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John McCain - The Keating Five

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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200 posted 11-30-2008 12:18 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Rhia,

None of that is a given.  The child at least has a chance of a good life if the mother at least tries or gives him/her up for adoption so someone else may.  In any case, the mother herself has a chance and hope and truly may heal with time, with or without the child.  But aborting the child does not even give the child a chance and a hope, let alone a remembrance that she gave the child a chance and a hope.  

rhia_5779
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201 posted 11-30-2008 01:27 PM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

The may heal but then she may not. The people in the mother's life will also be hurt if she has the child and then has to suffer from trauma and emotional difficulties. The mother could eventually have another child later in life- the people in her life can't easily replace her.
Stephanos
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202 posted 12-01-2008 06:23 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

rhia,

Are we to believe that killing the unborn, would help a woman to heal from rape?

It's going to be hard either way ... period.

Though I would suggest that its likely to be harder having to deal with the secret guilt of killing an innocent human being, on top of the trauma of rape.  With all due sympathy to victims of rape ... the best bet is still to do the right thing, and put the child up for adoption.

Is it reasonable to insist that someone would have to be willing to take care of all the unwanted children in the world before they can reasonably be against abortion?.  I have adopted 2 unwanted children, only a drop in the bucket.  What would you say to me?  The point is, our current tax money is already being used for welfare, and other social services.  And still more can be done.  And still the lives of the unborn need the same kind of protection that we all take for granted.

respectfully,

Stephen


(and Moonbeam ... I'll try to reply in a year or so.   )
Bob K
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203 posted 12-01-2008 08:42 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          Asking you to believe that an abortion would help a woman heal from rape may be too much to ask.  I wouldn't ask it of you, because it isn't logical, and you are not somebody who needs to be convinced.  The reality of the situation is that the woman has a conversation with herself about this sort of thing, and only with the greatest of good fortune do either of us get consulted at all.  The process of what goes on in a woman's mind at these times is not something that she shares with a lot of people, but it is generally saturated with sadness, rage, desperation, revulsion and horror, to name a few of the emotions that have been shared with me.  

     I like the wisdom of your comment:  "It's going to be hard either way ... period."

     I am taking you out of context in the following statement, a bit.  Please forgive me. But I happen to agree that, " the best bet is still to do the right thing," though I think that discovering what that think is may be different for different women.  Certainly putting the child up for adoption may be a good way of doing things in some cases.  

quote:

Is it reasonable to insist that someone would have to be willing to take care of all the unwanted children in the world before they can reasonably be against abortion?.  I have adopted 2 unwanted children, only a drop in the bucket.  What would you say to me?  



     You don't have to be reasonable to be against abortion.  I know that you want your discussions to be logically defensible, but there is really so much about this discussion that is not logical in both directions that I think it's too much to expect for a person to say that his position for or against abortion is founded on logic.  I think logic is something that you reach for after your soul has informed you who and what you are about something like this.  And logic is the bulwark you use to attempt to explain it to people who don't understand how strongly you feel.  You're always tinkering with your logic.  Your sense that this or that position is right stays pretty firm.

     If you change your mind, it's because something makes a different soul-sense to you.  Somebody with a different position is able to say something that opens up a slightly different way of looking at things, and your point of view shifts on the facts that you already understood in the first place.

     Your being against abortion is fine.  It's fine, and it's whole-hearted.  Abortion is everybody's problem, even the problem of the women who decide to have them for reasons that I see as decent reasons and you don't believe are good enough reasons.  Nobody actually wants to have abortions.  Nobody loves abortions.  Nobody wants to grow up to have one, or to have several.  They are deeply difficult to anybody who has much of a sense of feeling about themselves.  

     I was deeply impressed by the psychoanalyst Leston Havens who responded, when a patient said to him that he — the patient — didn't feel any pain.  In fact, he didn't feel much of anything at all, emotionally speaking.  And Havens responded by saying, "That's the worst sort of pain."  I've know people who've had abortions like that.  Juju wrote a posting about some women she knew who'd done that, but of course it's not limited to abortions, is it?

     It's the worst sort of pain.  I try to remember that.

     What would I say to you?

     I'd tell you to stop saying how many kid's you've adopted.  It's time to stop congratulating yourself on that and simply start enjoying it.  If you keep mentioning them in discussions about abortion, you take away from the enjoyment you have in them and you start using them as resources in a debate.  I'm already impressed, and I will continue to be, not by your charity but by your openness of soul and generosity of spirit.   The Ram Bam said that Charity should be done in a way the the person who receives doesn't know he's received, and the person who's given doesn't know he's given.  I should be so good someday as you are today.

