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Friday, September 26, 2014

Straw Men Make For Poor Arguments

[Today's guest post by Nate Sheets in the second of a series. The next post in the series will arrive sometime next week.]

The Straw Man

One of the more commonly-known logical fallacies is the Straw Man Fallacy. This fallacy occurs when we set up an argument in a negative or exaggerated way, in order for us to easily take it down. (This should not be confused with the ad hominem logical fallacy, which we will cover next week.)


From Dinosaur Comics
Straw Men are Easy, Good Arguments Are Hard

It makes sense that mostly everyone engages in Straw-Man-thinking, even if we know intellectually that such reasoning doesn't stand up. Our brains evolved to sort what we encounter into categories for survival--these stereotypes often stick around and impact our thinking as we go throughout our lives. If we utilize Straw-Man-thinking innocently, I believe this is because of our stereotypes toward an opposing viewpoint. Of course, in the course of arguments, people tend to Straw Man intentionally or lazily, because they do not want to invest time investigating the reasoning of their opponents further. 


Buzz shows Woody a typical Youtube comment thread.
How Straw Men Play Out

If I set up an argument in my favor--for example, "The pro-choice side wants to make contraception available because they want to promote a culture of promiscuity"--then I do not need to do much to make my case. If such a thing were the real reason why many pro-choicers favor contraception access, then it would be apparent to the average listener that such reasoning was foolish. But, as any reader of this blog will know, "promoting a culture of promiscuity" is not the reason pro-choicers (or pro-lifers who also favor contraception) want contraception available. 

I sometimes experience Straw Men on my own opinion on abortion (on the rare occasions I bring it forth) from both sides of the debate. If I say "I'm against abortion", pro-choicers may respond with, "Making abortion illegal will kill women through back-alley abortions!" That is a straw man because I said I was anti-abortion, not that I wanted to make abortion illegal. 

Additionally, when we talk about making the pro-life movement secular-friendly, many pro-lifers defensively react with statements such as, "We have a right to our religion! Without the religious, the pro-life movement would be nothing! That is a straw man because SPL never said we should take away the rights of the religious, nor have we said we should remove religion from the abortion debate entirely

Examples

Pro-Choice Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"Pro-lifers are against equal rights for women." This misrepresents the pro-life stance. Generally, pro-lifers are in favor of equal rights, however the specific issue of abortion brings up unusual circumstances not covered in other areas of feminism.
"Forced gestationers tend to engage in all sorts of complex arguments, when occam's razor dicates that all their positions (until fairly recently) are far better and more simply explained by wanting to punish people for sex." The term "forced gestationers" misrepresents the pro-life position and forces the reader to imply a variety of false assumptions about what the movement stands for. Additionally, the pro-life movement does not promote punishment for sex directly, so evidence would be required that it promotes it indirectly.

Pro-Life Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"Pro-choicers think that the unborn baby isn't alive. They obviously don't know about science." Unless specifically stated, pro-choicers understand that the fetus is alive.
"Pro-choicers are against clinic regulations because they do not care about women's health and safety." Pro-choicers are against pro-life bills relating to clinic regulations, not all clinic regulations.
"Abortion is murder, and pro-choicers support murder." Abortion is not, legally, murder. Pro-choicers obviously disagree that it is murder, so it misrepresents their position to say that they are "for" it.


So What Should We Do?
Again, it is much easier to disprove our opponent's argument if we take it upon ourselves to frame it. If we took the time to take their arguments at face value, we might actually find that we agree on several points, and can work together to create some solutions that benefit all. 

In the end, in order to maintain a fruitful and honest discussion, we should aspire to describe our opponents position in such a way where they would say, "Yes, that is what I believe."

474 comments:

1 – 200 of 474   Newer›   Newest»
Joshua_Holland said...

"If I say "I'm against abortion", pro-choicers may respond with, 'Making
abortion illegal will kill women through back-alley abortions!' That is
a straw man because I said I was anti-abortion, not that I wanted to
make abortion illegal."

That's a poor example as the vast majority of abortion opponents want to ban legal abortion or at least overturn Roe and let states criminalize the procedure. So, absent some kind of statement to the contrary, it's reasonable to assume that someone who says "I'm against abortion" shares that view. After all, the debate centers around legal access. Abortions will take place regardless of the law -- they always have. And many people who are pro-choice could also be described as anti-abortion in the sense that they advocate policies that would reduce the number of abortions -- the "rare" part of "safe, legal and rare."

Gaiuse Strome said...

Pro lifers are not in favour of equal rights should a woman find herself with an unwanted pregnancy. Subjugating women to the fetus is in effect denying her equal, individual rights before the law.

JDC said...

"Unless specifically stated, pro-choicers understand that the fetus is alive."

Still, it's kind of amazing how often the contrary is specifically stated.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Except that we believe the fetus also has equal rights under the law since it is a genetically distinct human being.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Actually, you want to give it extra special rights under the law.

I am genetically distinct and human, therefore, I have the right to use your body for my own benefit, without your consent, yes?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Can you please quote where the term "extra-special rights" appeared in my post? Thanks.

If you are my child, implanted in my uterus and currently residing there as part of your normal developmental process, then yes, you do have the right to use my body for your own benefit, without my consent (since my consent was implicit when I freely engaged in sex with my husband).

bluebeard cattown said...

I said equal rights, and I mean equal rights.

Then please list those rights.

I also didn't say anything about nature.

Actually, you did.

You wrote: "'If you are my child, implanted in my uterus and currently residing there
as part of your normal developmental process, then yes, you do have the
right to use my body for your own benefit""

Which means, the prenate is entitled to the woman's body because gestation = natural.

You are doing such a terrific job of illustrating the concepts detailed
in the original article! I'm really quite impressed. Keep it up!



Then prove it. So far all I see is an assertion without evidence.

Joshua_Holland said...

Your view that a 2-inch, 1/2 ounce, non-sentient fetus -- the size at 12 weeks, at or before which 90% of abortions occur -- is a "distinct human being" -- is a religious belief.

I'm not sure I get the whole "secular pro-life" thing.

bluebeard cattown said...

Joanna is a catholic.

About half of the commenters and writers here are religious. They claim, however, that their arguments are purely secular.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Abortion is not a religious issue. It's a human rights issue.

