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Old 11-06-2007, 02:05 AM   #31
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Originally posted by coemgen
We're talking about a life that's already begun. Not the chance for a life to begin. Two different things there.
I wasn't addressing when life begins at all. You were making an argument from appeal to genes determining destiny--that e.g. the possible discovery of a cure for AIDS depends on the combination of one particular egg and one particular sperm happening (i.e. the material foundations for one specific individual), and since we don't know in advance which particular combination that might be, no woman anywhere should ever be allowed to have an abortion for any reason. But that's a pointless way to think about it, because the overwhelming majority of eggs and sperm go to waste anyway, or else go on to co-create an embryo with some gamete which lacks the proper chromosomes to complete Mr/Ms AIDS Cure. Again, the 'Mother Teresa argument' only makes sense if you're assuming that God personally saw to it that the precise sperm and egg encounter needed to allow Mr/Ms AIDS Cure to be conceived took place to begin with. There are much better arguments to be made than pinning the value of a life on the infinitesmally small possibility that that individual might turn out to be The Next [name of universally revered hero/ine here].
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:37 AM   #32
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Originally posted by maycocksean
Brilliant article.

I've always been mystified by the mania with with which the Christian Right has latched on to this issue.
Not when you consider the scriptures' perspective on defending the defenseless, the condemnation of child sacrifice, and Jesus' exhortations about looking after children and his comments about dropping those off cliffs with millstones around their necks who harm little ones.

The most defenseless among us are those who deserve the most care.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:51 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

I wasn't addressing when life begins at all. You were making an argument from appeal to genes determining destiny--that e.g. the possible discovery of a cure for AIDS depends on the combination of one particular egg and one particular sperm happening (i.e. the material foundations for one specific individual), and since we don't know in advance which particular combination that might be, no woman anywhere should ever be allowed to have an abortion for any reason. But that's a pointless way to think about it, because the overwhelming majority of eggs and sperm go to waste anyway, or else go on to co-create an embryo with some gamete which lacks the proper chromosomes to complete Mr/Ms AIDS Cure. Again, the 'Mother Teresa argument' only makes sense if you're assuming that God personally saw to it that the precise sperm and egg encounter needed to allow Mr/Ms AIDS Cure to be conceived took place to begin with. There are much better arguments to be made than pinning the value of a life on the infinitesmally small possibility that that individual might turn out to be The Next [name of universally revered hero/ine here].
Actually, that wasn't exactly the argument I was making at all. I was simply using that thought, a thought I admitted to not knowing for sure to be authentically tied to Mother Theresa, to illustrate the idea that we don't know we're missing out on by abortion existing. That's all I was saying. It was being used in a general sense, not a specific sense.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:47 AM   #34
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^ Gotcha. I just really dislike the idea of locating the value of a life in its potential to be Something Really Impressive-Sounding. Also, when you said "I'm not sure how true that is" I thought you meant you weren't sure if you believed God literally said that to Mother Teresa...lol.

BTW, since you mentioned Exodus 21:22-23, I made two posts (here and here) on that passage in another abortion thread several months ago. The first post is a direct translation of 21:22 (in response to a translation of 21:22-25 cited earlier in the thread--here) and overview of the entire passage's place in Jewish law; the second is on the terminology used in the Tanakh (OT) to refer to babies, children, pregnancy etc., and what they do and don't etymologically convey in terms of connoting 'personhood.'
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:20 AM   #35
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Originally posted by nathan1977


Not when you consider the scriptures' perspective on defending the defenseless, the condemnation of child sacrifice, and Jesus' exhortations about looking after children and his comments about dropping those off cliffs with millstones around their necks who harm little ones.

The most defenseless among us are those who deserve the most care.
Yes, but I was referring to the "mania". . .the obsession with the issue at the expense of equally valid issues where the defense of children and the defenseless is at stake. Surely you can admit that the political weight of the abortion issue is greater than that of say. . .caring for poor children.

Is there historical evidence that abortion has been always been a keystone issue for Christians throughout the past 2000 years ago? Surely Jesus was aware of the Roman practice of exposing unwanted BORN children. Why didn't he speak out and condemn this practice specifically? (Please understand that my question is NOT meaning to imply that Jesus APPROVED of the practice. . .I'm just pointing out that maybe, the rights of the unborn--and newly born--weren't THE defining issue of the early church the way they are the modern church. Myh question is: why the change?)
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:45 AM   #36
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Originally posted by maycocksean

Is there historical evidence that abortion has been always been a keystone issue for Christians throughout the past 2000 years ago? Surely Jesus was aware of the Roman practice of exposing unwanted BORN children. Why didn't he speak out and condemn this practice specifically? (Please understand that my question is NOT meaning to imply that Jesus APPROVED of the practice. . .I'm just pointing out that maybe, the rights of the unborn--and newly born--weren't THE defining issue of the early church the way they are the modern church. Myh question is: why the change?)
This is a very good point.