     I love your compassion for the unborn.  

     In doing family therapy, frequently, if you want to make the lives of the children better, you need to start by addressing the problems in the lives of the parents, who are then freed to become better parents and to help their children.  Sometimes it doesn't work that way, but it does an awful lot of the time.  I suspect that if you really want to make a difference in the lives of the unborn, you need to intervene in the lives of that unborn's parents and grandparents within a very short window of time.  Neither of us like abortions, both of us would like to see them reduced.  We have different notions about what's effective as a way of going about it, though.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven


Stephanos
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204 posted 12-01-2008 08:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob,

I'm not congratulating myself ... sorry if it sounded so.  And of course, I don't need to start "enjoying" my children, as I certainly do (a fact that is not in anyway affected by this debate).  But I am deflating the argument "unless you're willing yourself, you shouldn't be against legalized abortion" ... a weak argument you yourself have seemed to forward in the past.  

As for the rest, we've already had an adequate exchange I think that covers it.  I'll only add that no matter which way you dice it, a rape involves the violation of a life ... while a rape and subsequent abortion involves two.    


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-01-2008 11:36 PM).]

Stephanos
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205 posted 12-02-2008 12:48 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Moonbeam:
quote:
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.

... 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.

... 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".


Actually that would only be rational if all life forms were alike.

To cut to the chase, moonbeam, I accept the supreme position of human life (rejecting of course, cruelty to animals for cruelty-sake) as Divine Revelation.  At this point you will cry "foul" in the name of religion (which to you is dogmatically subjective).  The strength of my position however is that most people agree in practice and conscience, regardless of their ideologies.  And I'm really not interested in arguing abortion with a moral vegan, much less arguing against a hypothetical moral vegan.      

Not recognizing the special place of humanity in God's scheme, does not succeed to prove moral relativism.  But since one's view on that is always presuppositional ... I'll appeal to democracy, that as a practice, there is no significant moral sense that killing animals for food is wrong.

And as long as you eat Chik-fil-a (or the like), you only prove my point in practice.


quote:
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.


"Desirable vs. undesirable" is an insufficient category for this kind of discussion.  Though I'm quite aware that you feel that you have jumped from the frying pan of absolutes, into a simpler comfy explanation.  You've still landed in the fire, since desirable can be reduced to personal preference or liking (on the level of malt-beverage versus coffee), in which case there is no real debate.

And just because your category is reduced to that, it matters little if I conceded that taking life is "always undesirable".  Even the Nazis might have said that the death camps were undesirable, in the sense of unpleasant and laborious.  Still their refusal to see the Jew (among others) as human beings, provided them a higher ideal by which to justify even that which is undesirable.  The protests of the Holocaust have nothing to do with whether what happened was "desirable".    

quote:
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?


But, frankly, you still haven't offered a convincing argument.  The empirical weight is evidence that one's moral priority is skewed who would say that it is okay to kill an innocent human being, for a non-life-threatening situation.

quote:
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.


You're right.  I do believe there is a presuppositional clash here.  I believe that those who do not recognize an ultimate authority on morals will be more likely to justify societal atrocities.  (Though of course, I recognize the religious can and have erred here too, by getting the authority all wrong).  The Philosopher Nietzsche wrote that when "God is dead" then morals would decay.  Likewise, Dostoevsky, said that "If there is no God, all things are permitted".  Do you disagree with them, and if so why?

quote:
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.


Peter Singer (an atheist and moral relativist) supports infanticide in some cases.  He provides evidence to me that the line will continue to move toward personal druthers, rather than any real criteria for rejection or acceptance, once absolutes are rejected.  Where is the line for you for abortion and why?  (This is the moral question, and not the legal)

quote:
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".


Moonbeam!  Hardly a shred of science-fiction, much less science, would support the idea of an unborn human being ever being at a stage other than earlier human ones.  

quote:
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.


You're the one who said not to go into Euthanasia right?  Well even though I don't agree with it (and that is a seperate argument), I would gladly grant it to you for the sake of this argument ... and then point out that abortion is still far worse since Euthanasia involves both consent and a poor medical prognosis.  Abortion involves no consent on part of the killed, and in most cases the best of prognoses.  

quote:
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.


You really attribute her mental condition to the mere birth of the child?  Explain this to me again?

In most cases (if not virtually ALL) having a child cannot be blamed for having a non-life.  There are non-abortive alternatives to keeping the child.  

quote:
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.


Despite your certainty, I think that pregancy counselling in a non-abortion-providing setting, would be a live and inviting option in many cases ... where other options can be explored.

quote:
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.


Did you say when abortions should specifically be illegal?  I missed that part.


