Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pro-death v. Pro-obligation

"When does life begin?"

Pro-lifers have very strong evidence showing brain waves, heart beats, fingers, movement early in a fetuses development-- all this evidence points clearly to the existence of a life. They say that to end this life is murder.

Pro-choicers usually ignore this evidence and point to the constitution saying that fetuses aren't citizens of the United States and and aren't protected under the constitution. Or they will say that to ban abortion is to infringe on a woman's right to control her body-- the supreme court in Roe v. Wade made their ruling based on similar reasons by saying that abortion is a woman's right to privacy.

I think both sides have valid points-- some more valid than others-- but when you delve into these arguments you come across conflicting definitions... and the two sides will come to agreement when answer the questions: What is life? What constitutes a person? What constitutes murder? When should a person have legal protection? If we continue to simply place all the importance on the actions, and not the consequences, then both sides will merely talk past eachother.

My argument-- which I hope doesn't talk past anyone:

As I stated in my post "What utility does religion serve?" I hold that what is considered "right" and "wrong" is based on our laws. I stated that we use our own personal moral codes to influence the laws. I stated that I believe that we should label all things that are beneficial to a society as "right" and all things that are not beneficial to a society as "wrong." Therefore, I will argue that legal abortions are beneficial to a society-- and criminalizing abortions would not be beneficial to society.

Advantages of having legal abortions:

-fewer unwanted children
-respect for the personal plans of the mother and father
-less financial strain
-less emotional strain
-less emotional or physical abuse of unwanted children
-fewer children in foster homes
-fewer unwanted marriages
-fewer Illegal/non-clinic abortions
-less injury, disease and death of mothers
-fewer annoying little kids running around

I see very little that is disadvantagous about having legal abortions. All of the possible disadvantages of having an abortion (depression, medical complications... etc.) are all based on a choice made by the mother-- it is not as though any mothers would be forced to abort.

To avoid somebody asking the following questions or making the following statements-- I'll do it for them:
(1) "Thank goodness Adam and Eve weren't pro-choice".
Adam and Eve could have been pro-choice and simply chosen to have children.
(2) "Aren't you glad your parents didn't have an abortion?"
Yes. But I wouldn't have really cared if I had never been born... considering I never would have had the mental faculties to care.
(3) "What if Albert Einstein/Jesus/Gandhi's parents had an abortion?"
Good point-- but what if Pol Pot/Hitler/Bin Laden's parents had an abortion?

I understand the view from people who, due to their religious beliefs, think that abortion is wrong-- but I don't hold your same religious beliefs-- and who is to say that your moral code (based on religion) is more right than mine (based on beneficiality)?

35 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas Jefferson said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

-Creation begins at conception.
-Can't have Liberty or Happiness without the right to Life.

11:48 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

I don't have reason to believe in a "Creator"-- unless you're talking about the sperm of my dad and the egg of my mom.

As I said-- I'm not arguing about when life begins or when our "creation" begins-- I simply believe there is more good that comes from the ability to choose-- and, thus, I believe we have more Liberty AND more Happiness in our world when we are allowed to decide when we want to have children.

I don't think the declaration of independence proves my point wrong.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous ben franklin said...

it does show that maybe the founding fathers believed in a Creator though...even though you said you saw no evidence of this in a previous post or comment of yours...

it sucks that someone has to die for everyone else to have more Liberty and Happiness. I guess 2 out of three isn't bad, huh?

10:28 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

I also said it doesn't matter what they personally believed-- they didn't put anything about God, Christ, Christian morals or even a vague mention of a creator in the document that created our government.

Plus, The mere mentioning of a creator is still not enough to make the 10 commandments historically relevant... considering "creator" implies nothing about the Bible or Christian morality. Maybe they would be relevant if our founding fathers had said "We are breaking away from England because they are failing to uphold the 10 commandments." It seems like it would make more sense to, instead of putting up the 10 commandments, make a monument with the declaration of independence on it...

