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  #121  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:33 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Absolutely. Is the claim that as a result the fetus is a "person" or has moral weight? I think that's something that can be reasonably argued, but so far you haven't.
I think it's important to underscore how generous you are being here. Spontaneous abortions are EXTREMELY common, and what information we have about them is likely a gross undercount, given that they are much more common early in the pregnancy, when many women are not aware that they are pregnant.
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  #122  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:49 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I think it's important to underscore how generous you are being here. Spontaneous abortions are EXTREMELY common, and what information we have about them is likely a gross undercount, given that they are much more common early in the pregnancy, when many women are not aware that they are pregnant.
I think an important distinction should be made between doctrinaire pro-lifers who believe that a zygote is a person and people who don't believe that per se but commingle a zygote or fetus with a baby, Confusing the seed for the tree so to speak IMHO. I think of it as kind of a category error ( yes I am sure I'm bending the definition of this fallacy sorry ). I think because of this connection that they can't really explain they are left with bad or confused feelings like when people are faced with moral dilemmas. Something that gives an idea of what I am trying to say is the the Trolley Problem or the like. You can change the course of a train and save 5 people but it will kill one person. It is a tough nut to crack. Similarly if you don't make the direct connection that a fetus is a child but are unhappy with the alternative, that it isn't, but it "feels" like it is, it creates a bit of discord in one's thinking. You are transferring feelings that you have for a cute baby for something that isn't. This also goes to stuff that badhat was saying about using certain terms and not others.

I don't believe that a fetus is a child anymore than I believe that losing a fetus is the same thing as a 1 month old dying. Forget about whatever bonding that goes on during after the birth of a child is there any way in the world that a couple loosing a fetus to a miscarriage is remotely like loosing a one month old to SIDS ?
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  #123  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:49 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I think it's important to underscore how generous you are being here. Spontaneous abortions are EXTREMELY common, and what information we have about them is likely a gross undercount, given that they are much more common early in the pregnancy, when many women are not aware that they are pregnant.
Yes, although arguably that is more relevant once we start talking about whether lines can/should be drawn at any point. Of course, Sulla has already conceded that he's drawing lines himself.
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  #124  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:56 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

Spontaneous abortions are the usual end result when the fetus, or child if that is your predilection, is somehow defective or has a low probability of survival due to the mother's health which in itself is usually a proxy for the environment the women finds herself in. Viewed through this lens medical abortion can be thought of as merely expanding the list of actors from just nature to also including humans in the decision if it is advantageous to both the individuals involved and the species as a whole in the particular situation those individuals find themselves in.

Now that that is taken care of all that is needed is to come to some consensus on the values involved in the decision making process. So the conversation hasn't moved at all. Oh well.
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  #125  
Old 11-17-2011, 03:06 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

I've unfortunately known many parents that have lost a child. The grief seems most poignant when the child is in mid-childhood, think 5-12. I'm not trying to be callous or minimize suffering here; The grief from losing, even a live infant, doesn't even seem to closely measure up from losing a child in mid childhood. This is only my personal experience.
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  #126  
Old 11-17-2011, 03:21 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I've unfortunately known many parents that have lost a child. The grief seems most poignant when the child is in mid-childhood, think 5-12. I'm not trying to be callous or minimize suffering here; The grief from losing, even a live infant, doesn't even seem to closely measure up from losing a child in mid childhood.
True enough which is why I was ( some would say naively ) trying to divorce the bonding aspect. Of course a 5 year old is even further removed from a zygote or fetus from that perspective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post

This is only my personal experience.
Sorry to hear of that experience. What was it that they say: IF you lose your parent you are an orphan but if you lose a child there is no word that can describe it.
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  #127  
Old 11-17-2011, 04:33 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

I've said before that because anti-choicers spend so much time trying to convince themselves that a zygote is the moral equivalent of a newborn baby, they assume that pro-choicers spend an equal amount of time trying to convince themselves that a newborn baby is the moral equivalent of a zygote. This is why they believe that posting photos of embryos, who obviously have a shape that is more complex than that of four cells, or of saying that a fetus has a beating heart at however many months, will convince us to abandon our positions. People who are pro-choice do not actually deny the fact of fetal development, surprising as that may be to people in a political movement that regularly denies scientific fact that is inconvenient to their ideology. Pretty much everyone will agree that at one point in the process of embryonic/fetal development we have cells which, although they have human DNA, have about the moral significance of nail clippings, and at the end, we have a human being with full civil rights. The extreme opinion on one end would support denying the child rights or allowing it to be killed it after it's born. The extreme position on the other end is basically that of the personhood amendment. (I guess even more extreme would be the argument that every sperm is sacred and therefore male masturbation is genocide, but this is too silly for even the Catholic Church).

