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Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Argument from Identity

I have previously explained two good arguments for the pro-life position, the Substance View and the Future of Value arguments. I would like to share with you a third. It's an argument that Alexander Pruss has termed an identity-based argument. Stephen Napier defends a similar argument which he has termed the Unity argument, but my exposition of this argument will follow Pruss' essay I Was Once a Fetus: An Identity-Based Argument Against Abortion, with additional notes by Napier where appropriate. I will merely be giving a basic exposition of the argument; I would recommend reading the essay for a more robust defense, as well as answering potential objections to the argument.

The argument is meant to show that I am identical with the fetus that was in my mother's womb. Since the right to life is an essential property of human beings, if I have the right to life now, I had the right to life while I was a fetus. Of course, not everyone agrees that we are identical with the fetus that was in our mother's womb. Some believe that you don't come into existence until your organism, the fetus, attains consciousness and self-awareness (or certain other properties).

Well, there are only two possibilities: we either are identical to the fetus that was in our mother's womb or we are not. So let's assume just for the sake of this argument that we are not identical to the fetus that was in our mother's womb.

If that's the case, then where is that fetus that I came from? There are only two possibilities: either the fetus I came from is now alive or it is now dead.

So the fetus (F) must still be alive. Every biological part of F developed into me. Since F developed into me, F has become all of my body. I can't separate out one part and say "that is F." So while F exists, I also exist. This means that I cannot be an organism because there cannot be two organisms that have the same body. So if I am an organism, I am F. But if I am not F, then I am not an organism. This would also mean that I am not a rational animal, because I am distinct from F, and this is an absurd consequence because human beings are rational animals. If we are rational animals, then we are organisms.

Napier points out other absurd consequences that follow from the position that the fetus is still alive but I am not the fetus. Persons do not have sexual intercourse, their bodies do. It would also mean that rape is merely a property crime, not a crime against a person. It would also entail that two numerically different entities occupy the same place at the same time, which violates a plausible law of physics.

So if the fetus is not alive, then it must be dead. But what happened to it? When did it cease to exist? It could have ceased to exist if the fetus was truly a part of the mother's body, since if something is a part of your body and is cut off, it dies. According to Aristotle, if you cut your finger off, it remains a finger in name only; it is no longer the same entity it was before since its essence was to be a part of your body. So the fetus could have died when it was removed from the woman's body at birth.

But this is highly implausible. The law of transitivity states that if A is a part of B, and B is a part of C, then A is a part of C. For an example, if your finger is a part of your hand, and your hand is a part of your body, then your finger is a part of your body. So if the fetus is a part of the woman's body, then she would have two heads, twenty fingers and twenty toes, four eyes, two noses, and roughly half the time male genitalia. Plus there are scientific reasons for denying this, such as the fact that the fetus has a different genetic code than the woman does. Additionally, the fetus is not controlled by the woman via the umbilical cord, and the fetus does not work toward the good of the mother's body in the way that the rest of her body does, as a unified whole with each part fulfilling a certain function to keep the woman's body functioning properly. There may be some benefit that the fetus has for the woman, such as through a process called microchimerism in which the mother and fetus exchange cells and may have certain health benefits. But the fetus remains a wholly separate entity. So in no way can the fetus be said to be a part of the mother's body.

Napier also points out that the fetus was merely carrying out its self-directed development. So the fetus would have died because it gains the ability to think, but this is absurd because things don't die when they gain an ability the development of which is rooted in the thing's developmental program or plan. So the fetus can't be dead.

So it seems clear that the fetus, itself, is still alive because every organic part of the fetus developed into me; but it is equally clear that I am identical to the fetus that was in my mother's womb. If I am not identical to that fetus, it leads to many absurdities. So the Argument from Identity goes something like this (I'm working off an outline by Stephen Napier here):

P1: I am either identical to the fetus that was in my mother's womb or I am not identical to it.
P2: If I am not identical to the fetus, then the fetus is either dead or still alive but separate from me.
P3: If the fetus is dead, then it died by gaining an ability that was in its programming to develop.
P4: But things don't die because they gain an ability that is in one's programming to develop.
C1 (from 3 and 4): Therefore, the fetus is not dead.
P4: If the fetus is alive but separate from me, then either a) Two numerically different things occupy the same place at the same time, or b) I am not my body but my fetus is.
P5: A violates a plausible law of physics, and B entails absurd consequences, such as rape being merely a property crime and not a crime against a person.
C2 (from 4 and 5): Therefore, the fetus cannot be alive but separate from me.
P6: If the fetus is not dead, and if the fetus cannot be alive but separate from me, then I am the same thing as the fetus.
P7: If I am the same thing as the fetus, then the fetus has a right to life (since I have a right to life essentially).
C3 (from 6 and 7): Therefore, the fetus has a right to life.

321 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 321 of 321
GEIxBattleRifle said...

''
We are NOT talking about organisms OTHER than HUMAN BEINGS, therefor your 'mowing' has no relevance. Please stay on topic.''

The only thing relevant in the abortion debate as of now, is what criteria should be used to grant entities basic rights like the right to life. And there needs to a non species definition of the word person unless you're welling to discriminate in the near future.

''A human being is a PERSON by DEFINITION, I have proved that to you multiple times by linking you to online dictionaries.''

YUP, and if you actually read some sources you would've noticed some dictionary definitions EXCLUDED unborn humans. lol

''The problem is for some reason you and the law won't give them the same rights of others DESPITE this fact.''

The actually problem here, is that you think person has a universal definition and you know it doesn't if you actually cared to looked at OTHER sources and everyone else's personal definition of that word.

''Stop arguing it with me and argue it with Merriam-Webster.''

One definition of person that this site provides is this:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/person

4.

Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.

THIS is probably one of the very view dictionary definitions that will be left standing in the future and all other stupid prejudice specie definitions of the word ''person'' well be doomed.

''Doctors weren't supposed to kill anyone that comes under their care, actually patient or not.''

YOU do realize that humans ARE NOT the only patients that doctors can have. Sometimes doctors do indeed kill their ''patients'' as in the case of when a guinea worm get's hooked on to you.

''Doctors who refuse to stand by their OATH should chose another line of work.''
There are many variations to that oath that allows doctors to perform human abortions.

RonPaul2012 said...

If a girl/child/teen/ want to get their ovaries removed for fear of
rape, I suppose she should have a psyche evaluation. She should probably
be evaluated whether it's for fear of rape or not. That would be an
unusual case and I have not come across it any news stories or anything.


Because of improved nutrition, girls as young as 8 have been getting pregnant because they reach puberty earlier now. Often these children become pregnant as a result of rape, usually by a family member.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/brazil-rocked-by-abortion-for-9yearold-rape-victim-1640165.html

I think whether or not the underage girl can consent to that medical
decision depends on how old they are too. Ultimately I think that
decision has to take into consideration the opinion of her doctor,
family, and herself of course.


How come her age and mental state is not a consideration when it comes to the forced pregnancy?

Chaoticblu said...

by later term I mean sort of a ballpark, since development speed isn't the same for every baby. And I've heard different information too , so I mean mainly when the child can feel pain, and/or could possible be safely delivered (such as premature babies) Around the 20 week mark I suppose as you said the. I do not believe in aborting due to fetal deformities. Many conditions ,such as autism are manageable and the child can still live a fulfilling life. They shouldn't be put to death because they are not 'perfect.' Also, sometimes the doctors can't say 100% whether the fetus has something wrong with them or not.

I believe a child with a life threatening condition should still be treated with dignity. A child , regardless of fetal defects should be acknowledged as a human being and not medical waste. They should be delivered and allowed to meet their parents and the parents meet them. They should get whatever care they need, pain medicine to make them comfortable..etc. Whatever suits their condition. If/when they pass, whether it be hours after birth or days, or weeks, they should have a proper funeral and be buried or cremated.

Some people might call it cruel but as I said, they should have pain management. I certainly do not want them to experienced suffering, but I DO want them acknowledged as the sons and daughters they are.

Chaoticblu said...

I admit I need to do some more research as I've heard different things regarding fetal pain. I believe in general a fetus can feel pain well before 20 weeks.



I can say for sure though: I just think in cases where a woman DOES know she's pregnant early on, such as after missing her period- it is cruel to wait to abort. I don't agree with abortion in the first place, but if one is going to at least do it asap, before the fetus can feel pain. At least try and be somewhat humane about it. So I think that the laws regarding how late abortion can be performed need to be looked at and changed.


Not to mention from what I've seen on different forums it varies state by state. Maybe abortion should be a Federal issue and all states should have the same laws regarding when they can be performed.

RonPaul2012 said...

Many deformities such as anencephaly (no brain) cannot be detected until 20 weeks.

There are also other severe deformities - and no, I am not talking about cleft lips and autism - severe health problems that are incompatible with life.

Should a woman be forced to give birth to a dead or dying baby? If the fetal deformity is incompatible with life, why should she be forced to give birth? Can't the family also treat the baby with dignity by performing an intact removal? You may find this hard to believe, but carrying a dying fetus to term is not pleasant. Would you like to carry something that has no chance of survival and is causing you severe health problems for another 3 months? Only to watch it die after a painful birth?

RonPaul2012 said...

A fetus cannot feel pain until at least 35 weeks, according to the latest study.

