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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Dead Horses   » Cleft lip and palate a good reason? (Abortion) (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Cleft lip and palate a good reason? (Abortion)
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
That is, the foetus is becoming a person (and as such deserves enormous respect and protection) but is not one yet (so does not have the full range of rights).

Let me get this straight, it deserves respect and protection EXCEPT protection against being killed in the womb if the mother decides she doesn't want the child. If an unborn child does not have that basic right to life, then any other right you arbitrarily assign to it is absolutely meaningless. If you do not have a right to life, then you have no other rights. If a fetus doesn't deserve a chance to live, then it deserves nothing else.

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Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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wanderer:

[Overused]

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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There's a huge gap between wishing that there was something that could be done to ameliorate bad parenting and the scheme proposed by Sarkycow! But this seems like a thread-worthy issue in its own right, so I started one--I would love to read an expansion of the thoughts you've expressed here on that that thread.

Back to this thread: I find myself agreeing with lots of comments, even when they are set in opposition to eachother (Laura-Erin-Sarkycow-Amos come to mind).

I still don't like what I think your arguing for Sasha, and the example of the woman with many suffering children doesn't help.

Does the experience of seeing the suffering negate the value of those moments of their lives in which these children were not suffering?

Is it fair to judge the mother by picking apart a short reply to whay may have seemed like a stupid and insensitive question? I can't go and ask her what she meant by saying that she "enjoyed" them while they were here, but I think this quote is a pretty thin basis on which to assume the worst about her and conclude that she thinks of her children as toys or treats... I pretty sure that this kind of judgement of others was not what Christ called for in the Gospels (sorry for the sanctimonious tone, but I can't thin of another way to say it just now)

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If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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I keep forgetting to go back to this.

quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
Putting aside for now the issue of being pressured or forced into having sex, it is my supposition that many acts of unprotected sex take place when drink or drugs have been taken or good sense has otherwise left the equation.

So by your reckoning, then, if they're drunk or high they're not responsible for their actions? In that case, you must be ok with letting drunk or otherwise impaired drivers off the hook, as well as not pressing charges against men who rape while they're drunk or high. After all, they're not responsible, right?

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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watchergirl
Shipmate
# 5071

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quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
If the average life has, say, 10% pain 10% euphoria and 80% something inbetween, why bring a new life into the world if you know from the start it will have, 60% pain or even a twilight half-life like the babies with very severe retardation? I don't understand why a woman would want to deliberately bring a new life into the world if he wasn't going to have a fair chance at happiness.

This, in my opinion, shows a very able-bodied-centric view of happiness. We don't know how much happiness a severely disabled person experiences. It may be far more than we do. God blesses the poor in spirit - whoever they are. We are arrogant and prejudiced if we believe that we can enter into the experience of those who are different from us and then try to judge them based on this imagined experience of their lives.

We can also be very patronising about them. Disabled people's lives are valuable. This fact is not recognised enough by a church which is suffering greatly from the subtle spread of the 'health, wealth and prosperity' gospel. Able-bodied (or -minded) people are not the only ones who are loved by God - yet to hear many preachers talk, you'd think that disabled people were incomplete or more fallen than most. And that, I believe, is rooted in the prejudice that leads people to think about disabled people only in terms of our suffering and pain. This view is inconsistent with the rest of our beliefs as Christians.

[ 02. December 2003, 21:16: Message edited by: watchergirl ]

--------------------
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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Boam:


I still don't like what I think your arguing for Sasha, and the example of the woman with many suffering children doesn't help.

Does the experience of seeing the suffering negate the value of those moments of their lives in which these children were not suffering?

Is it fair to judge the mother by picking apart a short reply to whay may have seemed like a stupid and insensitive question? I can't go and ask her what she meant by saying that she "enjoyed" them while they were here, but I think this quote is a pretty thin basis on which to assume the worst about her and conclude that she thinks of her children as toys or treats... I pretty sure that this kind of judgement of others was not what Christ called for in the Gospels (sorry for the sanctimonious tone, but I can't thin of another way to say it just now)

I did not say, or imply, that this woman thought of her children as treats or toys and I would appreciate it if you would quit making up statements and pretending that I said them. I was quite clear about why I found this woman's remark shocking. (It was in answer to another woman's expression of sympathy not to an insensitive question.) It was that she seemed to be thinking of her own feelings more than the feelings of her children. I said that I did not understand her attitude. That is not at all the same thing as passing judgement on someone.
I think if there is any passing of judgement going on here it's your judgement (and false witness) of me.

