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thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:09   

The original thread started when I said that "life begins at conception" and in which was further defined as "human life starts at conception."  This in turn means that each one of us discussing this issue began our individual lives at conception.

It was stated that this is incorrect.  Several alternate answers were given.  

1. Life began before conception (the "live" egg and ovum/ "life from life" argument).

2. Life had No beginning (hence, OUR LIVES sprang from nonlife or we are eternal beings).

3. Life began after conception (the consciouness/CNS development/birth/viability/economic/choice/etc. argument)


The first 2 arguments can be easily disposed of.  The third argument is said to be devoid of moral and scientific arguments.  

Whereas, universal morality can't extend to the individiual WOMEN in the conduct of her child in utero and science can't define human life, i.e. person from nonpersonhood.

It is easy to see how these 2 assumptions feed readily into each other.  Anywhere scientists see conflict with their OWN PERSONAL VALUES they will be inclined to forsake science.  And anywhere scientists can create perceptions of ambiguity, individuals will readily exploit this ignorance.  This is the nature of the abortion paradigm.

"Clump of cells" no longer sells to those that are following the advances in sonogram technology.

If "pain" is the argument against animal cruelty then animal activists are clearly ignoring another suffering "animal."  43 million dead to date (just in the US).

If consciousness is the argument for human life then show us the self-aware newborn with the underdeveloped CNS and the science that says he/she wasn't conscious before birth.  Or tell us why this newborn cannot be aborted?

If birth is the criteria then this represents nothing more than the "might makes right" ethos.  The mother simply retains absolute control over her child because it resides within her and is entirely dependent upon her graciousness.

But what do we know?  We know that we are but a "clump of cells" also.

We know that the child in utero feels pain and reacts to stimuli showing developing signs of consciousness.

We see little sign that there are less "unwanted" children or any general elevation of compassion for our children.

We claim that an abolition of responsibility (we call it "choice") creates less conflict when history teaches us that the exact opposite usually unfolds.

But the question is this:

What exactly leads the scientist away from concluding that YOUR HUMAN LIFE began anywhere other than at YOUR conception?

I see absolutely NO EVIDENCE that would lead me away from this very solid scientific assumption.

In fact, for one to stay in this ambigious state leads me to the conclusion that one is existentially agnostic.  You care nothing of your own existence and thereby care nothing for the existence of those around you.  You are not at all displeased by the possibility that your mother may have aborted you, IMHO.  And you seem eerily objective about any future existential questions concerning your own children.  

If this is what "science" leads one to believe then science is clearly an insufficient tool for survival.

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:31   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 03 2006,22:09)
Several alternate answers were given.  

1. Life began before conception (the "live" egg and ovum/ "life from life" argument).

2. Life had No beginning (hence, OUR LIVES sprang from nonlife or we are eternal beings).

3. Life began after conception (the consciouness/CNS development/birth/viability/economic/choice/etc. argument)


The first 2 arguments can be easily disposed of.  The third argument is said to be devoid of moral and scientific arguments.

You are confusing "life" with "thinking/feeling/awareness."

So you're asking  when the mental life of each unique person begins.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:39   

One more time, Thordaddy (not that I think repeating this several thousand more times would penetrate your skull):

You are not discussing science here. You're discussing ethics. Science cannot answer ethical questions, any more than it can answer aesthetic questions.

God, you're a waste of bandwidth.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:44   

normdoering,

No... I'm asking when YOUR LIFE began.

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:53   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 03 2006,22:44)
No... I'm asking when YOUR LIFE began.

It's always beginning.

I merely aquired a relatively unique genetic code at conception. If that exact same genetic code were put into another egg cell and that child were raised in Saudi Arabia or India by another family the result would be a different person than the one I am today. (though twin studies can have  spooky results when sometimes twins raised apart get similar jobs, smoke the same brand of cigarettes and dress the same.)

I'm not just my genetic code -- I am my life experiences.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,17:56   

ericmurphy,

Is a biologist a person/human being?

Is biology a scientific pursuit?

Is evolution a scientific "fact?"

So we have biologists (human beings) proposing a "fact" of life (evolution) while proclaiming ignorance on the very definition of human life?  

My question is this,

If the biologist can not readily define himself (or human life) then how has he readily defined "life" and its evolution for the rest of us?  If the biologist is not sure what in him constitutes human life then how is he sure of ANY other life or the process of its evolution?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,18:00   

normdoering opines,

Quote
It's always beginning.