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2811%2900885-2

Furthermore, due to hypoxia in the womb, the fetus is unconscious and sedated throughout the pregnancy.

Since you are so concerned about fetal pain, wouldn't that mean that abortion should NEVER be an option, even in life/health of the mother? Rather the woman die than hurt the fetus?

Chaoticblu said...

I possibly may have missed something. But we have to go on SOMETHING, otherwise all words are meaningless. So, either the dictionary needs to change (meaning whatever organization decides the words and definitions that appear in there) or the laws regarding personhood need to change.

If we go on all words are meaningless then I can say IIC's definition of 'personhood' (not including the unborn) is meaningless.

ignorance_is_curable said...

I define "late term" as up-to-and-including the "water breaks" mark --and would even include time after that, except that the "labor" process varies so widely from woman to woman. In theory it might be difficult to manage to get an abortion done before birth happens, after the water breaks.


Note that technologies for examining an unborn human are only going to improve with time. In the days of ancient Rome, a "cleft palate" was likely sufficient reason to commit infanticide. What if a cleft palate could be detected before birth, and late-term abortions were allowed? SOME people would probably get the abortion! (Please consider this as a kind of extension to what I wrote in the other post above, about late-term abortions and infanticide.)

ignorance_is_curable said...

There is a possible abortion method that causes minimal pain. Note that after a normal birth, the umbilical cord is cut, and NOBODY worries about how painful that might be. So, imagine a special tool that is used to cut the umbilical cord in the womb. This cuts off the oxygen supply to the fetus, and it will become unconscious in less than a minute, and die in about 6 minutes. After that, the corpse can be removed in any manner that might otherwise be called "painful".

RonPaul2012 said...

Yeah, I remember reading about something similar happening in a Catholic hospital. Woman was dying, Catholic admins said 'no abortion until fetal heartbeat has stopped' so the doctor surreptitiously reached in, snapped the cord, and then miraculously found no heartbeat and performed the abortion. The woman would have died in service of Catholic dogma had he not done that.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

Using a ''human heartbeat'' as criteria for personhood will have devastating results in the future.

Consider this, if my mind and all my mental abilities contained in it could in future be transposed faithfully into some form of robotic body to avoid brain cancer would I still be considered a person after the operation?
I think I wouldn't be under the ''human heartbeat'' criteria and I believe I wouldn't be consider a human to as I think (last time I checked) is simply a biological entity of the species homo sapien.
So under the common pro life equation of human=person I wouldn't fit that and thus have no rights.
But if we were to prepare for the future, and avoid problems like this, it is best to come up with a non species definition of the word person.
It reminds me of a chess game. Pro Lifers only want to think one move ahead at a time and pro choicer's want to think 10 moves ahead and we know for a fact who would win the debate under that circumstance.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Obviously you still have some ignorance that needs curing. Here, maybe this will help:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528014/



There is also the "potential must be fulfilled!" problem here. That is, to say "a womb preparing itself to receive a guest" is equivalent to saying, "a womb creates a potential guest-space". MUST that potential be fulfilled? No?


Well, then **IF** it happens to be fulfilled, why must the potential of the unborn human animal organism, to grow to become a person, be fulfilled?


The analogies are equivalent. To agree that womb-space doesn't have to be filled is equivalent to agreeing that an unborn human doesn't have to be carried to term. (And of course sometimes it isn't, per "miscarriage".)

ignorance_is_curable said...

I have posted a reply to your "Ok I'm going through this piece by piece" post, but I cannot find it. When I tried posting it again, an error message appeared, telling me I had already posted it.


Well, that still doesn't tell me why I can't find it! However, I do have it saved as a file on my computer, and can re-post it if it actually doesn't exist here. As soon as I find out what the cause of the problem is! (A guess: the post was too long. That might explain other posts that went missing, the other day.)

RonPaul2012 said...

Configure disqus so that it will send you email notifications. That is what I had to do to keep track and is the only reason I commented.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

Thanks.
Anyways, what did you thought about what I typed to you earlier?

Max said...

Although I am pro-choice (mostly), I would say that, yes, you should keep the body on life support until the prenate can be removed.

Max said...

I think that if you are sick of it then you are going to have to take an active role pushing back against pro-lifers that don't think that forcing a woman to have a child against her will is anyway even remotely relevant to the discussion.


And you are going to have to push back when (hopefully) well meaning people at pregnancy centers do or say things that make pro-lifers seem like they are religious fundemtalist who do want to control women. [This I think should apply equally to pro-choice people and people at planned parenthood who do similar cr@p things.]


To be clear, I am NOT saying that you need to be pro-choice. Or even a moderate. In fact, while I disagree with that position, I think its quite possible to believe that, when balancing the interests of both people (the fetus and the mother), that Ireland gets it right. I don't agree, but I don't see anything inherently misogynistic if, when you actually balance the interests/burdens/rights/whatever of both, that you come done on one side.


But, pro-lifers that argue that the ONLY considerations should be for the fetus and that there is NOTHING on the other side against which we should balance the fetus's interest quite literally do not care about women by their own admission.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Let's see what happens if I break this post (that failed yesterday) into two parts, posted separately:

Part One:

Ok I'm not going through this one piece by piece. I'm going to try and sum this all up:

1.An innocent human being deserves the right to live and continue their life.

------------

AGREED, with respect to ACTUAL "human beings", persons. But DISAGREED, with respect to unborn humans, which don't qualify for EITHER "innoncent" or "person" status.

=====

2. A human being merely going through development ...

-------------

After substuting "An organism" for "A human being", I like to call that "Mindless Natural Biology". More on this shortly.

===========

is innocent.

------------

The word "guilty" has different definitions. If I say, "The average post-natal human is guilty of breathing" --That IS A Perfectly Correct And Accurate English Sentence. Likewise, an unborn human animal organism is guilty of doing detrimental things to a pregnant woman, like resource-stealing, toxic-biowaste-dumping, and addictive-substance-infusion. Those ARE Facts, and I'm STILL Using Perfectly Correct And Accurate English.

===========

No matter what entity-if any- you believe in- you have to concede that human development IS natural. It is not a malicious act. Existing is not a malicious act,

------------

AGREED, because for the most part it is Mindless Natural Biology in action. So let's look at some other examples. When a mosquito comes to bite you, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. When cherry trees bloom in the spring, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. When a cancer begins, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. When grapes ripen on a vine, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. If moths eat the clothes in your closet, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. When bees make honey, that is Natural Mindless Biology in action. And THROUGHOUT a human conception and subsequent pregnancy, that is also Natural Mindless Biology in action.

Now, one of the Generic characteristics of persons is Free Will, and human beings have it (while unborn human animal organisms don't). We can CHOOSE whether or not to accept or deny any particular type of Natural Mindless Biology. Overall, we have chosen to be Domineering instead of Subservient, with respect to Natural Mindless Biology. We swat mosquitoes, and plant cherry trees. We excise cancer lumps and fertilize grape plants. We put mothballs in closet spaces, and steal honey from bees. And sometimes pregnancies are carried to term, and sometimes they are aborted. Generically, We Choose To Be Domineering Over Natural Mindless Biology, INCLUDING Pregnancy.

(continued in Part Two)

ockraz said...

See, here's one more instance where your username is seriously problematic. Your ignorance combined with that username makes you seem a tremendous ass.

Leukocytes aren't organisms. They're produced by stem cells in bone marrow. For a living thing to be an organism there must be some stage in it's life cycle where it's capable of reproduction.

The area of philosophy of science dealing with the definition of "organism" is called the study of the organismal concept, and I'm guessing you've never heard of it before today.

ockraz said...

The problem with that is that 'potential' is vague- like 'heat' it covers a wide range of things. A lottery ticket may be a 'potential' winner, but a 24 yr old is also a potential 25 yr old. The PC tends to phrase PL arguments about 'potential' dismissively, and the PL side tries to make distinctions we see as ethically significant.

ockraz said...

Here's the 1st result from google: ability: possession of the means or skill to do something."the manager had lost his ability to motivate the players"

If you're currently unable, then you're currently lacking the ability. In the dictionary example, one would assume that the coach probably could regain the ability as I did when my hand healed.

I think you're assuming that if one loses an ability then it's permanent, but ability is related to inability as able to unable. A permanent absence or loss of ability isn't inability but more like disability - where the capacity (ie ability to acquire an ability) is gone.

ignorance_is_curable said...

DO NOT MIS-QUOTE ME. It is the LAW that arbitrarily declares a human animal organism, at birth, to become a Legal Person.


The Objective Generic Data, regarding differences between persons and mere animals (data that should be Universally applicable, regardless of whether or not the persons are humans, aliens, or Artificial Intelligences), doesn't recognize personhood in humans for a quite-significant time after birth, when adequate brain-development has occurred.


Perhaps counting time "after conception" would be more rational, since more humans would then qualify as persons closer to the same time. About 3 years after conception, for SOME traits of personhood to be exhibited by humans, is what the Data tells us.

ignorance_is_curable said...

According to this,
www.academia.edu/339296/The_Concept_of_Organism_Historical_Philosophical_Scientific_Perspectives_

There is enough controversy over the definition of "organism" that there is no way you can prove that a white blood cell fails to qualify.

ockraz said...

