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Thread: Atheists and anti-theists

  1. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I didn't argue that the personhood argument began with progressive use of it for eugenics
    Nobody cited eugenics as a reason to legalize abortion, and nobody cites it now as a reason to keep abortion legal. Overwhelmingly, they cite a different reason -- liberty. That's the opposite of the Nazis, who gave nobody a choice, same as the pro-lifers.

    It's pro-lifers who use a eugenics arguement, when they're not using a religious argument. According to the pro-life "scientific" argument, possessing the superior human DNA is what bestows rights. Hmmm. Rights based on superior genetics? Sound like eugenics to me.

    What's worse, pro-lifers can't specify their eugenics standard. Ask them to define exactly what "human DNA" is, and they'll evade, or go to a circular argument ("Human DNA is the DNA humans have!"). Their standard is feelings-based eugenics. So what happens when they decide my DNA isn't quite up to snuff? That's not hyperbole, given the posters here who have ranted about how the subhuman liberals need to be exterminated or sent to the gulags. The dangerous eugenic-based beliefs all emanate from the right.

    Liberals just use the same standard for a person that almost all of humanity has used over the whole history of humanity. Human, born and alive. Simplifies things a lot. Pro-life definitions are some very recent historical revisionism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina73 View Post
    I have to disagree with that.
    I think the vast majority of people in the USA do not see a fertilized egg as a "human life". I don't think the vast majority of people want to see a child aborted at 6 months of pregnancy. A one year old will die if you put it on the floor and do not take care of it. Birth has nothing to do with being a human life.

    I think politically people often take these religious or political positions against their own true beliefs, because they do not want to cross the lines their group has set. So they will take a ridiculous position.
    They will tell you that they will not eat a chicken egg but they would gladly approve of killing a baby 2 minutes before birth. Or in the case of the Virginia Assembly even after it is born as long as the decision to kill it was made before it was born.
    As I have mentioned repeatedly, I am referring in all cases to 1st trimester abortion only, not 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion. I argue against the assertion that rights begin at conception and I maintain that a zygote or embryo cannot by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, meet the definition of a person. Beyond the first trimester however, the fetus does in fact start developing the elements that bring it within the definition of person. I am very much against later term abortion, except where the mother's life is at risk and it should be noted that the earliest age that a fetus has survived outside of the uterus is at 21 weeks, 5 days. This means that even in cases where the mother's life is at risk, a cesarean section can be performed in order to attempt to save both the lives of mother and child. This also informs the viability argument and the ethics of later term abortions.

    Thus far in this thread, the anti-abortion argument presented consists of the assertion that rights begin at conception (equal rights to the mother) and that the concept of personhood cannot be applied because then we will use it as an excuse to start euthanizing or aborting everyone who we don't think deserve to be alive, despite the fact that 'person' has had legal definitions since we have had laws and notions about rights.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    She doesn't perform the abortion either, not usually.

    Under the premise of life beginning at conception and thus the baby having equal rights, that I was asked about, self-defense is a justification. Those who reject it reject not it but the premise.

    Abortion in self-defence cites "some people argue that this is a case of the doctrine of double effect rather than a self-defence argument, and that the death of the foetus is merely the side-effect of medical treatment to save the mother's life." Self-defense, doctrine of double effect, semantics.
    The doctrine of double effect doesn't work either, since there has to be no intent to kill. You cannot perform an abortion procedure without the intent to kill.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryboy View Post
    So you agree the kneelers are wrong?
    Oh yeah; I thought it was stupid right from the beginning. The story is - in my view - that when Colin Kapernick got benched, he wanted attention, so... Now of course the NFL won’t touch him.

