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Ron
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100 posted 10-10-2008 12:22 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Most except its own unique set of diploid DNA which marks it as a separate human organism, no longer just a specialized haploid cell of the parent.

Good to see you, Stephen!

I didn't see anything in the list threadbear provided about unique DNA being a qualification for life? There's a whole lot of Doublemint twins who are going to be very disappointed to learn their identical DNA doesn't provide them protection under the law.

We've already cloned mice, sheep, and chimpanzees, Stephen. The technology to clone a human being already exists and will eventually be (if it hasn't already been) used. Does a cloned human child deserve protection under the law? Even though her non-unique DNA originated from one of those specialized haploid cells? If so, how long before we need to protect those haploid cells? Watch where you spit now.

I saw a fascinating show on PBS last week about the role of sex in evolution. Balladeer can jump in here, perhaps, and correct me if I get this wrong, but it seems the female cockroach typically has intercourse exactly once in her entire life. That's all she needs, apparently, because she stores the sperm from that one incident inside her body and uses it to fertilize her eggs at will. That's why bringing home just one cockroach in a paper bag can result in an infestation. She's pretty much always pregnant.

Humans are wired a little differently, of course, but I think the female cockroach is nonetheless a testament to the potential of as yet unpaired gametes.
Bob K
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101 posted 10-10-2008 02:02 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

           Are you suggesting that folks who don't agree with your opinion on the restriction of choice are psychopaths, Ron?  I know somebody who would object to comments made about posters, and not their opinions; and very strenuously too.

     Except here.

      I think you should delete your own post.

      Mischievously yours,

Bob Kaven


Bob K
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102 posted 10-10-2008 02:20 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

           The word "Yoga" also comes from the Sanskrit for "yoke."  It means in this case the discipline that frees.  I find the connection somewhat more to the point.

     Exactly what was the point you were trying to make there about zygotes anyway?  I didn't follow.

     I do believe something important happened with conception.  I don't wish to make light of that.  My sense of meaning is more invested in the birth process.  I wish you wouldn't try to tell me that my sense of meaningfulness is wrong by fiat.  I respect your sense of things, and the sense of loss that people have when they lose a baby before it comes to term.  But I do happen to believe that the sense of coming to term does have some meaning.  I know it does for me, and I know it does for many other people.

     I believe it is disrespectful of the anguish that many go through in reaching these decisions to throw stigma upon them, and to attempt to use shame as a method of argumentation.  It seems to be contrary the values of the religion that I understand christianity to be to proceed in this way.  I suppose I am not the guy to make such an observation, but this is the way the situation strikes me.

Anyway, it's a passing observation.

Best to you and your fine folks,  Bob Kaven
moonbeam
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103 posted 10-10-2008 04:06 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
quote:... all I've been doing from the start is arguing that a fixed position of "kill" or "not kill" is not sustainable/compassionate/sensible/rational, whatever!!

And yet that's exactly what we have in just about every other human context, Moonbeam. Fixed positions are what we call laws. That's not to say flexibility and mercy don't exist in our system, because they obviously do. But we still need the fixed positions.

Oops I missed this before Ron (just edited it in).  

We're into semantics at long last.  We both agree on this - I extrapolate that from your reply to threadbear.  Laws aren't necessarily fixed, in the sense I mean fixed, at all.  My particular branch of law is Landlord and Tenant law in the UK where  statute is often framed around if/then statements, as for that matter is some abortion law: "if the foetus is less than xx weeks, then permissible" for example.  If it were possible to work up legislation to deal with every circumstance in abortion then that could be enshrined in statute; that would be fixed by your definition but not by mine!  Anyway, before all that, by fixed position I simply meant the thought behind the law, not the law itself.  Are you deliberately trying to prolong this!    

Anyway, if, as you say, you don't want to base laws upon religious convictions (as you said to threadbear) what would you base them upon?

Also missed this:
quote:
Are you suggesting that ignorance is then sufficient reason to err on the side of caution?


Yes.

(It's kinda like the opposite of what I do when I see someone ask a leading question with a bear trap behind it.  I just answer "yes"     for the fun of it.  But please don't hit me over the head with Churchill or some such.)


quote:
At some point, Moonbeam, you have to draw a line in the sand. If we keep pushing that line back because of scientific uncertainty, there isn't a single human cell that shouldn't be protected.


