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Agreed completely. Nobody is in a position to claim that they have the right to decide whether it's worth it or not for the baby.

I'm still sticking to my own arguments, though.

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It's good you can sit up high on your pedestral and judge others. Looking down on others is a brilliant way to make yourself seem better. Making out dead serious issues as being luxury problems.

I wasn't judging anyone, nor making myself look better.

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Oh yes, a baby born to a teen. A teen who, due to the baby, will probably not get a good education, and therefore not get a good job. Teenage parents are much worse parents than adult parents--the baby will probably not have as good a life as it would if the teenage mother simply had an abortion, and chances are, the baby will wish ey was aborted.

Seriously, you never know what's gonna happen...

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Of course it doesn't. You can't justify killing someone, not even when they are fetus. But some times, you have to do things that are not morally correct to do.

So the lesser of two evils?

While I certainly will not engage in the rhetoric that has sprouted here, I will ask one question - and oddly enough coming from me, it's not rhetorical.

If we need to determine the damage to the 16 year old versus the damage of the fetus and potential person, what do we use as a basis. You mention that we can abort a fetus before it becomes a thinking being - this is certainly true. Early-term abortions destroy a fetus when it has few, if any recognizable human traits.

Having said that, we know that it is developing those traits and an abortion wipes out everything that this 'eventual person' will ever have had in their entire life.

When does one become the lesser evil compared to the other? Should a 16-year old with a wealthy and supportive family have less of an option?

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Though I agree that there's no way to measure quality of life and desire to live, there are some interesting things that can be measured.

In Freakonomics, economist Steven D. Levitt puts forth the thesis that the decline in crime rates since 1991 has more to do with Roe v. Wade than any other single factor. The argument is that the the most common abortions are among parents who don't want and cannot support a child, and that these are the sorts of people who, when they become teens and adults, end up turning to crime.

You can read the original paper from the Quarterly Journal of Economics here:

The Impact of Legalized Abortion On Crime

Though the research is thorough, I'm not entirely sold - there are others out there who use the same data to suggest that abortion is responsible for more the increasing number of Republicans (since Democrats are more likely get abortions.)

This doesn't speak to Def's point about desire to live, but it does speak to the sort of lives these people might end up living. At least, it's an interesting read.

EDIT: posted at the same time as Chauce - it isn't meant as an answer to his "damage" question

Edited by Nooterland

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In Freakonomics, economist Steven D. Levitt puts forth the thesis that the decline in crime rates since 1991 has more to do with Roe v. Wade than any other single factor. The argument is that the the most common abortions are among parents who don't want and cannot support a child, and that these are the sorts of people who, when they become teens and adults, end up turning to crime/...there are others out there who use the same data to suggest that abortion is responsible for more the increasing number of Republicans...

I read this paper a couple of years ago.

The relationship that is established here is one of numerical dependency alone. The philosopher Jacques Maritain argued that such relationships reveal nothing more that the ease with which the poor are victimized and provided with less social defenses. (Maritain was examining the claim in the 1950s that the sterilization of mentally handicapped children and orphans was good for the economy and lowered crime.). I would argue that such relationships are ultimately of little real value.

According to Donohue and Levitt, abortion reduces the rate at which the poor reproduce, and poverty is probably the single greatest contributing factor to crime. Therefore you have fewer people born into poverty, and fewer people motivated to commit crimes.

By the same measure, an outbreak of the Bubonic plague would likely have the same results. It is reasonable to conclude that the Plague would kill a higher percentage of the poor as they have lower levels of education and access to healthcare. As a result, the 'cohort' of crime-likely people is thinned out for a generation and crime goes down. The relationship is true in the case of our hypothetical plague, and it is probably true for what Donohue and Levitt are examining.

In either case, I’m not sure how it contributes to the argument. Donohue and Levitt are only describing the phenomenon, they are not in favor of it.

While it has an impact, it is certainly not an intended one. Further, it is not an impact that one could personally apply. I don’t think that crime statistics would enter into a woman’s consideration of whether or not to have an abortion. I certainly wouldn’t want to use either one as a means to control poverty or crime (and I’m not implying that anyone here does).

It’s an interesting read, though.

Edited by Chaucerin

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Let's look at it this way:

You can ban abortion and deny a woman the "right to choose."

Or, you can legalize abortion and allow women to kill a being inside them.

Both are playing God, if you think about it. No document should EVER restrict the rights of a human, but at the same time, God said not to kill. Which are you going to choose?

Which is more precious, a right, or a life to have that right?

