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Is abortion wrong?

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Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
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Steve3007
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Steve3007 » September 21st, 2017, 5:58 pm

Since we're having a go at Noobe-Noobe here (great name, by the way) I think I'll choose this part:
It may not be like killing a human because we have awareness of our existence but its like killing an animal, just because you don't want to live with it.
Killing what kind of animal, exactly? If the abortion happens when the embryo is a single cell (that may not technically be an abortion, but humour me) does that make it a bit like killing a bacterium?

Do you think abortion becomes progressively more wrong as the embryo/foetus grows in the same way that (perhaps) killing animals becomes progressively more wrong as we consider more and more complex animals? Worse to kill a chimp than a spider. Worse to kill a spider than a bacterium. That kind of thing.

-- Updated Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:11 pm to add the following --

I regularly kill bacteria because I don't want to live with them. Spiders, I tend to throw out of the back door. But if somebody else decided to kill them, I don't think I'd pass judgement much.

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Apemman7
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Apemman7 » September 27th, 2017, 10:32 am

It has been proven that the fetus doesn’t develop a conscience or a brain untill late in the pregnancy. As a result can it be characterized as murder, when something isn’t alive? And would you want to raise a baby that was a result of rape or even an accident?

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Frewah
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Frewah » October 3rd, 2018, 5:03 pm

No, it isn't. People shouldn't have to give birth if they are not ready to be parents. Overpopulation is the biggest problem we have. If there were not so many people, it would solve the climate problem. The climate problem is a symptom of overpopulation.

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h_k_s
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 25th, 2018, 9:57 pm

[quote=cynicallyinsane post_id=471 time=1177109113 user_id=21]
Is abortion wrong? Is it okay? Why?
[/quote]

Abortion is not mentioned in the Federal or State Constitution(s) (no matter what the Burger Court said about "right to privacy").

Therefore abortion is simply a legislative issue at the State level (regardless of what Roe V. Wade ruled).

Whether it is ethical to take a fetus' life versus interfere with the freedom of a female/lady/woman to exercise her own rights over control of her body is a dilemma of two opposing rights -- the ethical right of the fetus versus the ethical right of the female who is pregnant.

Either way you decide on this, you would be violating someone's right, either the fetus' right or the woman's right.

I believe it is more wrong to violate a woman's right than a fetus' right.

But you are never going to get out of this dilemma without violating one right or the other.

The safest thing is to allow the woman to make the choice. Then she is saddled with the burden of guilt, not you.

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LuckyR
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » November 26th, 2018, 3:42 am

h_k_s wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 9:57 pm
cynicallyinsane wrote:
April 20th, 2007, 6:45 pm
Is abortion wrong? Is it okay? Why?
Abortion is not mentioned in the Federal or State Constitution(s) (no matter what the Burger Court said about "right to privacy").

Therefore abortion is simply a legislative issue at the State level (regardless of what Roe V. Wade ruled).

Whether it is ethical to take a fetus' life versus interfere with the freedom of a female/lady/woman to exercise her own rights over control of her body is a dilemma of two opposing rights -- the ethical right of the fetus versus the ethical right of the female who is pregnant.

Either way you decide on this, you would be violating someone's right, either the fetus' right or the woman's right.

I believe it is more wrong to violate a woman's right than a fetus' right.

But you are never going to get out of this dilemma without violating one right or the other.

The safest thing is to allow the woman to make the choice. Then she is saddled with the burden of guilt, not you.
That is not a bad synopsis of the issues at play.
"As usual... it depends."

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h_k_s
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 26th, 2018, 1:26 pm

[quote=LuckyR post_id=324448 time=1543218165 user_id=44898]
[quote=h_k_s post_id=324430 time=1543197476 user_id=48582]


Abortion is not mentioned in the Federal or State Constitution(s) (no matter what the Burger Court said about "right to privacy").

Therefore abortion is simply a legislative issue at the State level (regardless of what Roe V. Wade ruled).

Whether it is ethical to take a fetus' life versus interfere with the freedom of a female/lady/woman to exercise her own rights over control of her body is a dilemma of two opposing rights -- the ethical right of the fetus versus the ethical right of the female who is pregnant.

Either way you decide on this, you would be violating someone's right, either the fetus' right or the woman's right.

I believe it is more wrong to violate a woman's right than a fetus' right.

But you are never going to get out of this dilemma without violating one right or the other.

The safest thing is to allow the woman to make the choice. Then she is saddled with the burden of guilt, not you.
[/quote]

That is not a bad synopsis of the issues at play.
[/quote]
Unlike the ancient Sophists of Athens whom Plato hated, or the modern Sophists who use sophistry to try to gain an advantage at the expense of truth, I myself always try to state both sides of an issue before I decide in favor of one side or the other. In persuasive writing this is always the most fair and ethical approach. So I laid it out here.

In the case of abortion in the USA since this is such a hot button issue for everyone, I think some kind of national referendum is needed for everyone to use their vote to voice their opinion on the matter. Since our rule of law turns on majority rule, in most cases, I feel that invoking the power of majority rule is required in the abortion debate.