Stephen
  
Bob K
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206 posted 12-02-2008 02:45 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          You keep wanting to approach this by logic.  I don't think it's logical.  I think it's visceral.

     I don't expect to sway you by logic here, though you are a very logical guy.  In fact I don't expect to sway you at all.

     Somehow you seem to understand people who disagree with you about this as being very different than you or in basic disagreement about most of the attitudes that you voice.  I simply don't think this is true.  I think the conclusions may be different, but most of the attitudes I hear you voice, I also hear people voice who are pro-choice as well.  Nobody loves abortion.  Everybody wants it to be the last thing considered except for people who have very little contact with their feelings.

     The problems come in when we talk about other people having abortions and our right to substitute our judgements for theirs as to when the decision is appropriate.  At that point a lot of us want to make the decision for other people and have loads of reasons why our opinion is better than the people who are involved directly.

     That is the point I believe that our trust in each other breaks down.  The I know what you need and/or want better than you do point.

     Politically, I'm very skeptical of others making my decisions for me.  Ethically, there's the question of whether on not the decision is mine to make or not.
At one point the Popes were shocked to discover that Jewish theology hadn't stopped dead in its tracks with the death of Jesus, and declared Jews who read and believed in the teachings in the Talmud were in fact Heretics.  The Jews thought they had the right to make decisions about their own theology, the popes thought they had the right to burn copies of the Talmud they found, and then, occasionally, the Jews who were found reading them.  It's one of the ways the Inquisition got started.

     I have some feelings about the basic principles involved here.

     Myself, I suspect the founders would have been seriously startled to have heard their notions about Right to Life being applied to fetal life.  They were far too secular to have take a position of that sort, and were far too aware of the uncertainties of pregnancy to have thought such a thing possible.  Choosing Life, embracing it where possible they would have understood.  Liberty they may have thought crucial, but not enough to insist on it for the blacks in this country; not at the expense of leaving the southern states out of the Union.  And they knew better than to say that happiness was a Right, only that you should be entitled to pursue it.

     They also knew that the state should avoid hooking up with any particular religious dogma, including even a generic Christianity.  Franklin went so far as to say that he thought he ought to go out looking for some Mosques to bring back.  He was very specific.  He wanted religion out of government, including religious prescriptions.

     I don't know myself that he was wrong.  I think that they're fine personal guidelines, but for societies as a whole, I think they're trouble.  So much for me.

Anyway, I hope all is going well for you.  Affectionately,  Bob Kaven
moonbeam
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207 posted 12-02-2008 01:54 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Stephen
quote:
quote: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.

    ... 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.

    ... 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".


Actually that would only be rational if all life forms were alike.


No Stephen that is not right.  My central point was that each life form may legitimately feel that it is superior.  But that aside, even within our own species there are for instance differences in skin colour, physique etc, yet most people regard all humans as equal in the important meaning of the word.  
quote:
To cut to the chase, moonbeam, I accept the supreme position of human life (rejecting of course, cruelty to animals for cruelty-sake) as Divine Revelation.      

Of course you do.  And I respect your position.  In a parochial sense it's quite a rational one, for it provides the human mind and body with a good deal of ease, and escape from having to confront the problems that arise when you take my view.  
quote:
At this point you will cry "foul" in the name of religion (which to you is dogmatically subjective).  The strength of my position however is that most people agree in practice and conscience, regardless of their ideologies.  And I'm really not interested in arguing abortion with a moral vegan, much less arguing against a hypothetical moral vegan.

"Most people" fails on two counts as a convincing argument.  First, most people on earth isn't "most people" - it's rather like a gaggle of geese sitting in their cosy little hut secure in the knowledge that most geese believe in the supremacy of geese, while in the woods just down the road the foxes take an entirely different view.  Secondly, "most geese" used to believe in the supremacy of white geese over black geese.  It didn't make them right.  

As for the moral vegan point.  I see that you may feel such an argument might be a waste of time.  Perhaps you are right.  In fact you may very well be.  The gap between us in terms of the sanctity we attach to human life (especially just conceived human life) may be so wide that it explains what effectively translates to a difference in nuance regarding the legal position.
quote:
"Desirable vs. undesirable" is an insufficient category for this kind of discussion.  Though I'm quite aware that you feel that you have jumped from the frying pan of absolutes, into a simpler comfy explanation.  You've still landed in the fire, since desirable can be reduced to personal preference or liking (on the level of malt-beverage versus coffee), in which case there is no real debate.

