News What do you support?

Check what you support

  • Ban all private gun ownership [more or less]

    Votes: 14 23.3%
  • Abortion made illegal

    Votes: 10 16.7%
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens

    Votes: 18 30.0%
  • Allow domestic wire taps without oversight

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Strong environmental protection laws

    Votes: 39 65.0%
  • Mostly unregulated imports and trade

    Votes: 18 30.0%
  • Elimination of the National debt

    Votes: 38 63.3%
  • Throw out the existing tax structure

    Votes: 30 50.0%
  • Increase taxes on the rich

    Votes: 24 40.0%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 4 6.7%

  • Total voters
    60
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With regard to abortion (and I'm thinking that specific posts on this topic should probably be split into another thread...)

...but anyways, my main question is this: what is considered a person and therefore a member of society. Persons have (or should have) fundamental rights granted by the collection of all persons that form our society. All else is property.

In my opinion, a fertilized egg is clearly no more a human being than an egg and a sperm taken separately, or the cells that carry full human genes in your appendix. The argument that "life begins at conception" is arbitrary; it disregards the fact that both the sperm and the egg are already alive even before they meet. The biochemical process that joins the genetic material contained in both cells is mechanistic. I don't see this as the decisive event.

On the other hand, a newborn baby is clearly a person in my mind and a member of society in spite of its inability to do anything useful at the moment. This judgment appears to be based on my personal and clearly emotional response to a creature that is independently alive and breathing. Also, the obvious: this person now has the potential to become anything, independently of the mother.

The tough part of course is to determine the point between conception and birth when property becomes person. At this time I feel, more than reason, that independence from the womb is the key. This means the ability to breathe and to nurse naturally, without the seemingly endless supply of medical science and equipment now available to support vital life signs where and when they would normally stop. This entails my support for abortion of the non-viable and my opposition for abortion of the viable.

While this principle works for me, legal aspects are a different matter. Since there is no precise and consistent age where independent viability occurs then some kind of average needs to be picked based on best available information. I would yield the floor to medical experts and legislators for this part of the debate.
 

russ_watters

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Wouldn't this hurt the middle class more than it hurts the rich? For most middle class people like myself, and probably you, our retirement depends entirely on how we invest our money.
That wasn't a fully-developed proposal I gave, just an idea. I would want to target it to people who actually get paid via stocks (options and grants) as opposed to retirement investors. You could easily enact a provision to tax a stock option at the time it is exercised (you'd have to immediatly sell ~25% of your stocks to pay the tax on it). You could also put age restrictions on it. I'd get rid of the estate tax, but then make it so that a young, able-bodied 'old money' type who doesn't work and gets all their spending money from their trust fund would pay income tax on it (yeah, Paris Hilton, I'm talking to you!).

I have a Roth IRA, which is taxed now and not taxed at all later. They are now starting to give people Roth 401ks, which work on the same principle.
 
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Ok, but at one point do you believe the human being comes into existence?
This should answer some other posts as well.

When is the unborn considered human instead of potentially-human? Definitely not before sometime between weeks 26-28 when higher conscious thought becomes psysically possible. I consider a human being a human when these processes turn on, something studies are beginning to suggest doesn't happen until well after birth. Living in the American midwest I'm still waiting in the case of most of my neighbors and relatives.

That last one was a joke. If you didn't realise that it it may be relavent to you.


But that's not the reason I'm pro-choice. If a woman I've never met wants to have an abortion, do I have the right to ask why? Do you have the right to ask why?

My belief is no. Unless I am going to be a male caregiver if not the father I fell I really have no right to force complete strangers to live their lives as I see fit. Neither does anyone else. You can be outraged all you like but I feel that unless you are the biological father or will be the man who will help raise the child I think you have no right to tell any woman wether or not they can have an abortion or not.

It's not a question of the humanity or potential humanity of the child so much as a consideration of how much power I feel I should have over the lives of other people. In my opinion no amount of power is justified unless my liberty or life is at stake, and all I ask in return is the same curtesy. I won't force you to live how I want you to live if in return you do the same.
 

Contrapositive

GleefulNihilism said:
But that's not the reason I'm pro-choice. If a woman I've never met wants to have an abortion, do I have the right to ask why? Do you have the right to ask why?

My belief is no. Unless I am going to be a male caregiver if not the father I fell I really have no right to force complete strangers to live their lives as I see fit.
This isn't like smoking a cigarette in the privacy of your own home. You are, in my opinion, killing another human being for your own benefit.

