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  • Environmentalism and Abortion

    I am curious about some peoples' views on the future. I find that some people possess, simultaneously, seemingly contradictory views. This is a question of value: do you place any value on the lives of people that would be around after you die? Is this more broad than just to your kin, i.e. do you value future generations generally rather than solely your children?

    Do these beliefs, either way, play a role in your actions and/or views on the environment?

    Do they play any role in your views (or actions) regarding abortion?


    I simply cannot philosophically grasp the concept of simultaneously supporting the concept of preserving the environment and also of supporting the "right to choose" to kill one's fetus. What, exactly, could you possibly value to justify those simultaneous positions?

    Edit -- Many people define things differently, so I use the terms environmentalism and "right to choose" loosely.
    39
    Yes generally to both.
    53.85%
    21
    Yes generally to environmentalism, no generally to "right to choose"
    15.38%
    6
    No generally to environmentalism, yes generally to "right to choose"
    10.26%
    4
    No generally to both.
    10.26%
    4
    Mixed views on either.
    10.26%
    4
    Last edited by Ghent12; 12-15-09, 03:47 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

    Population control is an important consideration for the environment. Doesn't seem too dissonant to me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

      Originally posted by Chomsky View Post
      Population control is an important consideration for the environment. Doesn't seem too dissonant to me.
      Why value the environment at all, then, if future generations are of no value?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

        Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
        Why value the environment at all, then, if future generations are of no value?

        Who said no value? It's the opposite, right? Healthier environment with smaller (but nonzero) human populations. And besides, who said the environment is just for humans?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

          Originally posted by Chomsky View Post
          Who said no value? It's the opposite, right? Healthier environment with smaller (but nonzero) human populations. And besides, who said the environment is just for humans?
          Words speak. Policies speak more loudly. Actions scream. The act of abortion plainly screams out that an expected member of the future generation of (nonzero) human population has no value. The policy of allowing the act, and for some people encouraging or even forcing it makes this sentiment more widespread than just to the one member of the future human generation you denied value to--it means none of the expected future generation have any value, as a matter of policy.

          Which (nonzero) human populations are you trying to save the world for? What posterity will benefit other than the ones already conceived?

          Calling abortion population control is like calling extortion a mutual agreement. It's a complete bastardization of the term that misses the connotation involved. War is a form of population control, as are genocide, government-directed starvation, and other equally unpleasant and manifestly evil practices. That doesn't mean that legitimate population control measures, such as raising populations out of impoverishment and, you know, actual contraceptives are inadequate to the "problem" of overpopulation.

          Your last question is illogical. Why, exactly, is saving the environment beneficial to you if future generations are of no value?


          Edit -- Please take no offense to the tone of my message. I am making a genuine inquiry, if a somewhat emotional one.
          Last edited by Ghent12; 12-15-09, 08:34 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

            Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
            Words speak. Policies speak more loudly. Actions scream. The act of abortion plainly screams out that an expected member of the future generation of (nonzero) human population has no value. The policy of allowing the act, and for some people encouraging or even forcing it makes this sentiment more widespread than just to the one member of the future human generation you denied value to--it means none of the expected future generation have any value, as a matter of policy.

            Which (nonzero) human populations are you trying to save the world for? What posterity will benefit other than the ones already conceived?

            Calling abortion population control is like calling extortion a mutual agreement. It's a complete bastardization of the term that misses the connotation involved. War is a form of population control, as are genocide, government-directed starvation, and other equally unpleasant and manifestly evil practices. That doesn't mean that legitimate population control measures, such as raising populations out of impoverishment and, you know, actual contraceptives are inadequate to the "problem" of overpopulation.

            Your last question is illogical. Why, exactly, is saving the environment beneficial to you if future generations are of no value?


            Edit -- Please take no offense to the tone of my message. I am making a genuine inquiry, if a somewhat emotional one.


            Is it really that hard to understand? Honestly, it feels like you are either blinded by your own (self-righteous) feelings or are just playing dumb.

            I'll answer this: "Why, exactly, is saving the environment beneficial to you if future generations are of no value?"