Arg- we're talking at cross purposes. Person means different things in different contexts. It's very ambiguous. The theological use is about having a reasoning capacity. The original philosophical use was about standing to participate in the democratic process. The legal use is standing to sue or be sued in court. The normal linguistic use just means 'someone.' Many of the PL folks are assuming a sense in which it means either 'someone' or having 'moral standing' and you're using the philosophical sense derived from Locke.

I've personally been trying to convince all the PLers I know to use different terminology because of this, but to be fair, the situation is even worse in the PC community. This same problem comes up constantly in political forums (regarding the citizens united decision from SCOTUS) where one side is talking about legal personhood and the other using the 'someone' sense.

ignorance_is_curable said...

There are very simple proofs that arguing from EITHER "capacity" or "potential" is STUPID.


For "capacity", the Fact is, the word refers to something that EXISTS RIGHT NOW. So, if a human fetus had the capacity for personhood, and thereby distinguish itself from any other ordinary animal, there should be some manner it which it could acquire that distinguishment RIGHT NOW. Since it can't, you end up actually talking about "potential". See that word "eventually" you used?


But "potential" doesn't work either. Here:
Part One:
1. An unborn human animal organism has the potential to become a human person, and it doesn't matter how long this takes to happen.
2. Because of that potential, we must RIGHT NOW begin treating the unborn human just like a person. Therefore abortion should be forbidden.
Part Two:
1. An abortion opponent has the potential to become a corpse, and it doesn't matter how long this takes to happen.
2. Because of that potential, we must RIGHT NOW begin treating the abortion opponent just like a corpse. Therefore it should be buried six feet under....


See how STUPID your arguments are?!?!

ockraz said...

The problem as I see it is with the compatibility of two sentences.

A) I currently have the ability to X
B) I'm physically unable to X at present.

A and B can't both be true

You seem to want them to be compatible.

RonPaul2012 said...

http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/the-emperor-of-cells-how-intelligent-are-cancer-cells-2

ockraz said...

I would certainly like to cure your ignorance. I was already aware of the paper by Emera, Romero, and Wagner. It was highlighted in Pharyngula two years ago. I don't know what you think the paper says, but it doesn't undermine anything that I've been saying. It actually bolsters my case.

If we were just talking about all embryos generically, you'd have a point because there's something akin to a screening process that weeds out abnormal embryos- but I usually try to be careful to add "healthy" when I talk about the rights of fetuses and embryos.

That's also why your argument about miscarriage and natural contragestion are irrelevant unless someone is against having exceptions for abortion in cases where there are serious birth defects.

"There is also the "potential must be fulfilled!" problem here." - No there's not. It doesn't matter how many times you say it; it's not going to be true,

That's not relevant to this discussion. Go talk to some religious wackos who think women need to have as many children as they're capable of and use it against them. I think they're called QuiverFull.

The question here is whether one should find it acceptable to take human lives which are developing a potential for personhood, or whether a n entity which will develop into a person has a right not to be killed.

The human genome is complex and when a zygote is created there's only one copy, so small mistakes can be catastrophic. Most of these are disposed of naturally, which is fine with me. If one sneaks past the maternal safeguards with a morally significant deformity (something eliminating the capacity for personhood) then you can eliminate it surgically or medically and I won't object. (I'm actually more troubled if you decide against it TBH, but that's a point of disagreement between folks like me and many of the religious prolifers.)

We disagree with you about the moral status of a living entity which will obtain personhood so long as you don't harm it. Trying to make this a rule about potential generally rather than about this is either a mistake or dishonest.

ockraz said...

Agreed - but then the burden is on you to demonstrate relevance not on him in denying it.

ockraz said...

It is also a FACT that many abortion rights advocates are woefully ignorant of various relevant pieces of information.

Average PCers are no better informed on the philosophical matters (eg, personhood and infants, theory of identity, metaethics, philosophy of mind) and tend to be worse on the science matters.

Going around calling other people ignorant while making plenty of your own mistakes just makes you seem like a joke.

ockraz said...

Re: Slavery -
1) Telling someone they may not get a medical procedure isn't enslavement.Enslavement is forcing you to act against your will. This is prohibiting you from acting in a particular manner. If it's slavery then so is making it illegal to buy heroin- and that's considered a "victimless crime." From my POV, this closer to banning honor killing.
2) Even if I agreed that it were compelling action, ask yourself what made slavery such a great evil? It wasn't compelling labor. That would apply to the draft. We haven't used it in the U.S. in my lifetime, but there's still lots of countries with compulsory military service.
3) What was morally repugnant about slavery was that it treated human beings as mere property. That's what you're for and we're against.

ockraz said...

Actually, you know that many won't be, which is the reason that so many fail to implant or are naturally aborted. Practically all of them get screened out- that's why around 40% (some say less some say more) of zygotes don't produce a birth. There's a very small fraction of those which are malformed that get to the fetal stage. Usually we can detect those.

ockraz said...

There's nothing wrong with IVF in and of itself. The problem is that to have a higher success rate with implantation there's an embryo screening process and surplus embryos are created so that a fraction will be used. That's a choice, it's not essential to the process. There are prolife couples who use IVF but don't do this, which means that on average it takes longer and is more expensive.

ockraz said...

"You want 18, a MAJOR chunk of total life-span!" - If someone doesn't want to raise a child, I don't want them to either. We've had Safe Haven laws throughout the country for 5 years now. I'm talking about on average 30-32 weeks.

"About 50% of all ovum-fertilizations fail to result in "confirmed pregnancies", because OTHER organisms" - What are you smoking? That's the craziest thing you've said yet. Most failure to implant is because of malformation of the embryo, some it is because of problems with maternal fertility health that produce a less hospitable uterine environment, and rarely there's a foreign source of the problem like a harmful chemical or possibly some sort of infection.

So, let's be clear,
you're not winning any arguments except in your own mind.

Even When You Put Capital Letters On Every Word

or

HOLD DOWN THE CAPS LOCK!

ockraz said...

I quote: "White blood cells are not like other cells in the body - they act like independent, living single-cell organisms."

Which means that they act like but ARE NOT.

ockraz said...

TL;DR

ockraz said...

Your mistake was assuming that Rousseau originated the theory, which is how you screwed up by over 100 yrs.

Look, if you think Roman morality with slavery and infanticide is no worse than modern morality because it's all relative then you certainly can't attack prolife moral views- you've pulled the rug out from under yourself.

ockraz said...

I only see someone who can't comprehend other people's points and thinks that calling them STUPID shows that he's smart. You're basically saying that anything which hasn't yet happened is just something potential and all potential things are equally inconsequential. That's stupid.

ockraz said...

There's no controversy whatsoever. No scientist would agree with you. You're talking total rubbish. Viruses? Maybe. Certain kinds of underground fungal colonies can be difficult to define where one organism differs from another.

White blood cells?! Please.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Yes, I should not have specified "originated". I should have specified "popularized". Just how widely known was that notion, before Rousseau came along, eh?


And you have it wrong about "Roman morality being no worse than pro-life morality" --It was no worse AND no better! Because ALL morality is inherently flawed by being Arbitrary!


But as I wrote elsewhere, "ethics" has a chance of being non-arbitrary AND Universally applicable. Using ethics it is very possible to end up with Social Rules very much like those derived from "morals" --with the advantage that they WON'T be based on an arbitrary foundation!

ockraz said...

Anyone at the time reading Rousseau would have already known about it from Hobbes. Locke was at least as influential on the thinking of the founders and he was writing largely in reaction to Hobbes.

"ethics" has a chance of being non-arbitrary AND Universally applicable. " - I guess that depends on how you want to define arbitrary. If you mean random, then it's not arbitrary now. Ethical principles can't be based on facts- if by fact we mean something empirically verifiable. Some axiomatic determination about value must be made and value judgment can be informed by facts but not derived from them. That's just Hume's 'Is/Ought' distinction.

ignorance_is_curable said...

"if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck ..."


Of course I'm quite aware how I have stated that unborn humans ACT like parasites, without actually being parasites, so, according to the "duck" argument, they should actually be called parasites, right?


WRONG! Because unborn humans actually act WORSE than parasites, doing something that no ordinary parasite does, which is "infuse addictive substances into its host". That means it is NOT similar enough to a parasite for the "duck" argument to hold.

ockraz said...

"NOPE. Not if a major purpose of menstruation is to KILL unborn humans! If the womb was REALLY a specifically-accommodating thing, menstruation wouldn't exist."

Incorrect - two things are happening.

One is weeding out the candidates which are bad investments from an evolutionary perspective - those which won't survive and carry the mother's genes to another generation. Two is fortifying the mother's body and making the womb ready for an occupant. It's like readying the guest room for your in-laws to visit, but turning away anyone who's not your relative.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Nope, I don't give up that easily. Remember the movie "Short Circuit"? Fiction, of course, but someday Genuine Artificial Intelligences will be moving among us, with bodies mostly metal and electronic, and not necessarily acting like Terminators. Will they, or will they not, qualify as "organisms"? For either answer, please explain "Why?"


Which kind-of reminds me of the second Terminator movie, where the "bad guy" had a body that could liquefy and do all sorts of marvelous things. Pieces of that body were capable of independent action.