I think I'll jump into the debate once I see something I feel qualified to respond to. For the record, I'm fairly undecided on this point. In the past (when I was much younger and considered myself a Christian), I've been pro-life. More recently (but not currently) I felt like I'd changed my mind and become pro-choice, but I've come to realize that I really haven't made my mind up, so if I seem to argue or agree with both sides as the thread goes along, please don't jump all over me. Just wanted to clarify where I stand before I jump in
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


Not when you consider the scriptures' perspective on defending the defenseless, the condemnation of child sacrifice, and Jesus' exhortations about looking after children and his comments about dropping those off cliffs with millstones around their necks who harm little ones.

The most defenseless among us are those who deserve the most care.
Yeah and I would respect the Christian right if they put just half the energy and political weight they put behind this issue towards protecting poor children, iraqi children, giving habeus corpus, etc...

but I don't see them doing much after they're born. So you can see why so many see them as hypocrites.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:58 AM   #38
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yeah and I would respect the Christian right if they put just half the energy and political weight they put behind this issue towards protecting poor children, iraqi children, giving habeus corpus, etc...

but I don't see them doing much after they're born. So you can see why so many see them as hypocrites.
This has always been a real sticking-point for me too. The passionate protection of unborn life to a greater degree than born children infuriates me.

Of course, that's not the position of every pro-lifer...
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:12 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Yeah and I would respect the Christian right if they put just half the energy and political weight they put behind this issue towards protecting poor children, iraqi children, giving habeus corpus, etc...

but I don't see them doing much after they're born. So you can see why so many see them as hypocrites.
This is what it boils down to for me as well. As soon as the Christian right starts campaigning for health care for all children, extensive maternity and paternity benefits, childcare, better working conditions, minimum wage, etc. then they might be able to call themselves "pro life". Otherwise, I would say they're simply "pro birth".
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:16 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yeah and I would respect the Christian right if they put just half the energy and political weight they put behind this issue towards protecting poor children, iraqi children, giving habeus corpus, etc...

but I don't see them doing much after they're born. So you can see why so many see them as hypocrites.
You hit the nail on the head. I was just going to say this, but you said it better than I could.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:37 AM   #41
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I don't get this argument. You can just as easily argue in favour of abortion by asking "what if this person was going to be a murderer, a rapist, or a paedophile? What if Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc. had been aborted?" So I think it's pointless to deal with "what ifs"; it hurts the pro-life case just as much as it helps it.

Personally, I don't have a strong opinion either way. I'm trying to work out exactly where I stand. I don't believe any life that would be viable outside the womb should be aborted, but I'm not exactly knowledgeable about when a life becomes viable (I'd love to know, but I imagine there's extensive debate on the matter). I don't have a problem with terminating a pregnancy when the foetus is completely unviable, like in the first couple of weeks, and in any case where the mother's life is threatened, I wholeheartedly support the right to choose.
Interestingly enough, Hitler's mother was on her way to have him aborted, but she changed her mind at the last minute. I suppose, as you said, then my argument wouldn't work. I agree. Yet, Hitler still had a purpose in life. He just chose not to seek it out. He created one of the most horrible atrocities in human history, but that wasn't what God wanted for him; I think anyone who believes in God would agree with that. The argument I stated is polarizing. We don't know how people will turn out when they're born. Yet, if we're looking at the argument from a perspective of, this baby could turn out to be like Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, etc. we might as well terminate every pregnancy and end the human race. If we're looking at it from my perspective, every baby could turn out to be like Martin Luther King Jr, Gahndi, Elie Wiesel, etc. logic fails. I suppose my argument is, I would rather see a child born and risk them being like horrible people named above, then have them not have a chance to live and wonder what the world could be missing out on. Don't mistake, I lean more towards the pro-choice side of the issue. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, more women would seek unsafe abortions that would put their lives in danger. We would likely have more women abandoning their babies after birth, etc. My argument is more from a wishful perspective of wanting every life to be that, a life. However, that would take more people willing to adopt, and more programs to help women in poverty, or any situations that may cause them to seek abortions to be implemented to help women care for their children in terms of healthcare, education, and every other area. In the U.S. at this time, I don't see that happening, so at this time, I think the laws for abortions need to remain as they are, although in a perfect world they wouldn't.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:57 AM   #42
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
This is what it boils down to for me as well. As soon as the Christian right starts campaigning for health care for all children, extensive maternity and paternity benefits, childcare, better working conditions, minimum wage, etc. then they might be able to call themselves "pro life". Otherwise, I would say they're simply "pro birth".
What I find especially bothersome is that it's the Christian right who are generally working hard against many of those things.

