Abortion Repeal?

amlove21

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I have an interesting logical experiment I have to lay out. I hope you'll join me.

I have completely evolved on this subject; it has nothing to do with religion. It's a moral dilemma that I could not solve alone, which informed my new position.

My new position is unapologetically and proudly pro-life. Without exception.

ROE
  1. My personal opinion is not how I would legislate in the hypothetical that I am making laws; they're quite different. But I am not talking about making laws for a hypothetical population. I am talking about the moral proposition of abortion and its standing. If I were a politician, I would consider "index cases" like rape and incest, or severe genetic affliction. I would explore legislating some "X-week" limit based on liability or whatever, supporting a common sense approach to legislating for the most people under my charge, even if I disagreed with it. That is NOT what I want to explore. I am not a politician. I am not talking about the law, the Constitution, states' rights, etc. I am looking to explore a non-religious reason why pro-choice is flawed. @TLDR20 leveled this charge a long time ago, and I want to say thank you for helping me get to where I am today. That's not a joke.
  2. I want to explore a simple set of facts I think are immutable but then apply them to the abortion issue; I believe it to be relevant.
  3. I *think* my original 2 presuppositions are correct.
  4. I could be wrong; I am willing to accept that.
  5. There is at least *1* scenario below that fouls my position. I will say; I already have an answer. If someone brings it up, tight. But you do the work.
Here we go. I am going to make 2 statements. This is what you need to disprove before we talk about legislation, index cases, politics, etc.
  1. Terminating a life without a serious threat (or actual harm) to another life should never happen.
  2. *All* things can only exist in 3 possible states- alive, dead, or inanimate. E.G.-
    1. Alive things are things that contain and exhibit the potential for life. These things can not be dead; they can not be inanimate. Dead things, and inanimate things, can not become alive. This is evidenced by how no dead things can become alive; the same for inanimate.
    2. Dead things are things that were have been alive, but now they are not. They had the potential for life or lived but then couldn't maintain that state. The wood in your house is dead. It no longer lives; it once did. You could argue that dead and inanimate are the same; I am willing to hear that argument in this context. But dead or inanimate, they are not alive.
    3. Inanimate things are neither alive nor dead, they're inanimate. Steel is inanimate. Concrete is inanimate. Inanimate things are not alive unless you want to agree with the above (2). Arguing the molecular "aliveness" of inanimate things do not make them "not inanimate,"; and no matter how you prove that "inanimate things may have once been alive", it still does not answer question one.
So, abortion is the murder of life, without serious threat to another. Therefore, it is morally wrong and should not happen.

Discuss.
 

JedisonsDad

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Interesting take.

Personally, I am pro-choice. I would never consider that option, but I do realize there are certain circumstances for some people. With my opinion on government, I don’t believe they are the best authority on telling people what to do with their bodies, and less regulation is always better.

Do I consider it a valid birth control option? Hell no, and I judge people that do.

To go to your argument angle. Skin cells are living organisms with the potential for life, that exhibit and carry human DNA. I will kill those all day. Same for semen, they are living with the potential for life. Humans are just a cluster of smaller living cells.

I believe that we need to draw the line somewhere. First term seems appropriate to me. I understand that you don’t know the instant you’re pregnant, and you need time to find out.

I know it’s a wild slippery slope, but if you make it a light switch of either full yes or full no, you open the door to either very-late term abortion (8 months) or vasectomies Al being illegal because you’re preventing the potential for life.

I hope I articulated that in a clear way.
 

Devildoc

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Interesting take.

Personally, I am pro-choice. I would never consider that option, but I do realize there are certain circumstances for some people. With my opinion on government, I don’t believe they are the best authority on telling people what to do with their bodies, and less regulation is always better.

Do I consider it a valid birth control option? Hell no, and I judge people that do.

To go to your argument angle. Skin cells are living organisms with the potential for life, that exhibit and carry human DNA. I will kill those all day. Same for semen, they are living with the potential for life. Humans are just a cluster of smaller living cells.

I believe that we need to draw the line somewhere. First term seems appropriate to me. I understand that you don’t know the instant you’re pregnant, and you need time to find out.

I know it’s a wild slippery slope, but if you make it a light switch of either full yes or full no, you open the door to either very-late term abortion (8 months) or vasectomies Al being illegal because you’re preventing the potential for life.

I hope I articulated that in a clear way.

The counter to this is, these things are YOUR DNA. Fetal cells from the get-go are not the mother's DNA. But I get your point.
 