Or, for an even better example of that, consider the second "The Thing" movie (by John Carpenter). It very closely followed the descriptions of the alien of the original story ("Who Goes There?") that was published in 1938 (the first "The Thing" movie did NOT accurately use the story's alien!). ANY living cell separated from THAT entity was definitely its own organism! (I haven't seen the more recent and 3rd "The Thing" movie, so can't comment on its relevance.)


It is a huge huge Universe out there. Who is to say that the current definition of "organism" is going to survive the long term?

ignorance_is_curable said...

Interesting, but not really about the definition of "organism" and why that definition is what it currently is.

ockraz said...

"Then you are exhibiting Prejudice, still. Remember, the Law doesn't care one whit about how healthy or not-healthy is a newborn human; all are EQUALLY granted Legal Person Status." - I don't know what law you mean, but I don't see how you can accuse me of prejudice.

I've maintained all along that it's living organisms which are in the process of developing into persons. If an embryo is detectable as being malformed at this stage, then unhealthy means something quite serious. It doesn't mean something ethically irrelevant like being born deaf. It means unviable or if it's born, then unable to survive infancy. Therefore, there's no capacity for personhood. That's consistent with what I've said all along.

ockraz said...

"Now remember that as many as 50% of all conceptions fail to yield "confirmed pregnancies", which implies that you are looking at HUGE HUGE medical bills" - I don't know if it's quite that high. My recollection is that it's around 40% combining failure to implant with miscarriages. Anyway, the exact number doesn't matter, the point is that these flawed embryos lack the potential to be persons, so I'm not obligated to do anything for them.

ockraz said...

"any demand that a pregnancy be carried to term is fully equivalent to demanding that the potential of the unborn MUST be allowed to be fulfilled" - Nope.

There's a big difference between 1) 'X must happen', and 2) 'You may not do Y to prevent X from happening.' Let's say X is "Hillary Clinton becomes president" and Y is "poison is put in her tea."

We'd both agree that insisting on #2 isn't insisting on #1.

ignorance_is_curable said...

"You want 18, a MAJOR chunk of total life-span!" - If someone doesn't want to raise a child, I don't want them to either. We've had Safe Haven laws throughout the country for 5 years now. I'm talking about on average 30-32 weeks.
-------------
CAN'T WORK in the long run. Do you know what an "ecological niche" is? It is ANY environment that allows members of some species to survive and reproduce.

Not too long after enough women start deciding they can be as bold as the Octomom, having babies that OTHER people will raise, thanks to "safe haven" laws, the system will be overwhelmed and go bankrupt.
=============

"About 50% of all ovum-fertilizations fail to result in "confirmed pregnancies",
-------------------

ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu/issues/su96/Feature/Feature-The_Facts_of_Life.html
==============

because OTHER organisms" - What are you smoking? That's the craziest thing you've said yet.
----------------
Then you are exhibiting ignorance that needs to be cured! I'm talking about sperm and eggs, and zygotes and morulas and blastocysts. NONE of those organisms are the persons who engaged in the sex act. NONE of their actions are FORCED to happen, just because sex happened. They are INDEPENDENT.

Just one example of that independence:
discovermagazine.com/1992/jun/theaggressiveegg55#.Ude51zu-rcM
=============

Most failure to implant is because of malformation of the embryo, some it is because of problems with maternal fertility health that produce a less hospitable uterine environment, and rarely there's a foreign source of the problem like a harmful chemical or possibly some sort of infection.
--------------
NET EFFECT, those independent organisms failed to function as one might expect, if one WANTED a pregnancy to happen. They can be legitimately blamed for that failure. LIKEWISE, they can be blamed if unwanted reproductive success happens!
==============

So, let's be clear,
you're not winning any arguments except in your own mind.
-----------------
[insert belly-laughter here] As long as you have to resort to comments such as "TL DR", I'm positive I'm winning.
=============

Even When You Put Capital Letters On Every Word

or

HOLD DOWN THE CAPS LOCK!

-------------
We can't do bolding or italics or underlining here. What alternatives do YOU suggest, regarding stressing words and phrases and sometimes whole sentences???

ockraz said...

"One of the fundamental problems with any argument based on "potential" is that you can't know in advance exactly how it will be fulfilled. You might abort an Einstein --OR you might abort a Hitler. Since the possibilities cancel out, NOBODY can successfully argue from the foundation of "human potential"." - Nope. I can successfully argue that personhood separates humans and non-human animals in a morally significant way, and that infants because they're developing personhood have rights animals don't.

Your only response to date has been, "Stupid Lie! CANNOT - Wrong!"

That's not a good argument. You disagree that one SHOULD give rights to infants, but of course we can and do. Therefore it's been successfully argued that potential can be a reason to grant rights.

ockraz said...

"attempting to equate the potential with the actual. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, and therefore can be treated VERY differently." - I am treating them differently.

Because of their potential, I grant rights to infants, BUT the rights aren't the ones I grant to full persons. As we develop and become more intellectually sophisticated, we get more rights. We don't let 14 year olds drive or 16 yr olds vote.

The only rights infants and prenates have is that they're protected from coming to harm.

ockraz said...

You're mistaken. They're not being equated. We're not saying that the potential for personhood is personhood. We're saying that the right to life doesn't require personhood. The potential for personhood is sufficient.

You start with the assumption that personhood is necessary for a right to life, and then say that we're ignoring any and all distinction between potential and actual. That's not correct because we didn't start with that assumption.

It's your mistake.

ockraz said...

From an evolutionary perspective, the measure of success for an organism is the degree to which it passes on it's genes. Therefore biologically unborn humans are the best thing an adult human can want, not the worst.

They're the opposite of parasites.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Re: Slavery -
1) Telling someone they may not get a medical procedure isn't enslavement.Enslavement is forcing you to act against your will. This is prohibiting you from acting in a particular manner.
===========
Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term IS forcing her to act against her will.


And, enslavement ALSO involves preventing people from escaping enslavement.


You STILL are losing the Debate.


I think I'll now mention something of an "apocryphal story" --stories, rather. There are cases of women who got pregnant and DESPISED the men who were involved.


They each, separately, not knowing about the others, mentally dedicated themselves to POSITIVELY REFUSING to "carry that man's child" --and then they eventually miscarried.


It is a Fact that the subconscious mind can be swayed by "positive" mental attitudes, and the Body can be affected as a result. It is NOT KNOWN to be a fact that those women would have miscarried regardless of their mental state.


But imagine the possibilities if women could learn to miscarry on demand (by biofeedback techniques, perhaps)! They would never need an abortion clinic, and you would NEVER be able to prove that a miscarriage wasn't deliberate!
================


If it's slavery then so is making it illegal to buy heroin- and that's considered a "victimless crime." From my POV, this closer to banning honor killing.
------------------
I'm in favor of legalizing all those drugs, perhaps by following the model that England did back in 1911 or so. Both the USA and England were considering what to do about heroin. England made it a prescription drug; the USA banned it. By the 1960s New York City alone had about 100,000 heroin addicts, but there were only about 400 in all of England. The lesson of History should be clear, on this topic.


The preceding is not really a response to what you wrote, however. The reason that banning heroin-buying is not slavery is because, like you wrote earlier, the addicts are not being forced to do a specific action against their wills. But pregnant women WOULD be forced to do a specific action, carry a pregnancy to term, against their wills.
===============


2) Even if I agreed that it were compelling action, ask yourself what made slavery such a great evil? It wasn't compelling labor. That would apply to the draft. We haven't used it in the U.S. in my lifetime, but there's still lots of countries with compulsory military service.

-----------------
As I described in another post, one aspect of slavery is the specific way Authority and Responsibility are unbalanced. It is exactly as evil as the opposite imbalance, exhibited by the Roman Emperor Nero and plenty others over the course of world history. Why else do we have that adage about "Power Corrupts..."? ACTUALLY it is "Authority dissociated from Responsibility" that corrupts!
===============


3) What was morally repugnant about slavery was that it treated human beings as mere property.
---------------
And forcing women to be the equivalent of brood mares isn't treating them like property???
===============


That's what you're for and we're against.

---------
NOT QUITE. Because I'm actually against Stupid Prejudice, such as YOU exhibit every time you CALL an unborn human animal organism a "human being", as if merely CALLING it that somehow automatically makes it equal to an actual Person. Therefore, since we are ACTUALLY talking about human animal organisms, and not Persons, we are NOT talking about treating Persons as Property! We are only talking about treating mere animals --PROVABLE to be mere animals, in Objective Generic Fact-- as property.


And so you STILL are losing the Debate.

ignorance_is_curable said...

I haven't claimed to be a know-it-all. Just a know-more-than-you, on topics relevant to the Overall Abortion Debate. And I've proved it time after time --with, admittedly, a mistake here and there, but FAR fewer than the mistakes YOU have, in your ignorance, made.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Good to know! Thanks!

ockraz said...

Right- well let's pull this apart because when they get too long I can't read them. (If I write TL;DR and you break it into pieces and add them, I'll read the shorter ones.)

Short Circuirt- I think Johnny Five became sapient from a lighting strike. People often say sentient but that's wrong. Rats are sentient. In Terminator it was Skynet, a defense computer network built by Cyberdyne Systems. Incidentally, the idea of an AI in charge of SAC-NORAD was also the main plot device in WarGames - which was released the year before the 1st of the Terminator films. WarGames starred a young Matthew Broderick and,,,


Ally Sheedy, who also starred in Short Circuit.

ockraz said...