But ironically the political activists will never agree to majority rule either.

And the bar is very high to change Roe. But a high bar is what the Founding Fathers wanted for us.

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ktz
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by ktz » November 26th, 2018, 2:07 pm

h_k_s wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 1:26 pm
Unlike the ancient Sophists of Athens whom Plato hated, or the modern Sophists who use sophistry to try to gain an advantage at the expense of truth, I myself always try to state both sides of an issue before I decide in favor of one side or the other. In persuasive writing this is always the most fair and ethical approach. So I laid it out here.

In the case of abortion in the USA since this is such a hot button issue for everyone, I think some kind of national referendum is needed for everyone to use their vote to voice their opinion on the matter. Since our rule of law turns on majority rule, in most cases, I feel that invoking the power of majority rule is required in the abortion debate.

But ironically the political activists will never agree to majority rule either.

And the bar is very high to change Roe. But a high bar is what the Founding Fathers wanted for us.
The bar is not so high these days with the addition of Kavanaugh to the court, replacing previous abortion-supporting swing vote Anthony Kennedy. I saw an interview with the original Roe v Wade lawyer Sarah Weddington who is all but certain that it will be overturned. I fear the pragmatic considerations -- the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis for example, which links the legalization of abortion to falling rates in violent crime. But perhaps there is a Beethoven in the future that may have been aborted who will now be spared after Roe v Wade is overturned. I suppose ultimately consequentialists like me can only speak in hypothetical terms.
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Fooloso4 » November 26th, 2018, 2:42 pm

h_k_s:
Since our rule of law turns on majority rule …
The rule of law is intended to be an overriding countermeasure to majority rule. The Founders were well aware of the tyranny and fickleness of the masses. It has been a fundamental problem of political philosophy since the beginning.

As John Adams said:
We are a nation of laws not of men.
As Kavanaugh made clear, overturning Roe has significant consequences not just for abortion rights but for the status of the law.

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h_k_s
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 26th, 2018, 2:53 pm

[quote=ktz post_id=324499 time=1543255667 user_id=48554]
[quote=h_k_s post_id=324491 time=1543253164 user_id=48582]
Unlike the ancient Sophists of Athens whom Plato hated, or the modern Sophists who use sophistry to try to gain an advantage at the expense of truth, I myself always try to state both sides of an issue before I decide in favor of one side or the other. In persuasive writing this is always the most fair and ethical approach. So I laid it out here.

In the case of abortion in the USA since this is such a hot button issue for everyone, I think some kind of national referendum is needed for everyone to use their vote to voice their opinion on the matter. Since our rule of law turns on majority rule, in most cases, I feel that invoking the power of majority rule is required in the abortion debate.

But ironically the political activists will never agree to majority rule either.

And the bar is very high to change Roe. But a high bar is what the Founding Fathers wanted for us.
[/quote]

The bar is not so high these days with the addition of Kavanaugh to the court, replacing previous abortion-supporting swing vote Anthony Kennedy. I saw an interview with the original Roe v Wade lawyer Sarah Weddington who is all but certain that it will be overturned. I fear the pragmatic considerations -- the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis for example, which links the legalization of abortion to falling rates in violent crime. But perhaps there is a Beethoven in the future that may have been aborted who will now be spared after Roe v Wade is overturned. I suppose ultimately consequentialists like me can only speak in hypothetical terms.
[/quote]

It is so hard to guess what the current court will do if a challenge to Roe comes up to it.

Roberts is a swing voter, which he proved in the ACA case.

Thomas is the most strict constructionist. Strictly speaking therefore, Roe is bad law. He will vote against Roe.

Ginsberg is feminist and does not strictly interpret the Constitution so she will certainly vote in favor of Roe.

Breyer is activist, and probably favors women's rights even though women are not mentioned in the Constitution. He will vote for Roe.

Alito is like Thomas in many ways. But he can also be swing.

Sotomayor is like Ginsberg. She will vote for Roe.

Kagan is like Sotomayor and Ginsberg. She will vote for Roe.

Gursuch is a swing voter.

We know nothing about Kavanaugh yet.

That totals 4 votes in favor of Roe and 2 votes against Roe.

3 votes are unknown. Only 1 vote is needed to support Roe.

Those are not good odds for anything to change via the SCOTUS.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 26th, 2018, 2:59 pm

[quote=Fooloso4 post_id=324505 time=1543257758 user_id=43314]
h_k_s:

[quote]Since our rule of law turns on majority rule …[/quote]

The rule of law is intended to be an overriding countermeasure to majority rule. The Founders were well aware of the tyranny and fickleness of the masses. It has been a fundamental problem of political philosophy since the beginning.

