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John McCain - The Keating Five

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Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


175 posted 10-30-2008 11:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Moonbeam,

No problem.  Look how long it took me to reply to you.  

Stephen
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


176 posted 10-30-2008 05:32 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Stephanos,

           "Infanticide" by definition is "murder of an infant soon after its birth."   The definition is from The Oxford American Dictionary.  You attempt to conflate two things, perhaps without being aware that there is a difference.

     You know that the two of us disagree.  It is not me that you need to convince, however.  Even if you convince me of the correctness of your position, this does you no good.  You must convince the woman who feels the need to have an abortion.  I am attempting to tell you why many of the things you say don't work.  Even though I believe that many of the things you say are wrong, I'm not trying to tell you that they are wrong here.  I am trying to tell you that for the most part women in crisis ó  many but by no means all of them ó are not interested or moved by these arguments.  

     You may make as logical a case as you can for the separate humanity of the child in the womb from the mother, but many women do not experience this separation on the most concrete and physiological of levels.  They experience they children as part of them.  They experience the child through the mechanism of sense that allows them to feel movements of muscles and internal sensations:  proprioception; and that sense tells them that the child is an internal part and extension of themselves.

Stephanos:
quote:


The primary purpose of anti-abortion laws is the protection of the unborn.  If abortion is not state sanctioned as it now is, then there will be less abortions.  When you say that prior to abortion becoming legal, they were done of an unspecified number ... you are right.  Statistics cannot say much about what was unmonitored.  Intuitively, however, there will be less abortions when it is not dressed in the consumer/clinical guise of benevolent medical service, and rhetoric about it being little different than an appendectomy.  That much is common sense.



     Common sense does not substitute for fact, which is on occasion contrary to common sense.  In a vacuum a pound of lead does not fall faster than a pound of feathers.  Drop a bullet and shoot a bullet in a straight line and they both hit the ground at the same moment.  If you're traveling at three quarters of the speed of light and strike a match, the light travels away from you at the speed of light in all directions, yet light cannot travel faster that c.

     If you can't say how many abortions were done before they became legal, you cannot say how few were done either.  If I am denied the right to say it is common sense that there were this many, you have at the same stroke deprived yourself of the right to say how few, and taken the right to appeal to common sense away from both of us.  Each of us feels we have common sense on our side; neither of us can prove it.  in fact, during the potato famine in Ireland, and odd economic law was recognized to account for the fact the potato consumption went up on a per capita basis, even as supplies plummeted.  Don't ask me to explain or name it.  It's just one of those non-common sense things to needs to be figured out with more detailed thinking.  

     By the way, a medical abortion is reasonably safe and secure.  You compare it to removal of an appendix, which may for all I know be much less dangerous.  I compare it to what I remember from high school and college, when abortion was not legal and not freely available, and where it was frequently done by non-medical personnel and there were frequent perforations and infections.  I knew several women in college and graduate school who had horror stories to tell of illegal abortions.  The stories were frequent.

Stephanos:
quote:

There is no reason that social solutions about difficult situations for mothers cannot be talked about concurrently with efforts to make abortion illegal.  The reason you are against this legislative talk, is really not because you deem it ineffective to the pro-life cause, but because you think women should have the right to abort.  



     I certainly do believe it is a woman's right to abort.  

     For you to say that my reason is that is making an attribution that is incorrect.  You assume that I cannot wish to better the lives of women in more than a single way.  You believe that I think that abortion is a good in itself.  And you believe that I think that women choose abortion for the sheer fun of it, and that if their legitimate worries and fears were addressed, they would still opt for an abortion.  If I read this correctly, and I may not, then you have misread me.

     I do believe women should have the right to have a safe abortion.

     I also believe that many fewer would exercise that right if they felt safe in their relationships, able to feel that they might make a career for themselves, might take decent care of their children and felt that they were persons of value.  Because these issues are often in doubt with pregnant women, a significant proportion of them feel it a bad idea to bring children into the world.  If these issues are addressed, fewer of them would be as likely to exercise that option.

     I think that some women will always exercise it.  Those women should not be exposed to a greater risk of death than necessary for their decision.  They may make a different decision at some later time.  If they are dead or sterile, this would probably be a little bit more difficult for them, unless this would be your intention, to kill or maim tomorrows potential mothers for deciding they don't want to be mothers today.  Whatever these potential mothers have to worry about, in that case, if you pretend you don't have something to consider here, I can only say you live in a much simpler world than I do.  Almost everything I do causes suffering someplace or other, and I can only try to love other folks the best I can and try to offer compassion to them and to myself.

quote:
Stephanos:

This is why you only mention things like drug laws and not things like infanticide laws.  Because when it all comes down, whether you think infanticide laws can adequately prevent so "basic" a choice as murdering an infant, you are still firmly for those laws.  The question of humanity is still central to our discussion, because if you could give me any reasons to think that a fetus is not a human being, I would not dream of denying abortion as a right.  And if you deem it as a human being, you shouldn't dream that it is a right at all.



     There is is, of course:  You and me.

     This isn't about you and me.  This is about a woman with a something in her belly.  You and I go through a battle in linguistics about what that something is.   Blah de blah de blah blah blah.  

     The woman is stuck first of all with the physical experience.  It is personal.  It is a flood of hormones and then a flood of sensation that gets more differentiated as time goes on.  It takes a while before it gets other than personal, and the relationship between mother and fetus is symbiotic.  You've got enough biology, probably more than I do, to know what symbiotic means.  

