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  1. #21
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Are conjoined twins then one person? Even if they have different brains, personalities? If they are separate individuals except that they share a portion of their intestinal tract that we cannot replace, does that make them a single individual?
    I was considering that very thing when making my post! There is a difference to some degree in that most mothers can abort and yet not risk death to the degree that you would have with such twins. I think the answer ultimately is we treat the two twins as individuals so far as we are able to, and we treat them as a single person so far as we must.

    For instance, if one twin were to commit murder and the other had not part in it. We may well be forced to imprison both or set both free despite each deserving something different. We are simply powerless to treat them as individuals in this case because judgement of one requires the same treatment of the other by virtue of their forced proximity. In other cases, say school grades, we could effectively differentiate and treat them as separate individuals.

    With abortion you are either forced to enact tight controls on the mother, or surrender the child to her authority.

    Likewise, is that determination of rights based on our decision to develop said technology? Are they two people because I chose to invent an intestinal replacement device? Are they fundamentally one person because I chose not to?
    Well, you should know me well enough to know I don't hold with "fundamentals" in that sense. If we have the technology to bring the child to term without the mother then we have the power to effectively mandate she surrender the child to the state if she will not care for it. If we don't then we don't. For various reasons science will inevitably peruse that objective, both to allow us to prevent such abortions and to save the lives of fetuses which mothers are unable to support for purely physical reasons.

    It is I think the most rational standard. If we instead think that any fetus has a fundamental right to live, then we should logically say that any mother expected to miscarry is morally obligated not to attempt to have a child as there is serious risk a life will be created with the expectation it will die prematurely. I just don't think there is a fundamental right to live. We all die, some early, some late, and for all kinds of reasons. What we are really interested in what we as humans do or don't do to help ensure life. Rights are things we come up with to make our lives better and work together. And in that we must also consider what we can or cannot do and weigh that against other values we hold dear such as liberty and comfort.

    I'm a person of balance. I don't think a philosophy of maximizing the human population is a good one. Yet I am also against the idea we must constrict it and worry some for what would happen if we trend to far in limiting it. I don't think our biology should be the absolute rule of our choices. And I don't think that an early fetus has any real sense of self such that we should automatically treat it as a full member of our society, especially now when we are technically unable to do so. I think we have to find a middle ground that both respects life and the value of procreation but also recognizes the cold practicalities of life, that it is not guaranteed and there is not unlimited capacity for it in any given society.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Well, you should know me well enough to know I don't hold with "fundamentals" in that sense. If we have the technology to bring the child to term without the mother then we have the power to effectively mandate she surrender the child to the state if she will not care for it. If we don't then we don't. For various reasons science will inevitably peruse that objective, both to allow us to prevent such abortions and to save the lives of fetuses which mothers are unable to support for purely physical reasons.
    Let me alter the scenario a bit then. Lets say that we have an island, there are originally five people on it. A woman and four men. She gets pregnant. Since none of the men are capable of feeding the child until it is weened onto solid foods, does that child then not have rights until it is a year (or whatever age) old? Can the mother then smother it at 6 months after birth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    It is I think the most rational standard. If we instead think that any fetus has a fundamental right to live, then we should logically say that any mother expected to miscarry is morally obligated not to attempt to have a child as there is serious risk a life will be created with the expectation it will die prematurely. I just don't think there is a fundamental right to live. We all die, some early, some late, and for all kinds of reasons.
    This is conflating dieing as a natural cause with dieing from intentional acts. Its like saying there is no difference between bearing a child, knowing someday that it will die and shooting it. You appear to be saying that because something will die anyway, eventually, then there really isn't any moral difference in murder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Rights are things we come up with to make our lives better and work together.
    So then we as a society can take rights away to make our lives better as well right? As such we could take a subset of the population and deprive them of any rights so that they might serve us, making our lives better and making it easier?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  3. #23
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Let me alter the scenario a bit then. Lets say that we have an island, there are originally five people on it. A woman and four men. She gets pregnant. Since none of the men are capable of feeding the child until it is weened onto solid foods, does that child then not have rights until it is a year (or whatever age) old? Can the mother then smother it at 6 months after birth?
    A good scenario. Yes, the mother could smother the child. The men have no alternative but to allow the other to be with the child so she can feed it. If she intends to kill the child even by refusing it food, the only alternative they would have is to enslave her. Tie her down and allow the child to feed. Much as to preserve the child's life we would have to imprison a woman and restrain her so she could not do herself harm enough to abort the child. Its possible but extremely drastic effort.

    This is conflating dieing as a natural cause with dieing from intentional acts. Its like saying there is no difference between bearing a child, knowing someday that it will die and shooting it. You appear to be saying that because something will die anyway, eventually, then there really isn't any moral difference in murder.
    It is not. I was responding to your claim of something "fundamental". I think that if you are talking fundamental, you have to go beyond the idea of what we chose to do and to what is possible and what is not. When you are talking about intentional acts, you move outside of what is fundamental and into what is social decision making.