AI's certainly won't be organic organisms. Could they be inorganic organisms? I doubt it, because could never have a 'body' in the same way. Theoretically an AI could just upload and download between bodies. That's what happened in the reboot version of Battlestar Galactica, which was really good until the finale when Ronald Moore wrote god into the story. (I'd wanted the Cylon religion to end up being a bug or virus, but he went the opposite direction.)

The more interesting question is whether AIs will be considered a life form. Viruses are a life form without being organisms.

ignorance_is_curable said...

How is relevance not obvious? If 10/11 of your body's cells have an origin that has NOTHING to do with the womb-environment, then 10/11 of your cells don't have continuity from the conception event!


If you invested some $X amount of money in getting a custom boat built, but the thing that finally sailed involved contributions from 10 other people, each investing the same amount, how can you claim that YOUR investment was so important that the others weren't relevant?

ignorance_is_curable said...

YOU CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT THEM. That makes them an essential, relevant and not-ignorable 10/11 of the cells of your overall body.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Your mere say-so, regarding incorrectness, is worthless without supporting evidence.

ockraz said...

I've read "Who Goes There?" It's in an anthology edited by Isaac Asimov I got a garage sale. I don't believe that the T-1000 from T2 was able to divide and act independently like the Thing. My understanding from the TV spin off was that the liquid metal T-1000 was programmed so that if any part became separated, it would automatically seek out and rejoin the largest part.

That's very different from The Thing, which could separate into fully autonomous intelligent creatures. It makes we wonder what sort of species or civilization it could have come from. What happens to memories and knowledge when you can absorb raw material and split yourself? Can you rejoin?

It seems to me there'd be two Star Trek models to follow:

They could be like the Founders in DS9, who could change shape, meld with others, break parts off an rejoin- but the material they're made of retained a core identity that knew what individual it belonged to

or

They could be like the Borg- with one primary intelligence guiding all individuals and each individual having a limited lower level of intelligence that's merely what is necessary for self preservation and carrying out tasks assigned by the overseeing intelligence

ignorance_is_curable said...

[insert belly-laughter here] Are you seriously going to claim that a human not in symbiosis with 10x as many bacterial cells has COMPLETE continuity (as in "identity") with a human that IS in symbiosis with 10x as many bacterial cells???

Did you not see this link that was previously posted by someone else on this overall page (has lots more in it than just stuff about cancer cells)?

jonlieffmd.com/blog/the-emperor-of-cells-how-intelligent-are-cancer-cells-2

ockraz said...

So- now that I've geeked out on SF for awhile, let's get back to the original topic...

I am a person, and an organism, and a bunch of other things including an SF fan. How do I view myself over time?

You take a personhood perspective on these issues. Have you always been a person? I'd say 'no.' I wasn't a person as newborn. I was just a human organism developing toward personhood. I still identify that as 'me,' though. If 'me' only referred to the person and not the organism prior to personhood, then "I" was never born, but came into existence long after my body was born- I'd say around 3 or 4 years old because I think self awareness is insufficient for personhood.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Quite a few years ago I encountered a nonfiction essay by Isaac Asimov, which covered a classic story, "Lenigan and the Ants". He specifically described the ant colony as being not only an "organism" but a SUPERIOR organism, when compared to a single human such as Lenigan --that's why the ants won!

The point is, I KNOW the word has wider application than just the technical definition, involving individual entities.
www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Organism

Consider again all those bacterial cells in a human body ---if they are symbiotic, they are NOT truly "individuals". So, suddenly they are not organisms? Or, if symbiosis does not affect the definition, then what about the fact that all those human-DNA-possessing cells are, in essence, in symbiosis with each other? Our cells are descendants of those that started out as "mats", bacterial colonies, and, later, loose organizations such as sponges. I have NO reason not to call a white blood cell an "organism"!

ockraz said...

The SF stuff is instructive concerning the problem with identifying oneself as a 'mind'. If mind is just mental activity in an organism, then it's silly to say that's what you are- like saying a dancer IS a dance. If mind is a phenomenon generated by a body, then it could be reproduced and duplicated. At that point, we're no longer physical entities if we're our mind, but something like a computer program- which is obviously absurd.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Has such a test for "ability to understand and follow moral rules" been applied to Koko? This page, seems to indicate that she would pass such a Test: www.koko.org/world/

ockraz said...

TL;DR- break it up

ockraz said...

/SIGH/ I'm disappointed. I'd thought you'd have recognized you are outmatched, but I guess I gave you too much credit.

ignorance_is_curable said...

You STILL exhibit the fundamental flaw of equating "potential" with "actual". I can understand treating them the same **IF** they were the same. But since they are not, they CAN be treated differently.

ockraz said...

You're acting as if a functional equivalent is identical, which is absurd. If you copy my mind onto different hardware it's not 'me.' If you can make one you can make more, and there can't be multiple 'me's, As similar as identical twins become they're still individuals. Unless you think you're information, you can't be simultaneously instantiated/manifested in multiple locations. If you are information, you don't have a physical existence at all- which is just as ridiculous as saying you're a soul.

ockraz said...

How isn't it obvious?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

ockraz said...

That's irrelevant. You're saying it's a flaw based on one interpretation of the identity problem, but that's not a flaw unless we agree to that interpretation. Unless I think Theseus can't claim he ended up with the same ship (and that's not what I think) your point is irrelevant.

ockraz said...

Any missing plank in the hull would sink the ship, so what? I can exist with none of them-as long as they're replaced. That's the whole point!

ockraz said...

True, but your original assertion of a flaw is just say so and rather than evidence you have a bunch of irrelevant observation that shows your flawed understanding of identity theory.

ockraz said...

Are you seriously going to claim ... yes


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-ethics/#FourDim

ignorance_is_curable said...

"white blood cell having the same potential as a zygote... I have never heard that."

That's because it's not true.
----------------
FALSE. See "stem cell research". ANY cell having complete human DNA has the potential to become a totipotent stem cell --and therefore has the same potential as a zygote. The only difference is in the barriers between that potential and its fulfillment.
===============

Zygotes are totipotent- they have the potential to produce every cell of the body. ...
-------------------
[snipping stuff that need not be repeated, and with which I agree]
=========

White blood cells could become iPSCs, but so could red blood cells or skin cells or muscle cells.
-------
NOT red blood cells; they don't have a nucleus with DNA. I will admit I misinterpreted something I read a few years ago. The process of "cloning" by taking the nucleus of an ordinary human cell and putting it into an ovum (after destroying the ovum's nucleus), is able to successfully produce a totipotent stem cell --and the process is being done using more different types of initial ordinary human cells, as time goes by.


But I thought they were doing something else, such as they are definitely working on, as described in the last comment on this linked page:
www.askabiologist.org.uk/answers/viewtopic.php?id=519
--I have no reason to doubt that they will eventually succeed, and thus be able to "activate" ANY ordinary human-DNA-possessing cell, turning it into a totipotent stem cell. The Potential Is There!!!


----------
(I agree with the rest of your post, insofar as it describes the CURRENT state of Stem Cell Research.)

ockraz said...

"I KNOW the word has wider application than just the technical definition" - Okay, but in criticizing people who make an argument that they're identical to an organism, you have to stick to the technical definition if that's what the argument you're critiquing used.

"if symbiosis does not affect the definition" - right, it doesn't

"what about the fact that all those human-DNA-possessing cells are, in essence, in symbiosis with each other?"

By all those human-DNA-possessing cells, do you mean our bodies? Bacteria are produced by other bacteria even if it's living inside me and in symbiosis with me. All the cells of my body are produced by my body going back to when I was a zygote.

Jessie B said...

... You did say you're okay with The Law... Seriously, what's up with that?


O_o

ignorance_is_curable said...

The main difference between a counter-argument and a refutation is that the latter exposes fundamentally flawed assumptions and/or facts, while the former needs to make its own assumptions.


I've seen your efforts at doing counterarguments on this page, and you have been failing miserably, for the most part, ultimately falling back on the fundamental fallacies of most abortion opponents, regarding the mis-use of the word "being", and equating "potential" with "actual", and lying about "capacity", and in general exhibiting Stupid Prejudice for unborn human animal organisms, over other and MUCH-more-capable ordinary animals, when talking about personhood ("potential" ability is NOT "actual" ability).

ignorance_is_curable said...

The normal adult human body is a SYSTEM of cooperating organisms, which, overall, also qualifies as "an organism" It is THAT organism, not just the human part of it, which lacks continuity with an unborn human.

Simon Jm said...

1. Yes we acquire our own 'ecosystem' and have evolutionarily acquired and >incorporated< other organisms but I still see no reason to see that this undermines its status as an organism. Most organism exist in a web of relationships and identity that is more than just DNA.

Yes teleonomically we have our template that requires, and is expressed in an environment that requires other organisms but the web of life is often like that.

Simon Jm said...

2. There is enough philosophy out there that talks about our identity being intimately connected to the 'other' and I see personhood on similar grounds. We aren't an organism in isolation but one that takes a lot of time to develop and much of that is done socially. Our cultural information/learning my not be in our genes but is part of 'us' as an extended group. In other words in a sense there are no singular human organisms but a species or group membership. It is just some of our development is genetic some is cultural. Therefore we can still be thought of a persons even if the genetics isn't fully there.