Absolutely right Ron (although it occurs to me that 500 years hence people may condemn us for murdering hair, let's just hope they haven't also invented temporal travel - well I guess they clearly haven't or we be in some futuristic court by now on a charge of "follicle abuse", anyway I digress), there has to be a line.  All I've been arguing for is not a fixed one.  A line which wavers with circumstances.  There ya go.  Why didn't I say that 5 days ago.    

Good decision on the "society" debate!  I need to write a poem or two.


[This message has been edited by moonbeam (10-10-2008 11:56 AM).]

Ron
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quote:
Are you suggesting that folks who don't agree with your opinion on the restriction of choice are psychopaths, Ron?

Didn't say that either, Bob. I was clearly asking about a guy with seven teeth in his pocket.

Is he posting here?

You did manage to sidestep the question very nicely, though.

quote:
Anyway, if, as you say, you don't want to base laws upon religious convictions (as you said to threadbear) what would you base them upon?

In very large part, Moonbeam, on the precept of protecting people from other people. Not from themselves, and not from God.


Bob K
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105 posted 10-10-2008 02:51 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Ron,

          I'm having some trouble posting this reply.  Last attempt the program ate it.  I'm trying again.

quote:

Bob says,

I would like to meet one of these pro-abortion people some day.  I personally have never met one.  I think they are an invention of people who don't believe that women should have a right to choose.

Ron replies:
Uh, Bob? I think you were the first to use the term? Nobody here has been talking about pro-abortion people.



     threadbear uses the word in post #86.  It was his use of the word that I was speaking to.

     Your debating technique was so authoritative that I almost didn't check, but there it was.

     And then there was this interesting exchange.  I begin here by noting that the business of murdering two year olds is the fantasy of those whole are against women making choices on carrying their pregnancies to term.  I suggest that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is difficult enough.  The notion of murdering a two year old, already born, with a history, relationships, memories, the personhood acquired after birth is not a fantasy I could have dreamed up.  It takes somebody with a very violent set of fantasies to dream this up.  I am uncomfortable not so much with the fantasies, but with the imputation of those fantasies without evidence to other people and the denial of ownership of those fantasies for themselves.  I ask about this in the quote below:

quote:

And why then would they wish to attribute their somewhat unsettling fantasy lives to people whose position is limited to suggesting that women be allowed the right to make their own choices here?  This puzzles me.



     I have actually asked a question here.  In Ron's reply, quoted below, we can see his use of the word "Right." indicates he has heard.  And we can see by the two questions on another topic following right afterwards that he has choses not to answer the question.  He treats it as rhetorical when it is not.

quote:

Right. And the guy with the seven teeth in his pocket, Bob? Was he allowed to make his own choices, too?



     Ignoring the fact that Ron has not answered my question, it becomes a matter of some interest to look at the two questions he does ask.  Ron will later give me some grief for not answering these questions, so the nature of the questions seems important to me here.

     The question under discussion is, from my point of view, why should we not accept a woman's right to choose whether she will carry a child to the legally accepted limit of her period of choice.  I believe that given other things are functional, it should be her right to make that choice.
While Ron may have stated his position with clarity at some point, I confess I haven't seen it.  From his various statements, it appears that he has some disagreement with my thinking on this matter, and that his own thinking is not in agreement with his own usually more Libertarian views in this regard.

     I don't feel that Ron has to be consistent.  I will try not to force such a position.  People are not slaves to logic; logic is an aid in clear thinking, not a substitute for it.

     I will try to use logic as a tool here, however, when we look at Ron's questions again:

quote:

And the guy with the seven teeth in his pocket, Bob? Was he allowed to make his own choices, too?



     Ron here is suggesting that if he can prove that Mel was merely exercising his right to choice, he can prove that the right to choice in general is as crazy as Mel.  This depends upon Ron's ability to blur the distinction between Mel and a woman making a choice to have or not have an abortion.

     If I am incorrect in this conclusion, I am sorry in advance.  

     Actually, rather than attempting to go ahead without checking, I'll simply ask Ron if this is in fact what he's trying to do.  No point in talking to a fictional Ron when a real one may be willing to talk, is there?