    And again, for me, morality is not objective or fundamental, it is social and human. That doesn't make it unimportant, but its a meaningful distinction. We can't impose our morality on reality. We can judge a thing moral or immoral, but its a pointless judgement if we have no practical control over it. Its just hot air at that point. Its like declairing its immoral not to fly when we simply aren't capable of flying. To say all life must be preserved only makes sense if you can realistically preserve that life.

    We have had bans on abortion, and they largely only lead to illegal abortions. We don't have the desire to impose the kind of control it would take to actually enforce such behaviors with any kind of regularity. We can punish people for not following our moral code, but it doesn't actually result in any greater good if the act itself is largely unabated. And I think that is the problem with much legislation of control. It seeks to implement controls that cannot be realistically implemented and go strongly contrary to common intrinsic human behavior.

    So then we as a society can take rights away to make our lives better as well right? As such we could take a subset of the population and deprive them of any rights so that they might serve us, making our lives better and making it easier?
    Absolutely. Its been done many times. It happens to this day in many respects. We have had to work very hard indeed to try and stave off such behavior to a reasonable degree. Yet we always recognize that exercising some control is required when there are people who have no interest in respecting others as individuals. Both absolute control and absolute freedom are problematic from a social perspective. Equilibrium is what we, and nature in general tend to strive towards.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Concerted, focused, ongoing, objective, factual (scientific), non-biased, education using modern day media tools regarding the development of human life at all stages of development.

    I think if people knew better, most people will do better, i.e. the right thing with regards to abortion. Ignorance and convenience can be an easy choice. But ignorance is never bliss. It's just a temporary convenient excuse.

    A concerted, well funded, sustained, objective educational campaign for all young adults about the development of human life, will not make the controversy go away, but after a few years it would probably take it down to a low roar. Just like anything else in our so called enlightened society, when we're objectively educated and informed with the facts, common sense often sets in; reason sets in and a new thinking begins to develop.
    I completely agree. I've often run into people who have formed their opinions on this issue based solely off of what other people have told them, but seem to know little about unbiased facts otherwise. Instead, they tend to just believe whatever people tell them.

  5. #25
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That seems an arbitrary connection. How are my individual rights incumbent on technology levels? What is the causal factor?
    I'm talking about "the right to life" as a legal concept - that is, when society has an obligation to protect one's life. The only clear moment when a being undoubtedly gains the right to life (as in there is a consensus on the matter) is at birth. Prior to that, it is argued by some, it does not have the right to life and therefore it can be aborted for the sake of protecting the mother's rights.

    But if the fetus can be removed from the mother and still survive then its survival is not dependent on remaining in the mother and therefore there is no conflict between the mother's rights and the fetus' survival so at that point I feel that the fetus clearly should be afforded the legal protections of the state.

    So I'm not saying that the moment of some esoteric right to life is dependent on technology. I'm saying that technology can determine when the mother's right to medical privacy and the fetus' ability to survive are no longer in conflict so at that point the fetus should be granted the legal right to life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    No, I'm arguing that nothing about transferring the responsibility from one to many or from someone who had input to create the situation to those who did not logically implies a creation of rights.
    I'm sorry. I don't understand what you are saying.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The government needs no such ability to ban an abortion, anymore than it needs to have any such ability to monitor people's movements within their own homes to ban murder. The Fourth Amendment provides no privacy protections for those who have been legitimately suspected of committing a crime.
    But since I do not consider abortion to be a crime, that is not a valid exception.
    Last edited by mican333; March 13th, 2013 at 08:07 PM.

  6. #26
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by StephTheStuden View Post
    Hello everyone, this is for a college project that I have to write on online deliberation - so please participate and help me out!

    As everyone knows abortion is a very controversial issue in the United States, and it does not appear to be going away any time soon. Many people tend to be rather polarized on this issue, but there are also the gray areas where it becomes confusing - maybe abortion is acceptable in these circumstances, maybe it should be regulated like this, etc.


    • Should abortion be completely legal, or completely illegal?
    • Or what are certain regulations or circumstances in which possible laws could/should have exceptions? Age restrictions, health reasons, rape cases, insurance policies, cost, etc?
    • Is making abortions illegal a violation of the woman's rights? Or is maybe allowing abortions a violation of the unborn child's life?
    • How could this debate be solved?
    Completely legal
    Only that taxpayers not fund it
    It is not a violation of any rights.
    By social conservatives realizing that they dont have the right to impose their moral views on other people. It helps to realize that most abortions are done by Liberals that would otherwise be giving birth to more liberals.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

