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Monday, May 5, 2014

The "Invisibles"

[Today's guest post by Susi O. Fanabba is part of our paid blogging program.]

A few weeks ago, we celebrated National Sibling Day. This Sunday, we will celebrate Mother's Day. And next month, we have Father's Day. For many people, including many pro-lifers, these holidays are a cause for joy. But I implore you to be sensitive; many people have come to dread this time of year. Children who have lost parents are an obvious example. Let us also remember the "invisible" sufferers:

Those "only" children whose siblings have died.

Those, like me, who have lost a sibling to abortion.

Those parents who have lost their only children, and are therefore unlikely to receive any recognition on the days set aside for mothers and fathers.

Those post-abortive women who relive their pain each Mother's Day.

Those single parents who are raising children on their own due to the loss of a partner. (My mom is in this category, having been widowed at a young age with four kids. While it's been almost 20 years, it's still painful for us on Father's Day.)

We as a movement should do more to acknowledge these "invisible" victims. If you know someone who may find Mother's Day or Father's Day difficult, please consider sending them a message to check up on them, etc. Many of my friends who have lost children have been so touched to know that their babies are remembered.

672 comments:

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Fusengammu said...

I also lost a sibling due to abortion, making me an "only" child. My parents originally were planning on only 1 child, but unfortunately contraception failed. Being a 1st generation immigrant, I desperately wanted a sibling growing up because I had no other blood relatives within a 5000 mile radius. My mom was crazy busy with her scientific career, and I was a lonely child. However, as I went through my teenage years and realized just how much hardship she went through breaking through all the barriers she broke back in Japan to achieve what she has, I came to realize that without abortion, she probably would not have become the well-known scientist that she has become. She sometimes wonders what her life would have been like raising more than 1 child, but she ultimately doesn't regret her decision, and while I may have lost a sibling, I am truly inspired by my mother (and father). Seeing my mother truly live up to her potential completely outweighs any sadness I felt as an "only" child, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way either.

So just saying, not all of us "only" children feel like victims. I do agree with you that you should be mindful of others as they might be hurting, but also remember that not all "only" children because of abortion feel they are victims.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

It is a testimony to how sexist society is that women still have to choose between the lives of their unborn children and being successful with education/career. Women shouldn't have to choose. they should be able to have both. society needs to offer a lot more support for working mothers.

guest said...

You know, I tend to not think much about feminism (even though I'm a female), but you are absolutely right that this is sexist. You don't hear often, if ever, about a man being limited in career options just because he has children.

Fusengammu said...

Yeah, my mother had to deal with a sexist culture, but that is not the only thing. As a scientist on the bench working with E. coli that rapidly multiplied, when they were in the middle of an experiment, they would have to be committed to it round the clock for days. I remember as a 3-year old having to sleep on the floor in the laboratory for a few days on styrofoam as my parents did not have extended family as a support system and they were in the middle of an experiment.



My mother laments that had she been a theoretical mathematician or a writer, she may have been able to bring work home and cared for more than 1 kid, but given her choice of discipline, 1 was the maximum. My parents worked as a team, so it wasn't really feasible for either one to take maternity or paternity leave. So my parents left Japan because the sexism held them back, but that alone account for her choice. Some fields just require more time than others, and will put a limit on the family structure a couple can support. Several of their colleagues also were married scientists, and I recall more than a few had only 1 child. That's just the nature of the game.

purrtriarchy said...

Think about all the kids who are alive today because their mothers had abortions years earlier when it was the wrong time to have a kid. The horror.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

That statement doesn't even make logical sense. The woman could have had both kids. Giving birth to one child does not exclude giving birth to and conceiving another.

purrtriarchy said...

Yes it does. Depends how much the unwanted pregnancy fucks up her life.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Taking the life of your unborn child is very different, ethically and morally, from preventing another child from being conceived.

purrtriarchy said...

abortion = family planning

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Infanticide=family planning in the ancient world.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

And infanticide still=family planning among desperate teenage girls and women who only find out about the pregnancy when they give birth.

purrtriarchy said...

Infanticide and abortion are not the same.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Contraception and abortion are not the same. Preventing someone from being conceived is not the same as ending their life after they are conceived.

purrtriarchy said...

ZEF's are not a 'someone'. They are mindless animal organisms with the potential to be someone, nothing more.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Infants do not even know that they exist. They are pretty much mindless. Temporary coma patients aren't even conscious, or able to interact with the outside world. Are they someones?

purrtriarchy said...

Infants are sentient. They can interact with the world. They can feel.


A mindless ZEF can do none of that, because the structures that give rise to sentience simply do not exist.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Infants are sentient, however they are not self-aware. A temporary coma patient is not sentient. Is that temporary coma patient a person?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Certain medical conditions can cause an infant to be born in a coma. Are such infants persons?

purrtriarchy said...

The answer is in your question. If the coma is temporary then the coma patient is sentient, and has the capacity for sentience, but is temporarily not using it. The structures *exist* in a temporary coma patient. They don't exist in a ZEF.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

The structures exist in the temporary coma patient, but their medical condition prevents them from having the capacity to be currently sentient. The ZEF will develop sentience, just like the temporary coma patient will.

purrtriarchy said...

structures exist in temporary coma patient. coma patient is temporarily not using them but coma patient is still sentient. Sentient but unconscious.



structures do not exist in a ZEF. It may not ever develop those structures. Potentiality is not actuality. ZEF is non-sentient AND unconscious.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

sen·tience

(sĕn′shəns, -shē-əns)
n.
1. The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.
2. Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.
According to the dictionary, sentience=consciousness.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Oftentimes, it is uncertain that a coma patient will ever gain or regain consciousness. Is a patient with such an uncertain future a person?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Definition of sentient (adj)
Bing Dictionary
sen·tient
[ sénshənt ]

conscious: capable of feeling and perception
responding with feeling: capable of responding emotionally rather than intellectually

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sentience
sentient /sen·ti·ent/ (sen´she-ent) able to feel; sensitive. sen·tient (sĕn′shənt, -shē-ənt) adj. 1. Having sense perception; conscious.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Certain patients in very deep comas cannot feel pain and most have no sense perception.

purrtriarchy said...

the STRUCTURES that give rise to sentience EXIST in temporary coma patients


they DO NOT EXIST in ZEF's

purrtriarchy said...

Once it can be established that they will never regain consciousness, and that can be tested with equipment, for specific brainwaves etc, then no, they are no longer persons, merely bodies, in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo was just a body, her mind ie cerebral cortex, had turned to mush.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120106110214.htm

Sounder0 said...

The coma patient does not have structures that allow sentience. They have more brain matter, more connections, more development and complexity, sure. But all that comes to nothing, because those structures are still incapable of conferring sentience. It's not just that they're currently not in use. There has to be some kind of important physiological change in those structures (healing, reduction of swelling, etc.) for them to gain the ability to confer sentience on the individual, but at present, they're just not capable of doing so.

Someone who has structures which confer sentience but just isn't using them would be someone who is asleep-they can wake up at any moment. But that's completely different. Coma patients don't brain structures capable of conferring consciousness.

purrtriarchy said...

If a coma patient is non-sentient then they would never be able to regain consciousness, because the capacity for sentience would be GONE.


Since a temporary coma patient CAN regain consciousness, then yes, they still have the capacity for sentience, they are simply not accessing it at this point in time.


If I stub my toe, it doesn't mean I am no longer a walker. It just means that I temporarily have to limp, because my toe is swollen and sore. I have not lost the *capacity* to walk, because I still have all of the structures that enable walking.

I am a damaged walker. If you cut my legs off and smash my pelvis, I am no longer a walker. Because if my legs do not exist, I cannot walk. A ZEF lacks the structures that give rise to sentience. Period. They dont' exist.

Sounder0 said...

If you damaged your toe such that you couldn't walk, then you would not have the necessary structures for walking. You would have a toe, sure, but a useless toe that did not have walking ability. You do, however, have DNA which codes for healing processes which will allow you to re-gain the structures necessary for walking in the future. You could not regain the ability to walk if gaining the ability to walk (through healing) was not an inherent part of who you are.

purrtriarchy said...

If I stub my toe, it still exists, therefore, I have the capacity to walk, but am temporarily not walking.


