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; I don't think there is even any scientific doubt that a fetus is a biological human. I think the question ...

  1. #121
    pronounced 'fib' FillYourBrain's Avatar
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    I don't think there is even any scientific doubt that a fetus is a biological human. I think the question might be at what point the biological human achieves human conciousness. Science can't answer that one as much as they try. I for one would be horrified if one day we found out that human consciousness is achieved very early in the development and we've been killing them anyway.

    And no, this is not a faith issue. Anyone who throws it that way (Clyde) is trying to avoid the actual argument.
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  2. #122
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    > but part of the natural law

    Which is based on...

  3. #123
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    I think the question might be at what point the biological human achieves human conciousness. Science can't answer that one as much as they try
    Perhaps so, but it can provide a good guide to how fully formed the nervous system is, which is relevent.

    I for one would be horrified if one day we found out that human consciousness is achieved very early in the development and we've been killing them anyway
    I don't think it's an on or off kind of thing. Animals seem to be conscious yet many people find it ok to eat them. It seems reasonable to consider consciousness as graded phenomenon albeit in a somewhat abstract way.

    I can well believe that some foetuses that are aborted have some form of limited consciousness, but as i said so too do many animals infact it would seem that many animals are more aware than even late term foetuses.

    And no, this is not a faith issue. Anyone who throws it that way (Clyde) is trying to avoid the actual argument.
    and

    that is, someone may reject abortion merely on grounds that the fetus is a biological human being
    Many many people object to abortion because they consider it to be killing a human being (as okinirus says), but then why do they consider a bunch of cells that appears to have less of a functioning brain than a fish to be a human 'being'? I think the answer often relates to faith in a human "soul" that springs magically into being at the point of conception.

    Granted i don't have figures but it seems to me that the largest factor regarding ones stance on abortion is due to religion.

    Plus i wasn't suggesting one cannot have areligious arguments against abortion, more simply that religious opposition to abortion is the norm.
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-09-2004 at 07:28 AM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    I don't think there is even any scientific doubt that a fetus is a biological human. I think the question might be at what point the biological human achieves human conciousness.
    I don't think conciousness is the real issue, or if it is, no one knows how to precisely define the term and determine whether an entity is conscious, as you said below. Nevertheless, for many cases, someone is conscious but incapable of communicating it to others. A single human cell, for all we know, could be conscious: I'm a biological entity composed of billions of cells, yet feel as if I'm one entity. But then a differentiation o human cells must be made or belief in the soul because many different human cells are being killed and regrown each day. But, in either case, the actual knowledge and innerworking are unknown. The only knowledge we have, by way of intuition, is that the process that gives us personality, that feels pain, and that feels happiness consists of one entity.

    Science can't answer that one as much as they try. I for one would be horrified if one day we found out that human consciousness is achieved very early in the development and we've been killing them anyway.
    Given a milliion-to-one odds that abortion isn't murder, I wouldn't support abortion, and that's assuming abortion is is valuable service to society. It's like nuking an island, and possibly killing millions, with no one knowing it's populated or not. Quite reckless, I think. Because of this scenario, the tendency, I believe, is that pro-choicers, the ones who've actually given thought to this issue, believe that they have absolute knowledge.

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    I might have been a little too harsh on the typical prochoicers above, especially the use of "absolute knowledge." But we, as a society, are believing in baseless claims because what needs to be asked, and what is valued, is not being discussed by society. If a single human cell is worthless, are all human cells worthless? If a life is judged but by appearences, then life's worth is in its capability. And if so, how is a man in a coma capable of much of anything? Yet how his life is valued? How do we judge capability? Are we looking at present capability or commulative, over the future? Well, I can't do too much of thinking, nor too much of writing, in a nanosecond, so capability certainly includes some sort of timespan. And if but a timespan, then a point before birth's timespan spans after birth. And so, I think, both pro-choicers and pro-lifers should agree that the current definition of life, being after birth, is completely arbitrary. Of course, for any point, before conception, this process could be used, so the only resonable point is at conception.

  6. #126
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    >>And so, I think, both pro-choicers and pro-lifers should agree that the current definition of life, being after birth, is completely arbitrary. Of course, for any point, before conception, this process could be used, so the only resonable point is at conception.

    I am pro choice.
    Ignoring cases where there are risks in letting the pregnancy run to term.

    I believe that it is unreasonable to force a woman to have a baby she does not want.
    I do not think that any woman would under take the choice to have an abortion lightly. We must rely on the individuals judgement of their own curcumstances.
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  7. #127
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    Despite how much I hate this topic (Abortion) I feel the need to respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by novacain
    I believe that it is unreasonable to force a woman to have a baby she does not want.
    I do not think that any woman would under take the choice to have an abortion lightly. We must rely on the individuals judgement of their own curcumstances.
    I want to agree with you novacain, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to be able to agree with you but I can't.

    Logically I can not justify murder simply because the mother does not want the child. The mother made an act of her own volition that resulted in this situation (this is ignoring the case of rape, in which I think it is justified), she does not get to murder the consequence of her actions.

    I really would like to come down on the pro-choice side, simply looking at in the situation in a pragmatic way, there are too many children who need adoptive parents, and removing abortion would create many more. Second it leads to the creation of a black market for these services which is even uglier.

    BUT, this is not enough to justify murder, this human has the same rights that everyone else does and should not be killed on the mothers command, anymore than a 3 year old should be killed if the mother no longer wants to deal with the child.

    I wish I could find some logic, some argument, anything that made me think that this was somehow justifiable, but I can't. And since I can't I simply can't believe that it should be legal.