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy: he let politics into pro sports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    As I have mentioned repeatedly, I am referring in all cases to 1st trimester abortion only, not 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion. I argue against the assertion that rights begin at conception and I maintain that a zygote or embryo cannot by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, meet the definition of a person. Beyond the first trimester however, the fetus does in fact start developing the elements that bring it within the definition of person. I am very much against later term abortion, except where the mother's life is at risk and it should be noted that the earliest age that a fetus has survived outside of the uterus is at 21 weeks, 5 days. This means that even in cases where the mother's life is at risk, a cesarean section can be performed in order to attempt to save both the lives of mother and child. This also informs the viability argument and the ethics of later term abortions.

    Thus far in this thread, the anti-abortion argument presented consists of the assertion that rights begin at conception (equal rights to the mother) and that the concept of personhood cannot be applied because then we will use it as an excuse to start euthanizing or aborting everyone who we don't think deserve to be alive, despite the fact that 'person' has had legal definitions since we have had laws and notions about rights.
    That is because we do not have a legal definition of when human life begins.
    That is why this argument always comes down to the two extremes.

    I'm not usually one to point to Europe, but their 12 week to 20 week restriction seems to represent the point a wich human characteristics are formed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    The doctrine of double effect doesn't work either, since there has to be no intent to kill. You cannot perform an abortion procedure without the intent to kill.
    Your not understant the doctrine either: "The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end. According to the principle of double effect, sometimes it is permissible to cause a harm as a side effect (or “double effect”) of bringing about a good result even though it would not be permissible to cause such a harm as a means to bringing about the same good end." https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/double-effect/

    What I'm arguing are the exceptions to the viability rule found in Roe: "For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."

    In your fervor to find something wrong with my position, you've negated Roe exceptions.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamooth View Post
    Nobody cited eugenics as a reason to legalize abortion, and nobody cites it now as a reason to keep abortion legal. Overwhelmingly, they cite a different reason -- liberty. That's the opposite of the Nazis, who gave nobody a choice, same as the pro-lifers.

    It's pro-lifers who use a eugenics arguement, when they're not using a religious argument. According to the pro-life "scientific" argument, possessing the superior human DNA is what bestows rights. Hmmm. Rights based on superior genetics? Sound like eugenics to me.

    What's worse, pro-lifers can't specify their eugenics standard. Ask them to define exactly what "human DNA" is, and they'll evade, or go to a circular argument ("Human DNA is the DNA humans have!"). Their standard is feelings-based eugenics. So what happens when they decide my DNA isn't quite up to snuff? That's not hyperbole, given the posters here who have ranted about how the subhuman liberals need to be exterminated or sent to the gulags. The dangerous eugenic-based beliefs all emanate from the right.

    Liberals just use the same standard for a person that almost all of humanity has used over the whole history of humanity. Human, born and alive. Simplifies things a lot. Pro-life definitions are some very recent historical revisionism.

    You're right that "Nobody cited eugenics as a reason to legalize abortion, and nobody cites it now as a reason to keep abortion legal."

    Nor did I. You even quoted me: "I didn't argue that the personhood argument began with progressive use of it for eugenics"

    I have argued generally that the arbitrary, abstract, philosophical notion of personhood gave reason to eugenics during the Progressive Era.

    IOW, nice starwman, but it counts for nothing.
    Last edited by Chris; 05-05-2021 at 06:47 PM.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Your not understant the doctrine either: "The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end. According to the principle of double effect, sometimes it is permissible to cause a harm as a side effect (or “double effect”) of bringing about a good result even though it would not be permissible to cause such a harm as a means to bringing about the same good end." https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/double-effect/

    What I'm arguing are the exceptions to the viability rule found in Roe: "For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."

