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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:

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JoAnna Wahlund said...

Uh, no. It's called "logic." You say that since unborn children die of natural causes (miscarriage), then it's okay to intentional kill them (abortion). So by that logic, if senior citizens die of natural causes (old age) it's therefore okay to intentionally murder them. Is that your position? If not, then your view is not logically consistent.

expect_resistance said...

What? Do you have a scissors fetish?

expect_resistance said...

You missed the point. If a fertilized egg fails to implant there is no pregnancy, hence no miscarriage. This happens to 30% plus fertilized eggs that you call persons. So if these fertilized eggs that don't implant are sloughed off in a woman's cycle are persons as you say then why aren't their funerals for them? Keep in mind that these are not pregnancies but fertilized eggs.

someone45 said...

Yes because it is her life and her body and if I tried to control her choices I would be doing what I hate about anti-choicers. Women don't ever do that though and we both know that...

someone45 said...

How is is not slavery to force a woman to gestate against her will when all she will get out of it is misery?

It is impossible to torture an unborn child since there is no such thing.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Google Kermit Gosnell.

Russell Crawford said...

There are scientific laws that control the impact of abortion. For example pro lifers have a choice, they may choose to save innocent born babies, children and adults or they may choose to let them die and save a fetus instead. It is impossible for any person to save both born life and unborn life without causing the death of born life.
For example there are 1.8 born humans, 1.4 induced abortions and 10 natural abortions that die each second. No person can save them all. In fact if one spends 1 second forcing the birth of an unwanted fetus, then in that second, 1.8 born persons and 10 natural wanted fetuses will die. For that reason pro lifers do not save life, they simply trade the life of fetuses for the life of born humans.

The scientific laws that control the impact of abortion make it clear that anti abortion laws do not work. http://www.scientificabortionlaws.com --- read the about page.

Russell Crawford said...

The fetus "may or may not be alive or have enough human DNA to live as a human. The fetus cannot be proved to produce a born human until in fact it is born.

Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, one cannot tell if the product of conception is alive or human.

Russell Crawford said...

It is a scientific fact that one cannot prove the fetus is alive, will be born alive or that it has enough human DNA live as a human, until it is born. Why, because 70 percent of conceptions die before the end of the first trimester and of those that die, 60 percent die from genetic flaw.

I challenge you to prove any fetus will be born alive and human before it is actually born.

Russell Crawford said...

You cannot prove the fetus is alive, will be born alive or that it is human enough to live as a human. But you know that a real born human is alive and human. You have a choice to save a born human or to let it die and save a fetus. Most pro lifers choose to let the born babies die. What is your choice?

Russell Crawford said...

Your claim that fertilization is the beginning of "all of us" is a fallacy if you consider the zygote one of "us." Your claim is based upon the idea that all zygotes are human and alive and contain only DNA that is human. While retrospectively speaking all born humans were human zefs not all zefs will become humans.

Russell Crawford said...

Not only is there debate that the zygote is not a baby, the scientific fact is that the zygote cannot be proved to be human or alive. Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, there is no human life. Why, because at birth the fetal heart must transform into a human heart and the fetal respiratory, digestive systems and brain must transform from fetal organs into human organs. That only occurs at birth.

Russell Crawford said...

Born human life is clearly born human life. Born non human life is clearly not human life. What is the point you are trying to make?

Russell Crawford said...

The sperm if allowed to follow its ideal path, will possibly produce a human life.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

For the simple fact that it's impossible to know if a new child exists prior 8 days after conception (minimum). I did have simple memorial services for both children that I miscarried, by the way. But one miscarriage was at twelve weeks (and I had a D&C, so we had remains to bury) and one was at 5 weeks, 5 days, about one week after my positive pregnancy test.

If people could know, with certainty, that a child existed at the time they conceived, I'm sure you would see funerals for the children who die prior to implantation. Some couples who have done IVF often do mourn the loss of the embryos that didn't implant.

But if we lived in a society that did not do funerals at all, of if a homeless person (for example) doesn't get a funeral after they die, that wouldn't mean that the people who died were therefore worthless and valueless as a result. A funeral is just a societal custom to help survivors deal with death, not an acknowledgement of personhood or humanity.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

http://virtualfeller.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/choose1.jpg

Russell Crawford said...

A baby and a fetus cannot be compared. A fetus may or may not be alive or human enough to live to birth. A baby is in fact alive and human. A fetus is not entitled to anything unless it can be proved to be capable of becoming a born baby. And that is impossible until birth.

Russell Crawford said...

It is not the birth canal that transforms a fetus into a human. The fetal heart, respiratory, digestive systems and brain must transform into human organs before birth. It those transforms do not occur, there is no human life.

Russell Crawford said...

Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, there is no human life. And one must choose which life to save, born or unborn life. If one chooses to force the birth of a fetus, then they have chosen not to save a born life, and that life dies. So the choice is to save a born life or a fetus. One or the other will die.

Russell Crawford said...

A fetus cannot be proved to be a human being until the DNA expresses the correct phenotype at birth. You must murder a real baby to force the birth of a fetus.

Russell Crawford said...

Your belief that a fetus is a baby causes you to murder innocent babies in an effort to save a fake baby.
Women are in fact human and alive, zefs have only a 30 percent chance of becoming human life. It is foolish to let born life die to save zefs.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

That's funny, I know several well-respected embryologists who would disagree with you.

Russell Crawford said...

"Why are you anti-science, Joshua?"

Scientific facts prove that your beliefs stated below are based upon a fallacy.

{"It is scientific fact. A fetus is an individual life form.}

You cannot prove it is alive or will be born alive and human, much less whether it is an individual life from.


{ The biological definition of organism does NOT include "ability to exist independently at every stage of development."}

Your definition is a fallacy. It assumes that a zef is human and alive and that is not capable of being established scientifically.

{{{"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)."}}

That is a circular argument fallacy. You start out assuming the zef is human and alive and then, based upon that assumption, discusses information about the stages of life.

Russell Crawford said...