The way you and some others put it, it sounds like you don't want any limits on freedom. Honestly, if you don't have the right to make laws against murder, then what do we have the right to make laws against? But you don't seem like an anarchist. So is it really that you approve of murder, or is it you simply don't think a fetus is a human being? Because I find the latter to be a lot more reasonable than the former, even though I'm pro-life.
 
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So is it really that you approve of murder, or is it you simply don't think a fetus is a human being?
I don't mean to speak for others but I doubt that anybody approves of murder. So the answer ought to be in the second part of your question: what do you consider to be a human being? The pro-life/pro-choice disagreement is mainly a debate on where this line should be drawn. Strong pro-lifers may say as soon as a sperm enters an egg. Why? Why not. Strong pro-choicers may say at birth. Why? Why not. A human being is whatever human beings say that it is.
 

drankin

And what you mean is that women should have the freedom to decide whether to abort or not. Why did you bring up the issue of freedom of choice at all then. As far as I know, freedom of choice is not a legal right, it's a slogan for selling hamburger sandwiches.
Wendy's comes to mind...
 

Astronuc

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As far as I know, freedom of choice is not a legal right
Hmmmm. Perhaps most assume that freedom of choice is implicit within life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--
http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Or does one only have rights that are explicitly provided by some document or by some majority of others?
 

Contrapositive

I don't mean to speak for others but I doubt that anybody approves of murder. So the answer ought to be in the second part of your question: what do you consider to be a human being? The pro-life/pro-choice disagreement is mainly a debate on where this line should be drawn. Strong pro-lifers may say as soon as a sperm enters an egg. Why? Why not. Strong pro-choicers may say at birth. Why? Why not. A human being is whatever human beings say that it is.
Exactly. So why bring up this 'freedom of choice' stuff?
 

Ivan Seeking

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So why bring up this 'freedom of choice' stuff?
Well, if part of your body is "property" and not "person" then you should be free to choose how to handle it instead of having others impose their will upon you.
 
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Or does one only have rights that are explicitly provided by some document or by some majority of others?
In practice I would say that this is often the case. What you think is your obvious right can very well be illegal, if not where you are today then where you may be next week. It's certainly prudent to get rights that are important to you in writing.
 

Contrapositive

Well, if part of your body is "property" and not "person" then you should be free to choose how to handle it instead of having others impose their will upon you.
Actually, many of the laws in place today would suggest you do not have the right to do whatever you want with your own body. Doing drugs illegally would be an example. But, just a hundred years ago, you basically did have the right to do whatever you wanted with your own body. As much as I hate the idea, I think the constitution and the founding fathers would probably agree with legal abortions.
 

Evo

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Exactly. So why bring up this 'freedom of choice' stuff?
We wouldn't have to if "pro-lifers" would stop trying to tell others that they have to agree to their beliefs. Pro-lifers=no choice, what we say is right!

Wrong.
 

Hurkyl

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We wouldn't have to if "pro-lifers" would stop trying to tell others that they have to agree to their beliefs. Pro-lifers=no choice, what we say is right!

Wrong.
I don't follow -- because the "pro-lifers" are arguing their case, you feel compelled to bring up an entirely irrelevant point?
 
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Actually, many of the laws in place today would suggest you do not have the right to do whatever you want with your own body. Doing drugs illegally would be an example.
True, although the principle at play is to forbid goods that are unduly detrimental to society, not just to dictate how you use your own body. A better example is prostitution, another hot topic where the harm to society is being debated. In the case of abortion, detriment to society is certainly not obvious. Unwanted births are a bigger social problem.
 

Evo

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I don't follow -- because the "pro-lifers" are arguing their case, you feel compelled to bring up an entirely irrelevant point?
"Pro Choice"? The right of the mother to choose? How is that irrelevant?
 
Exactly. So why bring up this 'freedom of choice' stuff?
Because there exist multiple valid arguements for a pro-choice POV. 2 seen in this thread have been "When is does it count as a human being?" and "What about the rights of someone who is definitely a human being?". The main reason I am pro-choice is the second reason. For others, the main reason is the first reason.

As for my opinion on the first reason: No, I don't consider abortion murder. Murder to me implies a capacity for higher conscious thought in the victim which is not only not present in the unborn but physically impossible, as in the nessecary parts don't exist yet, until well into the 7th month of pregnancy. If a human being refuses to use their capacity for higher conscious thought they are equal to lower animals in my mind, but out of respect for that capacity I would stand for them. Show me they are capable of higher conscious thought and I'll consider switching sides, but not before.