You've place an emphasis on the words themselves which I didn't intend and simply dragged the debate back to ground level, when I was trying to, as it were, look from afar.  Fine, use "right" and "wrong" if you want to, it doesn't detract from the fact that what you feel to be right and wrong may not be what IS right and wrong.
quote:
You've still landed in the fire, since desirable can be reduced to personal preference or liking (on the level of malt-beverage versus coffee), in which case there is no real debate.

Ahh, now we get to it.  Precisely so: "personal preference" if you must, a sense of what, as Bob puts it, is viscerally "right" in as universal sense as we humans are capable of feeling.  

And of course there is a debate.  The debate between those who would construct what I previously called parochial moral absolutes, quite often "given" by a divinity(es) special to the race or species; and those who would simply endeavour to do what they believe to be right (or as I prefer "desirable"), guided, as I said before by no more than their developmental mix (social, environmental, economic, etc etc).  The debate as to which approach is "correct", of course precedes any debate about, for instance, when a zygote is independently viable (which to me is pretty uninteresting).  I admit it's a different debate, but in fairness it's the one I've tried to focus on throughout this thread, sorry if I misled you.
quote:
  I believe that those who do not recognize an ultimate authority on morals will be more likely to justify societal atrocities.  (Though of course, I recognize the religious can and have erred here too, by getting the authority all wrong).  The Philosopher Nietzsche wrote that when "God is dead" then morals would decay.  Likewise, Dostoevsky, said that "If there is no God, all things are permitted".  Do you disagree with them, and if so why?

I totally disagree if by "god" they mean the traditional god's of mainstream religions worldwide.  I absolutely believe that every human has the capacity to do good or ill and religion is just one factor in the mix that makes a character capable of whatever it is capable of.  Much of the evidence I have seen at both a personal, society and national level, in both a contemporary and historical context points at "religion/god" being a real pain in the ass when it comes to warping human nature and creating in it the capacity for ill.  Where do you want me to start!!!??  If however Dostoevsky meant "god" in a wider sense, and although I have read some of his books I can't remember the context, then perhaps I'd agree, in the sense that along with the mix of other factors in a human upbringing an instilling of a more spiritual outlook (as opposed to a material one) can, I believe, elevate human thought to a point where it is less likely to wish to cause harm.  But this I believe has nothing whatsoever to do with the jehovah-like "ultimate authority" that you have in mind.  It is more a maternal and gentle suggestion in early life that man (along with all other life) was not born a miserable sinner, does not have to be "saved", is quite worthy enough stand with the angels rather than gathering crumbs under tables, and is intuitively capable of perceptions beyond the grossly material.
quote:
Peter Singer (an atheist and moral relativist) supports infanticide in some cases.  He provides evidence to me that the line will continue to move toward personal druthers, rather than any real criteria for rejection or acceptance, once absolutes are rejected.  Where is the line for you for abortion and why?  (This is the moral question, and not the legal)


I've already discussed personal preference, and why I believe it is an honest position rather than a dirty phrase.  

"Real criteria for rejection or acceptance"  - most people in my observation don't need a god of the type you believe in for them to know intuitively what is acceptable and what isn't at any particular point in time and place.  

If you don't realise by now that I don't have "a line" - then you either haven't read or don't understand what I said.

And while we're on lines, to re-iterate, my legal position follows from my moral one.  I don't have "a line" there either.  I gave the span of weeks which I did advisedly, but I suppose I'm now regretting mentioning an upper limit.  My ideal legal system would cater for the circumstances of each case and react with a moveable line accordingly.
quote:
quote: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".

Moonbeam!  Hardly a shred of science-fiction, much less science, would support the idea of an unborn human being ever being at a stage other than earlier human ones.  

I was speaking metaphorically of course, pointing out that my "personal preference"!  would be to kill an anonymous week old fertilized human egg rather than an anonymous 2 month old kitten.   But, talking about (science) fiction, you'd do well to re-visit Swift, on the subject of human subjectivity and its ridiculousness (oops, that sounded bad, it wasn't personal ).
quote:
    quote: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.
You're the one who said not to go into Euthanasia right?  Well even though I don't agree with it (and that is a seperate argument), I would gladly grant it to you for the sake of this argument ... and then point out that abortion is still far worse since Euthanasia involves both consent and a poor medical prognosis.  Abortion involves no consent on part of the killed, and in most cases the best of prognoses.  


I wasn't talking about euthanasia.  I too have many reservations about it.  I was making a general point about social stigma, and also saying for the umpteenth time that being alive is more than about drawing breath.  You keep asking me how I can justify killing a living zygote simply to give a mother "peace of mind".  Unless you recognise that someone can be "killed" without having their bodily functions terminated we can go no further with the discussion in that area.
quote:
You really attribute her mental condition to the mere birth of the child?  Explain this to me again?