I went to the site you suggested and it does not agree with you.

Russell Crawford said...

Because 70 percent of conceptions die in the first trimester, any consent to sex is consent to abortion.

You have a choice, you may save innocent born babies or you may kill them and attempt to force the birth of a fetus when you consented to abortion for yourself.
Most pro lifers choose to let innocent born babies die. What is your choice?

anotheranonymous said...

Likewise while all human adults were human children, not all human children will become human adults. Am I understanding that this is your point?

anotheranonymous said...

I hope you are not a woman. Calling a pregnant woman a "host" could not be more insulting or degrading to women, whose rights you say you proclaim. You've done it several times. Please come up with something more respectful.

anotheranonymous said...

So these transformations occur before birth - so you say. So when approximately "before birth" do they occur?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

See: https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

JoAnna Wahlund said...

That link makes no sense in relation to what I just posted.

It's obvious you can't dispute the science involved. What's your story, Russell? Why are you so intent on dehumanizing unborn children? Are you trying to assuage a guilty conscience?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Russell, is a zygote an organism of the species Homo sapiens?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, it does. See the quotes I provided to Joshua_Holland as evidence.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Russell, you can choose to rape me or murder me. What is your choice?

Ann Morgan 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.**



So you are trying to claim the the unfertilized egg didn't exist before conception and just popped into existence out of nowhere, just in time to be fertilized?

Ann Morgan said...

** 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.**


In other words, you're playing the usual forced birther game of pretending that neither the brain nor the electrical activity in the brain can be detected.

Ann Morgan said...

If the main important thing about the zygote is that it is 'genetically distinct', then can I assume that it would be ok with you for me to murder one of a pair of twin newborn babies, so long as the other one, and it's 'genetically distinct' DNA survive?

Ann Morgan said...

**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.**


A catterpillar may be of the species Monarch Butterfly. That is scientific fact. It's ALSO a fact that it can't fly. Guess what, not all 'developmental stages' are inherently equal in abilities or rights. Grow up and deal with it.

Ann Morgan said...

You are still deliberately avoiding my question as to how all abilities and rights descend from heaven in a golden light onto the fertilized egg, when this is obviously not the case with butterflies. The ability to fly does not somehow magically appear in a catterpillar, despite being an 'organism' that has butterfly DNA.


What exactly is it about 'humans' that you think gives them human rights. And no circular arguments, such as they have 'human rights because they are human' or nonsense about them being 'special' without defining what the 'specialness' is

Ann Morgan said...

I reject your whiny examples of the fact that drugs and prostitution are illegal as 'proof' that bodily autonomy is not absolute. I'm a Libertarian. I don't think those things should be illegal.

** then precedence should be given to the entity that has the most liberty to lose.**



Which would appear to justify forcibly removing one of your kidneys and one of your lungs, since the discomfort of surgery is only temporary, and the death of someone in need of an organ transplant is permanent.

Ann Morgan said...

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

**If a child needs a a donated organ to survive outside the womb, it is an extreme necessity, not a basic necessity**



Sorry, no. You can't have it both ways. Either the child has a right to the parent's body, without their consent, or they don't. You don't get to have it both ways.

Ann Morgan said...

**The birth canal does not magically bestow humanity or personhood upon a child.**


DNA doesn't magically bestow rights or personhood, either.

Ann Morgan said...

If you can't get a 5 inch wide sphere through a 4 inch wide hole without tearing the hole so badly that it kills the mother, then yes. Stop handwaving away the facts of birth.

Russell Crawford said...

No, that is a false dilemma fallacy.

However your choice to let innocent babies die is not a false dilemma fallacy. Two important differences: 1) You claim to save babies and instead you save fetuses. 2) 1.8 born humans, 1.4 unwanted fetuses and 10 wanted fetuses are dying each second. If you choose to save none, born babies die, if you choose to save unwanted fetuses, born babies die, if you choose to save wanted fetuses, born humans die. Only when you choose to save born humans do born humans become saved.

There are no other choices. If you choose to save a fetus then you have chosen not to save a born baby, child or adult. And because you "claim" to save babies, you must save born babies otherwise you are not saving life, you are trading born life for unborn life.

Because you claim to have a duty to save babies and do not save babies, you are committing "murder by omission." You might want to look that up.

Russell Crawford said...

Your reply was based upon the precept that the fetus is always a baby. The site you are using does not claim that all zygotes produce human babies. So no you just don't know what you are reading. Most zygotes cannot be proved to produce human life and it is impossible to know which will produce life because it is impossible to know what will be "expressed."

You might want to look up DNA expression. What you will find is that there is no way to know what the DNA will express until it in fact has expressed. For example the entire code for a human is in the zygote, but we cannot read that code before it is ready to be read.

Russell Crawford said...

You can't prove that. Until the zygote "expresses" the correct phenotype, you cannot prove it is human. Your statement is a fallacy. Approximately 30 percent of zygotes will produce human life. The rest will not produce a human life that can be proved to be capable of living as a human. Your claim is a "fallacy of division".

Russell Crawford said...

I am stating scientific fact. About 30 percent of conceptions will produce human life. The others will not.

I am not disputing the science involved, I am proving it is correct. http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/333.full.pdf+html
You are making fallacious claims about the science involved. It is impossible to know if a zygote will produce a born human life until it in fact "expresses" the correct phenotype at birth.

Basically you are using an "affirming the consequent" fallacy. You assume that all zygotes are humans and use as proof the fact that 30 percent of zygotes will produce born life. Your argument is invalid.

Russell Crawford said...