My position, which is a totally mainstream pro-choice one, is that the rights of the fetus grow as it does, but never trump those of the mother. This basic reasoning is reflected in the Roe vs. Wade decision, and I suspect is also the reasoning used by most Americans when they're formulating their opinions about abortion. The position of the pro-life movement is that there's an arbitrary point, prior to birth, where the embryo/fetus/child gains all the rights of a post-born baby, and that arbitrary point is usually called "conception", but it's a semantic argument over what that means, and was one of the snags in the argument for the personhood amendment -- does it refer to fertilization or implantation? If you go with fertilization, then it's cold-blooded murder to abort an ectopic pregnancy; if you go with implantation, then the police will be spending all their time with manslaughter investigations every time a sexually active woman gets her period. The upshot of these arguments should be that it's impossible to argue a specific point where "life begins" unless you're seriously going to identify the moment when God zaps a collection of cells with a soul, and no argument along these lines can be based on actual evidence.
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  #128  
Old 11-17-2011, 04:35 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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When I was about 18 years old, I met such a woman. She was a friend of a girl who I was dating at the time, and during an evening of festivity, told me that she had had multiple abortions. She said it with irritation, not with regret; her boyfriend didn't like the feel of condoms, and she didn't have the time to go get proper birth control.
Honestly, Sulla, if you came off in real life at 18 the same way you do right now over the internet, I might find it amusing to tell you that I'd had multiple abortions for kicks as well, just so I could watch you accuse me of shredding morality and virtue and contributing to the decline of This Honorable Republic.
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  #129  
Old 11-17-2011, 04:58 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
What's weird about the argument, as stated by Sulla, is that it doesn't seem to be based on an actual belief that the unborn (post-implantation, I guess) have moral claims, that it's inherently wrong to kill them.
I consider that obvious, and that is territory that has been argued over a thousand times. I am expanding the debate.

Quote:
No we don't. We recognize infants as persons, sure, but I find it hard to believe that anyone would deny that (although yes historically people obviously did).
Right: You clearly can believe that anyone would deny that because people have, as you said yourself. We choose to accord infants rights. Now, why? An infant may be able to breathe by itself; but in no other way is he any more autonomous than or was in the womb. There are infants born without internal lungs or other essential organs, and we recognize the rights of these people.

Your distinction is arbitrary on its face, is it not?

Quote:
I understand why pro lifers often find it hard to understand how people can't see that this is just as true of the unborn, but that doesn't seem to be your argument.

What do you think a "person" is that we recognize the personhood of children prior to majority only as a matter of potentiality?
I am applying the worldview of pro-choice arguments regarding the fetus, specifically the ones cited by Don Zeko, as universal. What is true about the fetus (It's fragility in the womb) is true of infants. That fragility doesn't mitigate the rights of an infant in any way, does it? I am generously assuming that the only distinction being made between a baby in the womb and the baby outside it isn't sentiment, which would be a terrible way to determine something this important. So we are saying that an infant is granted rights by pro-choice people because it is assumed he will be a functioning citizen.

Frankly, I find it strange that you consider causality strange. Parents may love children for their own sake, but collectively we value children for functional reasons. Our education system exists to make them useful, not to give them a fun time and happy memories. We seek to control the content of programing available to them in order to prevent them from being warped as they mature. We are concerned about their sexual acvtivity because we don't want them to make premature decisions, which locks them into inefficient class modes. We educate them to replace us, as every generation has done.

What is inherently decadent, then, is to adopt Francisco Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son as a social model to indulge the selfish impulses of rootless moderns.

Quote:
I don't think this argument comes down to "utility," but I'm curious what you are getting at here.
To restore consequence to liberty is a critical first step in re-establishing a Republic of Virtue, for one. Conceiving of babies as human beings is essential to the culture recognizing that it's regime of rights exist separate from the whims of the state, and are non-revokable, for another.

Quote:
Yes, no one claims that "personhood" is defined by whether one is a "useful citizen."
Right. Which means that if interruptions of causality from infancy to maturity are irrelevant since no one is immortal, and if productivity of adolescents is irrelevant, then what is the major distinction in the rights of babies?

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Right -- on what basis do we legally require a woman to remain pregnant?
On the same basis we institutionalize people for harming themselves with self mutilation. On the same basis we interfere in people attempting to commit suicide. On the same basis we stop people from injecting narcotics into their arms. And frankly, on the same basis we require a woman to remain pregnant after the arbitrary cut off of 3 months. We recognize that there is a point in pregnancy when the "fetus" is more than just tissue, he is a person.

We do not recognize the human body as a sovereign state, immune to social intervention.

Quote:
Absolutely. Is the claim that as a result the fetus is a "person" or has moral weight? I think that's something that can be reasonably argued, but so far you haven't. You've merely asserted it, and DZ has said that he disagrees and noted that he considers "sapience" significant.
And Don Zeko himself said what I would have replied; it is arguable that infants aren't sapient. There are also children and adults who lack sapience, yet have a array of rights. Sapience is not a reasonable measure because we still recognize the humanity of non-sapient people.

Quote:
That's simplistic. It is more from a societal standpoint than on the individual basis, true, but we also, as a society, tend to celebrate the choice not to have an abortion and thus one could reasonably argue that the debate over abortion ends up justifying "alternative lifestyles" that you certainly dislike -- such as single women (and teenagers) having children -- more than the alternative would.
It sounds like you're saying that people who engage in abortion are dysgenic? And that by ending abortion, we would be encouraging dysgenics?

And who says the legacy of Margaret Sanger is lost in this age?

Quote:
Would changing the law mean that we go back to condemnation of such things, and turn back the sexual revolution? Unlikely.
It wouldn't "turn back" the sexual revolution. The crime of the left is that when it "changes" things, it has the effect of swinging a lead pipe in a china shop. We can't repair the damage done. But what it can do is to take the pipe out of the hand.