     And let me try to answer Ron's question.  

     Perhaps Ron might also take a shot at answering mine as well.

     I did everything I could to make sure his choices were limited, Ron.  I opposed his being sent to a unit with more freedom and more access to the outside world because it was clear to me that he was only barely able to control himself under the restrictions he was under on a locked ward.  Once he arrived there I made sure his things were searched on a daily basis for dangerous materials.  The administration was dead set as a matter of policy to get this man discharged.  He was the advance wave for the new deinstitutionalization program, and a poster boy for getting government out of the mental hospital business.

     I did not succeed.  I believed he had the right to make his own decisions, and I still do.  I also believed I had the right to do what I could to make my choices about the safety of the people I cared about and, yes, even his safety as well.  I wish I could tell you that this was easy; in general it wasn't, but with Mel, you had to be an idiot or a flunky not to see what was happening.  In the end, I think it cost me my job to get him out of there.  Or maybe it was just a self-destructive streak in me, and it was time to be moving on anyway, and I was injured, and I was going back to school and the sky was falling.  Mostly the sky was falling, probably.

     Mel, though, was nuts.  He'd been nuts for 40 years, and every time somebody had tried to release him previously, he'd displayed that for everybody to see.  He'd spent the previous time confined in a hospital for folks who were both dangerous and crazy.  Folks who are dangerous are  less frequent proportionally than they are among so called normal folks.  Normal folks are much more violent as a rule.  Of course I suppose that depends on how you portion out the various psychopaths, as criminals or as patients or as both.  Mel was an exceptional guy.

     I don't think the responsibility here was entirely Mel's.  I would take some of it myself.  I would also fasten a solid amount of it around the neck of the then Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, whose policy it was.

     Having gotten an answer, what would you like to do with it?

Curiously, Bob Kaven

      

    
Grinch
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106 posted 10-10-2008 03:44 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
In very large part, Moonbeam, on the precept of protecting people from other people. Not from themselves, and not from God.


Doesn’t that raise some issues Ron?

I think society, via laws, definitely should protect people from themselves in certain circumstances, allowing for instance, authorities to intervene to protect the individual from acts of unnecessary self harm.

I also think that laws are necessary to separate church and state - to protect individuals against the enforced influence of any single religion -  to protect the people from any single god. Though as I don’t believe in god I have to admit that this, at least to me, is protecting people from other people’s religious beliefs.

Protecting the people from other people? As far as abortion goes doesn’t that just move the question to “when is a foetus a person?” .

I answered your question in the other thread “when is a foetus alive” by suggesting that it could be judged on when the foetus had the ability to live independent of the mother, with or without medical intervention. I think that a similar answer can be applied to when a person becomes a person, surely the defining quality of personhood in foetuses is the ability to exist as a person independent of the mother, with or without medical intervention.

I believe that you can only kill a person who is both alive and a person. I’m against abortion after the point of viability, the point where a foetus has the ability to live independent of the mother. Before that point all you’re killing is the potential of a living person, it’s no different from denying the potential for life through contraception.

moonbeam
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107 posted 10-10-2008 04:14 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Heavens Grinch, now you've really stepped into it, lol.  When it can live independently, wow!  Kudos for a firm position though.  

I'm intrigued by the idea of laws to protect one from God Ron (I love how that juxtaposition could be reversed, heh).  I need to think about that a little more.

And Bob, I think the whole 2 year old thing started with Ron simply trying to steer the debate towards what he regards as a central issue: "when does life begin?" - a question I regard as pointless to any debate about abortion and therefore studiously avoided discussing! I'm quite sure Ron wasn't fantasising - not at that point anyway.  
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108 posted 10-10-2008 04:25 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Grinch,

I apologize for the following graphic thoughts, but nothing about this subject is for the squeamish.  Whether you agree or not, for close to 50% of the people in the United States, abortion is infanticide!  On a 10 scale of heinous crimes, infanticide has to be a '10.'   That is why these 50% are so upset that pro-abortion people use 'oh, it's just this or that' labeling logic on what the baby/or item (or if you prefer) is.  They throw out terms like 'viable' as if that excuses the behavior.   Sorry, I'm not buying it.  To me that analogy is like someone having bad behaviors, slapping a 'disease' label on it, then claiming they are not responsible for the occurences.