The whole page is based on multiple fallacies. The scientific facts are clear. Most zygotes do not produce human life. That is a scientific fact. So your source page is an "affirming the consequent" fallacy. The page you cite does not even internally support itself. It states as fact terms that have been disproved scientifically. For example it starts with the unsupported claim that life starts with "new human embryo, the starting point for a human life, comes into existence with the formation of the one-celled zygote" and then states that the zygote is formed from living human haploid life. Something cannot start when there are preceding events. The" start" is the "beginning". And human life is a continuum. It began 3.5 billion years ago and became human about 250 million years ago. I think what you are implying is that the life of a human has a point at which a zygote is created. But that is not the start of life. Life is continuous. The gametes were produced by a diploid human that produced a haploid human life form. Without he haploid there is no diploid. And the haploid life was a division of a diploid cell.
So your source is internally conflicting and based on a series of fallacies.

Russell Crawford said...

They occur at birth. Each event is part of the "expression" of the human phenotype. As such, becaue we cannot know the terms of "expression", we cannot know when the event begins or finishes. All we know for certain is that the phenotype of a fetus is different from the phenotype of a human. They are structurally different until birth.

Russell Crawford said...

"What? Is this a joke?"
Any claim that a zygote is a baby is a joke.
" Are you meaning specifically that this "transformation into a human heart and human organs" happens after 40 weeks gestation, or can this happen at 32 weeks or 24 weeks (as two of my friends experienced with the births of their babies recently)?"

The changes must occur or be possible of development at birth or there is no human life possible. A fetus becomes a baby when the processes have occurred. That can be at any time period that supports human life. If a product of conception can live as a born human, then it is a human life. There is no way to determine at which point the product of conceptions can be proved to be fully human. Some humans are in fact born and human and live with genetic flaws. (I live with genetic flaws) The fact that there are flaws do not make a life form non human.

" Or does it happen to any baby that passes through the birth canal? Does it require the birth canal or can it happen during a c-section?"

No, it happens when the phenotype is fully expressed to the point where human life is proved to be human.

"Are you classifying the fetus as an organism completely different from a human?"

I am defining the point at which it can be human life as opposed to a potential human life. One cannot prove what it is until birth. Why, the expression of the code is hidden.

someone45 said...

The difference is the person in a coma

1. Has people that love them and would not want that to happen.
2. Could easily come out of the coma and would be self aware.
3. Is not inside the body of an actual person


The actual person has the most to lose since she already has a life and feelings and a job and/or school and can easily lose everything by the misery of pregnancy.


Are you implying that young people have more value than older people since a child that is 10 probably has more years to live than someone in their 30s....

Russell Crawford said...

While that is true, it is not the same. A fetus cannot even be proved to be capable of becoming a human until it is born. It is potentially human at best. At worst it is simply a product of conception. The zygote has a 30 percent chance of being a human life and the fetus at birth has a 99 percent chance of being human enough to live as a human.

anotheranonymou said...

So...what kind of proof are you looking for? What do you mean, the expression of the code is hidden? Amniocentesis and ultrasound reveal nothing?

anotheranonymou said...

No, unborn human life is unborn, but still human.

anotheranonymous said...

Actually it's precisely because prolifers understand the continual process of life that we don't believe artificially interrupting it is morally acceptable.

Russell Crawford said...

Of course interrupting life at all points accomplishes the same end. Stopping a sperm from producing a child has the same effect as stopping a fetus. And the fact is that life of the gametes and zef are potential lives, not real born life, is important to consider. For example by focusing on the potential life one is guaranteed to allow real life to perish. Why because spending 1 second attempting to save an unwanted fetus is one second when real life is allowed to die along with wanted fetuses. There are 1.8 born babies, 1.4 unwanted fetuses and 10 wanted fetuses dying each second. If one spends one second saving an unwanted fetus then they have chosen to let 10 wanted fetuses and 1.8 real live humans die. So being pro life does not save life, it causes death.
If pro lifers were really wanting to save life, they would save the born life and the wanted fetuses, not the unwanted fetuses.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Your premise is shoddy and incorrect. Read all of my comments instead of taking one out of context.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It doesn't then follow that it is acceptable to kill a member of our species simply because they are in an earlier stage of development. Your logic could be used to justify killing newborns (see, for example, Peter Singer's beliefs).

JoAnna Wahlund said...

http://www.libertariansforlife.org/

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What bestows personhood is being an organism of the species Homo sapiens.

Russell Crawford said...

The proof that life does not begin at conception is overwhelming and indisputable. For example pro lifers "believe" that life begins with the fusion of the egg and sperm. However, the word begins is pretty simple to understand.
The gametes (egg and sperm) have their own unique DNA that is different from the DNA of the parents. That DNA controls the actions of the gametes. For example it controls the mobility of the sperm and egg, the positive actions of the sperm in penetrating the egg, and the actions of the egg before fusion and finally the processes of development of the that lead up to fusion and the process of fusion itself. All of that occurs before the "functional" establishment of the zygote. Every bit of the information that leads the gametes to establish the zygote is contained in the DNA of the gametes and leads to the expression of the correct phenotype for a zygote. The zygote cannot create itself. Why, because it does not exist. So "life" must start before the establishment of the zygote, because the zygote cannot create itself.

Russell Crawford said...

Life is continuous, so all life, cells in mitosis, cells in meiosis, gametes, zygotes, embryos and fetuses would all be "persons" as they are all parts of a continuous human organism either in the diploid phase or the haploid phase or somewhere in between.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If a child is halfway outside the birth canal, then his/her shoulders have already been delivered. Since the shoulders are the widest part of the newborn, then the rest of the baby's body will fit through the birth canal. No need to kill anyone.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, Russell, you are presenting a false dilemma fallacy. in terms of your question, it's not either/or, it's both/and.
Why are you so eager to see unborn children die, Russell? Are you trying to assuage a guilty conscience?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The site states that zygotes are organisms of the species Homo sapiens, aka human beings.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You are incorrect, Russell. If an embryologist were to sample the DNA of a human zygote, they would determine that it is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. It is a biological fact that two organisms of the same species cannot reproduce a different species entirely. So if a zygote is conceived, biologically that zygote must be an organism of the species homo sapiens.

Russell Crawford said...