AS for abortion... I personally don't think that killing something that doesn't care whether it dies or not is as bad as taking away happiness and liberties of people that have the faculties to care about things such as happiness and liberty.

...I don't expect you to agree with me on this issue... but you must realize that what you believe is based on what you have chosen as your moral system-- and what I believe is based on what I have chosen for mine.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Angel's Advocate said...

No, what I believe is based on common sense: a woman killing an unborn child so that she can have all the sex that she wants at no consequence is a tragedy and irresponsible, and a society that kills its own will not last long.

And while we're at it, let's go kill retards!! They don't have faculties to appreciate happiness or liberty. So let's get rid of them!! They're a burden too. Woohooooooooooooo!!! And we could call ourselves the Nazis, and only the best of the best would be able to live and could live the way they want!!!!

4:15 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

"No, what I believe is based on common sense: a woman killing an unborn child so that she can have all the sex that she wants at no consequence is a tragedy and irresponsible, and a society that kills its own will not last long."

Reasons why what you said is illogical:

-You mischaracterize why people have abortions... I really doubt that the reason why a great majority of women have abortions is because they want to have as much sex as possible.
-There are obvious consequences to having an abortion-- so saying that the reason women have abortions is so they can have sex without consequences... is wrong.
-Many societies that kill their own people have lasted for a very long time-- your comment that a society that kills its own will not last is without any sort of evidence. (Plus we are not a society of fetuses)

I have shown why the evidence you have given to support your claim "what I believe is based on common sense" is illogical-- thus, your claim falls apart.

As for letting your emotions get the best of you with your analogy to killing "retards" to killing fetuses-- I'll simply reply... I don't think that our society would be better off without the mentally handicapped. Not to mention our constitution protects all persons BORN in the United States including the mentally handicapped.

6:11 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

You get a Gold Star! You are the first person to use a Nazi reference on my Blog!

6:13 PM  
Anonymous natie pie said...

double a: there are actually several consequences that ride in the same cab with an abortion. first of all the psychological damage is tremendous -- and if there isn't any psychological damage that the female incurs, i think that they are probably unfit to be mothers. the body also suffers, and continued abortions may result in prolonged infertility. abortion has its costs.

the main reason that i support keeping the option available is that i believe a woman should have rights over what occurs in her own body. if the woman doesn't want to have the baby and is aware of the postive and negative consequences of her decision, then she should be allowed to make the decision for herself.

yes, life is being snuffed out when an abortion occurs. but surely you do not restrict people from slaughtering cattle for food, deer for sport, or from killing insects? these classify as living organisms, but we kill them with indifference. you could state that humans alone occupy some sort of singular position in the subclass of living entities. what is the characteristic that humans possess that would separate them from this general class of living creatures, and afford them such rights?

i argue that it is our cognitive capabilities alone that bestows us with this power. it makes sense and would agree with basic morality that any entity with a basic level of cognition should not be killed without consent. the basic level of cognition that i am speaking about is the ability to form long term memories -- this capacity i will call sentience.

the basic edict i adhere to is, 'if whatever you are doing isn't physically harming another sentient creature in a nonconsensual manner, then it shouldn't be illegal to do so'. from observation, we may infer that until a fetus acquires an operative cortex, it does not have the capacity to form long term memories. thus, the only conscious entity that is being physically injured by abortion is the mother and hence the mother should be allowed to choose whether the abortion takes place or not.

i also cannot support your stance on eugenics or calling ourselves 'the nazis'. though they are not as gifted as the general population, i believe that mongoloids, retards, tards, and intellectual gimps are sentient and can form long term memories. calling ourselves nazis would stir up the horrors of the holocaust and guarantee emnity from the rest of the world. it just strikes me as impolite.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Life said...

I was not trying to be impolite. I was trying to be honest. Anyone heard of Margaret Sanger? Founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world?

Listen to what she thought and wrote about contraception and abortion and tell me you don't think of Hitler:

-The purpose in promoting birth control was "to create a race of thoroughbreds," she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

-Sanger espoused the thinking of eugenicists -- similar to Darwin's "survival of the fittest" -- but related the concept to human society, saying the genetic makeup of the poor, and minorities, for example, was inferior. Pivot of Civilization , by Margaret Sanger, 1922, p. 80

-"...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born." Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people.