You wrote:
------------------------------------------
I believe that you can only kill a person who is both alive and a person. I’m against abortion after the point of viability, the point where a foetus has the ability to live independent of the mother. Before that point all you’re killing is the potential of a living person, it’s no different from denying the potential for life through contraception.
------------------------------------------

So you are saying, post-abortion, that if you laid, side by side:
- your used 'contraception' device
- and the 3 month fetus, (3-4 inches long, with head, hands, legs, eyes, mouth)

that they are 'NO DIFFERENT' to you?!  

I am SPEECHLESS!
moonbeam
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109 posted 10-10-2008 04:31 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
I apologize for the following graphic thoughts, but nothing about this subject is for the squeamish.  Whether you agree or not, for close to 50% of the people in the United States, abortion is infanticide!  On a 10 scale of heinous crimes, infanticide has to be a '10.'   That is why these 50% are so upset that pro-abortion people use 'oh, it's just this or that' labeling logic on what the baby/or item (or if you prefer) is.  They throw out terms like 'viable' as if that excuses the behavior.   Sorry, I'm not buying it.  To me that analogy is like someone having bad behaviors, slapping a 'disease' label on it, then claiming they are not responsible for the occurences.

You wrote:
------------------------------------------
I believe that you can only kill a person who is both alive and a person. I'm against abortion after the point of viability, the point where a foetus has the ability to live independent of the mother. Before that point all you're killing is the potential of a living person, it's no different from denying the potential for life through contraception.
------------------------------------------

So you are saying, post-abortion, that if you laid, side by side:
- your used 'contraception' device
- and the 3 month fetus, (3-4 inches long, with head, hands, legs, eyes, mouth)

that they are 'NO DIFFERENT' to you?!  

I am SPEECHLESS!

~Excuse me while I yawn.~  All of which goes to illustrate exactly why it's pointless to discuss that aspect of this issue.

And you didn't answer my question about the difference between mammals and humans threadbear.

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110 posted 10-10-2008 04:38 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Sorry, Moonbeam, and Grinch,
I didn't mean to be rude.  I just know if I saw both of those, that the tears wouldn't stop.  

Anyway, I'm a bit confused about your question:  what is the difference between mammals and humans.....  in what regard?  As far as viability, or... or ....   Help me out here! *smile*

I hadn't intended to post in this thread anymore, but Grinch really took my breath away
and I know I stepped on my bottom lip.  
T.Bear
moonbeam
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111 posted 10-10-2008 04:46 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

It's ok, you weren't rude at all threadbear.   I just don't see the point of discussing the point.

Earlier in the thread you said to Ron:

"God/Bible actually condones the killing of animals for food, but not people.  Your implication is that they are one and the same."

I maybe misunderstood, but I thought you sounded offended by the implication that animals and humans are alike?  

And that you were saying that animals are different to humans which is why God condones killing them.  I was just wondering in what way you think animals are different?
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112 posted 10-10-2008 04:54 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Hey, Moonbeam.  

No, I thought Ron was making the point that 'killing' is killing, and the 'eat no meat on Friday' meant that.

  Turns out, that's not what he meant at all and he clarified it for me, no problem.  He was talking about making mandatory laws for everyone, based upon some people's religious beliefs.

Anyway, I'm done with this thread, being the bear that I am.  You're right.  There's really no point.  ~nodding~
Take care,
and keep a 'stiff upper lip' (unlike mine! LOL)
T.Bear
Ron
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113 posted 10-10-2008 05:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... threadbear uses the word in post #86.  It was his use of the word that I was speaking to.[quote]
My apologies, Bob. I missed that.

[quote]"And why then would they wish to attribute their somewhat unsettling fantasy lives to people whose position is limited to suggesting that women be allowed the right to make their own choices here?  This puzzles me."

I have actually asked a question here.  In Ron's reply, quoted below, we can see his use of the word "Right." indicates he has heard.  And we can see by the two questions on another topic following right afterwards that he has choses not to answer the question.  He treats it as rhetorical when it is not.

Bob, if you want a serious answer you have to ask a serious question. Your phrasing is no less loaded that the old "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question. I don't know anyone with unsettling fantasy lives. I don't know anyone whose position is limited. And I certainly don't know anyone suggesting that women be allowed the right to make their own choice here. I'm guessing you meant something else in that last part?

