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Old 04-22-2003, 01:57 PM   #76
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Okay, FW, I'm going to say what you thought nobody could say: "There isn't a cut and dry answer about whether abortion involves murder or not."

In fact, I'll go so far as to say this is one of the few absolutely undeniable statements one can make on the issue! I realize we would like to be able to make a definite statement one way or the other, but I truly believe that we cannot. The reason goes back to what I posted in your other abortion thread:

Quote:
So, our moral tendencies work on scale that goes not from good to evil, but from "be nice to others" to "be mean to others". Some things map to this just fine: murdering someone is obviously evil; conveniently, it also fits on our real moral scale (toward the "being mean" end), so no one really questions that it's a bad thing.

But what about abortion? Where does "killing one's own unborn child" fall on a scale from "be nice to others" to "be mean to others"? It's like comparing apples and, I don't know, avocados. An unborn child is not one of the "others" that we interacted with when our moral tendencies evolved.

To me, this explains why there is no clear concensus on abortion, and why many of us have mixed feelings about it - why it's such a "gray area" for us. Our evolved morality just isn't equipped to deal with the issue.
So you can't use your instinctive feeling for what's right and wrong to say whether abortion is murder, since your instinctive feeling is just a product of evolution, which didn't take this case into account!

Sure, one can play with words and define an unborn person as a equal to an already born person, and then you can logically say it's murder. But that doesn't change the fact that our when our moral tendencies evolved by natural selection to give us a repugnance toward murder, it wasn't unborn children that our ancestors were dealing with; it was other living members of their communities.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:58 PM   #77
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


That's kind of what I meant though - either abortion is murder or it's not, and you don't believe it is.
Oh! You're right! No, you didn't explain yourself badly...I guess I was just thinking that it was somewhere in between...not murder, but certainly not condusive to the life of the fetus....but I guess I am of the belief it is not murder overall, unpleasant though it is.

Thanks for the links! I will check them out.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:01 PM   #78
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Originally posted by guaca


by the same token how can you take away the right to make a choice, whether you think it may be morally unjust or not, it is still a freedom that every human being should have...the choice to chose rather than have the choice made for you. The same argument can be made for euthenasia(sorry for the spelling)...in the case of terminally ill people who just wish to end their own suffering..is it someone elses right to say No you must continue to suffer, sorry I just dont understand the morality of that either...but I guess that is another topic altogether... being Pro-choice doesnt make you a murderer or an awful person for that matter..just makes you see that not everything is cut and dry.
But, if life begins at conception, it is no longer a choice that affects only the person doing the choosing, but the baby, also. Therefore, if that baby is alive, it is murder, not a simple choice. No one is protected by law to commit a murder.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:26 PM   #79
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Originally posted by StrangerTides
Okay, FW, I'm going to say what you thought nobody could say: "There isn't a cut and dry answer about whether abortion involves murder or not."


So...what is abortion?

Either abortion does involve the killing of another person or it doesn't involve the killing of another person. I honestly don't understand what position there is in between - either abortion kills a human being or it doesn't, what other position can there be?

I can understand people who state that abortion does kill a human being, but that it's sometimes justified. I can understand people who say abortion isn't killing a human because they think a fetus is not really a human being. I can understand people who say abortion is killing a person and is therefore always wrong. I just can't understand what other position there is?

I'm really not trying to be rude or insulting here, I just honestly can't understand your argument!
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:54 PM   #80
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Don't worry, I don't think you're being rude at all! But I guess it's a tough thing to explain, and I don't know if I can put it another way instead of just repeating myself again.

First of all, you have to buy into the fact that there is no absolute good and evil! If you're religious, obviously this doesn't work for you and you can ignore everything I say. If you're not, okay, let's proceed.

So, why do we feel that some things are good and some are evil? Because our mental characteristics evolved by natural selection the same way our physical characteristics did, so we have genes that give us tendencies to think and believe certain things. One of these things is that it is "good" to be nice to others. This is theoretically because of reciprocal altruism - being nice to others so that they will be nice to us in return. We have this feeling that it's "good" because our ancestors got some reproductive benefit from having these same feelings, and they passed their genes down to us.

The point is that this concept of "being nice to others" did not include unborn children among the "others". For one thing, in order for one individual to get any benefit out of this nice behavior, the other individual had to recognize this "niceness" and remember it so he could reciprocate in the future. Obviously an unborn child could not do this. So, our moral tendencies simply did not define an unborn child as a potential target of "nice" or "mean" behavior.