As John Adams said:

[quote]We are a nation of laws not of men. [/quote]

As Kavanaugh made clear, overturning Roe has significant consequences not just for abortion rights but for the status of the law.
[/quote]

I agree with Kavanaugh. And therefore it would seem to me that violating the stare decisis policy is a threat to judicial oversight for our democracy. I would suspect that many of the SCOTUS justices would be reluctant to overturn Roe because stare decisis seems more important than one mere case.

The Congress may amend the Constitution and overturn Roe just as the 12th Amendment overturned Dred Scott.

But getting an amendment passed and ratified would require a political majority the likes of which has never been seen since Nixon stepped down and Carter was elected. And that time it was going the other way, in favor of Roe.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Fooloso4 » November 26th, 2018, 4:06 pm

h_k_s,

I sent you a PM about using the quote function and previewing your messages before you send them. It is very difficult to figure out who and what you are quoting and a violation of forum rules.

h_k_s:
The Congress may amend the Constitution and overturn Roe just as the 12th Amendment overturned Dred Scott.
Or, a more liberal Congress might amend the Constitution to prevent the overturning of Roe. And, if the polls are to be believed, the majority of Americans are in favor of Roe.

But an amendment is highly unlikely at this time. What we are more likely to see are continued attempts to weaken the law, chipping away at it and taking advantage of any interpretive vagueness. In other words, judicial activism.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 27th, 2018, 2:31 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 4:06 pm
h_k_s,

I sent you a PM about using the quote function and previewing your messages before you send them. It is very difficult to figure out who and what you are quoting and a violation of forum rules.

h_k_s:
The Congress may amend the Constitution and overturn Roe just as the 12th Amendment overturned Dred Scott.
Or, a more liberal Congress might amend the Constitution to prevent the overturning of Roe. And, if the polls are to be believed, the majority of Americans are in favor of Roe.

But an amendment is highly unlikely at this time. What we are more likely to see are continued attempts to weaken the law, chipping away at it and taking advantage of any interpretive vagueness. In other words, judicial activism.
I wish your PM were comprehensible to me. But it is steeped in geek-talk and I cannot decipher it with my old-school brain. I have clicked on the preview function as you said. But it does not tell me anything. And the edit function is not clear to me what you mean, sorry.

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h_k_s
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 27th, 2018, 2:35 pm

There are several issue that the Constitution and/or Bill Of Rights is/are not clear on.

Abortion is one. It is not even mentioned once. Nor are women at all.

Gun/Arms is another. 2A implies complete hands off, but US legislatures and courts have been violating that interpretation since the end of the U.S. Civil War. The original intent of these earlier violations was to keep guns out of the hands of the freed slaves. But the slippery slope has extended them to all citizens and residents of any background.

Slavery itself was ultimately resolved but this too 3 more Amendments -- the 12th, 13th, and 14th plus a Civil Rights Act in addition.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 27th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Ok I have found the "full editor and preview."

I will see if I can hack into that next time and figure out how to use it.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Fooloso4 » November 27th, 2018, 4:33 pm

h_k_s:

I found out from Greta that the problem is not on your end. Someone is working to fix it. Once it is fixed I think it will be easy to figure out.
There are several issue that the Constitution and/or Bill Of Rights is/are not clear on.

Abortion is one. It is not even mentioned once.
The history of abortion in the U.S. is an interesting one. I found the following interesting.

According to The American Historian (http://tah.oah.org/november-2016/abolis ... n-america/):
Before 1840 abortion was a widespread, largely stigma-free experience for American women. During that period, the American legal system used the quickening doctrine from British common law to decide the legality of abortion. Quickening occurred when the pregnant woman could feel the fetus move, typically between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy. This was the only sure way to confirm pregnancy; before this time, any fetus was considered only a potential life. Women most often used herbal concoctions they had learned from other women, healers, or physicians to cure their “obstructed menses” before quickening. Post-quickening abortion was a crime, but only a misdemeanor. Some historians have suggested that laws against post-quickening abortions were primarily intended to protect the health of the pregnant woman—not fetal life—as it was much more common for women to die during abortions that used instruments rather than herbal abortifacients. Whatever the rationale, few abortions were prosecuted before the mid-nineteenth century because quickening was so difficult to prove. Only women themselves could testify to fetal movement.

This system of legal but quiet abortions fell apart in the mid-nineteenth century. The first “right-to-life” movement was not led by grassroots activists, but rather physicians, anxious about their professional status. Before then, physicians had been a largely unregulated bunch, without the institutional or cultural authority to corner the market on healing. In the early nineteenth century, a variety of other healers competed with physicians for business, especially the business of women’s reproductive healthcare. While many physicians believed that scientific medicine would benefit their patients, some, in order to hurt lay healers’ business, sought governmental licensing and regulation to weed out the competition. Physicians used anti-abortion laws, pushed in state legislatures, to increase their own stature and undermine their opponents.

… By 1900 every state had a law forbidding abortion at any stage …
h_k_s:
Gun/Arms is another.
In my opinion, despite all his talk of originalism, Scalia misinterpreted the second amendment. A prime example of judicial activism. I have discussed this on another thread.

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