Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Abortion

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Abortion

    Many here it seems would like to voice their opinion on this topic. Have at it. Respect for each poster should be as important as the point you are making.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: Abortion

    Fundamentally I think the discussion can be broken down into two types: the value debate and the definition debate. The definition debate is fairly straightforward, while the value debate is inherently subjective.

    Some observations I think we all can agree to, but feel free to post any disagreement of course:
    Under current medical knowledge,
    1) Every single individual we can identify as an adult person has their origins somewhere inside their mother.
    2) Ergo, people come from pregnant women.
    3) Inside a pregnant woman, it is understood that the individual undergoes development starting with when the sperm fertilizes the egg and terminating in a birth if the reproduction is "naturally successful" or in a C-section if "unnaturally successful" or in a miscarriage if "naturally unsuccessful" or in an abortion if "unnaturally unsuccessful."
    4) It is clear that every single person capable of reading this originated from a successful reproduction.
    5) The reproduction which ultimately resulted in you, the reader, included the fertilization of your mother's egg as a critical step.


    Now for a contentious point:
    1) The origin of human life is the fertilization of the egg.

    In order to back up that contention, it is useful to invoke medical knowledge again. As it is understood, DNA is the genetic code that is used to construct living organisms. It is unique in each sexual reproduction (and in each individual sans identical siblings, though they still have different phenotypes). It is precisely when the new organism's (or organisms') DNA is formed that can be considered the beginning of that organism's life because it meets the criteria of identifiability and discreteness. In order to determine the starting point of anything, you have to both identify what it is you are trying to determine the starting point for, and determine the instant in time or space where that starting point is.
    Prior to fertilization, it is the cells which were a part of the mother and the father that were interacting. After a reproductively-successful interaction between cells of the mother and father, a new human life begins. Hence, human life begins the instant the mother becomes pregnant.


    Under the value debate, it is relatively straightforward for me. Life trumps other values, and hence it is wrong to have an abortion because it results in the intentional loss of a human life.

  3. #3
    aaron is offline iTulip High Commissioner, Select Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Outside Seattle
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Abortion

    After a reproductively-successful interaction between cells of the mother and father, a new human life begins.
    When does a human life end? I think we can pretty much agree that when there is no brain function, you are dead. Or, you are not alive if your brain ceases to function.

    It sounds like you are describing a "potential" human life. I have a few million of those in me right now. Yeah, they are only half human... but they are as alive as your fertilized egg.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Abortion

    Quote Originally Posted by aaron View Post
    When does a human life end? I think we can pretty much agree that when there is no brain function, you are dead. Or, you are not alive if your brain ceases to function.

    It sounds like you are describing a "potential" human life. I have a few million of those in me right now. Yeah, they are only half human... but they are as alive as your fertilized egg.
    exactly. That's why abortion shifts into 'murder' starting at the stage where the embryo has a brain developed enough to be concious/self-aware. Where this limit is precisely, is difficult to determine (as the shift probably occurs gradually).

    If you believe in souls, which might be present before brain functions start (or after they seize), then things start to become difficult regarding the acceptance of these procedures.

    So basically on medical grounds, one should look at brain functions; based on spiritual grounds, one can look at the concept of 'soul'. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any measurable definition of the latter, further complicating things.

    Personally, I don't believe in the concept of 'soul' being more than the total of cells, their communication and the presence of brain activity in a living being.

    An implication for this line of thought is our choice to eat various types of meat; Based on conciousness of the organism, I consider killing mammals for their meat to be ethically less desirable than eating fish or poultry. As far as I'm concerned, there's no sharp boundary between humans and other great apes, and not that much difference between the great apes and other mammals.

    However, I chose to be a hypocrite because pig/cow/sheep meat taste so good (although I eat with moderation, say two days of meat per week).

    Back on what constitutes murder:
    There also seems to be the line of thinking that using prophylactics in sex is bad (mainly advocated by the Vatican). Is using prophylactics considered a form of unethical behaviour? Would taking a morning-after pill before the actual fact of conception be bad? What about choosing to abstain from sex in a stable relationship that has the right environment to raise children, on the days where conception is likely to occur?

    To me, this seems to be a completely different question than the 'soul' problem for certain types of people regarding abortion/euthanasia.
    Last edited by FrankL; 10-03-12 at 05:50 AM.
    engineer with little (or even no) economic insight

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: Abortion

    Quote Originally Posted by aaron View Post
    When does a human life end? I think we can pretty much agree that when there is no brain function, you are dead. Or, you are not alive if your brain ceases to function.
    Excellent question! That is a relevant topic to the discussion as well, and I'm glad you brought it up. However, I would disagree with your definition of death a bit. I would contend that brain death and/or the end of all normal body functions means that the person is dead. Brain death is different from your definition, which is the absence of brain function, in that brain death requires that there first be brain function and then it ceases irreversibly.