  8. #128
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    The logic is relatively simple if you do not see human beings as the centre of all life on Earth.

    I personally value human life more than other forms of life purely because by all accounts human's are more aware, more capable of suffering, enjoying,basically have a much richer experience.

    Following on from that i don't think the same rights that are granted fully formed human beings should be given to foetuses who show less signs of consciousness than fish (less than 3 months).
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-12-2004 at 01:49 PM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    I believe that it is unreasonable to force a woman to have a baby she does not want.
    Most women who haven't been raped, like the Darlen said, have gotten pregnant by their own volition. And while these women might have been using contraception, either properly or improperly, none of these products guarantees complete protection against pregency.

    In any case, I believe the mother' s dislike, hatred, or love of what's in their womb doesn't matter, because if abortion is indeed murder, then the fetus is a human being, and the mother is an external factor irrelevant to the fetus. For instance, someone can hate me, in fact, the whole world can hate me, but neither those who hate me nor the entire world discounts me being a human person.

    I do not think that any woman would under take the choice to have an abortion lightly. We must rely on the individuals judgement of their own curcumstances.
    Agreed. But telling someone to take abortion seriously, while also telling them that the fetus isn't a human person, doesn't tell women why you believe abortion should be taken seriously. I think having individuals decide who is a human being or not isn't the way to assure human rights. In fact, past examples, such as slavery and the Holocaust, suggest individuals are often wrong in this regard, and these people were obviously human beings. Prudence must be the deciding factor.

  10. #130
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    AFAIK none of us involved in this discussion are going to have to personally make the choice to have an abortion. So none will truely understand what it would mean to be forced to carry an unwanted child through nine months of pregnancy.

    How can you make an informed choice?

    >>and the mother is an external factor irrelevant to the fetus.

    LOL!
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
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    The funny/ironic thing about this situation is that the pro life people treat the pro choice people as if they enjoy killing babies. Obviously it's the most awful decision that could be made during the course of one's life. The question is, who gets to make that awful choice? I think giving babies up for adoption is a better option than abortion, but I think that we still need to be pro choice as a country.

    edit:

    Clyde, I think you are way off in the deep end with the scientific point of view. You might actually be "right" in the most objective sense. But, even if the fetus isn't a "human" yet, killing something that would have become a human is typically viewed as just as bad. I'm saying it isn't a human just for the sake of argument, that's a whole 'nother discussion I'd rather not get into.
    Last edited by Darkness; 11-12-2004 at 08:24 AM.
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  12. #132
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    But, even if the fetus isn't a "human" yet, killing something that would have become a human is typically viewed as just as bad.
    I don't buy into the potential argument either i'm afraid. The reasoning goes that a foetus is a potential human being and preventing the realisation of this potential human being is wrong (just as killing a human being is wrong). But then there are a near infinite number of potential human beings, is it really wrong not to make them real? Should couples have as many children as physically possible?

    I don't think so. (And i think such a stance can be justified by looking at what the end result of such a strategy would be: Massive overpopulation which would lead to massive death tolls and a large reduction in the quality of life of the average person)
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    There aren't a near infinite number of impregnated eggs, subsequently the answer to your question:

    But then there are a near infinite number of potential human beings, is it really wrong not to make them real
    is yes, it is wrong not to make them real, if you are a pro lifer. The pro life people tend to think that killing a fully formed human, and preventing an impregnated egg from becoming a fully formed human, are equal sins. There isn't really a "right" answer. There's the scientific view (which you and I both share, Clyde), and there's the other view that is typically less scientific, and often influenced by religious beliefs (but not always).

    edit:
    when I used 'sin', I didn't actually mean for it to have a religious context, as it is hardly true that all pro life people are religious.
    Last edited by Darkness; 11-12-2004 at 03:20 PM.
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  14. #134
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    There aren't a near infinite number of impregnated eggs, subsequently the answer to your question
    The number of fertilised eggs is not equal to the number of potential people, a single man produces zillion of different sperm each of which could fertilise any egg producing a genetically distinct individual. However since we consider indentical twins to be two people not one, the true number of potential people is basically infinite.

    If pro lifers consider preventing a potential person becoming a real person murder, then one would expect them to argue that the instant a women starts ovulating she should become pregnant, and continues having babies back to back every 9 months till the day she stops ovulating (which should be delayed as long as possible).
    Last edited by Clyde; 11-12-2004 at 03:41 PM.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    The number of fertilised eggs is not equal to the number of potential people, a single man produces zillion of different sperm each of which could fertilise any egg producing a genetically distinct individual
    Without the egg the zillions of sperm lack the direct potential of becoming a human...they only have indirect potential of becoming a human, which in the opinions of most doesn't count. You need to directly destroy the impregnated egg in order to stop it from becoming a human. You do not need to destroy sperm to prevent them from becoming a human...they do not develop into a human unless being coupled with the egg. There's a point where it's too much of a longshot of saying 'this has the potential of becoming a human', because following your mindset, you can say "don't destroy these strands of proteins laying in this here petri dish, because after billions of years and lots of evolution this might become a human." There's a certain point where it's just not pragmatic to do that anymore, and I think you've hit it with the sperm thing.

    edit:
    If I remember correctly, sperm and eggs are haploid cells, which means they only contain half of the strands required to make up the full dna of a human. The fact that each of these cells alone doesn't contain enough dna to make up a human, and the petri dish example, both support what I'm saying.

    edit1:
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praetar necessitatem
    Bless you!
    Last edited by Darkness; 11-12-2004 at 05:56 PM.
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