's like getting married. You don't have to ask anyone permission to be married(OH WAIT, but that's a different thread... ). Or having kids, you don't need to ask permission to have kids. Or a pet, or buy yoghurt. Why the hell should I need permission from an old man,for something that happens in MY body in MY situation. Why are they sticking their noses in people's personal business? Because it's written in some book that was written over 2000 years ago... Yeah, right.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #858
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It's like getting married. You don't have to ask anyone permission to be married(OH WAIT, but that's a different thread... ). Or having kids, you don't need to ask permission to have kids. Or a pet, or buy yoghurt. Why the hell should I need permission from an old man,for something that happens in MY body in MY situation. Why are they sticking their noses in people's personal business? Because it's written in some book that was written over 2000 years ago... Yeah, right.
I think its more than just the Bible that influences anti-abortion men in particular. Archaic attitudes regarding the relationship between men and women, and women's role in the world are a factor. There are atheists, agnostics and the religiously apathetic who may hold sexist views, whether they admit to it or not.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:50 AM   #859
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Sooo basically women exist to have babies so we should outlaw anything that could prevent them from having babies? Then women should probably not work either... put them in pens so they become true walking incubators.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #860
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Sooo basically women exist to have babies so we should outlaw anything that could prevent them from having babies? Then women should probably not work either... put them in pens so they become true walking incubators.
Sadly, there are men who do think that way. I take it there aren't many in your country because religious fundies are a tiny minority (correct me if I'm wrong), but over here, its scary to know how many men believe this - especially when they hold political office.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #861
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The thing is that very few people think of themselves as sexist. They think of themselves as normal and fail to critically examine their presuppositions, and to examine the alternatives.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #862
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I reckon there's always men out here who think that way, but I don't know any nor have I heard from them in the media or whatever. So I think you are right that they are a tiny minority here. Then again, we have our own Bible Belt with religious fundies. But they are on their own within their community and don't bother with the outside world. Works for me, as long as they don't bother me I don't bother them.

It is pretty scary when people with such a limited view on the world run politics.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #863
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Before I reply to some of your comments, thank you for this well thought out and considerate post. I truly appreciate your patience with me. Thank you.

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I think that anyone who makes moral evaluations about the actions of any other person has a responsibility to empathetically imagine what might make anyone do that action. If you honestly have no idea why a woman might seek an abortion than you should probably have absolutely zero to do with controlling when or where a woman might get one. Seriously, how can anyone seek to influence or control any person's actions without understanding their motivations?
I agree, “empathic imagination” is a wonderful idea. However, “empathic imagination” is not a necessary requirement to evaluate the morality of an action, it only assists in understanding the motivation of an action.

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It's not just you and it's not just men. I've found the same incredible ignorance of the perceived needs of women who seek abortions among prolife women. It's like the argument goes, "Abortion should be illegal because God." Annnnd stops right there. Zero complexity.
Yes, there are those that rely on their interpretation of God's word. Those discussions, for the most part, will be circuitous and frustrating. I've endeavored to bring the scientific method into the equation (like earlier in this thread), and we discovered the arguments about “when human life begins” and “what moral rights should this new human life have” become fairly complex rather fast.

It is still my contention that the issue of abortion will have a scientific, not a theological or emotional, answer.

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Here's the thing: women seek abortions because they feel that they need them. If you want to reduce the number of abortions then you have to understand the causes that make women feel that need and then reduce the causes, not just restrict the access.
I absolutely agree with you on this. This (pregnancy prevention) should be happening with or without the existence of abortions.

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Because by and large, women who feel that they need an abortion will get them.
While this is probably (and unfortunately) true. That doesn't necessarily make it morally right.

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The number of abortions per capita in the United Utates each year is the same now as it was before Roe v Wade. What's different is the number of women who die from unsafe abortions- and that number, as it happens, is dramatically climbing in the states that have restricted access in recent months. I posted an article about it here weeks ago.
Here - I admit I am torn. Instead of one life being destroyed (the unborn child), there two (mother and child). While I don't think that taking a utilitarian approach (greatest good for the greatest number) is the ultimate method to determining the morality of abortion, I will concede that this is a difficult challenge for the “Pro Life” stance.