     If you want to call the fetus a child at this point, you are anthropomorphizing a symbiote.

     Even that doesn't particularly matter; it's what you and I would bat back and forth in a discussion.  The woman's experience would still mostly be internal, though by this time there would probably be lots of social interaction telling her what to think and feel and do about her internal body experience.  We need women here to talk to us both about the actual experience of pregnancy., not something you or I will know firsthand.  But thereís a catch here.

     You remember your Maslow, don't you?

     Iím talking about Maslowís hierarchy of needs.  Basically, Maslow says that people take care of (and probably experience) more basic needs first, before they begin to experience or consider more advanced needs.  Whether or not I can feed my family tends to come before whether I can give money to Oxfam.  Whether I am warm enough to survive till morning tends to trump whether or not I can feed my family right now.  Whether I can breathe trumps whether on not I can get warm enough to survive till morning.  There may be exceptions, but I think Maslowís pretty well got us folks nailed with these observations.

     For a great part of pregnancy, the experience seems to originate in a lot of the women that Iíve counseled, in the area of bodily integrity and personal safety range.  As delivery gets closer, of course, the baby becomes more of a separate person to her.  The place where this thing originally experienced as part of me, then it, becomes a child and a person differs from woman to woman.  With some women, there is a level in which the child will always remain an it, even after birth, in my experience.  They never succeed in investing it with personhood.  Sometimes the bond with the father or other family members or ó yes, Stephanos, a church ó can overcome this.  Sometimes the mother never succeeds in establishing a distinction between herself and the child, even after birth.  Sometimes things are wonderful.

     A lot of women have a good sense of what they are bringing the child into.  And instead of the big resounding yes we like to think all women feel when they are pregnant, they feel a big resounding no.

     I do happen to think they have a right to say this,  You donít.  Thatís our disagreement.

     My motivations for disagreeing with you are, I happen to think, beyond the scope of the discussion.  You havenít believed them in the past, or think they are wrong.  My motives, because they are mine, have to meet enough of my own approval to make it into action.  If they donít meet yours, I am sad because I like you, but I have to live with myself pretty much all the time.  I am sorry, I respect you. But I can live with my disagreement.

     The women that you are not reaching, however, should matter to you more than I do.  It may be worth your while to ask yourself why they are not in agreement with you.  Why they have not been in agreement with you when the laws were against them and when abortions were neither safe nor legal nor affordable and were even less supported by public opinion than they are today.

     Should you wish to keep up your current political strategy ó and I see no reason why you would change it; itís what you believe in; itís what you think is right ó the question still remains.  Indeed, should you succeed, the question will remain, because women will continue to seek abortions.  I will skip the comments about the consequences to those women other than to note that there will be consequences and you know what I believe them to be. You will still need to understand the thing, understand where it comes from, and understand why it continues to happen should you actually wish to affect the situation.
should you wish actually to alter the situation.


quote:
Stephanos:

This is why you only mention things like drug laws and not things like infanticide laws.  Because when it all comes down, whether you think infanticide laws can adequately prevent so "basic" a choice as murdering an infant, you are still firmly for those laws.  The question of humanity is still central to our discussion, because if you could give me any reasons to think that a fetus is not a human being, I would not dream of denying abortion as a right.  And if you deem it as a human being, you shouldn't dream that it is a right at all.



     Thank you for telling me what I think.  

     I assume that your clarity about what goes on inside my head probably extends to what goes on inside the head of other people around you.  Nobody has to change a wet diaper in your house, because youíre there ahead of time?  There are never any disagreements because you anticipate them?  You are a millionaire because you can read the market trends?

     Perhaps you can tell me why I am having this conversation with you, since you already know what my response will be?

     If you could make this point with a woman who will have an abortion and make it stick, I would be impressed.  In fact this piece of rhetoric that you are tossing at me is merely insulting to me in that you believe you have some understanding of my motives.  Sorry Stephanos, but in this case you donít, though I know that you mean well and that your are trying hard.  You are addressing some ďto whom it may concernĒ opponent who does not think the way I do.  I am not even an opponent.

     If you want to have a debate about the nature of when a fetus is a human being, Iím the wrong guy.  I have an opinion which I know better than to confuse with fact, and I wonít assert it as such.  About infanticide, my opinion tends to go with the actual definition of infanticide I quoted earlier.  Thatís a coincidence; I would have the same notion even if it didnít.  Birth seems a reasonable marker for me.
Itís certainly the first time Iíve ever met any child face to face, certainly the first time Iíve ever held, or touched or smelled one.

     Laws against infanticide seem reasonable to me for those reasons; itís personal for me.  Women happen to be responsible for most of the child beatings and child deaths of kids between birth and five years of age.  Men seem to be responsible for most of those later on.  I understand that you donít agree about infanticide.  I happen to think that infants are social creatures and a fetus is a symbiote.  An infant pulls money from the parentsí pockets, a fetus pulls calcium from the motherís bones and teeth.  An infant can give a parent warm feelings inside, a fetus can give the mother heartburn and gas.

     Thereís an actual difference on which the level of these events happen.

