Author Topic: Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?  (Read 2285 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« on: April 28, 2018, 10:10:49 PM »
While I remain skeptical of certain anti-abortion arguments, I'm not here in this thread to argue for or against it. I'm just puzzled by this hypothetical. It's a variation on the old Trolley Problem; not an argument per se, but more something that's meant to test your intuitions in regards to whether or not life begins at conception.

As Protestant Fred "Slacktivist" Clark puts it in an article entitled "A Gut Check":

Quote
So there’s a fire in a fertility clinic. You run to the back to make sure everyone is out and you find the room engulfed in flames. You’ve got to go — now — before the ceiling collapses and escape becomes impossible. But as you turn to go, you see two things. There’s a young girl, about 6 or 7 years old, passed out on the floor. And there’s a small freezer unit, inside of which there’s a rack holding two dozen frozen embryos. You have just barely enough time, maybe, to carry one or the other out with you. But only one. You can save the little girl, or you can save the 24 embryos.

Which do you choose to save?




Here comes the rhetorical punch.



Quote
Me too.

I say “Me too,” there, because I’m assuming you choose to save the little girl. Everybody does. That’s what our guts say, what our hearts say, what our conscience screams. That’s our moral intuition — what we feel would be right.

And to choose the other option — to leave the girl in order to “rescue” the 24 embryos — violates that moral intuition. It strikes us as wrong. As very wrong.

Quote
Because that’s what you do feel. We all do — which is why we almost never even bother considering that this thought experiment offers a third option. You could just turn and run, saving only yourself and fleeing the fire without either the girl or the embryos.

We don’t pay much attention to that possibility because we already know — universally, unanimously — that it isn’t an option at all. It would be cowardly, despicable, monstrous. The idea of emerging empty-handed from the building is almost unthinkable. How could you possibly justify yourself or defend yourself if you did that and had to somehow explain that decision to those outside?

But I’m not sure it’s any easier to imagine such an explanation if you emerged carrying the tray of embryos. No amount of reasserting the belief that these embryos are fully human persons would seem adequate at that point, even if the only people gathered outside were those who zealously shared that perspective. They might agree with the choice on some abstract level, doing their best to squelch the horror rising in their gut as they attempted to hail you as the hero who rescued 24 “people” from a burning building, rather than regarding you as someone who just left a little girl to die.

But no matter how many times they and you repeated that, you’d all still be feeling something else.


I guess I lean towards "save the girl," and I'm guessing that Clark would say that this just means that I have a properly functioning conscience. Though in situations like this, I'm also always really quick to try and weasel my way out of the dilemma- like if I wake up the girl and carry her while she carries the tray. But of course these kinds of things are always designed to somehow make that impossible. I'm guessing the embryos would die from the heat of the fire if I tried to take them out of the fridge.


Quote
Maybe that feeling — that moral intuition, that pang of conscience — is just some emotional, sentimental response that a more sophisticated moral construct requires us to see past. Maybe that pang of conscience doesn’t mean anything.

Or maybe it means a great deal, whether or not it’s “allowed.”

But I'm not sure if I can completely disregard the embryos either... It's a question I feel like I should be able to clearly respond to, but it just... always leaves me feeling confused and uneasy, I guess.

The thought occurred to me that it's all just an emotionally manipulative card trick. But I'm not entirely how since it seems pretty straight forward. Then again, I don't have much of a head for logic puzzles.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 10:14:16 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 11:51:00 PM »
Well, I'm not sure what he's ultimately driving at. Saving the girl does not mean that one is denying that the embryos are human (though it could). Removing the embryos will almost certainly have the effect of rendering them unviable, meaning I am almost certainly now allowing 25 people to die - the embryos and the little girl. The girl will certainly perish if I leave her and likely live if I save her; I think that's the reason you save the girl. The embryos are likely to perish anyway; saying you would save them seems like trying to score a political point at the expense of the little girl's life. Furthermore, embryos are not capable of feeling pain, so sad as it is that they perish, it is painless; not saving the girl is condemning her to a horrific death.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 02:17:54 AM »
Why would it render them nonviable?
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 03:39:58 AM »
The emotional inclination to save one human life over other human lives is not an argument that the other lives are not human. In a burning fire, most of us would probably instinctively save our own children before we would save other children. That's not proof that the other children are less human than our own.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 04:51:14 AM »
Would you rather save ten men in terminal conditions beyond recuperation or a baby? If I didn't freak out enough to kill us all, I'd probably save the baby and still get irreversible PTSD. Doesn't mean the ten lives in terminal conditions are less worth it. The choice of life and death isn't ours to make, and a life is a life.

