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Old 12-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #741
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Originally Posted by AEON;7733880how do you expect the "people" to arrive at [B
ANY[/B] conclusion, especially the "right" one? We are essentially left with what we have now - a bunch of emotionally charged subjective opinions that really do not bring us any closer to arriving at the truth.
Pretty much.

I don't see this as a topic where people will ever be in universal agreement.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:10 PM   #742
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Another thing I have been thinking about is your whole proposition that "if science agrees that x is when life starts, then what?"

I don't see this as solving the current divide on this issue. You could have told my dear old grandmother (passed away years ago) that science defines life as X and it would have meant absolutely nothing to her. She was Catholic and went to church 7 days a week and couldn't care less what science thought when the Pope told her otherwise. Then you have the aforementioned Jewish view of when life began. And various other religious views. Why do you think that for people who are not primarily driven by scientific thought, this would be a problem solver? Do you think Sarah Palin would care about a scientific definition or some Imam who hasn't ever seen the inside of a biology textbook? I'm being absolutely serious. For these people, it will not be compelling at all to use that definition to set the threshold for morality.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #743
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Let's say I concede, that we can't use science (in particular Biology) to define life - and by extension, human life.

And we can't use the authority of the Church.

You suggested we let the "people" decide. If cold logic (science) isn't allowed - then how do you expect the "people" to arrive at ANY conclusion, especially the "right" one? We are essentially left with what we have now - a bunch of emotionally charged subjective opinions that really do not bring us any closer to arriving at the truth.
I don't think there will ever be an universal agreement for as long as there's people strongly believing in religion.

Science cannot define our definitions, but it can help us choose. There's a reason why the current laws usually allow abortion until the 21nd week. That's the point where a fetus *could* survive outside the womb. This has nothing to do with emotions or what defines being alive, but it's what we got. For me, this is enough and I accept that.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #744
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Are you a nihilist or something? Do you not think that science, and in particular biology, can determine whether something is life vs non-life? Were my textbooks from grade school wrong when they claimed that something like a rock was "non-life" and something like a cell was "life"? When did this get so complicated?
It's always been complicated, some things are taught in a simplified manner in school compared to how it actually is. I remember a very simple explanation of respiration which was basically glucose and oxygen gives you energy, water and CO2, when its a multi tiered process.

Viruses act like they are alive but they are generally accepted in science as being at the edge of life but not alive, they exist in a grey area.

Whether something is alive entails as much philosophical enquiry as does it scientific. A foetus or blastocyst would probably fit most biologists definition of being 'alive', it reproduces itself in cell division, it metabolises etc. though I also imagine some would argue along the lines do these processes occur independently enough. Is a tumour alive? It's doing much the same as an early embryo is doing at this point containing the same DNA etc.

Does it purely being alive give it the exact same rights as a fully developed human (and for arguments sake we will say that is the finished baby) because as an embryo it is no more different than any other mammalian embryo, it contains human DNA but functionally it is no different, there is no 'mind' yet.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:50 PM   #745
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at this point, i think AEON should become a vegetarian.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #746
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Another thing I have been thinking about is your whole proposition that "if science agrees that x is when life starts, then what?"

I don't see this as solving the current divide on this issue. You could have told my dear old grandmother (passed away years ago) that science defines life as X and it would have meant absolutely nothing to her. She was Catholic and went to church 7 days a week and couldn't care less what science thought when the Pope told her otherwise. Then you have the aforementioned Jewish view of when life began. And various other religious views. Why do you think that for people who are not primarily driven by scientific thought, this would be a problem solver? Do you think Sarah Palin would care about a scientific definition or some Imam who hasn't ever seen the inside of a biology textbook? I'm being absolutely serious. For these people, it will not be compelling at all to use that definition to set the threshold for morality.
All of this is true. Yet, it would provide a starting point for rational discussion vs "I personally believe...."