Simon Jm said...

3. There is not resort to potentiality. As I said a self assembling or organizing entity that has a latent important defining capacity can still definitionally be called that thing. Self assembly conceptually allows this. There is no contradiction.

Simon Jm said...

4. Basically the same as 3. You aren't considering the teleonomy of the system or the implications of SELF assembling systems that have a internal template that is expressed in the environment and continues to develop through interaction of others of its own kind. As I said I don't consider humans as ontological persons. Our species is a complex adaptive system replicator with relatively sophisticated cognitive abilities that develop partly genetically and partly socially in an group/species setting. We aren't stand alone organisms based purely on our DNA but nor are we purely persons or minds for that matter.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Your objective is to promote Stupid Prejudice, of one type of mere animal organism over many many others that CAN be arbitrarily killed, JUST because that animal organism happens to be human. Tsk, tsk!

ignorance_is_curable said...

The Law didn't have all the relevant Facts available when it was written. However, it DOES have a couple of very significant things going for it, unmatched by any other event for months on either side of a birth.


First is the fact that an unborn human organism cannot long survive in the womb without its placenta, an "organ" as critical as the heart or liver. Pregnancy is a time of "biological construction", during which the human prepares itself to not need the placenta, and, generally, when it is ready to do that, a normal birth occurs. When an abortion opponent asks about the difference between a newborn and a nearly-born human, the Answer is, "the placenta!"


The second main thing that marks birth as a milestone is the "modus operandi" for survival, of the unborn human, compared to the newborn. Using its placenta, it TAKES nutrients from the body of a woman, dumps toxic biowastes into that other body, AND infuses that other body with addictive substances. A newborn human does NONE of that; it can only survive by receiving gifts, including the gift of being carried to a teat, since it is unable to go there by itself.


So, even though the Law is, through no fault of its own, not synchronized with the Data about Generic Differences between Persons and mere animals, it IS synchronized with a couple other very important things. Meanwhile, abortion opponents want to make the Law EVEN MORE out-of-sync with the Data about Persons. Tsk, tsk!

ignorance_is_curable said...

Whether the vat exists or not, if I find someone's leg, or a torso or whatever, that's not an ethical issue. They're not alive.
----------
FALSE, in the case of a just-amputated leg. Obviously there would be no reason to put a truly-dead leg into a regeneration vat.
===============


They're not in the process of becoming a person. If someone puts them in the vat, does that create a problem for my view? It depends on how it works I guess. So long as there's not a living organism it's not a problem at all.
--------------
Which is EXACTLY why you need to very carefully re-think about the definition of "organism", and the equating of "potential" with "actual". Because the whole purpose of a regeneration vat is to give some tissue the chance to fulfill its genetic POTENTIAL, regardless of whether that "tissue" is a legless body, or just a leg.
==============


At some point, I assume that there will be an organism and if at that point it will become a person so long as you don't interfere, then I'd say you can't kill it.

----------------
Logically, that "point", for you, should be "almost immediately upon insertion into a regeneration vat" (because the fluids in the vat do need a bit of time to affect the tissues in, say, a leg).
============

If you cloned yourself and made an infant version of you I'd say the same.
--------------
Not relevant to the current thing, because cloning isn't needed. A Perfected Regeneration Vat would operate just fine on a single white blood cell, to yield a complete human body!
==============

This doesn't mean I need to go through this if I find a leg walking down the street. The leg on the street is just bio-waste.

---------------
NOW WE ARE AT THE CRUX. Assuming that the leg is still alive, You are saying You Are Free To Deny The Fulfillment Of Potential, By Denying Assistance.


Well! A zygote needs assistance (body temperature), in order to successfully fulfill its potential. A morula needs assistance (from the structure of the Fallopian tube) in order to fulfill its potential. A blastocyst needs assistance (of a womb) in order to fulfill its potential. Even an about-to-be-born human needs assistance (such as the muscular efforts of a woman, or perhaps a C-section) in order to fulfill its potential. A woman seeking an abortion is someone seeking to Deny Assistance (more specifically, continued assistance) to an unborn human. You want to REQUIRE that "assistance for fulfilling potential" be provided in some cases, but it is OK to Deny it in other cases. Tsk, tsk!

RonPaul2012 said...

I use caps too, because I am lazy, but you can highlight certain words like this:


with *example* or:


< b > blank < /b >


< i > blank < /i >


u for underline


and so on


to highlight those words

ignorance_is_curable said...

Perhaps you noticed that in some other comment I posted to this page, I indicated that a POSSIBLE "foundation statement" for ethics was this:


"Persons need to get along with each other." This IS a statement that can be empirically supported with Factual evidence! Just look at human history, and see all the things that happen to persons when they don't get along with each other!


In the long run, if persons, PLURAL, don't get along with each other, the result would EVENTUALLY be that just one person would survive. For a limited time, probably, because the "old age" problem has yet to be solved.


On the other hand, if persons do recognize that they need to get along with each other, then certain behaviors automatically become unethical, like murder and theft. Very much like certain behaviors disapproved under most systems of "morals".


Net result, just as I previously indicated, morals are totally unnecessary, and ethics CAN have a solid and Universal and NON-arbitrary foundation.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Regarding a 50% failure rate, see this:

ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu/issues/su96/Feature/Feature-The_Facts_of_Life.html
=============

the point is that these flawed embryos lack the potential to be persons, so I'm not obligated to do anything for them.

-----------------
Then somehow you MISSED the point I raised (or ignored it). If the Law grants person status and rights at conception, then the Law will require assistance be given to EVERY flawed zygote or morula or blastocyst or embryo or fetus, so long as the technology exists to compensate-for or correct the flaws. All because YOU want the Law to grant them "right to life"!!!

ignorance_is_curable said...

JUST like I said. You equate the "potential" with the "actual". Therefore you should have no objection to sleeping in the nude one winter night on a bare patch of ground, because OBVIOUSLY it has potential, and therefore is equal to having a nice warm house with a comfy bed in it, located there.


OR, you can admit that the potential and the actual are two different things, and therefore unborn humans don't need to be granted person status and rights.

RonPaul2012 said...

I was watching a program a few weeks ago on PBS - about gene therapy, to essentially 'cure' embryos with the wrong numbers of chromosomes (downs) and other flaws.

Of course, some disabled won't like it, because curing certain genetic defects apparently robs the existing disabled of their 'identity'.

Anyhoo, this post went viral a couple of years ago, and is related to your point:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

ignorance_is_curable said...

One of the fundamental problems with any argument based on "potential" is that you can't know in advance exactly how it will be fulfilled. You might abort an Einstein --OR you might abort a Hitler. Since the possibilities cancel out, NOBODY can successfully argue from the foundation of "human potential"." - Nope. I can successfully argue that personhood separates humans and non-human animals in a morally significant way, and that infants because they're developing personhood have rights animals don't.
-------
I should have been more specific. You cannot successfully argue from the foundation of "human potential always has positive value".
===============

Your only response to date has been, "Stupid Lie! CANNOT - Wrong!"
----------
And each time I have explained exactly why, often offering supporting evidence. Meanwhile, you merely make claims that have NO supporting evidence, that human potential always has positive value, and similar nonsense.
================

That's not a good argument. You disagree that one SHOULD give rights to infants, ...
----------
NOT QUITE. I say that the Data from Science indicates that human infants don't qualify as persons. I have also said that it would be very difficult to write a Law that only assigns rights as humans become persons, because humans do it at different times, developing at different rates.
================

... but of course we can and do.
-------------
YES, and the main reason is that the Law was written before the Data from Science came along. It is partly because of the difficulty in writing a good alternate Law, to associate Legal Personhood with appropriate Objective Data, that I'm not interested in changing the current Law.

Meanwhile, I choose to oppose efforts to make the Law MORE out-of-sync with the Objective Data about Persons. Because THAT involves DENYING Facts, and it is ALWAYS Stupid to Deny Facts.
============

Therefore it's been successfully argued that potential can be a reason to grant rights.

-------------
[insert belly-laughter here] NOPE. Try again! And pay attention to ALL the facts, not just the few you cherry-pick!

ignorance_is_curable said...

Tsk, tsk, obviously you haven't paid attention to how Soviet Russia used its veto power in the UN Security Council?


They really enjoyed, on occasion, vetoing every proposal except for the one they proposed. Net effect, they forcibly got what they wanted, because there was no allowed alternative.


And YOU want to do essentially the same thing. Your worthless blather, trying do disguise the Actual Effect of what you want, has been exposed for the nonsense that it truly is.

ignorance_is_curable said...

If we were just talking about all embryos generically, you'd have a point because there's something akin to a screening process that weeds out abnormal embryos- but I usually try to be careful to add "healthy" when I talk about the rights of fetuses and embryos.
-------------
Then you are exhibiting Prejudice, still. Remember, the Law doesn't care one whit about how healthy or not-healthy is a newborn human; all are EQUALLY granted Legal Person Status.
++++++++++
- I don't know what law you mean, but I don't see how you can accuse me of prejudice.
*****************
I grabbed some text from a prior message or two, to make it obvious what Law I mean. The US Constitution has been interpreted as granting person status, plus associated rights, to newborn humans, REGARDLESS of their health status. You and other abortion opponents are On Record as saying that the Law should be changed to grant person status and rights to pre-natal humans. The Law is going to be GENERIC in doing that, if that happens.