Borderline situations don't make arguments. At least the trolley problem is an interesting mind game to troll hardline deontologists. But even these guys are probably mostly into tongue-and-cheek idealism rather than praxis. Do you think Kant would really tell the truth to a murderer?
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Offline Rubricnigel

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2018, 10:11:20 AM »
While I remain skeptical of certain anti-abortion arguments, I'm not here in this thread to argue for or against it. I'm just puzzled by this hypothetical. It's a variation on the old Trolley Problem; not an argument per se, but more something that's meant to test your intuitions in regards to whether or not life begins at conception.

As Protestant Fred "Slacktivist" Clark puts it in an article entitled "A Gut Check":

Quote
So there’s a fire in a fertility clinic. You run to the back to make sure everyone is out and you find the room engulfed in flames. You’ve got to go — now — before the ceiling collapses and escape becomes impossible. But as you turn to go, you see two things. There’s a young girl, about 6 or 7 years old, passed out on the floor. And there’s a small freezer unit, inside of which there’s a rack holding two dozen frozen embryos. You have just barely enough time, maybe, to carry one or the other out with you. But only one. You can save the little girl, or you can save the 24 embryos.

Which do you choose to save?




Here comes the rhetorical punch.



Quote
Me too.

I say “Me too,” there, because I’m assuming you choose to save the little girl. Everybody does. That’s what our guts say, what our hearts say, what our conscience screams. That’s our moral intuition — what we feel would be right.

And to choose the other option — to leave the girl in order to “rescue” the 24 embryos — violates that moral intuition. It strikes us as wrong. As very wrong.

Quote
Because that’s what you do feel. We all do — which is why we almost never even bother considering that this thought experiment offers a third option. You could just turn and run, saving only yourself and fleeing the fire without either the girl or the embryos.

We don’t pay much attention to that possibility because we already know — universally, unanimously — that it isn’t an option at all. It would be cowardly, despicable, monstrous. The idea of emerging empty-handed from the building is almost unthinkable. How could you possibly justify yourself or defend yourself if you did that and had to somehow explain that decision to those outside?

But I’m not sure it’s any easier to imagine such an explanation if you emerged carrying the tray of embryos. No amount of reasserting the belief that these embryos are fully human persons would seem adequate at that point, even if the only people gathered outside were those who zealously shared that perspective. They might agree with the choice on some abstract level, doing their best to squelch the horror rising in their gut as they attempted to hail you as the hero who rescued 24 “people” from a burning building, rather than regarding you as someone who just left a little girl to die.

But no matter how many times they and you repeated that, you’d all still be feeling something else.


I guess I lean towards "save the girl," and I'm guessing that Clark would say that this just means that I have a properly functioning conscience. Though in situations like this, I'm also always really quick to try and weasel my way out of the dilemma- like if I wake up the girl and carry her while she carries the tray. But of course these kinds of things are always designed to somehow make that impossible. I'm guessing the embryos would die from the heat of the fire if I tried to take them out of the fridge.


Quote
Maybe that feeling — that moral intuition, that pang of conscience — is just some emotional, sentimental response that a more sophisticated moral construct requires us to see past. Maybe that pang of conscience doesn’t mean anything.

Or maybe it means a great deal, whether or not it’s “allowed.”

But I'm not sure if I can completely disregard the embryos either... It's a question I feel like I should be able to clearly respond to, but it just... always leaves me feeling confused and uneasy, I guess.