Then it's never ending.  You are a part of an enternal being and only have the illusion of individualism.

Again, I see little scientific justification for this.

  
Spike



Posts: 49
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,18:34   

Well...

I was typing while PuckSR was...

I'll address the issues PuckSR has raised, then I'll shut up.

Quote
but my argument is that a lot of what your terming "morality" is just instinct....


And I tried to point out that your examples are not of "moral" acts, because a chimp can only do what chimps do, based on their chimpy instinct, a lion can only do what lions do, based on their liony instinct, etc. all throughout the animal kingdom.

By applying the scientific method, we can determine exactly what the limits are of chimp behavior, lion behavior, etc. [Trying as hard as possible not to become part of the experiment]. And once we've done so, then we can predict how chimps will react when they encounter the natural events of their chimpy worlds.

As you pointed out, humans, on the other hand, can react in nearly an infinite variety of ways when they encounter the same events. You describe how different societies apply capital punishment, even when they are equally "advanced," whatever that means.

I counter with this: Capital punishment, abortion, death with dignity, euthanasia, even traffic laws are not the cause, they are the symptoms.

Moral codes and their practical applications know as laws and societal norms are, as you-all have pointed out quite accurately, a product of social interaction. If you are all alone on a desert island, morality and law are irrelevant.

The place that I see tension is between the individual and the state, which I define as any governmental system.

In societies where the state prevails there are almost no human rights, especially for weaker members of the group. The laws range from punishing entire ethnicities for the supposed transgressions of a few, to punishing individual evil-doers for just not fitting in. The harshness of the punishments is an inverse relation to the ability of the members of the group to defend themselves from the force of the law.

In societies where individuals prevail, we have nearly perfect human rights. Those rights are codified in an objective law that any member of society can read and apply. Those laws do clearly demarcate where one person’s rights end and another person’s rights begin.

Societies with objective moral codes tend to develop more individual protections than those with subjective moral codes – as thordaddy tried to point out - laws result from the moral codes of the members of the society. If the moral codes change, then the laws change.

So here is what I propose as the “perfect” moral code and basis for all laws: The rights of the individual are paramount but not infinite. The purpose of law is to define the limits to other people’s behavior so they do not trample your rights. But the rights defended by the law are very few:

Your life is your own to dispose of as you please.
The fruits of your labor belong to you.
You can enter and exit any contractual relations you choose, whenever you choose.
You can say or do anything you like so long as you don’t interfere with the rights of others to do the above.

If you compare all the other laws and moral codes that exist to these, you will see that they all subject the individual to some arbitrary tyranny in the name of gods or “society.” Everything else is just some people trying to benefit at the expense of others.

We try to defend the rights of minorities. What minority deserves more defense than the minority of one?

We promote democracy. What is more democratic than ruling yourself without interference from others?

******** (When I put in stars like this I mean to address all readers, not just the first person I replied to.)

How does this apply to abortion? If the life of the baby is a threat to the mother’s life (not just her comfort), then the baby must go. You say the baby is innocent and should live. But if the mother dies while carrying the baby, how will the baby live?

In all other instances, the mother is violating the rights of the child.

People can try to define the child away. People can say anything they want. People can even get the bigger gang to agree with them, using force to implement their will. But, in the end, people are just sacrificing those who cannot defend themselves from the state for the benefit of an arbitrarily selected group: Women who want abortions.

But this is one idea we “as a society” have correct: Just because you want something, doesn’t make it a right.

You still have to define the time at which human life begins and rationally defend your choice.

[Sorry, ericmurphy, you may try to uncouple your ethics from reality, but the science of ethics is just as much a science as chemistry or biology. It just has a different subject and different tools.]

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,20:50   

If you wish to define life as begining at conception, what next?

You obviously wish to make abortion ilegal, but what about the other consequences of this step?

Should every miscariage now be investigated as a possible murder? Should a pregnant woman be punished for smoking or having a drink? What about a pregnant woman who is not eating a balanced diet, should she be charged with denying someone (the fetus) nutrition?

Moral activists seem to view the world in a very simplistic way, as though every choice can be divided into right/wrong or on/off.

Choices are not always simple. There often isn't a right or wrong easy to define code.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,21:08   

Quote
And I tried to point out that your examples are not of "moral" acts, because a chimp can only do what chimps do, based on their chimpy instinct, a lion can only do what lions do, based on their liony instinct, etc. all throughout the animal kingdom.


