Bush vs. Kerry

This is a discussion on Bush vs. Kerry within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; No one said anything about forcing a child into conditions that rob it of its 'personhood' (which is still not ...

  1. #151
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    No one said anything about forcing a child into conditions that rob it of its 'personhood' (which is still not very defined). Forcing the child would be violating its liberties.

    At any rate, a fetus does have it's own DNA. Of course, so do plant cells, animal cells, etc. The fetus is attached to the mother insofar as it is biologically dependent on a specific person (that is, until it is separated, there is no substitute for who is responsible for it). A baby is not so attached.

    Additionally, to say cells communicating form a recognizably human cognitive ability is not discriminating enough. By that definition, a great many things are human. What can a baby do that sets it apart from a fetus (at least in early stages)? One thing is language processing.

    Your using this idea of potential way too loosely. A piece of graphite has 'potential' to become elements of cells or even DNA and develop into a nice, happy human being, but that doesn't stop anyone from smearing it all over a piece of paper.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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    No one said anything about forcing a child into conditions that rob it of its 'personhood' (which is still not very defined). Forcing the child would be violating its liberties.
    This example illustrates a point. Because the child or baby hasn't become a person, the violation is not of a person's liberties but only of a human beings. The difference between feral children and abortion, however, is that feral children don't die. Abandoned, they grow into an animal-like being neither speaking a language nor really able to. A feral child is definitely a human being but is not really a person.

    At any rate, a fetus does have it's own DNA. Of course, so do plant cells, animal cells, etc.
    The fetus is biologically human being. I used DNA only to prove contrast between the fetus being a different organism than the mother. A human being has other properties besides human DNA; otherwise, a human cell would be automatically a human being.

    The fetus is attached to the mother insofar as it is biologically dependent on a specific person (that is, until it is separated, there is no substitute for who is responsible for it). A baby is not so attached.
    True, but I think whether the fetus is dependent on another human person or not is irrevelent. Often another human being is depedent upon another. For example, a comatose man is dependent upon the hospital staff, and a baby is dependent upon another's care for at least 16 or so years.

    Additionally, to say cells communicating form a recognizably human cognitive ability is not discriminating enough. By that definition, a great many things are human.
    I'm not following. I said something to the effect that observing brain cell activity is the only way cognitive ability is obseved. Yet this cognitive ability is nothing notably special, being only a cells communicating.

    What can a baby do that sets it apart from a fetus (at least in early stages)? One thing is language processing
    Deaf babies have trouble language processing as well, though sign-language is also a language. Babies don't really begin using the language, so I'm uncertain what you mean by language processing. True, babies can cry, notifying the parent. But in the womb, fetusus can kick, also notifying parent.

    Your using this idea of potential way too loosely. A piece of graphite has 'potential' to become elements of cells or even DNA and develop into a nice, happy human being, but that doesn't stop anyone from smearing it all over a piece of paper.
    No one has obseved a piece of graphite becoming a human being. Potential, ethically speaking, only can apply to human beings or maybe other organism.

  3. #153
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    This example illustrates a point. Because the child or baby hasn't become a person, the violation is not of a person's liberties but only of a human beings. The difference between feral children and abortion, however, is that feral children don't die. Abandoned, they grow into an animal-like being neither speaking a language nor really able to. A feral child is definitely a human being but is not really a person.
    I don't see why that child isn't a person. It is developmentally the same (roughly speaking -- in terms of biology) of anyone else its age.

    The fetus is biologically human being. I used DNA only to prove contrast between the fetus being a different organism than the mother. A human being has other properties besides human DNA; otherwise, a human cell would be automatically a human being.
    Then what are these properties?

    True, but I think whether the fetus is dependent on another human person or not is irrevelent. Often another human being is depedent upon another. For example, a comatose man is dependent upon the hospital staff, and a baby is dependent upon another's care for at least 16 or so years.
    You missed the point. A fetus is dependent upon a specific person. A baby is not. A comatose man is not.