-"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," Sanger said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

-"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

Planned Parenthood itself isn't much better. It doesn't say stuff about race extermination. But Planned Parenthood did have its roots in Sanger. Scary. And if you start thinking that some life is okay to kill, it is a slippery slope. Just dangerous. Its easier to think human life is inherently valuable.

And natie_pie, look up someone called "Patient HM." And then tell me what you think about long term memories. Not saying he's the norm, just something to consider. Oh, and when do memories start for children, and is it okay to kill them until they do?


Also, a woman does have rights over her body. She can decide when to have sex. If she gets pregnant, then she has a responsibility. If she gets raped, then the baby is the one blessing that comes from that situation.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Planned Parenthood is not much better than the woman who wanted to use abortions to exterminate 'negroes'.**
**Ridiculous statement of the day.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Life,
Your argument seems to rest upon the assumption that since Margaret Sanger had rather radical ideas about the use of birth control, and since she was instrumental in the formation of Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood is therefore equally as radical as she was. But that is illogical. It has been many years since Sanger has died and she therefore has little control of the organization, so you needn’t be worried about transitively supporting eugenics through supporting Planned Parenthood. Also you assume that an organization, or creation, carries all the traits of the creator; but this is ridiculous. Thomas Jefferson (though out-spoken against slavery) owned slaves his entire life but is also cited as a founder of the Democratic Party. While the Democratic Party has many faults, promoting an agenda to re-instate slavery is not one of them. If you bother to take a short trip through history you'll find that most historical figures of our past generally won’t stand up to our current set of ethical standards (just as we will seem barbaric to future generations). But this doesn't mean we shouldn't utilize their creations. If Charles P. Steinmetz had been a staunch advocate of compulsory electrocution of cute little puppy dogs (which we can safely assume was defiantly not), we would still make use of A/C Power supply he developed. Secondly, I suggest you speak with a number of raped women who were forced to keep their offspring, and ask them to elaborate on the state enforced blessings of their situation.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

"And we could call ourselves the Nazis, and only the best of the best would be able to live and could live the way they want!!!!"

Godwin's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous life for life said...

Hey anonymous,

In a rape situation, is it the child's fault that it was conceived? So should it be killed? And wouldn't the woman just receive more emotional anguish from aborting the baby? Have you ever known an actual rape victim or anyone who's had an abortion and seen the compiling anguish that comes from both being raped and having an abortion?

And I wasn't really making an argument about Sanger; just drawing a few connections that aren't exactly obvious to everyone. I was trying to show Natie_pie that eugenics is not far from where Planned Parenthood started.

Also:

Spankidiots,

We must define when life starts, because that is the essential question. You can't just say well we won't let that play a part in the decision.

"Pro-choicers usually ignore this evidence and point to the constitution saying that fetuses aren't citizens of the United States and and aren't protected under the constitution."

What evidence? The evidence says they are alive. So then what is the fetus? It is human. Nothing else.

Also Spankidiots, saying "fewer annoying little kids running around" is a reason that abortion is okay is the same as admitting that they are actually living human beings from the time that they are in the womb, and that we are just killing them.

11:29 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

As I said... I am not arguing whether or not life begins at conception... I personally agree that life starts very soon after conception.

What I am arguing is that the ending of this life that doesn't care whether or not it continues is less important than the life that does care. I believe there are more benefits to allowing choice than to forcing women to have a child they potentially do not want.

I never denied that a fetus was a human fetus-- what else would it be? I never denied that fetuses would eventually turn into children (probably annoying children)-- what else would they turn into?

You pro-lifers think that "killing is wrong" is the end of the debate-- but it's not. You have to ask yourself why you think that killing is wrong. You probably believe that there are instances were killing is justified-- war & self defense? So obviously "killing is wrong" doesn't hold as a universal... so as I have explained... I realize that abortion is ending a life-- but I believe that having the choice to end that life is more beneficial to a society than having a law that forces a woman to bear a child she does not want.