The Dao of a Chimp and the Dao of a lion

Quote
As you pointed out, humans, on the other hand, can react in nearly an infinite variety of ways when they encounter the same events.


Not quite.....
If you are riding on a train...and the train is coming to an intersection....you see 5 men trapped on the track....
you can pull a switch, and redirect the train towards another track with no one on it....what do you do?

The answer....and almost every human will you give you the same one...is that you pull the lever....

Now, what if you have a particularly angry individual....he might tell you he doesnt give a ####...and that he would just let the people die....

Now, thats not a particularly human trait either.  Animals can be conditioned to be mean and spiteful of other animals......or humans

Quote
Moral codes and their practical applications know as laws and societal norms are, as you-all have pointed out quite accurately, a product of social interaction.


Now were talking about Confucius?

I counter-
Basic morality is instinct...
All other forms of morality are extensions of basic morality
i.e.
Eating food is instinct....
Eating gourment food is an extension of that instinct that can take on entirely new dimensions....
You may eat sushi because it is a delicacy, or it is wonderfully tasteful...or a number of other reasons...
but you are still eating to fill that basic instinct...
So despite whatever "higher" notions we are attributing to an action...it must always fulfill our basic instinct....
Coffee has little nutritional value....
no one drinks only coffee...no matter how much they love it

We may have attributed higher thought to our morality, but we still are obliged to fulfill that instinctive morality...

If you think this is just pointless rambling...consider something for a moment.  No one says...murdering unborn babies is ok....
Almost everyone who supports abortion considers the unborn as nonhuman or at least not true living humans....
No one says that it is ok to murder babies because murder is instinctively wrong...unless you can find some reason that they deserve to die...and its hard to come up with a reason that a baby deserves to die.....

You think its horrible...because you see the unborn as a true living human.
Your whole err on the side of caution argument follows your opinion and not the opposition's.
If i gave you a sword...and told you to stab into 1 of 3 sheets, and behind one of those sheets would be your friend....you would never do it...even if i promised you a cake....
A pro-abortion person doesnt believe that anyone is behind any of those sheets...I dont tell him that there is a person behind there....and you are whispering in his ear...
"dont do it...there might be a person behind one of the sheets"....
"damnit...thats silly...why would a person be behind the sheet...get out of my way...i want my cake..."

Im not invalidating your opinion...but Im arguing that it is not a moral belief....
you both agree murder is wrong...just like everyone...
he just doesnt believe he is killing anyone....
and you do...and you both have beliefs...not different moral character

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,21:14   

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Moral activists seem to view the world in a very simplistic way, as though every choice can be divided into right/wrong or on/off.

Choices are not always simple. There often isn't a right or wrong easy to define code.


How is this any different than defining abortion as "pro-choice?"  What a silly and ambigious euphemism for a very serious subject.  We have had 30+ years to evaluate the "societal good" that supposedly would transpire under FEDERAL legal abortion.  What are the benefits exactly, I ponder?  Less unwanted children?  More compassionate society?  Less national conflict?  What exactly has abortion done other than abolish responsibility and convinced a generation of women that aborting their children is hardly different than picking a new shade of lipstick?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,21:21   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,02:14)
How is this any different than defining abortion as "pro-choice?"  What a silly and ambigious euphemism for a very serious subject.  We have had 30+ years to evaluate the "societal good" that supposedly would transpire under FEDERAL legal abortion.  What are the benefits exactly, I ponder?  Less unwanted children?  More compassionate society?  Less national conflict?  What exactly has abortion done other than abolish responsibility and convinced a generation of women that aborting their children is hardly different than picking a new shade of lipstick?

I do not like the term "pro-choice" but it is far less misleading than "pro-life".

To claim "What exactly has abortion done other than abolish responsibility and convinced a generation of women that aborting their children is hardly different than picking a new shade of lipstick?" Is a pretty repugnant statement.

Many people have atempted to answer your questions. Why do you not reciprocate?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,22:11   

Stephen Elliot,

But it was not a statement, but a question.  A very serious question, indeed.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 03 2006,22:23   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,03:11)
Stephen Elliot,

But it was not a statement, but a question.  A very serious question, indeed.

