Statesboro, GA, USA
Evidence of the get out clause in action lies in the answer to question three. If the donor decides to live his\her life disconnected from the President the President dies, this would seem to impinge on the right of the president to live. The get out clause however allows the donor to abdicate responsibility because he\she is not obligated to take into account the viability of the President to live.
One obvious difference between your bizarre analogy and gestation, is that the unborn is in no way permanently "connected" to the mother. Nine months is a far cry from that.
Another problem is that you can't account for why the example of a mother who decides to abandon her week old baby (who also cannot survive without the mother's actions, even if that action is only as much as arranging for an adoption or turning the child in to Social Services) does not also apply in an analogous way to pregnancy. For with either the newborn or the unborn, survival is impossible without the mother.
Though we would all wish for more (a life long commitment) a mother only need to go through with having the child, and following through with making arrangements for adoption / foster care.
As a side issue there are 42 million abortions a year, what do we do with all those unwanted children if abortion is suddenly stopped?
We would continue to make adoption and foster care more attractive (adoption tax credits and cost control helps here), and concurrently work socially/financially to help young mothers choose to keep and care for their children.
The rhetorical trick in your statement is in the idea of "unwanted". the question is, unwanted when and for how long? Does a system which sheepishly calls the unborn child "products of conception" or some other conscience-numbing term, encourage people to persevere in hard times, to doubt their desperate (but possibly temporary) desire to just end things, to seek other alternatives? I would bet some honest counseling about fetal development (with the visual clarity that is possible with our present technology), and later the introductcion of the child through birth would cure an astoundingly large amount of "unwanting". It's much easier to not want whom you've never met and bonded with. The abortion industry plays on this unfamiliarity I believe, and widens the divide even more by being ambigious (if not outright denying it) about whether there is an actual killing of a human being involved.
Neither, then, would the battle against cancer, Stephen. Radiation and chemotherapy both contradict your precept of "first, do no harm." They contradict it big time.
Pardon me, but that's sophistry.
No system is perfect; Nor can any philosophy be kept to a tee I supose; But destroying some good cells (which will mostly recover if the cancer itself is survived) along with malignant cells to possibly save a person's life, cannot be compared with killing an unborn human being for another person's ease.
Remember, I am not questioning the right to abortion where the mother's life is in jeopardy. So what exactly IS the medical condition that is treated by abortion? You're not seriously going to try and equate pregnancy with Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
The tight logic you are usually known for Ron, should not miss the unalterable fact that a human organism in early development isn't a tumor.
Primum non nocere ďfirst, do no harmĒ as you also rightly point out isnít always the aim of modern medical practitioners. Itís often replaced with Primum succurrere ďfirst, hasten to helpĒ which is probably more apt in the case of abortions.
I asked Ron this, now I'll ask you ...
What medical condition does abortion treat?
It does nothing to decrease the number of abortions, which are apparently about stable whether they are legal or not.
I don't agree with that for a couple of reasons. I have read that the quoted numbers of women's deaths due to "back alley abortions" prior to Roe Vs. Wade is simply false. Bernard Nathanson, once-abortion-advocate and abortion MD, wrote that the quotes about "10,000" per year were not based on real stats which have apparently proven to be somewhere closer to 60. And even if there were many deaths unreported, the commonly claimed figures are exaggerated to say the least.
Secondly, it is reasonable to think that a system which makes abortions easier and safer, and sanctions them, would yield more of them. This is especially true if the system is somewhat designed in concord with our legal tendency (except in certain telling cases) of viewing the fetus as not-a-human-being. "Uterine Content" and "Products of conception" and professional assurances that what is being destroyed is not really a person yet, contribute to the "sellability" of abortion. Spared from this, I am sure that scores of women would be dissuaded from that course of action. If the fetus is not a human being worthy of protection, then why not make life easier via abortion?
If the counter argument is made that I am basing this on intuition and not statistics, I will point out that the pro-abortion argument is neither based on statistics, but rather a "gut" feeling that desperate women will have it done whether "safe and legal" or not. I simply think given the better information, it would not at all be the case. Of course you will always have some. But if "people will do it anyway" is any kind of argument against abortion being illegal, it is an argument against anything being illegal.
(The) granting of "rights" to a fetus in the womb seems a ridiculous legal charade to cover the attempt of the religious right to impose an archaic religious standard on the rest of the population.
This is really avoiding the arguments. Though Christians have the best metaphysical / ethical foundation from which to argue protection of the unborn, the pro-life arguments out there aren't exclusively religious. They are based upon the same moral (and legal) principles most non-Christians hold concerning human rights in other contexts. They are also based upon rational and scientific principles. The fact is, you are only speaking of the weakest arguments for pro-life if you think it's exclusively presented in King James paraphrase. Scott Klusendorf and Francis Beckwith are two proponents of the pro-life position you should consider.
Ron; I'm against religion that attempts to make government policy about what goes on in bedrooms and how women deal with their bodies, and how those of us who don't happen to believe in their particular brand of religion need to follow their religious rules.
Well I'll use a wholly non-religious argument to counter your pro-abortion argument:
I'll begin with a question. How can you scientifically support the premise that this is only a question of how women deal with "their" own bodies. Is it scientifically tenable to say there is only one body involved after conception?
I lost confidence in that sort of thing when I heard people at an anti-choice rally cheer for the guy who shot a couple of GYN docs working at two women's health clinics in Boston. It's been a long time, so I may have gotten my facts off a bit, but I remember a receptionist died and other folks were shot. Big celebration.
Understandable Bob. But positions cannot be rightly judged by their abuses or extremes, else you're either attacking a straw man, or letting a straw man scare you away from the real field. Maybe a few abortion doctors are also baby killers (born babies). But it would be irrational for me to let that that determine my thoughts about abortion.
I detest the killing of abortion doctors just as much as I detest the killing of unborn human beings.
And if you haven't heard the lecture about with rights come responsibilities, allow me to express a certain amount of surprise. It's a common point. The point I was making is that in talking about granting rights to fetal tissue, there is but half an argument being set out, since these fetuses are not actually being expected to act in a responsible fashion till much later.
It seems to me you've made it sound like a temporarily comatose patient should be held responsible for causing his family financial and emotional hardship for having a stroke. We still grant those people rights too. The fact is there is a myriad of situations where we grant rights to humans who have no, or very little responsibility. The newborn being the most obvious thorn to your argument about rights demanding responsibilities. Unless I've misunderstood you here ...
I respect the religions; the people who exploit them cynically for power, I confess I am troubled by. Any religion, when it loses touch with the love that is at the core of it, threatens to become demonic.
But the desire to protect human life is not necessarily a power move.
If those who want to protect the unborn are often inconsistent by being against social programs to help women and children, then that is a whole other issue. But this is not always the case. Jim Bouder on this very forum occasionally, I believe is both pro-life and a social activist.
I don't think that the issue is necessarily one that has much to do with feminism, except for the fact that women are the most immediate decision-makers because of childbearing capacity. Neither do I think that disagreeing with someone else's choice (based upon principle), means that I have the right to despise them or doubt that there were challenging "reasons" involved. Bob talks about love and understanding, and I think we need that as much as possible. And women should be welcome to this thread. I suppose the decision for anyone not to join the discussion also has to do with "choice".
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-23-2008 11:28 AM).]