Abortion arguments

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by GottaBigOne, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. GottaBigOne

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    Hey all. As some of you know my outlook on life and morility, and everything has changed since I became of Objectivism, which is most commonly known as the Philosophy of Ayn Rand. The more I discover about it the more I realize how utterly self evident everything about is. I was actually a little worried because I often felt like it was only reinforcing what I had always believed but felt scorn for. Society has made me feel like the sense of morality I always had was evil, so out of habit I felt like discovering Objectivism was dirty or bad, because it only reinforced what I had been forced to feel shame about. There are some things that Rand has said that I still feel a little uncomfortable about, but I do see the reasoning behind it. The biggest thing is her optimism, that she feels like the ideal she lays out for society could really work. I hope so, but I doubt it. It maddens me that there seems to be no one who feels the way I do. Maybe some of you can understand it more. I am not preaching however, and I'm not an Randroid. I do not subscribe to these beliefs because I feel Ayn Rand is omniscient, I don't treat her like a prophet, she puts forth arguments, convincing argument, and I really have no choice but to agree, logic dictates that. But I still have an open mind, and the purpose of this post is two-fold.
    One: I want to hear arguments against these ideas.
    Two: I want to get these Objectivist arguments out there to give them exposure.
    The site I will be linking to in this thread and others is a site called capitalism.org. They have a bunch of commentaries on various issues that affect today's culture. These arguments don't come from Rand's mouth, so please desist from directing your arguments against Rand herself, not only would that be an Ad Hom fallacy, but it would be irrelevent, please keep your urguments substantive.
    The first issue will be abortion. The link is here.
     
  2. GoneA

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    I WILL NOT discuss ABORTION; however, I will say:

    The nature of that article is unsurprising as Ayn Rand has been cited as "one of the most important figures in the libertarian movement..." Ayn Rand was the creator of Objectivism; Objectivism and Libertarianism have a very inextricable relationship. The article has a Libertarian base.

    I tend not to side with Objectivism as I see it as a shallow attempt to fasten kaleidoscopic concepts and ideas into a hard and fast, unequivocal, macrocosm.

    Rand's development of Objectivism, I must say, does highlight her intelligence a great deal; namely, in her attempt to hold to the light the disparity of self-interest and greed. However, I think one of her greatest flaws was applying concepts from economic theory to interpersonal relationships. In my opinion, this was very bad.

    Any road, I will say, Ayn Rand is a WONDERFUL writer and I recommend all her books to everyone.
     
  3. GottaBigOne

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    Wow, I have to say that that was one of the most factually incorrect posts I've ever read, and exactly not what I was looking for. There were no substantive arguments, only blank assertions, most of which were incorrect. Please do better people.


    First off, Objectivism and Libertarianism are not at all related in basic principle, they are related in that both espouse "FREEDOM" but you will find that their idea of what "freedom" means is staggeringly different. There is an article written by Peter Shwartz on Libertarianism which I suggest you read, it was in the book "The voice of reason: essays in objectivist thought" by Ayn Rand and you may be able to find it on the internet as well. The article on abortion has an objectivist base, not a libertarian( as it has become today) base.

    "I tend not to side with Objectivism as I see it as a shallow attempt to fasten kaleidoscopic concepts and ideas into a hard and fast, unequivocal, macrocosm. "
    So because it attempts to describe a consistent view of existence and morality it is somehow undesirable to you? Also you make no arguments against what it actually says, only that it attempts to say something.

    "I think one of her greatest flaws was applying concepts from economic theory to interpersonal relationships. In my opinion, this was very bad. "
    Her economic theory came from her view of interpersonal relationships, which came from her idea about man's nature as an individual.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    It's been too long since I read anything by Ms Rand, so I can't really comment with knowledge. One phrase that struck me, though, in your link was this:

    "The principle here is: any right that contradicts the right of another cannot be a right, as rights form an integrated whole."

    As evidenced by other threads on this forum, this one will stir up much ire, anger, and animosity, especially among those who have no grasp of "Philosophy and Logic 101" and those who mistakenly want to retain personal rights and freedoms, but deny them to others.

    I have always personally supported a woman's right to choose for herself whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, but find that I run into some idealogical snags. I have difficulty with someone who refuses simpler forms of birth control (the usual - pill, condom, diaphragm) but uses abortion as a primary. A woman who has had 3 or more abortions before age 30 is obviously suspect. But as pointed out earlier, her body is within her own rights.

    I will have to do some reading and get back to you on this one, but it may take a while, I have a very time-consuming project in the works right now.
     