     Whatever I happen to think about this doesnít particularly matter,  I have never decided that I should get an abortion.  It does matter what a pregnant woman things and feels about these things and about the social matrix into which the potential infant is born.  I call it a potential infant.  The pregnant woman can and will call it whatever she wants to call it.

     You keep talking to me as though you had to convince me.  You donít.  I already disagree with you.  I have some areas of overlap, probably, but basically we differ.  You donít actually have an argument with me though because you know I disagree.  

     What Iím asserting, though, is that you arenít addressing the actual concerns of pregnant women likely to make a decision to have an abortion.  And the response Iím getting is about my thinking about whether or not my position about whether a woman should get an abortion or not is correct.  It doesnít matter if Iím correct or not; what matters is the woman making the decision.  

     Itís not me, itís the mother.

     Itís not me, itís the mother.

     Itís not me, itís the mother.


Respectfully,


Bob Kaven
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


177 posted 10-31-2008 12:13 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob:
quote:
You must convince the woman who feels the need to have an abortion.  I am attempting to tell you why many of the things you say don't work.  Even though I believe that many of the things you say are wrong, I'm not trying to tell you that they are wrong here.  I am trying to tell you that for the most part women in crisis ó  many but by no means all of them ó are not interested or moved by these arguments.


Bob, as I've already mentioned ... My desire to see abortion become illegal, is not an attempt to change a woman's mind, but to protect the lives of the unborn.

Do I desire to change a woman's mind through social helps?  Absolutely.  We are not in disagreement here.  What I've told you is that legal protection of the unborn and helping pregnant mothers in crisis are not incompatible.

My arguments about the humanity of the fetus are not for those who will not be moved by them.  Though I personally think that when the humanness of the fetus is not intentionally obscured in counseling settings, that many would indeed have a change of heart on the matter.

And though you've tended to state things starkly, like suggesting that someone's position either "works" or "doesn't work", I would remind you that many late term abortions have already been prevented through legislation.    

quote:
You may make as logical a case as you can for the separate humanity of the child in the womb from the mother, but many women do not experience this separation on the most concrete and physiological of levels.  They experience they children as part of them.  They experience the child through the mechanism of sense that allows them to feel movements of muscles and internal sensations:  proprioception; and that sense tells them that the child is an internal part and extension of themselves.


This is where your argument is thinnest.  The internal residing of the fetus, and the woman's perception of pregancy does not change biological reality.  I've never met a woman who mistook for long the "quickening" of fetal movement for her own intestinal peristalsis.  Technology also has closed the gap even more with ultrasounds that can convey great detail to the mother.  If you are only saying that the mother is sometimes mistaken about whether there is a human being inside her, then education is in order.  If you are suggesting some quasi-mystical union or uniqueness of perception that justifies the killing of an unborn child simply because it resides "inside" the mother, then you have no real argument.  For if subjectivity or unique point-of-view is no justification of other wrongs legislated against, then I don't see how it applies to abortion.

    
quote:
Common sense does not substitute for fact, which is on occasion contrary to common sense.  In a vacuum a pound of lead does not fall faster than a pound of feathers.  Drop a bullet and shoot a bullet in a straight line and they both hit the ground at the same moment.  If you're traveling at three quarters of the speed of light and strike a match, the light travels away from you at the speed of light in all directions, yet light cannot travel faster that c.

     If you can't say how many abortions were done before they became legal, you cannot say how few were done either.  If I am denied the right to say it is common sense that there were this many, you have at the same stroke deprived yourself of the right to say how few ...


Do you really believe that consumerized abortion sold as a commodity, which obscures the human nature of the fetus, would result in the same amount of abortions if it were not allowed?  If you say yes to this, though neither of us have stats, I've made my point and there's probably nothing else to say on that.

But even if I granted such a stretch of imagination, it would still be wrong to sanction and help the destruction of unborn human beings.

quote:
By the way, a medical abortion is reasonably safe and secure.  You compare it to removal of an appendix, which may for all I know be much less dangerous.  I compare it to what I remember from high school and college, when abortion was not legal and not freely available, and where it was frequently done by non-medical personnel and there were frequent perforations and infections.  I knew several women in college and graduate school who had horror stories to tell of illegal abortions.  The stories were frequent.


I was actually juxtaposing abortion with an appendectomy, pointing out that one involves the removal of a non-essential organ, while the other involves the termination of a human life.  As far as I know, medically speaking, both have medical risks, but are reasonably safe ... for the mother at least.

Yes I imagine that illegal abortions were and would be less safe.  I would also say that it is common sense that self-interest would make such appointments less than they would be with legalized abortion.

quote:
You believe that I think that abortion is a good in itself.  And you believe that I think that women choose abortion for the sheer fun of it, and that if their legitimate worries and fears were addressed, they would still opt for an abortion.  If I read this correctly, and I may not, then you have misread me.


I believe none of those things about you.  But as we discuss abortion rights, you also need to honestly address abortions done for reasons such as birth-control or Gender selection.  When you grant women a "right" to abort for hard times because it is (allegedly) only their body, you grant all of them this right for any reason.

quote:
I also believe that many fewer would exercise that right if they felt safe in their relationships, able to feel that they might make a career for themselves, might take decent care of their children and felt that they were persons of value.  Because these issues are often in doubt with pregnant women, a significant proportion of them feel it a bad idea to bring children into the world.  If these issues are addressed, fewer of them would be as likely to exercise that option.