  7. #27
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    A good scenario. Yes, the mother could smother the child.
    Ok, so under this scenario a 1 year old baby, that can walk, recognize faces, express preferences, etc is not a human being with inherent rights?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    It is not. I was responding to your claim of something "fundamental". I think that if you are talking fundamental, you have to go beyond the idea of what we chose to do and to what is possible and what is not. When you are talking about intentional acts, you move outside of what is fundamental and into what is social decision making.
    I think that mistakes what I'm asking. I'm asking what changes in the individual in question that determines their right's status? That has to be something inherent to the individual and absent our social state, dynamics or preferences. Because if it is tied to these then we find very quickly that we can rationalize a state with slavery or a social state where its ok to kill the mentally retarded or young children. I think that once you tie an individual's rights to the whims or choices of a society at large the argument is easily reduced to absurdity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Absolutely. Its been done many times.
    Because something was done does not mean that it was moral obviously. Are you saying that slavery during the 1850s was a moral act?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'm talking about "the right to life" as a legal concept - that is, when society has an obligation to protect one's life. The only clear moment when a being undoubtedly gains the right to life (as in there is a consensus on the matter) is at birth. Prior to that, it is argued by some, it does not have the right to life and therefore it can be aborted for the sake of protecting the mother's rights.
    I'm not sure there is a consensus on that. Further, the fact that there is a consensus is relatively irrelevant. Because society votes someone not to have rights does not mean they do not have them unless we are willing to accept slavery, eugenics and other unpleasant things as logical possible outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But if the fetus can be removed from the mother and still survive then its survival is not dependent on remaining in the mother and therefore there is no conflict between the mother's rights and the fetus' survival so at that point I feel that the fetus clearly should be afforded the legal protections of the state.
    Which I think comes to my other objection. I don't see how diffusing the responsibility for the infant overcomes the mother's possible objections. If the mother has the right not to be "burdened" we don't make that scenario better by making us all burdened by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    I'm sorry. I don't understand what you are saying.
    Similar to end of the above, there is nothing about transferring the obligation of care from one person to many persons that necessitates the creation of rights. It isn't as if I don't have First Amendment rights when talking to one person, but suddenly gain them when talking to many. The right is tied to the being, not to the support structure for that being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But since I do not consider abortion to be a crime, that is not a valid exception.
    The medical privacy argument was made to strike down the law, that is why it fails here. The argument you are providing becomes void if we enact abortion as a law. Because the government doesn't need to invade her medical privacy (she has no such claim if she has broken the law or if a warrant is granted) to outlaw the action, it only needs to suspend her privacy via due process to investigate a crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someguy View Post
    It is not a violation of any rights.
    At what point are rights granted and under what mechanism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Someguy
    By social conservatives realizing that they dont have the right to impose their moral views on other people.
    Would this include murder? Remember that is their argument, that you are killing another human being. That isn't some morally relativistic view, it is a pretty fundamental underpinning of cooperative society.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  8. #28
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure there is a consensus on that.
    Of course there is. There is no debate in our society on whether a newborn has a right to life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Further, the fact that there is a consensus is relatively irrelevant. Because society votes someone not to have rights does not mean they do not have them unless we are willing to accept slavery, eugenics and other unpleasant things as logical possible outcomes.
    If we are discussing the right to life as a legal concept (as in when society should set laws protecting the fetus) we cannot divorce it from society. If I'm incorrect about this, then tell me how society is suppose to set its laws concerning people's rights.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Which I think comes to my other objection. I don't see how diffusing the responsibility for the infant overcomes the mother's possible objections. If the mother has the right not to be "burdened" we don't make that scenario better by making us all burdened by it.
    It's not an issue of the Mother's burden but of her right to medical privacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Similar to end of the above, there is nothing about transferring the obligation of care from one person to many persons that necessitates the creation of rights.
    You got it backwards. The creation of the fetus/child'rights necessitates the obligation of care from society if the mother will not care for the child.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The medical privacy argument was made to strike down the law, that is why it fails here. The argument you are providing becomes void if we enact abortion as a law. Because the government doesn't need to invade her medical privacy (she has no such claim if she has broken the law or if a warrant is granted) to outlaw the action, it only needs to suspend her privacy via due process to investigate a crime.
    And just whatever people want to call a "crime" will fit the bill or is there a certain criteria for when a legal exception to a person's right to privacy can be granted? I mean if we can violate a person's right to privacy on mere whim, the right ceases to effectively exist.