No, that is not the whole of what the author states. The "assumption" by you is that you are speaking of human zygotes that are proved to be human. A zygote that does not have the correct genotype to produce human life was never a human and could never become a human. No scientist would ever claim that a non human genotype is human.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

So? Just because a human being dies in an early stage of development does not mean that it was never a human being. By your logic, I could go ahead and kill newborns since there is not guarantee that they will live to adulthood.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Quotes from *multiple embryology textbooks* are based on "fallacies"?

Why should I believe you, Russell? What are your credentials? Are you a recognized authority in the field of embryology?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Sperm and ova, as well as other human cells (e.g. skin cells) are not organisms, Russell. A human being is an *organism* of the species Homo sapiens.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Russell, you are wrong. If a zygote was not a human being, it would be biologically impossible for him/her to be the offspring of two adult human beings.

Russell Crawford said...

No, the scientific fact is that there is more life dying than can be saved. So you must choose which life to save. If you ever choose to save a fetus, either wanted or unwanted, it will be at the expense of a real life born human. Why, because all life cannot be saved. So you must choose to save one of two types of life. You may save either real life or potential life. You cannot save potential life without causing the death of real life. Why, because real life is steadily dying and at any point where you stop saving real life, then it dies.
Because there are only two types of life that may be saved, real life and potential life, you must chose to save one or the other or none. Any choice to save none or a potential life will lead to the death of a born life.

Pro lifers are simply murderers of born babies, children and adults. I am saving babies. So no, I have no guilty conscience. You should stop murdering innocent babies and join me in saving life.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

By your logic, we should just drop a bomb on all the third world countries with starving children. We can't save them all, right? Might as well kill the ones we can't save.
That's horrible logic, Russell.

Russell Crawford said...

That is a straw man fallacy based on false precepts. I am for saving the life of starving children. When given the opportunity to save life at http://www.poverty.com you make the intentional choice to let it die. You don't need to drop a bomb, you are killing life by choosing to let it starve to death.
You have a choice, you may choose to save innocent babies or you may choose to let them die and save a fetus instead. Your choice is to let babies ----die----.

Russell Crawford said...

"It is a biological fact that two organisms of the same species cannot reproduce a different species entirely."

It is a fact that most zygotes do not produce a different species, they produce no known species. In fact 42 percent of zygotes produce no known species. DNA requires the stage of "replication" and if there is and error in replication then the species will be lost. Generally DNA--->RNA---Protein and in any of those changes, errors can be made. Sometimes, the changes due to error will produce an alteration to the species that is good for the species. In such a situation, the error may be adopted in breeding and become a change in the human species. The theory of evolution posits that all life began 3.5 billion years ago and that it adopted changes in DNA that lead to various types of life. Those changes lead to the Human species about 250k years ago. So the evolutionary theory supports changes in DNA that lead to higher life forms, such a humans.
If you go to Google images and search "product of conception" you will find pictures of some human life forms that are not capable of living as humans.



So if a zygote is conceived, biologically that zygote must be an organism of the species homo sapiens.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It's both/and, not either/or. Why are you so eager for unborn babies to die, Russell? Are you trying to assuage a guilty conscience?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

A human being is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. A zygote is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. Ergo, a zygote is a human being. Why are you anti-science, Russell?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

So, boys aren't human until puberty? By your logic, women without ovaries and men without testicles are not human beings. Is that what you believe? That ovarian or testicular cancer survivors cease to be human? That's bizarre.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Your statements are utterly false, as proved by my sources. What are your embryology credentials, Russell? Why should I believe you instead of multiple embryology textbooks?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Taking your beliefs to their logical conclusions is not "putting words in your mouth," Russell. Human zygotes are always human. They have to be, as it is biologically impossible for them to be anything else. This is scientific fact.

Russell Crawford said...

"A human being is an organism of the species Homo sapiens."

A human being is born and alive and is of the species Homo sapiens.

"A zygote is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. "

A zygote cannot be proved to be of the species Homo sapiens.


"Ergo, a zygote is a human being."

Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype, at birth, it is not human.


" Why are you anti-science, Russell?"

I am using science, you are using fallacies.
You are using several fallacies. You are using a straw man fallacies based upon an affirming the consequent fallacy.
You must prove the zygote has human DNA capable of "expressing" a human phenotype.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actual scientists disagree with you, Russell. And given that some genes are not expressed until adolescence or adulthood, your logic dictates that anyone below puberty is not a human being.
- JoAnna

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Zygotes are too young, developmentally, to reproduce offspring, Russell. Perhaps you should take a biology class? You seem to have a number of false beliefs regarding human reproduction.

Russell Crawford said...

It is impossible for you to save both without causing the needless death of babies. If you spend 1 second saving an unwanted fetus, 1.8 born humans and 10 wanted fetuses die. If you think you can save all life, then simply do so, and then start saving fetuses and I will help.

That is called "calling your bluff". Now do as you claim or be labeled a liar.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Russell, can you provide a link to any scientist, anywhere, who claims that a child is not a biological human being until birth? And if they aren't human, then what species are they?

bluebeard cattown said...

Is a hydatidiform mole h.sapiens?

Russell Crawford said...

I didn't say they reproduce offspring at this point in the life cycle. All life goes through the stages born human, splitting of the cells in mitosis, development of the gametes, development of the zygotes, embryos and fetuses and then to birth an life as a born human again. There is no point at which life "stops". If you think there is, now would be a good time to offer some proof.

What I am saying is clear. You have a choice JoAnna, you may choose to save innocent babies or you can let them die and save a fetus instead. What is your choice? Why do you choose to let innocent babies die?

Russell Crawford said...

If the human is born and living as a human, then it is a living human. In order to force the birth of an unwanted zygote one must kill 10 wanted zygotes and 1.8 born living humans each second. You are responsible for those deaths.

Joshua_Holland said...

Hunh? Nope, I'm not claiming anything of the sort.

Russell Crawford said...

Human zygotes are always human and non human zygotes are never human. 42 percent of zygotes will not have the correct genetic qualities to build human life and only 30 percent will have the correct human DNA and become human life. The rest will die.
It is a fact that more human zygotes do not become human life than become human life. http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/333.full.pdf+html

So your interpretation of your sources if wrong. I am sorry, but you must accept that as fact or continue to look like a fool.