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@amlove21

Your first statement
Terminating a life without a serious threat (or actual harm) to another life should never happen.

Reminded me of the Buddhist concept of Ahisma, which is the First of Five Precepts.

It's a prohibition on killing all living (sentient, we'll come back to this) things, both human and animal. It's not quite like a commandment, but it does affect someone's karma for rebirth.

The reason I specifically bring this up is because I've seen people make the point you have and the conversation on other social sites too often becomes "hurr durr why aren't you a pacifist vegan then if you think all killing is bad?"
That's a real shit counter argument.

The reason I like the concept of Ahisma is because though it considers all killing is bad, it acknowledges that all killing is not equal. The karmic hit for killing a spider is lesser than a cow, which is lesser than an "average" person, which is lesser than a "holy or positive Karma" person (for this discussion, lets assume fetuses have positive karma).

I don't think anyone (if they're being intellectually honest) would disagree with your assessment of what makes an alive thing. They may, as @JedisonsDad has pointed out, not view an embryo as "sentient". I fall in this camp.

I don't see how we really reconcile the non-sentient viewpoint with the life begins at conception viewpoint (full disclosure, conception is the Buddhist viewpoint).
 

amlove21

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Interesting take.

Personally, I am pro-choice. I would never consider that option, but I do realize there are certain circumstances for some people. With my opinion on government, I don’t believe they are the best authority on telling people what to do with their bodies, and less regulation is always better.

Do I consider it a valid birth control option? Hell no, and I judge people that do.

To go to your argument angle. Skin cells are living organisms with the potential for life, that exhibit and carry human DNA. I will kill those all day. Same for semen, they are living with the potential for life. Humans are just a cluster of smaller living cells.

I believe that we need to draw the line somewhere. First term seems appropriate to me. I understand that you don’t know the instant you’re pregnant, and you need time to find out.

I know it’s a wild slippery slope, but if you make it a light switch of either full yes or full no, you open the door to either very-late term abortion (8 months) or vasectomies Al being illegal because you’re preventing the potential for life.

I hope I articulated that in a clear way.
Thanks for replying and yes you did articulate it clearly.

Here is where we disagree- you, a sentient being, are not choosing to kill your skin cells. You may choose to kill your semen by excreting it; for the purpose of this conversation, I will say that in my own framework, "don't do that, it's wrong". Ideological consistency in this thought experiment just makes it cleaner.

As for the rest of your post, you're verging into territory I specifically addressed above. The way I feel about this moral question doesn't really apply to the legislation of the topic.

To make it clear- let's say I was campaigning, and someone asked me what I would do in office. I would say, "Abortion is morally unacceptable to me. It's taking a human life, period. However, and although I am vehemently morally opposed to it, I would not legislate my personal beliefs on my constituents." From there we would have to talk about "when is acceptable, and under what circumstances".

Since that's a different conversation, that's where I will stop.
 

amlove21

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@amlove21

Your first statement


Reminded me of the Buddhist concept of Ahisma, which is the First of Five Precepts.

It's a prohibition on killing all living (sentient, we'll come back to this) things, both human and animal. It's not quite like a commandment, but it does affect someone's karma for rebirth.

The reason I specifically bring this up is because I've seen people make the point you have and the conversation on other social sites too often becomes "hurr durr why aren't you a pacifist vegan then if you think all killing is bad?"
That's a real shit counter argument.

The reason I like the concept of Ahisma is because though it considers all killing is bad, it acknowledges that all killing is not equal. The karmic hit for killing a spider is lesser than a cow, which is lesser than an "average" person, which is lesser than a "holy or positive Karma" person (for this discussion, lets assume fetuses have positive karma).

I don't think anyone (if they're being intellectually honest) would disagree with your assessment of what makes an alive thing. They may, as @JedisonsDad has pointed out, not view an embryo as "sentient". I fall in this camp.

I don't see how we really reconcile the non-sentient viewpoint with the life begins at conception viewpoint (full disclosure, conception is the Buddhist viewpoint).
Love the explanation and reasoning; I don't feel the delineation of "sentient" is appropriate, unless we have a clear line on when the embryo crosses the line to sentient, and we can apply a time limit to that. Sentient or not, you're ending an innocent life, and since I called my shot, that's the line I am drawing.

Bill Burr had a great joke on this that highlights a pretty big hole in the old, "humans are just bags of cells" argument.