The way you wrote that. The question was what has abortion done other than the rest is a statement.

ie This part you are writing as a statement of fact.
Quote
abolish responsibility and convinced a generation of women that aborting their children is hardly different than picking a new shade of lipstick

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,00:43   

Quote
If "pain" is the argument against animal cruelty then animal activists are clearly ignoring another suffering "animal."
Hence the reason many anmal right groups want the limit reduced to 18 weeks.

Quote

Your life is your own to dispose of as you please.
The fruits of your labor belong to you.
You can enter and exit any contractual relations you choose, whenever you choose.
You can say or do anything you like so long as you don’t interfere with the rights of others to do the above.

If you compare all the other laws and moral codes that exist to these, you will see that they all subject the individual to some arbitrary tyranny in the name of gods or “society.” Everything else is just some people trying to benefit at the expense of others.

We try to defend the rights of minorities. What minority deserves more defense than the minority of one?

We promote democracy. What is more democratic than ruling yourself without interference from others?
Most people I know who share these values believe that fetuses do not have these rights.

Quote
What exactly has abortion done other than abolish responsibility and convinced a generation of women that aborting their children is hardly different than picking a new shade of lipstick?
This is at best true in a minority of cases, iterestingly the people who are more likely to take this attitude are the people who are more likely to have many unwanted pregnancies. Again I can't speak for America but in the UK there is no evidence your statement is true at all, despite many calls form pro-life groups that it is. In my opinion it is a horrific insult to the thousands of women who do not take this decision lightly.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,01:56   

Quote (Spike @ April 03 2006,18:31)
Faid,

Wow! Just like I said. People who are normally quite rational get their panties in a bunch when it comes to abortion. (Me too!;)

Spike,
I don't think I get too excited over this debate. Not anymore, now that I stopped feeding the troll. However, I have one small request: Please don't get all thordaddy on me. I've had my share of that.

In my post, I simply stated two points that I thought were problematic in your "draconian" solution.
Most of your reply was questioning and attacking my beliefs (which I did not mention in my post), accusing me of loaded language for speaking about a woman's right to reproduction (when you refer to the zygote as a "little kid" whose right to life we deny), and arguing for your solution using wishful thinking.

Look, I honestly don't have the patience to explain my views anymore. It's not your fault for that, it's the troll's: I've been trying to punch through Trolldaddy's brick wall too long, and I'm tired. If you like, you can check any of my previous posts in all three threads (or is it four? I forget) where I repeatedly explain my views again and again- and you can point to any issues in them that need to be discussed, in your opinion.
(I'd just like to point, though, in case you think I haven't bothered to read your opinion -trolldaddy style :)- that I understand your basis of choosing conception as the beginning of  human life is seeing no argument that would convince you otherwise... That, however, does not necessarily make it true, and such "rational arguments" can be, and have been, produced by others. You can address or dispute them, if you like, but not deny their existence like thordad did.)

For now, let's stick to those two points I made:

For one thing, I stand corrected. You seem to say that the only necessary abortions are those made to protect the life of the mother, and all others are for "convenience" (even the ones to prevent the fetus from developing to a seriously ill child, with only a few years of torture ahead of it?). Well, I see no problem with that being enforced, in that case- But that's just it: Enforced.
Forcing the woman, who might even be the victim of others in this case, to suffer all the -sometimes disastrous- societal, financial and emotional problems of an unwanted pregnancy, or depriving her of the right to have children forever? There's just no way this draconian solution can be applied, unless under a very "draconian" regime. As for being not a law, but a societal norm, that doctors shall willingly practice (!!!!80): We live in the real world, Spike, not in a Heinlein novel.

You also claimed that you can argue against any justification for abortion as necessary for the woman using examples, but the example you seem to provide as a good one does not even mention the woman who gave birth to these kids, just those who adopted them- and therefore wanted them and could cope in the first place.
How does this address any possible problems of the biological mother? Not that there had to be any in this case, but the example is simply useless for arguing for or against them. It's just an appeal to emotion ("would you have these lovely kids aborted"?), already overused.
 
(Oh, and you challenge me to argue against it on the grounds of the women being lesbians- why should I do that? How does it relate to the problem? Are you actually asking me to create a strawman for you?)

