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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Through the Looking Glass.


I frequently find myself in abortion arguments with people who just cannot wrap their minds around the idea that I think the fetus deserves human rights. It’s like they believe I just bring up fetal rights as a red herring to distract from my supposed hatred of women. They do not believe the fetus deserves human rights, but moreso, they cannot bring themselves to believe that anyone truly believes the fetus deserves human rights. It’s really irritating.

But it got me thinking: what if roles were reversed?  Often my debate opponents seem to have no comprehension of the world from a pro-life perspective.  What about us pro-lifers?  Have you ever considered how you would see things if you were pro-choice? If you truly saw the fetus as a tumor, a parasite, a blob, a Nothing—how would pro-lifers look to you? How would the abortion debate look to you?

I imagine it would look a lot like this.  The link is a post from a blog created by so-called “Abortioneers”--people who are incredibly motivated to provide access to abortion.  The authors of the blog strike me in their obvious deep care for the women that come to them.

I know the fetus is a human being.  I can’t assign the fetus so little value as to justify elective abortions.  When I consider the average waiting periods for adoption, when I consider how people scoff at even the notion of a free, 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy (or, hey, sexual acts that don’t involve a risk of pregnancy), my empathy is rapidly replaced by intense frustration.

Even so, it was interesting briefly stepping through the looking glass to see abortion from the other side.  I could only hope to write so compellingly as to inspire pro-choicers, however fleetingly, to comprehend my perspective as well.

127 comments:

Are we there yet? said...

I agree with you, M. It is irritating to be misunderstood to the point of an accusation of evil, when in fact I think of myself as a very caring and hopefully compassionate person. I think you come close to inspiring pro-choicers--even if fleetingly--to understand the pro-life view by suggesting that they merely replace the word "fetus" with "3-year-old".

Bill Samuel said...

Well it's interesting the number of parallels between the content of that post and how those who volunteer/work in pregnancy centers view their work. Some common themes are giving women respect and a sense of their worth, dealing with their fears of not getting support from those around them, and giving women the real truth.

Anonymous said...

Well, so, for the sake of argument, let's agree that a fetus (oh, what about an embryo or a blastocyte) deserves the same human rights as anybody else.
So, can you tell me why indeed they should get more rights than other people?
Nobody is forced to donate blood, bone marrow or kidneys for anybody else.
It's a fundamental right.
Not even if you are the sole reason the other person needs those things in the first place.
So, can you please give me a logical argument why fetuses should be entitled to those things while a 3 yo wouldn't be and why women should be forced to provide those in case of pregnancy while nobody else is forced to give those things even though they would mean much less risk, time and discomfirt than a pregnancy?

secularprolife.org said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
secularprolife.org said...

I agree that no one should be forced to donate a kidney. For the same reason, no one should be forced to become pregnant.

But once a pregnancy is established, the donation in this analogy has already happened!

Imagine that you go to a hospital to get your tonsils out, but there's a horrible mix-up, and they think that you're there to donate a kidney. You wake up from anesthesia and it's too late--your kidney, a part of YOUR body, is keeping someone else alive. You'll live a relatively normal life with just one kidney, but it could cause you some discomfort and medical problems. Can you demand your kidney back, even though the recipient will die? Even if the recipient will be able to return the kidney to you in less than a year?

(Typo earlier)

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

More rights 'than other people'? Without the right to life, all other rights are irrelevant, no matter your age or stage of development.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.secularprolife.org/2012/03/bodily-integrity.html

Anonymous said...

I think the point that secularprolife.org is making is that women of this glorious nation are nothing but breeding vessels subject to state control. Once she is pregnant, she has no say in the matter and must be forced to bring the pregancy to term to bring new citizen to glorious motherland. Glory to the empire!

Anonymous said...

I agree, we should legislate morality for people who don't agree with us, so that they'll finally understand. We need to force women, punish and shame them for not viewing morality the same way we do. It's not evil, it's love.

Anonymous said...

You're really big on the word "glory," huh?

Jen R said...

Anonymous @10:50, may I suggest that you take your comments to Amanda Marcotte's blog? You will no doubt be hailed as an insightful genius there. Here, you just look like a jerk who is wedded to your pre-conceived notions and refuses to engage others with an open mind.

Pantheroom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pantheroom said...

Could you make it any more obvious that this entire blog post went over your head, "anonymous"?

Anonymous said...

@secularprolife
I assume that you have actually never been pregnant because what you've written is pretty much removed from reality.
By the time most abortions happens women have invested pretty little and "donated" pretty little. The main bruden and danger of pregnancy (except in cases of ectopic pregnancy) happen later.
Your tonsil/kidney example doesn't hold any water on many levels.
First of all, pregnancy is a continuum. It's not something that is done in 3 hours and over. But to use your own example: If I woke up during surgery and noticed that they were cutting into my belly instead of my nose in your world I wouldn't have any right to tell them "stop that shit".
Also, that donated kidney wouldn't be in my body for any longer. Of course, I'd sue the shit out of that hospital.
Also, in your example, the recipient of the kidney would be more or less brain-dead. At 10 weeks, typical abortion date, there ain't no central nervous system, no functioning brain, no capacity to feel pain and so on.
Tell me, who'se being hurt?
BTW, I'm a different anonymous than the two above

DiscountDeity said...

"But it got me thinking: what if roles were reversed? Often my debate opponents seem to have no comprehension of the world from a pro-life perspective. What about us pro-lifers? Have you ever considered how you would see things?"


As a former Evangelical, I understand what the traditional pro-choice perspective is, and how it feels to be on that side of the debate.

However, what I do not understand is the secular rationale for being pro-life. As an agnostic atheist, everything that I believe makes a human being unique and deserving of rights comes from the brain; in the absence of brain development, I don't see what it is that ostensibly makes the fetus fully deserving of the rights of humans. Sure, it is a potential life, but I don't view a potential life as remotely equivalent to a fully realized person, any more than I view fried eggs as being the equivalent of fried chicken.

Can anyone here briefly share the scientific, non-religious reasoning behind the secular pro-life position?

Giliell said...

So you agree that we should arrest people on the street, take a pint of their blood, take a swab of their cheeks and should they match somebody on the list for bone-marrow transplantation we arrest them again and force them to donate?
Because, you know, people are dying right now from the lack of blood/bone marrow/kidneys.
What about their right to life
Somehow those rules only apply if it's a lack of uterus.
Am, no, you don't have a right to life if that means you have to infringe on my bodily autonomy in order to keep you alive.

M said...

In a nutshell:

1) The fetus is, biologically, a human being (science).
2) We believe human beings warrant human rights (philosophy).

Are you able to see this thread?

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=310552015673605&id=109824875746321&notif_t=feed_comment

Giliell said...

You forgot #3

3) one person's rights end where those of somebody else begin, therefore still my uterus, my choice.

M said...

Also, out of curiosity, at what point in CNS development do you think a human being would warrant rights? The brain appears at 2 1/2 weeks gestation, cerebral hemispheres form at 4-5 weeks, and brain wave activity begins at 6-7 weeks. But as far as a fully-developed brain, that development continues well after birth.

http://www.ehd.org/science_main.php?level=i

M said...

Actually, you're right, there should be a 3). I explore that here: http://blog.secularprolife.org/2012/03/bodily-integrity.html

Anonymous said...