If you cut my toe/legs off, i have lost the ability to walk,and no longer have the capacity, because the structures that enable walking DO NOT EXIST

D said...

Just a note - Terri Schiavo was NOT in a persistent vegetative state and her mind had NOT turned to mush - she was conscious and could respond to her surroundings, but was severely disabled. There is a difference.

purrtriarchy said...

Not according to the AUTOPSY:

he official autopsy report[27] was released on June 15, 2005. In addition to studying Terri Schiavo's remains, Thogmartin scoured court, medical and other records and interviewed her family members, doctors and other relevant parties. Examination of Schiavo's nervous system by neuropathologist Stephen J. Nelson, M.D., revealed extensive injury. The brain itself weighed only 615 g (21.7 oz), only half the weight expected for a female of her age, height, and weight, an effect caused by the loss of a massive number of neurons. Microscopic examination revealed extensive damage to nearly all brain regions, including the cerebral cortex, the thalami, the basal ganglia, the hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the midbrain. The neuropathologic changes in her brain were precisely of the type seen in patients who enter a PVS following cardiac arrest. Throughout the cerebral cortex, the large pyramidal neurons that comprise some 70% of cortical cells – critical to the functioning of the cortex – were completely lost. The pattern of damage to the cortex, with injury tending to worsen from the front of the cortex to the back, was also typical. There was marked damage to important relay circuits deep in the brain (the thalami) – another common pathologic finding in cases of PVS. The damage was, in the words of Thogmartin, "irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons.

Phillips, Rich, Producer. (2005-06-07). "Autopsy: No sign Schiavo was abused: Findings show woman's brain 'profoundly atrophied'". CNN. Retrieved 2006-05-03.

Sounder0 said...

They don't exist either way. An intact and healthy toe has a present capacity to allow you to walk, but a severely damaged toe (or foot, whatever) does not. That fact that there is toe-shaped flesh on the end of your foot is irrelevant; it's physiologically incapable of conferring the ability to walk until it undergoes significant changes and healing/development. That's the distinction, an important physiological change has to occur before the toe can have a current capacity to confer walking ability.

In terms of currently expressible capacities, there is no effective difference between having a severely damaged toe/foot, and simply having being born without one. In terms of inherent capacities, there is a huge difference, because if you inherently have the ability to have a healthy toe and walk, you DNA will cause healing to the damaged toe/foot that allows you to have a presently expressible capacity to walk. Healing of the toe/foot is analogous to development of the brain.

Sounder0 said...

....The TOE exists. A toe with a present capacity to confer walking ability does NOT. A damaged toe and an intact toe are fundamentally, physiologically different from one another, and it isn't until very significant changes occur that the damaged one gains the current ability to walk. Changes in tissue, growth of new cells, etc. Just because it was intended for walking, and used to be used to walk, and will be able to be used for walking in the future, doesn't mean it has a present ability to walk. The ability isn't "not being used," it's just not there. You said it yourself-if your foot or whatever is damaged, you're still a walker. But that's because of your nature and DNA, not because of your current abilities.

Maybe "having a current ability to walk that you're not expressing/can't express" would be like if your toe/foot was healthy, but you were wearing a horrendously painful show, or the floor was too slippery or something.

Not using a current ability to be conscious is like being asleep. A brain in a coma is physiologically incapable of currently conferring consciousness-period. Consciousness can only be gained if your DNA directs healing.

purrtriarchy said...

Nope. Again, existing but bruised vs NOT IN EXISTENCE are entirely different things

Sounder0 said...

I doubt we're going to agree on this, but effectively, in terms of presently conferred abilities, they are the same. A foot that doesn't confer walking ability is just a bunch of bone and skin and muscle and tendon. It's not special. It has to be arranged in a very particular and specific way to have any function. And whether the brain can't confer consciousness because there aren't enough neural connections and brain matter yet, or it can't confer consciousness because the messages are unable to get through due to the particular brain structure, it comes to the same thing: no current ability to be conscious. With the coma patient there just happens to be more stuff there, but that stuff is currently, physiologically, 100% useless.

purrtriarchy said...

A stubbed toe exists in reality. It is ACTUAL.

If the toe is missing it DOES NOT EXIST. IT IS NOT THERE.

Zef= missing toe.

Coyote said...

Out of curiosity--didn't your mother have the option of giving birth and then putting her second child up for adoption?

Coyote said...

"Infants are sentient. They can interact with the world. They can feel."

So can pigs, chickens, et cetera.

Coyote said...

"Infanticide and abortion are not the same."

True, though some of the arguments which pro-choicers use might justify infanticide as well.

Coyote said...

To be fair, there are some (though probably a small number) of pro-choicers which do appear to support elective infanticide in at least some cases.

Coyote said...

"ZEF's are not a 'someone'. They are mindless animal organisms with the potential to be someone, nothing more."

Can't this info be used to make a decent argument in favor of giving males a child support opt-out in at least some cases?

Coyote said...

From a politically anti-abortion perspective, your position here doesn't appear to make much sense.

After all, if the Holocaust didn't occur, then my paternal grandparents might not have met (my paternal grandfather and his family moved very far away from their old place of residence in 1941 in order to escape the Holocaust), which in turn would have meant that I wouldn't have existed at all. Does that mean that I should celebrate the Holocaust? No, of course not. Frankly, I myself would have preferred the scenario without the Holocaust and where I wouldn't exist.

Coyote said...

"the STRUCTURES that give rise to sentience EXIST in temporary coma patients"

These structures also exist in humans with global ischemia, correct?

Also, your arguments here in regards to personhood might actually be very strong if you and your movement would be willing to fully take them to their logical conclusions.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

A stubbed toe is useless. Someone cannot walk on anymore than they can walk on a missing toe. S

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

In both cases the ability to walk does not exist. The stubbed toe may exist in reality, but it is useless as a toe. it is merely a collection of tissue until the healing process occurs, just like the coma patient's brain.

Fusengammu said...

Hi Coyote


In fact there was a childless relative of ours who really wanted that baby, and my mom did consider this option. She decided against this for two reasons. Reason 1 was that she didn't think she would be able to give up the child to someone else once she actually gave birth, that she would be too strongly attached to it. The relative that wanted the child is still very close to our family, and while she plead for my mom to reconsider, she fully supported my mom's decision. Reason 2 was that at the time, I was always questioning why I didn't have a sibling, and that I really wanted a brother or a sister. If she gave birth and then gave the kid away, she was worried how I might react to this, and she decided it would be better for me if I never knew about the possibility of a sibling.


So yes, adoption was considered. I now understand her rationale for her decisions. As a parent now, I think she weighed her options carefully, and understand how she would not be able to let go of her baby once she delivered it. I wouldn't be able to either. I strongly believe adoption is not for everybody, just as abortion is not for everybody. One must consider how it might affect the family, as well as the feelings of the mother and father. So choice is important!

purrtriarchy said...

Yet it still exists.

purrtriarchy said...

The *capacity* is still there, and because of the bruising, you are temporarily not using the *ability* to walk. But the capacity is there because the toe EXISTS.



if it does not exist, there is no capacity and no ability, period.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

But it functionally useless. For all intents and purposes, it very well may not exist until it is healed and able to be used.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

If the toe is stubbed, you do not have the ability to walk until it heals. It is not a matter of choosing not to use the ability, it is a matter of not having the ability. ZEF have the capacity to become conscious because of their essential nature. They don't have the ability to be conscious, but they do have the capacity, because their genetic code contains the instructions necessary to produce the structures which the ability to be conscious depends upon.

purrtriarchy said...

Capacity is not in the genome. It is in the existence of the structures. If those structures do not exist, there can be no capacity until they do. Period.

purrtriarchy said...

Nope. It exists, and that is SIGNIFICANT. Temporary inability vs complete non-existence.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

ca·pac·i·ty
kəˈpasitē/
noun
1.
the maximum amount that something can contain.
"the capacity of the freezer is 1.1 cubic feet"
synonyms:volume, size, magnitude, dimensions, measurements, proportionsMore


2.
the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.
"I was impressed by her capacity for hard work"

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Corpses also have those structures. Do they have the capacity to be sentient?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Complete nonexistence implies that the ZEF will never be able to be conscious, which is untrue.

purrtriarchy said...

Potentiality is not actuality.

purrtriarchy said...