We agree on something!  What we don't agree on is whether doing so is incompatible with legal protection of unborn human beings.

quote:
They may make a different decision at some later time.  If they are dead or sterile, this would probably be a little bit more difficult for them, unless this would be your intention, to kill or maim tomorrows potential mothers for deciding they don't want to be mothers today.


So those who want abortion to be illegal are responsible for killing and maiming .. for injuries done in the pursuit of illegal activity?  Bob, I am not for withholding medical treatment of women who are injured in this way.  I am for the preservation of their lives.  The suggestion you made about responsibility for this is far over the line.


quote:
Whatever these potential mothers have to worry about, in that case, if you pretend you don't have something to consider here, I can only say you live in a much simpler world than I do.  Almost everything I do causes suffering someplace or other, and I can only try to love other folks the best I can and try to offer compassion to them and to myself.


Where is your compassion for the unborn?  Before this thread is done, I'll attempt to describe some abortion procedures and how they bear upon the life and experience of the unborn ... for the purpose of asking whether they are compassionate.  

quote:
There is is, of course:  You and me.

     This isn't about you and me.  This is about a woman with a something in her belly.  You and I go through a battle in linguistics about what that something is.   Blah de blah de blah blah blah.


That's because this is a debate forum ... Blah de blah de blah blah blah blah blah. It would stand to reason that I am addressing you when I am addressing you.

But you're right that its not about you and me.  But you're wrong that its only about a woman with a something in her belly.  Obfuscatory language does not negate what is known about that "something".

quote:
The woman is stuck first of all with the physical experience.  It is personal.  It is a flood of hormones and then a flood of sensation that gets more differentiated as time goes on.  It takes a while before it gets other than personal, and the relationship between mother and fetus is symbiotic.  You've got enough biology, probably more than I do, to know what symbiotic means.


Of course I know what symbiotic means.  But you have not made any argument how this changes anything.  An infant is also a fully dependent being ... same concept different roof.

quote:
If you want to call the fetus a child at this point, you are anthropomorphizing a symbiote


Not a "child" in the developmental sense, but a human organism nevertheless.

If you want to call the fetus a 'something' at this point you are dehumanizing a human being.  


quote:
Even that doesn't particularly matter; it's what you and I would bat back and forth in a discussion.  The woman's experience would still mostly be internal, though by this time there would probably be lots of social interaction telling her what to think and feel and do about her internal body experience.


For all your aim at being holistic, can't you see that a mother's internal body experience is only a part of the equation?  Do you deny any experience of the fetus?

quote:
There may be exceptions, but I think Maslowís pretty well got us folks nailed with these observations.

     For a great part of pregnancy, the experience seems to originate in a lot of the women that Iíve counseled, in the area of bodily integrity and personal safety range.


Of course I am familiar with Maslow.  Could you explain to me in not so vague fashion, how a fetus should threaten the base of his pyramid for a mother?  How can this symbiotic little human threaten her basic needs?  Up until now you've only referred to things like "sense" and "perception" and the psychological ... things hardly descriptive of the most basic of needs according to Maslow.


quote:
With some women, there is a level in which the child will always remain an it, even after birth, in my experience.  They never succeed in investing it with personhood.  Sometimes the bond with the father or other family members or ó yes, Stephanos, a church ó can overcome this.  Sometimes the mother never succeeds in establishing a distinction between herself and the child, even after birth.  Sometimes things are wonderful.
  

Underlines mine.  This only illustrates my point.  You have been referring to the very needful aspect of addressing the psychology and social situation of the Mother.  But it is all based in perception, even after birth.  Her perception should not be the basis of whether another human being is legally protected ... pre or post birth.  

quote:
A lot of women have a good sense of what they are bringing the child into.  And instead of the big resounding yes we like to think all women feel when they are pregnant, they feel a big resounding no.

     I do happen to think they have a right to say this,  You donít.  Thatís our disagreement.


Only you haven't given a substantial argument as to why they can't also say this about their infants or toddlers.


quote:
You will still need to understand the thing, understand where it comes from, and understand why it continues to happen should you actually wish to affect the situation.
should you wish actually to alter the situation.


Bob do you know one whit about what I've done, or haven't done, to alter the situation?  I appreciate your fatherly role of urging me to understand the social phenomenon, and even to reach out to hurting individuals.  My only point here, is that social ministry to one group is not antithetical to legal protection of another.  I understand that in a desperate world, neither your approach nor mine can be totally effective.


quote:
If you want to have a debate about the nature of when a fetus is a human being, Iím the wrong guy.  I have an opinion which I know better than to confuse with fact, and I wonít assert it as such.  About infanticide, my opinion tends to go with the actual definition of infanticide I quoted earlier.  Thatís a coincidence; I would have the same notion even if it didnít.  Birth seems a reasonable marker for me.


If birth is a reasonable marker to you, then the issue of humanity IS your issue.  Why is that a reasonable marker, in light of what progressive science has shown us about the unborn?  Does that mean you are for laws that protect abortion survivors immediately after birth?

quote:
Itís certainly the first time Iíve ever met any child face to face, certainly the first time Iíve ever held, or touched or smelled one.

     Laws against infanticide seem reasonable to me for those reasons; itís personal for me.