Which is more important, the "economic situation" of a girl, or the life of a baby?

You need to think about things like this without facts, without opinion, without emotion. You need to use your brain, that developed just as an aborted fetus's does, and think about which is right. You'll find that neither is. But, with this, you need to think about which is less right.

Is it more wrong to deny a child life or deny a girl a chance at education?

Is it more wrong to give a woman an extra level of "protection" if the action of procreation works as evolution intended or to defeat the purpose of that same action all together?

Sex is meant to create a child. If you have sex, condoms and pills and everything else, you need to unerstand that you have the chance of making a child. You need to understand that you will create a being for which you will be responsible for the next 18 years and nine months. You need to understand that what you're doing is meant to create another being, and no matter how damn good it may feel, that's all it ever was meant for.

So, in that sense, it is more wrong to allow a woman the right to kill her child than it is to deny her the right to kill her child.

'Nuff said.

SV

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Honestly, I think a woman should do whatever she wants and the church shouldn't get into the states business. It is the state afterall who chooses whether the death penalty can be given in any other case.

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Honestly, I think a woman should do whatever she wants and the church shouldn't get into the states business. It is the state afterall who chooses whether the death penalty can be given in any other case.

You're right, the church should stay out of it. Does that mean that the church's argument isn't valid? No.

SV

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This is assuming the validity of your "God said not to kill" argument.

Because obviously even man's law says, "Go out and kill everyone you can." rolleyes.gif

SV

No dear, but we're also assuming a foetus is a person, which I'm not convinced of.

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I think the idea of creating life is hard to wrap around. Destroying it is much easier. Women miscarry all the time. Some can't have children. I'd rather support adoption than abortion. You see (in America) women with asian babies that they've saved from starving in where ever when the family down the street can't feed their five kids. The real issue at hand is not killing but pride. Plus, going through the birth will show a woman to use a rubber. My friend is pregnant for the second time this year after miscarrying a month ago... she's 17 as of two months ago.

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The problem with using theology for a moral base is that it requires you to convince me of the rightness of the theology. Historically, that's been pretty messed up. But simply put, the fact that God said X means very little to me as I do accept the anthropomorphized version of God used by most religions. I think that such things are intellectually presumptuous. Also, we use legal documents to restrict behaviour all the time. Very few rights are granted absolutely.

You need to think about things like this without facts, without opinion, without emotion. You need to use your brain, that developed just as an aborted fetus's does, and think about which is right. You'll find that neither is. But, with this, you need to think about which is less right.

If you are not thinking with fact, what is informing your brain to make a decision? You cannot deliberate logically and rationally without fact. The knowledge of what is right must descend from known truths; it must descend from fact.

Edited by Chaucerin

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No dear, but we're also assuming a foetus is a person, which I'm not convinced of.

Not that hard. They are a living group of cells; that is to say, the cells are alive. So even if you don't believe that then entire thing is yet a being, they are living, human cells. So can you justify killing what may not be, to you, a human being, but is a load of human cells nonetheless? Just because it's not a human in your view doesn't mean you should kill it.

The problem with using theology for a moral base is that it requires you to convince me of the rightness of the theology. Historically, that's been pretty messed up. But simply put, the fact that God said X means very little to me as I do accept the anthropomorphized version of God used by most religions. I think that such things are intellectually presumptuous. Also, we use legal documents to restrict behaviour all the time. Very few rights are granted absolutely.

And people sitll don't go out and kill each other. So whether God said it or man did, you're not supposed to kill.

SV

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No dear, but we're also assuming a foetus is a person, which I'm not convinced of.

Not that hard. They are a living group of cells; that is to say, the cells are alive. So even if you don't believe that then entire thing is yet a being, they are living, human cells. So can you justify killing what may not be, to you, a human being, but is a load of human cells nonetheless? Just because it's not a human in your view doesn't mean you should kill it.

The problem with using theology for a moral base is that it requires you to convince me of the rightness of the theology. Historically, that's been pretty messed up. But simply put, the fact that God said X means very little to me as I do accept the anthropomorphized version of God used by most religions. I think that such things are intellectually presumptuous. Also, we use legal documents to restrict behaviour all the time. Very few rights are granted absolutely.

And people sitll don't go out and kill each other. So whether God said it or man did, you're not supposed to kill.

SV

In appealing to a legal standard, you are applying a set of rules that overwhelmingly favor abortion.

The 'law of man' does not find a fetus to be a person where reproductive rights are concerned. If they did, abortion would be illegal as the possible death of a person would almost certainly trump the right to privacy which is the constitutional basis for Roe v Wade.