So, I read the "bodily integrity" thingy.
Which offers little new arguments I haven't heard before:
1) Women chose to have sex, therefore they must be punished. Agreeing to sex agrees to being enslaved for 9 months.
2) Hey, you're already pregnant. So you should keep it up for 7 more months.
Which is pretty ridiculous. The comparisson with the bone-marrow donation is skewed. In that scenario the donor wouldn't want to get the donation back, they'd simply refuse to keep donating.
3) Actually unwanted pregnancies are a common occurence in couples using contraception. Therefore women must be punished
Actually, what's the argument there anyway? Since when is the question whether something is morally OK determined by how often it occurs?
4) Basically the same as 3. It is actually scary that you'd think it morally permissible to enslave more people if blood and bone-marrow donations were a more pressuring issue.

DiscountDeity said...

M: Thanks for your response, sorry if this shows up as a new thread, I'm having some issues with the blog's commenting system.


"1) The fetus is, biologically, a human being (science)."

I apologize for not grasping this, but this doesn't seem like a coherent statement to me. How is this "science"? Is this based on any published research? Is this based on a hypothesis that was tested via experimentation? It sounds to me not so much like a scientific conclusion as a simplistic truism derived from basic taxonomy; more rhetoric than science, if you will.

But, OK, let's explore this. What exactly is your definition of "human being"? And please don't accuse me of being pedantic, because science, as I'm sure you're aware, is very big on precise terminology so that subtle and complicated ideas can be communicated accurately and precisely.

So do you consider a "human being" anything that is genetically part of the Homo sapiens species? If so, is a human corpse a human being? A brain dead person on life support? A human heart, lung, or kidney, after removal from the body? A sample of human semen? An unfertilized human egg?

All of these things are biologically part of our species, yet I think we can agree that they are not all deserving of equal rights.

So can you please explain what observable qualities you believe qualify something or someone as a "human being", and demonstrate that these qualities are just as present in a fetus as they are in you or I?


Since your second point follows from your first, I'll set that aside until we've sorted out the above, if that's ok with you.

Anonymous said...

At the point when they don't need another body to survive anymore.
And no, the brain doesn't appear at 2 1/2 weeks of gestation.
It's an attempt to mislead people into believing that something similar to what is commonly understood as brain were already existing.
Also, if thise tiny embryos are such important people to you, what are you doing against miscarriages?
Becase way more tiny littly embryos die from miscarriage than they do from abortion. If it were really about the embryos, you'd really do something about such a major scandal.
There were probably more than 10 million of them last year.
That's about 2 times the amount of death from cancer.
If numbers are of such importance to you, as you claim in your "bodily integrity" article, why are you arguing about abortion?

DiscountDeity said...

"Also, out of curiosity, at what point in CNS development do you think a human being would warrant rights?"


This seems to be an issue of morality or philosophy, rather than pure science. Opinions obviously vary wildly about this. Therefore I believe this question should be left to the pregnant woman, since it is her health (and perhaps life) and professional/economic status at stake. The whole point of the pro-choice position is that this is a philosophical question that everyone should be entitled to decide for themselves. Would you like it if the government forced you to behave a certain way based on an arbitrary philosophical position that did not directly affect the greater welfare?

Jenna Carodiskey-Wiebe said...

At the point of conception, a genetically unique individual is created. The genetic code is human. IMO, that is all the secular proof of the unique we need. Unlike a corpse, the blastocyst/embryo/fetus grows and develops.

Simon said...

I hate to admit it I agree with Anon the 'it has already happened' argument doesn't hold; like the violinist analogy the physical burden is on an individual not on an organ that is now removed from them.

Simon said...

Having said that Anon is wrong you aren't giving the foetus more rights, rather similar 'rights' to other moral agents; and using established moral precepts of moral responsibility and compensation that are already used in society.

It is actually similar to the violinist but instead for consented sex it is the violinist being kidnapped and attached to the individual through the casual consent of that individual. Since you have caused existential dependency you owe compensation to keep the individual alive and since the only compensation applicable is the continued use of the body it isn’t unreasonable to make that the payment. It is only in rape the this doesn’t hold.

Simon said...

As I've argued against Pro-Lifers who say no exception for rape, if we force the rape victim to override her bodily sovereignty to save a life, we should all be expected to do it by being forced to donate organs. But few take this option.

But consented sex is different. So Giliel what if -using an argument put forward by a Pro-Choice philiosopher David Boonin- YOU CAUSED an infant to need a organ transplant or they will die and you are the only match?

You could choose to let the infant die and you go to jail -or maybe even executed since you might be in Texas-or you donate the organ?

You caused the harm/dependency you owe compensation.

Simon said...

"Can anyone here briefly share the scientific, non-religious reasoning behind the secular pro-life position?"

MORAL CONSISTENCY, we give full moral rights to non brain dead Homo Sapiens (NBD HS) so we should for most prenatal (NBD HS) who aren’t created through rape.

The act of creation is on par with kidnapping another moral agent and putting them in a state of dependency.

Whether the kidnap victim is put in your home or in your body you are still morally responsible for their welfare.

BTW as the recent furore over post birth abortions it is quite evident we don’t in fact just give full moral rights to human persons.

Simon said...

Why are you seeking that individuals should avoid responsibility for causing existential dependency through sex but not in other areas?

If you caused a infant to need an organ transplant because you stored toxic waste in their home and you were the only one who was the match; are you saying you shouldn't be punished? But hey you didnt intend for that to happen so you aren't responsible.

Or that you would rather the child die than give up the organ that will save its life from the disease you caused.

Simon said...

DiscountDeity leading Pro-Choice philosophers like Peter Singer and David Boonin don't seriously question that they are members of the species Homo Sapiens, standard embryology texts take this stance.

The real question is what is our ontology(basic nature) and how that connects to full moral worth.

Pro-Choice philosophers think personhood is what counts while in general most Pro-Life philosophers think being a generally healthy member of the species Homo Sapiens is enough.

Both are flawed IMO but that another argument.

Simon said...

DiscountDeity have a google for the Post birth abortion paper and tell me "Would you like it if the government forced you to behave a certain way based on an arbitrary philosophical position that did not directly affect the greater welfare?" if that went ahead.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

The 'bodily autonomy' feminist construct is the biggest crock ever...

The Myth of "Bodily Autonomy"

It is not uncommon for adherents of the pro-choice platform to claim that anti-abortion laws force women to give birth, and thus violate their bodily autonomy. Some even go so far as to claim such violations of bodily autonomy are equivalent to slavery, just as slavery in the antebellum South violated the bodily autonomy of those so enslaved. However, such claims are specious, as they rest upon an absurd notion of "bodily autonomy."

The notion of "bodily autonomy" conveys the idea of having the right to do whatever one wants with one's own body. As a consequence, no one has the right to impose conditions upon what a person can or cannot do with one's own body. There is a certain extent to which this idea is correct. Inasmuch as man is endowed with inalienable rights to life and liberty, there is a certain extent to which the autonomy of the individual is to be honored by others.

However, such autonomy is not absolute, as there are definite moral restrictions upon what a person may and may not do with his or her own body. Consider an example where one man uses his body to kill another man. God's moral law, as well as the laws of human societies, prohibit the use of one's body for the purposes of unjustifiably killing another human being. Thus, no human being possesses absolute bodily autonomy. Even more so, whatever autonomy a human being does possess is not inherent, but endowed by God. Thus, it is absurd to chafe at a certain moral regulation (such as the prohibition of murder) as a restriction of one's "autonomy," when it is the same God that made the moral proscription who has also given man his basic human rights in the first place.

In the end analysis, absolute bodily autonomy is equivalent to anarchy - the absence of laws. Inasmuch as there is a law that restricts people from doing things like stealing, assaulting, and murdering, then people in that society do not have absolute "bodily autonomy," since there are things that they can physically do with their bodies that are prohibited by law. If a law that "strips a woman of bodily autonomy" (in the absolute sense, as is generally intended in pro-choice rhetoric) is equivalent to slavery, then anything short of anarchy is equivalent to slavery. Laws prohibiting theft are "slavery." Laws prohibiting murder are "slavery."