Meanwhile, a few posts ago YOU wrote: "I usually try to be careful to add "healthy" when I talk about the rights of fetuses and embryos."
---And Therefore You Are Exhibiting Prejudice For The Healthy Over The Unhealthy. Tsk, tsk!
===============


I've maintained all along that it's living organisms which are in the process of developing into persons.
--------
I don't deny the validity of that Fact, regarding unborn humans. I merely point out that there is no Natural Requirement for the development process to be completed. I've even pointed out that it might not be completed even if a normal healthy baby gets born --if the Environment doesn't include appropriate Nurture, then that human will end up "feral", and never become more than just a clever animal.
=============


If an embryo is detectable as being malformed at this stage, then unhealthy means something quite serious.
-------------
TRUE. But the Law won't care about that, if the Law has granted them Person status and Right To Life. If the technology exists to compensate-for or correct the problem, then the Law will insist that that that technology get used, to "save human life".
=============


It doesn't mean something ethically irrelevant like being born deaf. It means unviable or if it's born, then unable to survive infancy.
----------
It only means that RIGHT NOW. But it won't necessarily always mean that in the far future, as our medical technologies improve.
=============


Therefore, there's no capacity for personhood. That's consistent with what I've said all along.

---------
FALSE, because what you have "said all along" was based on Ignorance and Prejudice.

ignorance_is_curable said...

According to that paper linked a few messages ago, most species of mammals DON'T have their females doing menstruation. They ARE "specially accommodating", compared to humans!

The next thing you have wrong (your analogy about relatives) is this:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interspecific_pregnancy

"Interspecies compatibility is related to the type of placentation, as mothers of species having the more invasive hemochorial placentation (such as humans) must create a stronger downregulation of maternal immune responses, and are thereby more receptive to fetuses of other species, "



That means it should be fairly easy for a human woman to carry a chimpanzee or gorilla fetus to term, if the blastocyst of one had been introduced into her womb at an appropriate time.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Agreed; so long as we stick to secular stuff here, NONE of us were persons until our brains acquired certain abilities as a consequence of appropriate Nurturing. Prior to acquiring personhood characteristics, such that the "I" of each of us could exist as we know it today, our bodies were ONLY mere animals.

And I also agree that self-awareness by itself is insufficient for personhood. An octopus, for example, is self-aware enough to recognize itself in a mirror, but it doesn't pass other tests that persons can pass.

So, here:

Proposed Characteristics of Persons, which TOGETHER distinguish them from ordinary animals

1. Persons are self-aware.

2. Persons have Free Will.

3. Persons are able to understand the concept of "the future".

4. Persons are able to creatively manipulate abstractions.

5. Persons are able to mentally place themselves into the situation of another entity.

6. Persons are individuals who transcend their organic individuality in conscious social participation. (Sir Julian Huxley)

ignorance_is_curable said...

(sorry, forgot to indicate that because research is on-going, the list cannot be considered "complete" at this time.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Don't count on AIs as never being organic. Think about classic science-fictional "androids", for example. And "The Bicentennial Man" for another.


The more we learn about molecular biology, the more it is obvious that it qualifies as "natural nanotechnology". MACHINERY, in other words....


Which Logically means that machines are ALREADY life forms. The only sensible debate on the subject should be something like "What degree of complexity should a machine possess, before we can call it 'alive'"?

ignorance_is_curable said...

It is well known that Hollywood seldom pays attention to scientific accuracy, when making movies. As a result it tends to push the boundaries associated with the "willing suspension of disbelief" so necessary for enjoying science fiction.


Anyway, despite the implausibility regarding Number Five in "Short Circuit", there remains the VALUABLE point that Hollywood has managed to introduce LOTS of people to the notion that it might reasonable to accept some machines as being "alive". The value in that comes from the manner in which it can help diminish future Prejudice against Artificial Intelligences.

ignorance_is_curable said...

You're acting as if a functional equivalent is identical, which is absurd.
--------------
[insert belly-laughter here]
And this blog-post page started out with an "argument from identity", remember?


A "functional equivalent" of one computer is another computer that is by-definition able to run all the software that the original computer can run. Furthermore, "functional equivalence" doesn't have to exist in hardware! Search for [computer emulator] sometime, where the brackets represent the search box.
===========


If you copy my mind onto different hardware it's not 'me.'
------------
If the other hardware can run the software identically to how it runs on the original hardware, then it could be very difficult to prove that the copy is different from the original.


I'm getting an idea regarding how to go about a successful mind-transfer.


First, we put you into a sensory-deprivation box. This will minimize data inputs that affect how you perceive your body.


Second, the "new" brain is disconnected from equivalent inputs (audio, video, etc.)


Third, the two brains need to be synchronized and connected, such that they are both running each piece of "personhood" software at the same time.


Fourth, we start connecting external data inputs to the new brain, while keeping your body in the sensory-deprivation box. Because of the connection between the two brains, you will experience those inputs as a "telepresence" sort of thing. (Note that for most of the movie "Avatar", humans were in-essence using telepresence to control alien bodies. But we are doing MORE than that in this Scenario)


Fifth, we inject your body with a sleeping drug. Your original brain starts to shut down, even as "you", the software being simultaneously run by both brains, keeps running in the second brain.


Finally, once your original body is asleep, we can break the connection between the two brains, and we can ask the second brain "Who Goes There?" It would certainly be interesting to learn the answer to that question!
=============


If you can make one you can make more, and there can't be multiple 'me's,
------------
Logically, if the above works, the answer to that question would be "a duplicate of your mind, unable to think of itself as not being 'you'".


Meanwhile, your original body and brain, disconnected from the second brain, could wake up, and of course as long as its software is intact, "you" would be in that body, much like you are there currently. There would be nothing to prevent copying yourself a thousand times --and every one of those copies could In Theory think it was "you".
============


As similar as identical twins become they're still individuals. Unless you think you're information, you can't be simultaneously instantiated/manifested in multiple locations. If you are information, you don't have a physical existence at all- which is just as ridiculous as saying you're a soul.

--------------
Except I've described "you" as being "information being processed", not just/only "information". Consciousness is associated with CHANGE; information by itself is static.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Sorry, not an equivalent situation. That linked paradox is about replacing parts of a boat, and I'm talking about the parts needed to build it in the first place --you only supplied 1/11 of them, and others supplied the rest.


So what makes your contribution more relevant than all the others put together? Because that is the continuity argument claims, in comparing the significantly post-natal human to a pre-natal human, and claiming "continuity".

ignorance_is_curable said...

You are mistaken about the evolutionary "measure of success". It is not only about passing on genes; it is also about the offspring surviving long enough to pass their genes on!
And the woman, not a zygote or other pre-natal human, and certainly not the average abortion opponent, is the one who best knows her environment, in which offspring would be raised.


If potential parents want "what is best" for their children, and can't offer that now, then that is certainly a reason to do what it takes to not have children now, including abortion.


I've mentioned before that one possible (though only temporary) solution is to tax all abortion opponents, and use the money to pay for what they want, the requiring of otherwise-unwanted births to take place. They can pay for the prenatal care, the birthing and recuperation costs, all the food clothing, shelter, toys, education, etc., associated with raising a child for 18 years.


Of course, as soon as enough women like the Octomom come along, who learn they can have lots of kids that other people will pay for, in order to keep them from being aborted, well, all the abortion opponents will eventually go broke paying the taxes needed to pay for what they the abortion opponents want.


Which returns us to the situation in which pregnant women will decide that their environmental situations are not suitable for raising children, and seek abortions.


You really cannot win!

ignorance_is_curable said...

Oh, so your preferred interpretation is the one fundamentally based on Stupid Prejudice??? "Our human cells are so Objectively Important that they are the only things we need to think about when discussing 'continuity' with an unborn human".


When the human cells constitute only 1/11 of all the cells in the body, and cannot survive without the other 10/11 it should be Obvious that Stupid Prejudice must be involved, to focus only on the human cells!

ignorance_is_curable said...

Any missing plank in the hull would sink the ship, so what? I can exist with none of them-as long as they're replaced.
------------------
MISDIRECTION. Whether "original" or "replaced", you still cannot survive without 10/11 of your overall body.
===========


That's the whole point!

--------
Misdirection is the point? Then you have failed to make your point, since I was not misdirected.

ignorance_is_curable said...

And yet your efforts have failed, to poke holes in the evidence I presented. 10/11 of the body does not have continuity with the pre-natal human organism, and neither does the "I", the person-class mind.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Thank you! I've tested that (some HTML tags) and it does indeed work. Thanks, again!

ignorance_is_curable said...

It's quickly obvious that that linked article doesn't know what it is talking about --see the "references" list after the second sentence? The four-dimensionalism notion was originated by Robert A. Heinlein in his very first published story, "Life Line", 1939. If they can't even get their references correct, why should anything else they write be taken seriously?


I do not deny the four-dimensionalism view. I merely point out (as I've previously done) that it only connects part (about 1/11 of the cells) of an adult body to a zygote --and none of the person-class mind.