    I'm not following. I said something to the effect that observing brain cell activity is the only way cognitive ability is obseved. Yet this cognitive ability is nothing notably special, being only a cells communicating.
    The point was that there are patterns of cognition that are specifically human. (See below.)

    Deaf babies have trouble language processing as well, though sign-language is also a language. Babies don't really begin using the language, so I'm uncertain what you mean by language processing. True, babies can cry, notifying the parent. But in the womb, fetusus can kick, also notifying parent.
    That is not language processing. Language processing is the ability to perform statistical analyses and to break down language phonologically and syntactically.

    No one has obseved a piece of graphite becoming a human being. Potential, ethically speaking, only can apply to human beings or maybe other organism.
    Ethics deals with what is proper conduct, so I don't know what you mean here by 'ethically speaking'.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  4. #154
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    A potential person, whether a fetus or a baby, owns their potential to become a person.
    You don't think all potential people "own" their potential, sperm/eggs for example.

    Are babies persons by your definition?
    Babies have fully functioning nervous systems, they respond to pain, are capable of learning, etc. etc.

    My ethical principles focus on awareness/conscious experience. That is the reason i put humans ahead of other animals (If you do not follow this then I do not see any other way to justify placing humans above other animals without appealing to religious ideas).

    Babies are capable of being conscious therefore warrant ethical consideration.

    Early fetuses are no more aware than thumb cells, therefore do not.

    The ethical concept of ownership can apply to the fetus because the fetus is a human being. The sperm and the egg are human cells, but not human beings.
    Why is a fetus a human "being" and not an egg+sperm pair?

    Why doesn't this concept apply to the sperm and the egg? Well, the sperm and egg's potential is owned by the respective human beings; their potential cannot have two owners. Of course, the cells could own their own potential without their human counterparts owning them.
    1. Something can have 2 owners.
    2. One could claim exactly the same thing of the foetus (owned by the human beings).

    I could consider the egg/sperm pair a single system, i could give it a name like "spetus" and then i could claim that it "owns" it's potential.

    The fact that the spetus can be considered two cells should make no difference whatsoever, afterall one can consider a single cell as a collection sub cellular components if on wants to, or go further and consider it by its molecular constituents.

    No, as I mentioned before, these women have reproductive rights, and they can choose whether to have sex or not.
    And they can choose whether or not to have an abortion or not.

    In other words, the potential they have to reproduce is owned by them. They don't, however, have the right to kill another human being, because each human being owns their ethical potential to become a person. Furthermore, ownership of potential doesn't mean fulfilling the potential is necessarily a good thing, only that whoever owns the potential has the right to do as they please.
    Can you not see that you are drawing a completely arbitrary line in the sand here.

    Why consider a fetus to be a human being and not a sperm/egg.

    No, I don't think so. Abortions are well attested to as being wrong in early literature. The Didache banned abortions, associating it with infanticide, and I'm aware of an early Christian authors to have used abortion (as one of many issues) to attack pagan roman culture. Presumably the author believed the roman he was arguing against had similar thoughts upon abortions. Zorastrians, too, wrote against abortions. For these authors, however, their ethical systems were more based upon gut-feelings, along with their perception of natural order. ( ie., they could reason that God created the fetus, and taking the fetus' life was wrong. )
    The core ethical principles i was refering to are those that are universal across all cultures.

    Well, not only is that thought experiment valid but someone could go and kill everyone, eliminating all loved ones
    From a utilitarian perspective that fails, because just as causing suffering is wrong reduction of happyness is also wrong.

    If the sperm and egg owned their potential to create life, then a doctor could, without the patient's consent, manage to create another human being using a patient's cells.
    Heard of IVF?

    Biologically, the fetus is another human being, not part of the mother. Consequently, the dna of the fetus is different from the mother's dna.
    Another arbitrary qualifier, one could easily choose to define the fetus as part of the mother. How we classify stuff is completely up to us.