No. The brain cells are dead. And in the zef those cells do not exist.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Well, brain cells do exist from the embryonic period onward, according to my embryology textbook. So you are wrong about that. The unique genetic code that gives rise to these cells exists from fertilization onwards.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

The same could be said about the temporary coma patient, who has only the potential to recover consciousness.
BTW, what do you have to say about all of the dictionary definations that I gave you, showing clearly that sentience=consciousness and capacity=ability? Why do you distort and change the dictionary definations of words in order to make your philosophical points?

purrtriarchy said...

Not the ones that confer sentience.

purrtriarchy said...

Dictionaries only record common usage. They do not enforce particular usage. Some words are in dictionaries despite the best efforts of English teachers to declare they should never be used (prime example: “ain’t”). One of the consequences of “recording common usage” is that many definitions tend to change as the generations pass. Words can even become obsolete.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

can you provide any examples of dictionaries defining these terms in the ways that you've defined them? Or did you just make up those definitions to suit your argument?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

At this point, you are just splitting hairs. I am left with the strong feeling that you have other reasons for wanting to deny personhood to ZEF that have nothing to do with sentience. It's just a philosophical smokescreen.

purrtriarchy said...

The concept of “capacity” is directly related to something that exists right now. An unborn human does not “right now” possess the capacity to be a person-class being. Of course, as time passes, the capacities of unborn humans can grow, especially after birth, to indeed exceed the capacities of ordinary animals. So we are really talking about “potential”, not “capacity”.

The average comatose human has certain already-existing abilities that simply aren’t getting used during the coma. (Does a professional dancer become an ex-dancer just by being in a coma? If during a coma abilities can be claimed to only potentially exist, then it should be impossible to ever exercise the ability to recover!) The prenate only has potential ability; it completely lacks actual person-class abilities, and won’t have them until it grows enough brain-power to accommodate those abilities.

purrtriarchy said...

I have tonnes of science. Wanna see my citations? ZEF''s, at least not until the 24-26th week, lack the necessary brainpower to exhibit any form of sentience. it simply does NOT exist. Your average coma patient already has the brainpower, but is simply not using it temporarily, whereas it doesn't EXIST in a ZEF, and until it does, it's mere potential, nothing more. And it may never exist, hence anencephalic babies.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I have researched this as well. Coma patients, on account of their brain damage, are not capable of sentience/consciousness until after healing has occured. It's not a matter of not using their sentience, it's a matter of not having the current capacity for sentience, due to the damaged state of their brains. Both coma patients and ZEFs lack the current ability and the capacity to be sentient/conscious.

purrtriarchy said...

The capacity exists if the structures that give rise to it exist.



The capacity does not exist if the structures are entirely absent, as in a ZEF.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

many times, patients who recover from comas have to undergo extensive rehab to relearn how to do anything, much like an infant have to lean everything. I asked you to cite a dictionary defination for me, not something that you just made up to support your argument. Cite me a dictionary, not your own musings that you made up to support your own desired conclusions.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

excuse me, but capacity=ability in every dictionary that I've looked it up in. Find me an official defination that disagrees with this, and we'll talk. Your own ramblings don't count.

purrtriarchy said...

They can relearn because they have the *capacity* to. They have the brainpower.


A ZEF doesn't have shit.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Coma patients cannot learn or do anything while in a coma. They can only do so after they recover, just like ZEF cannot learn until they become infants. Cite me a dictionary now.

Ann said...

I guess dismemberment was the better choice.

I wonder what the thoughts would be if the woman had terminated a co-worker in order to advance her career? Would people be as understanding?

purrtriarchy said...

http://grammarist.com/usage/ability-capability-capacity/

They are not strictly synonyms. They can be used that way, but capacity has a deeper meaning.

Another distinction commonly drawn between ability and capacity holds
that, in humans and animals, capacities are inborn, while abilities are learned. For instance, a child might be born with the capacity to
become a chef, but the ability to cook must be learned







The capacity is absent in a zef, because those brain cells simply do NOT exist. In fact, the brain of a zef is *significantly* different from that of a sentient newborn.

purrtriarchy said...

If they lost the capacity to relearn, ie, lacked it like a ZEF, they would be incapable of relearning.

purrtriarchy said...

Another one with dismemberment fantasies. How cute.


You gonna accuse his mom of being a psychopath next?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I would encourage you to research vacuum suction aspiration and D and C...how would you describe these procedures? D and C dismembers the fetus, and since vacuum suction aspiration forces the fetus through a tiny tube that is too small for its body, it breaks up the fetus as well. Get an abortion providers manual and look it up for yourself like I did...

purrtriarchy said...

I've seen it all. Including graphic videos. Zef's can't feel. And besides, pro lifers would still oppose abortion if it was done through c section. Heck, pro lifers oppose anything that might prevent a microscopic zygote from implanting.

BTW, the majority of abortions are before 13 weeks, 61% before 9 weeks, and it is ejected whole, just like in a miscarriage.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

If it is done by vaccum aspiration, like the majority of abortions, the tub is only millimeters wide, so anything past around 7 weeks gestation is only going to be broken up because it can't fit whole through the tube.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

ggTo drive the first wedge, distinguish between ability and capacity. Ability denotes actual (as opposed to potential) skill that may be either native or acquired.1 On that point, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary cuts right to the pith, stating that ability is “natural aptitude or acquired proficiency.”2(p3) Capacity, on the other hand, denotes the potential to develop a skill, a native characteristic that one either does or does not have and that cannot be acquired or developed.3 (Language purists might maintain that capacity should be used only to refer to space or volume, but its use to refer to aptitude is well accepted.) Moreover, whereas abilityand capacity can each refer to either physical or mental aptitude, capacity is more commonly used in connection with mental aptitude—in particular, to “mental or intellectual receiving power; ability to take in impressions, ideas, knowledge.”4

purrtriarchy said...

Which backs up my point. Zef's have no capacity and zero ability.

Coyote said...

How exactly do you know that this Japanese individual is a male?

Coyote said...

In addition to looking at this from your perspective, it might be a good idea to look at this from a pro-choice perspective (even if you disagree with this perspective).

At least that way one can examine this issue from both perspectives.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Capacity, on the other hand, denotes the potential to develop a skill, a native characteristic that one either does or does not have and that cannot be acquired or developed.

Coyote said...

I think that (a part of) the distinction that purrtriarchy might be making is that comatose human beings already previously had consciousness and will have it again in the future, whereas prenatal human beings never had consciousness.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

ZEF have the potential to develop sentience/consciousness, by virtue of their genetic makeup. "Capacity denotes the potential to develop a skill"

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

No, she's not. I already brought up the example of infants who are born into comas. Her issue is that ZEF lack the structures necessery for sentience, and she completely ignores the fact that while coma patients have these structures, they do not have the capacity to be sentient, due to their medical condition. She ignores the fact that both have the potential to be sentient, and both are not currently sentient. At this point, she's splitting hairs, so much so that I strongly feel that she is just trying to justify an abortion that she or someone close to her had.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

That makes zero sense. According to that logic, infants should lack the ability to learn, since

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Acording to your logic in the above post, infants should lack the ability to learn, since they lacked that capacity as ZEF.

Fusengammu said...

Purrtriarchy has it right, I am a guy.

Ignoring delusional Ann for a moment, Coyote's call for also considering the pro-choice side makes me want to ask the pro-life side.

I'm pro-choice but in no way do I think abortion should be taken lightly. I do agree it is a living thing that is being terminated. However, I think that at the early stages of pregnancy, a fetus has no mind, can't feel pain etc., and termination is as far as I know, creates no victims. I also don't believe in a soul, so I don't really buy into this idea that what is being destroyed is so special and so irreplaceable that it is world ending. The purpose in one's life can only be created by the person actually living it, I think.

There is no way "science" can conclude whether abortion is moral or not, because science doesn't answer these sort of questions. It is a method of hypothesis testing only, it makes no value judgements.

So the question I want to ask pro-lifers is, what possible harm to society does allowing abortion actually do? I hear "it devalues life", but AFAIK, we live in an era when life is the most valued in all of human existence. Torture is (at least officially) illegal in most of the civilized world, we lavish huge amount of expenses on premature babies and the elderly, there are consumer protection laws that have altered the shape of car fenders so that pedestrians are less likely to die upon impact. The list goes on. To me, this claim that abortion leads to a culture that devalues life sounds about as plausible as the claim that same-sex marriage devalues marriage. I just don't see it.