Yes, the fetus you describe is an organism of the species homo sapiens - aka, a human being. That is a fact of science, not a religious belief.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

They are purely secular, as any one who reads them can and will attest.

bluebeard cattown said...

Except 'h.sapiens' is not a synonym for 'human being'

bluebeard cattown said...

No, they are not.



"Zygotes are rational"


"The uterus was made for the unborn child"


"The unborn child is a genetically distinct organism"


Are all religious in nature, it's just that 'soul' has been replaced with 'genetically distinct' and so on.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The right to life.

You severely misunderstand the naturalistic fallacy. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Naturalistic_fallacy.html

JoAnna Wahlund said...

"Zygotes are rational"? Can you provide a link where I allegedly said that?

Yes, the uterus is the biological receptacle for the nurturing of unborn children. That is called "scientific fact."


"The unborn child is a genetically distinct organism." Also scientific fact.


You quite obviously have no idea what a soul is if you think that "genetically distinct" is a euphemism for soul. Furthermore, there are many atheists who agree with the scientific facts as stated above.

Joshua_Holland said...

Obviously, secular people can be personally opposed to abortion, but I can't even imagine a secular argument for restricting others' access to legal abortion.

bluebeard cattown said...

The right to life.

That is the ONLY right here? You sure about that?

So, my right to life includes the right to use your body without consent, since bodily autonomy is not an actual right?

You severely misunderstand the naturalistic fallacy.


I am quite familiar with it, and you are using a version of it - that is, because pregnancy = natural, the prenate is entitled to the woman's body.



The 'goodness' is implied, because clearly, cancer and parasites are natural, but I don't see you defending their use of the human body. (And you have also argued that cancer is not natural because it is not healthy).


So, you are in essence saying that the prenate is entitled to the woman's body because pregnancy is natural and natural = good.


BTW, you have still failed to demonstrate how I am guilty of committing fallacies here.

Joshua_Holland said...

No, it's only a human rights issue if you embrace the religious belief that a non-sentient cluster of developing cells can be subject to human rights abuses.

But controlling one's own reproduction -- pacing childbirths, which diminishes all sorts of health problems -- is a human right.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It's not the only right, but it is the right from which all other rights derive -- because you can't have any other rights if you're dead.

Please read the link I posted, because what you describe as the "naturalistic fallacy" does not remotely match what it actually is.

bluebeard cattown said...

"The fetus is entitled to the woman's body because the uterus was made for the fetus"


"The woman spread her legs so she consented to pregnancy"



"Zygotes are genetically distinct and therefore they are people which gives them a right to women's bodies"

Joshua_Holland said...

It's a religious belief thata fetus is infused with a human soul. Science tells us that in the early stages of fetal development a mouse is far more similar to a human being. Their primitive brains feel fear and pain and they instinctively struggle to avoid death. Very few people have moral qualms about mousetraps, so it's not a mater of being universally "pro-life."

Joshua_Holland said...

And scientifically speaking, a fetus is not an organism. Not before viability.

bluebeard cattown said...

Right. So I can use your body, without your consent, to preserve my own life, yes?

bluebeard cattown said...

Can you provide a link where I allegedly said that?

You didn't. I said it's a common argument around here. Try to keep up.

Yes, the uterus is the biological receptacle for the nurturing of unborn children. That is called "scientific fact."

So? That doesn't give the prenate a *right* to use that organ without consent. The vagina is the biological receptacle for the penis. That is called "scientific fact."

So Joanna, because your vagina is the receptable for the penis, this automatically means that penises are in fact entitled to your vagina, whether your like it or not.

Congratulations, but you just have made an argument in support of rape.

You quite obviously have no idea what a soul is if you think that "genetically distinct" is a euphemism for soul

Genetically distinct = meaningless. Lots of things are genetically distinct. So what? That doesn't give them a right to your body. The ONLY reason this 'genetically distinct' argument is used to is to make the prenate sound more special than it actually is - ie, a soul.

bluebeard cattown said...

Here is an example:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/03/11/yes-there-are-pro-life-atheists-out-there-heres-why-im-one-of-them/

someone45 said...

How can you say it is "equal" rights when you are denying the woman of any rights to control her own body and life. Her life no longer matters as long as she carries the fetus to term.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Homo sapiens = human
organism = being
An organism of the species homo sapiens = human being

JoAnna Wahlund said...

We're not discussing consent, we're discussion biology. Try to keep up.

But thanks for - once again - illustrating the concepts outlined in the article! It's really quite fascinating to watch it play out. You claimed that the statement "The uterus was made for the unborn child" is religious in nature. I countered by explaining it was scientific fact, not a religious statement. Then you jumped from there to an argument about consent and are somehow trying to frame my assertion that "The uterus is the biological receptacle designed for the nurturing of an unborn child" as "Rape is okay!" Astounding straw man. Really quite amazing. My compliments.

bluebeard cattown said...

Except that human being is used as a synonym for person since I don't see you referring to cats, dogs, and nematode worms as cat beings, dog beings, or worm beings.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, you are incorrect. "The blastocyst form is not to be thought of solely in terms of the next succeeding stage in development. It is to be remembered that at all stages the embryo is a living organism, that is, it is a going concern with adequate mechanisms for its maintenance as of that time." Source: https://www.ehd.org/developmental-stages/stage3.php

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Whether or not unborn children have souls is irrelevant, because, as I said, abortion is a human rights issue, not a religious issue.

To quote from another SecularProLife article: "a commitment to the dignity of all human beings does not involve a denial of dignity to any other class of non-human beings simply because they are not human." http://blog.secularprolife.org/2013/02/arguments-against-fetal-personhood.html

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, I think that human beings can be subject to human rights abuses.


Can you provide some scientific evidence in support of your assertion that unborn children are not organisms of the species homo sapiens?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

A cat is an organism of the species felis catus.

A dog is an organism of the species canis lupis familiaris.

A nematode worm is an organism of the species Caenorhabditis elegans.



You could definitely refer to them as "cat beings" (or feline beings), "dog beings, and "nematode worm beings," if that's your preference, although it's not colloquial.

bluebeard cattown said...