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However I think the principle holds for all people in general and about all men about women and feminism in particular. Like, if you have not given deep thought about why feminists do what they do or think what they think, then do that. Spend a long time doing it, and do it seriously, with intellectual curiosity and a degree of real dedication. Suspend the judgements and evaluations and just find out about it. My single biggest frustration with social and religious conservatives is exactly this lack of empathetic curiosity. There's a real longing to simply have a moral evaluation without real understanding or even basic factual knowledge. And it frankly drives me absolutely bonkers.
At what point would you say that a man has demonstrated enough “empathetic curiosity” to have a valid opinion here? Will it require agreement? Have you set an expectation that is perhaps impossible for men to ever meet - thus forever invalidating their thoughts and conclusions on feminist topics?

Is it also possible that there are some objective truths to be revealed within the larger issue of feminism (equal pay for equal work, equal treatment before the law) that simply don’t require this? Is every human being required to demonstrate “empathetic curiosity” before making an assessment on the morality of any action? Or is feminism unique in this way?

I do agree that “empathetic curiosity” is something that will assist in the formation of an opinion and it certainly improves the relations between people. One can only be a better person by putting this into practice as often as possible. However, I do not agree that “empathetic curiosity” is a requirement for reaching objective, valid conclusions.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:42 PM   #864
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I think I disagree with you there. I think there are very few situations that don't require any empathetic curiosity, because human behavior is so complex. I think the answer to this
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Is every human being required to demonstrate “empathetic curiosity” before making an assessment on the morality of any action?
Is probably yes. There are some things that enter our common moral imagination as simple, known, not requiring evaluation. But the truth is that most of those did in fact require critical examination and cultural conversation at one point. (Think child marriage, slavery, compulsory state religion, torture, spousal rape, ordinary rape, corporal punishment of children, ect.)
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However, “empathic imagination” is not a necessary requirement to evaluate the morality of an action, it only assists in understanding the motivation of an action.
Well, it is. Juries are asked to use their moral imagination all the time in deliberating a murder. We all agree that it's not great to kill somebody but we also agree that some killings are more culpable than others. I'm not a total moral relativist but I am pretty utilitarian. That means that harm reduction is pretty important to me.

For example, it is an absolute given that pregnancy termination will exist. It has existed in every human society, on every level of society, always. Given that information it becomes a moral imperative to minimize the harm done in the process. That means A. reducing the number of abortions by reducing perceived need for them and B. making sure the procedures are safe. I don't love abortion. Very few people do. Most people who are pro choice agree that the ideal is zero unintended pregnancies and zero abortions. They just think that abortion has to be available safely and legally, because they WILL occur whether they are safe or not. There isn't really a perfect choice here. Simply having all the babies that are going to be conceived has zero chance of occurring, so it's important to negotiate reality in a way that maximizes good and minimizes harm.

There is quite a bit of literature developing out there from women who have had abortions and people who provide them. I think it's really, really important to hear these voices. Having complete factual information is a good start. Information within the conservative community about who seeks abortions and why is atrocious-- in fact it's almost entirely mythic. The same is also true of feminists and feminism. Most people who don't self identify have done very, very little examination into the subject. I'll post a few links throughout the day and I hope that you actually read them simply for information. Like, just hear the voices without evaluation and sit with them for a while.

If you listen to your own thought process carefully you may notice that you have a little voice that reads with you, constantly evaluating what you read and forming counterpoints as you go along. I know I have it, and I'm 100% certain that you have it too because your little internal evaluator is also your voice on this thread. It sounds exactly like the way my own internal narrative used to run: like a theology student poking holes in a charismatic devotional pamphlet. So what I want to ask you to do is tell that voice to pipe down for a bit, turn him off and simply spend some time reading and hearing other voices just for understanding, NOT for evaluation. Like, maybe do that for several months. Start going places on the internet where you don't normally go and just listen. Don't even ask questions and get into discussions like you do here, just listen and observe. You'll find that not everyone is perfect: yes, there are snarky feminists with bad attitudes who will piss you off. But just make a thought experiment of absorbing voices without judgement for a while and see how that experiment works with you. I think that even if you don't change your mind you'll come out a better, wiser human being.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:49 PM   #865
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The current law on allowing abortions here is based on science. I think it's 21 weeks that's the limit? That is the time when the foetus is fully grown and would be capable of surviving outside the womb. I do think that is a logical separation, so that is what I would call the distinction of a clump of cells and life.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #866
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Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States
How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement
26 Women Share Their Abortion Stories -- New York Magazine This one has 26 short essays-- keep clicking through the pages.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #867
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We all agree that it's not great to kill somebody but we also agree that some killings are more culpable than others.
True.