The "Only if I've seen it" approach?  Shall I describe in detail the gestation process and tell you what a fetus is like?  The information is there about an objective reality even without your subjective direct experience.

quote:
An infant pulls money from the parentsí pockets, a fetus pulls calcium from the motherís bones and teeth.  An infant can give a parent warm feelings inside, a fetus can give the mother heartburn and gas.


And?  The very news of conception can give a mother warm feelings.  A living child can be regarded as no better than an insect.  You are still floundering in subjective attitudes ... not making any difference beyond the purely arbitrary.

quote:
Thereís an actual difference on which the level of these events happen.


Only you haven't established the difference as significant or consequential to the comparison of abortion to infanticide.

quote:
I call it a potential infant.


Only you can't so easily call it a potential human being.  An infant is only a potential toddler after all.

quote:
What Iím asserting, though, is that you arenít addressing the actual concerns of pregnant women likely to make a decision to have an abortion.


What are those concerns Bob?  I'll address them.  I think they definitely should be.  As an enthusiastic proponent of adoption, and an adoptive parent of two special needs children, I have addressed the situation in a very personal way.  

The unborn should still be legally protected.


quote:
Itís not me, itís the mother.

     Itís not me, itís the mother.

     Itís not me, itís the mother.


It's not just the mother, it's the baby too.

It's not just the mother, it's the baby too.

It's not just the mother, it's the baby too.


Stephen
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


178 posted 11-04-2008 02:21 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          I wrote a lengthy response to at least parts of this post.  It never appeared, and I don't know why.

I'm sorry, I don't know what happened, but I'm nervous something similar might happen to other lengthy posts of mine.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Juju
Member Elite
since 12-29-2003
Posts 3353
In your dreams


179 posted 11-04-2008 03:15 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Yeah,

My personal opinion is the only poeple I knew that had abortions did so 4-5 times a year.

The truth is there is something inherently wrong when poeple think it is ok to not take responsibility for their actions.  

If A woman gets raped, or doesn't use protection, or whatever there are things we can do such as go in to the doctors and force a period, because conception doesn't happen for like two days.

I wont get into details, but it ain't pretty.  But much much better then how a abortion would feel.  

human life is so important, I do not understand how a unborn child can be de- classed to the level of parasite, something that only win-ems could do to the yahoos.

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


180 posted 11-04-2008 02:40 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Juju,

          Mention IUDs to your friends who are using abortion as conception control; have them talk to their physicians about the pro and con aspects of IUDs.  Abortion is not a good substitute for birth control.  Multiple yearly abortions may well be a signal of other problems that need addressing, don't you think?

   Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Juju
Member Elite
since 12-29-2003
Posts 3353
In your dreams


181 posted 11-06-2008 02:59 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Bob

They were my roommates and even though I told them they should think about birth control they would get angry and say it was their body.  

It is very irritating and If I wasn't catholic, I think after living with them I would have been pro life.    

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


182 posted 11-06-2008 07:53 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I wrote a lengthy response to at least parts of this post.  It never appeared, and I don't know why.

I'm sorry, I don't know what happened, but I'm nervous something similar might happen to other lengthy posts of mine.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven


Bob, Sorry that happened.  I've had computer issues like that before.  One solution I've found (when you've poured heart and soul into a lengthy reply) is to simply copy the text and paste it into a text editor/ word processor file, and save it, before you submit it.  That way you have a simple back up.  

This is a bit baffling though.  Though I've had the text disappear after hitting the "back" button, I've never had it not post after I've hit the "submit reply" button.  Did the confirmation notice ever come up?  If not (due to server problems) you can usually just hit your back button and the text should still be there.  But if you did get the confirmation, I can't imagine why your text didn't appear.

I promise I didn't hack it out.  Ron would hack out my Gall Bladder if I did.    


PS)

What exactly do you mean about being nervous about other lengthy posts?  Do you mean future ones, as in having difficulty posting them, or ones already posted?  Given the usual wide diversity of beliefs/views on Pip, I couldn't imagine anyone intentionally removing them.  Unless of course the post violates the guidelines or something (I've had that happen to mine before ... we all step over the Pip line sometimes)  I may be misunderstanding what you were trying to say though.  Just rambling ...

Stephen.  
Bob K
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183 posted 11-07-2008 03:57 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Juju,

          It sounds like a dreadful experience.  I'm not Catholic; I like the religion a lot, though as you might guess, I have some disagreements with it.  Not being Catholic, and after hearing your experience with these two featherheads, and being prochoice, I've come out of the experience as being anti-idiocy.  But that's me.  I guess the question where we part ways is where is the point where folks abuse choice.  I'd say that having serial abortions inside the space of a year suggests that they haven't thought through the nature of abortion in terms of surgical risk  and potential consequences for long term reproductive health.  And that leaves the notion of morality out of it.  Morality should be included in a way that fits with the woman's personal ethics and morality as part of the overall decision.

     At least I think so.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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184 posted 11-07-2008 09:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Juju

I'm so terribly
sorry

Calm Seas
Fair Winds


John


.
moonbeam
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185 posted 11-08-2008 10:24 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Still on the case Stephen.  Just trying to create enough temporal space, or "time" if you prefer.
Stephanos
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186 posted 11-08-2008 09:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

moonbeam,

PLEASE take your time.  I don't have the time for full-time debate/ discussion if you know what I mean.  

