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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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cavacava
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am

You asked for justification and I think that if a person is autonomous, they must give laws to themselves. Moral freedom is available only in society with others, a society which collectively determines laws consistent with the autonomy of the individual. "...the impulsion of mere appetite is slavery and obedience to a law one has prescribed to oneself is freedom" Rousseau.

At conception an actual human life is formed, not a person. Person-hood is a social construction, to the best of my knowledge it has no biological significance.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » December 31st, 2018, 1:57 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
You asked for justification and I think that if a person is autonomous, they must give laws to themselves. Moral freedom is available only in society with others, a society which collectively determines laws consistent with the autonomy of the individual. "...the impulsion of mere appetite is slavery and obedience to a law one has prescribed to oneself is freedom" Rousseau.
A mother's decision to abort seems to be consistent with Rousseau's maxim.

By "some level of physical autonomy" I was referring to the fact that more or less before the last trimester, a fetus cannot survive outside the woman's womb because their lungs are not yet developed. That's the legal standpoint of Roe vs. Wade.
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
At conception an actual human life is formed, not a person. Person-hood is a social construction, to the best of my knowledge it has no biological significance.
"Human life" is obviously intended to be a social construction, not a mere biological description, otherwise any other group of human cells would be given the same status of "human life". There's already an implied notion of personhood in the claim that termination of pregnancy equals killing a person.

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LuckyR
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 31st, 2018, 2:35 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
You asked for justification and I think that if a person is autonomous, they must give laws to themselves. Moral freedom is available only in society with others, a society which collectively determines laws consistent with the autonomy of the individual. "...the impulsion of mere appetite is slavery and obedience to a law one has prescribed to oneself is freedom" Rousseau.

At conception an actual human life is formed, not a person. Person-hood is a social construction, to the best of my knowledge it has no biological significance.
So are you trying to have a biological or philosophical discussion? Otherwise your jello requires more effort than average to nail to the wall.
"As usual... it depends."

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h_k_s
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by h_k_s » December 31st, 2018, 6:56 pm

Frewah wrote:
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.
So @Frewah you have resurrected this old dead thread and thrown out a few of your own notions to see if they will stick to the wall eh?

BUT you are completely ignoring the issue of fetal rights and the rights of all living things when you skip over that issue and jump right to "shouldn't have to give birth if they are not ready … ."

If kids or adults are not ready for giving birth then they should not be having sexual intercourse either. They should stick to mutual masturbation and other forms of sexual gratification. Ask any Catholic girl -- she knows all sorts of ways to have sex without involving intercourse.

And your argument about overpopulation does not hold water regarding abortion either. Overpopulation is an issue of contraception not abortion. You have mixed these two topics either inadvertently or on purpose. If inadvertent then you are simply a simpleton. If on purpose then you are a Sophist.

Have you read any philosophy at all ??

I am guessing: NOT.

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cavacava
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 31st, 2018, 8:23 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 1:57 pm
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
You asked for justification and I think that if a person is autonomous, they must give laws to themselves. Moral freedom is available only in society with others, a society which collectively determines laws consistent with the autonomy of the individual. "...the impulsion of mere appetite is slavery and obedience to a law one has prescribed to oneself is freedom" Rousseau.
A mother's decision to abort seems to be consistent with Rousseau's maxim.

By "some level of physical autonomy" I was referring to the fact that more or less before the last trimester, a fetus cannot survive outside the woman's womb because their lungs are not yet developed. That's the legal standpoint of Roe vs. Wade.
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
At conception an actual human life is formed, not a person. Person-hood is a social construction, to the best of my knowledge it has no biological significance.
"Human life" is obviously intended to be a social construction, not a mere biological description, otherwise any other group of human cells would be given the same status of "human life". There's already an implied notion of personhood in the claim that termination of pregnancy equals killing a person.
Autonomy entails being responsible for one's free choices. The choice of having unprotected sex with another may lead to a pregnancy and a person, in order to be consistent with themselves, ought to carry the baby through to birth. Human life is determinable by science, which can tell if a clump of cells is a growing human life or not. In vitro fertilization attests to this fact, which unlike person hood, has nothing to do social construction.

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cavacava
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 31st, 2018, 8:30 pm

LuckyR wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 2:35 pm
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:34 am
You asked for justification and I think that if a person is autonomous, they must give laws to themselves. Moral freedom is available only in society with others, a society which collectively determines laws consistent with the autonomy of the individual. "...the impulsion of mere appetite is slavery and obedience to a law one has prescribed to oneself is freedom" Rousseau.