Ask a question that doesn't presuppose the answer, Bob, and I'll be happy to answer directly.

quote:
While Ron may have stated his position with clarity at some point, I confess I haven't seen it.

You haven't missed it.

quote:
From his various statements, it appears that he has some disagreement with my thinking on this matter, and that his own thinking is not in agreement with his own usually more Libertarian views in this regard.

I don't try to structure my views according to someone else's labels, Bob, if that's indeed what you mean.

quote:
Ron here is suggesting that if he can prove that Mel was merely exercising his right to choice, he can prove that the right to choice in general is as crazy as Mel. This depends upon Ron's ability to blur the distinction between Mel and a woman making a choice to have or not have an abortion.

I wouldn't use the word crazy, Bob. I'm not interested in Mel's sanity, after all, but rather the way his choices impact other people. Especially the woman missing the teeth? Who, some might say, has a lot in common with the child not allowed to come to term.

The point, Bob, is that you can't legitimately argue for a person's right to choose. Not without giving it a context, because realistically we limit people's right all the time. If Mel makes the choice to murder a woman and yank out her teeth, we're going to try to stop him. That's a choice within a context. You can argue whether it's right or wrong, but you can't argue that Mel gets to make and act on any choice he wants. At least, not if you want your argument to be taken seriously.

quote:
Protecting the people from other people? As far as abortion goes doesn’t that just move the question to “when is a foetus a person?” .

Exactly so, Grinch.

quote:
I answered your question in the other thread “when is a foetus alive” by suggesting that it could be judged on when the foetus had the ability to live independent of the mother, with or without medical intervention.

At least that's a target, Grinch, albeit a potentially moving one. It's a common opinion, too, indeed, the prevailing opinion it would seem.

But have you really laid any foundation for why it should be more than an opinion? More on that in moment.

quote:
I’m against abortion after the point of viability, the point where a foetus has the ability to live independent of the mother. Before that point all you’re killing is the potential of a living person, it’s no different from denying the potential for life through contraception.

See, that moment didn't take lone.

Why is viability from the mother "the" dividing point? I agree we have to draw that line in the sand, but why pick one that depends solely on medical technology? This particular line in the sand essentially says that a group of cells is only a potential one day but becomes a living person twenty-four hours later. Isn't that a little hard to justify?

What if our line in the sand was, instead, the point at which brain cells begin forming permanent connections? Isn't it the brain, after all, that physically differentiates us from animals? At what point does a child's neural connections begin to form?

quote:
So you are saying, post-abortion, that if you laid, side by side:
- your used 'contraception' device
- and the 3 month fetus, (3-4 inches long, with head, hands, legs, eyes, mouth)

that they are 'NO DIFFERENT' to you?!  

I get the impression, threadbear, that you feel people aren't taking the potential life of a fetus seriously enough. And that's a valid point, I think.

It might be constructive, however, to honestly ask yourself whether you're taking the consequences of contraception seriously enough? To many, many people the latter is every bit as damning as the former. Why should we believe they're wrong and you're right?


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quote:
Whether you agree or not, for close to 50% of the people in the United States, abortion is infanticide!


“I have no control over the beliefs of other people beyond ensuring that I don’t accept them without question or disregard them without reason.”

Craig Walker - 2008

quote:
Sorry, I'm not buying it.


Luckily I’m not selling it - I’m offering it up for discussion, for free, as my personal opinion.

quote:
So you are saying, post-abortion, that if you laid, side by side:
- your used 'contraception' device
- and the 3 month fetus, (3-4 inches long, with head, hands, legs, eyes, mouth)

that they are 'NO DIFFERENT' to you?!


No, I’m saying that a foetus up to ten weeks has the same potentiality or ability to live as an independent entity (a person) as a sperm or an ovum. Namely zero.

I believe that your earlier list defining the criteria for apportioning the label “life” is missing one important characteristic - the ability to live.

quote:
I am SPEECHLESS!


I’m Craig - pleased to meet you.

Stephanos
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115 posted 10-10-2008 08:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Humans are wired a little differently, of course, but I think the female cockroach is nonetheless a testament to the potential of as yet unpaired gametes.