Therefore, if you "are seriously going to claim the adult human has complete continuity with the zygote", then you would be telling a Stupid Lie.


I will admit that my original phrasing was backward to what I needed to say. The unborn human does have complete continuity to the adult. But the "argument from identity" starts with the adult, or other post-natal human, and tries to connect the "I" of that entity backward toward the zygote. So, like I just said, my prior phrasing was backward because it was not consistent with the argument from identity.


And, since the backward connection does not work, because the "I" is associated with things that have no continuity with a zygote, that is why the argument from identity fails.

RonPaul2012 said...

It is not only about passing on genes; it is also about the offspring surviving long enough to pass their genes on!



I've thought about that. What's the point of having babies if they are all going to die, especially during time of drought and famine? All you have done is expended resources which will make life much harder for you, and potentially shorten your lifespan, all for something that won't even be able to reach the age of reproduction??


Sounds futile to me. Anyways, this is one reason that infanticide has been used as population control throughout human history.

ignorance_is_curable said...

"All the cells of my body are produced by my body going back to when I was a zygote" --and all the bacterial cells were produced by other bacterial cells, going all the way back to the Origin of Life. So? I'm not seeing a significant distinction. When you exercise and your muscles "bulk up"/grow-larger, the muscle cells are multiplying to do that, very similar to bacterial cells multiplying (except more controlled).

RonPaul2012 said...

tries to connect the "I" of that entity backward toward the zygote. So,
like I just said, my prior phrasing was backward because it was not
consistent with the argument from identity.


Though it would appear that Clinton Wilcox, in this article, was saying that an infinite # of 'identities' could result from that one zygote, but, they would all be identical, because only the very special genes in each zygote can react to the outside world in their own unique way.

It's like saying that a block of marble in the ground is literally ANY statue or statues that you can think to carve out of it, as long as those future statues use the material that is available.

http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/01/the-argument-from-identity.html#comment-1193933518

ignorance_is_curable said...

Sorry, it is not clear whether you are supporting my case, or otherwise. I do not deny that the human-cells body is still an organism, even as it is thoroughly enmeshed with other organisms (bacterial), thereby being part of an overall larger ecosystem/organism.


I'm simply pointing out that that overall organism is a more complete description of "a human", than just the human-cells body. If you don't properly care for your bacterial symbiotes, you will sicken and possibly die.


So, a healthy human adult must recognize that it is foolish to only think of the human-cells portion as important. Which thereby brings us back to the argument from identity, because it is now important to identify with all of your existence.

RonPaul2012 said...

I believe he is making an argument similar to the one I just showed you made by Clinton:

http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/01/the-argument-from-identity.html#comment-1204121329

ignorance_is_curable said...

I've previously posted in the comments something about how you could trace all of Life backward to its origin. So, from that point, going forward, vast quantities of possibilities have been realized, the human animal body being just one.


But the argument-from-identity doesn't start in the past and go forward, it starts in the present and goes backward. It ignores the Fact that the adult human in the present only has partial continuity with the unborn human.


Logically, the most important part of a human is the part that can claim to have "rights". (If no human could make the claim, no other human could accept the claim, and act in accordance with such acceptance!)


Well, with respect to continuity and the argument-from-identity, the ability to claim rights has no continuity with an unborn human. It only begins to exist as a result of things that happen to a human body significantly after birth.

ignorance_is_curable said...

I'm not equating a damn thing. I'm not saying they're equivalent, I'm saying that there's one right both share: the right not to be killed.
----------------------
And that claim requires supporting evidence! Which, so far as you have provided, is fundamentally based on Prejudice (as in "it's human!") and Ignorance (equating potential with the actual).
================


SCOTUS said that legal persons and natural persons both have a right to free speech. Does that mean that they said they're not different types of things? Of course not!

------------
And as far as SCOTUS is concerned, a "natural person" begins to exist at birth. We have the 14th Amendment and more than 220 years of Precedent with the Census Law, supporting that definition.


Meanwhile, of course, the Science process has discovered lots of facts regarding what can Generically distinguish persons from ordinary animals, and that data indicates that SCOTUS is actually enforcing a Legal definition of "person" upon newborn humans, instead of actually "recognizing natural personhood".

RonPaul2012 said...

For blockquotes:

blockquote" and "/blockquote" with angle brackets (y'know--less than and greater than).

Like this:

look at me I am blockquoting

And you'll be good to go!

Coyote said...

"Meanwhile, abortion opponents want to make the Law EVEN MORE out-of-sync with the Data about Persons. Tsk, tsk!"

Personally, I prefer to make the law more consistent (in either direction). The current law isn't exactly consistent, since some late-term abortions are banned and since if someone hits a pregnant woman in the stomach or whatever and causes a miscarriage, then he or she is often charged with murder or manslaughter.

I am not sure on what the ideal law should look like on the abortion issue, but I prefer more consistency over what we currently have. Also, I am not sure that trying to change the law to fit in with your views (legalize all elective late-term abortions, et cetera) would be easier than trying to change the law in order to make prenatal personhood more thorough (such as by getting abortion to be considered homicide, et cetera).

Coyote said...

Sorry for the very late reply to you. I can sometimes be pretty busy and/or lazy, so yeah.

"First off, I think it is important to note that even though, as a zygote/fetus/baby/toddler, certain mental functions are not developed until later - the key is that they DEVELOP. In my understanding, they do not suddenly "turn on". I could be wrong about that, but since a human is able to (for instance) recognize and begin to learn language patterns in the womb, as well as recognize the voice of their mother and (often) father immediately after birth, it seems clear to me that learning and mental functions develop throughout a human's life, and that that development begins before birth, parallel to the development of the physical brain and body."

I get your point about development, but the thing is that a pro-choicer could ask why being in the process of developing a certain ability is equally important to already being finished with developing this ability. Allow me to elaborate--if someone is in the process of getting a college degree, then this individual's situation is not equal to someone who already finished his studies in regards to this and already got a college degree. Likewise, a pro-choicer can argue that being in the process of developing self-awareness, rational thought, and/or et cetera is not comparable with already having these abilities.

"Then, I would also point out that if something were to go wrong during a child's development in the womb (for instance, a lack of oxygen, a mother drinking too much alcohol, etc) then the brain function of that child will be permanently damaged. If we aren't mentally as well as physically connected to ourselves as young humans, then how can circumstances that existed in our past have such HUGE effects on our future ability to think and reason?"

The thing is that I wasn't arguing that our mental and our physical selves are not connected to or affected by each other. I was simply saying that they are not the same thing.

"Finally, I would note that (depending on your view, of course) this mental/physical dichotomy is a false difference. We ARE our physical beings - our mental abilities are due to PHYSICAL processes in our brains, and should those physical processes become interrupted, then what we see as our mental abilities would become compromised. In other words, if we are a continuation of the fetus bodily-wise, then that continuation also includes our brains. And because our brains are DIRECTLY responsible for our mental abilities, then our mental abilities are also a continuation."

I get your point here about the continuation of our development and about the connection/relationship between our physical and mental abilities. However, even if a pro-choicer accepted your premise here (that we are completely the same as embryos and fetuses), he or she could still argue that we don't/shouldn't actually acquire (legal) rights and (legal) personhood until we already acquire certain mental abilities.

Hopefully my post here is clear enough for you. I am sorry if what I just wrote here appears to be a little confusing to you or to anyone else.

bakakurisu said...

The problem is that opponents of the right to live impose arbitrary parameters on "personhood". This is certainly not without precedence:
____________________
"..in the eyes of the law...the slave is not a person." (Bailey/als. v. Poindexter's Ex'or, 1858, Virginia Supreme Court)

"An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution." (George Canfield, American Law Review, 1881)

"The statutory word ‘person’ did not in these circumstances include women." –British Voting Rights case, 1909

"The Reichsgericht itself refused to recognize Jews...as 'persons' in the legal sense." (1936 German Supreme Court decision)
___________________
Here's the medical definition of the word "person":
___________________
person per·son (pûr'sən)
n.

A living human.

The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.

The living body of a human.

Physique and general appearance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
__________________
Given the fact that a HUMAN BEING is present from the moment of conception, abortion is, if fact, homicide.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

Your argument here is flawed. I suggest you go here read the website and comment on the website to tell him how his position is flawed. http://fightforsense.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/manyargs/

Sitting here attempting to comment to him on his grey tag instead of his green tag where he could get the notification only shows how much of a coward you really are. Also,

''The problem is that opponents of the right to live impose arbitrary parameters on "personhood''

Your opponents are looking at the bigger picture here because your side has to answer, ''what should be used to determine if a NON HUMAN entity should have the right to life or not?'' That question needs to be answered by your side if not, there is no need to consider your position. You can sit here and cry ''arbitrary'' this and that but that won't help you at all.

As for your history examples, you fail to say that what was being used at the time were physical characteristics like skin color, gender, or eye color. We won't be using that to determine if a non human entity should have the right to life.

''The position that we advocates of life hold is perfectly consistent.''
Not really. All your really doing is crying arbitrary this and that until the pro choicer includes everything human inside the parameters for personhood. That is not really hard to do as a animal rights activist can easily do that as well which requires no type of thinking at all.

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