At least during the last line of discussion - we've moved the abortion debate into the arena it belongs (bioethics) and away from the arena it does not belong (feminism).
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #747
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at this point, i think AEON should become a vegetarian.
I already am. Vegan to be specific.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #748
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I don't think there will ever be an universal agreement for as long as there's people strongly believing in religion.
It's not just religion. Do you think the feminists would give into science on this subject?
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:12 PM   #749
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I already am. Vegan to be specific.

that's impressive.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:18 PM   #750
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It is true that a woman could not even necessarily know she was pregnant for several weeks, even a couple of months after the moment of implantation. Is it fair to her that it's too late to make that decision to end the pregnancy once she learns of it? On the flip side, is it fair to the fetus? Who wins that struggle?
These are great points and I think they require more consideration from both the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" camps.

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I guess morally that's up to each woman and her own personal spirituality.
Moral relativism is very difficult to defend.


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Do I feel comfortable with anyone waiting until 24 weeks viability to abort a pregnancy? No, not really, in general. But some situations warrant it. Each circumstance is different. I think that's overall my biggest issue with the abortion debate. Some abortions are completely justified in my mind, and some are not.
I respect this viewpoint and somewhat agree, especially when the woman's health is at risk.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #751
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that's impressive.
Thanks. I'm still hypocrite though. I haven't thrown out all my leather shoes and belts...but it's a move in the right direction.

I think I posted about my switch to veganism a few months ago. I saw some of those videos on youtube - that was enough.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #752
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I remember reading about your switch.

What are your views on the death penalty? Just wondering whether you take an absolute life stance (like the RC Church).
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:38 PM   #753
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At least during the last line of discussion - we've moved the abortion debate into the arena it belongs (bioethics) and away from the arena it does not belong (feminism).
I don't think it's necessarily that black and white. But let's say for the sake of argument that it is.

The issue is that a great many (not all, but many, probably most) strong opponents of abortion generally also support policies that limit access to contraception, limit sex ed in schools, limit funding to contraception centres, promote pharmacists refusing to give out birth control and/or Plan B medications, don't think employers should pay for birth control and on and on. To me, when they take these positions, abortion must then be seen as a woman's issue since the restrictions they are talking about all in the end contribute to more and more abortions. Does that make sense to you?
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #754
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I don't think it's necessarily that black and white. But let's say for the sake of argument that it is.

The issue is that a great many (not all, but many, probably most) strong opponents of abortion generally also support policies that limit access to contraception, limit sex ed in schools, limit funding to contraception centres, promote pharmacists refusing to give out birth control and/or Plan B medications, don't think employers should pay for birth control and on and on. To me, when they take these positions, abortion must then be seen as a woman's issue since the restrictions they are talking about all in the end contribute to more and more abortions. Does that make sense to you?
Let's not forget the idea that miscarriages must be investigated or the law that all women seeking an abortion must undergo a sonogram. These reasons take a woman's right to choose to a whole new level.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #755
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I remember reading about your switch.

What are your views on the death penalty? Just wondering whether you take an absolute life stance (like the RC Church).
I used to support the death penalty for those guilty of murder. Now, in theory, I think that with our new understanding of brain chemistry - the chance of "healing" exists - or will soon exist.

That being said - if one of my children were murdered, I would terminate the killer if I had the chance. It wouldn't be the "right" thing to do, but I think that I would be so emotionally hijacked, it wouldn't matter. I would also immediately turn myself in and serve my sentence.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:26 PM   #756
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I don't think it's necessarily that black and white. But let's say for the sake of argument that it is.

The issue is that a great many (not all, but many, probably most) strong opponents of abortion generally also support policies that limit access to contraception, limit sex ed in schools, limit funding to contraception centres, promote pharmacists refusing to give out birth control and/or Plan B medications, don't think employers should pay for birth control and on and on. To me, when they take these positions, abortion must then be seen as a woman's issue since the restrictions they are talking about all in the end contribute to more and more abortions. Does that make sense to you?
I'm trying to understand - but I'm still confused. Is it not true that the same people that oppose contraception and sex education, do so for both males and females?

For my own clarification - are you suggesting that pregnancy is the result of a lack of contraception and understanding that sexual intercourse may lead to an unwanted pregnancy?
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:39 PM   #757
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I'm trying to understand - but I'm still confused. Is it not true that the same people that oppose contraception and sex education, do so for both males and females?

For my own clarification - are you suggesting that pregnancy is the result of a lack of contraception and understanding that sexual intercourse may lead to an unwanted pregnancy?
Yes, it affects both men and women.