At conception an actual human life is formed, not a person. Person-hood is a social construction, to the best of my knowledge it has no biological significance.
So are you trying to have a biological or philosophical discussion? Otherwise your jello requires more effort than average to nail to the wall.
A philosophical argument can't point to empirical facts? When available they seem to curtail useless discussion. The existence of test tube babies suggests that scientists can discriminate which clumps of cells are viable, and can develop in the womb of a woman.

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LuckyR
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » January 1st, 2019, 5:15 am

cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:30 pm
LuckyR wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 2:35 pm


So are you trying to have a biological or philosophical discussion? Otherwise your jello requires more effort than average to nail to the wall.
A philosophical argument can't point to empirical facts? When available they seem to curtail useless discussion. The existence of test tube babies suggests that scientists can discriminate which clumps of cells are viable, and can develop in the womb of a woman.
A couple of things: you have clearly described circumstances when you believe abortion is wrong and some where it is justified, and in addition you wrote: "I think that each person must decide for themselves that they are acting morally, or not". This is classic proChoice dogma, that is regardless of my personal opinion, the decision should be left to a woman and her health care professionals.

I have previously agreed that your philosophical stance is morally sound (internally consistent), though not the only or best one.

Lastly, I do not understand what you are trying to point out with your IVF comment.
"As usual... it depends."

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 1st, 2019, 7:36 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:23 pm

Autonomy entails being responsible for one's free choices. The choice of having unprotected sex with another may lead to a pregnancy and a person, in order to be consistent with themselves, ought to carry the baby through to birth.
A person might choose to eat in a restaurant instead of preparing food at home. That carries a higher risk of food poisoning. Having taken that risk does not imply this person must suffer the full consequences of their decision and be denied medical treatment, "in order to be consistent with themselves". We can always point at the bad decisions or risks that people take and give them our moral sanction for their careless behavior; in that case what's judged right or wrong is the conduct that led to the consequences, not the conduct associated with dealing with the consequences. In fact, there could be no consequences from a wrongful conduct and still be considered immoral. The other way around too: there are many instances in which even taking precautions (deemed as rightful conduct in some scenarios) a woman will get pregnant. That doesn't change the moral status on her decision to deal with that consequence, It will be right or wrong in its own terms. And that's what's at stake here in this thread.
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:23 pm
Human life is determinable by science, which can tell if a clump of cells is a growing human life or not. In vitro fertilization attests to this fact, which unlike person hood, has nothing to do social construction.
If a person gets killed in the street by a gunman, the moral sanctions against the killer are based on the sociocultural significance of personhood and the social value given to the lives of individuals from our species, it's always a social recognition. Science can determine when there's life, it can also determine the biological classification of an organism in term of species, but it cannot assign value to a clump of cells, saying for example that they share the same sociocultural status than a born baby, thus being "human life" in the same sense. That's the job of ethics, which is always relative to social constructions. Those are the necessary premises for making moral assessments about abortion, not just that it is a "human life" terminated, but at what moment this biological entity becomes socially valuable and its life inviolable.

Interesting that you mention in vitro fertilization (IVF). As it is well known, several human embryos (conceived human life, according to you), are implanted in the mother with the conscious knowledge of the risks of some or all of them not surviving the procedure. Sometimes embryos are frozen and stored indefinitely. Since all of these are "human lives", I wonder what moral implications you extract from these treatments, considering your current views on abortion.

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cavacava
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » January 2nd, 2019, 9:47 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 7:36 pm
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:23 pm