"mere birth of a child" - my turn to say Stephen!!  Really, Stephen if you think that this is just about a baby popping out of a womb we are poles apart.  At this point I guess I should say "how like a man", for the sake of cliche.  There is nothing "mere" about the circumstances surrounding many young women arriving at a clinic I can assure you.  When you write something like that I do wonder (with all respect) whether I'm talking to a person or a robot.  Perhaps it's hard for you to understand what the circumstances of conception and the subsequent interaction with father, friends, family, doctor, therapist, school teachers, priest, doctors, maybe police, can do to a young girl's mental state, and how all that turmoil can be resolved into a point in time (the birth) and an entity (the baby), and magnified as a result.

Non-abortive (in the sense of best option) counselling should of course always be there.  But the non-abortive bit should not be supported by a big stick of illegality.  If the counselling doesn't work the option of a legal abortion should be available (with caveats as already discussed)

As I said before: no specificity on the time limit for illegality.  Bands of time, with circumstances taken into account.  

M
Essorant
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208 posted 12-03-2008 04:31 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If our mothers could still make the choice in the past, I don't think most of us would have much doubt about thinking it wrong if they were about to have an abortion instead of at least allowing us to be born.  Indeed, we would probably all be against it if our own lives were threatened by it now.  But we would not even have our lives right now if our mothers had made that choice.    If you knew it would be your own life that had never made it out of the womb, or your wife's or husband's, I may hardly believe you would think it right and that the law should not defend your life or the life of your loved one.  It should be no different just because it is someone else's life instead.  

moonbeam
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209 posted 12-03-2008 04:56 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

For me this doesn't work Ess.  I'd be prepared to give up my life even now if I thought it would save my wife of mother a lifetime of mental illness, and so much more so if I was a zygote without any comprehension of life or the outside world.  Think "Sommersby", think beyond the "selfish gene".
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210 posted 12-03-2008 10:45 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Wishing not to be killed is selfish?  

Taking away life is no way to deal with depression.
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211 posted 12-03-2008 12:23 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"In describing genes as being "selfish", the author does not intend (as he states unequivocally in the work) to imply that they are driven by any motives or will—merely that their effects can be accurately described as if they do. The contention is that the genes that get passed on are the ones whose consequences serve their own implicit interests (to continue being replicated), not necessarily those of the organism, much less any larger level. This view explains altruism at the individual level in nature, especially in kin relationships (when an individual sacrifices its own life to protect the lives of kin, it is acting in the interest of its own genes). Some people find this metaphor entirely clear, while others find it confusing, misleading or simply redundant to ascribe mental attributes to something that is mindless. For example, Andrew Brown has written:

    "Selfish", when applied to genes, doesn't mean "selfish" at all. It means, instead, an extremely important quality for which there is no good word in the English language: "the quality of being copied by a Darwinian selection process." This is a complicated mouthful. There ought to be a better, shorter word—but "selfish" isn't it."

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene

Taking away SOME TYPES of life is in my view a way to deal with SOME TYPES of depression, I have tried to explain why I think that above.  I respect your disagreement Ess, mainly because I do not believe it is based upon "divine edict".
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212 posted 12-03-2008 02:12 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I never meant to imply "no exceptions".  But generally it is a very faulty mentality to think that taking away anyone's life is the key to dealing with depression.  It would be wrong for a woman to try to take away the life of a rapist to deal with depression.  In likewise it is wrong for for her child's life to be taken away because of her depression.  The child is not to blame for her depression.  What is to blame is whatever misdeed or mistake happened that made the child to come about when she did not wish to have a child.  In no way should a child in a womb be sentenced to capital punishment for someone else's bad choice or mistake.  To deal with the crime or accident you need to use law and justice to try to prevent the crime from happening again, and learning and better choices against the accident happening again.  In other words we ought to to do more of what protects and honours life, not what takes it away.

  

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213 posted 12-03-2008 05:13 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
I never meant to imply "no exceptions".  But generally it is a very faulty mentality to think that taking away anyone's life is the key to dealing with depression.
  

Of course that is absolutely true, and I never suggested it was.
quote:
It would be wrong for a woman to try to take away the life of a rapist to deal with depression.  In likewise it is wrong for for her child's life to be taken away because of her depression.  The child is not to blame for her depression.  What is to blame is whatever misdeed or mistake happened that made the child to come about when she did not wish to have a child.  In no way should a child in a womb be sentenced to capital punishment for someone else's bad choice or mistake.  To deal with the crime or accident you need to use law and justice to try to prevent the crime from happening again, and learning and better choices against the accident happening again.  In other words we ought to to do more of what protects and honours life, not what takes it away.