Joshua_Holland said...

I'm confused about why you'd identify with a movement whose stated goals are to either ban abortion, or at least overturn Roe and let states criminalize the procedure. It seems to me that if that's not your position, then you're one of many pro-choice people who are personally opposed to abortion but believe it should be legal and available for those who don't share your beliefs.

And, again, pro-choicers are far more likely than opponents of abortion to favor policies that demonstrably reduce the incidence of abortion -- most favor comprehensive sex education and expanded access to contraception. One of the ironies of the anti-abortion movement is that because many of its adherents favor "abstinence-only" education and freak out when schools give out condoms, it actually promotes abortion.

Joshua_Holland said...

It certainly has the requisite DNA, as do the skin cells you slough off every day.

Russell Crawford said...

Your skin cells likely have the right DNA, though some of mine don't. But any zygote you produce has a 42 percent chance of having the wrong DNA. More have the wrong DNA than live to be humans. Most zygotes are simply human products of conception.

It is impossible to tell if the zygote has the correct DNA until it is born.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I object to your false dilemma. It is indeed possible to help starving children and refrain from killing unborn human beings.

Russell Crawford said...

Every scientist agrees that a child is a biological human being from its parents DNA to it death. The claims you make are not connected. A proved life that produces a zygote that becomes a born baby will have always been a human. A life that has not been proved by birth may or may not be human or capable of life.

Most zygotes are not proved to be any particular species at all. Look at the photos in Google images that show "products of conception." 42 percent of zygotes have genetic flaws that cause them to not produce human life. 30 percent will produce human life. The rest will die without proof they had correct DNA capable of "expressing" human life.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

A hydatidiform mole is not an organism of the species Homo sapiens.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

False dilemma, Russell. Why do you want unborn children to die so badly? Are you trying to assuage a guilty conscience?

bluebeard cattown said...

It is a product of conception and it starts out as a zygote.

So, according to your definition, it is a human being.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Again, can you cite any scientific evidence to support your assertion that unborn children are a species other than Homo sapiens? Anything at all?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It is biologically impossible for a non-human zygote to be conceived within the Fallopian tube of a human woman, Russell. This is basic biology.

Russell Crawford said...

Of course you can refrain from killing born human and unborn life. But if you force the birth of a born fetus, you do so by causing the death of a born human. This is a debate about force birth, not a debate about killing wanted fetuses. No one is being forced to abort a zef.

There is a continuous, nonstop, dying of born human life at the rate of 1.8 per second. If you claim to save human life, then those lives are available to save.
There is continuous death of unwanted fetuses at the rate of 1.4 per second. And there is the continuous death of wanted fetuses at the rate of 10 per second. If you claim to save life, you may choose to save a wanted or unwanted fetus.

If you spend one second saving a fetus, then in that second 1.8 born humans die. You had a choice to save born life or unborn life and choose to save unborn life, as a result 1.8 born babies died each second you spent saving fetuses. If you could suspend the dying of the born while you saved the unborn you would be able to save both, but you cannot suspend the dying of the born. So your choice to save a fetus leads to the death of born life.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The fact that you can neither find nor provide scientific evidence to support your claims should be telling, Russell.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The definition of a human being is "an organism of the species Homo sapiens." A hydatidiform mole is not an organism of the species Homo sapiens.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

False dilemma, again.

Russell Crawford said...

All scientific evidence supports my claims. I have several hundred links you can read if you have time. Just let me know where you are confused. If you read a link, and learn what it says, I will post another. If you are incapable of understanding the science involved I will not post another link. So what has you confused?

Your fallacious reading of science is what is causing you to murder innocent babies in an attempt to save fetuses. Why not stop murdering babies and join me in saving life?

bluebeard cattown said...

It is a product of conception, and contains h.sapiens DNA. You keep telling Rusell that human zygotes = human beings.

You can't say that human zygotes are all human beings, and then say that a zygote that will develop into a mole is not a human being. You are trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Russell Crawford said...

Most zygotes are not human enough to produce human life. Read this source, then I will ask you a few questions. If you understand the source, then we can continue. But if you are incapable of understanding, I will simply have a hoot. Please don't make me laugh, I don't need a hoot, learn what is in the source before coming back.
http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/333.full.pdf+html

Russell Crawford said...

http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/333.full.pdf+html
Like I have told you a hundred times the products of conception are not any species at all.

EdinburghEye said...

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."


I don't think prolifers can do that, though. At least, I have never met one who was even willing to try.


But I have frequently met prolifers who argue strongly that girls and women should not be allowed or encouraged to have free access to contraception, that employers should be legally allowed to fire women for getting pregnant and not having an abortion, and that welfare aid which ensures mothers and children can live safely and comfortably is immoral. When prolifers express those views - and many, many prolifers do - it's impossible not to draw the conclusion that what they really believe is that girls/women should be punished for having sex by forced pregnancy.

Russell Crawford said...

I call your bluff. Prove you can save 1.8 born humans dying each second while saving unwanted fetuses. If you stop saving born life it will die, right?

My proof is that you can't because you as a person cannot save all human life. So prove you can save all human life and you will be right.

Russell Crawford said...

Saying false dilemma without proving a false dilemma is useless. I am calling your bluff. Prove you can save 1.8 born babies, children and adults without a pause and save 11.4 fetuses that die each second as well. Where is your proof?
If you pause saving babies for one second, they will die. So prove your false dilemma claim.

expect_resistance said...

Gosnell is a criminal. If abortion is outlawed there will be a lot more Gosnells

expect_resistance said...

Yes I am a woman. Maybe "host" is the wrong word but a ZEF can't survive outside a woman's body. And how can my word choice be more offensive than telling all pregnant women they must gestate a pregnancy and be treated like brood mares or chattel? I think forced gestation is very oppressive. I support women that want to be pregnant and I also support women who do not want to be pregnant and have an abortion. I don't get to make decisions for anyone else.

expect_resistance said...