Autonomy entails being responsible for one's free choices. The choice of having unprotected sex with another may lead to a pregnancy and a person, in order to be consistent with themselves, ought to carry the baby through to birth.
A person might choose to eat in a restaurant instead of preparing food at home. That carries a higher risk of food poisoning. Having taken that risk does not imply this person must suffer the full consequences of their decision and be denied medical treatment, "in order to be consistent with themselves". We can always point at the bad decisions or risks that people take and give them our moral sanction for their careless behavior; in that case what's judged right or wrong is the conduct that led to the consequences, not the conduct associated with dealing with the consequences. In fact, there could be no consequences from a wrongful conduct and still be considered immoral. The other way around too: there are many instances in which even taking precautions (deemed as rightful conduct in some scenarios) a woman will get pregnant. That doesn't change the moral status on her decision to deal with that consequence, It will be right or wrong in its own terms. And that's what's at stake here in this thread.
cavacava wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 8:23 pm
Human life is determinable by science, which can tell if a clump of cells is a growing human life or not. In vitro fertilization attests to this fact, which unlike person hood, has nothing to do social construction.
If a person gets killed in the street by a gunman, the moral sanctions against the killer are based on the sociocultural significance of personhood and the social value given to the lives of individuals from our species, it's always a social recognition. Science can determine when there's life, it can also determine the biological classification of an organism in term of species, but it cannot assign value to a clump of cells, saying for example that they share the same sociocultural status than a born baby, thus being "human life" in the same sense. That's the job of ethics, which is always relative to social constructions. Those are the necessary premises for making moral assessments about abortion, not just that it is a "human life" terminated, but at what moment this biological entity becomes socially valuable and its life inviolable.

Interesting that you mention in vitro fertilization (IVF). As it is well known, several human embryos (conceived human life, according to you), are implanted in the mother with the conscious knowledge of the risks of some or all of them not surviving the procedure. Sometimes embryos are frozen and stored indefinitely. Since all of these are "human lives", I wonder what moral implications you extract from these treatments, considering your current views on abortion.
Yes, and a person can cross the street and get run over. A person makes choices all of the time, and they live (or not) with the consequences of their actions but certainty that does not make all of these choices moral. Moral actions involve doing or not doing harm to others. The question, to my mind, is what kind of other is a life in the womb and under what circumstances do we have the moral right to harm that life. If a women is under threat from the fetus, I think she has the right to defend herself, the killing is justifiable, but in the case of consensual sex where the woman was complicit in bring this new life into existence, to harm the fetus it in this case, I think is unconscionable.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 3rd, 2019, 9:38 pm

cavacava wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 9:47 am

Yes, and a person can cross the street and get run over. A person makes choices all of the time, and they live (or not) with the consequences of their actions but certainty that does not make all of these choices moral. Moral actions involve doing or not doing harm to others. The question, to my mind, is what kind of other is a life in the womb and under what circumstances do we have the moral right to harm that life. If a women is under threat from the fetus, I think she has the right to defend herself, the killing is justifiable, but in the case of consensual sex where the woman was complicit in bring this new life into existence, to harm the fetus it in this case, I think is unconscionable.
You obviously got everything mixed up. You say that moral actions involve doing or not doing harm to others, but then you say it's moral to harm a human life that you considered inviolable before.The circumstances seem to determine when it is violable and when it is not, so it's not inviolable because it's a human life. You're even implying that the "human life" of the fetus is less valuable than the "human life" of the mother, if there's need to choose between the two just for precaution. Where do these nuances about human life come from?

In fact, it can be easily demonstrated that every mother takes that risk of putting their own lives at danger when deciding to get pregnant; they are all complicit in bringing these new lives into existence that now some would want to abort to play safe for themselves. If you were consistent with your first argument, they all should be forced to carry the baby through to birth. Why is it moral now to abort? What happened then to the argument of "life starts at conception"?

Several situations complicate your argument: what happens,for example, when the mother took the necessary precautions to not get pregnant, but still she got pregnant, her pregnancy is safe and she is not in danger. But she didn't want a baby. Is it OK to harm the human life of the fetus now because it was not the product of a negligent act? Why she should not be forced to carry the baby through to birth?

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cavacava
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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » January 3rd, 2019, 11:08 pm

And you obliviously have not read all my responses. I have indicated several times that I think abortions are moral in some circumstances.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Fdesilva » January 4th, 2019, 3:16 am

What is right and wrong? Lets assume right = true and wrong = false. Then in order to decide if something is true or false it needs to be done it the context of a framework. Thus if you make a statement on mathematics it can be judged true or false in the context of mathematics. So then on the question of abortion what is the framework that is to be used? If the framework is Religion then most religions provide an answer.
If it is in the context that human life is good, then the survival of a given humans life is dependent on other humans, other non human life and lifeless things. This dependency implies humans having to trust each other if life is to thrive. Now the greatest trust and dependency that one human can place on another is that of an unborn child on its mother. As such destroying this trust is to destroy the pinnacle of all possible trust. Once you destroy the pinnacle you have started the process of destroying the whole mountain of trust. Once trust is destroyed there can be no life. As such abortion of one is the path to the abortion of all and so is wrong or false if the context is that human life is good.
If the context is humaneness then All humans have the same degree of humanness because humaneness is not measure by the volume of flesh that a human carries. As such a fetus is no less or no more human as one born. Given that we know the universe started as speck smaller than a fertilized egg the smallness of a life cannot be equated with insignificance.
If the context is evolution then every genome is equally valuable as any one of them can give rise to a totally new branch of animals and as such again to abort is to destroy a potential branch in the evolutionary tree of life.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » January 4th, 2019, 3:32 am