  

I think you should have stopped after your first two sentences above, because here you start to get into deep water imo.  "Blame" is not the issue here.  What is the issue are the facts and circumstances and likely progressions of each individual case.  Just because the person who is to blame can't be made to suffer in order to ameliorate the suffering of a victim doesn't imo automatically deny a victim amelioration from any other feasible source.  
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214 posted 12-05-2008 12:26 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Moonbeam

So how is right to trivialize the life and eventual life of the child, and deny the child the right to that life on behalf of the mother's depression?  A lot more than just depression put Charles Manson's life in question, but even he has the right to live and other people that did some of the most horrible crimes.  How come an innocent child cannot be granted that much, but must face capital punishment through abortion on behalf of depression that has just as much possibility if not more to be made worse by the abortion?

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215 posted 12-05-2008 01:26 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
So how is right to trivialize the life and eventual life of the child,

I think if you bother to read what I've said before in this thread, you will see that the very last thing I do is trivialise any decision surrounding the termination of any life.  In fact if any trivialisation is going on, it's by those who would say either that abortion is always right or that it is always wrong.  I have never done that.

quote:
and deny the child the right to that life on behalf of the mother's depression?

A meaningless statement.  Too simple Ess.  Circumstances.  Choices.  The best of bad options.  Again, I've addressed this earlier in the thread.  
quote:
A lot more than just depression put Charles Manson's life in question, but even he has the right to live and other people that did some of the most horrible crimes.  How come an innocent child cannot be granted that much, but must face capital punishment

Emotive simplifications are a waste of time Ess.  "Innocence" is a word playing on the guilt that we all feel when terminating life and is often an irrelevance in decisions that have to be made where all parties are "innocent".
quote:
through abortion on behalf of depression that has just as much possibility if not more to be made worse by the abortion?

A meaningless statement.  Too simple Ess.  Circumstances.  Choices.  The best of bad options.  Again, I've addressed this, and the whole thrust of your short questions earlier in the thread.  
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216 posted 12-05-2008 02:21 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Moonbeam,

I obviously don't agree.  All you are doing is complicating it so you can avoid making general judgement of the extreme of taking a human's life  and trying to justify it by its complexity.  When something such as depression is taken out on someone's life it is trivializing human life because it puts that complication above the life.  The same thing happens in suicide, and murders in one way or another.  It is no different with abortion.  Depression, emotions, pessimism, poverty, overpopulation, and the like don't make it right to take human life.  I am being general because abortion is generally wrong, not because I think it should never be done.  Why do you avoid making a general judgement about abortion?  There is something a lot more important here, life, a lot more important than trying to find the quickest relief from complications such as depression.    


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217 posted 12-05-2008 06:22 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
... because abortion is generally wrong, not because I think it should never be done.  Why do you avoid making a general judgement about abortion?

With great respect Ess, you obviously haven't followed my discourse throughout the thread.  You want general judgements, well here's three "that I made earlier" (as Blue Peter used to say - a Brit joke, Grinch will get it):

"Imo there's a problem with all abortion.  There's a problem with killing any entity.
Life's a problem Huan.  You muddle through and do your best in each circumstance as you find it according to your personal credo."

"I don't restrict myself rigidly to cases involving rape or potential loss of life because many other situations present significant challenges too, but what I am sure of is that abortion is never ever a good solution.  The idea of a woman using abortion as a form of casual contraception is abhorrent to me"

"The fact is Stephen I am secure in my own moral position which is that it is wrong to kill.  But there are instances where the wrongness of killing can be mitigated by other moral imperatives.  We just differ on the extent of those other imperatives."

Maybe we aren't as far apart as you seem to think Ess. Perhaps it's true to say that it's never "right" to take life but sometimes it's necessary.
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218 posted 12-06-2008 12:52 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Moonbeam

I am sorry for not looking at your earlier posts more closely.  I know you don't think abortion is a "good" thing.  Generally no one does.  But it is many things that people suggest justify or mitigate , that I argue against, when they seem a very a contradiction in the argument of holding life so highly, and choosing abortion only by necessity, not because I thought you, or anyone for that matter, generally believes in holding life lowly or that abortion should be done casually.  But the frequencies and numbers of abortions don't seem to live up very well to people's beliefs of life to be held highly or choosing abortion only by necessity.  Most among those numbers have other options in which they may give up the child through other means, in which the child lives, instead of dies, but they neglect to choose those instead of abortion, and that is what is so disappointing.  