    Oh yea and Cheez:

    I'd like a link to back up this figure, please.
    You're kidding right?
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-16-2004 at 06:09 AM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

  5. #155
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > You're kidding right?

    No way man, you can't just throw out numbers like "cajillion" and "zeptosecond" and not expect to be called on them.

  6. #156
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    Ah there is some confusion here:

    I was referring to the number of possible future people who cease to be possible with each passing moment.

    The number of hypothetical future people is dependent on all possible future scenarios (minus redundancy).

    Imagine the number of possible futures that exist from our perspective here present, if we follow the free-will version of events, then we must encapsulate every single choice anyone every makes.

    Right now say i don't know you feel thirsty and you have choice between two drinks, a coke and uh a pepsi. From our position before the event occurs both choices are a possibility (assuming that is you don't really hate one ). The consequences of this seemingly innocuous choice will be miniscule in the immediate future but will grow larger and larger as time passes (if we watched both versions of events the differences between the worlds would diverge in a chaotic manner)

    This process occurs with every single choice anyone ever makes (that's why earlier on i made reference to a branching tree diagram)., each choice wipes out all possible alternative futures where that choice was made (hence "killing" a near infinite number of possible people)

    To provide a slightly less abstract example, we simply restrict our definition of individual to a genetic individual, consider only one birth not the possible people's future children and limit ourselves to extrapolating from the point of copulation.

    There are at that point ca. 250 million possible future individuals. (Here i'm not basing "possible" on freewill but purely on the physics, i would have done this with the choice example but to avoid denying free-will (and getting into another issue) i used the idea of choice instead - which will only act to reduce the number of possibilities anyway). At the point of fertilisation 249,999,999 possible people flit out of existence.
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-16-2004 at 08:32 AM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

  7. #157
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    > Ah there is some confusion here:

    Yeah there is. You see, I was joking; trying to deflate a serious situation a little by asking for information to back up your made up numbers. This is the part where you post "LOL" or "haha cheez you got me"

    PS Pepsi sucks.

  8. #158
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    Aah i seeeeeee. ooooops. Lalalaa.

    Incidently a zeptosecond isn't a made up number. :P
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

  9. #159
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    I kinda figured it wasn't, but I decided I'd feel silly if I tried to look it up and found out it didn't exist.

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    I don't see why that child isn't a person. It is developmentally the same (roughly speaking -- in terms of biology) of anyone else its age.
    A feral child often doesn't behave like a person. A found feral child doesn't identify with other human beings but with the animals that cared for the child. While a biological human, such a child's mental neural connections have delapidated to the point where learning human languages is impossible.

    Babies have fully functioning nervous systems, they respond to pain, are capable of learning, etc. etc.
    Well, what is the difference, then, between a baby and a fetus two seconds before birth? If there is no difference, then you have admitted that abortion, as US/UK law stands, is arbitrary.

    My ethical principles focus on awareness/conscious experience. That is the reason i put humans ahead of other animals (If you do not follow this then I do not see any other way to justify placing humans above other animals without appealing to religious ideas).
    Yes and no. If a fetus isn't aware or conscious then murdering him or her might be mitigated somewhat. But if pain was the only reason murder was wrong, then silent murder--murder without the person feeling anything--wouldn't be wrong.

    Awareness, however, is a difficult thing to judge. If awareness means simply a bunch of cells communicating with each other, then both the early-stage fetus and the baby are aware. If, however, awareness means simply a bunch of nerve cells communicating, then you're suggesting nerve cells have a higher priority, also arbitrary.

    Clearly at some level some principle or premise must hold. Animal rights aside, I'm limiting human ethics to be between biological human beings. Of course, the biological definition of human being isn't arbitrary, but I'd suppose animals also could have some ethical ownershp. Obviously, if something has 10^-10 chance of occuring, the ethical ownership entitled to that object may just as well be 0. Lead by way of possibility is worth just as much as gold-- the potential is there--the practical chance of turning tons of lead into gold isn't.