The thought occurred to me that it's all just an emotionally manipulative card trick. But I'm not entirely how since it seems pretty straight forward. Then again, I don't have much of a head for logic puzzles.

Maybe shes a bad girl, maybe the embryos are future nazis?
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2018, 04:09:37 PM »
Why would it render them nonviable?

Because when frozen they are kept at like -200 degrees Celsius. They are nonviable within a matter of seconds at room temperature; inside a burning building, I imagine my window to save them is very limited. I would essentially need to just happen to have on me the equipment necessary to keep them at extremely cold temperatures.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2018, 05:15:40 PM »
Why would it render them nonviable?

Because when frozen they are kept at like -200 degrees Celsius. They are nonviable within a matter of seconds at room temperature; inside a burning building, I imagine my window to save them is very limited. I would essentially need to just happen to have on me the equipment necessary to keep them at extremely cold temperatures.

Thanks. I didn't know that.

Thought experiments can be hard to set up and make foolproof. I guess it could be reduced down to the old standby, "madman gives you a choice to save either a little girl or a tray of embryos before he kills the latter," heh.
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2018, 03:55:56 AM »
This theoretical was floating around my feed a few months back too, but the problem I had with it was this; would the argument still stand if you replaced the frozen embryos with an elderly person?

I think both sides would agree that an elderly person is a "human" and yet the outcome would likely be similar.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2018, 04:55:37 AM »
This theoretical was floating around my feed a few months back too, but the problem I had with it was this; would the argument still stand if you replaced the frozen embryos with an elderly person?

I think both sides would agree that an elderly person is a "human" and yet the outcome would likely be similar.

With an elder, you could find a way to get both of them out at the same time, though. If the elder is walking, you can just lead them by the hand. If they're in a wheel chair, then the child can sit in their lap while you push.

Now, if we do the "crazed madman is going to kill one of them" version, then we could say that the elder has had a full life already (and would likely volunteer to die, anyway), while the child is just starting out. But how do we chose between an embryo and a child on that basis? And if we're talking about several embryos, then we also have to deal with the possibility of a "needs of the many" calculus.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 04:56:17 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2018, 05:20:06 AM »
This theoretical was floating around my feed a few months back too, but the problem I had with it was this; would the argument still stand if you replaced the frozen embryos with an elderly person?

I think both sides would agree that an elderly person is a "human" and yet the outcome would likely be similar.

With an elder, you could find a way to get both of them out at the same time, though. If the elder is walking, you can just lead them by the hand. If they're in a wheel chair, then the child can sit in their lap while you push.

Now, if we do the "crazed madman is going to kill one of them" version, then we could say that the elder has had a full life already (and would likely volunteer to die, anyway), while the child is just starting out. But how do we chose between an embryo and a child on that basis? And if we're talking about several embryos, then we also have to deal with the possibility of a "needs of the many" calculus.

Well if the situation were that you HAD to choose one (no wheelchair, very frail elder who doesn't volunteer, no time for slowly leading both out etc.) to me the situation still looks arguably identical. I guess what I'm saying is, for the pro-abortion side I don't see how this imaginary scenario argues their case. Because everyone would agree that the senior is human, and yet the answer is just as difficult.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2018, 09:37:57 PM »
This theoretical was floating around my feed a few months back too, but the problem I had with it was this; would the argument still stand if you replaced the frozen embryos with an elderly person?

I think both sides would agree that an elderly person is a "human" and yet the outcome would likely be similar.

With an elder, you could find a way to get both of them out at the same time, though. If the elder is walking, you can just lead them by the hand. If they're in a wheel chair, then the child can sit in their lap while you push.

Now, if we do the "crazed madman is going to kill one of them" version, then we could say that the elder has had a full life already (and would likely volunteer to die, anyway), while the child is just starting out. But how do we chose between an embryo and a child on that basis? And if we're talking about several embryos, then we also have to deal with the possibility of a "needs of the many" calculus.