Changing the law would return gravity to sexual decisions. It would add weight to choices regarding partners, the casual nature of sexual intercourse.
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  #130  
Old 11-17-2011, 06:26 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
I've said before that because anti-choicers spend so much time trying to convince themselves that a zygote is the moral equivalent of a newborn baby, they assume that pro-choicers spend an equal amount of time trying to convince themselves that a newborn baby is the moral equivalent of a zygote. This is why they believe that posting photos of embryos, who obviously have a shape that is more complex than that of four cells, or of saying that a fetus has a beating heart at however many months, will convince us to abandon our positions. People who are pro-choice do not actually deny the fact of fetal development, surprising as that may be to people in a political movement that regularly denies scientific fact that is inconvenient to their ideology. Pretty much everyone will agree that at one point in the process of embryonic/fetal development we have cells which, although they have human DNA, have about the moral significance of nail clippings, and at the end, we have a human being with full civil rights. The extreme opinion on one end would support denying the child rights or allowing it to be killed it after it's born. The extreme position on the other end is basically that of the personhood amendment. (I guess even more extreme would be the argument that every sperm is sacred and therefore male masturbation is genocide, but this is too silly for even the Catholic Church).

My position, which is a totally mainstream pro-choice one, is that the rights of the fetus grow as it does, but never trump those of the mother. This basic reasoning is reflected in the Roe vs. Wade decision, and I suspect is also the reasoning used by most Americans when they're formulating their opinions about abortion. The position of the pro-life movement is that there's an arbitrary point, prior to birth, where the embryo/fetus/child gains all the rights of a post-born baby, and that arbitrary point is usually called "conception", but it's a semantic argument over what that means, and was one of the snags in the argument for the personhood amendment -- does it refer to fertilization or implantation? If you go with fertilization, then it's cold-blooded murder to abort an ectopic pregnancy; if you go with implantation, then the police will be spending all their time with manslaughter investigations every time a sexually active woman gets her period. The upshot of these arguments should be that it's impossible to argue a specific point where "life begins" unless you're seriously going to identify the moment when God zaps a collection of cells with a soul, and no argument along these lines can be based on actual evidence.
Yes, thank you, kez, for writing this post. I've had no time or energy to repeat these basic ideas for the nth time.
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  #131  
Old 11-17-2011, 06:52 PM
apple
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
When you read these statistics, keep in mind that birth control methods are available and affordable everywhere in the US.
You're joking, right? Perhaps you should explain why your "pro-life" allies are trying to get rid of birth control (see the recent Mississippi initiative). Perhaps you should explain why your "pro-life" allies oppose teaching about birth control, in favor of abstinence "education" (which is ineffective and a joke). Oh right, "pro-lifers" are not just against abortion, they are anti-everything.

You know, I live in the real world, as opposed to a fake one created to justify my belief that a zygote is an adorable little kid. I know, I know, I'm a "baby-killer" - and I don't even believe that the earth is 6,000 years old.
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  #132  
Old 11-17-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

As always, a well thought out post by kezbord.
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  #133  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:19 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
. . . Sulla's comment to which miceelf objected seemed to me to be trying to sidestep this by assuming as a given that all agreed that we were talking about a philosophical person, a child. . . .
I would read the statement not to assert that we are talking about something we all regard as a philosophical person, but to assert that we are talking about something we all understand the speaker to regard as a philosophical person. In my experience, assuming otherwise leads to discussion that is especially unproductive, even for the subject.
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  #134  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:20 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
I consider that obvious
Based on your posts here and in general, I find this hard to believe. You sound more like someone who wants to take the anti-abortion position because it is consistent with your politics and general view about enforcing morality, but who doesn't really think its all that wrong. You just know it's part of the position.

But sure, perhaps it's just your style.

The fact is it's not obvious, however, and thus you can't avoid that aspect of the issue if you want to make a convincing argument.

Quote:
Right: You clearly can believe that anyone would deny that because people have, as you said yourself.
People have done lots of things I don't think require arguments, given how strong the consensus is today on those things in our culture. Many rights-based and equality-under-the-law types of things. But if someone seriously argues to the contrary or if we get into a real discussion of what personhood means (whether or not related to a Singer-type argument), then of course we have to explore why infants clearly are when considering the status of an embryo, say.

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We choose to accord infants rights.
No, we recognize infants as persons with natural rights. Now, sometimes we choose to assign rights by analogy to entities that are not persons -- I think this is the status of corporations and, in some contexts, such as for inheritance, we define the unborn as persons too. That's "choosing" to treat as a person someone or something we don't actually see as a philosophical person. That is not the case with infants. We recognize infants as philosophical persons. It is certainly not the case with 17-year-olds as your prior post claimed.

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Now, why? An infant may be able to breathe by itself; but in no other way is he any more autonomous than or was in the womb.
Self-reliance is not a required attribute of personhood in any definition I've ever heard.

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Your distinction is arbitrary on its face, is it not?
What distinction did I make? I have not asserted that the unborn are not, at some point, a person. I said that given that you are making such a claim, and drawing the line at implantation, you need to support the claim and haven't.

Quote:
I am applying the worldview of pro-choice arguments regarding the fetus, specifically the ones cited by Don Zeko, as universal.
You are mischaracterizing DZ's argument. He didn't say a fetus is not a person because it might die. He said a fetus is not a person merely because it is a potential person, and then noted that it will not certainly become what he would recognize as a person. An infant presumably is, in his view, a person, so the fact it might also die is irrelevant.

In essence, the disagreement between you and DZ seems to be either about what makes personhood -- about whether the embyo or fetus already has characteristics that we should consider make it a "person," or about whether it should be considered a person anyway, because it will become one. You haven't made an argument for either claim so far.

Quote:
but collectively we value children for functional reasons.
This is a strange argument for the position that the unborn inherently have moral value or, instead, that they are persons with natural rights. It makes the question their value. Clearly we could have different views about that, as a society.