Michelle Ewing said...

Good question! Besides the post abortive mothers and unborn children, there is a few things that are harmed
1) there is a correlation between access to abortion and STDs. I think many people are worried more about getting pregnant than STDs. Now hat getting pregnant is less of an issue because of abortion, It's perfectly acceptable to have many partners, and that exposes more people to STDs. most STDs are harmful if untreated.
2) Father's rights. it's ok to force a man to have a child, but not a woman. it's ok to take a wanted child away from a father, but not a mother. Mothers are handed full custody unless she don't want it or has been proven countless times to be unfit. It wasn't too long ago that it was the other way around, or unbiased. Father's have no right's right from the beginning of that child's life.
3) Abortion rises the question of "where do we draw the line"? Not to long ago it was ok to kill your slave or beat your wife. They belonged to their owner or husband and in the same way, the unborn belong to their mothers. killing and hurting these people, and other throughout history become illegal because society came to the realization that these people were also human. Human is human. if it's wrong to kill one it's wrong to kill all (unless that human will take the life of anther, and the only way to stop that is to kill them).
4) legal abortion is deeply rooted in eugenics. it is used to weed out the poor and/or black population. getting an abortion wont get a mother living in poverty any more money. and that child isn't doomed to a horrible life because of it's parent's income level. There also isn't a reason to try to breed/abort out the black population.


I'm sure there is more harm, but that's just what I can recall off the top of my head.
NOTE: That wasn't in any order. I also use the term Black instead of African American because not all people with that skin color are from Africa. AND correlation does NOT mean cause.

ignorance_is_curable said...

It looks to me as if this little argument took a wrong turn somewhere, and needs to be straightened out.


First, "capacity" is about something that exists right now. A jar has a certain capacity to hold stuff. Whenever you use the word "capacity" in reference to some future ability to hold more stuff than can actually currently be contained, then you are really talking about potential, not "capacity".


For example, let's compare a growing brain to a set of paper holders for rolls of coins. The holder for dimes does not have the capacity to hold quarters. At an early stage of growth, a brain might have the equivalent of dime-roll capacity. After it grows enough, it could then have the equivalent of quarter-roll capacity --but it still does not have capacity equivalent to holding a roll of half-dollar-coins. At the early stage of growth (including the entire time in the womb), the brain only has potential for greater capacity. It does not have the actual magnitude of capacity needed to support such things as the abstraction-processing that is part of using a language.


It takes significant brain growth after birth for sufficient capacity to grow, for the ability to process language to begin to exist.


Meanwhile, the average coma victim DOES have that capacity, because the victim demonstrated it by successfully using language prior to entering a coma --and when the coma ends, almost every such victim immediately continues to successfully use language.


One of the common mistakes made by abortion opponents is to confuse HAVING an ability with USING an ability. They are two different things! Consider a credit card, which represents an ability to spend money in a certain way. Do you argue that if you are not actually using the card, you do not actually possess it? If "no", then why does any abortion opponent ever use the exact same doesn't-exist argument with respect to abilities associated with personhood? (Answer: As usual, abortion opponents simply don't know what they are talking about!)


Personhood can be defined in terms of exhibiting certain abilities, but they don't have to always be exhibited. Imagine yourself on a starship as an investigator of alien life-forms, and your goal is to correctly distinguish alien persons from alien animals. You would NEED for the alien persons to exhibit certain abilities before you could identify them, simply because you have NO advance knowledge about them! But once they have been identified, they continue to be persons even if they temporarily stop exhibiting those abilities.


The coma victim, just like a sleeping person, is in the situation of not being able to USE abilities that actually exist. But those abilities simply do not exist in the first place for unborn humans.


Finally, regarding corpses. How long after death are you talking about? It usually doesn't take very long after death for the brain to become "non-reboot-able", and it certainly depends on a number of circumstances. A child that falls through ice and drowns in a lake can often be revived after 20 minutes because the cold water prevents quick decay; on a hot day you have maybe 6 minutes max, to reboot a stopped brain. When a brain decays enough, its abilities associated with personhood are physically destroyed by that process. So, a short time after death, corpses do NOT have "those structures" that you were arguing about.

Coyote said...

In regards to why I am politically anti-abortion (a term which I like better than "pro-life"), let me try explaining this:

-First of all, I am simply stating a fact: Human infants are currently treated better than non-human animals with equal or greater current mental abilities to these infants (after all, human infants are considered to be persons and have rights, both of which are not true for non-human animals with equal or greater current mental abilities to these infants).

Now, if you disagree with this fact and think that the law should be changed in regards to this, then the rest of what I am about to say doesn't apply. However, as far as I know, most people support the law in regards to this.

-Thus, why exactly *should* human infants be treated better than non-human animals with equal or greater current mental abilities?

The best response to this question that I heard is the fact that human infants will develop greater mental abilities to these non-human animals over time. (I am not sure if this response is convincing, but I haven't heard any better responses to this question.) However, if that is one's answer to this question, then it makes sense to consider embryos and fetuses persons as well.

In addition, if one opposes giving males *any* sort of child support opt-out (and honestly, I don't see the law in regards to this changing), then it also makes sense for such an individual to consider embryos and fetuses to be persons. Here is a video which discusses this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1kxD_JSbs

Now that I established why I consider embryos and fetuses to be persons/worthy of having rights, I would like to address the bodily autonomy argument by posting these two videos (they respond to Judith Jarvis Thomson's Violinist scenario, but they apply to this topic in a general sense as well):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv_GZuhY_9c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di09C7BTRpo

Now that I have responded to both the personhood issue and to the bodily autonomy issue, hopefully you see why I myself am politically anti-abortion.

Coyote said...

For the record, I am willing to respond to any objections which you might have. In addition, I am open to changing my mind on this issue if I hear convincing enough pro-choice arguments.

ignorance_is_curable said...

"but capacity=ability in every dictionary that I've looked it up in." THAT IS FINE. It is talking about something that EXISTS RIGHT NOW. Does an unborn human have the ability to exhibit ANY of the characteristics that can Objectively and Generically distinguish persons from mere animal organisms, anywhere in the Universe? ABSOLUTELY NOT. So, if they don't have the ability, they ALSO don't have the capacity, in perfect accordance with your definition!

ignorance_is_curable said...

By That Logic, since you have the capacity to become a corpse (even if it takes a thousand years), does that mean you should be treated right now like you are a corpse, and be buried six feet under?


It is because "potential" and "actual" are two different things that we can do different things about them! Therefore we do NOT allow burying living persons like corpses, and we DO allow abortions.

Fusengammu said...

Hi Coyote


1) must remember that correlation != causation. People who would consider abortion are probably more sexually liberal. I bet there would also be a correlation between birth control pills and STDs. After all, it is a non-barrier contraceptive.
2) I don't really understand this argument. :(
3) I agree. Where do we draw the line? I think there is no black and white place to draw it, and it comes down to personal and emotional arguments.



One criteria for me to become supportive of outlawing abortion would be if abortion can be shown to be the CAUSE or definitively be shown to LEAD to some situation that would negatively affect our civilization or lead it to devalue life. This is what I DON'T see. I think where #3 is trying to imply is that if we draw this line allowing the termination of pregnancy, it will lead to further shifts in this line, and will allow us to once again shift the line so that we can once again allow slavery or some such. I don't see this happening in any of the countries that allow abortion. Most of those advanced, western nations have become ever more protective of minority subpopulations.

4) Abortion has been around a lot longer than the eugenics movement. However, this is not really a valid argument anyway, because even if abortion "the medical procedure" was in fact dreamt up by a eugenicist (it wasn't), the procedure itself is NOT eugenics. It is simply a way to terminate pregnancy. Many useful medical advances in surgery and disease prevention came about as a result of war. Does that make these advances evil, because they came about through war?

GEIxBattleRifle said...

HAHA be specific about the coma what caused the coma? How much brain damage was there?. My mom happens to work with them and there are various types of comas. Look up ''lock in'' coma some time. Do know about the field next time instead of just going in on it. Thanks!

BloodShot9187 said...