  9. #29
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Of course there is. There is no debate in our society on whether a newborn has a right to life.
    Did you read Sig's post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    If we are discussing the right to life as a legal concept (as in when society should set laws protecting the fetus) we cannot divorce it from society. If I'm incorrect about this, then tell me how society is suppose to set its laws concerning people's rights.
    Not by popular opinion, laws concerning rights are based on the inalienable concept as laid forth in the founding documents. As a more practical matter we recognize rights as inherent to the individual. On a more theoretical matter we have to deal with the practical implications of the concept of rights being granted by the state as outlined earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    It's not an issue of the Mother's burden but of her right to medical privacy.
    Privacy is not a justification for the act though, privacy is an attempt to prevent laws in this area, it is not a moral or legal justification as to her ability to get an abortion. Just as my privacy prevents a cop from randomly instigating a breathalyzer does not allow me to drive drunk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    You got it backwards. The creation of the fetus/child'rights necessitates the obligation of care from society if the mother will not care for the child.
    I think you might be getting a bit lost in your own reasoning here. The justification for when a mother could or could not get an abortion for you was viability. That means that the child attains the "right" not to be killed if it is viable, regardless of whether or not it is in the womb. That means that the definition of viable (care can be transferred to many from one) somehow confers the right upon the child. It is the mechanism or reasoning behind that conferring that I am questioning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    And just whatever people want to call a "crime" will fit the bill or is there a certain criteria for when a legal exception to a person's right to privacy can be granted? I mean if we can violate a person's right to privacy on mere whim, the right ceases to effectively exist.
    Exactly, the law itself must be legal, that is why "privacy" fails as an explanation for striking down the law. It isn't that the government is prosecuting a crime that would be the problem, it would need to be a substantive violation of her rights by the act of making it criminal. For example, if abortion were illegal and a woman had one then said in a public area "I had an abortion" her prosecution would have zero privacy issues. Rather, if we are to maintain that the act of an abortion itself is illegal, rather than the discovery and prosecution of that act, then we must provide justification as to how the act itself is an inherent right.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  10. #30
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ok, so under this scenario a 1 year old baby, that can walk, recognize faces, express preferences, etc is not a human being with inherent rights?
    The child is human. Inherent rights are a fiction. Rights only pertain to how you interact with other human beings, you thus only have the rights that other human beings are willing or able to grant you. A man alone in the woods has no rights of any meaningful kind. Only if there is another person does the question of rights even arise, and then only if the two are cooperative rather than competitive. If the group is powerless to preserve the life of the child, then it is not a right the child can have. We could pay it lip service, but that is all.

    I think that mistakes what I'm asking. I'm asking what changes in the individual in question that determines their right's status?
    The ability of society to effectively observe that right.

    That has to be something inherent to the individual and absent our social state, dynamics or preferences.
    Why? The only reason I can find is it gives us comfort to think we have something that no other person can impact. An ultimate appeal of justice that no man can ignore. That is one of the motivations for creating the idea of supreme deities or supreme ideals. But the reality we experience is that a man alone has no rights. A bear can come and eat him and there is no appeal other than to his own strength. A flood can carry him and all his assertions away. Nothing fundamental or inherent protects his life, property or anything else. It is only when humans get together and decide that we will protect one another from harm that a contract of mutual respect is created. Then you are embodied with rights that are defended or violated by other members of society.

    I'm all for rights, I love rights. But I don't maintain the idea that they exist in some fundamental form. The are something we fight for and love and work at and defend, and argue over. They are our efforts to strive for the best way of life. The most fulfilling and successful humanity we can manage. But they are not given to us by god or nature or anything else. We have to take them and make them for ourselves.

    If on that Island you want to protect that child, you will need to use your ingenuity to find a way to sustain its life apart from its mother. Its the only way that child can have the right to live you want to grant it. Rights are a product of effort to defend a thing you value, be it life, liberty, or happiness.

    Because if it is tied to these then we find very quickly that we can rationalize a state with slavery or a social state where its ok to kill the mentally retarded or young children. I think that once you tie an individual's rights to the whims or choices of a society at large the argument is easily reduced to absurdity.
    You have an objectivity viewpoint, that only the absolute, only the eternal has any meaning. It is not absurd to say, "I feel that life deserves to be protected whenever possible" and then to take action to protect it. Especially if many in society agree with you. Then you can all work to make that a virtue that is respected. But if you lack the power to do it, then its silly to claim authority. Its like a homeless man claiming to be my king. Not that it stops many of us from trying, but I don't think it wise. Rarely is there a good outcome from trying to enforce your will when you lack the power to do so. It is far wiser to first gain the means, then enact your vision.

    Because something was done does not mean that it was moral obviously. Are you saying that slavery during the 1850s was a moral act?
    No. If you bring morality into this you should know exactly where we will end up. We have had that discussion. you have an objectivity world view where there is a single standard for right and wrong. I have a subjectivity view where each man decides for himself what is right or wrong and in society we work to some consensus view that holds sway. Those who were slavers may have felt it a moral good. We who are not clearly find it to be a moral evil. Whichever of us holds power will make the contemporary judgement, though that judgement is still a subjective rather than objective claim.
    Last edited by Sigfried; March 14th, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Did you read Sig's post?
    No. And while a person can argue that a newborn baby does not have the right to life (since a person can argue anything), it is generally not something that is seriously forwarded for legal consideration.