Infants are born ZEFs are not. Women who terminate a pregnancy are not abandoning an infant.

expect_resistance said...

If a fertilized egg fails to implant there is NO pregnancy. Duh.

someone45 said...

I am a woman and I call a pregnant woman with an unwanted pregnancy a host. I think it is degrading to women to force her to undergo gestational slavery.


If you want to respect women let them decide if they allow the unwanted ZEF to come to term or not.

expect_resistance said...

That's a strawman for sure.

expect_resistance said...

Again you missed the point. If a fertilized egg fails it implant there is no pregnancy.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I read this paper and I didn't see any statement that unborn children are not organisms of the species Homo sapiens. Please quote the portion that you believe supports your assertion that they are not?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I told you, there was nothing this paper to support your assertion.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I'm not the one making the assertion that that's possible. You are. Please show me how to save every single child on the earth who is in danger of dying of starvation by means of killing unborn children. I am eager to see how it is possible.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If you believe you have the capability, please do so. I look forward to reading in the paper tomorrow that there are no longer any starving children on earth, thanks to you.

bluebeard cattown said...

Let's look at what you wrote earlier:

""A human being is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. A zygote is an
organism of the species Homo sapiens. Ergo, a zygote is a human being""'


A hydatidiform mole forms a zygote, and that zygote has h.sapiens DNA.


Your own words. By your logic, a hydatidiform mole = a human being, because it = a zygote, and according to you, zygotes are all h.sapiens, and h.sapiens = human being.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

But by your logic, what Gosnell did was entirely acceptable. He enjoyed the favor of the law for many years. Why do you think what he did was bad?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, they're just killing him or her directly, which isn't any better.

Russell Crawford said...

I save born life by exposing pro life murderers. Pro lifers have a choice to murder innocent babies or to save them. They choose to murder babies. I drag them into the light of truth and expose them for what they are.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

How is that relevant?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It's actually an example of a false dilemma fallacy, as Russell realized.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

And, how is this relevant? I am well aware that if an unborn child dies naturally, the pregnancy does not progress. I have had two miscarriages. The fact that two of my children have died of natural causes does not give me license to intentionally kill the other five.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, that's not accurate. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000909.htm

JoAnna Wahlund said...

How are born children saved by murdering unborn children?

Russell Crawford said...

"I'm not the one making the assertion that that's possible. "

You claimed you could save both fetuses and babies without causing the death of babies. So explain what you meant? Show me how you can save fetuses without spending time that could be used to save babies.
My point is that it is impossible to save all life. One must choose which life they will save.

expect_resistance said...

No. Gosnell was a criminal. He performed illegal abortions and sold drugs illegally. No pro choice agrees with what Gosnell did. He is exactly what we don't want. He didn't provide safe and legal abortions. The opposite. Glad he's in prison.

Russell Crawford said...

OK, you didn't understand the paper. Get someone to read it too you and explain what it says and then get back to me.

bluebeard cattown said...

A partial molar pregnancy does in fact qualify as a human organism, only a disabled one.


At any rate, that is completely irrelevant, as you are the one who stated that zygotes = h.sapiens = human beings. Hydatidiform moles start out as zygotes - Russell is absolutely correct.

Russell Crawford said...

Scientifically there is no such thing as "unborn children". There are zygotes with enough human DNA to become human babies and zygotes without enough human DNA. The paper makes it clear that more than 50 percent of conceptions do not have enough human genetic materials to become human life.

Ms. Spacecat said...

http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/answers/viewtopic.php?id=5399
So, according to the biological species concept a human zygote is not a member of the species Homo sapiens because it is incapable of reproducing. Neither are children, adults who are not fertile or post-menopausal women. The biological species concept is meant to apply to populations, not individuals. Two populations are considered to belong to the same species if typical adult members of the populations are able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Applying the BSC that narrowly to individuals leads to absurd conclusions such as humans who have not reproduced do not belong to any biological species, or that neutered cats are not really cats. No biologist applies the species concept that way in practice. Biologists classify juvenile organisms, preserved organisms and fossil organisms as to species all the time. If you had a population of human zygotes you could determine that they are human by DNA testing. If they were gestated, born and grew up they would be capable of interbreeding with other humans and so are members of the species Homo sapiens.
The DNA in the zygote needs to be read, interpreted and expressed for life to occur. The same is true of your DNA and mine. A blueprint does not direct its own development into a house. A blastocyst, like any other living thing needs the proper environment to develop. A seed will not germinate if it is left in a package, and some seeds have very exacting germination requirements, including forming symbiotic relationships with other organisms such as soil fungi.

Russell Crawford said...

The source I just posted makes that claim. A zygote that does not have enough human DNA to produce a human life cannot produce a human life. The source is also pretty clear that only 30 percent of conceptions produce human life. You know you can argue that non human life is human life, that is fine. It would make more sense than your vacillations.

someone45 said...

No they aren't. They are removing the ZEF from its attachment to its host. Since it is their body they have that right.

Russell Crawford said...

You haven't understood half of what has been said to you, so this error on you part does not surprise me. Murdering unborn children will not save born children. No one has ever said it would. So get that foolishness out of your mind.

What I have said is that born babies, children and adults are dying, unwanted fetuses are dying and wanted fetuses are dying. They are all dying. So one does not choose which to murder, one chooses which to save. As you admit, there are more babies dying than can be saved. So if you choose to save babies every day, then you will constantly be saving innocent born life. If you stop saving babies for even one second, so you can save a fetus, then 1.8 born babies will die. If you spend a second saving unwanted fetuses, not only do born babies die but wanted fetuses die as well. So if you spend 1 second saving unwanted fetuses, then 10 wanted fetuses will die.
In no instance have you ever killed a fetus to save a baby. You have simply chosen to save babies, children and adults. If you don't save them they will die.

Russell Crawford said...