  5. Dr. Dilznick

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    It all depends. If it's because you believe it's a human life, then you can't believe it's a woman's right to infringe on the right to life of another human being just because it resides inside her. There is so much gray area involving this topic, I can't believe some of the pro-choicers here don't comprehend the other side of the argument.
     
  6. Lex

    Lex
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    There are many shades of grey. The issue of making abortions illegal is one that will disproportionally impact people at the lower end of the SES strata. People with money have always and will always be able to pay for and get abortions if they so desire (as evidenced by the many years when it was outlawed).
     
  7. Dr. Dilznick

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    Most people who are against abortion see it as murder, period. When you accept that, a lot of these counter-arguments look pretty fucking stupid. Seriously.
     
  8. Lex

    Lex
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    Right. Because human beings rarely ever sanction the murder of other human beings. Hypocritical at best; obnoxious at worst.
     
  9. Dr. Dilznick

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    The point of contention in this debate is, and probably always will be, "how is abortion not murder?" not "why are you against this murder but you're not against x, y, z, and Iraq, and little Pe Pe in South America, and the death penalty, and my uncle on life support?"

    All of these hypothetical situations and loosely strung together analogies are irrelevant. At best, you could possibly illustrate that most "pro-lifers" are hypocrites... but that doesn't make abortion any less murder. To do that, you'd have to make a solid case for a) human life beginning some time after conception, or b) human life does begin at conception, but taking a life is acceptable in this case.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex
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    We are probably closer to agreeing (in essence) than not. Abortion IS murder. Euthanasia is murder. Suicide is murder. Rampant drug use/abuse is (slow) murder. The death penalty is murder.

    So, as you said, the question becomes--when and why are some forms of murder acceptable and not others?

    I don't have the answer to that question.
     
  11. Dr. Dilznick

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    No, Lex, that is not at all what I said. The argument shouldn't be "why do you condone some murders but not this?" As long as you go that route, I don't see how you can expect them to accept or even understand your perspective. All of this other shit is a distraction to put the focus on pro-lifers instead of abortion.

    I can't think of a single moral issue that the average "pro-lifer" isn't hypocritical about. That can't be the center or basis of discussion, because nothing would ever be moral. If you're waiting on them to show consistency on the issues, or acknowledge hypocrisy, you will never get to the issue itself.
     
  12. Lex

    Lex
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    Did someone else type that? (That is not meant as a diss--I am attempting to dialogue with you as I am pleased to see you actually stating an opinion that seems very well grounded rather than being a wise ass simply for the sake of doing so.)

    I frimly believe that you can not relegate the argument to "Abortion is Murder and therefore wrong!" while ignoring all other kinds of murder (specific and in general). Life doesn't come in neat little boxes (like cereal) for our enjoyment or disdain. Issues (IMO) can not be argued within the confines of man-made fences that shouldn't be there in the first place.

    In our world, murder is relative--condoned in some instances and abhorred in others. So, when someone says: "Abortion is Murder and Murder is Wrong, so Abortion is wrong." I think, okay--so we need to either outlaw ALL forms of murder--OR--reacess the ways in which we categorize which forms of murder are okay. Is it that abortion is murder of a CHILD and therefore wrong? Because saying murder by itself is pretty weak to me.

    If Abortion IS murder, then we can't argue it as if it is the only murder issue we as a society face. Maybe I am not seeing the trees for the forest. Who knows?
     
  13. GottaBigOne

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    This was what I was hoping for, partly. Yes you both are right, the abortion debate rests on whether or not you define it as Murder. The argument put forth in the link makes a case for it not being murder because a fetus is not a viablke living entity in and of itself, it is parasitic and depends on the mother. To quote from them: "Abortion is not murder, because a fetus is not a human being -- it is a potential human being, i.e. it is part of the woman. The concept murder only applies to the initiation of physical force used to destroy an actual human being... Rights only apply to human beings, and not to human tissue."
    Simply stating that a fetus is a human being with no arguments for that position does not solve anything, you are not answering the argument, only avoiding it, and ignoring it. Why is a fetus a human being? Why does it have the right to impose its will on the body of the woman regardless of her desires? The fetus is dependant on the mother, it needs her to survive, but it does not have a right to survive, its nature dictates that survival is not a guarantee, why is a woman forced to give it that guarantee? If and when a fetus develops to the point that it can survive outside of the womb then it is a human being and attains a right to its life.
    "A new born child, unlike a fetus, is a physically separate entity. A child is an actual human being, with a capability to reason, and thus a child has the same right to life as any adult. However, the application of this right differs in practice from that of an adult, as a child's conceptual faculty is not fully developed. That is why a six year old does not have the right to choose to enter into a sexual relationship -- and an adult does."
    "If a parent gives birth to a child -- and claims to be its guardian -- then the parent is responsible for taking care of the child, unless the parent turns the child over to someone else (for adoption)." Only if the mother makes a conscious choice to be the infants gaurdian is she then obligated to ensure its survival.
     