We're not discussing consent, we're discussion biology.

We are discussing rights actually - and you have claimed that there is no right to bodily autonomy, only the right to life, since all rights extend from life, therefore, forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will is not a violation of her rights, correct?

You claimed that the statement "The uterus was made for the unborn child" is religious in nature.

No, I didn't. Learn to keep up. I said that was an example of the naturalistic fallacy. *Though*, it also qualifies as a religious argument of sorts, due to the *gender essentialism* - women were made for pregnancy, therefore, women should not have a choice in the matter. (And we all know who made women right...your Christian god)

I countered by explaining it was scientific fact, not a religious statement.

Actually, you countered by saying this: ""If you are my child, implanted in my uterus and currently residing there as part of your normal developmental process, then yes, you do have the right to use my body for your own benefit, without my consent (since my consent was implicit when I freely engaged in sex with my husband).""

Which means that abortion is wrong because the prenate is *entitled* by *nature* to use the woman's body without explicit and ongoing consent.

You then made some other claims, namely this one : "Yes, the uterus is the biological receptacle for the nurturing of unborn children. That is called "scientific fact.""

Which is mean to mean, once again, that the prenate is entitled to the woman's body, whether she wants it there or not (you believe in denying abortion to rape victims too, don't you) because the uterus is used by it. Well, rapists are entitled to your vagina, because your vagina is the receptacle for penises - that's it's role. I am so sorry that you are too thick to see the logical conclusion of your own arguments.

BTW, you should have taken a closer look at that page you linked. Especially this part:

The naturalistic fallacy is related to (and even confused with) the is-ought problem, which comes from Hume's Treatise. The term is sometimes used loosely to describe arguments that claim to draw ethical conclusions from natural facts.


It's a form of naturalistic fallacy, stating that since pregnancy is 'natural', that since prenates need to use woman's bodies as life support, that prenates are then automatically *entitled* to women's bodies because 'it's natural'.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

An unborn human being as the right to life. An adult human woman has a right to bodily autonomy (although not absolute, see here: http://prolifetraining.com/resources/five-minute-12/)

When these two rights conflict, as they do in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, then precedence should be given to the entity that has the most liberty to lose. Given that death is permanent and pregnancy is temporary, precedence goes to the unborn human being.

bluebeard cattown said...

We could refer to them as 'cat beings' but we don't.





We only refer to humans as 'human beings' or sci-fi aliens as 'alien beings' or 'intelligent alien beings'


Wonder why? Being is ONLY used to indicate personhood, to indicate a rational mind, which is why it is NEVER applied to other things that simply exist.

bluebeard cattown said...

There is no conflict of rights, because there is no right to use the body of another without explicit and ongoing consent.


By your logic, if I am dying and you refuse to give me a kidney, you are denying me my right to life, since my right to your kidney overrides your right to bodily autonomy. Except, there is no conflict, because there is no right to the body of another - not even if I need your body for my very survival. It doesn't matter.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

We could also refer to cats thusly:

"Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;"

But that's a bit cumbersome, don't you think?

And also, the dictionary disagrees with you: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/being

JoAnna Wahlund said...

"There is no conflict of rights, because there is no right to use the body of another without explicit and ongoing consent."


But parents have an obligation to provide basic necessities for their children, even if it involves using their bodies to do so.


To counter your second point, read this: http://www.str.org/articles/unstringing-the-violinist#.VCWtrWddV8E

bluebeard cattown said...

But parents have an obligation to provide basic necessities for their children, even if it involves using their bodies to do so.

So why aren't parents legally obligated to donate their body parts to their children?

I am not reading your links. I expect you to debate this in your own words, tyvm.

bluebeard cattown said...

The dictionary meaning of being = to exist.


Ok, so why don't we refer to plants animals and rocks as 'beings?' Why do we ONLY use the term when referring to intelligent life? Because we use 'being' as a synonym for 'person.'

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If a child needs a a donated organ to survive outside the womb, it is an extreme necessity, not a basic necessity. Basic necessities are: adequate nutrition, adequate shelter, and adequate clothing.

I understand that you don't want your beliefs challenged by a philosophical examination and refutation of your argument that is too long to fit into a combox.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

hint: dictionaries contain more than one definition for a given word.

bluebeard cattown said...

Yeah, they do. I'm still right, and you're still wrong.

bluebeard cattown said...

Pregnancy involves the literal use of the woman's organs. Pregnancy is a supererogatory burden, as would being forced to donate a kidney to a born child. Both are *extreme* burdens. Pregnancy goes far beyond mere food, shelter and 'clothing'.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I disagree, but people can read the definition and decide for themselves.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, it doesn't. That's the purpose of pregnancy in all placental mammals: to provide adequate nutrition and shelter for unborn offspring until such time as they capable of surviving outside the womb.

bluebeard cattown said...

a : the quality or state of having existence
b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things
c : conscious existence : life
2
: the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality
3
: a living thing; especially : person

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

1) existing

2) living

3) synonym for person

Yeah...so the fact that we only use 'being' to refer to 'intelligent beings' proves my point that it is indeed a synonym for 'person'. We would consider intelligent aliens to be 'beings' / persons, precisely because they are rational. We would never use 'being' to refer to a rock (it exists) or to a tree (it exists and is alive) because we only associate 'being' with having a rational mind.

bluebeard cattown said...

Doesn't what?

Joshua_Holland said...

An organism is "an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form." Before viability, a fetus cannot live outside the womb -- it is not an individual life form.

But there's really no point arguing about a religious belief anyway.

Joshua Holland
Senior Digital Producer, BillMoyers.com

Joshua_Holland said...

An organism is "an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form." Before viability, a fetus cannot live outside the womb -- it is not an individual life form.

But there's really no point arguing about a religious belief anyway.

Joshua_Holland said...

They claim to be making a secular argument, but it's still based on a quasi-religious belief that an undeveloped fetus is imbued with something important that science can't identify but that gives it moral agency.

expect_resistance said...

No a zygote, embryo, or fetus (ZEF) doesn't have an absolute right to life. A woman has to agree to nurture and gestate a fetus. This is not a right of a ZEF. A woman who is a sentient individual autonomous person who has rights of a born person. A fetus does not share these rights.

bluebeard cattown said...