            Again, who said that? My last question was: " And besides, who said the environment is just for humans?" There are other species on the planet, about which one might actually care, other than humans. It is also their environment.

            I don't care to debate it any longer, you can think these things through for yourself.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

              Originally posted by Chomsky View Post
              Is it really that hard to understand? Honestly, it feels like you are either blinded by your own (self-righteous) feelings or are just playing dumb.

              I'll answer this: "Why, exactly, is saving the environment beneficial to you if future generations are of no value?"

              Again, who said that? My last question was: " And besides, who said the environment is just for humans?" There are other species on the planet, about which one might actually care, other than humans. It is also their environment.

              I don't care to debate it any longer, you can think these things through for yourself.
              Very well, enjoy your holiday break, if you are in receipt of one.

              I'm trying to approach this from a value stance. What would I need to value in order to simultaneously support protecting the environment and the termination of conceived future generations? If I perhaps owned land that was in immediate environmental danger, but also didn't give a hoot about future generations one way or the other, then I might support both if they came as a packaged deal since it would support what I value (me and my land).

              Perhaps some misguided notion of "quality of life" drives people into this stance. However, support for both simultaneously seems to contradict every criteria I can think of to qualify or quantify the impact on that value.

              You ask who said that future generations have no value. Again I repeat that those who act like they have no value are saying it in very clear terms.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
                Very well, enjoy your holiday break, if you are in receipt of one.

                I'm trying to approach this from a value stance. What would I need to value in order to simultaneously support protecting the environment and the termination of conceived future generations? If I perhaps owned land that was in immediate environmental danger, but also didn't give a hoot about future generations one way or the other, then I might support both if they came as a packaged deal since it would support what I value (me and my land).

                Perhaps some misguided notion of "quality of life" drives people into this stance. However, support for both simultaneously seems to contradict every criteria I can think of to qualify or quantify the impact on that value.

                You ask who said that future generations have no value. Again I repeat that those who act like they have no value are saying it in very clear terms.
                Ghent,

                I share Chomsky's frustration with your one-dimensional view. In reality, abortion is a complex issue and those who support a woman's right to choose recognize this.

                A hypothetical woman who has indiscriminant unprotected sex, then gets a late term abortion because she doesn't want to deal with a kid, does not seem to care much about others, and most Americans would love to see this behavior cease. On the other hand, a hypothetical 13-year-old who gets raped by her father and develops an ectopic pregnancy would need an abortion to save her life, and most Americans would agree that this is the right thing to do.

                The majority of cases fall in between these extremes. There is a certain degree of health risk in any pregnancy. Those who want abortion outlawed are effectively saying that the government should force a woman to continue with a pregnancy that risks her life. What if she's a mother of 3 and there's a 10% chance that carrying the baby to term will kill her, leaving her children without a mother? Government's choice or her choice?

                100,000 women are raped in the US each year. Don't you think most of them have plans for how they would like to start a family that don't include carrying, delivering and raising a rapist's baby? Many choose to do so but some do not, and abort the pregnancies. Should this be the Government's choice instead?

                There are many laws regulating late term abortion. Most late term abortions, infrequent as they are, are agonizing choices made for the health of the mother or because the child will have severe birth defects. Many bravely choose to risk their lives or dedicate themselves to caring for a brain-dead baby, leaving little time to care for other children and family members. Some choose otherwise. Anti-abortionists think the government should take this right to choose away.

                Of course, if abortion were made illegal, the wealthy could leave the country to get abortions while the poor would have unsafe abortions, many women and children dying during childbirth, and add more unwanted children to an already overtaxed foster care system.

                It is offensive when idealistic religious zealots claim they are the only ones with "values". Most pro-choice people recognize that in the complex reality we live in, many rights and values overlap. There are thousands of things that I don't like, or agree with, or want my children to do, but they shouldn't be made illegal.

                And, *shocker*, I care about the environment too.