  
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219 posted 12-06-2008 04:57 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
I know you don't think abortion is a "good" thing.  Generally no one does.  But it is many things that people suggest justify or mitigate , that I argue against, when they seem a very a contradiction in the argument of holding life so highly, and choosing abortion only by necessity, not because I thought you, or anyone for that matter, generally believes in holding life lowly or that abortion should be done casually.  But the frequencies and numbers of abortions don't seem to live up very well to people's beliefs of life to be held highly or choosing abortion only by necessity.  Most among those numbers have other options in which they may give up the child through other means, in which the child lives, instead of dies, but they neglect to choose those instead of abortion, and that is what is so disappointing.


Well we have a lot of common ground in that post Ess.  It IS very disappointing that so many abortions take place, but that is partly a function I think of the fact that a lot of time, resources and energy are expended in squabbling over the moral and legal issues instead of being devoted to education, counselling and generally attempts to work with the mothers instead of starting out with implicit (if not overt) demonisation.  Telling people NOT to do something with their own bodies (as mothers quite understandably perceive it) is immediately working against the psychological grain.  And moreover where abortion is unavailable or illegal the circumstance of backstreet abortion means that both mothers and babies then often die in horrendous circumstances.  Far better to work with the grain imo, and use, education, persuasion and economic help where necessary to try and avoid the abortion option.  I know there are may areas of grey here, and I don't rule anything out except firstly, the idea that abortion is always ok because the mother always has the right to choose, and secondly the idea that abortion is always wrong because my god says it is.
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220 posted 12-06-2008 10:29 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
You keep wanting to approach this by logic.  I don't think it's logical.  I think it's visceral.


Bob,

I think that setting up the rational and emotive as antithetical, is not being true to reality.  Being so logical that one does not take into account the emotional is, well ... illogical.  And likewise a purely emotional response to a situation which should be logically considered is felt to be wrong by most.  I honestly feel that my personal view here is striking a balance.

I'm just not sure what you're trying to say when you say such things other than: "I wouldn't approach this subject the way you do."  But we already knew that right?  

quote:
Somehow you seem to understand people who disagree with you about this as being very different than you or in basic disagreement about most of the attitudes that you voice.  I simply don't think this is true.


And I simply don't think this is true.

I really do understand that "abortion-rights" advocates and "pro-life" advocates have much in common.  Actually that's one of the very reasons I am hopeful about earnest debate and discussion.

quote:
I think the conclusions may be different, but most of the attitudes I hear you voice, I also hear people voice who are pro-choice as well.  Nobody loves abortion.  Everybody wants it to be the last thing considered except for people who have very little contact with their feelings.


Since we have so much in common ... we can still discuss and juxtapose the very different conclusions.  Though this is a bit more complex than math, my grade-school tests taught me that the conclusion of an equation (not merely the previous points of agreement, as the whole class was sure that multiplication was the goal) was supremely important.

I don't want you get the wrong impression ... namely that I don't recognize common ground, and noble aims in your mind.  

I simply think your conclusion is wrong since even those who have little contact with their feelings won't be prevented from things like "abortion as birth control" or "abortion as gender selection".  If it is legally allowed as a right, then it is legally allowed as a right.  

quote:
Politically, I'm very skeptical of others making my decisions for me.  Ethically, there's the question of whether on not the decision is mine to make or not.

Boy I thought that "others making decisions for me" WAS the definition of politics!  

Seriously, I do understand.  Yet we know that perfect individual determination is a farce.  We just all disagree on where the line of control is drawn.  You doubtlessly think the decision should be made for those who would commit infanticide (contrary to the likes of Peter Singer).  So external controls cannot be painted as bad-in-themselves in order to make your argument, because in half a second, you drop your own distaste for this for another principle you deem higher.

So yes the question is there ... as it always is when it comes to things which involve legislation.

quote:
At one point the Popes were shocked to discover that Jewish theology hadn't stopped dead in its tracks with the death of Jesus, and declared Jews who read and believed in the teachings in the Talmud were in fact Heretics.  The Jews thought they had the right to make decisions about their own theology, the popes thought they had the right to burn copies of the Talmud they found, and then, occasionally, the Jews who were found reading them.  It's one of the ways the Inquisition got started.


It is possible to view a belief as heretical, and not resort to destruction.  If Jesus is in fact the Jewish Messiah, then traditional Judaism could never be viewed as complete.  And yet Jesus himself taught us to love not only our neighbors but our enemies.  What harm would there have been in letting the Jews continue as they had?  Judaism has never been particularly proselytistic.  The Popes you mention must be critiqued by the very same standards of truth that we have been given by their professed Lord.  Not to be unkind, but I'm sure you agree, that not all that calls itself Christian is so ... or at least so in the most spiritual meaning.