A law that prohibits abortion is simply a law that prohibits murder. An act of murdering an unborn human being is no different in its moral essence than the act of murdering one's spouse. A law prohibiting a woman from hiring a doctor to unjustifiably kill her unborn child is no different, in essence, from a law prohibiting a woman from hiring a hit man to murder her husband. If laws of the former kind rob her of "bodily autonomy," then so do laws of the latter kind.

Not to mention an unborn child is an autonomous being all on its own, which makes your 'organ donation' 70s strawman rhetoric self refuting. Thanks for playing.

secularprolife.org said...

This is Secular Pro-Life, so anything based on God is not going to be persuasive. That said, you're 100% correct that bodily autonomy is not absolute, and you cannot deliberately harm others in the name of bodily autonomy.

Anonymous said...

I think i understand what Anonymous 10:54 is trying to say. If a woman is dumb enough to get pregnant, then she has to face the consequences of bringing human life into this world. She has no rights, she gave them up when she opened her legs.

Simon said...

Thinking about it we can still full moral rights to a rape foetus but unless we force everyone to abrogate bodily autonomy to save a life, those full moral rights are trumped by bodily autonomy when no moral responsibility is involved.

Anonymous said...

You didn't take the argument to its logical conclusion so i'll do it for you:

Therefore, women's bodies, when pregnant, are no longer autonomous individuals, but vessels for the delivery of human life and must be regulated by the state to insure that the life is brought to this world regardless of what the woman wants. Her rights/safety do not -- I can't keep up with this BS argument. You people are terrible for wanting to force people to do things against their will. Clearly this country will be much better off with an increase in unwanted children who may or may not die as a result of neglect, starvation, deprivation etc. Nothing says "respect for life" more than a family of 7 that can't feed itself properly.

M said...

"Both are flawed IMO but that another argument."

Simon, I'd be interested to hear more of your view.

M said...

Simon:

The definition of "human being" is a living organism of the species Homo Sapiens. A human heart or kidney is an organ: part of an organism, but not an organism. Sperm and oocytes are similarly the gametes of an organism, but are not organisms. The biological beginning of a Homo Sapien organism is the zygote. That's all I mean by that.

Anonymous said...

If abortion is homicide, miscarriages are like death by natural disaster. You may as well say "If you really care about human life, how will you stop tsunamis?" It doesn't make sense to suggest we are insincere unless we can stop something over which we have no influence.

M said...

When men are legally required to pay child support, is it because we want to punish men for having sex? Or is it because we want the children supported?

https://sites.google.com/site/prolife0207/thechildsupportissue

Simon said...

I've made exactly the same point if you abrogate a males stake in his offspring you can hardly then in all fairness enforce financial responsibility.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

Exactly the point, Secular. I presume atheists respect moral agency. I also think athiests might have a different take to offer the prolife movement, since you don't believe in an afterlife, this being our one and only shot, would make it even more inmperative to protect life.

Anonymous coward: be a big girl and take control of your own fertility and don't get pregnant then. Grow up. Pregnancy is not a disease, and women aren't victims. Try some real empowerment for a change and think for yourself instead of regurgitating the same old strawmen we've heard for the last 40 years.

Simon said...

From what I understand most miscarriages are because the life isn't viable anyway. Is it always moral to extend the life of a human that will soon die anyway or rather concentrate on those who will then go on to have some future?

Simon said...

Would you like to chat about this in more length, its a bit hard to convey in this format?

M said...

I'd love to, but in what venue?

Anonymous said...

I suppose this dystopian scenario explains why, before Roe v. Wade, Americans all came from huge, starving families. Oh wait.

Anonymous said...

Simon
That's more than lame.
The world grants financial compensation, not right to access the body. Even if I took the violinist's kidneys out and ate them, nobody would grant him mine in return.
Also, when I consent to sex, the entity actually isn't existing yet.
Oh, also, how long do I owe this? How much damage to my body do I owe the fetus? And how about the second part of this whole thing who had sex.
My husband passed on kidney abnormalties, do you think that he should be legally obliged to give up his kidneys in case his kids needed them?
After all, he didn't only consent to have sex, he actually consented to having kids knowing this. He purposfully created a life that might suffer as a result.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, where does this actually happen?
Where on earth are you forced to donate an organ.
As mentioned above, what if the reason is genetic and your fault since you are the parent? That is much more similar to pregnancy than a traffic accident scenario.
So, let's see:
I caused a traffic accident which leaves somebody injured.
First, I'm going to face court anyway because I commited a crime anyway.
So, your best analogy to sex is a crime. Speaks volumes already.
Depending on whether I now chose to save that person or let them die, my sentence will differ.
I will either be sentenced for causing severe bodily harm and that is your equivalent of a pregnancy that is carried to term and manslaughter. My crime in both cases would not be that I refused to donate but that I caused a heavy traffic accident.
In both cases sex equals crime and pregnancy equals punishment.
Yes, but you totlally are not anti-woman and totall not misogynists.

Anonymous said...

Simon
Since the fetus didn't rape the woman, and you consider abortion murder, why is it justified then?
Why is it suddenly permissible to murder an innocent life? Because she had no say in its creation? The result is the same.
How can consent to sex establish a deed towards a nonexistent entity?

Oh, and thanx for demonstrating that you know shit about miscarriages
Anonymous
And thank you that you think that people shouldn't invest in good infrastructure that provides protection against earthquakes and tsunamis.
It's like saying that all those people who died during Katrina because of shitty infrastructure and more than bad emergency management don't matter because it was a natural disaster.
Yeah, that's your care for human beings. If you can't punish women alongside for having sex it doesn't matter much.

Anonymous said...

M
Oh that old strawmen...
Non-custodial parents have to pay child support. That's true for women as much as men, so your argument doesn't hold water.

Simon
See above: The crime is storing toxic waste, not denial of bodily resources.
Also, do you think that women should be held criminally accountable for dmamage they caused to the fetus during pregnancy because they smoked, drank, handled a dangerous toxin?
Should a woman who has a traffic accident and consequently suffers a miscarriage be punished like a woman who runs over a 6 year old?

Considering child support: That's when there's an actual child, you know. Also, are you campaigning for men to compensate women financially for pregnancy, since they knew they were engaging in sex that would burden her and endanger her and make them pay 50% of all costs related to pregnancy?
If not, you're just happy that you found a way to punish women.

Anonymous said...

I see that you actually either don't understand what "bodily autonomy" means, or that you are just dishonestly strawmanning

M said...

You didn't answer the question. If you believe non-custodial parents should have to pay child support, does it infer you want to punish non-custodial parents for having sex?

Anonymous said...

Uh-huh. I say "I don't have the power to stop tsunamis" and you hear "people who die from tsunamis don't matter."

If you're more interested in twisting everything into the implausible, worst-possible interpretations, there's not much point in conversing, is there? I'll wait to see how you interpret my exit as proof that I like to kick puppies or something. *shakes head*

Anonymous said...

Shorter you: sluts, keep your legs shut.
But, of course, this is totally not about controlling women and punishing them for having a sex-life, nono.

Cupcake, I actually do. It's called contraception.
Used it, dedided to have kids, stopped using it. Got pregnant, endured pregnancy with all its usual consequences because I gave the embryo/fetus permission to use my body, just like I gave people at the plasma centre permission to stick a needle into my arm. Those years probably saved way more lives than I ever created with my body.
And an abortion actually is taking responsibility.
Pretty responsible not to bring unwanted unloved children into this world.
Oh, different anonymous here.

Anonymous said...