Now, if we want, we can use some kind of logic to equate unborn children with full-blown people, and then we would legally have to call it murder. But "legally" is different from "morally", and the concept of what is moral comes only from natural selection, as I described above - which, again, does not use any logic - it just does what works.

I'm no professional evolutionary psychologist, but I do find it fascinating. I recommend The Moral Animal by Robert Wright if you're interested.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:14 PM   #81
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An eye for an eye leads to a blind world.

I find it logistically trying and morally difficult to place both controversial matters, those of abortion and the death penalty, in the same equation. Neither of them equal the other, and to attempt to criticise the other's view by arguing that their views are inconsistent (if you're pro-life you SHOULD be anti-death penalty etc) in such a fashion is weak, at best; one is better off confronting the views head on.

I am pro-life and anti-capital punishment myself, the former view being one that has taken me years to form, as I am STILL unconvinced by scientific evidence gathered by both sides of the argument. I find it difficult to believe both sides, and so I have decided within my own moral framework that it is 'shady' at best.

However, though I do not agree with abortion, I do not believe it should be made illegal, largely due to the arguments propounded by FizzingWhizbees, on which I shall not expand upon. Let me just say that exceptions to the rule are all too common, and are all to powerful against the case of the person who sees everything as clear-cut and black and white, WHATEVER side you happen to be on. The truth is life is not black and white, it is not clear-cut, and it is not as simplistic as equations that deal in moral currencies that are hedged by the exceptions that the life of the foetus is indeed so advanced that it feels pain, or the exception of the innocent that is found guilty and executed by the powers-that-be. Exceptions are always present, and I find it morally reprehensible to simply ignore such exceptions.

Though abortion is not something I morally endorse, I don't think it should be made illegal, but that a system should be made whereby people (and I mean both parties responsible) are held accountable for the abortion. Abortion, though not illegal, should not be thought of as a divine right, and I do wish there was a way to make people more accountable for the actions that they perform carelessly. I am not saying that every woman who has ever had an abortion is a whore, I am saying that there are too many cases where men and women are thinking of sex too carelessly and thus not only are unwanted pregnancies a result, but STD's as well. Making abortion harder for women, while not making it illegal, should make society a more conscientious one.

I do not believe capital punishment is an efficient deterrent, and thereby it is superfluous and cruel. I do not believe in an eye for an eye. If one is to bring religion and faith into all of this, I believe in Jesus Christ and his teachings regarding forgiveness and human compassion, I believe a society that chooses to act as executor is a society that is based on the wrong fundamentals. Also, I still believe that the proper punishment for such animals that kill the innocent is to spend their entire lives thinking about it in apalling conditions, NOT to be spared of pain. To end their lives is to end their pain, and there is nothing to be learnt from such.

Yes, if I had to be categorised I would and should be categorised as a liberal, but I believe in the responsibility of freedom as well, not the 'absolute' right of an individual. I do not believe in the absolute right of the woman to do what she likes with her body, as I do not believe in the absolute right of the government to execute criminals.

Ant.
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:22 AM   #82
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Dont know what happened but I posted a reply yesterday that seems to have vanished into thin air, kind of strange...

The statement “if” life begins at conception has been debated for ever and a day..I guess my point is where I can see all of everyone’s points being valid…that doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with a lot of them.

In the case of a child, a teenager, a woman for that matter whose choice was taken away from them through no fault of their own, whether it be a case of incest, sexual abuse, rape of any kind, what happens to their life. They end up having no life at all…and if what happens if that individual, who is forced morally, legally, or however it may be, takes their life because after bringing a “life” into this world that was not born out of their choice but someone elses, who shoulders that responsibility. Would you say that individual took the cowards way out and hold them accountable for their actions. Would you blame society for not allowing that individual any other choice.

I guess I just agree to disagree and if it were me, you would, I suppose, label me a murderer…and I don’t know I guess who would also label me as being morally bankrupt as well because who am I to be selfish as to think my life is more important than a “fetus” just conceived out of selfish wants of an individual rather than need and love of two individuals.

Well its been an interesting topic of conversation that is for sure and I could debate it forever but I wont…and Ill just say everyone has valid points for and against..
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:53 AM   #83
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Natural selection is merely a means of ensuring propagation of species. According to such logic, abortion is unnatural.

Impregnation due to incest or rape is a miniscule occurance and should not be used as a prochoice argument. The Circumstances leading to conception, especially ones almost nonexistent, are not justification for the termination of human life.
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:50 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anoosh Vs. God
Natural selection is merely a means of ensuring propagation of species. According to such logic, abortion is unnatural.