Stephen
Juju
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187 posted 11-10-2008 12:07 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

There was four room mates. at one time three of them thought they were pregnant

-juju

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

moonbeam
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188 posted 11-22-2008 12:37 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Got there in the end Stephen!
quote:
All moral positions involve prioritizing and qualification

Good, I'm glad we agree on that.  And I'm glad you agree that the moral principle of "protecting an innocent human life" also falls within that qualification.  



quote:
I have merely been pointing out your inconsistency in desiring laws to protect you from someone's free "choice" of killing you to make life easier on themselves, while not advocating laws to protect the lives of unborn human beings.  

Where have I ever made an unqualified statement to the effect that I do not advocate laws to protect unborn babies?  Quite the reverse in fact, I have consistently made the point that in many circumstances abortion should be illegal, and even when legal, should be discouraged, and other alternatives explored.

However, this discussion is getting too strung out and fragmented, and we're in danger of focussing too much on the surface details of where we disagree, as opposed to the wider points of agreement or disagreement which underlay them.  In abortion debate the moral arguments and the legal often get entangled to the detriment of both of them, so I just want to step back a moment, try to separate them, and, using the quotes (from you) above and my replies as a starting point, endeavour to reiterate in a more straightforward way, where I'm coming from.

First of all my personal view of what we've been calling the "moral" position.

I asked you all those questions simply to try and establish whether your own moral position imparted some special significance to human life above all other life, and, though you didn't address the invitation to comment upon what IS human, it appears that it does.

The relevance to abortion is, I would have thought, obvious in that we are exploring the circumstances under which lives are terminated by the actions of other lives.  But we'll come to that later.  First of all let's concentrate on this question of the taking of life.

Interestingly you asked me: "Are you suggesting (really) that there is no difference between eating Chik-fil-a, and killing a two year old human being?"

I suppose, before starting to answer that, I ought to ask you for more precision.  What, for instance, did you mean by "difference".  Still, I think I know what you mean.  You are basically suggesting that it is more generally acceptable to our society to kill a chicken than a two year old human.  I obviously accept that.  I do not however necessarily agree that as a general proposition, viewed from different perspectives, it is true that killing a chicken is more acceptable than killing a human.  Take the planet "Aviana" for instance.  There the population would be utterly horrified if a feathered creature was killed to save a mere bald crawling mammal.

The point here is that all life is valued to one degree or another by some other life (if necessary you can take this right down from the species level to the personal level to prove its validity).  It is perfectly understandable that you sit here in your skin on your planet with your god and reach the conclusion that you are the life form that should be last in line for the fast food processing unit of the universe.  But then there are lots of other scaley, feathered and amoeba-like Stephen's out there who probably think that they also should not be served up with a plate of McFries.  The only rational objective conclusion is that all life forms are "equal".  We could get into a discussion of the definition of life form, but we won't, because it does not harm the logic to simply admit all "things".

From that platform we can move on to look at some of the issues we were discussing.  In this context the ideas of "right" and "wrong" are a bit distracting as they usually lead right back to religious or social context, so instead I'll use "desirable" and "undesirable".  We could get terribly entangled in, no doubt, fascinating debate at this point, but for the sake of brevity (and because I believe it, and this is all just my opinion) I'm going to assume that causing hurt or death to another being is always equally undesirable.  (If it still really bothers you that I'm lumping a chicken in with a human baby here, you might like to revisit my question about the Neanderthal, the "what is human?" issue).

So now I'm in the unenviable position of needing to reconcile the idea that it's undesirable to kill any other life with the myriad actions I perform each day like walking through a orchard, or burning a rotting log, or eating the Sunday roast or wearing a condom, or having an abortion.

The fact is that I perform undesirable acts in exterminating the life I exterminate each day.  It gives me no pleasure to think that I'm killing wasps as I step through an orchard, or frying woodlice as I burn the log, and to that extent alone it's undesirable in my view.  I reconcile this, or to put it another way, live with it, by, I suspect, a series of very complex, and probably Machiavellian, processes in my mind which loosely amount to what you earlier termed "conscience".  All sorts of concepts come into play here:

The concept of mitigation
The concept of recompense and amelioration
The concept of least harm (between different courses)
The concept of unknowing or ignorance
The concept of diminished responsibility
The concept of mistake or error
The concept of repentance

How these interplay, the weights and emphasis on each and the way they are employed, to reconcile action to conscience, is determined mainly I think by upbringing, social background, life experiences, health, wealth etc, and maybe some biological and chemical inputs too.  

So every time I kill something (knowingly) I accept that what I have done is undesirable and pacify my conscience with an amalgam of reasons, justifications, excuses, apologies, reparations etc, such that I continue to be able to live with myself reasonably peacefully.

Obviously there comes a point where many decisions to kill become "easy" simply because the circumstances are repetitive and once the palliative is tried, tested and accepted over and over, it becomes instinctive.  Driving down a bug infested highway would fall into this category.  Although I try to avoid moths in my headlights I have generally accepted that it is impractical to do so without endangering other motorists.  Similarly I will usually take the line that braking or swerving for animals and birds is too risky in congested fast moving traffic.  