    In your fervor to find something wrong with my position, you've negated Roe exceptions.
    From your Stanford link:

    "Warren Quinn provides such an account while also recasting double effect as a distinction between direct and indirect agency. On his view, double effect “distinguishes between agency in which harm comes to some victims, at least in part, from the agent’s deliberately involving them in something in order to further his purpose precisely by way of their being so involved (agency in which they figure as intentional objects), and harmful agency in which either nothing is in that way intended for the victims or what is so intended does not contribute to their harm” (1989, p. 343). Quinn explains that “direct agency requires neither that harm itself be useful nor that what is useful be causally connected in some especially close way with the harm it helps bring about” (1989, p. 344). He remarks that “some cases of harming that the doctrine intuitively speaks against are arguably not cases of intentional harming, precisely because neither the harm itself (nor anything itself causally very close to it) is intended” (1991, p. 511). On this view, the distinction between direct and indirect harmful agency is what underlies the moral significance of the distinction between intended and merely foreseen harms, but it need not align perfectly with it."

    "A doctor who believed that abortion was wrong, even in order to save the mother’s life, might nevertheless consistently believe that it would be permissible to perform a hysterectomy on a pregnant woman with cancer. In carrying out the hysterectomy, the doctor would aim to save the woman’s life while merely foreseeing the death of the fetus. Performing an abortion, by contrast, would involve intending to kill the fetus as a means to saving the mother."

    IOW, double-effect does not cover intended harm.

    I wasn't considering Roe in any fashion. I have been addressing your argument that rights begin at conception and your contention that those rights are equal to those of the mother. Nowhere have you previously stated that you were arguing the exceptions to the viability rule in Roe. Nice shifting of the goal posts.


    However, FYI, Roe's trimester standard was replaced by the viability standard in Planned Parenthood v Casey.

    The Court retains the following holding from Roe:
    "(1) Women have the right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability and to do so without undue interference from the State; (2) the State can restrict the abortion procedure post-viability, so long as the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman's life or health; and (3) the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.[7] The plurality asserted that the fundamental right to abortion is grounded in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the plurality reiterated what the Court had said in Eisenstadt v. Baird: "[i]f the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child."

    "The Roe trimester framework completely forbade states from regulating abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted regulations designed to protect a woman's health in the second trimester, and permitted prohibitions on abortion during the third trimester (when the fetus becomes viable) under the justification of fetal protection, and so long as the life or health of the mother was not at risk. The plurality found that continuing advancements in medical technology had proven that a fetus could be considered viable at 23 or 24 weeks rather than at the 28 weeks previously understood by the Court in Roe.[9] The plurality thus redrew the line of increasing state interest at viability because of increasing medical accuracy about when fetus viability takes place. Likewise, the authors of the plurality opinion felt that fetus viability was "more workable" than the trimester framework.[15]Under this new fetus viability framework, the plurality held that at the point of viability and subsequent to viability, the state could promote its interest in the "potentiality of human life" by regulating, or possibly proscribing, abortion "except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."[16] Prior to fetus viability, the plurality held, the State can show concern for fetal development, but it cannot pose an undue burden on a woman's fundamental right to abortion.[17] The plurality reasoned that the new pre- and post-viability line would still uphold the essential holding of Roe, which recognized both the woman's constitutionally protected liberty, and the State's "important and legitimate interest in potential life."["
    Planned Parenthood v. Casey - Wikipedia
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    From your Stanford link:

    "Warren Quinn provides such an account while also recasting double effect as a distinction between direct and indirect agency. On his view, double effect “distinguishes between agency in which harm comes to some victims, at least in part, from the agent’s deliberately involving them in something in order to further his purpose precisely by way of their being so involved (agency in which they figure as intentional objects), and harmful agency in which either nothing is in that way intended for the victims or what is so intended does not contribute to their harm” (1989, p. 343). Quinn explains that “direct agency requires neither that harm itself be useful nor that what is useful be causally connected in some especially close way with the harm it helps bring about” (1989, p. 344). He remarks that “some cases of harming that the doctrine intuitively speaks against are arguably not cases of intentional harming, precisely because neither the harm itself (nor anything itself causally very close to it) is intended” (1991, p. 511). On this view, the distinction between direct and indirect harmful agency is what underlies the moral significance of the distinction between intended and merely foreseen harms, but it need not align perfectly with it."

