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Old 01-27-2009, 03:56 PM   #286
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I didn't say that I do. I simply said that by legal definition,
by legal definition or literal definition or any other fair definition of the word

one might say, "he murdered that bottle of scotch"
ok, figuratively speaking, "Listerine murders bad breath germs by the millions"


Once someone uses the phrase 'abortion is murder'.


I just take pause. I realize if I continue, I will be having a conversion with someone that is:

a. speaking from emotion, not facts
b. uninformed on the definition of murder
c. not very open to discussion on the topic

any or all of these can apply
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:04 PM   #287
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Oh, since "murder" means an unlawful killing, I guess that makes things like captial punishment and abortion perfectly moral. The laws in our country aren't the greatest moral compass, I'm not saying that we have a lot of bad laws, but don't base your moral beliefs on what the laws are.


you'll get no argument from me that those who are opposed to abortion but support the death penalty haven't done any thinking at all.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:05 PM   #288
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Because the reality is that, like war, whether murder is murder or not, sometimes all we have is the lesser of two evils. I'll never forget the story of a woman who was gang-raped in Rwanda and who was impregnated. For her, bringing the baby to term was the way of redeeming that horrific experience.


isn't the powerful thing here the fact that she chose to have the baby?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #289
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you'll get no argument from me that those who are opposed to abortion but support the death penalty haven't done any thinking at all.

I would not cede this much
so if you admit it is wrong to kill (even convicted murderers)
why do you think it is ok to take a human life, that has not been charged with anything, yet alone found guilty?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:53 PM   #290
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I see that Nathan has been tossing the word "murder" around, as I've often heard pro life people do. The thing is, murder is a legal term defined in part by the phrase "an unlawful killing."
There is a much more basic reason why at least in Canada, it's not murder, and that is that the first step in establishing murder, of any degree, is to show that there has been a death of a human being.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:14 PM   #291
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Because the reality is that, like war, whether murder is murder or not, sometimes all we have is the lesser of two evils...the lines get very murky there, and I don't believe in telling someone who has been raped that she must now bring the child to term.
The very essence of war is reciprocal mass killing and destruction as a (hopefully) last-resort means of resolving who's going to get the upper hand in a conflict. And because that's the nature of war, when analyzing it ethically, we conventionally start from the assumption that each party to the conflict legitimately construes the other as a mortal enemy, wherefore the usual restrictions imposed (and enforced) on killing by civil society don't apply: even killings of innocents (civilians) in the course of strikes against the other party's organized combatants aren't classified or prosecuted as war crimes, so long as civilians weren't intentionally targeted and the customary precautions prescribed by the laws of war (e.g. Hague Conventions) to minimize civilian deaths were taken. Now, if you personally wanted to advocate a doctrinal-pacifist stance--that all killing, period, is and must be treated as 'murder' ; or that all killing short of self-defense against a direct, immediate threat to the killer's life is and must be treated as 'murder'--then fine, but you'd better be prepared to be consistent in applying that. To insist that, yes, all or most killings occuring in war must rightly be categorized as 'murders'--but then to turn around and say 'We shouldn't prosecute them though, because war's murky and I believe in giving soldiers the benefit of the doubt that those killings were the lesser of two evils'--would completely destroy the integrity of your argument. Either you really believe it's 'murder'--which all jurisdictions, including ours, count among the most heinous of all crimes, deserving of the harshest available punishment--or you don't. (And yes, this applies to anyone who was blithely analogizing Iraq to abortion for rhetorical purposes, which would not include me.)