This is again why it sounds to me like you don't really care about abortion because of the harm to the unborn. You just want to enforce a certain moral order and type of society (one focused on the good of the whole) and see outlawing abortion as a means to that end.

Quote:
What is inherently decadent, then, is to adopt Francisco Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son as a social model to indulge the selfish impulses of rootless moderns.
This is a very poor argument for the anti-abortion position, because it makes the question about what is best for society, what leads to a better social order. That's why you've gotten some of the responses you have. One can easily see abortion -- if one doesn't believe the act itself is immoral, given the moral status of the embryo or fetus -- as a non-selfish act. The choice is whether to have a child that one cannot take proper care of, provide with the proper family life and standard of living or whether, instead, one should wait and have children later in life. It's not like abortion reduces the number of children born. Now, this is not my argument, but it's one that you invite by your way of framing the question.

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To restore consequence to liberty is a critical first step in re-establishing a Republic of Virtue, for one.
There are consequences to liberty, of course. No one questions that, much as you might like to pretend otherwise. But that something is the consequence of a stupid action (and not all abortions are, of course) does not mean that all efforts to mitigate the effects of that action are denied. Indeed, if one stupidly takes a job one shouldn't have, one might have to pay damages for quitting, but we won't demand specific performance of the contract. It is not sufficient to say "you chose to take the job." One also can choose to quit.

With the pregnancy question, then, the issue is the status of the unborn and whether it is sufficient to compel the woman to continue with the pregnancy. This requires not just a consideration of the status of the unborn, but also the nature of the burden. That the pregnancy is a "consequence" is not sufficient, and it is also a terrible way to think of pregnancy and of children.

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It sounds like you're saying that people who engage in abortion are dysgenic?
No, I wasn't saying anything like that. I also have not been arguing for or against legal abortion, but addressing the argument in general.

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It wouldn't "turn back" the sexual revolution. The crime of the left is that when it "changes" things, it has the effect of swinging a lead pipe in a china shop.
The left/right thing has little to do with the culture's current mores toward sex. It's a result of good birth control, especially the pill, and the effect of capitalism on conservative social orders, mainly.

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Changing the law would return gravity to sexual decisions. It would add weight to choices regarding partners, the casual nature of sexual intercourse.
Unlikely, and -- again -- there's not much connection between acceptance of the current sexual mores and of legal abortion and a casual or promiscuous attitude toward sex. People's attitudes toward sex are much more complicated, and often people who feel shame about sex are much more likely to behave in a promiscuous way or, especially, to behave unwisely re birth control, in part because they don't want to admit that they are making the choice or preparing for it and in part because they don't feel like agents in the area. The class you seem to despise the most -- liberal upper middle class types -- tend to be much more sexually conservative and much more likely to marry and stay married, for that matter, than those who might assert more reservations about abortion and about premarital sex. Those who currently express moral objections aren't less likely to have unplanned pregnancies or abortions.

I don't think any of this is relevant to the abortion argument, but your Republic of Virtue stuff just makes no sense here. I continue to think that your main problem with abortion is just that you think feminists and leftists are in favor.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-17-2011 at 07:22 PM..
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  #135  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:29 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
I would read the statement not to assert that we are talking about something we all regard as a philosophical person, but to assert that we are talking about something we all understand the speaker to regard as a philosophical person.
We disagree, then. I think Sulla's post, especially read in conjunction with all his other posts, was pretty clear, but I'll acknowledge that it's possible to read it your way.

(I really have a hard time seeing "the abortion debate is about whether we should be allowed to kill children, as the liberals want, or not" as anything other than an effort to demonize the other side of the argument and not as primarily a statement about one's own views on personhood. I think Sulla's comment was of this type.)

Last edited by stephanie; 11-17-2011 at 07:31 PM..
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  #136  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:44 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
This is a strange argument for the position that the unborn inherently have moral value or, instead, that they are persons with natural rights. It makes the question their value. Clearly we could have different views about that, as a society.

This is again why it sounds to me like you don't really care about abortion because of the harm to the unborn. You just want to enforce a certain moral order and type of society (one focused on the good of the whole) and see outlawing abortion as a means to that end.

It's of a piece of a moral general approach (at least apparently, and I could be misunderstanding something or it's not clear). This people-have-value-as-means approach, from a Kantian analysis. Humans are valuable not in themselves, but because they will reproduce. Babies are valuable because they will/can become adults and thus reproduce, embryos are valuable because they will/can become babies who can in turn become adults who will/can reproduce. Oh, and also all of this is valuable, because a different order will lead to degeneracy and irresponsibility- presumably, neglecting our responsibility to reproduce.

This link between degeneracy and lack of fecundity seems an odd one. In my personal experience, the more degenerate families I know of were almost always the ones who produced the most children (I am not saying all or even most families with lots of children are degenerate, merely that degenerates don't tend to overly restrict their reproductive capacities).

