Statesboro, GA, USA
"Morality, if it is to have weight, is something someone believes. Not something legislatively shoved down their throat."
We are discussing legislation by the way. And don't merely tell me your philosophical opinion how law is never based on morality. If there were no universal concept of right and wrong among humans, law would never have arisen. Am I suggesting that the ultimate enforcement of morality should be legislative? Of course not. So don't go there.
It is illegal to kill 1 week old infants no matter if we believe in infanticide or not. It is "shoved down our throat", as the law is enforced, regardless of beliefs. Your use of the phrase "shoved" is nothing more than an attempt to make those who believe abortion should be illegal look tyrannous somehow. But really anyone who feels strongly and pushes for legislation of anything is open to like criticism. It is hollow criticism.
"Is there ever a legitimate reason to terminate a late-term fetus? Sadly, yea, there is. If the life of the mother is judged to be in serious jeopardy, her life will take precedence over that of the unborn child."
How common is this? Really? Tell me from a medical standpoint, how often a late term fetus causes a mother's life to be in serious jeopardy.
"No one in society is advocating abortion of a late-term fetus or a week-old infant"
Your just plain wrong here. Read the news about how different groups are reacting to Partial Birth Abortion (D&X) being banned. There are many advocating this very thing. I'm not saying that you are advocating abortion of late-term fetuses, but it is mistaken to say that there is no one in society pushing for this right.
"If you are to convince a woman that the two ounces of undifferentiated cells growing in her womb is precious, I honestly think you have to come up with something better than "because I say so.""
I have never just based what I say, upon "I said so". I have stated that the universally accepted scientific line of where the individual human organism begins is conception. Undifferentiated cells? Ron either you are ignorant of this biology, or you are being the obscurantist again. This just isn't true. Immediately after fertilization, the zygote is profoundly different from any other cell in the female's body. In fact it is the only one which will develop into an infant from it's own set of code, rather than the mother's. The speed of differentiation (for organ systems etc... is extrememly fast). Remember this clump of cells has a 4 chambered beating heart in 3 weeks, and often has a different blood type than the mother.
I could talk a lot about how this should be deemed precious. But mere value in the eyes of the parent is not, and has never been what I am arguing in this thread. Many parents do not value their 10 year old children. But that does not make them non-human. And the law should protect them regardless of the parental estimation. The law should protect them because they are human.
So I could with equal weight mirror your own words and say: If you are going to convince anyone that the fetus is essentially non-human because of some unacquired quality of your choosing, you have to come up with something better than "because I say so".
"And quite frankly, no man -- as has been pointed out -- can POSSIBLY understand what it is to be pregnant and what it is to have a child OR what the intricacies of individual situations may be."
This is philosphy class, and no argument can be discounted merely because of the gender of the arguer. It is the arguments themselves that must be considered. Because there are many females who are pro-life also, who would give the same reasons. If arguments are discredited because they come from males, then a large part of the arguments are discounted here on this thread, even the ones different than my own. The problem is, that many who do understand the intricacies of pregancy and of individual situations (women) view this quite differently. So the question remains: which view is best?
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-18-2003 05:23 PM).]