Potential is another argument Ron.  Zygotes are not potential human organisms, but actual.  Gametes are specialized cells of the parent.  


And twins still have diploid DNA.  Likeness or difference from each other is not the crux of the question ... a profound difference from parental reproductive cells is.


Stephen
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     Threadbear's comment about the percentage of folks who believe that abortion is infanticide is another one of the many points about this discussion that puzzles me.  My copy of The Oxford American Dictionary defines infanticide as "murder of an infant soon after its birth."  The population in majority or as a whole is capable of believing many things that are not true or have a debatable validity.  Reality is to some extend determined by social consensus according to Peter Berger and other interesting sociologists and philosophers, but I don't believe they meant that reality is socially determined in quite this way.  Am I wrong in understanding that more people believe in the reality of angels than in the theory of Evolution?  

     Simply because a majority believes something to be true says nothing about the actual reality of the belief.  Society believes different things at different times, after all.  This is a faulty argument; and, when looked at against the actual nature of the question, one that is ill-formed.

     What you would probably want to ask is the question, Is abortion murder?  Then you might be able to offer your statistics with some hope of validity—not that abortion is in fact murder, only that this is the proportion of folks who believe it to be so.  Since the fetuses in question, not having been born yet, are by definition not infants, the question is ill-formed and invalid.  It merely says that this is a proportion of the population who don't understand the definition of the word, or whose passions have so swayed them that they aren't offering a thoughtful response.

     And, specifically for Ron, I'd like to point out another instance of the usage of the word "pro-abortion."

     Threadbear, I am pro-choice.  Do you confuse me with somebody who loves abortions and encourages people to have extra and gratuitous abortions, over and above what they believe they need?  If that is the case, you should understand your notion is not correct.  I neither encourage nor discourage abortions, I encourage thoughtful and loving choices in pretty much the way I do with other sorts of psychotherapy decisions, from within the client's heart.  Not doing work in California now because I am not licensed here, doesn't mean my philosophy of doing therapy has suddenly shifted.

     I can see you are authentically disturbed by the issue, by the way, and that it all gives you real pain.  I admire your authenticity about this.  I sometimes think the issue has a lot to do with how a woman feels about herself, about how she feels about bringing a life into the world, into this world specifically, and into her place in this specific world.  I think that there is also a question about how she feels about her primary relationship at the time and how she feels about this particular child.

     When we talk about abortion, I think in some ways, that oversimplifies the issue.  Almost always when I've spoken with women about this sort of decision, the actual question of abortion or not abortion gets set aside fairly quickly in favor of discussion of these other issues, and the ultimate outcome of the actual abortion decision rests on the answers the woman can reach about these questions.  That's on the basis of occasional conversations.  If you could find it in your heart to talk with some abortion counselors without the pre-chosen agenda of trying to convince them of the error of their ways and instead with the agenda of understanding what it is in the lives of these women that brings them to the point of feeling the need to make such a decision in the first place, you might find new areas of understanding opening up for you.

     As long as the discussion is framed in terms of the good or evil of the medical procedure itself, I think the discussion is at a standstill.  If indeed the discussion can be framed in terms of what brings women to the point of needing to make such decisions in the first place, then I think an empathic bridge can be built and the discussion can open up.  My interest is in opening up the humanity of the discussion, and not solidifying folks in their positions.

     We're all too good at doing that for our own well being.

My thoughts at this time, at least.  Respectfully tendered.

Bob Kaven
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quote:
Zygotes are not potential human organisms, but actual.

That's the question, Stephen, not the answer. I don't know any zygotes. Have never talked to one, have never had one talk to me. Yea, there's the potential there for someone I can know, someone with whom I can have a discussion, but as best I can tell that's all it is. Potential. The zygote is a building block, and mommy ain't through building yet. At any given moment, a gamete is just ten seconds from the same exact potential. And perhaps more to the point, with today's cloning technology, any of your diploid cells are potentially just nine months or so from being a brand new rug rat.

Potential isn't just another argument, old friend. It's the argument.

quote:
Likeness or difference from each other is not the crux of the question

I agree completely, Stephen. You're the one who used the word unique?


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Ron:
quote:
Have never talked to one, have never had one talk to me. Yea, there's the potential there for someone I can know, someone with whom I can have a discussion, but as best I can tell that's all it is.