The other anonymous
Na, you didn't take it to the logical conclusion.
From now on, every miscarriage needs to be investigated by the police the same way they would investigate if your husband dropped dead in a bloody mess.
If found out that the miscarriage is due to a medical condition of the woman (thyroid problems, other hormonal problems) she will be charged with medical neglect just like she'd be charged if she let her toddler die from the flu.
And since that means that women would probably hide pregnancies from authorities (given that she has a 20-25% chance of suffering a miscarriage, who'd risk that? Better wair until the first trimester is over), you have to make sure that they get compulsory pregnancy tests every month.

Simon said...

Skype or ym is gud 4 me Kelsey has my email. Given the number of trolls here I'm reluctant to post it.

Simon said...

No Troll this doesn't happen anywhere its a thought experiment. Dur!

& no as I see it having sex isn't the crime, nor getting pregnant. It depends on the analogy. One could say that in fact creating the life isn't a harm, but yet a dependency has been created. It then depends on what you do and the death is the crime.

BTW David Boonin's argument tries to track closely between bodily use, harm and dependency but I'll bite a bullet. If through negligence say you are a drunk driver and you crash into me and I lose an organ and will die unless you are forced to give me yours then I think that is justified as your compensation to me.

Precedent and circumstances mean this doesn’t eventuate; but present situation and lack of precedent doesn’t invalidate the underlying moral principle.

Simon said...

Looks like you cannot understand the analogy, the point of the toxic waste was to show it was an indirect causal event that lead to the harm, he didnt intend to give the kid a disease. Next Boonin points out even when we cause indirect harm we are morally responsible and can owe compensation. It might not have precedent but the underlying principle is still there.

Simon said...

Nxt Ano Troll yes I think a woman should be held accountable for such damage and there are in fact laws to that effect in some countries. & yes if she has a accident through negligent driving she should be punished as others in fact are by child destruction laws in my state.

No I advocate cancelation of all direct child support for everyone male and female because sicne you have cancelled the male’s stake in his offspring you have effectively cancelled his moral responsibility for said action. Moral parity would demand no say no pay.

& since I don’t want to see single mothers disadvantaged I argue the state should pick up the tab.

Simon said...

Ano Troll, lame? Really? Shows how much of a lightweight you are. This argument is by a Pro-Choice philosopher well respected not only by those that disagree with him but also professional Pro-Choice philosophers. I suppose since you have nothing solid to contribute, being lame is the best you can do. Precedent and what currently goes on for law says nothing about underlying moral principles. Just think of slavery.

BTW if your husband innocently passed on abnormalities he wouldn’t be blamed, reasonable foreknowledge is an important component of moral responsibility. On the other hand a couple who knew they had a big chance of passing on a serious genetic disease esp one that causes large suffering yes I would hold them both morally responsible; and there are many arguments being made that this should be so. So yes in this case i would force him to give up a kidney.

Simon said...

Ano Troll thanks for demonstrating you are such a douche. Even a quick search shows that chromosomal abnormalities make up over half of 1st trimester miscarriages which make up most of all miscarriages.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's because unlike tsunamis, miscarriages are something that can be prevented in many cases. Yet the millions that are still happening don't seem to bother you or you'd work your ass off campaigning for adequate funds for research and medical care for women.
Yet again, your comparrisons fail

Anonymous said...

Simon
I understand the analogy very well, it just doesn't hold up.
Because in none of those cases, although i might owe compensation and may be criminally accountable, in no case I do owe body parts.
And it still stands that in any of those analogies you compare sex to a crime and pregnancy to bodily harm caused.

Oh, nice that you call me a troll for not agreeing with you

Anonymous said...

"Nxt Ano Troll yes I think a woman should be held accountable for such damage and there are in fact laws to that effect in some countries."
So, since women can do so before they even know they're pregnant, do you also support to ban women at reproductive age from drinking, smoking, working with chemicals and engaging in dangerous sports?
Or should they simply be punished hard?
Do you also support the ban of contraception that prevents implantation?
What do you think to be an adequate punishment?
Some 10 years in prison for manslaughter?
Death penalty in case of abortion?

Simon said...

Ano No it’s the smart arse rude attitude that marks you as a troll. People can strongly disagree without being a smart arse. BTW I’m contrarian to both sides so disagree with both on different matters but I don’t have to be a jerk about it. Give respect and you’ll get it here.

Oh and if you understood the analogy why raise the point about the toxic waste and just go straight to bodily sovereignty rules supreme? & sure you can say as foundational stance that bodily sovereignty is a fundamental moral precept and you don’t owe organs etc but I see no reason why that undermines being punished or owing compensation in other ways.

In fact since there are grounds for the parents of wanted offspring suing a party for civil damages for killing said offspring why shouldn’t the father sue the mother who had the abortion?

Simon said...

AnonWhat do you think to be an adequate punishment?

Now that’s an interesting proposal and something worth consideration. I have already heard of papers discussing this and imagine it could be considered a form of assault. It would then depend on the disease and other similar cases. So rather than give you an uniformed answer now I would have to research precedents and established punishments.

But in principle yes, just as I think it is assault for a parent to smoke around a infant I consider it the same for prenatals.

Simon said...

Hmm I don't support the death penalty & i suppose one could argue the same punishment as in child destruction laws.

But on the hand I suppose you would want a serious punishment for infanticide so why not the same here, one could argue they are both prolicide?

& Anon what did you think of the Post Birth Abortion paper?

Anonymous said...

Simon
Well, since I consider pro-life plans to be assault on me I feel perfectly justified in being smartass.
Why should I respect people who consider me, a grown adult woman, with a life and a family to be less worthy than an embryo with no brain, consciousness, capacity to feel, think or experience?

So, OK, you think that women should be punished for perfectly normal things adults engage in because they might be pregnant. That's pretty much limiting the freedom of women, don't you think?

What do I think of the Post Birth Abortion paper?
It's crap and I don't need to discuss it.
Since the newborn doesn't rely on my bodily functions to survive, the question of my bodily autonomy doesn't arise.

"but I see no reason why that undermines being punished or owing compensation in other ways."
So, you actually do think that pregnancy is an adequate punishment for women having sex. Because that's what it always boils down to.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Simon
What's so hard to understand about somebody doing something to my body without my consent and me doing something to my body (or having somebody else do it with my consent)?
Which is exactly the difference between somebody aborting the embryo/fetus without my consent and somebody doing it with my consent.
Which makes the question about the father also obsolete.
If he wants it, he can have it. Now he just needs to attach it to his system...

M said...

I'll talk to Kelsey.

DiscountDeity said...

M: "A human heart or kidney is an organ: part of an organism, but not an organism. Sperm and oocytes are similarly the gametes of an organism, but are not organisms. The biological beginning of a Homo Sapien organism is the zygote."


OK. So what makes an incomplete part of an organism (an organ) less important or less deserving of rights than a still-in-development organism (a zygote)?

What makes sperm and ova individually less deserving of the rights you apparently believe they should enjoy mere moments after they combine?


You seem to be drawing an apparently arbitrary line between "deserves rights" and "doesn't deserve rights".

As a secular humanist, all of the qualities that I believe make a human being uniquely deserving of rights (sentience, consciousness, etc) seem to be absent in the zygote. The zygote strikes me as more comparable to the organs or the gametes than to you or I, when evaluated by the qualities I mentioned above.