I really can't imagine why you think that it would be a bad thing for a woman who carries a deadly genetic disease to decide not to have children. I'm not suggesting that people with genetic diseases be prohibited from having children or forced to have abortions but I definitely think that they should have that option and not be judged as vain, frivolous, selfish, haters of the disabled by people like you.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Sasha, I don't think anyone here would not respect her choice to not have children. You, however, have made it abundantly clear that you do NOT respect her choice to have children.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by watchergirl:
quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
If the average life has, say, 10% pain 10% euphoria and 80% something inbetween, why bring a new life into the world if you know from the start it will have, 60% pain or even a twilight half-life like the babies with very severe retardation? I don't understand why a woman would want to deliberately bring a new life into the world if he wasn't going to have a fair chance at happiness.

This, in my opinion, shows a very able-bodied-centric view of happiness. We don't know how much happiness a severely disabled person experiences. It may be far more than we do. God blesses the poor in spirit - whoever they are. We are arrogant and prejudiced if we believe that we can enter into the experience of those who are different from us and then try to judge them based on this imagined experience of their lives.

We can also be very patronising about them. Disabled people's lives are valuable. This fact is not recognised enough by a church which is suffering greatly from the subtle spread of the 'health, wealth and prosperity' gospel. Able-bodied (or -minded) people are not the only ones who are loved by God - yet to hear many preachers talk, you'd think that disabled people were incomplete or more fallen than most. And that, I believe, is rooted in the prejudice that leads people to think about disabled people only in terms of our suffering and pain. This view is inconsistent with the rest of our beliefs as Christians.

Watchergirl, I don't know what kind of church you've been going to but it certainly isn't anything like the United Methodist church I attend. If you have had the misfortune to encounter a minister who thought that disabled people were incomplete or more fallen than most then rest assured that he was a complete idiot and don't give him another thought.

Anyone who has ever read Luke, or any other Gospel for that matter, knows that Jesus had a very special love for children, the poor, the disabled and the sick. Of course disabled lives are just as valuable as anyone elses.

However, Jesus did often cure people of their illnesses and disabilities. He didn't seem to think of illness as such a desirable state that no one would want to be cured. When the woman asked him to cure her son he didn't tell her that she was wrong to want him to be healthy.

I don't agree with you that I am arrogant to try and imagine another person's life. I don't think anyone likes pain and if someone is moaning and grimacing in agony, I think it's safe to guess that they are not happy. I find it very, very hard to see a child moaning in pain for hours on end. If you think it's patronising for me to feel pity for him then so be it but it's not able-bodied centricism it's just plain old empathy.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Did you actually read watchergirl's post, Sasha?

What you seem to be saying is akin to "Oh, of course I think that disabled people are as valuable as others. It's just that they suffer so terribly that they shouldn't have been born." [Roll Eyes] You really think you have the right to judge whether somone else's life is worth living without consulting them?

If so, I truly despair.

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PaulTH*
Shipmate
# 320

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I am entirely with Erin on this one. A fetus in a womb IS a human life. The only justifible reason for termination, IMO is danger to the mother's life. But as I said further back on this thread, the Christian community has responsibilities here. Some children are born in appaling conditions with parents totally incapable of caring for them. Some are born with deformities, physical or mental.

For the Christian community to say, which I do, that it is anti-abortion, it also has to say that it is willing to pick up the pieces in caring for unwanted or disadvantaged children. That sense of community within the church isn't what it once was. At my age(49) with my natural children almost grown up, I am considering fostering. Being anti-abortion without offering help isn't that realistic.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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Dearest Shipmate Sasha,

I am sorry that I gave the impression that I was attributing those thoughts to you. I was responding not just to your post, but to several comments that were made in response, in particular:

quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
I think Sasha's story illustrates the fact that the discussion (wherever it leads) is often based around happiness and enjoyment rather than anything inherent about the nature of life itself. Frankly, a woman who thinks of children as something to be "enjoyeed" while they last deserve a good kicking whilst we shout, "Children are not cakes, you idiot".

quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Well that's the problem with Sasha's post about addign up the bad things and good things that happen in someone's life ansd saying that they should not have been born if the bad exceeds the good.