That's a poor criteria Ron.  There are droves who would doubtless fall under your umbrella of human protection whom you haven't talked to ... many of whom can and never will talk.  You are conflating level of development with being.  Embryology still asserts that a fetus is a distinct human organism.

quote:
At any given moment, a gamete is just ten seconds from the same exact potential. And perhaps more to the point, with today's cloning technology, any of your diploid cells are potentially just nine months or so from being a brand new rug rat.

Potential isn't just another argument, old friend. It's the argument.


You're only obfuscating this.  For whether with cloning or gestation, it is what happens in that "ten seconds" that you are failing to address ... that which makes the difference between a parent's cell, and a new human organism.

quote:
Me:Likeness or difference from each other is not the crux of the question


Ron:I agree completely, Stephen. You're the one who used the word unique?


Context, Ron, context. I used the word "unique" in regard to the fertilized egg being profoundly different than cells of the parent (in cloning or otherwise)... not in regard to every human being having different DNA from one another.


Stephen
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Bob:
quote:
Exactly what was the point you were trying to make there about zygotes anyway?  I didn't follow.


It was what you already seemed to concede ... that a transformation has happened with fertilization that changes a parent's cell into a new organism.


quote:
My sense of meaning is more invested in the birth process.  I wish you wouldn't try to tell me that my sense of meaningfulness is wrong by fiat.  I respect your sense of things, and the sense of loss that people have when they lose a baby before it comes to term.  But I do happen to believe that the sense of coming to term does have some meaning.  I know it does for me, and I know it does for many other people.


How should a "sense of meaning" about conception negate or rule out a sense of meaning about the birth process or coming to term?  It would, by its very nature, include and anticipate such meaning.  How am I, in any way, telling you that your sense of meaningfulness is wrong?  I would be more inclined to say it is incomplete rather than mistaken, if the humanity of the fetus is not recognized.


quote:
I believe it is disrespectful of the anguish that many go through in reaching these decisions to throw stigma upon them, and to attempt to use shame as a method of argumentation.


The exemplars of the pro-life position have no aim to "throw stigma" or impose shame as a method of argumentation.  If you'll note what I've been arguing, it has been for the humanity of the fetus.  There is no imposition of alien or hyper-religious morals upon anyone ... Rather the argument proceeds from moral principles already agreed upon, namely that innocent human life should not be killed.  If you combine such with the insights of embryology and what we commonly know to be the course of things in pregnancy, conclusions can be drawn not thrown.  


Human rights is the concern and goal, not human shame.  Shame (with all of us, I believe) is sometimes a byproduct of the tension that comes from seeing things right again ... and for that reason it need not be permanent.  I have heard many accounts of women who have had remorse for their decision of abortion, only later to find peace, joy, and forgiveness.


You may have a valid point about the method and attitude of some pro-life people.  But moral reprobation is not unique to the pro-life position.  I think I even detect a bit of chiding in your own voice whenever you start to protest taking away a women's choice.  The disapproval factor is a given, when any path is seen as right.  If making abortion illegal were taking away the real rights of a women, then your moral implications would be correct.  If however, the fetus is a human being, which should be protected from any harm under the guise of 'rights' of somebody else, then moral implications arise there as well.  


Secondly, its not so much about shaming as informing.  I truly believe that many have believed propaganda which asserts that the fetus is not a human being.  And for that reason, to know otherwise, or to even doubt what is so glibly assured might save some from a choice they may regret.  
        
quote:
It seems to be contrary the values of the religion that I understand christianity to be to proceed in this way.  I suppose I am not the guy to make such an observation, but this is the way the situation strikes me.


Heaping shame or disapproval upon others for the sheer enjoyment, would indeed be contrary to the spirit of Christ.  But do you really think moral reprobation (in all cases) is?  The New Testament would challenge that idea.  But if I can't convince you of that from the scriptures, then maybe from your own arguments?  For from them, it seems obvious that you too can identify (in some measure) with the moral censure of the prophet.  (And that's not necessarily a bad thing)


quote:
As long as the discussion is framed in terms of the good or evil of the medical procedure itself, I think the discussion is at a standstill.  If indeed the discussion can be framed in terms of what brings women to the point of needing to make such decisions in the first place, then I think an empathic bridge can be built and the discussion can open up.  My interest is in opening up the humanity of the discussion, and not solidifying folks in their positions.