An ape fetus looks just like a human fetus on a sonogram, does that make it human?

expect_resistance said...

Sounds like she's talking about ageism to me. ZEFs are the only thing that matters to them. Narrow minded focus.

expect_resistance said...

And there is Catholics for Choice. What's your point?

bluebeard cattown said...

A blastocyst, like any other living thing needs the proper environment to develop


Without specific signals from the woman's body, it won't develop at all.



Point being, the whole 'blueprint that directs it's own growth' thing is irrelevant - it is still an unborn human organism that is *under construction* and it will not exist as a complete, fully formed, autonomous individual until it is born. Until then it's just a roll of the dice. A crap shoot.



Even if a skyscraper could build itself from the blueprint, you don't look at a partially built skyscraper and say 'yep, that's a skyscraper'. No, it isn't, it's a partially constructed one that may or may not become a skyscraper in a few years.

Russell Crawford said...

You haven't understood half of what has been said to you, so this error on you part does not surprise me. Murdering unborn children will not save born children. No one has ever said it would. So get that foolishness out of your mind.

What I have said is that born babies, children and adults are dying, unwanted fetuses are dying and wanted fetuses are dying. They are all dying. So one does not choose which to murder, one chooses which to save. As you admit, there are more babies dying than can be saved. So if you choose to save babies every day, then you will constantly be saving innocent born life. If you stop saving babies for even one second, so you can save a fetus, then 1.8 born babies will die. If you spend a second saving unwanted fetuses, not only do born babies die but wanted fetuses die as well. So if you spend 1 second saving unwanted fetuses, then 10 wanted fetuses will die.
In no instance have you ever killed a fetus to save a baby. You have simply chosen to save babies, children and adults. If you don't save them they will die.

Russell Crawford said...

It is not a false dilemma because there are only to types of life that can be saved. Born life and unborn life. So the choice is not false.
And one cannot choose to save both because any attempt to save a fetus will mean that you must suspend saving babies. So it is not a false dilemma in that sense either.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Uh, the same way it's possible to also care about issues such as immigration, human trafficking, homelessness, etc simultaneously.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The state of PA obviously didn't care, nor did NAF, as they turned a blind eye to his activities for more than a decade.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I understood the paper perfectly, and found it fascinating. But I found no data to support your assertion in it.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, by the time the mole forms, any human being who may have started to develop is already dead. The mole itself is not an organism, as the link I provided clearly shows.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

When my children were in my womb, they were my children still. Thus, unborn children.

Russell Crawford said...

Can your save all born life or not? If you can save all born life then you have point. Or if you can come up with a scheme where you can save 1.8 born babies, 10 wanted fetuses and 1.4 unwanted fetuses each second. So explain how you will save all life.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, the link you posted does not state unequivocally that unborn children are not human organisms.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

And in doing so, they are killing him/her. One does not have the right to kill innocent human beings.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Well, your comments are largely incoherent and nonsensical, so that is probably why.

bluebeard cattown said...

Are zygotes human beings? Yes or no?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Appearance alone is not the sole criterion for determining humanity.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, I think the fail was in your logic.

Russell Crawford said...

It makes it clear to people that understand the issue.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Difference being that Catholics for Choice are heretical. Libertarians for Life adhere to the basic tenets of libertarianism, and their pro-life views are logically consistent with their beliefs.

Russell Crawford said...

A sonogram does not prove a fetus is human.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, zygotes are human beings. But by the time a partial mole forms, the zygote has been essentially starved to death due to the abnormal growth of the placenta (and in a full molar pregnancy, a zygote never forms).

Russell Crawford said...

They are incoherent to you. Others understand.

bluebeard cattown said...

Nope. It still starts out as a zygote. Sperm and egg fuse. The DNA is human. It is just as much a product of conception as anything else, only the disability is quite severe.

You can't talk your way out of this. If a zygote is a human being, and moles start out as zygotes, then moles = human beings. A full mole has 46 chromosomes, and a partial has 69 or 92.

Would you say that a tay Sachs baby isn't a person because its DNA has doomed it to death shortly after birth? How about the 80% of zygotes that never make it? Are they not people according to you? All because of a genetic defect. Your view is very ableist. Just because the life of some zygotes is shorter than others doesn't make their lives less valuable, does it?

You are dismissing some human life as inherently worthless based on genetic defects. Is a DS also worthless to you, because the # of chromosomes is wrong? How about anencephalic babies? They also worthless to you?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Precisely my point.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No, it does not, as evidenced by your inability to quote from it in support of your assertion.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Uh huh. Sure.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Did you even read what I said? I don't think you did.

bluebeard cattown said...

Yes, its clear that you don't know what you are talking about, and that you are ableist.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

LOL.

anotheranonymous said...

Aren't we all a product of conception? Last I checked we weren't looking in the cabbage patch for babies...

lady_black said...

Equal rights to the body of another simply don't exist. The only one with rights is the one who owns that body.

lady_black said...

Nobody said anything ABOUT 40 weeks. This is a straw man. He said AT BIRTH, and he is correct. The fetal organs, including the heart, do not work as the newborn human's organs work. It's true that at birth, profound changes must occur in order to transition from fetus to human being. You are really asking some foolish questions in order to somehow "get around" the changes that occur at first breath. YOU KNOW DARN WELL that no "birth canal" is required. A C-section birth is still a birth. The mode of birth matters not one iota. What matters in what happens at the time of birth. The first breath.

lady_black said...

Yeah that's too bad.

lady_black said...

The zygote may or may not develop the structures that will permit rational thought. There is no such thing as "inherent rationality, cause DNA." Sometimes that phenotype is never expressed due to faulty development.

lady_black said...

The uterus has more than one function. It doesn't exist solely to gestate. That's like saying your tongue exists to move food around in your mouth, and your teeth exist to chew your food. Most people also use these structures for speech.

lady_black said...

But the uterus wasn't made solely for "the unborn child" and no "unborn child" can assert a claim to it. The uterus is exclusive property of the woman in which it's located, and she can do anything she wants with it.

lady_black said...