Well if the situation were that you HAD to choose one (no wheelchair, very frail elder who doesn't volunteer, no time for slowly leading both out etc.) to me the situation still looks arguably identical. I guess what I'm saying is, for the pro-abortion side I don't see how this imaginary scenario argues their case. Because everyone would agree that the senior is human, and yet the answer is just as difficult.

What makes it identical, though? An elderly person has at least lived a long and (hopefully) full life, a toddler is just starting out.

Obviously it would be better to save both of them if possible, but lifeboat ethics suck like that.
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 06:40:21 PM »
So ~ what did we decide ~ is it alive at a week old ~ is it a Kid ~ or ~ If it's not alive ~ why do they have to kill it ~ is it a kid ~ it doesn't have eyes or toes ```

I think it's a kid ~ very clear it's alive ```

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2018, 12:13:11 AM »
Who's "we?" I'm more or less agnostic on the personhood question at this point.

More than anything, I want humanity to hurry up and invent freestanding artificial wombs so that abortion becomes a non-issue.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 12:17:28 AM by Volnutt »
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2018, 01:29:02 AM »
What does agnostic mean ~ you don't believe something ~ or do and don't want to ~ or you have Kings X ```

Artificial Wombs ~ now there's a thought ~ I think they do have ~ well maybe not what you're looking for ```

So ~ you are the OP on this thread ~ what's your answer ~ I mean besides ~ you ain't saying exactly ```

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2018, 02:53:11 AM »
It means I genuinely have no idea whether or not life begins at conception. I do think the fetus is human by the end of the first trimester, though. So, I don't support partial birth abortion (unless the mother is going to die).

By "artificial womb" I mean a device that the unwanted pregnancy could be transferred into to continue until delivery. The resulting baby would then be put up for adoption. That way, the woman can chose whether she wants to give birth and nobody has to potentially die. I don't know to what extent it's theoretically possible, though.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2018, 06:28:04 PM »
We are alive : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB6gFn0_wr8

Watch this video ~ and ~ tell me if you still don't know ```


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOY16GlqrPw


seth


« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 06:31:46 PM by Sethrak »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2018, 06:34:19 PM »
We are alive : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB6gFn0_wr8

Watch this video ~ and ~ tell me if you still don't know ```


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOY16GlqrPw


seth

Watched it. I still don't know.

Cells are alive and do cell things, but that in itself doesn't mean they're people. If I want to give someone my kidney, the kidney doesn't get veto power.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2018, 08:14:21 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1qvUPYDnOY


Could it be ~ you don't want to know ```
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 08:15:17 PM by Sethrak »

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2018, 09:02:27 PM »
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist


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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2018, 11:24:03 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1qvUPYDnOY


Could it be ~ you don't want to know ```

Could it be ~ that that's an emotional appeal as fatuous as that of the woman who wrote about holding an aborted fetus in her hands and "realizing" at that moment that it wasn't human? ```
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2018, 01:31:21 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1qvUPYDnOY


Could it be ~ you don't want to know ```

Could it be ~ that that's an emotional appeal as fatuous as that of the woman who wrote about holding an aborted fetus in her hands and "realizing" at that moment that it wasn't human? ```

This. Well put.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2018, 02:16:58 AM »
St. Basil's Second Canon (Epitome)
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not.

We have reached the end of the discussion, at least from an Orthodox perspective. This is not Christian.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 02:17:15 AM by Antonis »
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2018, 02:47:34 AM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

With that fact established, the ethical question then becomes whether or not this nascent human life deserves the same right to life as all other human lives. And I would argue that once you deny human life its right to exist because of age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other arbitrary standard, then you have denied humanity altogether.

There is an age old ethical maxim, and one need not even be a Christian to embrace it: "Live and let live." It's a simple concept really. If we all heeded it, the world would be a much better, much more peaceful place. And when in doubt, always err on the side of life. Not sure if it's a life? Then err on the side of not killing it. And here's a hint: if you have to violently "terminate" it's growth, then it's alive.