    I don't recall ever hearing a public debate on whether to legalize infanticide.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Not by popular opinion, laws concerning rights are based on the inalienable concept as laid forth in the founding documents. As a more practical matter we recognize rights as inherent to the individual. On a more theoretical matter we have to deal with the practical implications of the concept of rights being granted by the state as outlined earlier.
    But when the founding documents cannot answer a pertinent question such as when in the stage of development one attains those inalienable rights then it's up to the people to decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Privacy is not a justification for the act though, privacy is an attempt to prevent laws in this area, it is not a moral or legal justification as to her ability to get an abortion.
    Privacy is a legal justification for allowing ANY act that the government does not have a legitimate interest in preventing.

    I agree that the government has a legitimate interest in preventing murder so I likewise do agree that the government can interfere with a person's right to privacy when it comes to investigation a murder. But that is an exception to the general principle that the government has no legitimate reason to even know what actions a person takes, much less interfere with their actions. And of course, I allow other exceptions for other actions that I feel the government has a legitimate interest in preventing.

    But I do not feel that the government has a legitimate interest in preventing abortion and therefore there should be no abortion exception to one's right to privacy in that regards.

    As a similar example, I do not agree with laws against drug use because I don't believe that the government has the right to determine what people can ingest. I know the government currently has the legal ability to infringe on our rights in all kinds of ways due to current drug laws but I morally do not agree with them so I hold that laws against drug use are a violation of the right to privacy due to having no legitimate reason for an exception in the same way that laws against abortion would be a violation of the right to privacy. And just because laws are on the books do not make them morally legitimate (to say otherwise is to engage in an is-ought fallacy).

    So I do not agree that the right to privacy does not allow abortion since I disagree that abortion morally qualifies as an exception to the right to privacy.

    I think that answer covers your last point as well so I will not respond to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think you might be getting a bit lost in your own reasoning here. The justification for when a mother could or could not get an abortion for you was viability. That means that the child attains the "right" not to be killed if it is viable, regardless of whether or not it is in the womb. That means that the definition of viable (care can be transferred to many from one) somehow confers the right upon the child. It is the mechanism or reasoning behind that conferring that I am questioning.
    If society has no greater obligation than ensuring that a fetus survives, then it morally has the obligation to keep it alive and therefore it has attained the legal right to life. And once a fetus can survive outside of its mothers womb her right to medical privacy no longer applies and therefore society has the moral obligation to keep the fetus alive because there is no greater obligation that allows society to kill it or let it die.

  12. #32
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The child is human. Inherent rights are a fiction. Rights only pertain to how you interact with other human beings, you thus only have the rights that other human beings are willing or able to grant you. A man alone in the woods has no rights of any meaningful kind. Only if there is another person does the question of rights even arise, and then only if the two are cooperative rather than competitive. If the group is powerless to preserve the life of the child, then it is not a right the child can have. We could pay it lip service, but that is all.
    This is why I was arguing that this view can easily be reduced to an absurdity. There are no such things as rights in this view, rather what has happened is that word "right" has been substituted for what is more commonly understood as an "entitlement." This is best demonstrated in your discussion of the child's ability to live. A right is not a guarantee of success. I have the right to express my political opinion, it does not mean anyone has to listen. I have the right to bear arms, it does not mean someone must sell them to me.

    A man alone in the woods absolutely has rights, because there is no one around to which defend those rights against does not change that fact anymore than the fact I am sitting in a chair does not remove my ability to walk.

    I think a good deal of the rest of the post is a result of this linguistic substitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    You have an objectivity viewpoint, that only the absolute, only the eternal has any meaning. It is not absurd to say, "I feel that life deserves to be protected whenever possible" and then to take action to protect it. Especially if many in society agree with you. Then you can all work to make that a virtue that is respected. But if you lack the power to do it, then its silly to claim authority. Its like a homeless man claiming to be my king. Not that it stops many of us from trying, but I don't think it wise. Rarely is there a good outcome from trying to enforce your will when you lack the power to do so. It is far wiser to first gain the means, then enact your vision.
    Under what authority then does viability become the standard at which a mother can no longer smother the child? Shouldn't, under your view of a right, it rather be independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    No. If you bring morality into this you should know exactly where we will end up.
    Fine, then, in your opinion, did Blacks not have rights in the 1850s?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No. And while a person can argue that a newborn baby does not have the right to life (since a person can argue anything), it is generally not something that is seriously forwarded for legal consideration.

    I don't recall ever hearing a public debate on whether to legalize infanticide.
    Well it was in the 1920s and 30s, but that is outside the scope of what I'm implying just yet.

    My point though was that this type of reasoning follows quite easily from the that type of logic. Regardless we can move along to something else if you would like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But when the founding documents cannot answer a pertinent question such as when in the stage of development one attains those inalienable rights then it's up to the people to decide.
    That, perhaps, is an eventual resort, however legally we are to look at the standards of the time the rules were decided and the context they were decided in to answer those questions. Failing that we should at least follow a rational argument as to the nature of rights and rights conference rather than engaging in an appeal to popularity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    Privacy is a legal justification for allowing ANY act that the government does not have a legitimate interest in preventing.
    This isn't true at all. The government has no legitimate interest in preventing a person from reading a book on a park bench. Privacy is not at stake here, individual freedom of action is. The fact that the government knows about you reading that book isn't germane to their lack of legitimate interest in regulating what you are reading on the bench.