When will you stop with the inherent talk? The only reason why you can come on this message board and type and respond is ONLY because of the mental stimulation your brain received when you were younger. So, everything you have right now was acquired not inherent. Go study up on feral children some time as they do exist still.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

An infant born while in a coma (which does occur sometimes) has the capacity (potential) but the not current ability to be conscious, due to their medical condition. A temporary coma patient has the capacity (potential) but not the current ability to be conscious, due to their medical condition, which currently prohibits consciousness. Are those individuals people? Is killing such an individual murder?

Sounder0 said...

Yes, I got that. It terms of presently expressible abilities though it makes no difference. What I'm saying is that the reason for which a person with a severely damaged foot can still gain presently expressible walking ability later on, is much the same reason for which and embryo who doesn't have a foot at all will also gain a presently expressible ability to walk. It is grounded in their nature, in their DNA, which drives cellular processes resulting in a significant physiological change endowing the individual with the ability to walk.

As you have pointed out, there is a difference between an injury that can heal and one that cannot. However just after the injury, neither the foot that will heal nor the foot that won't have current walking ability. The difference between them lies in whether or not the damage is reparable by cellular processes directed by DNA.

You argue that the structures necessary for consciousness are there in the temporary coma patient, but they're not. There are huge physiological differences between structures which confer consciousness, and structures which do not, regardless or whether they don't because of having too few connections or simply being damaged.

Sounder0 said...

You know, being rude and condescending doesn't somehow make your points more valid.

Without my nature, I would not have been able to develop my mental and physical abilities, even with the mental stimulation you refer to. Other animals, even intelligent ones, would not respond in the same way to the same stimulation.

I'm aware of what feral children are. The fact that they lack teaching and socialization does not change what they are. Would you say that no human becomes a person until they reach they point where they have developed self-awareness? Language? Rationality?

If a child is still young enough that taking them out into the woods to be raised by gorillas (or whatever) would result in them becoming feral, are they non-persons who we may kill? I don't know exactly what this limit would be, but I suspect if you took a 3 or 4 year old into the woods they would certainly become feral. Can we kill 3 and 4 year olds?

ignorance_is_curable said...

You are not talking about anything relevant to the ABORTION issue. It matters not if Science would deny person status to human infants, so long as the Law continues to assign that status to them.


Also, note that there is NO significant political push to change that Law to match the Science; while there is a quite-large and idiotic political push to change the Law to make it even more mis-matched with the Science. Tsk, tsk!


Anyway, both Science AND the Law deny person status to unborn humans, for excellent (even if differing) reasons. I ignore your questions, therefore.

Fusengammu said...

Hi Coyote.


I'm also of the same opinion. If abortion can be shown to me to provide causal harm to the way we live as a society, I will support outlawing it.

The video that you uploaded of the guy arguing that if we recognize men's role in creating life , that it must follow that we recognize that a person starts immediately after conception. I'm not too much a fan of these philosophical for the sake of philosophy sort of approach to deciding abortion rights, but this guys argument to me seems to be invalidated immediately if we consider the fact that if the father dies immediately after sex, the baby can still be born. If the mother dies immediately after sex, the baby will never be born. To me, that immediately tells me that a woman just has more role in the creation of life.

I also don't understand how paternal rights and child support have anything to do with abortion. I just don't have the mind for this kind of gymnastics : (

To me, abortion rights is purely a practical concern. In a perfect world with infinite resources, we can extend human rights to fetus. In the real world, we have many practical concerns about economics, education etc. This is an UNCONSTRAINED OPTIMIZATION problem. We are solving a CONSTRAINED OPTIMIZATION problem - make as many people happy as possible given the resources. In such a world, abortion rights is a necessity.

To get a feel for what an UNCONSTRAINED vs. CONSTRAINED optimization problem is, consider maximizing the area of your yard. The unconstrained solution is inifinite area. The constrained solution would be a solution restricted by something like "your yard must be surrounded by a fence. You only have 500 2x4s. What shape is the yard." The solution to that problem is a square yard of finite area. To me, restricting all abortion and giving fetuses full person rights is the solution to the UNCONSTRAINED problem where we have infinite resources.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Your reply hints that you might not have seen another message I posted to you above. Use Control-F to search the page for "wrong turn", and read that.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Out of curiosity, do you view newborn infants as persons?

ignorance_is_curable said...

I pay attention to the Facts. Newborn humans are mere animal organisms to which the Law has granted "legal person" status. I'm not interested in changing that Law to match the Science, but I'm very interested in keeping that Law from being changed to become more mis-aligned with the Science. For more information see the "Refutations" document at fightforsense.wordpress.com

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Why don't you want to legalize infanticide?

Coyote said...

You are responding to Michelle here, rather than to me.

For #2, I think that Michelle means that if males are forced to pay child support, then females should generally be prevented from having abortions.

ignorance_is_curable said...

It's not necessary, especially if very-late-term abortions are allowed. Also, another thing that could reduce a desire to commit infanticide is an improvement in the adoption laws. Why would infanticide need to be allowed?

lady_black said...

Only where a man is forced to pay child support for a fetus. Find me such a case and I'll agree. That would be unfair.

lady_black said...

The structures not be presently used are not even close to the same as not existing. The zef may never develop those capabilities.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

What about disabled infants that have trouble finding adoptive families? Also, most people who commit infanticide are mothers suffering from post-partum depression and such. Why would you want to criminalize their actions if infants aren't persons?

lady_black said...

Never mind, you don't get it. Anyone born breathing air is a person. Prior to having the ability to breathe air, you aren't a person. Many people confuse what coma is. Coma isn't brain death. Brain dead is dead. Picture a TV screen. Normal brain activity, you can see the picture and hear the audio. Coma, there's still something on the screen but it can range from distortion to snow. Brain dead, black screen. No picture, no sound. People in a coma or PVS experience wake and sleep cycles, and have reflexes including pain response to noxious stimuli (depending on how deep the coma is.) Men will experience erection, etc. It is not necessarily a state of complete unresponsiveness. It depends on what is causing the coma, and if it's brain damage, how extensive. Coma is often medically induced with barbiturates to prevent brain swelling in response to trauma.

lady_black said...

So?

Coyote said...

Actually, this wasn't what I was talking about at all.

Here is a video in regards to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1kxD_JSbs

ignorance_is_curable said...

Most disabilities should be detectable in the womb --and our techniques for identifying disabilities are only going to improve with time. Therefore, as mentioned, allowing very-late-term abortions means that infanticide need not be done in those cases.


Regarding the other group, that is where easing adoption comes into play. If the main problem is the combination of depression-plus-squalling-baby, well, pre-natal education should include the possibility that a woman might need to recognize that she is not "cut out" to be a mother. It needs to be easier for her to give up the baby than to kill it.

Coyote said...

"TRUE, although you are neglecting the "Prejudice" factor. Remember that when anthropologists studied primitive tribes, they discovered that the definition of "person" was "a member of our tribe" and all outsiders were non-persons. Just because we took many thousands of years to finally become enlightened enough to include most humans in the definition of "person", that doesn't mean we still weren't Prejudiced!"

-Yes, I agree that we (or perhaps more accurately, most of us) might still be prejudiced in regards to this. However, until we are completely free from prejudice in regards to this (if this genuinely occurs), then I might continue using this premise in my arguments.

"TRUE; most human persons are still Prejudiced about the humans=persons thing."

-We appear to agree here.

"SOUNDS LOGICAL, but there are at least three factors you have excluded from consideration. First, almost as soon as a human infant is born, it begins interacting with others in a way that allows it to learn, even while its brain is still growing, things about how to behave like a human person (children are great imitators, remember). Most ordinary animals, even the clever ones, don't experience such interactions (primary exceptions: Koko the Gorilla and Alex the Parrot). Now note that unborn humans are NOT in any position to interact with others in any significant way."

I will need to think over this point more.

-However, even right now I can state that I am somehow skeptical that most people will support giving personhood even to *all* of few animals which *do* experience these kinds of interactions.

I will respond to the rest here a little later.

DianaG2 said...

Yes, I totally agree.


When my daughter was finishing up her degree a few months before my grandson was born, one of her instructors asked what she was "going to do?"


Like -- it's her business?


Feminists for Life has a "Pregnant on Campus" program.

DianaG2 said...