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I'm not a total moral relativist but I am pretty utilitarian. That means that harm reduction is pretty important to me.
. One problem with utilitarianism is that it can lead to the exploitation of a minority so that a majority can have "reduced harm" or enjoy a "greater good" because they are the "greater number."

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I don't love abortion. Very few people do.
Just curious - why not?


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Information within the conservative community about who seeks abortions and why is atrocious-- in fact it's almost entirely mythic.
I'm not "conservative" really, and I don't read their literature intentionally.


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The same is also true of feminists and feminism. Most people who don't self identify have done very, very little examination into the subject. I'll post a few links throughout the day and I hope that you actually read them simply for information.
I will.

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Like, just hear the voices without evaluation and sit with them for a while.
. Yes, that is always a challenge.

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If you listen to your own thought process carefully you may notice that you have a little voice that reads with you, constantly evaluating what you read and forming counterpoints as you go along. I know I have it, and I'm 100% certain that you have it too because your little internal evaluator is also your voice on this thread. It sounds exactly like the way my own internal narrative used to run: like a theology student poking holes in a charismatic devotional pamphlet. So what I want to ask you to do is tell that voice to pipe down for a bit, turn him off and simply spend some time reading and hearing other voices just for understanding, NOT for evaluation. Like, maybe do that for several months. Start going places on the internet where you don't normally go and just listen. Don't even ask questions and get into discussions like you do here, just listen and observe. You'll find that not everyone is perfect: yes, there are snarky feminists with bad attitudes who will piss you off. But just make a thought experiment of absorbing voices without judgement for a while and see how that experiment works with you. I think that even if you don't change your mind you'll come out a better, wiser human being.
While I generally don't respond well to the "I've been where you're at" construct because it implies that I simply haven't seen the light yet - and I don't like feeling compelled to accept an idea in order to prove that I genuinely considered it (I used to get this attitude in Bible studies quite often); I do think you are attempting to be generally helpful. I'm not sure how many forums I'll visit, but I will try to read more articles and the responses and "turn off" my internal voice of judgement as best I can.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:26 PM   #868
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Did you just seriously ask why she does not love abortion?
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #869
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I understand the question - I think the expected response is that because abortion, in and of itself, is Not a Good Thing. You can get into the nitty gritty discussions about where life begins, but what it comes down to is that pro-choice people are just that: pro-choice.

Most pro-choicers (just because I am hesitant to say "all," because there's always the outliers there to disprove your point) are not pro-abortion. I'd say most would like there to be no need for abortions anymore, anywhere. I mean, that's why you hear "pro-choice" and not "pro abortion" coming from most circles. No one is all "Abortions are awesome. I can't wait to have my first one!"

Could I have an abortion myself? I don't know. Thankfully, I've never had to make that decision. But I'm not going to try and backpedal in a conversation to talk my way around why I don't think abortion is a good thing. The question is beside the point.

Because the point is not about "is it okay to do this" the point is "is it okay for someone else to be in charge of my body and what goes on with it, and inside it."

(I have no idea if that made sense, to be honest.)
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:51 PM   #870
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(I have no idea if that made sense, to be honest.)
It made sense until this point: "is it okay for someone else to be in charge of my body and what goes on with it, and inside it."

We've established that this isn't 100% true, 100% of the time. At some point, there is a human life inside the woman - and at that point, that human life has rights. But right now there is no consensus on when that point is reached.

On everything else you mentioned - I understand what you're trying to say.
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