So I'm curious by what qualities you judge the opposite to be true, and why you have decided that these qualities should be the deciding factor in who deserves human rights.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

Shorter you: run to the slutshaming card because you have no actual refutation. Your medal for heroism for not killing your own children is in the mail. Must inspire all kinds of confidence in them knowing they're only here because you gave them 'permission' to live. And yeah, having them dismembered in utero is totally more responsible than not murdering them-after all, it's not like adoption is available or anything. Abortion has totally solved the problems of poverty and unwantedness in the 40 years its been legal. Right? How heartwarming you reduce your children's existence to the level of plasma donation. According to you, they probably won't amount to more than a liter of plasma anyway, so they'd have been better off killed by you. Stay classy.

Anonymous said...

You actually amuse me.
So, you mean that the people who didn't die because plasma was avaible are less important, their lives are nothing? Plasma donation, blood donation, being registered as bone marrow donor are things where I agree to have my body used in order to help, sustain and save other people. It can only be done with my consent. No matter how urgently they need those things, it is still my decision. Pregnancy is no different from that.

Well, yes, I actually consider it a gift that my children will know that they are in this world because I chose to have them and wanted them and not because I was forced to carry them against my will and they ruined my life alongside.

Oh, and, you know, adoptions can only take place after birth. Before that they have to be sustained by the mother, which requires her consent.
Consent to sex doesn't equal consent to pregnancy. Never did.

M said...

DiscountDeity:

A zygote is an organisms still-in-development, yes, but so is a later-term fetus, a newborn, a toddler, etc. We already believe human organisms in other stages of human development warrant protection. To me, the question is: what makes the zygote/embryo/fetus less deserving of the rights we apparently believe other still-in-development human organisms merit?

This is something I ruminate on a lot, actually. http://blog.secularprolife.org/2011/11/no-matter-how-small.html

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

So, you'd donate bone marrow to a total stranger but have your own kids whacked in utero. Thanks for clearing that up. I pity their siblings that didn't make the final cut, and them for being the recipients of conditional love. If mommy hadn't wanted you, it would have been down the old vacuum tube for you, kid. Like I said, stay classy.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

DiscountDeity I don't think you would have trouble seeing why constituent parts of a person aren't given rights simply they are parts, and apart from the brain wouldn't need explanation. Same goes for those that see healthy Homo Sapiens as our nature.

BTW what qualities gives sentience, & consciousness, full moral rights when other animals have these as well?

Simon said...

Anon It’s understandable when you see people with a position you think unreasonable that one can get upset, but I know that even intelligent morally sincere people can have such views due to social and cognitive biases. The take away point is since other people have it there no reason not to think the everyone is the same, so being a douche bag doesn’t help.

At the very least one should know what one is talking about and understanding the underlying philosophy of your position, but by your comments you clearly don’t. Your dismissal without reason of the Post Abortion paper and thinking David Boon’s Toxic waste analogy shows you don’t. You respond with rhetoric and derision with no substantive philosophical counters.

When you do respond you lack understanding of the philosophy, for instance the Post Birth Abortion paper clearly points out that its isn’t just about bodily autonomy but also how we derive full moral worth and since a large part of the abortion justification depends of the moral worth of a ‘person’, they rightly point out that a newborn isn’t person. Even commentary on RvW points out that if the personhood of the foetus was established the judgment would be overturned. If you cannot understand that or refuse to you are a waste of time as that is point is quite obvious to people who have an understanding of the argument. If you disagree counter with relevant points.

Pantheroom said...

Haha MoronicProchoiceQuotes-- superb response. Thank you for hitting every nail on the head right there.

The implications being made are that living with the knowledge that your mother wanted to kill you is *worse* than being killed.

The assertions are that if the mother doesn't want you, no one does and you are an "unwanted child"-- oh, and it's better to be killed than be unwanted (gotta hope these people aren't giving any motivation talks to suicidal teens).

Is this the part where we get back to "bodily integrity"? So we can stop parading around as righteous, as if abortions are "responsible" and "the right thing" for that human being you are *killing*? Any argument that isn't based in bodily integrity and grants that the human being is a life-- but abortion is best-- just seems like a superfluous attempt to paint oneself as honorable. I fail to see how it's ok to make the assumption that that person's life will suck SO bad that it's ok for anyone but that person to make the decision to end it. Let's stick to bodily integrity.

Simon said...

Ano So the act of having sex means you are immune to punishment or moral responsibility? Say a partner who knows they has HIV has sex thats ok no punishment because sex is normal?

Secondly if you haven't noticed bodily sovereignty doesn't mean we can do what we like with our bodies so one could see this as just an extension of this. Especially when it is consistent that we are responsible for harm & compensation to other moral entities.



Say a woman kidnapped a premie baby and was able to insert it in her body, does the fact it is now in her body mean if she changes her mind and now wants to abort it she is able to do so?

So no it doesnt boil down to just punishing women for having sex. That is such a simplistic and superficial argument with no acknowledgement of the complex competing interests and perspectives in the debate that is shows a lack of understanding on your part. You are here for rhetoric not reasoned debate.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know what, they'd never have known.
Had I aborted them, there'd have been no brain, mind CNS to realize what was happening or even that something was happening.
Every chicken I've ever eaten was more self aware and sentient.
That's the difference: The total stranger who'd get my bone marrow would be a person with a life, mind, feelings, sentience.
Do nating the bone marrow would be something I could do with really little hassle and virtually no risk to myself.
Sounds like a great deal all around.
But it is really interesting to see how you denigrate those actions and choices. Seems like human life doesn't matter that much to you after all.

Anonymous said...

Pantheroom
My argument is based in bodily autonomy.
That my kids are the product of a choice I made (and yes, that choice can be made just as well when you find out your contraception has failed) is merely a bonus.
BTW, I actually doknow people who say they wished they'd been aborted when they were still a senseless embryo. They don't have the wish to kill themselves now that they have sentience and consciousness, but they think it would have been better for all people involved had they stopped existing at week 10

Pantheroom said...

So because some say they wish they were aborted, it's ok to assume everyone that is aborted would probably want that? Hmm. K.

"And an abortion actually is taking responsibility. Pretty responsible not to bring unwanted unloved children into this world."
Oh, how noble. Wait, I thought you said you were sticking to bodily integrity?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Simon, it must be wonderfull to be able to discuss things that would have very far-reaching consequences for other peoples' lives just "philosophically".
How about white people philosophically discussing race issues? Germany philosophically contemplating the Holocaust?
You know, when people get angry at you, it might not be because they're just "emotional" or "irrational" or "not philosophically versed enough".
It might be that they have a very good reason to be angry.
You have so far voiced your support for meassures that would severely restrict women in all aspects of their lives because they would always be with one foot in prison if they were sexually active and engaging in behaviours that, although they're harmless for adult women (like cuddling a cat, for example) could damage or kill an embryo or a fetus.
And you actually think that it is a philosophical debate?
I can dismiss the "post birth abortion paper" because it simply ignores the issue I think to be at the basis, the right to bodily autonomy and integrity. An infant doesn't infringe on my bodily autonomy, it is an autonomous body and therefore the argument doesn't apply.
I don't need to deal with the "moral worth" argument and their shoddy biology because I think that they're strating from a false premise.
I don't need to argue the point of other people who think that the the abotion debate revolves around personhood, just like you don't need to argue that the debate revolves around god's commandmends.

Anonymous said...

Continued...
"So the act of having sex means you are immune to punishment or moral responsibility? Say a partner who knows they has HIV has sex thats ok no punishment because sex is normal?"
Did you know that every time you make such a nonsense-comparrison a puppy is kicked.
Seriously, you either really don't understand what bodily autonomy is about or you're just very dishonest.
In the case the criminal act is to infect somebody knowingly and willingly with a deadly disease. Sex is just a pretty irrelevant detail. It is wrong because it hurts another independent human being without their consent.
So far you were not able to make any analogy in which you did not equate sex with a crime and pregnancy with adequate punishment (only for women, of course).