She's making exactly the same error as the woman she blames for "enjoying them while she can". Not thinking of the sick child as person in their own right but only as an object, something contemplated and desired by others.

I had no intention of pretending that you said these things, and I'm sorry that I gave that impression.

quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
I really can't imagine why you think that it would be a bad thing for a woman who carries a deadly genetic disease to decide not to have children.

I don’t think that’s what I said, it’s certainly not what I meant. I would attempt to be compassionate toward this woman no matter what decision she made.

quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
I'm not suggesting that people with genetic diseases be prohibited from having children or forced to have abortions but I definitely think that they should have that option and not be judged as vain, frivolous, selfish, haters of the disabled by people like you.

I’m not quite sure where you’re getting the “people like you” from here. I think we are mostly on the same side, as I am staunchly “pro-choice” and I haven’t made any such disparaging characterizations of either the mother you overheard at the hospital or the woman who aborted her pregnancy because of the cleft palate…

I think mothers should have the option to abort a pregnancy for any reason before the developing child is viable, but only for medical necessity beyond that point. I’m not sure that a cleft palate is a good reason, but I would tend to presume that the doctors and investigating authorities had acted in the best interest of everyone in a case like this, unless I had more evidence to show that they didn’t. I also think that this kind of borderline case deserves close scrutiny (which it appears to have received already), because there is a danger that the doctors may not act in the best interest of either the pregnant woman or the developing child.

Bad advice to terminate a pregnancy can result not just in the death of the child but in anguish for the mother… I am certain that this horrible outcome does occur in some pregnancies, and think considerable effort should be exercised to prevent it.

--------------------
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
Shipmate
# 4081

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
I keep forgetting to go back to this.

quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
Putting aside for now the issue of being pressured or forced into having sex, it is my supposition that many acts of unprotected sex take place when drink or drugs have been taken or good sense has otherwise left the equation.

So by your reckoning, then, if they're drunk or high they're not responsible for their actions? In that case, you must be ok with letting drunk or otherwise impaired drivers off the hook, as well as not pressing charges against men who rape while they're drunk or high. After all, they're not responsible, right?
No, Erin, I didn't mean that people who are drunk or high are not responsible for their actions. I did mean that people who are drunk or high are more likely to make mistakes. And I don't believe that the 'punishment' for or consequences of having unprotected sex should be possible forced parenthood. Do you?

OOT

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Sasha, I don't think anyone here would not respect her choice to not have children. You, however, have made it abundantly clear that you do NOT respect her choice to have children.

No, I guess I don't. I think she has every right to make that choice but I don't have any particular respect for it.

I do think there are some people here who would think she was sinful to decide not to have children. I think there are people here who believe that the highest calling a woman can have is to bring as many new lives into this world as she possibly can without regard to the type of life they may have when they get here.

That's the attitude some of my Catholic friends have and I respect that belief, I just don't share it.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
No, Erin, I didn't mean that people who are drunk or high are not responsible for their actions. I did mean that people who are drunk or high are more likely to make mistakes. And I don't believe that the 'punishment' for or consequences of having unprotected sex should be possible forced parenthood. Do you?

Uh, yeah, as a matter of fact I do.

However, this still makes no sense. Why is someone who gets knocked up because they're drunk any more deserving of an out than someone who kills someone because they're drunk? More importantly, why should that unborn child suffer the consequences of its parent's mistakes?

Sasha: you are the first pro-abortionist I have ever encountered. God, what you say is positively frightening. You don't want anyone to pass judgment on people who choose to terminate, but you're quite content to pass judgment on those who do NOT choose to terminate.

Physician, heal thyself.

[ 02. December 2003, 22:52: Message edited by: Erin ]

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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May I take it that my recent summary of your position was fairly accurate then, Sasha?

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Oh yeah, one more thing:

quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
I do think there are some people here who would think she was sinful to decide not to have children. I think there are people here who believe that the highest calling a woman can have is to bring as many new lives into this world as she possibly can without regard to the type of life they may have when they get here.

So who are they? Name names, cause I haven't seen a single person on this thread even hint at this attitude, much less speak it outright.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:


What you seem to be saying is akin to "Oh, of course I think that disabled people are as valuable as others. It's just that they suffer so terribly that they shouldn't have been born." [Roll Eyes] You really think you have the right to judge whether somone else's life is worth living without consulting them?