    Why consider a fetus to be a human being and not a sperm/egg.
    I think, as defined by my biology textbook, the sperm and the egg are not human being, which is a member of homo sapiens. ( I've since left the biology text a 1000 miles from my current location, so I'm unable to give an exact quotation.) This definition isn't arbitrary but one of standard usage. Neither sperm cells nor egg cellst have the capability of developing into an adult human being, nor do do they have the capability of reproducing to form another human being. They are ordinary human cells.

    But this view above wasn't why I rejected the sperm and egg. If they held ownership, the result would be odd ethics. A doctor could---without a patients consent--impregnate a women with a patient's semen. ( IVP clinics have the patient's consent. )

    1. Something can have 2 owners.
    Agreed. But to have any meaningful result, this ownership could be divided. For instance, both you and me could own a baseball. But our ownershp would have to be shared such that I use the ball only when you're not using it. This division means that at some time, when you're using the ball, I don't own it.

    2. One could claim exactly the same thing of the foetus (owned by the human beings).
    Yes, I'd suppose so. But why just the mother? Why not the man as well? Here, however, the matter is one of location; the fetus is in the mother's womb. But, a priori, I'd say that a human being is a human being no matter where he or she is. And the argument the fetus is dependent upon the mother won't hold, because many human beings are dependent upon many other human beings. And, in the case of the fetus, this decision to be dependent is often the mother's or doctor's choice, since the fetus at a late stage could be removed from the mother's womb.

    I could consider the egg/sperm pair a single system, i could give it a name like "spetus" and then i could claim that it "owns" it's potential.
    Yes, I agree. But for points mentioned already, this idea would result in odd ethics with no historical precident. Abortion does have historical precident, being banned by several prior societies.
    Last edited by okinrus; 11-16-2004 at 07:59 PM.

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    There are at that point ca. 250 million possible future individuals. (Here i'm not basing "possible" on freewill but purely on the physics, i would have done this with the choice example but to avoid denying free-will (and getting into another issue)
    I looked at this view again and did not find any contradiction. Delving into a future considerations is merely an ethical heuristic, and does not equate to any particular religious view. A fatalistic believer could apply this view with the provision that his or her applying the heuristic was by fate.

    Ultimately we do this type of thing all the time. I could steal a thousand pound of gold, and the calm the next day the gold will be worthless. We reject such excuses because we have a good idea the gold the next day won't be worthless.

    Now an argument involving potential people when no human being exist is wrong, because no corresponding human being exists for these people. A human life is valued, not by what this life did, but by the human being owning his or her right to life. Hence, when no one owns these possiblities, the ethical weight is shifted to other human beings responsible. Of course, someone could say that a human being, nonexistent, owns this potential. Impossible, I say, because a nonexisting human being owns nothing. This potential simply doesn't exist. But even in only in thought, potential can be reasoned to exist.
    Last edited by okinrus; 11-16-2004 at 09:12 PM.

  12. #162
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    Well, what is the difference, then, between a baby and a fetus two seconds before birth? If there is no difference, then you have admitted that abortion, as US/UK law stands, is arbitrary.
    Oh i don't deny that but then the nature of law means one is forced to draw a line somewhere. Further the line is drawn in a place that elevates both the fetus and the baby in status rather than diminishing them.

    Yes and no. If a fetus isn't aware or conscious then murdering him or her might be mitigated somewhat. But if pain was the only reason murder was wrong, then silent murder--murder without the person feeling anything--wouldn't be wrong.
    How about this:

    It's wrong to murder because IF murder was considered acceptable people would live in constant fear of death and there would be more grief due to loved ones being killed.

    Thus if one compares the total quality of life of a population where murder is ethically acceptable to an otherwise identical population where it is not, it is my assertation that the population where murder is unacceptable will have a higher quality of life.