Impregnation due to incest or rape is a miniscule occurance and should not be used as a prochoice argument. The Circumstances leading to conception, especially ones almost nonexistent, are not justification for the termination of human life.
I am not using it as a pro-choice argument...there are just alot of ways to look at it before you judge it to be morally wrong or unacceptable behaviour.

For me, I would never term it or look at it as a miniscule occurence. Just because it isnt an every day occurence for most people..which again can be debated...doesnt make it any less a valid point.

And if you are going to take the route that it is morally wrong for someone to take anothers life because it isnt the fault of the child for how it came to be conceived..if you take that argument and draw the line in the sand...then I just think you are condemning alot of people for no fault of their own...

Almost non-existent, or otherwise, those cases do exist in this world...just seems like a mute point to me..the point is that it does exist, and just because it isnt like a common cold and strikes many people shouldnt make it any less valid or worthwhile to think about.
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:21 PM   #85
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In the case of a child, a teenager, a woman for that matter whose choice was taken away from them through no fault of their own, whether it be a case of incest, sexual abuse, rape of any kind, what happens to their life.
Guaca, I'm just using your post to explain what I mean here, I don't necessarily expect you to answer.

Anyway...people frequently use the argument that abortion must be available because of cases in which a woman gets pregnant after being raped. In that case, clealy it's through no fault of her own.

That said, doesn't that imply that in all other cases it is a woman's fault that she's pregnant? It doesn't take account of the fact that contraception isn't 100% effective (in fact the most effective forms of contraception are only 96%-98% effective) so a woman could still become pregnant whilst using contraception. Wouldn't it be true to say that she got pregnant through no fault of her own there too?

I guess I'm just wary of this idea that it's always a woman's fault if she gets pregnant - as though it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the man! It takes two people for someone to get pregnant and I think quite often this gets forgotten in the pro-life/pro-choice discussion.
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:22 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anoosh Vs. God
Natural selection is merely a means of ensuring propagation of species. According to such logic, abortion is unnatural.
...
As an absolute statement, this pretty much goes without saying: any individuals who always practiced abortions in the past obviously have no descendents today. However, there are surely cases where it might have been an advantage to abort a baby - for example in food shortage where it would put other children at risk if there's another mouth to feed. In that case maybe one who did have an abortion would leave descendents while one who didn't might leave none because they all starved.

And of course the other thing to keep in mind is that what is natural is not necessarily good or desirable, and what is unnatural is not necessarily bad. I believe that's known as the "naturalistic fallacy": equating "what ought to be" with "what is".
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:52 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


Guaca, I'm just using your post to explain what I mean here, I don't necessarily expect you to answer.

Anyway...people frequently use the argument that abortion must be available because of cases in which a woman gets pregnant after being raped. In that case, clealy it's through no fault of her own.

That said, doesn't that imply that in all other cases it is a woman's fault that she's pregnant? It doesn't take account of the fact that contraception isn't 100% effective (in fact the most effective forms of contraception are only 96%-98% effective) so a woman could still become pregnant whilst using contraception. Wouldn't it be true to say that she got pregnant through no fault of her own there too?

I guess I'm just wary of this idea that it's always a woman's fault if she gets pregnant - as though it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the man! It takes two people for someone to get pregnant and I think quite often this gets forgotten in the pro-life/pro-choice discussion.
FW, being a person who is pro-choice if you are going to label people in this argument, I totally agree with your point. I think that the point you are trying to make is probably one of the point I am trying to make I guess, and that would be that the issue isnt just 100% morally wrong or right..so many cases can be made in both rings. When you think about the the issue of a couple who finds out through an amnio that their child will be severely handicapped...again..another moral question..that is very personal...if you are pro-choice...the option to go ahead and bring a child into the world who will be severely challenged and the money also becomes a factor in caring for that child..as does the moral issue of how the parents feel about the child suffering...I could go on and on

I guess I could bang my head against a brick wall trying to point out the point that abortion can be looked at on a case by case basis...and why does it have to be labelled 100% wrong or right...that is the only thing Im saying...and with that thanks for the comment....one things I like about where I live, is that there are options for women, for couples, and there are support avenues as well...because in alot of these cases...you look to someone who will extend a hand or an arm or even just an ear..and when all you get is damnation or scorn..it tends to dull ones senses.

Oh well, obviously everyone has strong opinions on this subject...and agreeing to disagree is a healthy way to go...Cheers
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