Well why not Papio? You seem to think you have the right to make up statements for me, put them in quotes and then roll your eyes at them.

For the record I don't make any judgements about whether an existing person should have been born or not but I do have to make some guesses about potential quality of life when we're talking about the unborn. It's a little bit hard to consult embryos about their opinion.

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
More importantly, why should that unborn child suffer the consequences of its parent's mistakes?

This is, I think a terribly important point.

So is the idea that one can believe that some early abortions are immoral without believing that they should be illegal.

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If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Are you really so stupid that you are unable to tell that I wasn't claiming to be quoting you exactly but, instead, I was repeating back what I was hearing you say?

You can always ask people with simliar complaints if their lives are worth living, you know?

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
Shipmate
# 4081

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
I don't believe that the 'punishment' for or consequences of having unprotected sex should be possible forced parenthood. Do you?

Uh, yeah, as a matter of fact I do.
Few 'crimes' let alone stupid mistakes bring a 'punishment' of such bodily discomfort and pain or commit a person to 16 years of childcare.

quote:
However, this still makes no sense. Why is someone who gets knocked up because they're drunk any more deserving of an out than someone who kills someone because they're drunk? More importantly, why should that unborn child suffer the consequences of its parent's mistakes?

You bring the point round to the child suffering the consequences of its parent's mistakes (or parents' mistakes, putting some responsibility on the man). Why should a child be brought into the world that is utterly unwanted by its parents? Just to make a point that unprotected sex is stupid? Even if you say the child could be adopted, there are still frequently problems that occur later in life for an adopted child.

OOT

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
Even if you say the child could be adopted, there are still frequently problems that occur later in life for an adopted child.

OOT

Errr... reasons that make it a better choice to extinguish that life? I'm just thinking of all my kid's friends who are adopted and my friends who have adopted and wondering at the implications of this statement...

--------------------
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

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Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

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Host

Papio, asking if someone is stupid is a personal remark that is not allowed in Purgatory. I understand that the debate on this thread in particular is quite intense and that emotions are aroused. Nonetheless, please apologize to Sasha. If you feel the need to take up discussion with Sasha in Hell you may do so.

/Host

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
Shipmate
# 4081

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I seem to have backed into fighting a position I don't really believe in. I know lots of people benefit from adoption but I was wanting to say that it's not just an easy solution. There are big implications of saying that every healthy fetus that is currently aborted should be carried to full term and given up for adoption.

Not least major additional strains on stretched social services.

OOT

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
I don't believe that the 'punishment' for or consequences of having unprotected sex should be possible forced parenthood. Do you?

Uh, yeah, as a matter of fact I do.
Few 'crimes' let alone stupid mistakes bring a 'punishment' of such bodily discomfort and pain or commit a person to 16 years of childcare.
Unprotected sex has a good chance of getting you pregnant. That is a fact of nature. If your immediate gratification needs are such that you are willing to take that risk, then you live with the consequences. If you don't want to risk the "bodily discomfort and pain" or "16 years of childcare" such that you are willing to terminate the unborn child's life then the solution really is very simple: don't have unprotected sex. I absolutely cannot reconcile myself to a world in which those 15 seconds of eyes-rolled-to-the-back-of-your-head pleasure is worth terminating the life of an unborn child. Quite frankly, it disgusts me. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

quote:
Why should a child be brought into the world that is utterly unwanted by its parents?

You are kidding, right? What happens if the parents decide after the child is born that they don't want it? In your world, why wouldn't they be allowed to shove a pair of scissors into the back of his or her skull? What would be the difference?

[ 02. December 2003, 23:23: Message edited by: Erin ]

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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ok, hosts orders etc.

Sasha - I strongly disagree with some of what you have said and I did think it was pretty obvious that I wasn't claiming to be offering a direct quote from you.

But, I aplogise for breaking the rules of the Purgatory board. I shouldn't have made personal remarks about you on this thread. So sorry.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
I seem to have backed into fighting a position I don't really believe in. I know lots of people benefit from adoption but I was wanting to say that it's not just an easy solution. There are big implications of saying that every healthy fetus that is currently aborted should be carried to full term and given up for adoption.

Not least major additional strains on stretched social services.

OOT

Well, I didn't mean to back you into anything! But the position did seem implied.