                -Jimmy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                  Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
                  Words speak. Policies speak more loudly. Actions scream. The act of abortion plainly screams out that an expected member of the future generation of (nonzero) human population has no value. The policy of allowing the act, and for some people encouraging or even forcing it makes this sentiment more widespread than just to the one member of the future human generation you denied value to--it means none of the expected future generation have any value, as a matter of policy.

                  Which (nonzero) human populations are you trying to save the world for? What posterity will benefit other than the ones already conceived?

                  Calling abortion population control is like calling extortion a mutual agreement. It's a complete bastardization of the term that misses the connotation involved. War is a form of population control, as are genocide, government-directed starvation, and other equally unpleasant and manifestly evil practices. That doesn't mean that legitimate population control measures, such as raising populations out of impoverishment and, you know, actual contraceptives are inadequate to the "problem" of overpopulation.

                  Your last question is illogical. Why, exactly, is saving the environment beneficial to you if future generations are of no value?


                  Edit -- Please take no offense to the tone of my message. I am making a genuine inquiry, if a somewhat emotional one.
                  I don't know the value of your comments regarding concern about the value of future humans without consideration of the value of present humans. As I see it, human life is now and has been nothing other than CHEAP. There are more than enough people now to do everything that needs to be done presently and perhaps even for all time to come assuming an overall decrease in reproductive rates were to take place. Someone above brought up the value of other forms of life, and as I see things all life is a phenomenon beyond my comprehension of the possibilities that it has gotten this far, and that includes plants. The most fucked up aspect of life on Earth is human beings, made more fucked up by various and sundry religions and the truly mindless notions that what one or some groups sees is THE WAY should in fact be the way for all mankind. Look no further than Islamic extremists and the Religious Right extremists and those asshole politicians who get elected in this country by preying on the profound ignorance of the Religious Right. What a ripoff, but ignorance deserves to be ripped off.

                  Actually if all humans were to die off and everything else survived, the Earth would be a great place, otherwise I think if nothing checks man's continued destruction of the planet, then probably ultimately all life forms will disappear.
                  Jim 69 y/o

                  "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

                  Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

                  Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                    Originally posted by Jim Nickerson View Post
                    I don't know the value of your comments regarding concern about the value of future humans without consideration of the value of present humans. As I see it, human life is now and has been nothing other than CHEAP. There are more than enough people now to do everything that needs to be done presently and perhaps even for all time to come assuming an overall decrease in reproductive rates were to take place. Someone above brought up the value of other forms of life, and as I see things all life is a phenomenon beyond my comprehension of the possibilities that it has gotten this far, and that includes plants. The most fucked up aspect of life on Earth is human beings, made more fucked up by various and sundry religions and the truly mindless notions that what one or some groups sees is THE WAY should in fact be the way for all mankind. Look no further than Islamic extremists and the Religious Right extremists and those asshole politicians who get elected in this country by preying on the profound ignorance of the Religious Right. What a ripoff, but ignorance deserves to be ripped off.

                    Actually if all humans were to die off and everything else survived, the Earth would be a great place, otherwise I think if nothing checks man's continued destruction of the planet, then probably ultimately all life forms will disappear.
                    That's one of your best posts, Jim.

                    -Jimmy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                      The common caveats used by those who would make elective abortion illegal are in cases where the life of the mother is appreciably at risk, incest, and rape. Let's break that down.

                      Originally posted by jimmygu3 View Post
                      The majority of cases fall in between these extremes. There is a certain degree of health risk in any pregnancy. Those who want abortion outlawed are effectively saying that the government should force a woman to continue with a pregnancy that risks her life. What if she's a mother of 3 and there's a 10% chance that carrying the baby to term will kill her, leaving her children without a mother? Government's choice or her choice?
                      Common theme: life. The value of life is recognized in this case, so the "right to choose" ends up choosing life in either case.

                      Originally posted by jimmygu3 View Post
                      100,000 women are raped in the US each year. Don't you think most of them have plans for how they would like to start a family that don't include carrying, delivering and raising a rapist's baby? Many choose to do so but some do not, and abort the pregnancies. Should this be the Government's choice instead?
                      Common theme: victimhood. The "right to choose" can result in yet another victim from this heinous crime, although lack of the "right to choose" can be viewed as a perpetuation of the woman's victimhood.