Also, your euthanasia comparison to planned parenthood is still ridiculous and your excuse is very weak.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Not Pro-Death said...

Never said killing is wrong. Said murder is wrong. Killing is mostly wrong, but in self defense and just wars killing can be justified. It's still not a great thing to be killing anyone though. But yeah, murder is wrong. And since you admit it is a human being, it must be murder since they are not killed in self-defense or war, huh?

And in ten years we will be deciding to end the lives of retarded people because they don't really care whether their life is ended or not. It's just the natural course of events.

OH, and if I get tired of my 1 year old, who really doesn't care that it lives, or isn't really conscious of living, can I just kill it?

And if that sounds so ridiculous, how about you tell me something about why it sounds that way, other than just saying that a few times.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous using cute anonymous titles isn't cute said...

To begin with, your argument that retarded people don't care whether they live is rediculous. Obvoiusly "retarded" is a catch-all term and the group is comprised of individuals with varing intelligence; but I think its safe to say they all want to continue living. I would personally appreciate it if you would stop using sensational offense arguments like this. Its poor form and makes you appear increasingly combative. If an argument is all you're looking for, call into an AM talk radio show. That being said, you can't murder something that isn't alive. And as far as I'm aware, we haven't decided what constitutes a living thing yet. Is an 98 year old man strapped to a hospital bed who's breathing, eating, and urinating through tubes alive? Is someone in a coma alive? We pull the plug on people like this every day. Is a disembodied brain floating in a nutrient rich test tube alive? Is a zygote alive? I think an embryo has the potential to be alive; seeing as how its existance would be incredibly short lived outside of its mother's womb. For that matter, an egg and a sperm that have not united have the potential to be alive. But regardless, potential is different from actualization. For example, a match has a great potential for fire. It is illegal to burn down a burger king, but it isn't illegal to cary matches inside of a burger king.

2:35 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

Clever anonymous name person said this will happen if we allow abortions:
"And in ten years we will be deciding to end the lives of retarded people because they don't really care whether their life is ended or not. It's just the natural course of events.

OH, and if I get tired of my 1 year old, who really doesn't care that it lives, or isn't really conscious of living, can I just kill it?"

Reasons why that is ridiculous:

Abortion has been legal for 32 years and we still have not legalized killing of "retarded people" or 1 year olds-- so your slippery slope argument doesn't work. Saying legal abortions will lead to killing of "retarded people" and 1 year olds is like saying legal eating will lead to people eating rollercoasters... nobody wants to do it and it will never be done... so it's ridiculous to worry about(and definitely doesn't work as a sound argument).

"But yeah, murder is wrong."

Once again you are stating that something is wrong without giving me any explanation or reason as to why you think that it is wrong. Why is murder wrong? I believe that killing is wrong in most instances because I think it is better for a society to label killing "wrong" (i.e. illegal) than it would be for there to be a society of people who are in constant fear of being killed and there being no consequences for killing. The reason I believe that killing is wrong doesn't translate over to abortion-- b/c as I stated I think it is better for a society to give a woman the right to choose whether or not she wants to give birth. (to better understand how I determine what is "right" and "wrong" you can read my post entitled "What utility does religion serve?")

... and technically abortion isn't murder-- murder is "The unlawful killing of one human by another." And since it isn't unlawful for a woman to have an abortion... by definition it wouldn't be murder. Also this brings up the debate as to whether a fetus is actually a human... is a nut a tree? is a seed a plant? is a fertilized chicken egg a chicken? I realize you might enjoy getting into a debate on whether a pre-human is a human-- but, since it has no bearing on why I think abortion should be legal... it would be silly and pointless to continue.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Terry Schiavo was murdered. Plain and simple. They starved her to death. She was mentally deficient, and was killed because her husband didn't want her around. But it's okay, because she couldn't really tell what was going on right??? That sounds like your logic with aborting fetuses. Tell me how that doesn't fit the slippery slope argument. Oh, and just because something hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't happen if life keeps being discounted.

