Conservative & Patriotic t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, buttons and more! RightNation.US Conservative & Patriotic t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, buttons and more!
Conservative & Patriotic t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, buttons and more!
News (Home) | Righters' Blog | Hollywood Halfwits | Our Store | New User Intro | Link to us | Support Us

RightNation.US: The Last Bastion of the Pro-Choice Position - RightNation.US

Jump to content

-----
NewsRealBlog recently hosted a series of articles revisiting the well-tread abortion debate. Given the fact all participants were credentialed conservatives, the nature of argument was quite unique. The question was not so much whether abortion is wrong, but how much it actually matters in the real world. Surely, in the current political environment, social issues have taken a back-burner to what may seem more fundamental concerns – growth of government, fiscal disaster, and loss of liberty.

However, the root philosophical point underlying those concerns is the same underlying abortion. Of what value is an individual human being? How ought we compare the value of one to another? Abortion is an issue which draws out heartfelt answers to these questions.

The good news is that most people seem to answer those questions correctly. An individual human being is invaluable. Each human being ought to be considered equal. This consensus between pro-life and pro-choice leads inevitably to a final attempt at rationalization. The unborn are not human. If possessed of the slightest decency, this is the only argument the abortionist has.

Consider this exchange with a pro-choice commenter:

Quote

There is a difference between a possibility and an actuality.
There is a difference between a probability and an actuality.

A possible, or probable person is not the same as an actual person.


The pro-life position does not dispute that. It simply identifies conception as the moment there is an actual person. Sperm and eggs separately, on the other hand, would represent the possibility or probability of a person.

Quote

A zygote is not an actual person. Other than it’s DNA pattern a zygote has nothing in common with a person.

A zygote is a potential person.

One can only assert otherwise if one believes in the immortal soul and agrees with the Pope that the soul enters the flesh at the moment of conception. That standard asserts that the soul (which we can neither observe nor measure) is the defining characteristic of a person. By that standard it is reasonable to assert that a zygote is a person.

Nobody who doesn’t hold those beliefs can reasonably agree to the notion that a zygote is an actual person. It would make no sense.


Forget religion. Evoking faith is an attempt to impose subjectivity upon the pro-life position. There is nothing mystical about the belief life begins at conception. As you observe, the DNA pattern is in place. This is the defining characteristic of an organism. Aside from combination of DNA into a new organism (i.e. conception) at what point can it be rationally said a human being is a human being? Your axiomatic assertion that a zygote is not a person is not sufficient. Identify what event or combination of circumstances makes one a human being.

Quote

What is a person? A person is a free standing biologically self-supporting animal, possessing human, that is to say conceptual, consciousness.

By this standard you don’t have an actual person until after birth, when a baby draws it’s first breath.

Since we recognize that human life is the ultimate primary value, one wishes, naturally I think, to avoid anything that even gives the appearance of infanticide. Hence I think that for abortion related decisions one wants to calibrate the bar somewhere before having a full fledged self-supporting actual person on hand.

My own take on the matter is that one should follow the standards of nature. There is a point in pregnancy (don’t ask me, I don’t know the biology) when it becomes possible for a baby to survive a premature birth under natural conditions. I think it is reasonable to say that before that point the question of an actual rather than a possible person is meaningless. After that point we are talking about probabilities of a person that tread too closely to reality to be harmonious with civilized values.

What one wants to do is to avoid sacrificing one actual person for another — unless that sacrifice is fully voluntary.

This is also where the rubber hits the road morally on an important question. What happens if you know that the process of giving birth would kill the mother? Do you abort? Up until when? Can a woman abort to save her own life in the first week? The first month? The first 6 months? How about the day before delivery?

My view of the matter is that any person may VOLUNTARILY sacrifice their own life to save the life of anybody else anytime they wish. But nobody can force a person to INVOLUNTARILY sacrifice their life for anybody anytime for any reason.

As it happens, an unborn, which is to say potential/probable person, does not yet have the consciousness to make decisions. So the categories of voluntary and involuntary don’t apply.

My view is that in [extremes] it is inhuman not to allow a woman to save her own life. In non-emergency situations I think the natural premature birth standard should apply.

Please do not interpret this as meaning that I like the idea of abortion. I find it rather revolting. What is more, I have witnessed the destructive effects of abortion on the emotional lives of women and on relationships many times. I know several women who bear deep and painful emotional/mental scars decades after having aborted a pregnancy. It’s not nice stuff.

But one cannot force one person to sacrifice their life for the life of another.


Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

The horrific dichotomy which emerges when an unborn child threatens the life of its mother is beside the point. Such cases constitute a negligible minority of abortions. The overwhelming majority are nothing more than parents dispensing with responsibility. It would be unjust for me to murder my wife to terminate marriage, or murder my 16-month-old to save money. I see no distinction between those crimes and abortion as birth control.

Speaking of my son, he is not “self-sustaining.” I understand you mean not connected to the mother. However, that seems a meaningless distinction when you consider the role of the umbilical remains throughout childhood.

Were my son to be abandoned, the “standards of nature” would do him in as neatly as a chick fell from its nest. His mother and I have a responsibility to sustain him. If that is our responsibility now, how was it not our responsibility while he was in the womb? How was being inside his mother, connected by a literal umbilical, effectively different than being outside connected by obligation? If he was somehow imposing upon his mother in the womb, how is he not imposing now? I assure you, the effort, focus, and treasure required to sustain him is far greater now than it was before he was born.

I am sure you are sincere about finding abortion revolting. I am also sure you are motivated by a desire to justly weigh contradictory interests. In your effort to do so, it seems you have contrived a definition of personhood distinct from human life. Though undoubtedly not your intent, this exercise opens the door to devaluing life at any stage for any reason.

I share the following not to equate you with the sentiment or its originator, but to illustrate my point. Regarding the humanity of the Jew, Joseph Goebbels once said, “Certainly the Jew is also a Man, but the Flea is also an Animal.” Once we accept that personhood is somehow distinct from being human, we weaken our own claim to humanity.

To answer your disclaimer, please do not take me as one who feels any abortion is first degree murder. I merely object to the characterization of the unborn as less deserving of life.


Quote

… that last bit of mine was intended in answer to your request “Identify what event or combination of circumstances makes one a human being”.

It would help, I think if you supplied your own answer to that as well.

I fear we are about to get caught up in a tangle of words. Person, human being, organism, animal, and so forth. That will inevitably lead to nothing but confusion or even trivialization.

I also have a hunch that some of our differences lie in that area.

I will leave you with this much however. You said “
Speaking of my son, he is not “self-sustaining.” I understand you mean not connected to the mother. However, that seems a meaningless distinction when you consider the role of the umbilical remains throughout childhood.“.

Well if you know that I mean “connected to the mother” why do you divert the focus to childhood dependence? I am specifically talking about whether or not an organism can or can not survive outside the body of another. That’s a yes/no binary sort of difference.

It is anything but a meaningless distinction. A three month old embryo will simply die if it’s mother dies. Nature offers no alternative. A three month old baby will not die when it’s mother dies. It will perish eventually if nobody cares for it. But it’s mother’s death is not a guarantee of death for the baby. (Damn this stuff gets to sounding grim).

This is what I am referring to when I use the phrase “free-standing” or “self-sustaining” and the like.


If I diverted the focus, it was back to the matter at hand. The issue is identity. What is a fetus, zygote, or fertilized egg, if not human. Viability is a matter of development. Development is not the issue. There are developmental differences between a newborn and a six-month-old. Yet, surely none would argue a newborn is somehow less human.

My answer to what makes a human being a human being is quite simple. Once an egg has been fertilized, it is a human being. There is no other event which changes it from one organism to another. What happens from there is a matter of development, not identity.

The distinction between an embryo which could not live outside its mother and a viable fetus is likewise developmental. It says nothing of whether the embryo is human.

I guess my diversion is an attempt to understand how you arrive at your distinction. If it has nothing to do with the function of dependence, what else could it be?


Perhaps there is a justification for viability as a measure of humanity. To date, I have not been presented with one.
0
  Like

8 Comments On This Entry

It's an interesting discussing, because while I've always had a christian perspective on it - abortion is wrong. Politically, I tend to go back and forth between a Social Conservative position and a Libertarian position. The SoCon on me says that abortion is wrong and the power of government should be used to stop it. The Libertarian in me says that abortion is wrong but as long as *I* don't have one then why should I care if someone else does ?

As to "identity", I tend towards the "olde" viewpoint on it - the fetus is not quite a person, yet it's something; therefore killing a fetus is wrong, and should have a penalty, yet it's not quite murder. This is a concept that biblically is at least as old as Exodus 21:22.

Is it really necessary to split hairs beyond that ? I mean, if it's wrong then it's wrong, period, and debating the degree to which it is wrong is pointless.
0
http://www.rightnation.us/forums/index.php...amp;p=684657115 <-- my thoughts on the subject.

Adam Smithee: Determining just how wrong it is is important in judging whether government should interfere and ban it or not. Almost everyone can agree that it is legitimate for the government to step in and prevent murder. The question is is abortion murder or not.
0
Timothy - That's where I think the abortion debate has gotten "stuck" though. The debate has become polarized to where it's either murder or it's perfectly acceptable.