Exactly. Hence the claims about zygotes having 'inherent rationality' due to species membership.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

"a living thing; especially: person"


especially =/= exclusively


An unborn child is also a living thing (and in a philosophical sense, unborn children are persons, but we're talking a strictly scientific definition).

anotheranonymous said...

I'm sorry to interrupt here...but I'm just wondering if you are not also assuming that the woman is imbued with something important that science can't identify? It seems to me that if we are looking for science to identify human beings as important, we shall fail both with those born and those unborn.

Clinton said...

Funny. I didn't realize science was a religious belief (though you do have Christians to thank for modern science). The reality of the situation is that fertilization was the beginning of all of us as a unique individual. You can read this in any embryology textbook.

Clinton said...

Ironically you're erecting a strawman here. No one here has written that zygotes are rational. They are *inherently* rational, which is an important difference. They are not rational now, but if prevented from doing so will develop the hardware with which to develop the present capacity for rationality.

Clinton said...

"Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses"

:D

bluebeard cattown said...

Yes, you write that they are 'inherently rational' and then go on to say that they must be treated as if they are *currently* rational, as they only need to 'express' this inherent rationality.


IE, they have a soul.

bluebeard cattown said...

So? Doesn't change the fact that it is used as a synonym for person. No one even refers to fetuses, embryos or zygotes as 'fetus beings' 'zygote beings' or 'embryo beings'...wonder why?

Clinton said...

You're being unnecessary pedantic. Plants and animals are beings, even though we do refer to them as such. Rocks are not beings because they do not exist in the same sense that living creatures do.

Clinton said...

Discussion of a soul is beyond the scope of this blog. But you don't have to have belief in a soul to oppose abortion, or to oppose the killing of any human being. You don't lose your personhood when you fall asleep, even though you are not currently rational or conscious. You have inherent rationality which grounds your existence even when you are not currently engaging in that function. This is because you are not "you" based on what you can do, but based on what you are.

bluebeard cattown said...

Yes, and we do not refer to them as such because we *only* use being to refer to people, because 'human being' is a synonym for person.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Why are you anti-science, Joshua?

It is scientific fact. A fetus is an individual life form. The biological definition of organism does NOT include "ability to exist independently at every stage of development."

Here's another excerpt from the (secular) site I quoted from earlier: "In the words of Ross G. Harrison (Wilens, 1969), “the need for standardized stages in the embryonic development of various organisms for the purpose of accurate description of normal development and for utilization in experimental work has long been recognized.” Because “development is a continuous process with an indefinite number of stages” (ibid.),a certain number have to be chosen. Thus each stage “is merely an arbitrarily cut section through the time-axis of the life of an organism” (deBeer, 1958)."

https://www.ehd.org/developmental-stages/stage0.php

bluebeard cattown said...

When you fall asleep you do not lose your capacity for consciousness - you still have a thalamus, and a cortex. A zygote has none of the necessary 'hardware' as you put it, to give rise to sentience, and may *never* have it.

bluebeard cattown said...

Says the person who stated that intestinal parasites and cancer are *unnatural* because they are unhealthy.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

WOW.


Just what I thought your straw men arguments couldn't get any better. That is so great, thank you.


Is a tree an organism of the species homo sapiens?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Says the person who apparently believes that it is natural for our bodies to be in a perpetually unhealthy state.

bluebeard cattown said...

Oh, so 'human' is a synonym, for person, is that what you mean? Don't need 'being' at all?

bluebeard cattown said...

What does that even mean?

Joshua_Holland said...

If you need a scientific experiment to tell you that a woman is a human being then I really can't help you.

Joshua_Holland said...

" The reality of the situation is that fertilization was the beginning of all of us..."

There's really no debate about that. Not sure of the relevance.

And most certainly isn't a religion.

bluebeard cattown said...

BTW,you have still completely failed to explain WHY no one refers to plants animals or rocks - anything that exists - as a 'being'. We only ever use the term 'being' to refer to intelligent life - human and alien. Now, you keep saying that we *can* use 'being' to refer to a tree or a cat, which is fine and all, except we do NOT. So, why do you, and why does everyone, *exclusively* refer to humans and in sci-fi, intelligent life forms as -beings? Why?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Nope. Read it again, Sam.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Probably because it's cumbersome, colloquially speaking. A cat is a feline being. But feline being is cumbersome, so we say cat. It's probably why most people say "a human" when they mean "human being" and "an alien" when they mean "alien being," and so on.

bluebeard cattown said...

No? So 'human' alone doesn't qualify as 'person'.



So you *must* have 'being' on the end...why is that?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Because if I just said "human," you would respond with "But SKIN CELLS ARE HUMAN! WHY AREN'T THEY PEOPLE????" Human is a descriptor. A human being = a human organism. A feline being = a cat. Etc.

bluebeard cattown said...

Well then why do you keep saying that zygotes, embryos and fetuses are 'human beings?' Why not just stick with human then? Why do you keep saying 'human being' when you could just say 'human?'

bluebeard cattown said...

Yeah, so if you say 'cat' I'm gonna get confused and think cat skin cells, right?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I already answered this, but once again: you (and others) apparently have difficulty with inferring "human being" from "human," because if I simply said "human," your response would be: "BUT MY SKIN CELLS ARE HUMAN TOO. WHY AREN'T THEY PEOPLE????" So I say "human being" to make my meaning absolutely clear.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Possibly. Given some of the things you've said on this and other threads, it frankly would not surprise me.

bluebeard cattown said...

And by your definition, a human skin cell is ALSO a human being, since it 1) exists 2) is alive

So clearly, you are not actually using 'human being' simply to say that a life form with human DNA exists, you are using it as a synonym for person.



So I say "human being" to make my meaning absolutely clear.



Yep, that applies to the skin cell. If an oak is an oak being because it exists, is alive, and composed of tree DNA, then so is a skin cell - exists, alive, human DNA.


So once again, I can *only* conclude that you are using -being to refer to something else...something special...as a synonym for personhood!

Philmonomer said...

Can someone here point me to anything that is helpful in this regard? That is: I've never seen a good response (from the pro-life side) as to why a woman who knowingly takes 4 birth control pills at once in order to abort her 6-week old baby, is successful in aborting it, should NOT go to jail as a first degree murderer?