Thinking about Erin's post earlier, and perhaps expressing something too obvious to be mentioned by most Shipmates, I thought it worth drawing a distinction between viewing certain abortions as immoral and believing that they should be illegal. Your post makes me think that what is practical is another factor that has to be considered.

But I think killing people because they are a financial burden is not a good idea. If it isn't practical to take care of people with existing social services, perhaps this is a reason to reform those services or replace them with something more effective.

[ 02. December 2003, 23:29: Message edited by: Jerry Boam ]

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Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

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Thank you Papio.
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Presleyterian
Shipmate
# 1915

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The rest of you are free to hash out this most serious of issues, but I can't let go unnoticed Sasha's Typo of the Day in response to Papio:

quote:
Fabio: My college boyfriend was a very handsome, sexy football player with a cleft palate.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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I noticed but I didn't really take it as an insult, Pres. [Biased]

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Presleyterian
Shipmate
# 1915

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No doubt she's not the first to confuse you with the flaxen-tressed Italian.
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RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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I hate posting on this thread, because it exposes just how low an opinion I have of my fellow humans. But that's the truth.

And, for some of us, it's also kind of the point.

Yeah, in an enlightened world, where people are these thinking beings, even Erin's method would make sense. But it's not. Humans are stupid, wreckless, thoughtless, instinct-driven animals that have the capability to pretend otherwise sometimes. Quite honestly, with regards to sex between the ages of puberty and 26, I doubt that such clearness of thought is in any way guaranteed. It's going to happen, a lot.

Bringing a human life into this world IS a matter of considerable magnitude. I don't think most people having children today give it adequate regard. If we don't have a means in our feeble intellectual arsenal to cull the ill-considered animal hormonal-urge mistakes from the pool, there will be increased social problems. Coincidentally, exactly like the social problems we seem to be facing in the West right now. We aren't talking about some magical, isolated fairy land. We're talking about that crowded, polluted, crazy mess you drive through every day.

Now wipe that twinkle out of your eye, and don't tell me that "a life is a life is a life" crap. Tell that to your dinner. If we're going to survive as a species, we'll have to use what little intellectual means we have to keep the resource-hungry billions we already have without arbitrarily increasing the birth rates in the most wasteful populations.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Presleyterian:
No doubt she's not the first to confuse you with the flaxen-tressed Italian.

Well, I am somewhat better looking tbh [Snigger]

RooK - I will continue to believe that the disabled are as capable of living a fulfilling life as anybody else unless you can prove otherwise.

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
I also think we should realize that
disabled people and people with terrible diseases were not put on this earth so that the rest of us could drop a coin in the March of Dimes jar and feel good about ourselves <snip> If medical science can relieve or prevent their suffering then I consider that a gift from God.

Sasha, I don't want to put words into your mouth, or attribute to you something you didn't mean to say. So, would you mind clarifying something for me?

Among those ways that medical science can relieve or prevent suffering, are you including euthenasia? Or abortion-as-euthenasia? Either? Both? Neither?

Thanks.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If we don't have a means in our feeble intellectual arsenal to cull the ill-considered animal hormonal-urge mistakes from the pool, there will be increased social problems.

Once upon a time I considered myself misanthropic. However, this has shaken me right out of that misconception -- I will never regard an innocent child as an "ill-considered animal hormonal-urge mistake". Some adults aren't worth the carbon they inhabit, but a child... never.

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
Shipmate
# 4081

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I would not go so far as to say I support abortion on demand for anyone. My reluctance to rule it out comes from working with teenagers who may make stupid mistakes but who I would not condemn or shout at for having an abortion. Some of them are stupid about sex and/or alcohol and drugs. If they made a decision based on what they feel is best for their future and the life they could give their children, I would do my best to support them.

Looking at the abortion/adoption issue, around 150,000 first trimester abortions take place in the UK each year where the grounds cited are the physical/mental wellbeing of the mother. Government source. Around 5000 adoptions are registered each year. Government source. The feasibility of saying that all aborted children should be adopted is a bigger issue than I thought. Quite how many couples are on waiting lists to adopt babies is another matter and not one I could easily find out.

OOT

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
RooK - I will continue to believe that the disabled are as capable of living a fulfilling life as anybody else unless you can prove otherwise.

Can't and won't argue with you there, Papio. My arguments are just about the parents and society, with no judgements whatsoever about people with disabilities.

Erin, you don't even come up to my little toe in terms of misanthropy. However, it's the realism I'd rather debate.