What you need to provide, is a principle upon which you can buld an argument for not killing fetuses. Secular laws do not provide you with this, and divine laws have no bearing as they cannot be applied equally. In my opinion, you are starting from the wrong point. All ethics must derive from a verifiable principle that demonstates the good of an action compared to the lesser good of another. The two examples you have provided, secular and divine laws, aren't able to accomplish this. Secular laws are mutable and disagree with your assesment and divine laws are a matter of faith and not fact.

All ethical truth derives from fact.

As for the human cells (and I'm on your side here), that distinction on its own is meaningless. A cancerous tumor is a bundle of human cells. What allows the defense of the fetus to stand is the notion of process. It is less important that a fetus is a clump of human cells and more important that it is a clump of human cells locked into a developmental process. The clump is nothing - it only becomes meaningful if we can demonstrate that the clump is by design, going to become a person if we don't mess with it.

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It always makes me mad when people use the reason of "God" to make something illegal. I dont get it. Dont they think of other people that dont care/beleive in god? I think abortion should be legal, but its only really good in some circumstances. Like if someone is raped or if the baby is going to come out physically or mentally retarted. Im not saying that these should be the guidlines for a law (its wrong for anyone to force a 15 year old into labor) but thats what would be best.

If youre against abortion and you are a firm beleiver of God and the Bible or whatever, then dont get an abortion. Let other people who might need it use it.

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They are a living group of cells; that is to say, the cells are alive. So even if you don't believe that then entire thing is yet a being, they are living, human cells. So can you justify killing what may not be, to you, a human being, but is a load of human cells nonetheless? Just because it's not a human in your view doesn't mean you should kill it.

Then what about cancer? - A cancerous growth grows made purely of human cells and yet no one calls it a person and very few people (if anyone) would have a problem killing those cells.

A bundle of cells does not make a person, an individual personality makes a person. The important thing is to decide if the foetus is a Human pre-birth and if so how far pre-birth.

If it is a human then killing it is un-ethical and should be murder the same as killing any other human, but if it is not human then morally it is the woman’s right to decide the ethics of the situation for herself.

Personally as a sexually active woman in this modern age I see no real reason for a sensable woman to have an abortion. Contraceptives are readily available and generally reliable and if you make a mistake or have an accident then there’s always the morning after pill that works for a full three days after sex.

If we look at the abortion issue from a completely philosophical and ethical approach, there are no grounds on which to firmly plant a conclusion unless there is a bias that has some other rationale such as "pro-life" or the "right to choose".

These are un-grounded opinions because they are based only on the current "feelings" of those expressing them, even though supposedly "justified" by some other moral system such as Christianity, rational humanism, political ideology or cultural norms.

As these influences exist and effect our ethical judgement on a daily basis, the question remains Is Abortion ethical? The answer? Yes. And No.

As with most questions in real lifeâ„¢ there are more questions to be asked before an answer can be presented definitively.

Is a child (of abortion-able age) alive? Yes, it is alive. But it is not a separate life form capable of independant existance.

Is it human? Yes, it is made of human cells; and no, it is not a human being, since a foetus at the stage of development that is most common for abortions (12 weeks) does not yet have a functioning human mind and is not yet capable of survival independent of the mother .

What about late term foetuses? Even foetuses from late stage abortions (at 24 weeks) show a very small chance of survival if born premature and an induced labour at this stage would cause harm to both mother and child.

Should it be legal to have an abortion? Maybe. Legally, it is not a human being until it breathes or the naval string is severed.

Is it a child? Yes, it is offspring.

Is it murder? No. Legally, one can only murder born human beings, at least in the UK.

Ideally, abortion should be legal but rare. Abortion must be legal for a variety of reasons - including the rights of the mother and the safety aspect of unlawful abortions, however, we can do many things to make abortion rare that do not impinge on individual rights.

We should try to make unwanted pregnancies as rare as possible. We should try to improve medical technology and availability so as to reduce the need for abortion. I would personally feel that it would be less ethical to tell a woman she could not have an abortion than to allow her to terminate would could potentially become a person, but that will only last until the point at which someone convinces me that that foetus is actually a human.

Edited by Vladimire

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If we look at the abortion issue from a completely philosophical and ethical approach, there are no grounds on which to firmly plant a conclusion unless there is a bias that has some other rationale such as "pro-life" or the "right to choose".

This is simply not true. There are coherent arguments to be made for both sides of the argument based on clear, rational and logical thought.