Bob, the push for making abortion illegal has to do with the desire to protect life.  That in no way should rule out talking about options and looking for ways to help.  Of course this discussion is often framed in such a way to make us believe that it is all about imposing law, and nothing about exploring live options for women ... or to say that the pro-life position can hold no compassion for needy mothers.  I don't think that's true.  There is much being done and discussed now, though surely much more can be done.  My own family has benefited greatly from other options.  We are the joyous parents of two Chinese "special needs" children who were 'floated in a basket', rather than aborted.  Reasons and necessities abounded for their termination.  And look what has happened.


Stephen    
  
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120 posted 10-11-2008 04:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
When we talk about abortion, I think in some ways, that oversimplifies the issue.  Almost always when I've spoken with women about this sort of decision, the actual question of abortion or not abortion gets set aside fairly quickly in favor of discussion of these other issues, and the ultimate outcome of the actual abortion decision rests on the answers the woman can reach about these questions.

As long as the discussion is framed in terms of the good or evil of the medical procedure itself, I think the discussion is at a standstill.

To quote our leader:

"Ahh. FINALLY, someone gets to the real issue. In my opinion, the only issue."

Good post Bob.
quote:
Bob, the push for making abortion illegal has to do with the desire to protect life.

Yes Stephen, and the push for making abortion legal has to do with the desire to protect life.  

So what?  

Back to the pointless "what is life" debate again.  

Having "a life" is far more than just some theorising about sperms, eggs, zygotes and breath.  The phrase "protecting lives" should embrace all entities involved in a particular abortion decision.  Perhaps all we disagree about is the legal starting point.

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moonbeam, you are correct ... ALL entities should be considered.  But the protection from the termination of life for one trumps making life easier for someone else.  The abortion-rights position does not take into account the life of the unborn, and that is the fundamental problem with it.

Stephen  
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122 posted 10-11-2008 03:55 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I agree Stephen, the extreme postion of the abortion rights lobby is every bit as bad as the extreme position (often religion fuelled) of the anti abortion lobby. Neither position helps the potential "victims" in what is already a difficult enough situation.
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Moonbeam, what is extreme to you on the pro-life side?  I'm curious, what is your position?

Stephen
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Dear Stephanos,


quote:
Stephanos:
The abortion-rights position does not take into account the life of the unborn, and that is the fundamental problem with it.



     I don't know, Stephanos.  I believe you do know that putting the statement the way you have is begging the question, and that the question needs to be better formed in order to be explored effectively by both sides.  You should have some trouble expecting a pro-choice person to accept the terms of the discussion that you offer here.

     I don't fault you; I think that both side of the discussion tend to do the same thing in an effort to move the advantage of the discussion their way.  Therein lies a major problem with the issue as a whole; everyone is so interested in winning the grand debate, that the sub-issues that comprise the main issue tend to go without address.  We are interested in the goodness or badness of abortion itself.  Women in the situation may feel this intensely, but the bulk of their time is often more practically spent in discussions about the relationships they're in, how they're being treated, will the guy be supportive, is there enough money, is there enough love in the home, and stuff like that.

     We all have solutions we'd like these women to adopt.  I have answers for almost everybody, however, and I know from experience that my answers are not always the right answers or the best answers.

     A few posts back, I ran through a few of these questions that I thought might be useful in moving our conversation as a whole forward.  These are questions that almost every woman that I've known who'se struggled with the issue of abortion has had to deal with from the moment serious discussions about the issue begins in counselling.  Usually the decision to have or not to have an abortion hinges in my experience on how well these issues are addressed.  I think any serious discussion about abortion ought to include them.

     Even people who disagree about abortion can discuss these issues and to the extent that they can be addressed in any particular situation, I think the actual liklihood of an abortion happening should be lessened.  These are the issues around which I believe the decision to have or not to have an abortion frequently turns.

     If you want to have a successful intervention, this would probably be the place to effect it.  

     And you would probably have a significant number of allies who you are now finding in the position of fighting you.

     Do you have any thoughts on the matter?

Sincerely yours, Bob Kaven

 
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