It is a bit interesting that you bring up the Jews, however, since their greatest and most memorable persecution was carried in a large degree by a pseudo-scientific dogma denying their humanness.  Sound familiar?


quote:
Myself, I suspect the founders would have been seriously startled to have heard their notions about Right to Life being applied to fetal life.  They were far too secular to have take a position of that sort


Though I think the Deistic tendencies of many of our Founding Fathers made them less-than-Christian, I think you are overstating this secular strain.  Why?  Because the most secular of them, Jefferson, could still find nothing other than "Creator" (a distinctly Judeo-Christian idea) as an unchanging source of human rights.  Anything else would be completely arbitrary on our part, and he knew that.


quote:
and were far too aware of the uncertainties of pregnancy to have thought such a thing possible.


I would rather say they were far too unaware of the nature and science of the human fetus to know otherwise.  And you must remember, we DO do our best to protect the unborn from the uncertainties of natural disease that would threaten its life ... so why would such uncertainties have any bearing upon the questions of rights either for the Founders or for us?  That's almost like saying that the life expectancy of a slave was so short and generally ephemeral, that they never would have come to consider their human rights.  
          
quote:
Liberty they may have thought crucial, but not enough to insist on it for the blacks in this country; not at the expense of leaving the southern states out of the Union.


But surely you think abolition was corrective??  In short ... they were wrong to leave out the black men and women and children in their consideration of rights?  If so, their ignorance or mistakenness is no argument.

quote:
And they knew better than to say that happiness was a Right, only that you should be entitled to pursue it.


The pro-life position can be summarized in such a statement.  Termination equals no pursuit.

quote:
They also knew that the state should avoid hooking up with any particular religious dogma, including even a generic Christianity.


Its an entirely different discussion, but we can also ask why even these "secularists" retained distinctly Judeo-Christian ideas, in particular surrounding the conception of human rights.

And anyway, unless "You shall not Murder" is exclusive to the Judeo-Christian ethical heritage (and I feel you would say 'it isn't' )... anti-abortion laws could never be criticized as imposing State religion, anymore than laws to protect newborns.

quote:
He was very specific.  He wanted religion out of government, including religious prescriptions.


As I've said before ... though I believe that morals (that are really morals) sit incongruously upon a secular framework, and are best explained and conceived in a religious world-view, this particular debate is not about a prescription that is exclusively religious ... but about the working out of moral principles already accepted by secular and religious alike.


The debate still comes down to whether the fetus is a human being.  And, if it is reasonable to think so, why killing an innocent human being for a non-life-threatening situation should be accepted with abortion ... when it stands starkly alone in this regard, in our ethical landscape.  
  


Stephen
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221 posted 12-10-2008 11:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Moonbeam,

I haven't forgotten you.  Time, time, time ...

Stephen
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222 posted 12-11-2008 03:03 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Mmmmmm Stephen - I feel so wanted

Seriously, no hurry, Christmas will shortly be a time-thief.

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223 posted 12-18-2008 09:13 PM       View Profile for rhia_5779   Email rhia_5779   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rhia_5779

You say why take away a life if the condition isn't life threatening but being raped can lead to depression. Many women do go through depression after being raped and being forced to carry a child to term when they are reminded of that rape constantly at every moment wouldn't help their depression,   in fact it could make it worse.
I don't think its right to make them go through with that- at all. Its what I believe because being raped isn't over 6 months after- it like other painful experiences leave scars and they don't ever fade.

I've never been raped or had to deal with something of that extent thank goodness, but my cousin was molested and that left so many scars on her among other things. She was so broken and so hurt for so many years after- she had a lot of other issues but that just added to them and it took a lot of break downs and harsh realities before she was able to turn her life around. i know it hurt her really badly.

I don't know if you've heard of girl aggression most haven't but its a form of bullying thats really damaging. I've had experiences with that and even though thats far less painful than rape, ,at least the way I experienced it- it ws still pretty bad. Its been over two years and I still have memories from it- it still affects how I am with people.  I don't trust people easily, I didn't before and even now I'm scared that whatever I say will be used against me. I shut down randomly- because it was an instinct for me w hen that was happening a couple years ago- and old habits die hard. I pull away and become completely distanced because I expect to be verbally, and emotionally attacked. I can't walk ten feet across the cafeteria without being afraid that the minute I turn around or get what I was going to get- my friends will have ditched me.  I just know from personal experience that some things never leave you and some scars are always painful- what I went through is nowhere as traumatic as rape which is why I believe so strongly that forcing someone to undergo pain and live with scars that are tenfol- is wrong

 
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