On a broader scale, the reproductive strategy of "I will produce as many children as possible, dividing resources among them as necessary, thus reducing the resources for anyone child, in the hopes that a few will make it through their necessarily Hobbesian childhoods and make it into adulthood and produce a many children as possible" seems almost the exact opposite of a position that puts value on human life.
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  #137  
Old 11-17-2011, 09:19 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
I've said before that because anti-choicers spend so much time trying to convince themselves that a zygote is the moral equivalent of a newborn baby, they assume that pro-choicers spend an equal amount of time trying to convince themselves that a newborn baby is the moral equivalent of a zygote. This is why they believe that posting photos of embryos, who obviously have a shape that is more complex than that of four cells, or of saying that a fetus has a beating heart at however many months, will convince us to abandon our positions. People who are pro-choice do not actually deny the fact of fetal development, surprising as that may be to people in a political movement that regularly denies scientific fact that is inconvenient to their ideology. Pretty much everyone will agree that at one point in the process of embryonic/fetal development we have cells which, although they have human DNA, have about the moral significance of nail clippings, and at the end, we have a human being with full civil rights. The extreme opinion on one end would support denying the child rights or allowing it to be killed it after it's born. The extreme position on the other end is basically that of the personhood amendment. (I guess even more extreme would be the argument that every sperm is sacred and therefore male masturbation is genocide, but this is too silly for even the Catholic Church).

My position, which is a totally mainstream pro-choice one, is that the rights of the fetus grow as it does, but never trump those of the mother. This basic reasoning is reflected in the Roe vs. Wade decision, and I suspect is also the reasoning used by most Americans when they're formulating their opinions about abortion. The position of the pro-life movement is that there's an arbitrary point, prior to birth, where the embryo/fetus/child gains all the rights of a post-born baby, and that arbitrary point is usually called "conception", but it's a semantic argument over what that means, and was one of the snags in the argument for the personhood amendment -- does it refer to fertilization or implantation? If you go with fertilization, then it's cold-blooded murder to abort an ectopic pregnancy; if you go with implantation, then the police will be spending all their time with manslaughter investigations every time a sexually active woman gets her period. The upshot of these arguments should be that it's impossible to argue a specific point where "life begins" unless you're seriously going to identify the moment when God zaps a collection of cells with a soul, and no argument along these lines can be based on actual evidence.
Truly an excellent post.
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  #138  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:21 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
From my earlier link:

Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use

It's clear that among other things, better education, understanding of birth control methods would be useful.
hey! we agree.
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  #139  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:23 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Originally Posted by apple View Post
and I don't even believe that the earth is 6,000 years old.
Yeah, the last time you posted about this you believed it is 3.5 billion years old. That's just craaaazy!
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  #140  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:22 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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I'm being descriptive of what I've seen here, not critical, and I think some people on the pro choice side similarly are unwilling to see the opposing argument as one that can be held in good faith, and would, in fact, class Amanda among those.
Personally, I agree with Kezboard's views as stated above, but I think pro-choice/life people generally DO understand "good faith" arguments on the other side.

The peace movement of which I've been a part for many years is composed of many pro-choice liberal feminists (like me) as well as many staunchly pro-life religious pacifists (including Evangelicals and Catholic clergy). People respect each other's views, and abortion has never been the Game Changer or litmus issues that Republican right wingers claim it should be. This is true of the mainstream political parties as well. It's only a small fringe on the extreme right that is single-issue anti-abortion.

Abortion is an issue that was decided properly in the mid 20th century, and that has no real legal momentum into the 21st century. Most voters now understand that sexual morality is a private matter and that opposition to masturbation, birth control, abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, promiscuity and pornography is 99% religious and has no place in the public and political sphere. Once gay marriage (and associated gay/lesbian rights) is universally in place, we'll have a pretty good system. Current law, that protects minors and focuses on sexual violence, abuse and harassment, is quite sufficient to set sexual morality boundaries and ensure rights.

The feminists won. The cultural revolution of the 1960s won. There is (thankfully) no turning back the clock.
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  #141  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:33 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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The feminists won. The cultural revolution of the 1960s won. There is (thankfully) no turning back the clock.
does this mean they'll shut up now?
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  #142  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:37 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Personally, I agree with Kezboard's views as stated above, but I think pro-choice/life people generally DO understand "good faith" arguments on the other side.

The peace movement of which I've been a part for many years is composed of many pro-choice liberal feminists (like me) as well as many staunchly pro-life religious pacifists (including Evangelicals and Catholic clergy). People respect each other's views, and abortion has never been the Game Changer or litmus issues that Republican right wingers claim it should be. This is true of the mainstream political parties as well. It's only a small fringe on the extreme right that is single-issue anti-abortion.

Abortion is an issue that was decided properly in the mid 20th century, and that has no real legal momentum into the 21st century. Most voters now understand that sexual morality is a private matter and that opposition to masturbation, birth control, abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, promiscuity and pornography is 99% religious and has no place in the public and political sphere. Once gay marriage (and associated gay/lesbian rights) is universally in place, we'll have a pretty good system. Current law, that protects minors and focuses on sexual violence, abuse and harassment, is quite sufficient to set sexual morality boundaries and ensure rights.