In any case, aborting a pregnancy is not analogous to killing in war; there is no reciprocal mortal threat involved, save for cases where medical complications directly threaten the mother's life--and even that would be questionable as justification for 'homicide' in response, since the 'victim' in question (assuming you ascribe moral and legal personhood to fetuses) couldn't possibly have intended those complications, nor caused them through 'criminal recklessness.' A woman who tracked down her rapist after the fact and killed him would indeed be convicted of murder (or at the very least voluntary manslaughter) in our legal system, so what sense does it make to say that the 'murder' of a fetus conceived through rape--a crime in which it couldn't possibly have been a participant --should not only be permitted, but furthermore not prosecuted?
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Again, you seem to be trying to create an absolute where none exists.
No, you're creating an absolute by asserting that abortion is 'murder' and as such should be illegal--it's just that you're then undermining yourself by granting illogical exceptions (i.e., permissible in cases of rape or incest; not actually prosecutable as murder in any case) which call the integrity of your argument severely into question. Simply put, you cannot categorically declare some particular type of act to be 'murder,' but then turn around and say nonetheless it should not be punished as murder, and in fact should be openly permitted in some cases. That defeats the purpose of even having the offense type 'murder.'
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I don't believe that sexual activity is only for procreation (I tend to agree with the Protestant perspective that sexuality is a gift for each other), but you can't ignore the reality that it's a both/and. Sexuality is both a gift for marriage AND a pathway to parenthood.
Yes of course it's both, but when you're specifically seeking to attach legal implications to that, you need to be consistent in applying the principle thus given legal form and force. As I implied in my preceding post, it really doesn't make sense to begin with to take the precise circumstances of impregnation into account when determining whether a given abortion is 'murder,' since the 'murder victim' in question is inherently innocent of any crime, and in any case whatever crime might've been involved in the act of impregnation is over and done with by the time abortion is even a possibility. But for the sake of argument, if I were to accept the premise that the mere fact of sex having a reproductive aspect somehow yields a legal obligation to accept the possibility of children as a consequence of all voluntary sexual intercourse, then logically that premise applies to contraception too, because the express purpose of contraception is the evasion of said obligation. I'm not saying that would logically make contracepting 'murder'--that would be a separate question, involving consideration of the precise means through which various contraceptives work--but it would logically make it a crime. But, again, the fact that you're even trying to bring the circumstances of impregnation to bear on the question of whether abortion is 'murder' to begin with calls the stated motives and reasoning behind your case for criminalizing abortion into question.
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Time to bounce -- on deadline, so looks like I'm heading back into the underground -- but thanks all as usual for a spirited discussion. Thought-provoking to be sure.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:16 PM   #292
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There is a much more basic reason why at least in Canada, it's not murder, and that is that the first step in establishing murder, of any degree, is to show that there has been a death of a human being.
I actually had a couple of lines about that very point in my original post, but deleted them, imagining the responses I'd get.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #293
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I would not cede this much
so if you admit it is wrong to kill (even convicted murderers)
why do you think it is ok to take a human life, that has not been charged with anything, yet alone found guilty?


a fetus is not a human being.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #294
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a fetus is not a human being.
At what point is this decided though?
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:56 PM   #295
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At what point is this decided though?


that's a fair question, and one that i don't think anyone can really answer -- what is a "human being"? at what points do we have rights?

some might think the answer to that is when a child breathes his first breath, some might say it's when a fetus is viable independent of the mother.

ultimately, i think the consensus position at present is that a fetus is not a person certainly within the first trimester.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #296
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At what point is this decided though?
The fetus in the first trimester is not sentient life. It is alive in the same way a plant is alive. It can't feel anything. Late-term abortions are a different thing, but for early abortions, the fetus doesn't feel anything.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #297
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The fetus in the first trimester is not sentient life. It is alive in the same way a plant is alive. It can't feel anything. Late-term abortions are a different thing, but for early abortions, the fetus doesn't feel anything.
Maybe you're right on that. I honestly don't know. I do know the heartbeat starts at 22 days roughly, and brainwaves aren't far behind that. I think I remember hearing six weeks for that. When these stop, we consider a human being dead. Plants don't have heartbeats and brainwaves. Many women don't even know they're pregnant at this stage.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:01 PM   #298
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drawing the line is difficult

there are some no brainers, though

a sperm penetrating an egg is not a human

those that say humans begin at conception and want to draw the line there are wrong
with that aregument they want to refuse RU486 to a rape victim, on the grouds that it is murder - thay are just flat-out 100% wrong
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:05 PM   #299
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The other thing, too — and I'm just throwing this out there, is if a pregnant woman is murdered, the killer is charged with two deaths. Maybe this is different in different states, but why is it considered a life in that scenario and not in that of abortion? What makes it different? The mother's deisre for it to continue?
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:10 PM   #300
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The other thing, too — and I'm just throwing this out there, is if a pregnant woman is murdered, the killer is charged with two deaths. Maybe this is different in different states, but why is it considered a life in that scenario and not in that of abortion? What makes it different? The mother's deisre for it to continue?
Abortion is the choice of the mother. Only the mother can legally make the decision to have an abortion. Someone else just killing the baby in the act of killing the mother has obviously committed an unlawful act, and because it is unlawful, it is murder.

Anyway, it is more symbolic than anything in else in your scenario. If the person is charged with killing the mother and gets convicted, he probably gets life in prison, so charging him additionally with the baby's murder serves no practical purpose.
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