“It’s not a baby yet, that’s what they say,” Burr says. “Which may or may not be true, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But I’ll tell you, my gut tells me, that doesn’t make sense.”

“’It’s not a baby yet’ … that would be like if I was making a cake and I poured some batter in a pan, and I put it in the oven, and then five minutes later you came by and you grabbed the pan and you threw it across the floor, and I went ‘What the f***? You just ruined my birthday cake!’ and then you were like, ‘Well, that wasn’t a cake yet.’”


He continued, “It’s like, ‘Well, it would have been if you didn’t do what you just did, there would have been a cake in 50 minutes.’ Something happened to that cake, you cake-murdering son of a b****.”
 

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Love the explanation and reasoning; I don't feel the delineation of "sentient" is appropriate, unless we have a clear line on when the embryo crosses the line to sentient, and we can apply a time limit to that. Sentient or not, you're ending an innocent life, and since I called my shot, that's the line I am drawing.

Bill Burr had a great joke on this that highlights a pretty big hole in the old, "humans are just bags of cells" argument.

“It’s not a baby yet, that’s what they say,” Burr says. “Which may or may not be true, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But I’ll tell you, my gut tells me, that doesn’t make sense.”

“’It’s not a baby yet’ … that would be like if I was making a cake and I poured some batter in a pan, and I put it in the oven, and then five minutes later you came by and you grabbed the pan and you threw it across the floor, and I went ‘What the f***? You just ruined my birthday cake!’ and then you were like, ‘Well, that wasn’t a cake yet.’”


He continued, “It’s like, ‘Well, it would have been if you didn’t do what you just did, there would have been a cake in 50 minutes.’ Something happened to that cake, you cake-murdering son of a b****.”

Yea, lines get real blurry on what "sentient" is based on our understanding of it.
For example, most people probably don't think of spiders as sentient, but what if we learned They show signs of having REM sleep and dreams?

Does that move them higher up on the ladder of what we consider sentience? If we learned a zygote had measurable sentience, would pro-choice people become pro-life? It's an interesting idea.

The Bill Burr bit is a good one. I don't think enough people on the pro-choice side actually give thought to the example he uses, because it's easier to say "it's not human".
It's much harder to say "I think you're killing a baby, but I'm still pro choice because your body (autonomy) comes first".
 

amlove21

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It's much harder to say "I think you're killing a baby, but I'm still pro choice because your body (autonomy) comes first".
Exactly, and well put. That question was the beginning for the end for me, actually.

Again, this has nothing to do with legislation, just a philosophical exploration of the topic.
 

JedisonsDad

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Love the explanation and reasoning; I don't feel the delineation of "sentient" is appropriate, unless we have a clear line on when the embryo crosses the line to sentient, and we can apply a time limit to that. Sentient or not, you're ending an innocent life, and since I called my shot, that's the line I am drawing.

Bill Burr had a great joke on this that highlights a pretty big hole in the old, "humans are just bags of cells" argument.

“It’s not a baby yet, that’s what they say,” Burr says. “Which may or may not be true, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But I’ll tell you, my gut tells me, that doesn’t make sense.”

“’It’s not a baby yet’ … that would be like if I was making a cake and I poured some batter in a pan, and I put it in the oven, and then five minutes later you came by and you grabbed the pan and you threw it across the floor, and I went ‘What the f***? You just ruined my birthday cake!’ and then you were like, ‘Well, that wasn’t a cake yet.’”


He continued, “It’s like, ‘Well, it would have been if you didn’t do what you just did, there would have been a cake in 50 minutes.’ Something happened to that cake, you cake-murdering son of a b****.”
I swear I’m not trying to be contrarian or argue semantics, but to me, a pan of batter is not a cake. A pan of batter is a pan of batter. It does not become that cake until it’s out the oven, cooled, and frosted.

Similar to my opinion.
 

amlove21

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I swear I’m not trying to be contrarian or argue semantics, but to me, a pan of batter is not a cake. A pan of batter is a pan of batter. It does not become that cake until it’s out the oven, cooled, and frosted.

Similar to my opinion.
Would you agree then, that a fertilized embryo will in fact turn into a sentient being? That, left alone, those "collection of cells" will become a human, and further- that even in gestation, that thing is alive?

(also, minus one interwebs point for not just laughing at a funny joke)
 

JedisonsDad

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Would you agree then, that a fertilized embryo will in fact turn into a sentient being? That, left alone, those "collection of cells" will become a human, and further- that even in gestation, that thing is alive?