    I think, as defined by my biology textbook, the sperm and the egg are not human being, which is a member of homo sapiens. ( I've since left the biology text a 1000 miles from my current location, so I'm unable to give an exact quotation.) This definition isn't arbitrary but one of standard usage.
    But in a sense it is arbitrary, it's classification, WE are the ones who classify things nature does not give a damn about our classification. Scientists invoke taxonomy for _convenience_.

    Neither sperm cells nor egg cellst have the capability of developing into an adult human being, nor do do they have the capability of reproducing to form another human being. They are ordinary human cells.
    A spetus has the capability of developing into an adult human being. A single sperm or and egg doesn't no, but then neither does half of a fertilised egg.

    But this view above wasn't why I rejected the sperm and egg. If they held ownership, the result would be odd ethics. A doctor could---without a patients consent--impregnate a women with a patient's semen. ( IVP clinics have the patient's consent. )
    Well, accepting that a fertilised egg mertits ethical consideratoin, when it is no more a person (or indeed a potential person) than a sperm/egg leads to odd ethics too: it prevents research into stem cells which could provide huge medical benefits, and it means we have to reduce the rights we give to fully formed human women.

    Agreed. But to have any meaningful result, this ownership could be divided. For instance, both you and me could own a baseball. But our ownershp would have to be shared such that I use the ball only when you're not using it. This division means that at some time, when you're using the ball, I don't own it
    Married couples own things together and use them together. Houses, bank accounts, furniture, televisions, etc. etc.

    Yes, I'd suppose so. But why just the mother? Why not the man as well?
    Sure no problem, i'd accept the man has some ownership of th fetus but one has to factor in the fact that it resides in the womens body.

    But, a priori, I'd say that a human being is a human being no matter where he or she is.
    Right but i don't think there is any ethical justification in considering human "beings" significant IF one extends this definition to a fertilised egg.

    Your axioms seem very easy to pick apart: Human beings are worthy of ethical treatment because they are, and we will define human beings starting at this point because we will.

    Now of course those axioms fit in exactly with religious views, which is why i mentioned the religious angle eary on in the thread.

    Yes, I agree. But for points mentioned already, this idea would result in odd ethics with no historical precident. Abortion does have historical precident, being banned by several prior societies.
    But you are now forced to agree that your system of ethics cannot differentiate between a spetus and a fetus and yet you are arguing that eliminating one should be considered as murder and eliminating the other has no ethical consequences. Your reasoning process thus fails with regards to abortion.

    That's not necessarily a refutation of your ethics, many ethical systems are incomplete indeed i'm not sure whether mine is complete either, but then where mine is incomplete i seem to be able to appeal to fundamental evolutionary biology, that gives me a way out. Whereas you're appealing to what seems "odd" which of itself seems highly dependent on both the subject and his environment. The victorians thought transplanting organs from one person to another seemed very "odd" hence naming it immoral and delaying development of transplants. Further it seems very "odd" to force women to have a child when the alternative is simply stopping a ball of cells turning into a child.

    Finally appealing to historical precedence seems to me a terrible way of defining one's ethics, for large periods of time slavery was considered acceptable, ritual sacrifice was ok for quite a while, etc. etc. No i think one should avoid historical precendence entirely.

    Now an argument involving potential people when no human being exist is wrong
    But you're just pushing the argument back, this system is... now a human being and thus deserves consideration.

    Why not this system is ..... now a person that can think and feel, etc. etc. and thus deserves consideration?
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-17-2004 at 05:46 AM.
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    Oh i don't deny that but then the nature of law means one is forced to draw a line somewhere. Further the line is drawn in a place that elevates both the fetus and the baby in status rather than diminishing them.
    It's unreasonable to draw the line at birth. Why not draw the line as soon as the fetus has mental activity? If the current abortion laws are killing innocents,shouldn't these laws be reformed?