But the lack of access to education and birth control has a far greater impact on women than it does on men. Men do not become pregnant. Men can impregnate a woman and walk away. Sometimes they'll be held financially responsible (to the extent that they can provide which is often nothing), many times they won't. The single mother is then left with the burden of raising a child on often a low income, without significant education, and so the cycle of poverty begins.

Plus, birth control like the pill or IUD is far more effective than condoms, which is the only form a man is able to provide on his end.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:50 PM   #758
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Yes, it affects both men and women.

But the lack of access to education and birth control has a far greater impact on women than it does on men. Men do not become pregnant. Men can impregnate a woman and walk away. Sometimes they'll be held financially responsible (to the extent that they can provide which is often nothing), many times they won't. The single mother is then left with the burden of raising a child on often a low income, without significant education, and so the cycle of poverty begins.

Plus, birth control like the pill or IUD is far more effective than condoms, which is the only form a man is able to provide on his end.
I will concede these points about the lack of available contraception perhaps being an Equal Rights issue. However, it still seems true that women knowingly engage in sex without protection, and they know this increases the chances of pregnancy. And as you said - men don't get pregnant - so it seems that the ultimate/final line in the sand responsibility regarding pregnancy lands on the woman. Because you can't have it both ways. You can't say that only women have the right in determining the life/death of the unborn child, yet somehow both genders share in the responsibility of the pregnancy in the first place.

The feminists seem to claim that women have absolute control of their body. If this is true, this means they also have absolute control over the sexual activities of that body. Sexual activity may result in pregnancy. Therefore, women have absolute control of when they get pregnant.

Since women have absolute control of when they get pregnant, it should be of no surprise when another human organism starts forming in their womb sometime after sexual intercourse. Science seems to indicate, this human organism is in fact, a human life, and as such - has rights. And one of those rights - is the right to life. This right to life supersedes any inconvenience to the mother - who voluntarily brought the life into existence by her decision to have sexual intercourse.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:03 PM   #759
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I will concede these points about the lack of available contraception perhaps being an Equal Rights issue. However, it still seems true that women knowingly engage in sex without protection, and they know this increases the chances of pregnancy. And as you said - men don't get pregnant - so it seems that the ultimate/final line in the sand responsibility regarding pregnancy lands on the woman. Because you can't have it both ways. You can't say that only women have the right in determining the life/death of the unborn child, yet somehow both genders share in the responsibility of the pregnancy in the first place.

The feminists seem to claim that women have absolute control of their body. If this is true, this means they also have absolute control over the sexual activities of that body. Sexual activity may result in pregnancy. Therefore, women have absolute control of when they get pregnant.

Since women have absolute control of when they get pregnant, it should be of no surprise when another human organism starts forming in their womb sometime after sexual intercourse. Science seems to indicate, this human organism is in fact, a human life, and as such - has rights. And one of those rights - is the right to life. This right to life supersedes any inconvenience to the mother - who voluntarily brought the life into existence by her decision to have sexual intercourse.
I know this is an argument that will never end, but I just have to speak up.

I really hope you realize that contraception is not 100% effective. Yeah, there are some women who don't use contraception during sex and that isn't wise of them if they don't want to get pregnant. But to say we have absolute control over our bodies and what happens to it is completely false.

When feminists "seem" to claim that we have absolute control over our bodies, it simply means no one, especially a man, has dominion over our bodies. That is what feminists declare. We have been treated like property for centuries, with men controlling our bodies for us, and we don't want that anymore. That is what we are fighting for.

Men don't know what it is like to be a woman. They never will because they don't have the same bodies. So for men to tell us what to do with our bodies, how we should treat it and what we do have control over is completely wrong, and even foolish.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:26 PM   #760
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This right to life supersedes any inconvenience to the mother - who voluntarily brought the life into existence by her decision to have sexual intercourse.


this attitude is why it's a feminist issue. as if women get abortions because they don't want to be inconvenienced.

it's so reductive about human sexuality and so dehumanizing to women and so excuses men from anything and so enables them to divide women up into virgins and sluts.

if you could get pregnant, you'd feel much differently.
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