(also, minus one interwebs point for not just laughing at a funny joke)
I will agree that eventually it will turn into a sentient being. And I will agree that even during gestation it is alive.

However, I will also offer the counter argument that much like a tumor, it is at a time, a non-sentient collection of cells, with unique DNA, that is unable to sustain itself or grow without some form of parasitic relationship.
 

amlove21

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I will agree that eventually it will turn into a sentient being. And I will agree that even during gestation it is alive.

However, I will also offer the counter argument that much like a tumor, it is at a time, a non-sentient collection of cells, with unique DNA, that is unable to sustain itself or grow without some form of parasitic relationship.
Agree with your first part, and hard disagree with the second. That may make the argument more palatable to someone that doesn’t just want to say, “I agree I’m terminating the life of a child”, but your comparison is in no way the same.

No animosity, just a really bad argument, IMO.
 

TLDR20

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Agree with your first part, and hard disagree with the second. That may make the argument more palatable to someone that doesn’t just want to say, “I agree I’m terminating the life of a child”, but your comparison is in no way the same.

No animosity, just a really bad argument, IMO.

As a thought experiment, what if I take stem cells from say a foreskin, and I turn them into Nuerons, or cardiac cells, and they make a heart over a 3-D printed scaffold, that beats, is it alive? The nuerons conduct electrical signals, the cardiac cells have automaticity. Are they alive?


I’ll say it though, my thought is basically, “I agree with terminating the life of a fetus, that is under the age of xxxx(tbd by the current science of the day)”
 

JedisonsDad

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Agree with your first part, and hard disagree with the second. That may make the argument more palatable to someone that doesn’t just want to say, “I agree I’m terminating the life of a child”, but your comparison is in no way the same.

No animosity, just a really bad argument, IMO.
I’ll take that. Maybe it’s that I’m not thinking of things in a black and white manner, and I tend not.

I don’t know enough about this, but what is the national average gestation age that states begin to prosecute for manslaughter or whatever the charge they go with, when it comes to car wrecks or whatever where a pregnant woman is killed and the fetus is not viable?

I will still fall back to my overarching opinion that the government, especially on a federal level, should not be the ones to decide laws covering this subject. If states want to be more restrictive, let them. It’s more realistic to move from a state than it is to move from a country. And you’re more liking to have a meaningful vote on the smaller scale.
 

TLDR20

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Exactly, and well put. That question was the beginning for the end for me, actually.

Again, this has nothing to do with legislation, just a philosophical exploration of the topic.

I appreciate your differentiation of the philosophical from the legislative. I would say that I am significantly more legislatively pro choice than personally.

I also appreciate your responses. Though I disagree.
 

amlove21

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As a thought experiment, what if I take stem cells from say a foreskin, and I turn them into Nuerons, or cardiac cells, and they make a heart over a 3-D printed scaffold, that beats, is it alive? The nuerons conduct electrical signals, the cardiac cells have automaticity. Are they alive?


I’ll say it though, my thought is basically, “I agree with terminating the life of a fetus, that is under the age of xxxx(tbd by the current science of the day)”
I'll play your game! I would ask-

Will it grow? Can it reproduce? Does it have the potential for further sustained life? I think those answers are "no." While the organic matter may be alive, I would put this in the inanimate category. The natural outgrowth of this would be, "I can make an android with AI that's sentient- is that alive?"

I’ll take that. Maybe it’s that I’m not thinking of things in a black and white manner, and I tend not.

I don’t know enough about this, but what is the national average gestation age that states begin to prosecute for manslaughter or whatever the charge they go with, when it comes to car wrecks or whatever where a pregnant woman is killed and the fetus is not viable?

I will still fall back to my overarching opinion that the government, especially on a federal level, should not be the ones to decide laws covering this subject. If states want to be more restrictive, let them. It’s more realistic to move from a state than it is to move from a country. And you’re more liking to have a meaningful vote on the smaller scale.
This is an exquisite set of facts to try and sift through. Again, I am not talking about legislation at all; you keep bringing it back there. My views on "what the government should be involved in" are clear- absolutely nothing. Secure the borders, and protect the sovereign citizens, that's what the government is there to do.

To your bolded- what a fun concept to explore. We will give you double life in prison if you kill a pregnant woman (and by the way there are court cases of women being murdered in the first few weeks of pregnancy and the murderer gets double life), citing the death of the baby.

But at the exact same period in gestation, you're allowed to kill that baby because you don't feel like having a baby and people insist it's just a cluster of cells.
 
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