If there is a post about this, I'd be curious to read it. Or if there is a long comment thread (that is reasonably intelligent), I'd read that too.

Joshua_Holland said...

I'm not interested in a semantic argument about your religious beliefs.

The bottom line is that life may "begin at conception" insofar as two cells fused together may or may not be implanted in the womb -- and may or may not stay implanted through a lengthy development process that results in a human being. But it's clear that two cells fused together are not a human being -- you can tell by looking at them under a microscope and then checking a mirror -- and the belief that it is human at that point is informed by religious belief.

bluebeard cattown said...

Birth control pills and Plan B prevent ovulation, they wont' cause an abortion. Only ru-486 will act as an abortion pill by inducing a miscarriage.

And the answer I hear most often around here is that it is politically expedient not to jail women for abortion, or at least, not to talk about it.

Joshua_Holland said...

Yeah, it's an awkward topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk6t_tdOkwo

Philmonomer said...

Yeah. That's what I hear too. It seems like a dishonest answer, frankly. A way to not answer the question.

(Because they know their real answer, IMHO, concedes that they don't really believe a fetus is a "human being" in the same way a 5-year old is.)

Philmonomer said...

I didn't read this closely at all, but it looks like they might prevent implantation after fertilization?

http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/dose.html

bluebeard cattown said...

Here is a detailed discussion regarding your question, Purple Slurpy and ockraz:

http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/09/how-does-pro-life-movement-look-to-lgbt.html#comment-1597406507


Just read up from the comment I linked to.

bluebeard cattown said...

No, that's just a bunch of bullshit. I talked to a scientist on Patheos about the subject, and she had this to say:

Levonorgestrel, or Plan B:

There is zero evidence that LNG can cause a fertilized egg not to implant.

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20933113

"LNG had no effect on blastocyst viability or hatching and did not prevent blastocyst attachment and early implantation."

This same study, incidentally, discussed a clinical trial of LNG and describes it as "ineffective to prevent pregnancy" when taking at the time of ovulation.

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23114735

This is a systematic review. It also discusses the Copper IUD (below) and UPA (below). A discussion of in vivo studies of LNG in other mammals notes that "Treatment with LNG in the rat and monkey does not affect fertilization or implantation."

Ella (Ulipristal Acetate)

Many major scientific agencies-the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception-have concluded that the answer to the question "could UPA possibly cause a fertilized egg not to implant?" is 'no'-it just doesn't have a significant enough effect on the lining of the uterus, but while you can call the LNG question settled the answer to this one is more like "probably not." You can read a contrasting view here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24440997

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971744/..

The main mechanism of ulipristal acetate is to inhibit follicular rupture. In other words, it prevents eggs from leaving the ovaries.

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22770536

This discusses the role of drugs in UPA's class in general, including LNG and mifeprestone (RU-486). It notes that UPA causes a very slight effect on endometrial thickening if taken at a certain point in the menstrual cycle.

And finally, the IUDs, which HL objects to as well: Copper IUDs work because copper is toxic to sperm.

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8972502

"The current data do not indicate that embryos are formed in IUD users at a rate comparable to that of nonusers. The common belief that the usual mechanism of action of IUDs in women is destruction of embryos in the uterus is not suppor ted by empirical evidence."

They also looked for spermatozoa in the uteri of women with IUDs and found that this confirmed the proposed anti-sperm mechanism of the copper IUD.

"Early signs of implantation have been investigated by measuring biochemical markers in serum during a menstrual cycle, comparing women with medicated IUDs, such as a Cu-IUD, and those with an inert IUD as well as controls. The results showed a strongly reduced incidence of implantation signs in women with the Cu-IUD, indicating its prevention rather than interruption of implantation." In other words, there aren't embryos there to implant.

bluebeard cattown said...

They claim that:


1) zygotes are people


2) abortion is murder (women who abort are heartless babykillers etc)


Yet...they don't think that these 'murderers' should spend a day in jail...or that even, once abortion is illegal, miscarriages should be investigated as possible crime scenes. Don't you think that if abortion has been banned, that women will try to end their pregnancies by any means possible? Buy a blackmarket abortion pill, take it, kill your unborn baby! Of course miscarriages will have to be investigated as possible crime scenes!

bluebeard cattown said...

Oh, and that's from the pro-life contingent at Princeton. Pay it no mind. Princeton also has employees who argue against gay marriage, because it isn't 'natural'.

Philmonomer said...

Thanks

Joshua_Holland said...

There's some evidence that religious conservatives eschew "consequentialist ethics" -- that is, they tend to have fixed beliefs about right and wrong and don't consider what the real-world consequences of those beliefs may be.

"...we found that it is a particular sub-class of religious individuals that
are strongly opposed to consequentialist thinking. Specifically, it was
religious individuals who believe that morality is founded upon divine
authority or divine commands, and that moral truths are not obtained via
human intuition or reason, who were strong deontologists..."

http://www.psypost.org/2013/06/liberals-and-conservatives-approach-moral-judgments-in-fundamentally-different-ways-18596

bluebeard cattown said...

Yep. This too:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/reasonabledoubts/2014/04/07/rd-extra-does-religion-make-us-better-people-galens-bulldog-edition/


Moral purity - consequences be damned, as long as moral purity can be maintained. For example, even though birth control and sex education will lower the abortion rate, many socons do not support it, because telling people 'it's ok to have sex, just do it safely' is an affront to their ideas about what is morally good and right.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No. My definition of a human being is "an organism of the species homo sapiens." A skin cell is not an organism.


An oak tree is also not an organism of the species homo sapiens.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Joshua, you are incorrect. This isn't my opinion, it's scientific fact. (But please, if you have any scientific sources that state the contrary, do provide them.) Again, from ehd.org, a completely secular site with no religious agenda: "Embryonic life commences with fertilization, and hence the beginning of that process may be taken as the point de depart of stage 1. Despite the small size (ca. 0.1 mm) and weight (ca. 0.004 mg) of the organism at fertilization, the embryo is "schon ein individual-spezifischer Mensch" (Blechschmidt, 1972)." https://www.ehd.org/developmental-stages/stage1.php


I have only given you secular resources and have spoken in only secular, biological, scientific terms. Why do you persist in saying this is a religious issue? It's not. You are the one who keeps harping on religion, not I.

bluebeard cattown said...