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
Humans are stupid, wreckless, thoughtless, instinct-driven animals that have the capability to pretend otherwise sometimes.

Unfortunately, they're not wreckless enough.

Moo

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Posts: 20129 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Fair enough RooK. I apologise for misunderstanding what you said.
Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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Papio: Thanks for apologizing for calling me stupid on this thread. [Biased] Hee. I knew what you meant but it's not the usual thing to put a paraphrase of what you think someone means inside quotation marks. Trust Preslyterian to notice that I called you Fabio - Like Dyfrigs thread in Heaven,I had misread it all this time and it is a compliment.

Erin: I hadn't specifically meant people on this thread thought women should have as many babies as possible. It's just a guess I'm making about some of the more conservative Ship-mates. Maybe not.

I think there's a big difference in disagreeing with a person's decision and passing judgement on them.I don't have much respect for my neighbor's decorating taste but I'm not passing judgement on her. All I'm saying in the case of the woman with dying children is that if I was in the woman's position I would make a different decision.

quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
quote:
Originally posted by Sasha:
I also think we should realize that
disabled people and people with terrible diseases were not put on this earth so that the rest of us could drop a coin in the March of Dimes jar and feel good about ourselves <snip> If medical science can relieve or prevent their suffering then I consider that a gift from God.

Sasha, I don't want to put words into your mouth, or attribute to you something you didn't mean to say. So, would you mind clarifying something for me?

Among those ways that medical science can relieve or prevent suffering, are you including euthenasia? Or abortion-as-euthenasia? Either? Both? Neither?

I'm against euthenasia. I'm not sure what you mean by abortion-as-euthenasia. I can't think of an example of a fetus in pain inside in the uterus where abortion-as-euthanasia would be applicable.

When I talk about "preventing suffering" in the context of this thread I'm talking about not having children (using birth control)if, for example, the woman carried the gene for hemophilia or even having an early abortion if the woman in this case was shown to be carrying a boy. Again, this is only what I would probably choose to do in that circumstance, I don't think anyone should ever be forced or even strongly encouraged to do the same.

Many couples who have a family history of inherited disease are seeking genetic counseling before having children.
I think that can be a very good thing. I think some diseases, like breast cancer, deserve to die out.

[Edited for UBB.]

[ 03. December 2003, 02:16: Message edited by: Tortuf ]

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
Looking at the abortion/adoption issue, around 150,000 first trimester abortions take place in the UK each year where the grounds cited are the physical/mental wellbeing of the mother. Government source. Around 5000 adoptions are registered each year. Government source. The feasibility of saying that all aborted children should be adopted is a bigger issue than I thought. Quite how many couples are on waiting lists to adopt babies is another matter and not one I could easily find out.

OOT

Looking at your source, I'm guessing that you are looking at the stats for statutory ground C--but this states that there would be injury to the mother if the pregnancy were not aborted... I know there are extremist anti-abortion people who advocate a total ban on all abortions in all circumstances, but surely most people consider the protection of the mother an important factor? I'm not sure which part of the argument you are addressing here--because the comparison with adoption figures doesn't seem to make an argument, something is missing--or I'm being very dense and not seeing the obvious point that you're making...

Could you clarify this a bit?

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If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

Posts: 2165 | From: Miskatonic University | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
That is, the foetus is becoming a person (and as such deserves enormous respect and protection) but is not one yet (so does not have the full range of rights).

Let me get this straight, it deserves respect and protection EXCEPT protection against being killed in the womb if the mother decides she doesn't want the child. If an unborn child does not have that basic right to life, then any other right you arbitrarily assign to it is absolutely meaningless. If you do not have a right to life, then you have no other rights. If a fetus doesn't deserve a chance to live, then it deserves nothing else.
The foetus is valuable, in my eyes, because it will one day become a human, not because it is one already. If I believed it was already human then every termimnation would be murder, in my eyes, and should not be allowed even to save the life of the mother. But it isn't, so it's not.

Personally I would not be happy if a group of doctors swooped down on me and put me under anaesthetic. Not even if the last words I heard were: "We're removing your heart - but don't worry, it will save your mother's life". Killing one human for the benefit of another seems morally dubious to me; sacrificing a potential human for the sake of an actual human could be justifiable.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

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I want to pick up one thing that has been mentioned before, but, being one who likes hammering my points, I'll mention it again. I realise that it's slightly off topic for this particular case of abortion.

quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Unprotected sex has a good chance of getting you pregnant. That is a fact of nature. If your immediate gratification needs are such that you are willing to take that risk, then you live with the consequences.