(Lady black votes up LOL.)


Sentience and feeling are not prerequisites for humanity.


Twenty three pairs of chromosomes are the prerequisite.


If SOMEONE has 23 pairs of chromosomes, then that SOMEONE is a human being.


It doesn't matter how young she or he is, or how small.

DianaG2 said...

"Structures" and "sentience" have nothing to do with humanity.


You're just looking for an excuse to kill.

purrtriarchy said...

Then your skin cells are people.

purrtriarchy said...

Then every cell in your body with the full complement of chromoses save the ethrocytes is a person.

purrtriarchy said...

And I guess you don't consider those with DS to be people, because they don't have the right # of chromosomes.

DianaG2 said...

It's easy for you to say a small human being can't feel because she or he can't talk, or run away.


How would she or he be able to let you know how she or he felt? What evidence would you accept?


Slaves had no guns, so plantation owners took that as confirmation that they were "happy."


They didn't try to fight back, so they must not mind being enslaved. Otherwise, they would do something about it.

DianaG2 said...

No, people with Down Syndrome are still people.

DianaG2 said...

You know better.

purrtriarchy said...

I suggest you work on your definition then.

purrtriarchy said...

They can't be, not by YOUR definition of what a human being is:

If SOMEONE has 23 pairs of chromosomes, then that SOMEONE is a human being.


Work on your definition if you want to be taken seriously.

purrtriarchy said...

Slaves were sentient.
Slaves were sapient.
Slaves did in fact, fight back, and you may have heard of a little thing called the underground railway


Slaves weren't mindless animal organisms.

Suba gunawardana said...

Unlike any other death, abortion is elective. The phrase "loss of a person to abortion" implies that decision was invariably WRONG (thus an attempt to incite guilt); and underplays the real losses people feel from death of a loved one beyond their control.



BTW Real parents wouldn't look for "recognition" as in mother's/father's day. They are when their children are happy.

wahwahwah said...

It's isn't the instructor's business, certainly. Is it your business what someone who's sure she wants an abortion is 'going to do?'

ignorance_is_curable said...

-Yes, I agree that we (or perhaps more accurately, most of us) might still be prejudiced in regards to this. However, until we are completely free from prejudice in regards to this (if this genuinely occurs), then I might continue using this premise in my arguments.
----------
Are we miscommunicating? It is because of Prejudice that ordinary animals are NOT granted person status, even though they might be more qualified for it than newborn humans. That means the Prejudice has to be eliminated before most folks will see the Logic of your argument.
==========

-We appear to agree here [regarding most folks thinking humans=persons].
----------------
Yet this is where Science eventually will have a major "say". Remember the definition of "person" discovered by the anthropologists? Because that definition is "parochial", it Historically led to many groups thinking themselves so superior to others that they were free to commit genocides.

It is Good that most of humanity is NOW included in the definition of "person", BUT that definition is still Parochial with respect to the rest of the Universe! The last thing humanity needs is to go up against technologically superior aliens in a future interstellar war, ONLY because humans were Stupidly and Genocidally Prejudiced about the definition of "person"!

So, we will eventually NEED an Objective Generic Universal definition of "person", that can always distinguish them from mere animal organisms. Science will have the job of creating that definition. Here is ONE thing that has been investigated.

Two things we can tell already: First, no unborn human can ever qualify as a person, because we can Test infant humans (who are more physically and mentally developed than the unborn), and the infants always fail the Tests. Second, infant humans won't qualify, either. It would be more logical to remove their "legal person" status than to grant legal-person status to ordinary animals that happen to be better-qualified.

(This does not necessarily mean that infanticide automatically becomes legal, any more than it is legal for people to kill each other's pets. For a whole lot more about this, see #103 in the "Refutations" document at fightforsense.wordpress.com )
==========

Most ordinary animals, even the clever ones, don't experience such interactions (primary exceptions: Koko the Gorilla and Alex the Parrot).
********
I will need to think over this point more.

-However, even right now I can state that I am somehow skeptical that most people will support giving personhood even to *all* of few animals which *do* experience these kinds of interactions.
-----------
Again, we are dealing with existing Prejudice. After Science gets done with the job described above, though, there may be animals (like Koko, and possibly dolphins) where Prejudice can be overruled by the Law.
========

I will respond to the rest here a little later.
-------
OK

ignorance_is_curable said...

Humanity doesn't have anything to do with Personhood. Not so long as intelligent extraterrestrial aliens (it is a BIG Universe out there!) can qualify as much as do humans, for Personhood. And perhaps in 20 years, we will be building True Artificial Intelligences, mostly because of all the studies of how human brains function, that are yielding new designs for computer hardware.

ignorance_is_curable said...

You obviously don't understand the difference between "a human" and "a human being". They are not synonymous, any more than the phrases "a rabbit" and "a rabbit being" are synonymous. Why do you NEVER use phrases like "rabbit being" or "oyster being" in casual conversations? It is because the word "being" is getting used, in the phrase "human being", to denote something special --Personhood. Likewise, phrases such as "intelligent being" and "alien being" are ALSO used to denote personhood. But rabbits and oysters are not persons, and therefore you don't call them "beings" in casual conversations.

So, any organism with a full set of human DNA qualifies as "a human organism" (including a hydatidiform mole). It does NOT automatically qualify as a "human being"!


Likewise, a brain-dead human on full life-support is NOT a human being any longer, because the PERSON is dead; only the purely-animal human body is alive. That's why the "plug" is Legally "pull-able"; you cannot kill a person that is already dead!



Unborn humans are in the situation of not YET qualifying as "human beings", because they LACK all of the Objective Generic Universal characteristics that can distinguish ANY type of Person from ANY type of mere animal organism, anywhere in the Universe. Unborn humans are ONLY mere animal organisms, even though they fully qualify as human animal organisms.

DianaG2 said...

Human = Human Being.

DianaG2 said...

Pro-aborts can only reason backwards.

They decide on the conclusion FIRST.

("I want to be able to believe that abortion is not killing my fellow human being. Hm m m . . . Let's see. How can I come up with that as a conclusion? What road will I take to get there?")

Why not just be honest, as Camille Paglia is? She is in favor of abortion, but she freely admits that abortion is the murder of an innocent human being.

I kind of admire her honesty. I prefer her approach to mealy-mouth, whiney, ignorant, arrogant, self-righteous, deluded pro-aborts.

DianaG2 said...

Severely disabled --- yes, and she knew too much.

purrtriarchy said...

According to the AUTOPSY her brain was full of holes and gooey. She was, for all intents and purposes, dead, with no hope of recovery.

You are delusional.

BTW, two species of deer have the same number of chromosomes as humans. Better give them full personhood status ASAP, since to you, 23 pairs of chromosomes = a person.

DianaG2 said...

Well, you see, there's the rub.

This instructor felt perfectly comfortable discriminating against and embarrassing a pregnant woman who happened to be in her class.

Because my daughter's "choice" was unacceptable to her.

Is it your business how I use my rights as an American citizen?

DianaG2 said...

Way to undermine your own frickin' argument.

Slave -owners claimed that slaves were mindless animal organisms.

We know about the "underground railROAD" (not "railway") now.

purrtriarchy said...

FACT - slaves are sentient and sapient

FACT - unborn humans are neither sentient nor sapient

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I understand perfectly well the differences between brain death and coma. ZEF respond to biological and chemical stimuli as well. People in very deep comas cannot feel pain, as you yourself admit. Very deep comas can indicate complete unresponsiveness. In certain countries, fetuses are considered persons. My question was to you-if sentience is what is you think is required for personhood, then wouldn't a infant born into a coma who has never been sentient before also not be a person to you, if you were being logically consistent, regardless of its legal status?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Well, if sentience is what makes you a person, then clearly coma patients, especially deep coma patients, are not persons, even if they will recover. But this is not about logical consistency for you. This is about justifying the abortion that your mother had. This is why you spend all this time on the internet defending abortion. It's not about the objective search for truth, but a desire to justify your mother.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I am not talking about strategies to eliminate the need for infanticide. I am talking about how you justify punishing desparate parents who commit infanticide when you believe that the infant is not a person. If the infant is not a person, how can you justify giving parents severe punishments for eliminating the non-person human?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Yeah I get the distinct feeling that all of them are trying to justify abortions that they or someone close to them had.

lady_black said...