Oh. *Your* definition. So then why did you even bother referring to the dictionary definition http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/being (which does not agree with your definition, I see no mention of organism) if you were just going to make shit up?



I mean, we could have avoided this entire discussion if you had been honest from the start, and told me that you were making it up as you went along!

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You're looking at the wrong dictionary. http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Human

bluebeard cattown said...

So now you are shifting the goalposts, once it was pointed out that you were making shit up.

tsk tsk

http://www.skepticsfieldguide.net/2012/04/moving-goalposts.html

The advocate changes the nature of the discussion by seeking to make the opponent tackle a more difficult version of the topic. The topic that was originally under discussion is recast and the new version favours the advocate. This tactic is often used when the backpedalling advocate feels that he or she is about to lose the argument. With the "goalposts" in their original position, the opponent would "score". But with the posts moved, the opponent's "shot" is now "off target".


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


And your little biology online link proves nothing - skin cells are *still* human, what else could they be?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Huh? I've shifted nothing. As I've stated from the first, a human being is an organism of the species homo sapiens, and the definition from Biology Online concurs.


A skin cell is not a human being, because it is not an organism.


An oak tree is not a human being because it is not of the species homo sapiens.


A cat is not a human being because it is not of the species homo sapiens.


This really isn't a difficult concept, and I wonder why you are having such trouble with it.

bluebeard cattown said...

Yes, you moved on to 'human' after it was shown that 'being' did not support your original argument. There is no use denying it.

Oh, and your biology-online link only appears to refer to walking talking *thinking* humans, not clumps of human DNA.

""Definition

noun, plural: humans

A bipedal primate belonging to the genus Homo, especially Homo sapiens.

adjective

Of, pertaining to, having the attributes of, a being belonging to the species of the Homo sapiens.

Supplement

In taxonomy, humans belong to the family Hominidae, of the Primates, under class Mammalia of phylum Chordata. They are identified by the highly developed brain that confers advanced skills in abstract reasoning, articulate language, self-awareness, problem solving, and sapience. They are bipedal primates in having an erect carriage. They are skillful in handling objects with their hands.

Humans may also be described as social animals capable of showing sympathy with other beings, and living life with (inherent) values and ethics.""


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


None of that describes mindless brainless zygotes, so sorry. They lack the *attributes* that are listed.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, it's because if you type "human being" into the search engine, it says, "see 'Human.'" Sane, rational people are able to derive that human = human being when the context demands.

someone45 said...

The actual person has the most to lose since the potential person does not yet have self awareness. The actual person understands the misery they will have to suffer.

Margaret Meleski said...

they can claim it's a religious issue all they want. But I'd like to see them take an embryology class and get the scientific facts, like I did, of human development and then tell the professor, the authors of the embryology textbooks, and ob/gyns and tell them that it's not science, it's religious ideology. Pretty sure they don't teach religious belief as part of college science classes.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

They are both actual people, unless you think that all ultrasound pictures contain imaginary beings as opposed to actual ones.

someone45 said...

The ZEF is a potential person since it cannot survive without a host.

bluebeard cattown said...

Embryologists don't state that zygotes are inherently rational due to species membership. In fact, there is no consensus whatsoever about whether or not zygotes are 'people' or not. The only consensus is that the zygote is the beginning of human development.

bluebeard cattown said...

So now you've moved onto 'definition by search engine'

Excuse me please...

http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/001/582/picard-facepalm.jpg

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Question, do you make a distinction between "human being" and "person"?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

My apologies. To clarify, it should say, "the search engine of Biology Online." I thought that was evident from context but apparently not.

anotheranonymous said...

I did not say women are not human beings. I said you are attributing worth and value to born human beings. Science does not attribute worth and value to anything. Science simply says what is and what might be. So when you assume that we are attributing worth and value to an unborn human being because we suggest it has rights, I would say that you are attributing worth and value to a born being because you suggest it has rights. But the worth and value you attribute to human beings is no more scientific than the worth and value I attribute to the unborn.

Philmonomer said...

Huh. I've never seen it. Ever.

Do you have examples?

someone45 said...

Being human being and person hood yes I make a distinction...

JoAnna Wahlund said...

OK. So do you acknowledge that Z/E/Fs are human beings, even if you don't think they are persons?

expect_resistance said...

There is no argument because abortion is not murder.

someone45 said...

They are POTENTIAL humans but they have to finish development and the woman has the right to decide if that happens since it is her body.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Why only potential?

someone45 said...

Because even if wanted there is nothing to guarantee it will make it to term.

someone45 said...

BC pills will not cause an abortion. If a woman is six weeks along she will have to take RU486. If it was as easy as taking BC pills I think that there would be a lot more self induced miscarriages.

someone45 said...

If you can't handle bullshit why do you post so much of it?

someone45 said...

You seem to think it is natural for a woman to suffer the misery of pregnancy when she doesn't have to or want to.

expect_resistance said...

Yes!

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Does that mean that all children are potential humans? There's no guarantee that they will make it to adulthood.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, I just respond to it.

someone45 said...

No because they have been born and no longer require the body of a host. Once born they are humans.

But yes there is no guarantee they will make it to adult hood which is why they aren't called adults until they actually make it there.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I don't believe that "wantedness" is a criteria for determining if a human being deserved rights. Even human beings who are unwanted by anyone should not be killed. Otherwise it's be open season on the homeless (for example).

someone45 said...

I disagree... All your posts are full of so much of it and it is sad that you can't see it.

That is fine though you live your life how you want. All I ask is you give me the freedom to do the same.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

So, are you then opposed to the abortion of viable human beings?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Uh huh.

Absolutely! Live your life however you choose as long as it doesn't involve robbing other human beings of their right to life. But like abolitionists who were committed to ending slavery, I'm committed to ending the killing of innocent human beings.

someone45 said...

Well a ZEF is only a potential human being. What gives the woman the right to an abortion is the fact that no one under any circumstance has the right to force anyone to use their body in a way that will harm them against their will.