Selam
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2018, 03:44:59 AM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

It's human tissue, yes. But I'm not sure that this in and of itself makes it a human being. An organ packed in ice on its way to a transplant is not a human being even though it's a mass of living human cells.

St. Basil's Second Canon (Epitome)
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not.

We have reached the end of the discussion, at least from an Orthodox perspective. This is not Christian.



From an Orthodox perspective, yep. Maybe this will keep me from becoming Orthodox, or maybe I'll have to accept life beginning at conception at the same time.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 03:55:07 AM by Volnutt »
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2018, 04:32:33 AM »
It was intended for the already-Orthodox. :)
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2018, 04:38:50 AM »
It was intended for the already-Orthodox. :)

Understood :)
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2018, 05:27:22 AM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

It's human tissue, yes. But I'm not sure that this in and of itself makes it a human being. An organ packed in ice on its way to a transplant is not a human being even though it's a mass of living human cells.


If we want to be technical about it, we are all masses of human cells. I am always curious about why the abortion defenders don't apply the same biological language to the born that they do to the unborn. If a fetus is only a clump of cells, then let's be consistent. We are all just clumps of cells, and therefore no one life has any more intrinsic biological value than another.

Selam
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2018, 06:04:54 AM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

It's human tissue, yes. But I'm not sure that this in and of itself makes it a human being. An organ packed in ice on its way to a transplant is not a human being even though it's a mass of living human cells.


If we want to be technical about it, we are all masses of human cells. I am always curious about why the abortion defenders don't apply the same biological language to the born that they do to the unborn. If a fetus is only a clump of cells, then let's be consistent. We are all just clumps of cells, and therefore no one life has any more intrinsic biological value than another.

Selam

Well, for one thing the lump of cells is pretty undifferentiated for the first few weeks. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to say that something that is not even vaguely human shaped yet is a human. For another, without appealing to Church tradition, it's hard to say exactly when the soul comes into the picture (especially if one denies Traducianism).

I do agree that by the end of the first trimester, the fetus is obviously human at least.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2018, 07:12:23 AM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

It's human tissue, yes. But I'm not sure that this in and of itself makes it a human being. An organ packed in ice on its way to a transplant is not a human being even though it's a mass of living human cells.


If we want to be technical about it, we are all masses of human cells. I am always curious about why the abortion defenders don't apply the same biological language to the born that they do to the unborn. If a fetus is only a clump of cells, then let's be consistent. We are all just clumps of cells, and therefore no one life has any more intrinsic biological value than another.

Selam

Well, for one thing the lump of cells is pretty undifferentiated for the first few weeks. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to say that something that is not even vaguely human shaped yet is a human. For another, without appealing to Church tradition, it's hard to say exactly when the soul comes into the picture (especially if one denies Traducianism).

I do agree that by the end of the first trimester, the fetus is obviously human at least.

With respect, defining human life by shape is not exactly a scientific criterion.

Selam
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2018, 03:18:56 PM »
If you don't know when human life begins, it's only because you don't want to know. It's an undisputed biological fact that human life begins at conception. Now whether or not this nascent human life is a "person" is a philosophical, ethical, and religious question beyond the scope of science. But there is no doubt that at the moment of conception a new human life comes into existence. This new life is not a canine life, a feline life, a bovine life, a piscine life, or a lupine life. It's a human life.

It's human tissue, yes. But I'm not sure that this in and of itself makes it a human being. An organ packed in ice on its way to a transplant is not a human being even though it's a mass of living human cells.


If we want to be technical about it, we are all masses of human cells. I am always curious about why the abortion defenders don't apply the same biological language to the born that they do to the unborn. If a fetus is only a clump of cells, then let's be consistent. We are all just clumps of cells, and therefore no one life has any more intrinsic biological value than another.

Selam

Well, for one thing the lump of cells is pretty undifferentiated for the first few weeks. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to say that something that is not even vaguely human shaped yet is a human. For another, without appealing to Church tradition, it's hard to say exactly when the soul comes into the picture (especially if one denies Traducianism).