And you completely failed to adress by second point. If this law is created under the moral concensus that abortion is murder, I cannot see how the enforcing of such a law is in accordance with its spirit.
You cannot help a person commit murder, even once, and then punish her for doing so!
Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but this "law" seems to me to be more focused in wreaking vengeance upon women who decide to have an abortion, than actually preventing the loss of a human life that the zygote is supposed to be.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,03:01   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,02:14)
We have had 30+ years to evaluate the "societal good" that supposedly would transpire under FEDERAL legal abortion.  What are the benefits exactly, I ponder?  Less unwanted children?  More compassionate society?  Less national conflict?  What exactly has abortion done other

Reuduced crime by reducing the number of children living in homes that have insufficient resources to support them, if you believe the statistics.

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,05:55   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 03 2006,22:56)
ericmurphy,

Is a biologist a person/human being?

Is biology a scientific pursuit?

Is evolution a scientific "fact?"

So we have biologists (human beings) proposing a "fact" of life (evolution) while proclaiming ignorance on the very definition of human life?  

My question is this,

If the biologist can not readily define himself (or human life) then how has he readily defined "life" and its evolution for the rest of us?  If the biologist is not sure what in him constitutes human life then how is he sure of ANY other life or the process of its evolution?

This is typical creationist cant, Thordaddy. If science can't explain everything, it can't explain anything.

Why do you think one follows from the other? The Standard Model can't explain gravity. General relativity can't explain quantum phenomena. Does that mean that both theories are worthless?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,07:00   

We need to separate the issues of what is human, from what is legal. I see some people simply can't grasp the difference. For Spike, being genetically human means being possessed of all the rights of citizenship - the right to vote, to own property, etc. But in the Real World ™ this is not practical.

Spike sees a continuum from conception through death, with no particularly notable milestones along the way. Things like birth are kind of irrelevant. Yet the law, rather arbitrarily, makes LOTS of age distinctions: When someone is old enough for their life to be protected (birth), old enough to drive, to vote, toinherit, to gain control of trusts, receive social security, withdraw certain savings without paying penalties, receive senior citizen discounts, get drafted/enlist in the military, and so on down a VERY long list of items.

Does the law draw these arbitrary distinctions solely because the law is an ass, or might there be some useful reason for them? If there is NO useful reason, then let's all agree that people are too stupid to live, and be done with it. Otherwise, we are obliged to examine the tradeoffs of every selected age, to see what the costs and the benefits might be of changing any given age, in either direction.

This is NOT a trivial exercise: every cost to someone is a benefit to someone else. Even talking about NET costs and benefits entails assigning weights to each, with no consensus as to how anything should be weighted.

So what people have discovered over lo these thousands of years is, what matters is NOT the details of the law per se, what matters is the *process* by which laws are made, modified, and interpreted. Humans being a gregarious and social species, any workable process must be a community process in some important ways.

What the American political process has produced is never written in stone; it's always subject to 'reform', change in any direction. Abortion is a case in point: prohibition was producing what the public at large recognized as costs exceeding benefits. So we're engaged in the long slow process of trial and error, to see where the tradeoff finds the most publically acceptable balance.

And this is a political issue. Science is not involved.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,13:02   

Again, we see the side that justifies abortion simply remaining in a state of ignorance and denial.  

No one as of yet has answered the question posed in the initial thread.

What scientific evidence EXISTS to LEAD ONE AWAY from the presumption that YOUR LIFE BEGAN anywhere other than at YOUR CONCEPTION?

All we get from those that are supposedly the voices of science and biology (study of LIFE) is a big fat question mark!

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
The way you wrote that. The question was what has abortion done other than the rest is a statement.


It was written that way to elicit the benefits of abortion.  We already know that abortion is an abolition of responsibility and treated like a ubiquitous choice, hence the euphemism, "pro-choice."  Of course, I am referring to the situation in the states.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,13:29   

Quote
No one as of yet has answered the question posed in the initial thread.

That question has been answered at least 50 times now. Problem is, you *don't like* the answer, so you pretend not to see it.

Quote
We already know that abortion is an abolition of responsibility...

We all know that until you get the answer your ideology demands, you will pay no attention to anything anyone says.

But since I'm here, I will repeat: this is NOT a scientific issue. Not in any way. This is a legal issue, and a political issue.

Now, you may continue barking up the wrong tree. Your quarry isn't up there. Sorry.

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,14:17   

Thordaddy, we miss you over at the post id world.  If you meet us there, I'll promise to use small words!

--------------
Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,14:54   

ericmurphy,

If the very entity (human life) that explains the world around us is undefiniable then AT BEST we can say his/her explanations are also undefinable.  Clearly, you don't believe this, do you? Since we don't know the Designer, hence, we don't know his design, as the argument against ID goes.  So if human life is the designer that gives us all these explanations, but we remain ignorant of this designer, then all his explanations remain undefinable.