I agree wholeheartedly with this;

We should try to make unwanted pregnancies as rare as possible. We should try to improve medical technology and availability so as to reduce the need for abortion.

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Sex is meant to create a child. If you have sex, condoms and pills and everything else, you need to unerstand that you have the chance of making a child.

*Sigh* This is a terrible argument against abortion.

Here's an example to knock it down.

Let's take Mary Foobar. Mary Foobar is your average 16-year-old.

Mary Foobar gets raped by an unnamed victim who doesn't care about the consequences of his actions. (He's not using protection either.) Mary gets pregnant.

Now, in this universe, Mary Foobar can just get an abortion and not throw her life to the gutter.

But, in the parallel universe where abortion is banned, Mary Foobar has to carry her baby, Fred Foobar, to term. She probably won't be able to finish school, and if she does, she has a snowball's chance in hell of getting a college degree. Therefore, she probably won't get a good job. The baby won't have a decent life either.

Or, she could go to a back alley and get an abortion there. (still in the parallel universe where abortion is illegal) Then, not only will the fetus die, there'll be much more of a chance for Mary Foobar to die.

P. S. I've always found it amusing that most of the people saying "Don't have sex and you won't be pregnant" come from a religion where a certain woman didn't have sex and still became pregnant.

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Here's an example to knock it down.

I don't think so, Def.

This is a terrible example, you are comparing apples to widgets.

One example is presumably about consensual sex where someone is aware of the risks. Your invocation of rape (which is responsible for about .01% of all pregnancies) is entirely irrelevant.

Not the same kind of thing at all.

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Sex is not purely for making offspring. With most mammals, that is certainly the case. However, humans (and dolphins, but that's kinda irrelevant) are different. When sex is only used for reproduction, there is no such concept as casual sex. It doesn't exist. It is incomprehensible. A boar is aroused when he smells a sow in heat, and only then. He doesn't become aroused when looking at her, he doesn't get aroused by watching her and another boar go at it, unless he smells that she is in heat and then he does. Were a boar capable of our level of thought and talked to us, he would not be able to understand us having sex when the female is not fertile. In humans, on the other hand, the fertility state of the female has little if anything to do with arousal of the male. It has a little more effect on the desire of the female in that hormones control her arousal, but it is perfectly possible for her to become aroused without being fertile. Men and women can and do fuck any time of the month. As such, sex in humans is not and never has been purely reproductive.

Sure, offspring are a side effect. But since they ceased to be the sole purpose, then they should also cease to be the sole result. If a woman uses birth control responsibly, and it fails, then she herself has done nothing wrong, and I see no problem with at least a first-term and maybe a second-term abortion. Third-term abortions are a little more iffy in my view, as you'd know by then you were pregnant and would have had 6 months to have one already.

In my opinion, abortion should always be allowed in cases of rape or incest, as long as the woman was the victim, because she had no say in the affair.

In the case of genetic disorders, I'm on the fence. On the one hand, it will be a human, even though the genes aren't perfect. On the other hand, what if it is a truly debilitating disease? One that is uncurable and would cause near-constant pain to the child? Or what if the parent truly couldn't afford to care for a child with a bad genetic disorder? You may say "Put it up for adoption," but I can't imagine that the child would get all that good of care there either. In some cases, it may honestly be best to end the pregnancy rather than put it through the suffering. On the other hand, who are we to make judgement calls about the quality of someone's life, and determine for them and without their consent whether they live or die based on a disease?

It's really a tough issue, and there are no easy answers.

Edited by Astarial

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Asta: Thats generally thought to be because humans don't have set seasons when we can get pregnant because we don't rely on seasonal booms to fuel our newborns. The excess of food at all times of the year probably confused our bodies at some point in our evolution. A wolf given an excess of food during winter can come into heat out of season and then it can play hell when she's trying to raise her cubs.

Actually, we do have fertility times. It's once a month. It's that often because we're capable of rasing a child even in bitter winter, while birds, say, are not. Fertility is not random - when several women get together for long periods of time (dorms, etc), their cycles tend to start corresponding.

Dolphins also have sex for pleasure, and they do have set seasons of fertility.

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Two sides are arguing the exact opposite side of the same point. On each instance of the argument, one of them must be wrong.

ph34r.gif

Are you saying that one side or the other must be right? That logic requires this?

Could you demonstrate this for one side of this debate or the other?

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Yes logic requires it.

I say 'X'

You say 'not X'

These two propositions are mutually exclusive - the cannot both be true. X cannot both be X and then not be X at the same time.

And yes, with enough time - it can be demonstrated.

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