"Say a woman kidnapped a premie baby and was able to insert it in her body, does the fact it is now in her body mean if she changes her mind and now wants to abort it she is able to do so?"
Say that this also happened on the moon so we don't have to worry about gravity much.
Seriously, that's the best you can come up with?
So, let's play pretend.
So, there's this preemie, born at 32 weeks. Preemie is in NICU. Preemie gets breathing aid and is fed via a tube. For some magical reason, this woman is able to do what nobody else is able to do and hooks it up to her uterus with a magical placenta and a magical umbical cord.
Now, let's see, whom is she doing that to? To a baby who, before the magic happened, was able to live without being dependend on another person's metabolism and body. An independent being who now enjoys bodily integrity and autonomy.
Which our magical woman violated. Which means that we're talking about an assault and kidnapping of a baby.
See, that was easy!
If she now choses to kick it out again she's free to do so. Let's induce birth or carry out a C-section. She probably has a zipper there anyway.

"So no it doesnt boil down to just punishing women for having sex."
Well, in actual consequences it does.

"That is such a simplistic and superficial argument with no acknowledgement of the complex competing interests and perspectives in the debate that is shows a lack of understanding on your part. "
Says the one who can't come up with an analogy in which sex isn't a crime..
But, yeah, technically speaking the fetus has an interest in survival, like every living thing does. I still crush mosquitos and eat lettuce.
But for the matter of argument let's stay with the person needing bone-marrow aka our fetus. To survive he needs much less than a fetus does. Just a bit of my time and a simple, virtually risk-free medical procedure. He has a deep interest in survival. He can think, feel, experience, laugh, feel pleasure and pain.
Still I can deny this person his future. I can be the only matching donor and I can refuse this. He will die painfully and slowly.
Now, the fetus "wants" much more from me. I am the only matching donor. If I refuse the fetus dies a quick, painless death it doesn't even notice because there's no consciousness (and no, please don't bring up the healthy fetus aborted 5 minutes before birth, it's such an old canard).

Anonymous said...

Pantheroom
Well, what if you could ask the embryo/fetus directly?
Oh, wait, you can't.
They don't "want" anything because they don't have the capacity for that.
And yes, I think it's responsible not to bring unwanted whildren into ths world.
That's a tangent argument about why I actually find abortion to be a good thing. It doesn't touch the question why it should be legal. That is about bodily autonomy.
Just like the arguement why gay people should be allowed to adopt doesn't lie with the problem of many children being stuck in the system. It's about human rights. The fact that many children who are curently without hope would find a loving home is a beneficial side-effect. The argument still holds true in societies where adoptions mean that you're on a waiting list for several years.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

Not denigrating bone marrow donation at all-I'm denigrating you for being more willing to save a stranger than your own children. Get well soon.

DiscountDeity said...

M: "To me, the question is: what makes the zygote/embryo/fetus less deserving of the rights we apparently believe other still-in-development human organisms merit?"

In your blog post, you muse on the fact that most of the arguments against fetal personhood also apply to other people (infants, coma patients, etc).

What you overlook is that infants (who have been born) and coma patients do not exist inside of the body of another person, nor do they pose any sort of health or life risk to any other person.

The point of abortion is that the issue exists at the intersection of debateable personhood AND the bodily integrity of another, (usually) unwilling person. That is the element that is missing from your comparisons.

If a coma patient were connected, not to a life-support machine, but, say, you, draining blood and nutrients out of your body, causing discomfort and posing a risk to your health, I would prioritize your needs and your desires above those of the person in the coma. But we instead have technology that avoids placing you at such risk.

Similarly, if there was a way to painlessly and safely transfer a fetus from an unwillingly pregnant woman to some sort of artifical uterus, I would see no need for abortion. The point of abortion isn't to kill the fetus; it's to preserve the woman's desire, or medical need, to not be pregnant. To leave that factor out of any consideration of the fetus strikes me as incomplete, and, actually, quite disrespectful.

Note that while I have named the qualities that I believe confer personhood and the accompanying rights, you have not; rather, you have mused on the apparent holes you see in the usual arguments (when taken separately), without arguing in favor of any specific positive standards.

So my question to you is, in the absence of any specific, scientifically testable, quantifiable measure of exactly what gives the fetus the same (or greater) rights than the owner of the uterus, on what basis do you see fit to propose the issue be legislated?

That is, since the issue seems fairly complex and unknowable, and often seems to boil down to emotions, personal values, and philosophy, why should yours matter more than the person whose health and future are at stake?

I think I understand your position, and you're entitled to it, and I encourage you to act on it when YOU get pregnant. But you have given me no reason to accept that your personal position should be elevated to law, which is the crux of the pro-life movement.

Pantheroom said...

A tangent that is faux-righteous. "So we can stop parading around as righteous, as if abortions are "responsible" and "the right thing" for that human being you are *killing*? Any argument that isn't based in bodily integrity and grants that the human being is a life-- but abortion is best-- just seems like a superfluous attempt to paint oneself as honorable. I fail to see how it's ok to make the assumption that that person's life will suck SO bad that it's ok for anyone but that person to make the decision to end it."

Killing a fetus because it's impossible to ask them if they want to live is as logical as killing an infant because it's impossible to ask them if they want to live. Neither fetus nor infant could tell you that, and again I fail to see how that is relevant. Either way, as you admit, you have to make an assumption-- and as it's not *your life* it's really not your place.

And that doesn't even include the tangent factor that newborns are desperately *wanted* by adoptive parents. The whole, "I wouldn't want to bring an unwanted baby into the world" is just patently false.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

LOL! 'The point of abortion isn't to kill the fetus'.

'The point of the electric chair isn't to kill the prisoner, but to preserve the law'.

'The point of the concentration camps was not to exterminate the Jews but to protect the purity of the master race'.

What kind of disconnect does it take to buy the above statements? The prochoice kind.

This blog is a goldmine of moronic quotes. Expect to see the above gem highlighted soon.

Eric said...

Anonymous is a very angry person, and fails to understand the arguments presented.

Furthermore, the ad hominem attacks are really unnecessary, Anonymous. Disagree with the ideas presented, don't throw out outrageous assertions that everybody here believes in slavery of women, or has no experience with birth or miscarriage, or anything else.

You're failing to be effective not because you have no good points, but because you're angry, judgmental and vindictive.

Simon said...
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Simon said...

On a point of housekeeping cowards like this Anon shouldn't be able to hide, I suggest all future anon comments be deleted or ignored.

Regarding this Anon it must be so good to have such a narrow minded stance,ignoring all other relevant philosophical conerns and thinking that ranting 'my body my choice nothing else matters' is an argument.

Since she isn't willing or capable of reasoned debate, nor civil discourse. She is clearly a TROLL and a Dunning–Kruger sufferer-imcompetent and doesnt know it.

Don't Feed Trolls

Simon said...

DiscountDeity Again could you comment on the Post Birth Abortion Paper to see where your argument is lacking.

You mentioned sentience and consciousness but that they don’t confer moral worth in the way you think.

So one would then ask why you give full moral worth to babies when they don’t have personhood moral worth?

Just being outside a body means nothing, nor are we required to give people things we possess just because they want them.

Simply put since you include these non person human entities, to be consistent you should most healthy pre-natals as well. Bodily sovereignty isn’t treated as sacrosanct in society and the underlying principles which are used of moral responsibility and compensation could be in principle applied here.

If you don’t have moral consistency you don’t have a moral system, only arbitrary in group preferences.

Simon said...

DiscountDeity A question I'd really like to know -since you seem to have considered some of the arguments- is, relating to the Violinist argument:

If YOU through a action directly linked to your choice caused the violinist to be attached to you could you then use bodily autonomy arguments to disconnect him and he dies?