Why does it have to be 'murder' in order for the government to step in ? Certainly we all agree that the goverment should step in and punish murderers. But why does it have to rise to that level ? Don't we also all agree that the government should also step in on lesser offenses such as manslaughter or even assault ?
0
Adam Smithee: I didn't read your opening post closely enough, thanks for the clarification which I should have caught from your first post.

I agree that it doesn't have to rise to the level of murder for the government to step in, for example manslaughter and assault as you describe. I would even add to your argument by pointing out how we protect lesser living things by banning things like animal cruelty. I do think the fetus has some value in its own right, even if it is not a full human being by my estimation.

And that's where we get to the fact that most people who are pro-choice, as I moderately am (legal for any reason in the first trimester, severe health of the mother after that), don't particularly like abortion or consider it to be an easy thing. It's not something I would ever encourage except in extreme cases, and if I was a women, not something I would ever do (as a man I won't ever have to make that decision). I feel like such moral issues, where society can't come up with a general consensus, and it doesn't have a broader impact on society, should be left up to the individual.
0

Quote

My answer to what makes a human being a human being is quite simple. Once an egg has been fertilized, it is a human being. There is no other event which changes it from one organism to another. What happens from there is a matter of development, not identity.

:rofl: Exactly!

Thanks for writing this, Walter. I know that this issue is getting covered up simply because folks do not want to admit it is happening. If we pretend it isn't a baby, then we are superior in our thinking to live and let live but if we admit it is a baby, then we are condoning the murder of the most innocent and helpless among us. That was my breaking point. When I finally admitted to myself why it was wrong for me to have an abortion even when I was still pro-choice.
0

Adam Smithee, on Jun 19 2010, 11:41 AM, said:

It's an interesting discussing, because while I've always had a christian perspective on it - abortion is wrong. Politically, I tend to go back and forth between a Social Conservative position and a Libertarian position. The SoCon on me says that abortion is wrong and the power of government should be used to stop it. The Libertarian in me says that abortion is wrong but as long as *I* don't have one then why should I care if someone else does ?

As to "identity", I tend towards the "olde" viewpoint on it - the fetus is not quite a person, yet it's something; therefore killing a fetus is wrong, and should have a penalty, yet it's not quite murder. This is a concept that biblically is at least as old as Exodus 21:22.

Is it really necessary to split hairs beyond that ? I mean, if it's wrong then it's wrong, period, and debating the degree to which it is wrong is pointless.

I consider myself to be more accurately described as libertarian than conservative. Conservative is a plainly subjective term which means very different things to different people in different eras. For instance, John McCain's idea of conservative is slowing down the rate at which we move toward socialism. Though "libertarian" likewise means different things to different people, it has a dictionary definition which is pretty solid. I have argued that the pro-life position is a libertarian position. Indeed, it depends entirely on one's regard for the unborn as human. The pro-choice position only becomes libertarian when you regard the unborn as inhuman. So it's the same debate as always.

I agree it is difficult to "split hairs," but by no means pointless. The consequences matter a great deal.
0
I have six children. When in the womb, they still contained the capacity to grow up to be who they are now. I know, had I aborted any of them, I would have killed the people they are now. Just because they were smaller, more helpless, and easier to dispose of; it doesn't negate the fact that they were THEN potentially the humans they are now.
0

wag-a-muffin, on Jun 20 2010, 10:31 AM, said:

I have six children. When in the womb, they still contained the capacity to grow up to be who they are now. I know, had I aborted any of them, I would have killed the people they are now. Just because they were smaller, more helpless, and easier to dispose of; it doesn't negate the fact that they were THEN potentially the humans they are now.

I was with you up to the word "potentially." Use of that word gives credence to the idea your children were somehow not your children while in the womb. I know you didn't mean it that way. I also know how an abortionist would frame it.

I think you nailed it with "had I aborted any of them, I would have killed the people they are now." That's it. We are four dimensional organisms, living in space and time. Killing someone as an embryo is no less killing them than at any other time. Once conception has occurred, it is no longer a question of potential. You have a human being.

Though I believe the case is objectively and rationally made without bringing theology into it, it naturally helps to get the mind of God on the matter. God does not know us as we are in this moment of time. He knows us without regard for time. Jeremiah 1:5 – “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”
0
Page 1 of 1

Recent Entries

0 user(s) viewing

0 Guests
0 member(s)
0 anonymous member(s)

Righters' Blog Archive

Conservative's Forum

Conservative's Forum - Conservative news and discussion Forum.