Yes. I agree. Unprotected sex. But sometimes, and I know its not often, but it still does happen, condoms split. Sometimes, the pill doesn't work. Sometimes, even, people get raped.

In an ideal world, a clear thinking person would immediately go out and buy a morning-after pill (which some people, we have establised, count as abortion anyway), but sometimes, people (as RooK so elegantly pointed out) don't think clearly.

It would be great if it were as simple as "you had unprotected sex? You fool! Deal with it." But it isn't. Sometimes, with the best precautions in place, things go wrong.

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Posts: 5265 | From: the director of "Bikini Traffic School" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
The foetus is valuable, in my eyes, because it will one day become a human, not because it is one already. If I believed it was already human then every termimnation would be murder, in my eyes, and should not be allowed even to save the life of the mother. But it isn't, so it's not.

Personally I would not be happy if a group of doctors swooped down on me and put me under anaesthetic. Not even if the last words I heard were: "We're removing your heart - but don't worry, it will save your mother's life". Killing one human for the benefit of another seems morally dubious to me; sacrificing a potential human for the sake of an actual human could be justifiable.

I agree with this. But I'd deploy terms a bit differently. It is clear that the foetus from conception is 'human' - it is a living organism of the species homo sapiens . I think, however, that it is a potential person . As such it demands significant moral consideration and a degree of legal protection. It does not, however, warrant the same level of protection accorded to persons. Although (for understandable reasons) some people will find it offensive, I think there is some mileage in the analogy with animal protection legislation.

[Edited for UBB.]

[ 03. December 2003, 10:33: Message edited by: Tortuf ]

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Let me get this straight, it deserves respect and protection EXCEPT protection against being killed in the womb if the mother decides she doesn't want the child. If an unborn child does not have that basic right to life, then any other right you arbitrarily assign to it is absolutely meaningless.

Something can be deserving of protection without posessing 'rights'. A trivial example, I am not allowed, legally or morally, to walk into a forest and arbitarily chop down a tree. However, few people (with the possible exception of Prince Charles) hold that trees have rights. Furthermore, if the tree is significantly affecting my existence then the moral and legal situation changes - my rights trump the imperative to protect the tree and I have the option (but no obligation) to destroy the tree. Now, I think foetuses deserve more consideration than trees, but you see the idea.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Laura:
Sorry, Erin, I misunderstood your question.

I do think it is something else that ultimately becomes a born human with full rights. I think there's a time frame the very early end of which it's more of a very special developing clump of cells (more important than "just a clump"), and toward the end of which is a full human being.

Can I build on this to propose a compromise abortion ethic?

If there is a gradual process changing a single cell to a full human being (let us say for the sake of argument at the end of the first trimester), is there not also a sliding scale of "wrongness" to terminating the process at this point.

If we take this as a given, can we not also propose that there is also a scale of valid reasons for doing such a termination, ranging from "don't want a child - the condom split" for a morning after pill through to imminant threat to the life of the mother required to justify a termination at the end of this period.

Is there any mileage in this idea? Or will it fail to keep anyone happy?

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Posts: 17450 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ophelia's Opera Therapist
Shipmate
# 4081

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quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Boam:
quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia's Opera Therapist:
Looking at the abortion/adoption issue, around 150,000 first trimester abortions take place in the UK each year where the grounds cited are the physical/mental wellbeing of the mother. Government source. Around 5000 adoptions are registered each year. Government source. <snip>
OOT

Looking at your source, I'm guessing that you are looking at the stats for statutory ground C--but this states that there would be injury to the mother if the pregnancy were not aborted... I know there are extremist anti-abortion people who advocate a total ban on all abortions in all circumstances, but surely most people consider the protection of the mother an important factor? I'm not sure which part of the argument you are addressing here--because the comparison with adoption figures doesn't seem to make an argument, something is missing--or I'm being very dense and not seeing the obvious point that you're making...

Could you clarify this a bit?