That's a tough question. Yes it is a person, as the infant would have a functioning brain, albeit not normally functioning. As sentience develops sometime late during gestation, it would be very difficult to determine or say "never sentient." Now, having said that this is a person and you cannot actively kill this person, are we then obligated to do everything possible to extend the life of this person? Of course not. We're dealing with an imprecise system with imperfect medical knowledge. The best we can do is "to a reasonable degree of medical certainty" if treatment is futile and will not result in improvement, it need not be initiated, or can be discontinued upon refusal by the patient, or next of kin if the patient cannot speak for himself.

purrtriarchy said...

Also human/human beings:

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeves%27s_Muntjac

46 chromosomes

2) Also a human, with 46 chromosomes:

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

3) human cells = 46 chromosomes

Not human/human beings, according to DianaG2's logic FAIL: humans born with down syndrome

purrtriarchy said...

Pay attention to the bolded part, thanks:

Personal Attack (Argumentum Ad Hominem, literally, "argument toward the man." Also called "Poisoning the Well"): Attacking or praising the people who make an argument, rather than discussing the argument itself. This practice is fallacious because the personal character of an individual is logically irrelevant to the truth or falseness of the argument itself. The statement "2+2=4" is true regardless if is stated by criminals, congressmen, or pastors. There are two subcategories:

(1) Abusive: To argue that proposals, assertions, or arguments must be false or dangerous because they originate with atheists, Christians, Muslims, communists, capitalists, the John Birch Society, Catholics, anti-Catholics, racists, anti-racists, feminists, misogynists (or any other group) is fallacious. This persuasion comes from irrational psychological transference rather than from an appeal to evidence or logic concerning the issue at hand. This is similar to the genetic fallacy, and only an anti-intellectual would argue otherwise.

(2) Circumstantial: To argue that an opponent should accept or reject an argument because of circumstances in his or her life. If one's adversary is a clergyman, suggesting that he should accept a particular argument because not to do so would be incompatible with the scriptures is such a fallacy. To argue that, because the reader is a Republican or Democrat, she must vote for a specific measure is likewise a circumstantial fallacy. The opponent's special circumstances have no control over the truth or untruth of a specific contention. The speaker or writer must find additional evidence beyond that to make a strong case. This is also similar to the genetic fallacy in some ways. If you are a college student who wants to learn rational thought, you simply must avoid circumstantial fallacies.

For someone who considers herself to some sort of intellectual, I really would have expected more from you.

BTW, I'm a virgin, and I don't know anyone who has ever had an abortion. However, I value bodily autonomy, and don't view women as mere incubators for mindless clumps of tissue.

Suba gunawardana said...

ASSUMING that a fetus is a juridical person (which it is not):

"Abortion kills a human being" would be a valid argument ONLY if it were completely illegal and unacceptable to kill a human being under any circumstances. Is it? No.

The same forced-birthers happily applaud all other situations of legalized killings (war, self defense, security, capital punishment, etc. and of course, the slaughter of billions of INNOCENT non-human individuals daily not just for our necessity but mere whim & pleasure).

Unless you can provide valid justifications why an unwanted non-sentient fetus is more "special" than all these other individuals you have no qualms in killing, you have no right to clamor about fetuses.

ignorance_is_curable said...

In other words, you no longer want to talk about ABORTION, because you have NO valid argument to oppose it???


I don't have to justify punishment for infanticide. You have jumped to an irrational conclusion. Earlier you asked why I didn't want to legalize infanticide, and I answered that. But that doesn't automatically mean I want to keep it illegal. I BASICALLY DON'T CARE what the Law is, about that subject.


So, either get back to the ABORTION debate, or I will start posting messages to the effect that you are "grasping at straws" in your feeble and fruitless efforts to provide a valid rationale to oppose abortion.

lady_black said...

I have no idea why you think I need to justify my mother. And I don't argue that sentience makes someone a person. I believe I was quite clear that anyone who has been born, and has not yet died, is a person.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Only in your imagination. Perhaps you should look at exactly how a dictionary adds words. When lots and lots of people use the language in a Stupidly Prejudiced way, the dictionary merely RECORDS that usage. It does not state, "this definition is Objectively Valid".


So, just because Stupidly Prejudiced humans claim that all humans are persons, that does not make them right, not in the slightest! It doesn't make them one whit more right than in the old days of Stone Age tribes, when "person" was a member of the tribe, and everyone else was a non-person. THAT Parochial Prejudice led to genocides all through History.


Well, even though today most humans are considered to be persons (and most of them indeed are!), that definition is still Parochial with respect to the wide wide Universe. Are you PLANNING on encouraging future genocides of other intelligent beings, JUST because they are non-human?


If not, then we NEED an OBJECTIVE definition of "person", one that is not influenced by the Stupid Prejudice of humans, especially ignorant abortion opponents!


By the way, some dictionaries include "a rational being" in their definition of "person". This connects back with what I wrote in that earlier message above --the word "being" is associated with personhood.


A question for you: Why is it ever necessary to use the phrase "a human being" instead of the phrase "a human"???

DianaG2 said...

Yes, that's what it boils down to.

They can't accept the grief, guilt and anger, and they want to blame it on pro-lifers --- who , by the way, were the ones telling them not to abort in the first place.


Thanks, dear.

purrtriarchy said...

Imnotsorry.net

You just can't deal with the fact that not everyone views a mindless animal organism ad a person.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

What if the infant has a good chance of recovering? I know that from the Baby Doe Law, medical professionals and parents are required to provide lifesaving medical care to all children, regardless of quality of life, unless the child is terminally ill or permenently unconscious.

Suba gunawardana said...

What would you say to women who are happy and relieved about their abortions?

More importantly, what would you say to women fraught with anger & guilt for HAVING children they never wanted?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Neither I nor anyone views women as incubators. Saying that is like saying that those who support mandatory child support view parents as walking talking bank accounts. "Mindless clumps of tissue" well according to the science of human embryology, fertilization creates a new human organism. If you were intellectually honest, you would admit, like pro-choice philosophers Peter Singer and Camille Pagalia, that abortion kills an innocent human being. I have to conclude that you are arguing backwards, because honestly, the distinction between coma patients and ZEF is minimal as far as consciousness is concerned. You just want a justification to kill the ZEF if it is inconvenient for you.

Suba gunawardana said...

My response got buried so I am re-posting up here. I apologize if it comes on twice.

ASSUMING that a fetus is a juridical person (which it is not):

"Abortion kills a human being" would be a valid argument ONLY if it were completely illegal and unacceptable to kill a human being under any circumstances. Is it? No.

The same forced-birthers who oppose abortion happily applaud all other instances of legalized killings (war, self defense, security, capital punishment, etc. and of course, the slaughter of billions of Innocent non-human individuals daily not just for our necessity but mere whim & pleasure).

Unless you can provide valid justifications why an unwanted non-sentient fetus is more "special" than all these other individuals you have no qualms in killing, you have no right to clamor about fetuses.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I did not dismiss your argument becuase of ad hominum dear, I dismissed it because it was bad. You relied on distinctions with differences, and your entire argument sounded very much like ("I want to be able to believe that abortion is not killing my fellow human being. Hm m m . . . Let's see. How can I come up with that as a conclusion? What road will I take to get there?") So I did not say that you had an abortion, I said that it felt like that, because of the level of intellectual avoidence.

purrtriarchy said...

They are human organisms with the potential to be people. They are mindless, and lack all of the objective traits associated with personhood.

Coma patients are not genetic blueprints, and you know it.

purrtriarchy said...

You can't argue your point, so you have to resort to baseless ad hominens and talk of infanticide.

What's next, gonna accuse ignorance is curable of the same?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Coma patients are mindless however. Who determine the traits associated with personhood? Some philosophers, like :Peter Singer, honestly believe that infants aren't persons because they aren't self-aware. Who's to say that his defination of personhood isn't more valid than yours?

Suba gunawardana said...

As I said at the top, IF it kills a human being, so what?

purrtriarchy said...

Coma patients have a mind that is temporarily not working. A zef does not have a mind and may never have one.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

You resorted to ad hominums as well. You claimed that I view women as incubators when I do not. Your entire argument is an exercise in avoidance and dismissal.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Parents can't kill infants that are disabled or because they are poor and have too many. If abortion is justifiable even though ZEF are human beings, then infanticide should also be justifiable.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Define "mind"

purrtriarchy said...