  14. D_Barbi_Queue

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    Here's an alternate approach (more of a fundamentalist approach, and probably not what you are looking for):

    God chose that woman to allow the sperm and egg to unite and become a fetus. So then why does she have the right to go against God's actions? Quite often a woman and man can have sex at her fertile time of the month w/o any contraceptions and still not conceive. It's not as simple as most may thing. Some people can almost look to it as an "miracle of God" that everything happened as such that the embryo was allowed to start forming.

    So that's pretty extreme, but I'm just playing "devil's advocate" here. I'm sure it's not what you were looking for, so here's my more sane argument:

    Personally, I have a hard time with the way fetus is defined there: "a fetus is not a human being -- it is a potential human being, i.e. it is part of the woman."

    Webster's defines it as: In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo.

    According to Capitalism.org's definition, it would then be ok to terminate a pregnancy up to the day before the child is born because "it is not yet human". I can't agree with that. Many fetuses have been known to be able to survive during the last 3ish months of that term. My latest was born 5 weeks early, with no complications (unless you count jaundice) but yet according to them, I would have been able to abort him within those five weeks (had he kept put) w/o it being considered murder.
     
  15. GoneA

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    Before I go a second round, I'll just wait....

    ....for this to develop more.
     
  16. Dr Rock

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    if only someone had aborted ramapithecine evolution ~5 million years back...
     
  17. Freddie53

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    Abortion has both legal and moral implications. Truth is, in the government eyes, legal is paramount. But let me digress here as the issue of morality has become part of the discussion here.

    This paragraph is for those who believe humans have a soul and thus are different from the animals which don't have a soul and we slaughter millions of animals every day for meat. The issue is when does the soul become a reality? Some believe at conception, others believe at the time that the fetus attaches to the wall of the womb, others believe at the time that the unborn child is capable of living should that child be born right then. Others believe that it is when the child takes its first breath. Personally I believe that it is when the child actually takes that first breath and is not a still born child. Murder is a term reserved for humans. We don't think of a slaughter house as being a place where murder takes place. For those who believe that the soul enters the body at conception of course abortion at anytime would be murder.

    The problem with the preceding paragraph is that we have gotten into religion as the subject of an afterlife is a religious concept. The Jehovah's Witness believe that blood transfusions condemn a the one receiving one to eternal damnation in hell. So we don't force Jehovah's Witnesses to receive a blood transfusions even though we know that a blood transfusions will save the life. so we respect religious beliefs here. So to outlaw abortion solely on the concept of an afterlife would be imposing the "prolife" viewpoint upon everyone. Since there would be some who would not consider an unborn to have a soul and thus, not capable of being murdered.

    So that leaves us to use other criteria other than just religion. We have the "right to live" versus "the right to make choices about your own body" argument here.

    I have not personally read the books talked about here and don't know a lot about the logic of any of them.

    However, we must follow the Constitution in the issue of abortion. No where in there is the "right to live" given partiality over the "right to make choices about your own body" There is no Constitution based reason to require a woman to do anything about her body against her will. As I said about the Jehovah's Witness. That same judicial precedent about blood transfusions prevails here.

    Consider this: The ancients thought sperm was seed. All the woman did was to provide the "flower pot" for the "seed" to grow. So is a sperm human life? "My religion" (Play like) has decided that is is. So any man spilling his seed outside a vagina of a woman that is capable of producing children is guilty of murder. Guy caught masturbating goes to prison for the murder of a million chidlren. And the poor woman must save all of her menstrual flow and try to save that baby even though we know the egg is dead or will be soon.

    Another argument that religion can't be the deciding factor in determining when human life begins as far as our legal system goes.

    Other than being born, the only other criteria that would make any judicial sense would be the standard will this unborn survive outside the womb or is it solely dependent on the woman to survive.

    Legally, that has argument. That is why the time was set where it was in Roe vs. Wade to begin with. It is the closest method of measuring when a unborn could live if delivered that day.

    I am against letting unborns who accidentally survive being allowed to die and that has happened. If the unborn is now born and breathing, it is living and it should not be murdered.