    It's wrong to murder because IF murder was considered acceptable people would live in constant fear of death and there would be more grief due to loved ones being killed.
    Well, I don't think this argument holds. If the law mandated infanticide, why then would I, a twenty something, have anything to fear? Further, given the numer of prolifers who care about fetuses, why isn't their love suitable?

    But in a sense it is arbitrary, it's classification, WE are the ones who classify things nature does not give a damn about our classification. Scientists invoke taxonomy for _convenience_.
    True, but murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being. Killing other cells or animals, while possibly wrong, could never equate with murder.

    A spetus has the capability of developing into an adult human being.
    Agreed, but a spetus has none of the philosophical properties of a being, a requirement, I think, for singular ownership. A random sperm and egg are independent. Killing one does not kill the other, and only at fertilization do the two combine, resulting in a new life. Hardly the properties necessary to attach the word being.

    Of course, my argument is a bit arbitrary, I'll admit. But your're raising an argument that could just as easily defeat any ethical system attaching rights and liberties to respective beings, science or no science. For example, considering humanity as a single being means killing any particular person--without killing all of humanity--isn't murder. Those "odds" generally mean common sense should prevail. And so seems the greater portion of society, whichaccepts standard definitions of human beings, lest a murder of one be charged for murdering two.

    Further, don't confuse what is arbitrary with common sense suplanted with prudence. Children at an early age learn to separate objects in their environment by their motion. They learn to call their mother "mothers" and their fathers "father". It's how our minds work, and, all evidence aside, if a wrong committed escapes reasonable rational investigation, it isn't a malicious wrong.


    Well, accepting that a fertilised egg mertits ethical consideratoin, when it is no more a person (or indeed a potential person) than a sperm/egg leads to odd ethics too: it prevents research into stem cells which could provide huge medical benefits, and it means we have to reduce the rights we give to fully formed human women.
    Untrue. First, human stem cell research using embroys could be rejected merely by a signficant portion of taxpayers refusing to spend money on these programs. Second, stem cells may be obtained from other places other than embroys, and could with reearch prove just as effective as embroyonic cells.

    But you are now forced to agree that your system of ethics cannot differentiate between a spetus and a fetus and yet you are arguing that eliminating one should be considered as murder and eliminating the other has no ethical consequences. Your reasoning process thus fails with regards to abortion.
    See above.

    But you're just pushing the argument back, this system is... now a human being and thus deserves consideration.

    Why not this system is ..... now a person that can think and feel, etc. etc. and thus deserves consideration?
    No, I see it in straightforward terms. The fetus is a human being who owns his right to develop into a person. Such does a baby, such does a man in coma. Each have their right to life, to the persuit of happiness, and to liberty, these rights being guaranteed to all human beings. Now should a man(or woman) loose his ability to speak, to walk, or to function in society, he still has every right to the hope of regaining this ability, and so should the fetus.
    Last edited by okinrus; 11-17-2004 at 05:56 PM.

  14. #164
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    It's unreasonable to draw the line at birth. Why not draw the line as soon as the fetus has mental activity? If the current abortion laws are killing innocents,shouldn't these laws be reformed?
    Well the line isn't drawn at birth unless there are special circumstances.

    But to answer your point, i think as soon as the fetus is aware then it merits ethical consideration but the question is "how much consideration?". I do not see why we should consider killing a fetus with the first trappings of awareness more wrong than killing an animal which is more aware.

    Well, I don't think this argument holds. If the law mandated infanticide, why then would I, a twenty something, have anything to fear? Further, given the numer of prolifers who care about fetuses, why isn't their love suitable?
    You as an individual might not, but millions of recent mothers would have something to fear and would suffer greatly if their babies were killed.

    Pro-lifers care about fetuses on an academic level, they do not actually suffer when a fetus is killed, just as you or i don't really suffer when we read that thousands of innocent of people have killed in a war.