I do agree that by the end of the first trimester, the fetus is obviously human at least.

With respect, defining human life by shape is not exactly a scientific criterion.

Selam

So a disembodied heart is human because it has human DNA?
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2018, 10:14:54 PM »
Your ear is human ```

At Conception we are alive ~ and of course Human ~ Alive for sure ~ Or ~ they wouldn't have to kill us ```

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2018, 10:37:21 PM »
No, it's a piece of a human. Otherwise you could lop my ear off, hook it up to a dialysis machine, and claim that it's my son. That would be theft/assault, not kidnapping. Or do you morn the death of your sloughed off skin cells?

Ending a pregnancy before the first few weeks or so is a killing of a living thing, but I don't see why it should count as the killing of a human. I don't think it has developed into one yet.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 10:40:00 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2018, 11:49:25 PM »
I made an incubator ( for eggs from our chickens in which a chick was forming ) we, the girls and I , would candle the eggs and watch the chick ~ up to the time when it would break out ~ and ~ for the first time ~ see the world that already expecting it ```

What we saw through the shell ~ we couldn't call a chicken ~ it was though " Chicken " and  Alive ``` There was no question that ~ God ~ designed this ~ as he designed all else ```

When someone can't see God's Work ~ as just that ~ it isn't that they have no faith ~ it is that their faith is spent elsewhere ```

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2018, 12:34:45 AM »
St. Basil's Second Canon (Epitome)
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not.

We have reached the end of the discussion, at least from an Orthodox perspective. This is not Christian.

From an Orthodox perspective, yep.

Is there any other?
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2018, 12:47:03 AM »
I made an incubator ( for eggs from our chickens in which a chick was forming ) we, the girls and I , would candle the eggs and watch the chick ~ up to the time when it would break out ~ and ~ for the first time ~ see the world that already expecting it ```

What we saw through the shell ~ we couldn't call a chicken ~ it was though " Chicken " and  Alive ``` There was no question that ~ God ~ designed this ~ as he designed all else ```

When someone can't see God's Work ~ as just that ~ it isn't that they have no faith ~ it is that their faith is spent elsewhere ```

1. I never said the fetus is not designed by God.

2. It's one thing to say it's a chicken when it hatches, how about two seconds after fertilization? It's something of a Sorites Paradox.

3. Like I said, emotional appeals like this either have little weight or else cancel each other out. I could pull up plenty of heartstrings tugging testimony from pro-choicers.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2018, 12:47:19 AM »
St. Basil's Second Canon (Epitome)
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not.

We have reached the end of the discussion, at least from an Orthodox perspective. This is not Christian.

From an Orthodox perspective, yep.

Is there any other?

Maybe, maybe not.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2018, 12:55:00 AM »
No, it's a piece of a human. Otherwise you could lop my ear off, hook it up to a dialysis machine, and claim that it's my son. That would be theft/assault, not kidnapping. Or do you morn the death of your sloughed off skin cells?

Ending a pregnancy before the first few weeks or so is a killing of a living thing, but I don't see why it should count as the killing of a human. I don't think it has developed into one yet.

It's a human being in an early stage of development; just because it does not appear to the eyes to be human does not mean it isn't. A truly undifferentiated mass of human cells will never develop into what is indisputably a human being. A heart or an ear or any other organ or body part will likewise never develop in this way. A zygote (and later an embryo), however, assuming it is not killed or does not otherwise perish through natural causes, will so develop, and is reasonably held to be a human being.

Whether ensoulment happens at conception, I'm less sure. The phenomenon of twins makes this more difficult to assert confidently.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2018, 12:59:42 AM »
No, it's a piece of a human. Otherwise you could lop my ear off, hook it up to a dialysis machine, and claim that it's my son. That would be theft/assault, not kidnapping. Or do you morn the death of your sloughed off skin cells?

Ending a pregnancy before the first few weeks or so is a killing of a living thing, but I don't see why it should count as the killing of a human. I don't think it has developed into one yet.