The figures I quoted list all the abortions in England and Wales (should have stressed that earlier, sorry) in 2001. The vast majority are performed under grounds C, such that:

quote:
C the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;
This means that the woman's life is not at risk (grounds A), the abortion is not necessary to prevent grave permanent injury (grounds B) and the fetus is not at substantial risk of being born with severe disabilities (grounds E). Instead the woman has, in consultation with two doctors, made a case that there is risk of injury to her physical or mental health if she continues with the pregnancy. These grounds, together with a similar risk to her other children (grounds D) are the grounds under which the majority of abortions in the UK are performed. Put simply, as I see it, if a woman can argue that having a child might depress her, stress her out or or cause anxiety due to financial pressures, she has a strong chance of being granted an abortion under grounds C.

My main point, therefore, in comparing the number of grounds C abortions with the number of children adopted, is that if these healthy fetuses were carried full term and given up for adoption it would increase pressure on agencies involved in adoption including adoptive parents required by 3000%.

I hope this clarifies the issue.

OOT

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

Posts: 979 | From: Birmingham, UK | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ponty'n'pop
Shipmate
# 5198

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Karl suggests:

quote:
If there is a gradual process changing a single cell to a full human being (let us say for the sake of argument at the end of the first trimester), is there not also a sliding scale of "wrongness" to terminating the process at this point
I have some sympathy with this view, though from the point of view of medical ethics, the 'sliding scale of wrongness' is surely defined by contexts other than just that of time. As noted elsewhere in this thread, many consider the likelyhood of the premature child surviving as being a reasonable definition of the foetus as an individual human being. But that in turn depends on other factors such as country, its medical infrastructure, etc etc.

You sliding scale would, I think, need to be multi-dimentional. More fairground 'helter-skelter' than playground slide perhaps.

Would the theologians here like to comment on the extent to which God allows contextual right and wrong? Or is God primarily concerned with motive and not action?

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Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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I'm bothered by something that was alluded to earlier, but has yet to be confronted directly.

What is the moral difference between stopping a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from being implanted and stopping a pregnancy by removing an embryo from the womb? The former is accomplished by regular birth-control pills, the morning-after pill, and IUDs; the latter by a first trimester abortion. The only difference is that, in the case of the abortion, the egg has already implanted and (presumably) divided, thereby gaining the title "embryo."

It seems to me that moral arguments against early abortion have no means to differentiate between implanted and unimplanted human life. Life begins at conception, right? What is the moral justification for killing a inconvenient child simply because it hasn't yet implanted itself in the uterine lining?

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
What is the moral difference between stopping a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from being implanted and stopping a pregnancy by removing an embryo from the womb? The former is accomplished by regular birth-control pills, the morning-after pill, and IUDs; the latter by a first trimester abortion. The only difference is that, in the case of the abortion, the egg has already implanted and (presumably) divided, thereby gaining the title "embryo."
[...]
What is the moral justification for killing a inconvenient child simply because it hasn't yet implanted itself in the uterine lining?

There is no moral difference so far as I can see.

So we are left with 2 choices. Either say that all 'killing of an inconvenient child' is wrong, and ban both abortion and those methods of contraception. Which has the virtue of being consistent, but is, in my view, impractical, uncompassionate and fails completely to deal with situations where the mother has been raped, or a victim of incest, or where both mother and child will die if the pregnancy continues (e.g. ectopic pregnancies), or any number of other examples people can doubtless come up with.

Or we can say that 'killing of an inconvenient child' is wrong, but sometimes the lesser of several evils. And deal with the moral complexities that brings as best we can.

It's my opinion that the second option, while not easy, is the right one. And that the moral complexities are usually best dealt with by the person who is carrying the child in her body (within some socially-agreed limitations, obviously - the nature of those limitations is largely what we are arguing about on this thread, I guess).

Rat

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl - Liberal Backslider:


If there is a gradual process changing a single cell to a full human being (let us say for the sake of argument at the end of the first trimester), is there not also a sliding scale of "wrongness" to terminating the process at this point.


To an extent, yes. But there is also the possibility that there are observable changes in foetal structure which are of such significance that they represent objective cut-off points where the scale does not so much 'slide' as 'leap'. FOr example if we assume that 'personhood' is a property emergent from neurological structure (which is to say that personhood is not necessarily reducible to neurology, but that there are certain physiological necessary conditions for personhood), and if we ever become able to identify accurately the structures involved, then there would be an objective material basis for a non-arbitary cut-off point.

[Edited for UBB.]

[ 03. December 2003, 10:59: Message edited by: Tortuf ]

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