Consent doesn't require anyone "asking" for it. Consent is only required to be granted.

lady_black said...

Yeah... no. There is no "human right" to occupy my body. Find me the person who makes such a claim. If that person attempts, without my consent, to help themselves to what belongs to me, I have the right to use violence to resist, up to and including killing that person.

someone45 said...

Abortion isn't killing. It removes a ZEF from its host.

Russell Crawford said...

yes

Russell Crawford said...

Thanks for the admission

Russell Crawford said...

I gave you the source and told you what it said.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

That's like saying, "Suffocating someone is killing them. It's just removing their air supply."

expect_resistance said...

I'm an ex-Catholic but I think Catholic for Choice do great work. Luckily I was raised by parents that are pro-choice and pro-woman.

From CFC: At CFC, we strive to be an expression of Catholicism as it is lived by ordinary people. We are part of the great majority of the faithful in the Catholic church who disagrees with the dictates of the Vatican on matters related to sex, marriage, family life and motherhood. We are part of the great majority who believes that Catholic teachings on conscience mean that every individual must follow his or her own conscience ― and respect others' right to do the same. At Catholics for Choice, we believe that this is the world where the meaning of choice can truly be realized. View our organizational brochure.

We believe that change happens through dialogue and an exchange of information, through communicating ideas and values.

We believe that change happens when we take courageous and strategic risks.

We know that change happens when we challenge well-established and unquestioned authority and enable people to hear new ideas and embrace new ways of thinking.

What We Do

Called upon time and time again for information, advice and skills building, Catholics for Choice helps people and organizations confidently challenge the power of the Catholic hierarchy which uses every means at its disposal to punish and publicly shame Catholics who don't unquestioningly follow its edicts. The hierarchy also seeks to impose its narrow view of morality ― and dangerous positions on public health issues ― on Catholics and non-Catholics around the world.

expect_resistance said...

No, I understood what Russell said. He is talking about the continuous spectrum of life starting with sperm and ova. He didn't say that women without ovaries and men without testicles are not human beings.

expect_resistance said...

Again more anti-choice bullshit.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

It's pro-woman to believe it's okay to kill unborn females simply due to their sex? Do tell.

Catholics for Choice = Vegans for Meat.

deltaflute said...

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are fraternal twins. They did not share the same sperm or ovum. So fertilization was the beginning for both of them.

Ms. Spacecat said...

We don't say that a partially built skyscraper is a building because buildings are constructed rather than developing as living things do. It would make no sense to say that a building is present when only the foundation has been laid, but it does make sense to say that a living organism is present at the earliest stages of development. You say that an unborn human organism is "under construction" and will not be "complete" until birth. So a fetus is still "under construction" a day before it is born. What part or parts have to be added to it to make it "complete"?

bluebeard cattown said...

We don't say that a partially built skyscraper is a building because
buildings are constructed rather than developing as living things do


A prenate is a human that is under construction. It constructs itself, but the woman's body also assists in this. For example, if the woman does not get enough folic acid, it is likely that the fetus will develop spina bifida. It is literally constructed using materials taken from the woman's body. Sometimes this construction doesn't work out, which is why some babies are born without brains, or other body parts. You can't pretend that a zygote already has a functional brain until it can develop that brain.

If the skyscraper was able to build itself the way a prenate does, that would still not change the fact that it is a skyscraper under construction.

So a fetus is still "under construction" a day before it is born. What
part or parts have to be added to it to make it "complete"?


http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002395.htm

http://www.embryology.ch/anglais/pcardio/umstellung02.html

someone45 said...

It is in no way like that. If you suffocate someone you kill an actual person. An abortion only stops the development of a potential person.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If you kill an unborn child, you kill an actual human being as well. An abortion stops the development of an actual person by killing them.

Ms. Spacecat said...

Children who are born need proper nutrition and a proper environment to develop normally, too. Why do you consider a human to be "complete" at birth? There are still many developmental milestones to pass before adulthood. If you apply the biological species concept to individuals, then a human is not a "complete" member of the species until puberty when mature ova or sperm are produced, and you have no way of knowing that an individual is capable of procreation until he/she reproduces.
The links you give describe the functional changes that occur in the body at birth. They are not analogous to the construction of a building or a car because there are no new parts that are added to the body during birth to make it complete. The body is not like a car which is incomplete while it is being assembled but complete once it rolls off the assembly line. There will be many more functional changes in the body as it matures.

bluebeard cattown said...

A child after birth has all of the organs that it will ever have. Can't say the same about a zygote, embryo or fetus.

expect_resistance said...

What do you not understand about "potential?" ZEF = potential human.

expect_resistance said...

Thanks for clarifying. I'm really enjoying your posts and learning a lot. Thanks :)

expect_resistance said...

I understand.

expect_resistance said...

I understand what he is saying.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What don't you understand about "actual"? An unborn child is a living, growing, developing, actual human being. It is an organism of the species homo sapiens. This is biological fact. For example:

"The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."
[Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

Are you seriously trying to argue, in the face of biological evidence to the contrary, that an unborn child is a potential organism, and not an actual organism?

lady_black said...

Amniocentesis reveals genetic makeup (genotype) and ultrasound reveals physical expression (phenotype) to some degree, depending on how developed the embryo or fetus is. The proto-cardiac tube present at the early stages, and visible on ultrasound is no guarantee that a properly constructed human heart will result in any given gestation, and there is no guarantee that the properly developed fetal heart will undergo the necessary changes at birth to enable life as a human. The condition of the fully developed fetal heart as it stands during gestation is unfit for life outside the uterus. There are holes in it. Normally, at first breath, the holes close up, allowing the lungs to oxygenate blood, rather than shunting blood away from the lungs, as occurs in fetal life. Ultrasound can only reveal what has already been expressed by development. It cannot, for example, detect anencephaly prior to the time the corresponding brain structures can be expected to have developed. Ultrasound and amniocentesis are only tools. There are limits.

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