    I personally don't like the abortion of an unborn that the doctor knows can survive. And I can see the Supreme Court saying that at that point the unborn should be delivered as to not deliberately try to destroy the viable unborn present.

    For the reasons above, I believe the Supreme Court made a wise decision in Roe vs. Wade. I think it should be left as is with no changes.

    To allow changes to end the pro choice as it is would be allowing certain religious viewpoints of some people to be forced on all people. When we change the rules on abortion we need to look at the Jehovah's Witness situation as well. We should force the Jehovahs' Witnesses to have blood transfussoins and then believe they are headed to hell in a handbasket or we should force the rest of the society to die should they need blood to survive so the Jehovahs' Witnesses can sleep well knowing that, though they forced a death, at least the dead person isn't headed to hell.

    Perhaps only Jehovahs' Witnesses should be appointed to the Supreme Court until they get the needed five votes to ban blood transfusions anywhere in the United States.

    For those who still have constitutional issues and religious issues confused, the whole concept of sperm and egg uniting and then attaching to the wall of the womb and then a heart beat, and all of that is something that science has discovered. The ancients who began all the present day religions knew nothing about this. And for Christians in particular, the Bible has absolutely no reference to abortion anywhere. And abortions were being done in those days and have been done for centuries.
     
  18. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

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    This is a quote that has always bothered me. A being is, by definition, 'one who lives or exists'. No one can seriously claim that a fetus doesn't live or exist. A human being? Of course it's human: it's not canine, feline, bovine, etc. Human tissue that is part of the woman? If it were part of the woman, it would not have its own blood type, heartbeat, brain activity, respiratory and circulatory systems, etc. A fetus is not a tumour. Of course it's a human life, and of course the extinguishing of a human life is murder. Legalised murder, to be sure, but murder just the same. Just for the record, I am also against euthanasia, capital punishment, suicide, etc. I don't think that the taking of another's life is the right of anyone, with or without the consent of the judicial system. In my opinion, life is sacred. However, that is my own opinion formed by my own conscience and reasoning, and I have no right to insist that others accept it. I will never be pregnant, so it's not a decision that I will ever have to make.
     
  19. Freddie53

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    This is a quote that has always bothered me. A being is, by definition, 'one who lives or exists'. No one can seriously claim that a fetus doesn't live or exist. A human being? Of course it's human: it's not canine, feline, bovine, etc. Human tissue that is part of the woman? If it were part of the woman, it would not have its own blood type, heartbeat, brain activity, respiratory and circulatory systems, etc. A fetus is not a tumour. Of course it's a human life, and of course the extinguishing of a human life is murder. Legalised murder, to be sure, but murder just the same. Just for the record, I am also against euthanasia, capital punishment, suicide, etc. I don't think that the taking of another's life is the right of anyone, with or without the consent of the judicial system. In my opinion, life is sacred. However, that is my own opinion formed by my own conscience and reasoning, and I have no right to insist that others accept it. I will never be pregnant, so it's not a decision that I will ever have to make.
    [post=354661]Quoted post[/post]​
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    Jacinto,

    There are two major points you make that are very crucial.

    One. That those are your particular beliefs and you aren't going to try to impose them on others.

    Second. You are consistent. I can respect your beliefs. I have a problem with some who yell murder on abortion and then lead the parade to have someone put to death (capital punishment). That is legal murder for sure. We might debate when human life begins, but there is no doubt that capital punishment is legalized murder. You always come down on the side of life regardless of the circumstances. That is consistency.

    I did not elaborate earlier when many consider human life to begin and that is when the sperm and egg actaully attach to the womb. It could be argued that until there is actaully a life suport system in place that life begins not at conception, but at the point that the sperm-egg attach to the womb and start receiving sustanance. This would make the so called morning after pill OK to use and not be considered an abortion of life.

    There are four places where many consider HUMAN life to begin:

    1. Conception
    2. Attachment of sperm/egg to the womb
    3. Time when the unborn could live on its own if born that day
    4. At first breath after birth

    Who has the moral authority to say that they are right and the other three groups are wrong?
     
  20. D_Barbi_Queue

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    Personally, I'm against abortions to an extent (I won't go into all the details) but I'm also against them being outlawed. Basically I loath the use of abortion for purposes of birthcontrol. Contraception is easy to get and easy to use.

    On the otherhand, I'm one of those freaks that is for capital punishment, but only if the person has also taken someone else's life. My thoughts are that the killer made the decision on his/her own when they killed their victim. Stupid logic perhaps, but that's my take on the difference between abortion and capital punishment.
     
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