    The argument seems to hold.

    True, but murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being. Killing other cells or animals, while possibly wrong, could never equate with murder.
    Well either murder is not defined as killing of human "being" or fetuses are not defined as human "beings" because by law abortion is not murder.

    If you argue:

    Killing a fertilised egg is murder because a fertilised egg is by definition a human being,

    Then how are you to answer: why does your "human being" definition deserve special ethical consideration?

    To justify placing humans above other animals we must appeal to our greater faculties but the exact same reasoning eliminates the abortion issue.

    Agreed, but a spetus has none of the philosophical properties of a being, a requirement, I think, for singular ownership. A random sperm and egg are independent. Killing one does not kill the other, and only at fertilization do the two combine, resulting in a new life. Hardly the properties necessary to attach the word being
    I can assert that the fetus is owned by the parents. You assert it owns itself.

    I could equally assert the spetus owns itself. The fact that one can classify the spetus into two parts makes no difference, after the fertilised egg divides the fetus also consists of two parts, and killing one would not kill the other. (I am unsure whether it would effectively kill the fetus, but one could easily choose a point slightly later on -say 16 cells, then knocking out 8 would "kill" the fetus whilst not killing the 8 other cells).

    Of course, my argument is a bit arbitrary, I'll admit. But your're raising an argument that could just as easily defeat any ethical system attaching rights and liberties to respective beings, science or no science. For example, considering humanity as a single being means killing any particular person--without killing all of humanity--isn't murder.
    Ah but i don't think it is meaningfull to seperate ethics from the social context that they exist in and were born from,

    Thus one cannot consider the ethics of killing a specific person, one can only consider the ethics of killing a non-specific person.

    Thus you ask is it right to kill Fred for x,y,z reasons? I say either its right to kill anyone for x,y,z reasons or its not.

    The outcome is that one does grant "rights" to Fred just as one grants rights to everyone else.

    Untrue. First, human stem cell research using embroys could be rejected merely by a signficant portion of taxpayers refusing to spend money on these programs. Second, stem cells may be obtained from other places other than embroys, and could with reearch prove just as effective as embroyonic cells.
    Neither of those arguments work, from a medical point of view researching embrionic stem cells offers the best chance for development of the earliest future treatments for a variety of different conditions.

    Your ethics rules that research out, the result of which is decidedly odd, real human people are left to die and suffer ,to avoid harming cells or balls of cells no more aware than a skin cell.

    That strikes me as odd. Especially considering the reprocussions of your alternative, IF one could turn skin cells into fully undifferentiate stem cells that it is highly likely that one could also create clones from skin cells, so then what becomes of the ethical status of a skin cell?

    No, I see it in straightforward terms. The fetus is a human being who owns his right to develop into a person. Such does a baby, such does a man in coma. Each have their right to life, to the persuit of happiness, and to liberty, these rights being guaranteed to all human beings. Now should a man(or woman) loose his ability to speak, to walk, or to function in society, he still has every right to the hope of regaining this ability, and so should the fetus.
    But your starting point is arbitrary there is no ethically _inherent_ reason to favour a fetus over a spetus, or indeed any other possible future person.

    You're granting a cell or a bunch of cells the right to "own" something, why? I mean what is the justification? What is the significance of a human "being" if that human "being" is just a single cell less complex than an ant?

    You see to me your ethical axioms seem arbitrary in basis, which means you're vulnerable to arguments favouring moral relativism, how are you going to argue against someone who simply defines in his ethical axioms that white people merit more consideration than black people?

    Afterall you define in your axioms human "beings" merit more consideration than say ape "beings", and as mentioned earlier as soon as you appeal to faculties to justify your stance then the argument against abortion dissolves.
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-18-2004 at 10:04 AM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

  15. #165
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    I don't have a whole lot to add except that I think it's great you guys are actually having a reasonable debate here without resorting to name calling or similar things. I really wish we could have more of these around here.

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