The feminists won. The cultural revolution of the 1960s won. There is (thankfully) no turning back the clock.
I agree that the single issue abortion voters are on the fringe, but they're hardly exclusive to the right. I happen to personally know several single issue voters on abortion, except they're staunchly pro-choice, and pretty apocalyptic with their rhetoric.
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  #143  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:43 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Abortion is an issue that was decided properly in the mid 20th century, and that has no real legal momentum into the 21st century. Most voters now understand that sexual morality is a private matter and that opposition to masturbation, birth control, abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, promiscuity and pornography is 99% religious and has no place in the public and political sphere. Once gay marriage (and associated gay/lesbian rights) is universally in place, we'll have a pretty good system. Current law, that protects minors and focuses on sexual violence, abuse and harassment, is quite sufficient to set sexual morality boundaries and ensure rights.
I don't think that this is true with respect to abortion. As with the other culture war issues, abortion attracts a tremendous amount of activist energy on the right (just look at the the folks that turn up on the corner with bloody pictures of aborted late-term fetuses at any sizable political event). And unlike the other culture war issues, more liberal viewpoints on abortion do not show up when you compare polls of young people with their elders. So while the assorted forces of cultural liberalization may be winning the fight on most of the issues you list, abortion is a very different animal that I expect to remain controversial for the foreseeable future.
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  #144  
Old 11-18-2011, 12:02 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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I don't think that this is true with respect to abortion. As with the other culture war issues, abortion attracts a tremendous amount of activist energy on the right (just look at the the folks that turn up on the corner with bloody pictures of aborted late-term fetuses at any sizable political event). And unlike the other culture war issues, more liberal viewpoints on abortion do not show up when you compare polls of young people with their elders. So while the assorted forces of cultural liberalization may be winning the fight on most of the issues you list, abortion is a very different animal that I expect to remain controversial for the foreseeable future.
I see your point, and I agree to the extent that peripheral issues to the basic right to abortion will continue to keep activists busy: parental consent, late-term justifications, healthcare funding, availability of healthcare professionals, including physicians, etc.

But I think the fundamental Roe v. Wade right to an abortion is settled and won't change in the USA, or any other modern democracy for that matter.

Women will not be radically disempowered.

(Even Herman Cain, in his non-scripted ideological moment acknowledged this, as have other "pro-lifer" politicians who slip up. I think Palin was another one, when she said she was glad to "choose" to have her baby rather than abort. Choice has become our natural national vernacular regarding reproductive freedoms.)
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  #145  
Old 11-18-2011, 04:43 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
From my earlier link:

Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use

It's clear that among other things, better education, understanding of birth control methods would be useful.
I don't believe in a culture this saturated with sex that birth control is any mystery. Just like no one actually lacks knowledge about the effects of smoking, or eating fried chicken every day.
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  #146  
Old 11-18-2011, 07:28 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Based on your posts here and in general, I find this hard to believe. You sound more like someone who wants to take the anti-abortion position because it is consistent with your politics and general view about enforcing morality, but who doesn't really think its all that wrong. You just know it's part of the position.
I see. There are no lengths I won't go to to push my dishonest, right wing agenda. Indeed, I'll fake a position and defend it with dozens of posts in this thread.

Though I doubt you disagree with me. I'm sure you feel that you need to do so in public, in order to preserve a seamless orthodoxy for your clique of liberal friends. They're pro choice, and since you agree with them on a host of other issues, you feel that you need to adopt the position here. But of course, you think abortion is a pretty decadent social phenomenon.

Quote:
But sure, perhaps it's just your style.
Perhaps I'm not an unhinged, pathological liar spending hours misleading complete strangers on the Internet in defense of a position I don't believe in? How generous.

Quote:
The fact is it's not obvious, however, and thus you can't avoid that aspect of the issue if you want to make a convincing argument.
I've addressed that issue elsewhere in this thread. In this portion of the debate we are discussing the inevitable conclusion of conception being a human being, and how that inevitability is what makes a child of greater moral stature than Don Zeko's dog, or a monkey.

Quote:
No, we recognize infants as persons with natural rights.
Why? What about the infant is significant outside of the womb to be granted a regime of rights by God himself, and what is lacking in that child within the womb? And where can I find this distinction in discourse about natural law?

Quote:
Now, sometimes we choose to assign rights by analogy to entities that are not persons -- I think this is the status of corporations and, in some contexts, such as for inheritance, we define the unborn as persons too.
We assign rights to people who are born without brains. Care to explain why we do that in the West, while allowing people to abort children who have cleft palates or a clubbed foot?

Quote:
That's "choosing" to treat as a person someone or something we don't actually see as a philosophical person.
This is clearly arbitrary. Every single woman who carries a child she doesn't abort considers the pregnancy to be with a "baby", not a "fetus" or an 'embryo" or any other deliberately clinical term. This is more a matter of politics, the default setting for a section of the left's coalition.

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That is not the case with infants. We recognize infants as philosophical persons.
Great. Tell us why. You keep asserting that "it isn't the case with infants". I know that, I'm pointing out the logical inconsistency.

Quote:
Self-reliance is not a required attribute of personhood in any definition I've ever heard.
You probably don't discuss abortion with fellow supporters of abortion that often. If you did, you would hear about the dependency the fetus has on the mother all the time.

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What distinction did I make? I have not asserted that the unborn are not, at some point, a person.
When?

Quote:
I said that given that you are making such a claim, and drawing the line at implantation, you need to support the claim and haven't.
I don't need to go over territory endlessly discussed. Instead I am putting forward a different argument. It is impossible to discern a moment between now, as I write this post, and when I, my self, did not exist as a human being. Reason dictates that if this is true, to interfere in the natural progression of pregnancy with the blades of the abortionist is to exterminate not just some mass in the stomach of a woman, but the man that child grows to be. Causality is just a chain of events, Stephanie.

Quote:
You are mischaracterizing DZ's argument. He didn't say a fetus is not a person because it might die. He said a fetus is not a person merely because it is a potential person, and then noted that it will not certainly become what he would recognize as a person. An infant presumably is, in his view, a person, so the fact it might also die is irrelevant.
Why is an infant a person? Because you can play with "it"? If an infant is a person as you see it, why do you unconsciously refer to the infant as "it"? When speaking about a child, no one uses gender neutral pronouns that suggest lower life. People say "the child" or "the baby" to get around gender.

I am saying that a child outside of the womb faces risks just as a child in it.