    The reason I would choose brain death and/or the end of all normal body functions as my criteria for death over the absence of brain activity is my acknowledgement of the forward nature of time. Time only ever goes forward as far as we know, and as such it is important to consider things from that perspective. It makes little sense to use the absence of brain function as the definition of death because that means any given person was dead, then alive, and then dead again. If you are too loose in your definition, then you could say that a person is dead from the beginning of time until their brain functions, alive for a while, and then dead from the time they are brain dead until the end of time (if there is such a thing).

    Further, it is important to acknowledge DNA as having an integral part of life. If one does not acknowledge that, then they reject the basic principle behind biological and medical science! The cells which eventually become a human by anyone's definition have that person's DNA at the very beginning of pregnancy, not when brain development begins. Those cells have the new human's DNA. Barring natural or unnatural termination of that life, there is no denying that an adult human will come from that.
    Quote Originally Posted by aaron
    It sounds like you are describing a "potential" human life. I have a few million of those in me right now. Yeah, they are only half human... but they are as alive as your fertilized egg.
    The cells are alive, but those are your cells, not those of your offspring. Your cells will provide DNA evidence that points straight at you, while the cells of your offspring will only indicate that they are related to you. It is folly to think of a fertilized egg as a potential human life because that does not recognize that a new human's DNA is created in a discrete and identifiable way. If you have trouble contemplating that a fertilized egg is a human, then I don't blame you. Sometimes it's hard to tell if a toddler is a human or a zombie, yet in twenty years the outcome is indistinguishable between a toddler and a fertilized egg--they will be a physically adult human unless they are killed.
    Last edited by Ghent12; 10-04-12 at 08:15 PM. Reason: added clarifying words to reduce potential misinterpretation

  6. #6
    jiimbergin's Avatar
    jiimbergin is offline Contributing iTuliper, iTulip Select Premium Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,738

    Default Re: Abortion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghent12 View Post
    Fundamentally I think the discussion can be broken down into two types: the value debate and the definition debate. The definition debate is fairly straightforward, while the value debate is inherently subjective.

    Some observations I think we all can agree to, but feel free to post any disagreement of course:
    Under current medical knowledge,
    1) Every single individual we can identify as an adult person has their origins somewhere inside their mother.
    2) Ergo, people come from pregnant women.
    3) Inside a pregnant woman, it is understood that the individual undergoes development starting with when the sperm fertilizes the egg and terminating in a birth if the reproduction is "naturally successful" or in a C-section if "unnaturally successful" or in a miscarriage if "naturally unsuccessful" or in an abortion if "unnaturally unsuccessful."
    4) It is clear that every single person capable of reading this originated from a successful reproduction.
    5) The reproduction which ultimately resulted in you, the reader, included the fertilization of your mother's egg as a critical step.


    Now for a contentious point:
    1) The origin of human life is the fertilization of the egg.

    In order to back up that contention, it is useful to invoke medical knowledge again. As it is understood, DNA is the genetic code that is used to construct living organisms. It is unique in each sexual reproduction (and in each individual sans identical siblings, though they still have different phenotypes). It is precisely when the new organism's (or organisms') DNA is formed that can be considered the beginning of that organism's life because it meets the criteria of identifiability and discreteness. In order to determine the starting point of anything, you have to both identify what it is you are trying to determine the starting point for, and determine the instant in time or space where that starting point is.
    Prior to fertilization, it is the cells which were a part of the mother and the father that were interacting. After a reproductively-successful interaction between cells of the mother and father, a new human life begins. Hence, human life begins the instant the mother becomes pregnant.


    Under the value debate, it is relatively straightforward for me. Life trumps other values, and hence it is wrong to have an abortion because it results in the intentional loss of a human life.
    +1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    HNL
    Posts
    5,571

    Default Re: Abortion

    well i guess its gotten kinda boring since 13sep, so why not start raging philosophical debate...

Similar Threads

  1. Environmentalism and Abortion
    By Ghent12 in forum Political Abyss
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 12-30-09, 03:41 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Opinions expressed herein are those of the posters, not those of iTulip, Inc., its owners, or management. All material posted on this board becomes the intellectual property of the poster and iTulip, Inc., and may not be reposted in full on another website without the express written permission of iTulip, Inc. By exception, the original registered iTulip member who authored a post may repost his or her own material on other sites. Permission is hereby granted to repost brief excerpts of material from this forum on other websites provided that attribution and a link to the source is included with the reposted material.

Nothing on this website is intended or should be construed as investment advice. It is intended to be used for informational and entertainment purposes only. We reserve the right to make changes, including change in price, content, description, terms, etc. at any time without notice. By using this board you agree that you understand the risks of trading, and are solely responsible for your own investment and trading decisions. Read full legal disclaimer.

Journalists are not permitted to contact iTulip members through this forum's email and personal messaging services without written permission from iTulip, Inc. Requests for permission may be made via Contact Us.

Objectionable posts may be reported to the board administrators via Contact Us.

-->