Would that matter if it was a non person orphan infant?

DiscountDeity said...

Eric & Simon: Is there a reason you have condemned Anonymous' ad hominem comments and not those of MoronicProChoiceQuotes?

DiscountDeity said...

Simon: The post birth abortion paper strikes me as little more than a short-sighted strawman. It ignores the issue that a baby that has been born is no longer occupying a woman's body, and no longer poses any risk to her health, life, or livelihood.

As I noted earlier, it is the unique intersection of these issues that informs the traditional pro-choice position. If you ignore the issue of how pregnancy affects the mother, you are, essentially, doing exactly what pro-choicers accuse you of: ignoring the rights and needs of the woman.


"Just being outside a body means nothing"

Actually, it means at least one specific and significant thing: that the health and welfare of another human being are no longer being weighed against those of the fetus (or baby, or coma patient, or whatever). To ignore this is to ignore one of the central issues.


"Bodily sovereignty isn’t treated as sacrosanct in society"

When "bodily sovereignty" is defined broadly enough, no, of course not. But how about this: can you name to me any other scenario in which a fully developed adult human, fully capable of communicating their needs and desires, would be required, by law, to place at risk their health, and potentially their life, for the benefit of an entity whose sentience and personhood are open to philosophical debate? I, as of yet, can not.

"If YOU through a action directly linked to your choice caused the violinist to be attached to you could you then use bodily autonomy arguments to disconnect him and he dies?"

"Action directly linked to your choice" is a very vague way to frame this situation, Simon. That can be interpreted any number of ways.

If I assaulted someone willfully and with malice, then it would seem just, to me, for me to be required to sustain his life.

On the other hand, if I'm playing frisbee with some friends in the park, and one of my throws strikes someone in the head and injures them seriously (it's a frisbee made of stone, apparently), it would strike me as very unjust for the law to require me to sustain that person's life at the expense of my own. It may or may not be the MORAL choice for me to make, but I see no justification in having that choice FORCED upon me, even though the injury is undoubtedly a consequence of my recreational activities.

Now since I've responded to YOUR hypothetical, Simon, perhaps you'd be so kind as to address one of mine:

You meet a talking dog. I know, absurd, but we're dealing with hypotheticals: Come, let's reason together.

You meet a talking dog. He is intelligent, charming, capable of humor and creativity, and holds his own political and moral beliefs.

Does this dog deserve the same rights as you or I?

He's clearly not biologically human. He may or may not have a soul, but this, of course, is designed to be a site for secular discussions, so let's leave the spiritual out of this.

Does this talking dog deserve the same "human" rights you and I enjoy? Why or why not? If yes, what qualities do you believe entitle him to these rights? And are these qualities present in, say, a first trimester fetus?

DiscountDeity said...

MoronicProChoiceQuotes: "LOL! 'The point of abortion isn't to kill the fetus'."


Do you believe that women who seek abortions would still choose to abort a fetus if there were a way for them to choose not to be pregnant while still preserving the fetus' life?

If you do, your idea of pro-choicers is unlike any I have ever actually met.

MoronicProchoiceQuotes said...

There already is a way to preserve the unborn baby's life without having to mother it-it's called adoption, and proaborts studiously avoid the mere mention of it. Proaborts don't give a damn about preserving the life of their unborn children-otherwise they wouldn't abort them. You answer this question yourselves everytime you strip the humanity from the unborn by reducing them to 'clumps of cells' and 'pregnancy tissue' and so on.

If you're genuinely interested in seeing this for yourself, take a leisurely stroll through my blog sometime, and see what proaborts really have to say. You'll find zero caring for the lives they toss away like property. Playing dumb and acting like abortion is some unfortunate, inevitable side effect of womanhood is disingenuous at best.

Simon said...

DD I'm on night sift so will be delayed in replying in detail. I havent 't read all MoronicProChoiceQuotes's posts and you seem quite civil and sincere so I would be concerned if ad homs were going your way. I'd have to see the posts to comment more.

Simon said...

DiscountDeity
Simon: The post birth abortion paper strikes me as little more than a short-sighted strawman. .....

DD the paper was written somewhat leaving out many associated arguments; the authors seem to have assumed some familiarization with the standard philosophical arguments on this and related subjects. If you are granting full moral rights it’s done on the nature/capacities of the entity not the relational or spatial location for obvious reasons. If you state the baby is separate from the mother, that says nothing of reasons why it cannot be killed. That was my point. Nor does just being sentient do the job. Think of a kitten, do we give it full moral rights because its isn’t attached to a woman?

'where would', a fully developed adult human, ...would be required, by law, to place at risk their health, and potentially their life....?

Pregnancy ‘suffers’ that it is a unique situation and one must rely on distilling the underlying more principles to see if they are being applied correctly in this unique situation. BTW just because there is no precedent that doesn’t mean a new precedent cannot be set. Yes there is a general moral principle associated with bodily autonomy in that we aren’t required to risk our life or use or body against our will. But as even at least one Pro-choice philosopher David Boonin points out in principle we could apply harm moral responsibility and compensation considerations to the body as we do in non pregnancy cases through his toxic waste analogy.

& even if we do say bodily sovereignty trumps other situations, that in itself doesn’t exclude punishments for acting on it in situations where you are in fact morally responsible for harms to other entities given full moral rights.

Simon said...

DD Action directly linked to your choice" ...If I assaulted someone willfully and with malice, then it would seem just, to me, for me to be required to sustain his life.

Is malice and intent required for moral responsibility & punishment? We don’t expect that in all situations, only that the individual knew they could strongly casually cause the harm. Nor is this true if they didn’t intend or was due indirectly to the act intended. Speeding is a good example of this. If I took safety precautions and didn’t intend anyone to get hurt –no malice- do I avoid punishment for harming someone?

if I'm playing frisbee with some friends in the park, and one of my throws strikes someone in the head and injures them seriously (it's a frisbee made of stone, apparently), it would strike me as very unjust for the law to require me to sustain that person's life at the expense of my own.

Your stone Frisbee –seems as dangerous as archery. When you know how harmful that act –like archery- could be, why is it unjust when the harm eventuates? Also unlike your friends the foetus has no choice so rather than friends how about throwing the frisbee around a group of infants.You knew it could be very harmful, so why are you excused when you in fact cause that harm?

Simon said...
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Simon said...

DD Sex is different because sex is a simple pleasure of life?

If going to classical music concert had a 25% chance of making an innocent violinist or infant end up being attached to you how would we react? Maybe just maybe, going to classical concerts would go into a class of simple pleasures that now have consequences so serious that even if in themselves they are ‘innocent’, because they lead to such serious consequences they are treated more seriously and only undertaken unless one is prepared to taking responsibility for that simple pleasure.

Simon said...

DD Lastly :)

You meet a talking dog...Does this talking dog deserve the same "human" rights you and I enjoy? Why or why not? If yes, what qualities do you believe entitle him to these rights? And are these qualities present in, say, a first trimester fetus?

DD I’m not technically Pro-Life so I have NP assigning existential rights to your dog person; but not for the reason you would think. IMO you can grant existential interests to organisms other than ‘persons’. Future based wellbeing interests that incorporate existential rights aren’t much of a intellectual leap/stretch from what is currently being used for personhood. So I’m more leaning towards a Jainist stance than Christian Pro-Lifer. I’m not a human speciest, so I’m provisionally giving the right to life to the dog based on its wellbeing interests. How practical is a Jainist life that includes right to self defence? I’m still working on the details.

Are wellbeing interests present in a 1st trimester foetus? Yes.

M said...