    Remember that you waive your right to privacy by performing an action in a public area. Because you engage in drug use in a public area does not mean that you then waive your ability to use them right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    If society has no greater obligation than ensuring that a fetus survives, then it morally has the obligation to keep it alive and therefore it has attained the legal right to life.
    Why does a fetus's right to life imply that society must act to actively keep it alive as opposed to simply preventing anyone else from killing it? Take a 32 year old man, who clearly has a right to life, we aren't obligated to feed, clothe, house, etc him, we are simply obligated to not kill him.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  13. #33
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That, perhaps, is an eventual resort, however legally we are to look at the standards of the time the rules were decided and the context they were decided in to answer those questions. Failing that we should at least follow a rational argument as to the nature of rights and rights conference rather than engaging in an appeal to popularity.
    I don't consider my argument an appeal to popularity. I'm just telling you what I think are the appropriate laws. Basically I'm using myself for an example of pro-choice belief (and while I don't speak for all pro-choicers - no one can - I think my views are fairly mainstream) and all you are getting from me is what I think and what other people think is not at issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This isn't true at all. The government has no legitimate interest in preventing a person from reading a book on a park bench.
    It also has no legitimate interest in knowing what the person is reading as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Privacy is not at stake here, individual freedom of action is. The fact that the government knows about you reading that book isn't germane to their lack of legitimate interest in regulating what you are reading on the bench.
    In the case of medical decisions, action is directly tied to privacy. Again, if the government has no right to know what you are doing, then it certainly has no right to prevent you from doing it.

    And any argument concerning what one is doing in public is irrelevant since medical decisions like whether to have an abortion are generally not made in public.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why does a fetus's right to life imply that society must act to actively keep it alive as opposed to simply preventing anyone else from killing it?
    That's not a relevant issue. The point is I hold that once a fetus can survive on its own, then it is entitled to whatever else people with the rights of the society receive for there is no competing issues that make denying it those rights acceptable.

    So it doesn't matter what we give or deny those who are viewed to have a right to life by the society. The point is whatever those things are, I hold that the fetus is morally entitled to them once it is viable.
    Last edited by mican333; March 15th, 2013 at 06:16 AM.

  14. #34
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This is why I was arguing that this view can easily be reduced to an absurdity. There are no such things as rights in this view, rather what has happened is that word "right" has been substituted for what is more commonly understood as an "entitlement." This is best demonstrated in your discussion of the child's ability to live. A right is not a guarantee of success. I have the right to express my political opinion, it does not mean anyone has to listen. I have the right to bear arms, it does not mean someone must sell them to me.
    What you call absurd is the truth. And thus it is not absurd at all. Rights are real, they exist, but the do not come from simply existing. The come from the hard work of human beings. Just like doughnuts or automobiles or haircuts. They are a product of humanity, just as real as anything else we make or do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entitlement
    An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society.

    http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/entitlement
    An entitlement is the right to a particular privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom. You have a legal entitlement to speak to a lawyer if you're ever arrested and put in jail.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/entitle
    To give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying claim:

    So you can see that entitlements and rights are very much of a kind.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights
    Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.

    Without people, there are no rights, just circumstance. Without people nothing is owed, deserved, respected, granted, revoked, or governed. Only in society can there be any rights or violation of rights. Rights are a product not of the universe, or god, but of ourselves. We make them, we break them.

    A man alone in the woods absolutely has rights, because there is no one around to which defend those rights against does not change that fact anymore than the fact I am sitting in a chair does not remove my ability to walk.
    Seriously? So what is your property when you are the only person in the universe? Might as well be all of it because its impossible to contest it. What right of life do you have against starvation or exposure? Can you claim infringement if you are struck by lightning? You have no rights, you don't have any need of them, and you have no protection of them. If you want a case of absurdity it is this. To say you have a right to property if there are no other human beings to claim it, or a right to life when nature can kill you off at any moment without recourse. It is irrational and meaningless which is the root of the meaning of absurdity.

    Rights become meaningless nonsense. I have a right to light my farts. I have a right to ride rainbow unicorns to planet Zorfrib. I have the right to be a vampire.

    But when there are humans involved, rights have defined meanings. I have the right not to be attacked by you, and other humans will act to stop you or punish you if you violate this right. Now we have impact and remedy. Now you have something that can be taken away and something that can be preserved. Now rights are real and rational and meaningful.

    Under what authority then does viability become the standard at which a mother can no longer smother the child?
    I'm surprised you can't answer this by now....

    By the authority of the society the child is part of. By the 5 men and 1 woman on the island. They are the only authority available.

    Shouldn't, under your view of a right, it rather be independence?
    No. Its simply a question of the scope of power of the authority in play. If they can protect the child's life it has a meaningful right, if they cannot it does not.