It's a human being in an early stage of development; just because it does not appear to the eyes to be human does not mean it isn't. A truly undifferentiated mass of human cells will never develop into what is indisputably a human being. A heart or an ear or any other organ or body part will likewise never develop in this way. A zygote (and later an embryo), however, assuming it is not killed or does not otherwise perish through natural causes, will so develop, and is reasonably held to be a human being.

Like I said, Sorites Paradox, at what point is an acorn a sapling? Sperm meets egg, cells divide and form a blastocyst, blastocyst travels through filopian tube and implants in uterine wall, cells divide and differentiate into stem cells, organs form, etc. At some point along this line it goes from nonhuman to human, but I'm not sure why sperm meets egg is the only possible point.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 01:00:15 AM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2018, 01:05:25 AM »
No, it's a piece of a human. Otherwise you could lop my ear off, hook it up to a dialysis machine, and claim that it's my son. That would be theft/assault, not kidnapping. Or do you morn the death of your sloughed off skin cells?

Ending a pregnancy before the first few weeks or so is a killing of a living thing, but I don't see why it should count as the killing of a human. I don't think it has developed into one yet.

It's a human being in an early stage of development; just because it does not appear to the eyes to be human does not mean it isn't. A truly undifferentiated mass of human cells will never develop into what is indisputably a human being. A heart or an ear or any other organ or body part will likewise never develop in this way. A zygote (and later an embryo), however, assuming it is not killed or does not otherwise perish through natural causes, will so develop, and is reasonably held to be a human being.

Like I said, Sorites Paradox, at what point is an acorn a sapling? Sperm meets egg, cells divide and form a blastocyst, blastocyst travels through filopian tube and implants in uterine wall, cells divide and differentiate into stem cells, organs form, etc. At some point along this line it goes from nonhuman to human, but I'm not sure why sperm meets egg is the only possible point.

I think "sperm meets egg" is when that transition happens because it is at that point it is a distinct organism and has the capacity to fully develop. I could be wrong, but that makes sense to me.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2018, 04:10:55 AM »
At some point along this line it goes from nonhuman to human, but I'm not sure why sperm meets egg is the only possible point.

If one doesn’t know, it might behoove one to err on the side of caution when a human life is on the line.

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2018, 06:47:08 AM »
At some point along this line it goes from nonhuman to human, but I'm not sure why sperm meets egg is the only possible point.

If one doesn’t know, it might behoove one to err on the side of caution when a human life is on the line.

+1

Selam
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2018, 11:20:31 AM »

quote MalpanaGiwargis :

It's a human being in an early stage of development; just because it does not appear to the eyes to be human does not mean it isn't. A truly undifferentiated mass of human cells will never develop into what is indisputably a human being. A heart or an ear or any other organ or body part will likewise never develop in this way. A zygote (and later an embryo), however, assuming it is not killed or does not otherwise perish through natural causes, will so develop, and is reasonably held to be a human being.

Whether ensoulment happens at conception, I'm less sure. The phenomenon of twins makes this more difficult to assert confidently.
[/quote]




Thank you ~ that sums it up nicely ```

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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2018, 02:51:08 PM »
At some point along this line it goes from nonhuman to human, but I'm not sure why sperm meets egg is the only possible point.

If one doesn’t know, it might behoove one to err on the side of caution when a human life is on the line.

Except there's not a few women who have their lives destroyed by having to care for one more mouth to feed (or conversely, children who have gone through the hell of our broken adoption system).

Obviously better social services would be the more desirable solution there, but that doesn't seem very politically possible in the US right now. But I don't want this thread to get kicked to Politics so I'll just leave it at the unobjectionable observation that being poor in America is... not fun. Some might say death is better, in fact.
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Re: Abortion, what does this prove (if anything)?
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2018, 03:47:24 PM »

 But I don't want this thread to get kicked to Politics so I'll just leave it at the unobjectionable observation that being poor in America is... not fun. Some might say death is better, in fact.

I am poor and disabled in America. Death is not better.