But, to illustrate the complexity of this (and to move closer to abortion, you will be relieved to hear) I remember once driving down a road at 60mph with a guy on my tail for many miles.  Despite the fact that I was doing the speed limit or even slightly above he persisted in tailgating following far too close.  The road bent sharply and there ahead a mother duck was leading a line of ducklings across the tarmac.  There was no swerving to avoid, it was simply brake or kill.  In some ways I'd like to say I had no time to think, but the truth is I did in fact have sufficient time to deliberately decide to do emergency stop, knowing full well the guy behind would collide with me and we'd possibly both be injured, but that at the slower speed we'd done round the bend it would be unlikely to be fatal.  This is in fact what happened.  I suffered mild whiplash, and he had quite severe chest and facial injuries (no airbags in those days).  The ducklings escaped unscathed.  I could quite easily have prevented our injuries, yet I remain quite comfortable in my decision given all the circumstances.  I wondered afterwards if I had known for instance that he was dashing to save a life himself whether it would have made any difference, and I supposed it would, but rationalised that we use all the data we have at the moment given to us to make a decision, and that if the decision is right for the only possible moment it can be made, then it is right.  So as you can see Stephen I really don't have a problem with putting human well-being at risk in order to preserve other life in the "right" circumstances, by which I mean circumstances where that combination of factors allows me to make peace with conscience.  And to go on from this I freely admit that I'd find it easier to kill a housefly than a butterfly, easier to kill a dog than a cat, easier to kill a vulture than a nightingale, easier to kill a rabbit in the night than in daylight, easier to eat a fillet steak than kill an Aberdeen Angus, easier to destroy the unseen and unknown to preserve the known and loved.  You see, constant prioritization, evaluation and decision.

Accordingly I do not view abortion as "different" in the way you imply I do - it's just another area in which conscientious priority applies.  However there IS an empirical difference, which you identified, in that I cannot immediately think of a situation other than abortion where in a non physical life threatening situation it is potentially an acceptable option to take the unacceptable step of killing another human being.  But, frankly, so what?  All this proves is that there may be only one situation where it is potentially acceptable to me.  But I guess this singularity is what makes abortion a battleground, and particularly brings into focus the conflict between people like me, who believe that the "rules" of morality are not largely dictated by some deity, and those who do.

So to be absolutely plain there is no question in my mind that it is undesirable to kill a  zygote, human or otherwise.   But being a human zygote does not entitle it, in my view, to some exclusive bypassing of that difficult equation which the mind has to perform in reaching a decision acceptable to conscience.   Sure, being human, and being evaluated by humans it is always likely to get a better hearing than say a rabbit zygote being evaluated by humans instead of other rabbits, but nevertheless it must be evaluated - the worth of allowing it to live weighed against the disadvantages of so doing.  

Of course it's unacceptable to kill a wasp because it's annoying me, but I possibly might.  

Of course it's unacceptable to kill a kitten because it's annoying me, but I never would.  

Of course it's unacceptable to kill an unborn baby, but, if I became convinced that the mother was likely to suffer as my sister-in-law's sister did without an abortion, I am absolutely certain that my conscience could reconcile it at an early enough stage in the pregnancy, i.e. when the zygote was around the status of "wasp" rather than "kitten".  

And talking about suffering, into that decision of conscience must come the question of how we define "life".  This is another area where I often find myself at odds with mainstream religion and the medical fraternity, who imo take the sanctity of breath and blood to ridiculous and uncompassionate levels.  There are obviously plenty of arguments here about euthanasia, assisted suicide, the right of the individual to determine his/her own fate etc etc, we'll leave all those aside.  I'll simply say that I believe that there is a point (points) where the fact of being able to breath is not sufficient compensation for the pain and suffering (mental or physical) of being able to draw breath.  I also believe that this state is reached in all beings, and in our human society is more prevalent than we care to accept, being suppressed by social convention and expectation, medical imperatives and possibly religious pressures.  There is a kind of shame or disgrace involved in wanting or choosing to die.

So while those in favour of a complete ban on abortion may refer (sometimes rather disparagingly) to the mother's "emotional state" as if it could never be of consequence set against the life of a zygote, I prefer to maintain a mind sufficiently open to the possibility that a mother may, by being forced to go to term, suffer a non-life for decades on end, culminating, as my relative's did, in a physical suicide.    


So much for the moral position, now, a quick look at my views about abortion law.

I marginally favour legality for abortion.

I say marginally because on balance I think there are far too many abortions and some abortions that are performed would not be performed if it was illegal.  This is an argument for absolute illegality which however ignores the fact that even if numbers of abortions were reduced somewhat, those that were performed would be performed in very hazardous conditions, threatening the lives of both mother and zygote.  

My own experiences of dealing with the non-medical aspects of abortion cases, and particularly handling situations where an individual was in conflict with family or friends over a prospective abortion bear this out.  I frankly shudder to think what the outcome of these would have been had the families in question had the weight of the law behind them.  

Then again there are always going to be girls caught in horrendous social situations where nothing is going to prevent them from trying to "dispose" of the evidence (the baby) except possibly rapid and sympathetic counselling.  This they are not going to get if abortion is illegal.  They will simply travel, as thousands of Irish girls do each year, to a place where abortion is legal.  Failing that they will opt for other methods of termination.  

The incidence of unsafe abortion world wide is incredibly high (about 50% of all abortions I think) and probably understated because of the problems with data collection.  And the vast majority of unsafe procedures are a direct result of the determination of women to risk abortion coupled with the lack of suitable facilities due to either specific legal sanctions or unavailability.  Ten's of thousands of women die annually because of unsafe abortions.