DD:

You're right, the abortion debate revolves around both fetal personhood and bodily integrity, and both aspects must be considered. I meant no disrespect by leaving out bodily integrity up to this point, I just see fetal personhood and bodily integrity as two important but separate issues. After all, I don't believe the coma patient would cease to be a person if he was using me to survive rather than a life-support machine.

I can't see the logic behind suggesting the fetus is not a person because it's using another person's body. It seems to me the question of fetal personhood exists independently of whether the fetus is in the mother's body. Bodily integrity still must be addressed, but I don't believe it changes the criteria for personhood. (http://blog.secularprolife.org/2012/03/bodily-integrity.html)

I believe simply being a member of the Homo Sapiens species should confer rights. It seems to me the only consistent criterion.

Simon said...

PS regarding the simple pleasure that is sex there are so many ways to enjoy sex without vaginal intercourse let alone make it near or in fact 100% pregnancy safe -penis plug developed by the Chinese- that with a little effort you never have to commit prolicide as a means to avoid unwanted parental responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Is there something that can be done to reduce miscarriages in the general population? If you know of something, please share! I was so shaken up when my friend lost a zygote!

~Violet

Coyote said...

Hey
there,

The
main problems in your arguments are:

-You
talk about how absolute bodily autonomy is a fundamental right, but
you fail to give any reasons as to why you believe that people should
have this right other than "that's what the law says",
"that's what is commonly practiced", and "that is what
the people want". All of these reasons are logically fallacious,
and to be honest I haven't heard anyone give me a good argument about
why our bodily autonomy should be absolute. Heck, even if I was
pro-choice/pro-abortion, I'd still oppose absolute bodily
autonomy.

-You
claim that a lot of miscarriages can be prevented, but this is
inaccurate since the overwhelming majority of miscarriages occur to
women with WANTED pregnancies who try their best to avoid generating
harm to their prenatal offspring.

-In
regards to child support--women ALWAYS have a chance to opt-out after
sex, but men never do. Therefore bringing up child support is a valid
debate topic here. Also, if you believe that personhood begins at
birth/viability/the point of sentience/et cetera, then while abortion
is legal the decision whether or not to create a new person is solely
the woman's decision, not the man's. Thus, why should the man be held
responsible for the woman's decision and be forced to pay child
support against his will?

-If
you oppose killing infants due to them not violating your bodily
autonomy any longer, then it's hypocritical for you to support
killing and eating sentient animals, such as chickens.

-You
think that pro-lifers think that the prenatal offspring is more
important than the woman, but this is not correct.

-You
say that pro-lifers shouldn't compare sex to crimes (and thus
pregnancy to kidney illnesses), but you're doing the same thing by
supporting forced child support payments, when in real life one can
also be forced to pay financial compensation for crimes. Also,
sometimes one can get away with accidentally killing someone (ex. Joe
Rollino). Finally, not everyone agrees with the current definition of
crime.

Coyote said...

And sorry for the poor formatting of my post. This occurred due to some error.

Coyote said...

It is a miscarriage if a zygote dies? Isn't the woman not pregnant yet if a zygote dies?

Coyote said...

*Is it a miscarriage if a zygote .......


(typo)

Coyote said...

"And an abortion actually is taking responsibility. Pretty responsible not to bring unwanted unloved children into this world."

One can likewise use this argument or a similar argument to say that killing unwanted infants is taking responsibility.

Coyote said...

"If found out that the miscarriage is due to a medical condition of the woman (thyroid problems, other hormonal problems) she will be charged with medical neglect just like she'd be charged if she let her toddler die from the flu."

Wrong. There is a huge difference between someone dying due to something outside of one's control (such as certain medical conditions) and someone dying due to things within one's control (such as a parent/legal guardian refusing to take a sick child to the doctor and having this child die as a result).

Coyote said...

"Non-custodial parents have to pay child support. That's true for women as much as men, so your argument doesn't hold water."

Except based on your view of personhood, it was solely the woman's decision to create a new person as long as abortion is legal. Thus, why should the man be held responsible for the woman's decision?

Also, you do want to punish people who are forced to pay child support for having sex.

"That's when there's an actual child, you know."

child:

2 an unborn or recently born human being; fetus; neonate; infant.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

Coyote said...

"Since the fetus didn't rape the woman, and you consider abortion murder, why is it justified then?"

Because the fetus is still using the woman's body without her consent, and in the case of rape the reason that the fetus exists is *not* due to the woman's willing actions.

Coyote said...

"My husband passed on kidney abnormalties, do you think that he should be legally obliged to give up his kidneys in case his kids needed them?"

Not sure.

On one hand one can say Yes, and on the other hand one can say No due to the fact that there might be other kidney donors available.

Coyote said...

"She has no rights"

Wrong. She has rights--she is simply unable to exercise the right to bodily autonomy at the expense of the rights of the fetus.

Coyote said...

"3) one person's rights end where those of somebody else begin, therefore still my uterus, my choice."

One can likewise say that your rights end where the fetus's right to life begins.

Coyote said...

"So you agree that we should arrest people on the street, take a pint of their blood, take a swab of their cheeks and should they match somebody on the list for bone-marrow transplantation we arrest them again and force them to donate?

Because, you know, people are dying right now from the lack of blood/bone marrow/kidneys."

If it is your fault that these people need these things and these people are going to die otherwise, then Yes.

"Am, no, you don't have a right to life if that means you have to infringe on my bodily autonomy in order to keep you alive."

Disagree, in certain cases.

Coyote said...

"Also, that donated kidney wouldn't be in my body for any longer."

Except one's property rights do not depend on location. If I accidentally threw my ball inside my neighbor's fence and onto his land, I have (and should have) a right to take back my ball. Same thing with the kidney--you had a claim on that kidney first (similar to both Siamese twins having an equal claim to their shared organs), and since you never gave up your claim to this kidney this kidney should still remain rightfully yours.

Coyote said...

"I agree, we should legislate morality for people who don't agree with us, so that they'll finally understand. "

Everyone supports legislating morality for people who don't agree with them. This is why we have laws against infanticide, postnatal killing, theft, rape, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, et cetera.

Coyote said...

"Imagine that you go to a hospital to get your tonsils out, but there's a horrible mix-up, and they think that you're there to donate a kidney. You wake up from anesthesia and it's too late--your kidney, a part of YOUR body, is keeping someone else alive. You'll live a relatively normal life with just one kidney, but it could cause you some discomfort and medical problems. Can you demand your kidney back, even though the recipient will die? Even if the recipient will be able to return the kidney to you in less than a year?"

Even though I'm politically anti-abortion, I'm tempted to say Yes, you should be able to demand your kidney back.

Coyote said...

Don't want to get pregnant, don't have sex. Rather, mastrubate and/or use sex toys instead.

If you do get pregnant after voluntarily having sex, don't complain about it afterwards.

Coyote said...

"I agree that no one should be forced to donate a kidney."

What if it's your fault that someone needs a new kidney in the first place?

Coyote said...

"So, can you tell me why indeed they should get more rights than other people?"

They shouldn't get more rights than other people. For instance, no one is advocating giving fetuses the right to vote.

"Nobody is forced to donate blood, bone marrow or kidneys for anybody else.It's a fundamental right.
Not even if you are the sole reason the other person needs those things in the first place."

This is a logically fallacious argument, and I disagree with the current law when it comes to this.

"So, can you please give me a logical argument why fetuses should be entitled to those things while a 3 yo wouldn't be and why women should be forced to provide those in case of pregnancy while nobody else is forced to give those things even though they would mean much less risk, time and discomfirt than a pregnancy?"

I do think that three year olds should be entitled to these things and that other people should be forced to give those things.