Quote:
This is a strange argument for the position that the unborn inherently have moral value or, instead, that they are persons with natural rights. It makes the question their value. Clearly we could have different views about that, as a society.
It is a different argument. One that addresses the supposedly secular nature of support for abortion. You have yet to offer any argument in support of your preferred abortion policy though, I notice.

Quote:
This is again why it sounds to me like you don't really care about abortion because of the harm to the unborn.
Of course I do. I disapprove of it; indeed at the outset I say it is decadent. I compare the act of abortion to Medea and Saturn. Do you feel there is some degree of opprobrium I am holding back on this subject?

Rather than rend my garments and gnash my teeth before a gallery of smirking liberals mocking the idea of "cells" having human value, I am challenging the premises for abortion. I consider the value of children in the womb to be obvious, and it is the most common topic in these abortion debates. You seem upset that we're not walking the same tired ground.

Quote:
You just want to enforce a certain moral order and type of society (one focused on the good of the whole) and see outlawing abortion as a means to that end.
I want a restoration of consequence in all things. I want freedom to be exercised with restraint because there should be an equal reaction for every action. It is corrupt to avoid consequence at the price of a child's life.

Quote:
This is a very poor argument for the anti-abortion position, because it makes the question about what is best for society, what leads to a better social order.
You spend an inordinate amount of time saying things like this. "This is a very poor argument for..." yet you don't seem to be able to muster an argument in rebuttal. If you would like to make the pro-life case, why don't you make it?
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  #147  
Old 11-18-2011, 07:28 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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That's why you've gotten some of the responses you have.
The reason I've gotten some of the responses I have is that this board is populated in the majority by people who support abortion; a liberal and libertarian majority.

Quote:
One can easily see abortion -- if one doesn't believe the act itself is immoral, given the moral status of the embryo or fetus -- as a non-selfish act. The choice is whether to have a child that one cannot take proper care of, provide with the proper family life and standard of living or whether, instead, one should wait and have children later in life.
The non-selfish act is to abstain from sex as mind numbing excess without taking proper precautions. If this is true, then no one can easily see abortion as a non-selfish act. Abortion is the liquidation of one's progeny through the use of surgical equipment in order to avoid the consequence of reckless sexual activity. That is the very matter being discussed here. In no way is this non-selfish. It defines selfishness. This disruption of continuity erases a man whose story was yet unwritten, with the lives he would touched lessened by the act.

There will be a time in the forseeable future when abortion is utterly unnecessary. The sophistication of preventative measures will be near absolute, and easily reversible. As simple as taking a pill. I'm sure we all know that this isn't "science fiction", we can see the improvement in these products within our own lifetime to the point where we marvel at their function.

When that time comes, this issue will be seen as the great failing of the age. Just as you would probably speak about the outrages of ancient slavery, surrounded as you are by the wonders of modern technology, our children or at most, our grandchildren will be mortified to learn what people did to infants in the womb. They will consider us to be little better than the Mycenaeans swinging the little body of Astyanax around our heads.

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It's not like abortion reduces the number of children born.
Hmmmm.......what? Care to restate this?

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There are consequences to liberty, of course. No one questions that, much as you might like to pretend otherwise. But that something is the consequence of a stupid action (and not all abortions are, of course) does not mean that all efforts to mitigate the effects of that action are denied.
Correct. Adoption remains a ready alternative to mitigate the consequence of liberty.

Quote:
Indeed, if one stupidly takes a job one shouldn't have, one might have to pay damages for quitting, but we won't demand specific performance of the contract. It is not sufficient to say "you chose to take the job." One also can choose to quit.
It is not acceptable to burn down your job after you leave, so that no one knows you quit. We recognize that the people at your work have certain rights.

Quote:
With the pregnancy question, then, the issue is the status of the unborn and whether it is sufficient to compel the woman to continue with the pregnancy. This requires not just a consideration of the status of the unborn, but also the nature of the burden.
The "burden"? Self-reliance is not a required attribute of personhood in any definition I've ever heard.

Quote:
That the pregnancy is a "consequence" is not sufficient, and it is also a terrible way to think of pregnancy and of children.
Ironic that the way to think of pregnancy and of children that is terrible is the one that keeps children alive, and the way to think of pregnancy and of children that is "good" is the one that allows for them to be excised and their remains be cannibalized for raw material. Dystopian.

Quote:
No, I wasn't saying anything like that. I also have not been arguing for or against legal abortion, but addressing the argument in general.
Well that is convenient. I'll wait for you to put forward a position then, before we continue.
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  #148  
Old 11-18-2011, 08:51 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I don't think that this is true with respect to abortion. As with the other culture war issues, abortion attracts a tremendous amount of activist energy on the right (just look at the the folks that turn up on the corner with bloody pictures of aborted late-term fetuses at any sizable political event). And unlike the other culture war issues, more liberal viewpoints on abortion do not show up when you compare polls of young people with their elders. So while the assorted forces of cultural liberalization may be winning the fight on most of the issues you list, abortion is a very different animal that I expect to remain controversial for the foreseeable future.
What you may be picking up on, isn't so much a desire to repeal abortion rights, but a deep dislike for the actual procedure in all its ugly aspects.

This is, I think, more of an indication that younger people will be stronger in birth control use and will leave abortion as a last and undesirable measure. As far as I can tell, that's all good.
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  #149  
Old 11-18-2011, 09:02 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
I don't believe in a culture this saturated with sex that birth control is any mystery. Just like no one actually lacks knowledge about the effects of smoking, or eating fried chicken every day.
It shouldn't be a mystery, but it's tricky how it plays out in practice. The mind has its tricky ways. There's much more ignorance about physiology than what one would think. Examples:

"We didn't realize that we had run out of condoms. We didn't think that just that one time would get me pregnant..."