Flint,

Your obfuscation is getting quite annoying.  

Please be bold enough to say that you don't care how human life is defined and that there is NO scientific evidence that would LEAD ONE AWAY from presupposing that YOUR LIFE began anywhere other than at YOUR CONCEPTION?  Your arguments represents nothing more than personal justifications for abortion.  Is this the example of the subjective scientist?  

My assumption presupposes one is not existentially agnostic.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,15:33   

Flint,

You make the cost/benefit argument and claim science has no part.

You aren't actually saying that in 1973 and henceforth, the argument that the women was aborting "a clump of cells" wasn't a scientific argument?

But more to the point, many are really starting to wonder what benefits have exactly accrued since abortion on demand became judicially-mandated!  

Do we have less unwanted children?

Have we replaced our workforce with foreign nationals that protest in OUR streets for lawlessness?

Are we a more compassionate society?

Is there less conflict between the sexes?

Is there less conflict between parents and children?

Have we abolished other individual responsibilities?

What are the benefits outside the abolition of responsibility for the individual women that procure an abortion?

We know that science isn't there to justify abortion.  But what is, I ask?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:13   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,19:54)
ericmurphy,

If the very entity (human life) that explains the world around us is undefiniable then AT BEST we can say his/her explanations are also undefinable.  Clearly, you don't believe this, do you? Since we don't know the Designer, hence, we don't know his design, as the argument against ID goes.  So if human life is the designer that gives us all these explanations, but we remain ignorant of this designer, then all his explanations remain undefinable.

The longer you yack, Thordaddy, the less sense you make. I'm not sure this particular post makes any sense whatsoever. But I'll give it a try anyway.

It sounds like you're saying that because human life is "undefinable" (but in what sense? It's not like no one has any idea what a human being is), then any human explanation for—what? anything whatsoever?—is also "undefinable." I challenge you to explain what that means. But if it means what it appears to mean, you seem to be saying that no one has any idea what a human being is, a position that is comically false. You also seem to be implying science has no explanatory power at all, which is equally preposterous. And if that's what you mean, then one is left wondering why the h*ll you're looking for a scientific explanation for when human life begins in the first place.

But it's pretty clear that you're really trying to do. You're trying to find some science (good luck, because it ain't out there) that will support a conclusion you've already reached: that abortion under any circumstances should be forbidden. In common with creationists in general, you're putting the cart before the horse: you want the "facts" to fit your conclusions, rather than the other way around.

And in the meantime, you're making statements that are pretty close to completely meaningless. Science's explanations are "undefinable"? Would you care to take a stab at telling us what that's supposed to mean?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:44   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
The longer you yack, Thordaddy, the less sense you make. I'm not sure this particular post makes any sense whatsoever. But I'll give it a try anyway.


Thanks... I knew you liked engaging in meaninglessness.

Quote
It sounds like you're saying that because human life is "undefinable" (but in what sense? It's not like no one has any idea what a human being is), then any human explanation for—what? anything whatsoever?—is also "undefinable." I challenge you to explain what that means.


One of the arguments against ID is that we know nothing of the Designer and so how could we possibly infer "his" design.

The same argument exists in this situation.  If we know nothing of the designer (what constitutes human life) then how can we possibly draw ANY inferences from his explanations since his explanations are the basis for all our knowledge?

I say it's bunk.  We can define human life and science can certainly weigh in heavily.

Quote
But if it means what it appears to mean, you seem to be saying that no one has any idea what a human being is, a position that is comically false. You also seem to be implying science has no explanatory power at all, which is equally preposterous. And if that's what you mean, then one is left wondering why the h*ll you're looking for a scientific explanation for when human life begins in the first place.


Yes, we both now see the absurdity in claiming that human life can't be defined by science.  I totally agree

Quote
But it's pretty clear that you're really trying to do. You're trying to find some science (good luck, because it ain't out there) that will support a conclusion you've already reached: that abortion under any circumstances should be forbidden. In common with creationists in general, you're putting the cart before the horse: you want the "facts" to fit your conclusions, rather than the other way around.


You have it exactly backwards.  I used to be agnostic about abortion because I was ignorant to the pathetic arguments being made in its defence.  