You believe that the wishes of pregnant women to be non pregnant do not matter, because you care more for zygotes. You ignore a woman's agency and right to self determination. You want to force women through the law to give birth whether they want to or not. This is to use them as a mere means to an end, ad an object, as an incubator.

Suba gunawardana said...

-Infants do not LIVE INSIDE the parents body


-The fact that its already an infant means the mother CHOSE to carry the pregnancy, thereby making a commitment to the child. That voluntary commitment should be tantamount to a legal contract, which prevents her from abusing or killing the child, ever.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Do you support mandatory child support? Then you view the wishes of parents to be non-parents and free of responsibility to not matter, because you care more for infants that don't even know that they exist. You ignore the parent's agency and right to self-determination. You believe in forcing parents by law to pay enormous sums of money for their children that they never wanted in the first place. This is to use parents as a mere means to an end, as an object, as a walking, talking bank account.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

What about men? They don't have the right to choose. If a man consents to sex, he consents to 18+ years mandatory child support, while women consent to nothing but sex. By that logic, a man should have the right to abuse his kid, because he did not voluntarily commit to that child.

Suba gunawardana said...

IF the man didn't want the child, and made that intent known, he should NOT be held responsible for child support.

If the woman chose to have a baby against the father's will, she should suck it up & pay for everything. She'd better NOT neglect the child either.

And NOBODY gets the right to abuse children, for any reason whatsoever.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Here in the US, that's not the case. If a parent does not pay child support, his wages are garnished, his passport is seized, and in extreme cases his driver's license is revoked and he is sent to jail. Child support agencies are very good at collecting and tracking down parents from across state lines. Relinquishment of parental rights is only allowed if the child is being given up for adoption and there is someone willing to adopt, so a man is pretty much trapped for life if the woman decides to have the baby.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Any proof of these accusations? I happen to personally know all of the leaders of this organization, and I can attest that they are all atheist or agnostic. Or do you think that someone can only be an atheist if they agree with you about everything?

purrtriarchy said...

Trillions of neurons. Physical structures. A fetus brain is not even hooked up like the brain of a sentient individual. Its completely different. The trillions of neurons do not yet exist. Minds can be detected with various tests. A non sentient fetus has the same clinical readings as a braindead cadaver. They are nothing like a coma patient, who has already developed the necessary neurons and proper thalamcortical connections. I could show you various citations from neuroscientists but my PC just mysteriously crashed and is utterly inoperable. I am on my mobile ((((

Suba gunawardana said...

I am in the US, and I disagree with those laws.

If abortion and contraception were more accessible, there would be far fewer unwanted children, and men would be far less victimized by these laws. (not that they don't need to be reformed).

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Why birth? Why does sliding out of a vagina make you a person?

Rainbow Walker said...

Wrong. There are billions of
dollars of back child support owed and courts rarely intercede. Most states are
too back logged to care. I work for the state and know better.

Furthermore relinquishing of
parental rights happens every day. If a parent cannot care for a child they can
give their parental rights up anytime. So no once again you are wrong.

I assume you only get your information from anti-choice blogs, given all your erroneous responses.

Suba gunawardana said...

So where does the idea come from that an unwanted non-sentient human fetus deserves more consideration than a fully grown fully sentient animal?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Really? According to Human Embryology and Tetratology by O'Rahilly and Muller, 1999-Individualized brainwaves recorded via electroencephalogram (e-lek’tro-en-sef’a-lo-gram), or EEG, have been reported as early as 6 weeks, 2 days.2 Brain dead individuals have no brain activity whatsoever.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Actually, I got the info from the US Department of Health and Human Services. They have a parent's guide to child support. You can find it easily by googling parents guide to child support us department of health and human services.

purrtriarchy said...

Those are not the brainwaves that are associated with consciousness. And a braindead individual can have a functional brainstem but no higher brain. A zef is equivalent to that.

Rainbow Walker said...

That’s only information they give you. It doesn’t tell you what the realities are. Take a look at this.

[http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/05/news/economy/unpaid-child-support/]

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Also, on the issue of relinquishment of parental rights, I have consulted multiple lawyers and legal sources. in order to voluntarily relinquish parental rights, you have to go before a judge and the judge has to approve of that relinquishment. I was told by multiple lawyers who have experience with the system that since the guiding principle of family court is in the best interests of children, judges cannot approve if the parents reason for relinquishment is to get out of paying child support.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Actually that is PVS. Here in the US. PVS patients are consider to be legally alive because According
to the mainstream whole-brain approach, the human brain plays the crucial role
of integrating major bodily functions so only the death of the entire brain is
necessary and sufficient for a human being's death (Bernat, Culver, and Gert
1981). Although heartbeat and breathing normally indicate life, they do not
constitute life. Life involves integrated functioning of the whole organism.
Circulation and respiration are centrally important, but so are maintenance of
body temperature, hormonal regulation, and various other functions—as well as,
in humans and other higher animals, consciousness. The brain makes all of these
vital functions possible. Their integration within the organism is due to a
central integrator, the brain.

This
leading case for the whole-brain standard, then, consists in an organismic
conception of death coupled with a view of the brain as the chief integrator of
interdependent bodily functions.

However, prior to the brain's development, zygotes and embryoes are able to coordinate and integrate their growth, development, systems, and functions into a unified whole as an organism. Emrbyoes that cannot do that end up being miscarried. After the brain develops, it is the organ responsible for this.

Rainbow Walker said...

There it is. Didn’t take long for my bait to catch something.

Leaders? What is this a sect?

A true atheist understands science. They understand a fetus isn’t a juridical person and can respect the rights of the woman. Believers cannot wrap their tiny little heads around this concept. It’s called logical inference.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Coma patients aren't sentient. Are temporary coma patients people?

Suba gunawardana said...

I would think that if the man could prove the child was birthed against his will to begin with, he should get the right to relinquish.

However I am sure justice is not served when the general mindset happens to be "breed-breed-breed no matter what cost to the children or parents".

As is amply evident with the mindset on this site which attempts to force women to carry pregnancies they never wanted to begin with.

purrtriarchy said...

Patients with a dead cortex are unhooked from life support all the time, and organs harvested. Only the brainstem is keeping the body alive, but the mind, the self, is permanently gone. That's death.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

fetus isn’t a juridical person -slaves used to be considered non-judical persons as well. arguing from what the law currently is is not arguing what it should be. Also, no true scotsman logical fallacy. I know pro-choice Christians and pro-life atheists. Isn;t not believing in the supernatural enough to make you an atheist?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

I'm sure that you;ll be delighted to know that some of the biggest supporters of mandatory child support laws are women's rights orgs that believe in giving women the right to choose, but not men. National Women's Law Center, NOW, etc.

Suba gunawardana said...

You dodged my question. Where does that concept come from if not from religion?

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Well, one could believe that all biologically living human beings should have basic human rights. Don Marquis has an argument on this called "A Future Like Ours" which asserts that it is wrong to kill someone who will have the future ability to be sentient. Also, my issue is that few apply worldview consistently. If sentience convays personhood, then logically coma patients aren't people.

Rainbow Walker said...

I am a child psychologist with a JD. You are wrong. All you need to do is go before family services DPR. They recommend
you have a lawyer present. They will ask you to fill out paperwork. This is called a “suit for voluntary termination parent petitioner.” They will file it with the clerk and the judge rubberstamps it. Sec. 161.005. TERMINATION WHEN PARENT IS PETITIONER.



[http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.161.htm]

I have never seen a judge not allow revocation. Courts believe that if a parent cannot care for a child, based on economics or health it’s in the best interest of the child to
terminate guardianship.

Suba gunawardana said...

If SENTIENCE is the deciding factor, it should be absolutely unacceptable to kill (even torture) billions of fully sentient animals daily for our necessity and convenience.

To oppose killing fetuses while merrily killing.& torturing animals is hollow & hypocritical.

Suba gunawardana said...

Again, SO WHAT?



I don't blindly follow what people dictate, I have my own mind.

Suba gunawardana said...

No one has the right to live inside another person's body without their consent. Those who do, are not juridical persons.

Slaves didn't live inside other people.

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