But like I said the main reason I'm pro-choice is that I'm not about to butcher the rights of any definite human being who is contributing to society and humanity in a positive manner for something that may become a human being eventually, and even then has no guarentee of a positive impact on humanity.
 

Hurkyl

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"Pro Choice"? The right of the mother to choose? How is that irrelevant?
If someone was arguing that your right to free speech needed to be balanced against the safety of the masses, and so you should not be allowed to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre... would you consider "Free speech. 'nuff said!" to be a relevant response? :tongue:


AFAIK, the "pro-lifers" have always been an argument against murder -- you have the right to choose, you just don't have the right to murder.

It's like the popular "pro-choicer" approach is not to participate in the discussion; they, like you, simply want to completely ignore what the pro-lifers are saying, and instead pretend that they are trying to strike freedom of choice from the constitution.


If you think that abortion is not murder then fine, say that. But don't pretend that isn't what the "pro-lifers" are generally arguing. Even the phrase "pro-choice" is a denial to acknowledge what the issue is. :frown:
 
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If someone was arguing that your right to free speech needed to be balanced against the safety of the masses, and so you should not be allowed to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre... would you consider "Free speech. 'nuff said!" to be a relevant response? :tongue:


AFAIK, the "pro-lifers" have always been arguing that freedoms need to be balanced against the rights of others. They have never tried to argue that a woman shouldn't have freedom of choice; she just shouldn't have the freedom to murder.
Yes, I would consider that an adequite defense. I'll agree with you that it's rude and not something that should be done, but you have to expressly prove that the guy yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater did so with the express purpose of harming others before I'd even consider legal reprocussions. If he yelled "Fire!" out of a poorly planned peice of performance art for example I would not charge him with anything criminal. You'd be free to file a civil lawsuit, nothing says it doesn't go both ways, but the artist wouldn't see a prison cell if I had anything to say about it. Of course with a name like "Gleeful Nihilism" I bet that's kind of expected.

As for your second paragraph, I'm just going to sit back and laugh. "Women's bodies are considered the property of her husband in the Bible and our religion says a good wife is completely subservant to her husband at all times, but we have never said women are lesser human beings then men." Lol. Good One.
 
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Hurkyl

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Because there exist multiple valid arguements for a pro-choice POV. 2 seen in this thread have been "When is does it count as a human being?" and "What about the rights of someone who is definitely a human being?". The main reason I am pro-choice is the second reason. For others, the main reason is the first reason.
...
But like I said the main reason I'm pro-choice is that I'm not about to butcher the rights of any definite human being who is contributing to society and humanity in a positive manner for something that may become a human being eventually, and even then has no guarentee of a positive impact on humanity.
The question has never been about whether "any definite human being who is contributing to society and humanity in a positive manner" has rights. The question has always been whether or not "something that may become a human being eventually" has rights.

Incidentally, your statement is odd -- what if the woman wasn't contributing to society in a positive manner?
 

Astronuc

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In practice I would say that this is often the case. What you think is your obvious right can very well be illegal, if not where you are today then where you may be next week. It's certainly prudent to get rights that are important to you in writing.
However, the authors of the US Constitution maintained that "all men" (if taken literally excludes women) were endowed by certain inalienable rights, whether or not it was written. The only reason to right these rights into law is to 'ensure' these rights, rather than grant them. On the other hand, there were rights like property rights that were granted, and these rights could also be rescinded.
 
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I don't follow the objection to pro-choice arguments. Of course legal restrictions of any kind reduce our choices. Pro-lifers lobby to grant human rights to what is not yet human. If they succeed, this will infringe on the rights of a woman to choose how to treat her own body. If some other group succeeded in making blood transfusions illegal because their faith says it's wrong, this would also infringe on the rights of others to choose a medical option. We lose the choices available to us when we make them illegal. Pro-choice tries to prevent this loss.
 
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However, the authors of the US Constitution maintained that "all men" (if taken literally excludes women) were endowed by certain inalienable rights, whether or not it was written.
I'm sure this particular group of men believed in these specific rights. A second group of men might have picked a different set of unspoken inalienable rights that they also would put in writing forthwith before a third group of men take them away in favor of their own set.
 

mheslep

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I don't follow the objection to pro-choice arguments. Of course legal restrictions of any kind reduce our choices. Pro-lifers lobby to grant human rights to what is not yet human. ...
Thats being a bit cavalier what is or is not human. Could you define further?
 
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Thats being a bit cavalier what is or is not human. Could you define further?
I discussed that already. See post #51. As always, your mileage may vary.
 

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