    Imagine passing a law that men have the right to give birth. What value does it have unless such a thing is even possible? It is an absurd right as it essentially doesn't exist. Insisting that a child has the right to live when the group has no power to keep it alive is ridiculous.

    Fine, then, in your opinion, did Blacks not have rights in the 1850s?
    That is a demonstrably true statement. Blacks did not have rights, that is why we had to have the civil war and the civil rights movement, to ensure they were given rights and treated equal under the law as other men.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  15. #35
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I don't consider my argument an appeal to popularity. I'm just telling you what I think are the appropriate laws. You may not agree with me but I don't see any basis for the claim that there are inherent flaws in my personal beliefs on the matter.
    My apologies, I meant more the idea that rights should be determined based on the majority opinion concerning what they are and when they apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    It also has no legitimate interest in knowing what the person is reading.
    Fine, but they could have a legitimate interest in knowing that you are reading on that bench.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    In the case of medical decisions, action is directly tied to privacy. Again, if the government has no right to know what you are doing, then it certainly has no right to prevent you from doing it.
    They are not necessarily tied. There is nothing inherent in a medical decision or procedure that makes it private. For example, if I am prescribed marijuana for glaucoma and I smoke it in a public park the government might well know that I am doing it (since it is a public place), but have no recourse or legitimate reason to block it. Likewise, I can expect no privacy if I get a wart frozen off in a doctor's office that has a window facing the street, or is located in a public sphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    That's not a relevant issue. The point is I hold that once a fetus can survive on its own, then it is entitled to whatever else people with the rights of the society receive for there is no competing issues that make denying it those rights acceptable.
    But it becomes the issue when you define "survive on its own" as needing the support of others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    What you call absurd is the truth.
    The definitions you use below are a compositional fallacy. You are using the second definition of right rather than the first. http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesa...ight%5Bnoun%5D

    Because I have a just claim to something does not obligate others to sacrifice to provide it. I have a just claim to property in a storage unit in Seattle, that does not mean that others must bring me that property.

    This is obvious in the fact that I have a "right to bear arms." Does that mean then that the government is obligated to purchase and provide me with those arms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    What right of life do you have against starvation or exposure?
    Since when are starvation and exposure anthropomorphic objects that make decisions? You are the one that is arguing that a right is something that guarantees something will happen, not I. I am arguing that a right is an inherent property in a person that cannot be removed because other people wish it. It can be infringed up, it cannot be justly removed.

    The right to life doesn't guarantee that you stay alive, it means that no other person can justly remove that thing from you. A right to free speech doesn't mean people will listen, it simply means that no one can justly stop you from speaking.

    You are taking a utilitarian approach to rights that becomes contradictory quite quickly. Do we revoke a person's right to life when the have heart failure? Of course not, the right to life doesn't apply. It means that I don't stop his heart from beating, not that I must ensure that it beats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    By the authority of the society the child is part of. By the 5 men and 1 woman on the island. They are the only authority available.
    Fine, and if that society decides then to define that pregnant women have no right of abortion? Is that a just action too? If so, why don't we just have a national referendum right now on abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    No. Its simply a question of the scope of power of the authority in play. If they can protect the child's life it has a meaningful right, if they cannot it does not.
    You are confusing when a right is infringed with when it exists. By your logic if I kidnap and hide a child in a basement where no one can find it that child has no real right to freedom since the authority doesn't have the effective ability to ensure that right. If that child then really has no such right, under what logic could I possibly be punished or said to have done wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    That is a demonstrably true statement. Blacks did not have rights, that is why we had to have the civil war and the civil rights movement, to ensure they were given rights and treated equal under the law as other men.
    So then slave owners did nothing wrong then?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  16. #36
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Fine, but they could have a legitimate interest in knowing that you are reading on that bench.
    I don't know if they have a legitimate interest but if one is in public, the person in public can't expect legal privacy. But that doesn't really apply to a situation where one does seek medical privacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    They are not necessarily tied. There is nothing inherent in a medical decision or procedure that makes it private. For example, if I am prescribed marijuana for glaucoma and I smoke it in a public park the government might well know that I am doing it (since it is a public place), but have no recourse or legitimate reason to block it. Likewise, I can expect no privacy if I get a wart frozen off in a doctor's office that has a window facing the street, or is located in a public sphere.
    But what that have to do with abortion? The point is if a person wants to keep a medical decision private the government has no right to know about it and therefore they do not have the right to interfere with it. If a mistake happens and the situation becomes public, that still doesn't justify the government then investigating further.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But it becomes the issue when you define "survive on its own" as needing the support of others.
    No, it's based on the ability of others. One can objectively determine when technology allows for a fetus (or baby) to survive on its own.

  17. #37
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I don't know if they have a legitimate interest but if one is in public, the person in public can't expect legal privacy. But that doesn't really apply to a situation where one does seek medical privacy.
    But seeking privacy means that the government cannot seek out that you are reading the book, it doesn't affect their ability to regulate the book.