If it is wanted is what might determine if the woman has an abortion or not though.

someone45 said...

Do you know how rarely that happens? Also even when it does happen it is almost always for the health of the woman or a fetal defect. In those two circumstances I support abortion at any point. It is disgusting to force a woman to risk death just to carry to term.

someone45 said...

Well since abortion doesn't rob an actual human being of anything I guess you feel it is OK.

Also it is so funny how you bring up slavery when you are fighting so hard to being it back in the form of gestational slavery.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

When does a human being turn from potential to actual? Just by passing through the birth canal or is there other criteria?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It doesn't actually answer my question. Are you in favor of post-viability abortion for any reason?
If the child is past viability and the mother's life is threatened, doesn't it make more sense to deliver the baby and instead of aborting him or her?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Funny how you seem to think that an unborn human being is the property of the mother to dispose of as she wishes. That has way more parallels to slavery than my (alleged) stance.

expect_resistance said...

Are you ready to investigate every miscarriage? Do you want to collect every tampon an pad for evidence?

expect_resistance said...

No precedence doesn't go to the fetus. A fetus is not a born person with rights, not a separate person. A ZEF is there at the will of a woman gestating it. It is up to her and her alone to make to decision to gestate a fetus or not. A woman's uterus is not public property. This is a civil and constitutional right to privacy.

expect_resistance said...

It's amazing how they give a ZEF magical powers that it exists on it's own as a seperate person. *head desk again* and a WTF.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

A fetus is a human being with the right to life whether you want to recognize it or not. The birth canal does not magically bestow humanity or personhood upon a child. S/he is a human person with rights from the time s/he comes into existence until his/her natural death.

Ms. Spacecat said...

Someone who uses a wheelchair is not bipedal. Are they a human being? They lack one of the attributes that are listed. Same with disabled people who cannot speak or use their hands.

anotheranonymous said...

I wonder if insulting the religious motivation for being pro life might be a poor reason to belittle the movement. After all, a large part of the impetus for radical abolitionism and early feminism came from broad evangelical religious movements in the 1820s. Now we would all agree that slavery and women's rights are moral necessities, but that belief was born out of "fixed beliefs about right and wrong," and these people were often blamed for not being aware of real life consequences.

bluebeard cattown said...

Zygote
You
Person in wheelchair


One of these is not like the otherd

expect_resistance said...

And that would be a bad thing because?

expect_resistance said...

Did you read what I said? I doubt it.

expect_resistance said...

Because that's what it is. A ZEF doesn't equal an individual person. Is an acorn a tree? Is a robin egg a bird?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes. But it's illogical and nonsensical, especially in the context of human reproduction.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

An acorn is analogous to an ovum, not an embryo. Same with an (unfertilized) robin's egg.
A sapling is a tree (albeit a very young one). A robin embryo is a bird (albeit a very young one). A human embryo is a human being (albeit a very young one).

someone45 said...

Yep... they give it rights that no actual person has. The right to use a person's body against their will. You can't even use a dead person's organs without their prior consent but yet an actual living woman has no say about what happens in her body.

someone45 said...

It is inside her body so she can do what she wishes with it.

someone45 said...

If the woman's life is threatened I say it is up to her to decide. Also for myself I would never wait 20+ weeks since I would know from day one I wanted an abortion. However I am not going to tell other women what to do.

Ms. Spacecat said...

They are all human beings.

bluebeard cattown said...

Spot the difference.

Ms. Spacecat said...

Actually, a viable seed such as an acorn does contain a plant embryo. It is not a tree because it is not mature, but it is an individual of the oak species.

Ms. Spacecat said...

Obviously, you can tell the difference between a zygote and an adult. You can "spot the difference" between a newborn and an adult too. Doesn't mean that one is less human than the other. They are all stages of human development.

bluebeard cattown said...

Newborn
Adult
Zygote


List the differences

Ms. Spacecat said...

They are all different in many ways. If you really don't understand the differences I suggest that you take a refresher course in biology.

bluebeard cattown said...

I am asking you to list those differences. I already know the difference between a microscopic snippet of DNA and a fully formed, sentient sapient adult.

Do you? Or is the question too difficult?

Joshua_Holland said...

I didn't "insult" anyone's religious motivation for opposing abortion. I've said that I don't buy the idea that there's a legitimate secular argument.

Guest said...

The comments on this blog remind me of a poem I read once:

Those who write on bathroom walls
Roll their shit in little balls.

But those who read those words of wit
Eat those little balls of shit.

Ms. Spacecat said...

Can you list all of the differences between a newborn and an adult? Or between a zygote and a newborn? Since humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 protein-coding genes and they are expressed at different times during development such a "list" would run to many volumes. If someone could compile such a list, what would it prove? Do you think it would prove that zygotes are not human beings?
You would say that zygotes "don't belong" with newborns or adults because they need to gestate inside a woman's body. Someone with different criteria for personhood such as Peter Singer would say that the adult is the one that does not belong with the others because adults are rational and self-aware whereas zygotes and newborns are not.

bluebeard cattown said...

So you honestly can't figure out the difference between a single cell and an adult?

Ms. Spacecat said...

Your reading comprehension really isn't very good, is it? I said there are thousands of differences.

bluebeard cattown said...

Your response was an obvious dodge.

Ms. Spacecat said...

I am asking you, what do those differences prove? Do they prove that a human zygote is not a member of the species Homo sapiens? If it is not, then what species does it belong to?

bluebeard cattown said...

Still non-responsive


Still dodging.


List the differences, even some of them, please.

Chalkdust said...

Fertilizaton was not the beginning of Mary-Kate Olsen, Shawn Ashmore, or Nicholas Brendon as unique individuals.

Ms. Spacecat said...

All right. Size, lack of differentiation, inability to survive outside a woman's body, to name a few. Does this prove that they are not members of the species Homo sapiens?

Nate Sheets said...

I have not really seen this assertion from pro-choicers either. I think it's a conclusion that pro-lifers make about their position, rather than what their actual position is. Of course, there are always exceptions!

bluebeard cattown said...