                      Originally posted by jimmygu3 View Post
                      There are many laws regulating late term abortion. Most late term abortions, infrequent as they are, are agonizing choices made for the health of the mother or because the child will have severe birth defects. Many bravely choose to risk their lives or dedicate themselves to caring for a brain-dead baby, leaving little time to care for other children and family members. Some choose otherwise. Anti-abortionists think the government should take this right to choose away.
                      There is no common theme here, except perhaps a selfish desire that potentially results in terminating a conceived fetus. Since this does not extrapolate to killing off other burdens to society, what does one value in this case?

                      Originally posted by jimmygu3 View Post
                      Of course, if abortion were made illegal, the wealthy could leave the country to get abortions while the poor would have unsafe abortions, many women and children dying during childbirth, and add more unwanted children to an already overtaxed foster care system.
                      Excellent use of class warfare. What to do with those unwanted children? Well if you reach far enough into the philosophical backing for abortion, you will find that it's okay to abort babies up to three years out of the womb! According to Peter Singer, it's not too late to rid society of those unwanted children if only you could fully embrace the right to choose.


                      Originally posted by jimmygu3 View Post
                      It is offensive when idealistic religious zealots claim they are the only ones with "values". Most pro-choice people recognize that in the complex reality we live in, many rights and values overlap. There are thousands of things that I don't like, or agree with, or want my children to do, but they shouldn't be made illegal.

                      And, *shocker*, I care about the environment too.

                      -Jimmy
                      Well it is also offensive when people attach unwarranted labels, but such is the world we live in, no? I'll take a loose definition of idealistic as appropriate, but religious and zealot would only apply by slight of mind (insanity) using the most loose definitions. Everyone has some values, but I am looking for consistent values that don't seem to change as the situation changes. If you only value the lives of future generations when it is convenient then it seems the real value is that of convenience itself.

                      But I'm also part pragmatist. I recognize that actions have consequences. Contraception is cheaper than abortion, and it also results in not having unwanted children. Indeed, it also increases net happiness. It's a win in every regard. But just because you don't want something to happen, doesn't mean it should be legal to terminate a human life. How can one pretend that a fetus is not a future adult citizen of a country with potential desires, yet simultaneously pretend that there will be a future population as if by magic? To not recognize the unborn as human is the most inhumane thing imaginable--identical in many respects to not recognizing a human at any stage of life-long development as a human.

                      When one is unborn, they are in their most helpless form. Should someone have the right to prevent your existence, even after you started to exist? This is partially about an inconceivable abuse of power over another.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                        Originally posted by Jim Nickerson View Post
                        I don't know the value of your comments regarding concern about the value of future humans without consideration of the value of present humans. As I see it, human life is now and has been nothing other than CHEAP. There are more than enough people now to do everything that needs to be done presently and perhaps even for all time to come assuming an overall decrease in reproductive rates were to take place. Someone above brought up the value of other forms of life, and as I see things all life is a phenomenon beyond my comprehension of the possibilities that it has gotten this far, and that includes plants. The most fucked up aspect of life on Earth is human beings, made more fucked up by various and sundry religions and the truly mindless notions that what one or some groups sees is THE WAY should in fact be the way for all mankind. Look no further than Islamic extremists and the Religious Right extremists and those asshole politicians who get elected in this country by preying on the profound ignorance of the Religious Right. What a ripoff, but ignorance deserves to be ripped off.

                        Actually if all humans were to die off and everything else survived, the Earth would be a great place, otherwise I think if nothing checks man's continued destruction of the planet, then probably ultimately all life forms will disappear.
                        That's a rational view, perhaps. Readily choosing to believe that human life is cheap and not precious does put things into a certain perspective that might make the coinciding views of the two subjects at hand acceptable.

                        However, I am curious as to what you mean by "do what needs to be done." What needs to be done, exactly? Who decides?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                          Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
                          The common caveats used by those who would make elective abortion illegal are in cases where the life of the mother is appreciably at risk, incest, and rape. Let's break that down.