A blanket ban on abortion is not going to suddenly educate men into not behaving badly, nor is it going to overnight, change the views of those who would disown a daughter for becoming pregnant.  All it will do is drive thousands of girls towards practises that will threaten their lives and of course that of the zygote.

I'm therefore quite convinced that a framework of restricted legality, with compulsory counselling and special tribunals, is the best way to save the lives of both mothers and babies.  
Juju
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In your dreams


189 posted 11-27-2008 12:19 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

0_o

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

rhia_5779
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190 posted 11-28-2008 02:26 AM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

No, Jen, I take issue with Obama's moral integrity, not because he doesn't agree with me, but because not being sure of when life begins himself, he would still condone the practice of abortion at all. If someone were convinced in their own mind that life doesn't begin until birth, then I could at least understand their approval of abortion. That's not the case with Obama, according to his own words. If I were not sure, I would err on the side of life, and not risk terminating a life. That is what should be considered above our pay grade.
Well, I think that it still a life being taken in abortion, though I don't think it is at conception but I am pro choice. I believe in women having the right to choose with their own bodies. I also don't think someone who is raped should be forced to carry a child to term. There is a difference between personal responsibility and forcing young girls to have a baby, somethign that would be unhealthy for the baby and mother on a long term scale and unhealthy for the young mother emotionally in any case. I think in some cases its the nessecary evil- and that a law making it legal or illegal wouldn't be able to do the women affected justice.
Denise
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191 posted 11-28-2008 06:39 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Isn't taking a life killing, rhia? Doesn't the baby have a right over its own body? It isn't the woman's body that is being killed, but the life of the baby within her. Why should she have the right to choose to do that?
rhia_5779
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192 posted 11-28-2008 07:37 PM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

SHe should have the right to do that because the loss of the mother to the people she cares about if she faces trauma emotionally, mentally or physically would be stronger than the baby. I think its sad and I don't want it to happen if it can be avoided but I won't force a woman to carry a child to term when she can't for whatever reason handle the child.

Denise, if women don't have abortions and carry their child to term- are you going to take care of all the unwanted children? The children who might end up on the street and then end up ware housed int he public schools that are plagued with issues and that aren't helping anyone by their policies. Are you going to pay for the foster care system to be better?
Make the system better and work to make the world safer for single mothers and young mothers and I will be less able to live with abortions. I don't think its right but I think its very wrong to make women who were raped carry to term the child. They may become depressed or suffer from serious issues because of it- if they kill themselves then the baby and themselves will be lost.
I care more about the mother's life because she is already alive and has a lot of people who care about her.
Guys need to take a lot more responsibility for the girls they knock up- they need to commit to support the child if they want a say in whether she has an abortion.
Sex education needs to be taught in schools in a way that works because right now its not. Responsibility is a lesson that isn't really taught in schools- my high school deals with these issues but most don't and it needs to be handled.

Denise
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193 posted 11-28-2008 08:49 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The baby is already alive, too, rhia.

I personally can't justify abortion unless it is to save the physical life of the mother. Conditions such as depression and poverty can be addressed with less drastic measures than killing an innocent life. There are waiting lists of couples wanting to adopt. I believe that is the most viable and moral option for women who can't mentally or financially take care of their children.

rhia_5779
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194 posted 11-29-2008 01:28 AM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

And I ask again- Will you take care of the children who get abandoned? The children who are on the street and have nowhere to go and nobody to go to. Will you take care of the children abused or beaten by their foster parents? Will you go and check up on people ot make sure their kids aren't being harmed? What will you personally do to fix the system?
You can't just pass these kids off to someone else  because these kids grow up and they grow up in a bad situation and then add to the cycles of violence- that doesn't mean I want all kids involved in that dead but allowing kids to grow up who will have really awful lives when the mother is hurting and can't bear to have them isn't right.
Would you force a woman who was raped to carry a child to term?
Denise
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195 posted 11-29-2008 08:52 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Is that the only option, rhia, abortion or future abuse of those children and future criminal activity by those children?

I'd have to see some sort of study to back up that contention.

I don't believe that killing a baby in the womb is the answer to any social issue.
rhia_5779
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196 posted 11-29-2008 01:12 PM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

Well, if the mother doesn't want the child do you reallly thinks she is going to be the greatest parent? Also if the woman is raped ad has the child she is going to look at the child and always have the memory of the rape- she won't be able to heal while she is carrying the child to term.
Essorant
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197 posted 11-29-2008 01:49 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Rhia

The memory is going to be there anywhere.  Adding the killing of the unborn child on top of it is more likely to multiply the sorrow when the mother remembers it.  But in any case, the emotions of a mother are no justification for taking a life of a child away.  

rhia_5779
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198 posted 11-29-2008 03:49 PM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

The mother may become depressed and kill herself taking away the child's life and her own. Yes it does because emotions play into wellfare and here its a important part of that.
The memory is going to be more painful if she has to carry the child because while carrying the child to term she will be unable to heal from the rape because she has to live with the product of it all the time. Rape is a really traumatic thing and it scars without the woman being pregnant. I don't ask for you to have an abortion just for you to respect other peoples hoices.
Juju
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199 posted 11-29-2008 08:48 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

I am pretty sure my room mates didn't get pregnant from rape.  I think It was from not using protection in some of their wild parties

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

 
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