    To use a better example, I can't remove the legal prohibition against fraud by conducting it in secret.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But what that have to do with abortion? The point is if a person wants to keep a medical decision private the government has no right to know about it and therefore they do not have the right to interfere with it. If a mistake happens and the situation becomes public, that still doesn't justify the government then investigating further.
    But privacy only applies if the underlying action is legal. By outlawing abortion the government doesn't gain access to your medical records, they simply can get a warrant if reasonable suspicion exists. Privacy covers their investigative powers, not their legislative ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    No, it's based on the ability of others. One can objectively determine when technology allows for a fetus (or baby) to survive on its own.
    Why does theoretical access to technologies prohibit her ability to terminate the infant any more than theoretical access to a womb?

    Likewise, the argument seems to be that the mother can terminate the infant at points before viability because she is the only one with access to what it needs to survive. What if there is a machine that would allow it to survive, but I own the only one? Do I get a similar right to make that decision?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  18. #38
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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But seeking privacy means that the government cannot seek out that you are reading the book, it doesn't affect their ability to regulate the book.

    To use a better example, I can't remove the legal prohibition against fraud by conducting it in secret.
    And that's because the government has a legitimate interest in preventing fraud. But it does not have legitimate interest in knowing anything about your reading habits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But privacy only applies if the underlying action is legal. By outlawing abortion the government doesn't gain access to your medical records, they simply can get a warrant if reasonable suspicion exists. Privacy covers their investigative powers, not their legislative ones.
    But I don't agree that abortion should be illegal and therefore that is not a valid reason to interfere with a woman's right to have one. Again, we are dealing with MY views on the matter and I only need to agree that the government can infringe on a woman's medical privacy unless I agree that the government has a legitimate interest in doing so. And I do not.

    And before we go there, this is not circular reasoning. If I did not hold the position that there's a right to medical privacy, I would have no basis to say that a woman has the right to an abortion. But I do hold that there's a right to medical privacy. And I likewise do agree that there can be exceptions to privacy in the case of legitimate state interest so if I agreed that there was a legitimate state interest in preventing abortion, I would agree that her rights do not apply. But since I don't agree that there is a legitimate state interest, I do not agree that there can be this particular exception in her right to privacy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why does theoretical access to technologies prohibit her ability to terminate the infant any more than theoretical access to a womb?
    If the infant is removed from her womb and survives, she's not terminating it. It's essentially the same as a C-section birth.

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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And that's because the government has a legitimate interest in preventing fraud. But it does not have legitimate interest in knowing anything about your reading habits.
    But their legitimate interest in preventing fraud doesn't mean they can break into my home to discover it right? If they have a reasonable suspicion obtained without violating my privacy, then they can get a due process warrant and enter the home, but their legitimate interest alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    But I don't agree that abortion should be illegal and therefore that is not a valid reason to interfere with a woman's right to have one. Again, we are dealing with MY views on the matter and I only need to agree that the government can infringe on a woman's medical privacy unless I agree that the government has a legitimate interest in doing so. And I do not.
    And nothing about making it legal or illegal is related to her privacy. So if we are to discuss why it should be legal or illegal we need to have a reason related to the act itself rather than the investigative process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mican
    If the infant is removed from her womb and survives, she's not terminating it. It's essentially the same as a C-section birth.
    But it wouldn't necessarily survive without access to someone else's property. Which is why I brought up the question:

    What if there is a machine that would allow it to survive, but I own the only one? Do I get a similar right to make that decision?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Abortion - How to Solve the Controversy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But their legitimate interest in preventing fraud doesn't mean they can break into my home to discover it right? If they have a reasonable suspicion obtained without violating my privacy, then they can get a due process warrant and enter the home, but their legitimate interest alone.
    But they can't get a warrant without legitimate state interest so legitimate state interest is a prerequisite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    And nothing about making it legal or illegal is related to her privacy. So if we are to discuss why it should be legal or illegal we need to have a reason related to the act itself rather than the investigative process.
    And the default for ANY act that is done in private is that it's none of the state's business. It's only when there's a legitimate state interest involved is when we discuss the possibility of state involvement. Short of that, there's no basis to infringe on one's private decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But it wouldn't necessarily survive without access to someone else's property. Which is why I brought up the question:

    What if there is a machine that would allow it to survive, but I own the only one? Do I get a similar right to make that decision?
    Irrelevant minutia. As I said, whatever the state grants to those who it deems to have a legal right to life is what is obtained by a fetus once it is viable.

    So if society determines that everyone must do what they can to keep those with a right to life alive, then you have to let your machine be used to save a life.

    And if society determines that people do not have to help save lives if they choose not to, then you don't have to donate it.

    Regardless, it has no bearing on the legitimacy of the notion that viable fetuses have a legal right to life.

 

 
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