    "A doctor who believed that abortion was wrong, even in order to save the mother’s life, might nevertheless consistently believe that it would be permissible to perform a hysterectomy on a pregnant woman with cancer. In carrying out the hysterectomy, the doctor would aim to save the woman’s life while merely foreseeing the death of the fetus. Performing an abortion, by contrast, would involve intending to kill the fetus as a means to saving the mother."

    IOW, double-effect does not cover intended harm.

    I wasn't considering Roe in any fashion. I have been addressing your argument that rights begin at conception and your contention that those rights are equal to those of the mother. Nowhere have you previously stated that you were arguing the exceptions to the viability rule in Roe. Nice shifting of the goal posts.


    However, FYI, Roe's trimester standard was replaced by the viability standard in Planned Parenthood v Casey.

    The Court retains the following holding from Roe:
    "(1) Women have the right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability and to do so without undue interference from the State; (2) the State can restrict the abortion procedure post-viability, so long as the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman's life or health; and (3) the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.[7] The plurality asserted that the fundamental right to abortion is grounded in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the plurality reiterated what the Court had said in Eisenstadt v. Baird: "[i]f the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child."

    "The Roe trimester framework completely forbade states from regulating abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted regulations designed to protect a woman's health in the second trimester, and permitted prohibitions on abortion during the third trimester (when the fetus becomes viable) under the justification of fetal protection, and so long as the life or health of the mother was not at risk. The plurality found that continuing advancements in medical technology had proven that a fetus could be considered viable at 23 or 24 weeks rather than at the 28 weeks previously understood by the Court in Roe.[9] The plurality thus redrew the line of increasing state interest at viability because of increasing medical accuracy about when fetus viability takes place. Likewise, the authors of the plurality opinion felt that fetus viability was "more workable" than the trimester framework.[15]Under this new fetus viability framework, the plurality held that at the point of viability and subsequent to viability, the state could promote its interest in the "potentiality of human life" by regulating, or possibly proscribing, abortion "except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."[16] Prior to fetus viability, the plurality held, the State can show concern for fetal development, but it cannot pose an undue burden on a woman's fundamental right to abortion.[17] The plurality reasoned that the new pre- and post-viability line would still uphold the essential holding of Roe, which recognized both the woman's constitutionally protected liberty, and the State's "important and legitimate interest in potential life."["
    Planned Parenthood v. Casey - Wikipedia

    Double-effect does cover it, imo, just as self-defense does.

    I know you weren't considering Roe. Accidents happen when you're not careful.


    Anyway, I'm done here. I've made my main point and straying from it in your pursuit to find some fault in something, is, not frustrating, just boring.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Double-effect does cover it, imo, just as self-defense does.

    I know you weren't considering Roe. Accidents happen when you're not careful.


    Anyway, I'm done here. I've made my main point and straying from it in your pursuit to find some fault in something, is, not frustrating, just boring.
    If the Court were operating on the presumption that (equal) rights attach at the moment of conception, as you have argued, it could not allow abortion under any circumstances, so there could not then be any exemptions to the viability standard. Viability would not come into it. That is the problem with your equal rights argument. Nor does self-defense or double-effect provide a way out of the corner that you have backed yourself into. That is precisely why there is no legal recognition of autonomous fetal rights.

    It would also subject virtually all of a pregnant woman's actions to monitoring, questioning, and judgment, laying a foundation for civil liability and even punitive government action against the woman for any and all decisions that may, in some unforeseen manner, affect her fetus. The implication for the rights of every woman of child-bearing age would be catastrophic. Women would fear becoming pregnant even if they wanted a child.

    Now if you think that the foregoing is pure hyperbole, there have already been lawsuits brought in various states against women for their prenatal actions. Thus far, I believe all have failed, however if your opinion became reality, there would be a tidal wave of litigation as well as a significant number of women who would opt for their own sterilization or that of their spouse.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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