Fdesilva wrote:
January 4th, 2019, 3:16 am
What is right and wrong? Lets assume right = true and wrong = false. Then in order to decide if something is true or false it needs to be done it the context of a framework. Thus if you make a statement on mathematics it can be judged true or false in the context of mathematics. So then on the question of abortion what is the framework that is to be used? If the framework is Religion then most religions provide an answer.
If it is in the context that human life is good, then the survival of a given humans life is dependent on other humans, other non human life and lifeless things. This dependency implies humans having to trust each other if life is to thrive. Now the greatest trust and dependency that one human can place on another is that of an unborn child on its mother. As such destroying this trust is to destroy the pinnacle of all possible trust. Once you destroy the pinnacle you have started the process of destroying the whole mountain of trust. Once trust is destroyed there can be no life. As such abortion of one is the path to the abortion of all and so is wrong or false if the context is that human life is good.
If the context is humaneness then All humans have the same degree of humanness because humaneness is not measure by the volume of flesh that a human carries. As such a fetus is no less or no more human as one born. Given that we know the universe started as speck smaller than a fertilized egg the smallness of a life cannot be equated with insignificance.
If the context is evolution then every genome is equally valuable as any one of them can give rise to a totally new branch of animals and as such again to abort is to destroy a potential branch in the evolutionary tree of life.
A not uncommon opinion of a minority of folks in the modern west. It is more common to rank competent adult maternal autonomy above fetal interest in survival.

Luckily, no one is legally coerced to get an abortion, so everyone with your outlook can avoid them without difficulty.

Win:win.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Steve3007 » January 4th, 2019, 5:38 am

Fdesilva wrote:If the context is humaneness then All humans have the same degree of humanness because humaneness is not measure by the volume of flesh that a human carries. As such a fetus is no less or no more human as one born. Given that we know the universe started as speck smaller than a fertilized egg the smallness of a life cannot be equated with insignificance.
What you appear to be saying here is that "being human" is a binary, all-or-nothing thing; any given entity is either completely human or completely not human. I think that this, as well as many other proposed binary divisions of Nature, can be shown not to be arbitrary by trying to consider precisely where we place the dividing line between "human" and "non-human". In the context of a developing embryo, would you say that at the moment a sperm cell fertilises an ovum a new human exists that ought to be regarded as fully human in exactly the same sense that a fully developed person is? If not, at what point in the development does this entity suddenly switch to being a human being? Can you demonstrate that the point in the embryo's development where you place this dividing line is not a matter of personal preference but represents an objective truth?

Consider also the divisions between humans and other animals. In the relatively recent evolutionary past some of our closest relatives, such as homo erectus and homo neanderthalensis, went extinct. Were they human? What criteria would you use to answer this question?

Our closest extant relatives are chimpanzees. Our common ancestor with them lived about 7 million years ago. Most people would agree than chimpanzees are not human. So, at what point in that 7 million years was the first human born? At what point did a non-human mother give birth to human offspring? If you maintain that there is an objectively existing hard dividing line between human and non-human then you have to conclude that at some point in the past this happened. And you have to be able to demonstrate why it is objectively true that this transition happened at the chosen point in time.

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Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 4th, 2019, 8:31 am

cavacava wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 11:08 pm
And you obliviously have not read all my responses. I have indicated several times that I think abortions are moral in some circumstances.
And you obviously haven't noticed that your responses contradict each other. That's why you can't give a coherent answer to the moral dilemmas I have presented to you. This last one is particularly illuminating:
Count Lucanor wrote:what happens,for example, when the mother took the necessary precautions to not get pregnant, but still she got pregnant, her pregnancy is safe and she is not in danger. But she didn't want a baby. Is it OK to harm the human life of the fetus now because it was not the product of a negligent act? Why she should not be forced to carry the baby through to birth?

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