There is some disagreement on whether or not zygotes even count as members of the species (being just DNA after all), but it is clear from that biology definition that none, not a one, of the attributes that we associate with humans/persons is present in a zygote, which is merely a genetic blueprint.



The biology online definition that Joanna linked to was merely a description of the traits that are associated with h.sapiens - just like 'small, furry, has claws' are traits that are associated with felis catus. That doesn't mean that felis catus DNA = a cat, any more than human DNA = a human.

bluebeard cattown said...

I have seen it used by some pro-choicers, which means that you have to do some translating, and realise that what they really mean is that it isn't 'alive' in the independent sense.

Nate Sheets said...

Absolutely.

Nate Sheets said...

I understand what you're saying, absolutely. It makes sense that one *would* assume that I want to make abortion illegal. All the more important during discussions to clarify each other's positions with each other, find common ground, and then begin the discussion from there! :)

Nate Sheets said...

I think that the issue here is cognitive dissonance on the part of pro-lifers. Those who take the view that early pregnancies are equal to 4 month fetuses, 8 month fetuses, and 8 month-olds also want to be supportive of mothers who are in the situation and know that imprisoning mothers would either 1) be an actual over-reaction or 2) would turn the general public away from the pro-life position. I think it's actually a good sign, because that is an example of "gray" that is prevalent in the abortion debate (which I mentioned at the beginning on my last post, and which many people had something to say about it without actually reading the blog post), and yet which so many people (on both sides, but especially on the pro-life side) seem to deny.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

So you are saying that the unborn child is the property his/her mother? How is that not slavery, exactly?
If a mother was mentally ill and sadistic and wanted to torture her unborn child, would that be ok with you?@

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You still haven't answered my question. Do you think a woman should be able to abort her child after viability, for *any* reason? Yes, or no? If not, why not?

Ms. Spacecat said...

A zygote is not "just DNA", it is a specialized totipotent cell. Can you provide a citation from a reliable scientific source that states that human zygotes are not members of the human species, or that there is some dispute about this matter? A zygote is not a blueprint for a human being. A blueprint does not become a house the way a zygote becomes an adult. A blueprint and a house are two separate things. Once the house is built the blueprint can be thrown away.
At what stage of development do you think a human organism acquires the attributes of a human being/person?

bluebeard cattown said...

None of that changes the fact that it is a genetic blueprint.

Can you provide a citation from a reliable scientific source that
states that human zygotes are not members of the human species


http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/answers/viewtopic.php?id=5399

A zygote is not a blueprint for a human being. A blueprint does not become a house the way a zygote becomes an adult.

The house blueprint needs to be read, interpreted and expressed, just like the zygote. And the house doesn't build itself without help, and neither does a zygote. Leave a blastocyst in a petri dish and see how far it gets.

At what stage of development do you think a human organism acquires the attributes of a human being/person?

At least when it is capable of sentience, around viability - 24 weeks and up. However, I still do not consider fetuses to be persons until born.

expect_resistance said...

Yes exactly!

expect_resistance said...

What? I'm illogical? I'm not the one who thinks ZEFs are persons. No not an individual person till it comes out of the as you say "birth canal."

bluebeard cattown said...

Oh right, in addition to saying that cancer isn't 'natural' because it's unhealthy, Joanna also said that people who are pregnant a lot are experts on gestation, just like people who eat a lot are experts on digestion.

expect_resistance said...

If there is a Robin's nest and there are three fertilized eggs in it and a Robin sitting on the nest, you don't say there are four birds in the nest. If a Cowbird removes eggs from a Chipping sparrow's nest the Cowbird didn't kill the birds but destroyed the eggs to lays it's own eggs in the nest. Eggs are potential birds, like ZEFs potential.

expect_resistance said...

Then I'm an expert on wine consumption. I'm having a little "hair of the dog" nursing a hangover. Every time I read her posts it makes my head hurt more.

expect_resistance said...

I say yes.

expect_resistance said...

People who are homeless are people they are not ZEFs big difference. Also for you to say homeless people are "unwanted" is insulting. I know people who have been homeless and down on their luck they are still people with human rights. If a woman who is homeless and poor is pregnant and doesn't want to be I wouldn't force her to gestate a pregnancy, or anyone else. I've met some pretty incredible homeless people that unfortunately have mental health and drug issues, but they are still people don't deserve to get treated like shit.

bluebeard cattown said...

If you throw a bag of acorns in the fire, is that the equivalent of burning down a forest?

expect_resistance said...

Nice. I have a recipe for acorn flour. If I make that I guess I'm eating trees. Who knew?

expect_resistance said...

What about all if the fertilized eggs that don't implant into the uterus and are expelled in a woman's monthly cycle? Should we hold tampon and pad funerals if they are persons as you say?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, it is illogical to believe, as you do, that the birth canal has magical properties that somehow confer personhood upon an unborn child.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If a robin is sitting on three fertilized eggs, then there is a robin plus 3 unhatched robins in the nest. It's not a difficult concept. I'm surprised you have difficulty with it.

anotheranonymous said...

I think you mean it is not an independent life form (it is individual - a single human being).

JoAnna Wahlund said...

So it's irrelevant, to you, whether or not a child can live independently outside the womb. You believe the child is the property of his/her mother to dispose of as she wishes. Correct?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Oh, I absolutely agree with you re: the homeless. It's interesting, though, you seem to be saying that the homeless have intrinsic value and dignity as human beings despite the fact that they aren't "wanted." Yet you think unborn children are worthless and valueless if they're not "wanted." Seems illogical.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

By your logic, it's completely moral to murder senior citizens, since they die of natural causes frequently. Is that what you believe?

expect_resistance said...

I don't think the "birth canal" or vagina has magical powers. There's a uterus connected to a "birth canal" a ZEF is part of a woman's body until she had an abortion or gives birth. Nothing magical about biology.

expect_resistance said...

No, I'm a birdwatcher and fully understand this concept. If a nesting bird abandones a nest the eggs will not survive. Like a ZEF without a host it's not going to live. Simple biology.

expect_resistance said...

Talk about a strawman argument you win.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What if a baby is halfway out of the birth canal? Still okay to stab it with scissors and kill him/her?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, and infants abandoned by their mothers and left exposed to the elements will likely die as well. Does that mean infants aren't human beings?

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