"Birth control pills give me headaches. My boyfriend doesn't like condoms. My periods are so irregular that I never thought I would get pregnant."

"We weren't thinking much. It was our first time and didn't quite plan for it."

"After my last baby, we've used different birth control, but after a while my periods have been so infrequent, we thought that I probably was in menopause. And now, at my age, I can't believe this happened!"

Just a sample of the myriad stories one can hear.
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  #150  
Old 11-18-2011, 09:33 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
I want a restoration of consequence in all things. I want freedom to be exercised with restraint because there should be an equal reaction for every action. It is corrupt to avoid consequence at the price of a child's life.
Do you think this would fit on a t-shirt?
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  #151  
Old 11-18-2011, 09:49 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
What you may be picking up on, isn't so much a desire to repeal abortion rights, but a deep dislike for the actual procedure in all its ugly aspects.

This is, I think, more of an indication that younger people will be stronger in birth control use and will leave abortion as a last and undesirable measure. As far as I can tell, that's all good.
I think you are underestimating the amount of indoctrination that is occurring in a lot of churches, toward young people, about abortion. Unlike gay people, who are harder to demonize once people know a few of them, abortion remains less visible. And if your youth pastor is constantly peppering you with claims thatat the moment oif conception, a baby has a consiousness and a soul, etc., you aren't going to have any frame of reference to counter that, unlike the nonsense that same pastor may be spouting about gay people.
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  #152  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:06 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
I've addressed that issue elsewhere in this thread. In this portion of the debate we are discussing the inevitable conclusion of conception being a human being, and how that inevitability is what makes a child of greater moral stature than Don Zeko's dog, or a monkey.
Except that it's not at all inevitable. A very high proportion of conceptions never come to fruition, regardless of interventions. Conception means there's a substantial chance that there will eventually be a child, but it is by no means as inevitable as you claim. And given that we are talking about probabilities, why stop at conception? Why not go further back, as many of your allies in this do, and treat contraception as a violation of the law of life. It's also an artificial intervention in a process that has a chance of producing a child.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001488.htm

"It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant."


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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
We assign rights to people who are born without brains.
We don't

Last edited by miceelf; 11-18-2011 at 10:11 AM..
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  #153  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:45 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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I think you are underestimating the amount of indoctrination that is occurring in a lot of churches, toward young people, about abortion.
Why is this indoctrination? Why isn't it a serious attempt to teach young people to be responsible when they are engaging in activities that have serious consequences? Wouldn't churches be the perfect place to be teaching that as well as in the home?
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  #154  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:45 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
hey! we agree.
Not at all surprising. The people who oppose birth control, education about birth control, and access to birth control are almost all on one side of the abortion debate and it's not mine.
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  #155  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:47 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Why is this indoctrination? Why isn't it a serious attempt to teach young people to be responsible when they are engaging in activities that have serious consequences? Wouldn't churches be the perfect place to be teaching that as well as in the home?
I am not talking about educating people about responsible sexuality. I am talking about "educating" young people about abortion.
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  #156  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:48 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Not at all surprising. The people who oppose birth control, education about birth control, and access to birth control are almost all on one side of the abortion debate and it's not mine.
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
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  #157  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:00 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
Nearly everyone who is pro-choice agrees that it is important to have brith control available and for people to be educated about how to use it effectively.

The people who oppose educating people about birth control and oppose having it available are also opposed to abortion.

Any arguments you are going to have with someone about the importance of birth control are not going to be with pro-choice people.
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  #158  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:19 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default let's start aborting some lines of argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Women should be allowed to abort the children of rapists, and probably should be forced to abort the products of incest.
So you are already saying that defective fetuses can and probably should be aborted.

As for the womb thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
What about the infant is significant outside of the womb to be granted a regime of rights by God himself, and what is lacking in that child within the womb? And where can I find this distinction in discourse about natural law?
Someone with more medical knowledge than me may correct me but without being exposed to the world outside the womb a human will not develop properly. They need their senses stimulated or their brains won't develop. Obviously they need the air to start breathing properly and outside bacteria and viruses to get the immune system started. Systems than a human being relies on to still be a human being only occur outside the womb. One could argue that being a human being is really a transaction between the human "seed" and the environment.

Abortion isn't about killing the "just about to be born" it's about what can be done to mitigate the unfortunate circumstances that can occur when a woman gets pregnant. Sure they is an obvious bias towards life but it isn't the only bias as Sulla would admit. A woman doesn't become a mere appendage to the "natural order" just because a man ejaculated into her at a specific time of the month.
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  #159  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:22 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post

The people who oppose educating people about birth control and oppose having it available are also opposed to abortion.
Well I suppose there is a set of people who oppose both birth control and abortion. This is an extreme position and I would say the set is pretty small. Even the Catholic Church allows some birth control methods.
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  #160  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:39 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Rootin' Tootin' Edition (Amanda Marcotte & Erica Grieder)

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Well I suppose there is a set of people who oppose both birth control and abortion. This is an extreme position and I would say the set is pretty small. Even the Catholic Church allows some birth control methods.
Well, leaving the catholic church aside, I agree that the group that opposes birth control is quite small. But they are also very vocal.

And to the extent that they're a problem, they're a problem on your side of the abortion argument, not mine.
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