But more to the point, you have once again claimed that science presents no evidence for defining the start of human life.  Yet, you will claim to be human life.  How did you come to this conclusion when you know nothing of your conception?  You just assume your humaneness based on what, exactly?

Quote
And in the meantime, you're making statements that are pretty close to completely meaningless. Science's explanations are "undefinable"? Would you care to take a stab at telling us what that's supposed to mean?


What needs to be cleared up is this;

If YOUR human life did not start at YOUR conception then when did it start?

If science cannot tell you then how can it tell you anything else?

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,03:22   

Apologies if I missed it somewhere in the thread, but could you define exactly what you mean by human life, and then science may be able to tell you when it starts. A zygote is alive, but then so is an egg and a sperm. If you define a human life genetically then life begins at conception. You might define life as consciousness, so then it starts a bit later. You might define a seprearte living entity as one that can that can live independently of the mother, in which case it starts later. Science cannot answer this philosophical question, but I fail to see how this makes science worthless.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,03:36   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,21:44)
What needs to be cleared up is this;

If YOUR human life did not start at YOUR conception then when did it start?

If science cannot tell you then how can it tell you anything else?

It could still explain how nuclear fusion and fission work.
How fast to expect a falling object to accelerate etc.

Why do you think human life starts at a precise moment?

I suspect you are demanding this in order to justify imposing your world-view onto others.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,03:50   

Stephen:

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I suspect you are demanding this in order to justify imposing your world-view onto others.

Exactly so. He has a preference, based on nothing to do with science. He can't justify his preference except by projecting fake (and irrelevant) science onto it. He absolutely refuses to focus on the issue he's raising, because being honest doesn't favor his politics.


thordaddy:

Quote
You aren't actually saying that in 1973 and henceforth, the argument that the women was aborting "a clump of cells" wasn't a scientific argument?

Nope, this is not a scientific argument in any way. This is an attempt to do just what you are doing: using self-serving terminology in the interests of supporting a political preference. This is a political issue, not a scientific issue. You MUST deal with it in political terms.

And so once again: the egg and sperm are alive. They are human. They are human life. At conception, they change phase, but are still human life. They remain human life until the organism dies. Abortion terminates a human life. No question about it. So much for the science.

NOW, is this acceptable? Should it be legally permitted? Under what circumstances? Should there be any time frame when abortion is allowed or disallowed? Is there some point when we the people think the rights of the woman get trumped by the rights of her fetus? Should a fetus have any rights? If so, what rights should they be? If abortion is permitted during any period of pregnancy, should the cost be covered by the State? By insurance? Should these questions be answered by the courts, the legislature, or the bureaucracy? What role should morality play, and who gets to apply moral weighting to the needs and desires of the various parties involved?

THESE are the questions that matter. No science is involved.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,05:51   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,21:44)
The same argument exists in this situation.  If we know nothing of the designer (what constitutes human life) then how can we possibly draw ANY inferences from his explanations since his explanations are the basis for all our knowledge?

I say it's bunk.  We can define human life and science can certainly weigh in heavily.


Are you going for the prize in the "most outrageous strawman argument" category, Thordaddy? Who here, other than you, is arguing that we know nothing of what constitutes human life? You think if you can disprove that notion, you can prove…what, exactly, I'm not sure, since your argument from there rapidly decays into unintelligibility.



Quote
But more to the point, you have once again claimed that science presents no evidence for defining the start of human life.  Yet, you will claim to be human life.  How did you come to this conclusion when you know nothing of your conception?  You just assume your humaneness based on what, exactly?


I've said no such thing. I've told you about a million times that life is a continuum, and to pick any particular point and state that that's the "beginning" is essentially arbitrary. You don't like that conclusion, so you ignore it. As Flint pointed out above, you've been told the exact same thing about 50 times by half the people posting to this thread, but you persist in ignoring it.

Quote


What needs to be cleared up is this;

If YOUR human life did not start at YOUR conception then when did it start?


Are you going to keep asking the same question over and over again in the hopes that at some point I'm going to give you a different answer? Because I'm not.

Quote
If science cannot tell you then how can it tell you anything else?


And again, the same stupidity. If science can't answer one particular question, it can't answer any questions? How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say things like that?

And if you want to talk about pathetic "defenses" for abortion, how about pathetic arguments against it? You're the one who seems to believe that a zygote has consciousness and a newborn infant lacks it. If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is. But it's further evidence that the anti-abortion crowd believes that life begins at conception and ends at birth.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
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