Let's have lots and lots of kids so they can earn a shitty wage, have dodgy and expensive healthcare, and give birth to babies when they can't support them. After all, charity should come from tithes, not the government!
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:27 AM   #43
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I say this thread hits twelve pages.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:35 PM   #44
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Originally posted by U2isthebest


Interestingly enough, Hitler's mother was on her way to have him aborted, but she changed her mind at the last minute.
Interesting, never heard of that. Then again, not surprising. She was in a pretty desperate situation, yet not even knowing what she were giving birth to.

Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen

choosing to end a life.
Well, it's not like the woman wakes up one morning and decides, "Let's have an abortion."
For example, here in Europe you are only allowed to abort in the first trimester for non-medical reasons.
After that, it is only allowed for legal reasons.
Furthermore, before you actually abort there is a lot of mandatory counselling where the doctor informs you about potential consequences, alternatives, speaking to the father and so on. And for most women to abort is a serious psychological burden and they don't do it because they feel like it.

Abortion might be a great philosophical and religious topic, but I'm strongly against making "pro-life" a political issue.
Mainly because most all of the arguments are based on religious grounds, and they are far away from reality, because many of the leaders of this movement come from social backgrounds where they have really no clue about the reasons for women to abort. They idealize this sacred being of an unborn child, and as pointed out, very often don't care for what happens after the birth.

What Jesus might have said or wanted, and what is in the Bible (which even is debatable depending on what translation and interpretation you use) doesn't have any place in politics, except you are living in a theocratic state.

Mandating other people such an emotional, diverse and highly personal decision is not acceptable in a free society where there is a sophisticated medical system which tries everything it can to avoid any person from becoming unintentional pregnant (and even that is capable of development), and when it's for medical reasons, either because the child will be severely ill or the mother's life is at risk, no one has a say in it but the parents, with all the counselling needed.


We have no chance in predicting what the child might be capable of once born, so we have to remain neutral here and accept the parents' decision, in my opinion.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:28 PM   #45
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega


Well, it's not like the woman wakes up one morning and decides, "Let's have an abortion."
So, you’re saying it’s not a decision? She may not go in that day, but it’s a decision she’s making.


Quote:


For example, here in Europe you are only allowed to abort in the first trimester for non-medical reasons.
After that, it is only allowed for legal reasons.
Furthermore, before you actually abort there is a lot of mandatory counseling where the doctor informs you about potential consequences, alternatives, speaking to the father and so on. And for most women to abort is a serious psychological burden and they don't do it because they feel like it.
This is great. I’m glad to hear a woman (and the father, I’m assuming) go through these steps before making the decision. However, you were equating the loss of life in a car accident to that of abortion, and by sharing this you’re only further illustrating my point: an accident and a conscious decision are two different things.

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Abortion might be a great philosophical and religious topic, but I'm strongly against making "pro-life" a political issue.
Mainly because most all of the arguments are based on religious grounds, and they are far away from reality, because many of the leaders of this movement come from social backgrounds where they have really no clue about the reasons for women to abort. They idealize this sacred being of an unborn child, and as pointed out, very often don't care for what happens after the birth.
I actually agree with you on the first part of this, and I can honestly say I respect the position of keeping abortion legal, but still being against it morally. I see where people are coming from with this perspective, I still disagree with it though. That said, I also don’t think the case against abortion should be made using religion either. I think it can be made without it. First, like I’ve mentioned before, if done 21 days after conception, there’s a beating heart. If you stop a beating heart outside of the womb, it’s murder. Heck, if a pregnant lady is murdered it’s considered two murders. Why the double standard?
Also, I’ve mentioned in other debates on this topic that my wife had an abortion before we met. She got pregnant and felt pressured into it and regrets it terribly. She’s undergone counseling for it and has had to overcome a lot of issues with it. She’s healing, but it’s been a long, difficult road. I’ve heard this from many, many other women. It’s not just a medical procedure being done. It’s not like a day-surgery kind of thing. It’s traumatic for many women. There’s a built-in bond that’s being broken and they often don’t know how hard it’s going to be to recover from breaking that bond — and this includes women who don’t have the religious views of abortion. My wife now shares her story openly to young women at our church and others so they can make a more informed decision should they find themselves in that situation.

Quote:

What Jesus might have said or wanted, and what is in the Bible (which even is debatable depending on what translation and interpretation you use) doesn't have any place in politics, except you are living in a theocratic state.
I agree with this except for the debatable part on the translation and interpretations. : )

Quote:

We have no chance in predicting what the child might be capable of once born, so we have to remain neutral here and accept the parents' decision, in my opinion.
Yes, you’re right – we can’t predict what a child might be capable of once born. That wasn’t my point. My point was just the thought that we may miss out on some really cool people who could add something special to life. It was a general statement using one illustration to make the point. That’s it. That said, I still think the most normal of lives, or most basic of lives, is valuable enough not to abort.
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