                          Common theme: life. The value of life is recognized in this case, so the "right to choose" ends up choosing life in either case.

                          Common theme: victimhood. The "right to choose" can result in yet another victim from this heinous crime, although lack of the "right to choose" can be viewed as a perpetuation of the woman's victimhood.


                          There is no common theme here, except perhaps a selfish desire that potentially results in terminating a conceived fetus. Since this does not extrapolate to killing off other burdens to society, what does one value in this case?

                          Excellent use of class warfare. What to do with those unwanted children? Well if you reach far enough into the philosophical backing for abortion, you will find that it's okay to abort babies up to three years out of the womb! According to Peter Singer, it's not too late to rid society of those unwanted children if only you could fully embrace the right to choose.
                          OK, if you want to equate it to murdering 3-year-olds, why not take it the other way, to the unfertilized egg? Each one of those is a precious living thing, a living human thing! Let's protect the eggs by criminalizing menstruation. It's as absurd as your analogy. The line has been drawn at viability outside the womb. No reasonable person advocates culling the population of toddlers.

                          As I think your post further illustrates, it is a complex issue with no cookie cutter solution. Hence, the right to choose combined with sensible laws.

                          When one is unborn, they are in their most helpless form. Should someone have the right to prevent your existence, even after you started to exist? This is partially about an inconceivable abuse of power over another.
                          Yes, it is. It's about the rights of a woman over her own body vs the government's power to force her to carry a child against her will. It's about a completely unique situation where two lives are inextricably tied together, and only one has the ability to make decisions for both of them. Many of those decisions involve life and death and a host of other factors. I believe that the mother is the best person to make those decisions.

                          -Jimmy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                            Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
                            Edit -- Please take no offense to the tone of my message. I am making a genuine inquiry, if a somewhat emotional one.
                            Yes, yes, we know: most anti-choice screeds are "somewhat emotional" which is why each woman should have a right to choose that is protected from government intervention or interferance from other people who may have a "somewhat emotional" reaction to a pregnancy that occurs in another persons life.
                            Last edited by tofu2u2; 12-16-09, 04:01 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Environmentalism and Abortion

                              Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
                              That's a rational view, perhaps. Readily choosing to believe that human life is cheap and not precious does put things into a certain perspective that might make the coinciding views of the two subjects at hand acceptable.

                              However, I am curious as to what you mean by "do what needs to be done." What needs to be done, exactly? Who decides?
                              Look if you will at the "tags" on my signature, the second represents a goal that to me is inarguable regarding making human life on this planet worth something besides merely being alive.

                              In the strongest sense possible, I disagree with your view that an egg and a joined sperm represent a human (though those are not your words). They represent two cells, and that is it biologically. At some point an embryo becomes a fetus, and at that point one could begin to make whatever arguments one wishes about the fetus being a human. I believe in general people with two or more brain cells have long decided that under most circumstances, aborting a fetus the closer it comes to represents a full term pregnancy does approach "killing," but then all humans currently on the planet don't even accept that. I believe in some places, parents will kill newborn girls and to them it seems acceptable.

                              To me the answers to all this with regard to "abortion" is if the woman is against it, then don't do it, and there are today far superior and vastly cheaper methods of family planning. One is education of women, second are the so-called morning-after pills, use of condoms/diaphragms, withdrawal, and conventional birth control pills. The biggest thing about the word "abortion" is that it is a "trigger word" for politicians to use in this country to immediately attract all the crowd into voting for them that is against any birth control measures, perhaps one should think Catholics and Republicans as excellent examples.

                              If you are against something then don't do it, but it is purely ignorant behavior to believe that what any one person or group thinks with regard to morality as it involves others' personal behaviors should be the law of the land for all people. Gotta run, may not have gotten this as clear as it should be.
                              Last edited by Jim Nickerson; 12-16-09, 12:19 PM.
                              Jim 69 y/o

                              "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

                              Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

                              Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

                              Comment

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