Besides, I don't think the debate about human fetuses is an issue with you. It is "silly and pointless" to argue it because, quoting you: "I never denied that a fetus was a human fetus-- what else would it be? I never denied that fetuses would eventually turn into children (probably annoying children)-- what else would they turn into?"

So are you changing your stance? Or just throwing more crap into the fan to see how it spreads on the walls of this apparently fluid argument?

Another definition of murder is "to slaughter wantonly." Sounds like that fits in abortion. Besides, your example of when killing is right was war and self-defense. Abortion is neither, and since you say that it is a human fetus, what kind of killing is it? Also, have you ever seen a sonogram of an abortion being performed? Watch that and tell me that a human fetus does not feel pain.

Another thought, the law is relatively fickle and subject to change. If a system of morality is founded on the law, it's not much of a system. Besides, didn't you say that we should use OUR OWN systems of morality to affect the laws? So which way does it work? Murder is wrong because the law says it is, or is it wrong because people with moral systems say it is and enact laws to support that moral system? In the first place, slavery is okay for the 2 hundred years it was legal, even though everyone admits it was an injustice the whole time. So it must be the second case, where everyone sees that somehow a wrong was instituted, and then tries to change it based on their own systems. Slavery in this case is analogous to our situation with abortion: a wrong that must be undone. By the way, a court of judges legislated from the bench that abortion is okay. It was never approved by the majority. (I know that's an entirely different debate.) Besides, Jane Roe, actually Norma McCorvy, changed her position on the whole suit she brought in the first place. She now believes it to be wrong, which is terribly unfortunate that she realized after the fact, or we could have all been saved a lot of trouble, and more people would be alive to enjoy our liberty and happiness, and people could just be responsible for a change, and control their sex drives. Or are we just animals?

You could stand to find some more realistic examples, unlike "eating rollercoasters" (which is not really possible, when killing 1 year olds is)...instead of making extreme examples that make real arguments sound unbelievably absurd. A nice tactic, but still only that, a tactic, not a good point. It would just improve your credibility to make the example sound more like the actual argument. If you don't change your tactics, you might as well be on a liberal AM station, huh?

Also, what's your purpose in this whole blog? Why do you do it? Just curious.

5:32 PM  
Blogger ThrO192 said...

Thomas Jefferson,
I don't think I would like to meet you. Nothing personal, I'm sure you mean well. I just think that we would end up in an argument and the whole episode would leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Sean,
The Godwin's Law Comment was hilarious. I will be using that I am sure.

Spankidiots,
I want to say that every time I felt like interjecting a comment into this discussion thus far you have handled it for me. As always "you the man".

But as a side note, I will be posting something on my blog shortly that I would like all of your . . . educated opinions on. Probably sometime in the next 48 hrs.

12:29 AM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

If you read carefully-- the reason I said that the debate about whether fetuses are living humans was not the issue is because my argument has no basis on whether or not a fetus is alive. I personally believe that fetuses are just that-- human fetuses-- alive-- yes... but that has no bearing on my argument. It may for you-- but not for me.

Changing my stance? Where? ... I didn't. Perhaps you are just throwing around accusations to hide the fact that my argument holds up.

You said this:

"Besides, your example of when killing is right was war and self-defense. Abortion is neither, and since you say that it is a human fetus, what kind of killing is it?"

I didn't give that as an example of when I think killing was justified... I said:

"You probably believe that there are instances were killing is justified-- war & self defense?"

I was giving examples where I believed that my opponent would think that killing is ok... but if you read on I give my reasoning for thinking that murder should be illegal... and if you had read carefully you would have seen it does not contradict my reasons for thinking that abortion should be legal.

My morality is not founded on the law-- I think that we should use our own personal moral systems to influence the law. I don't think there is an absolute morality-- I think that "right" and "wrong" are basically synonymous with "legal" and "illegal"-- my personal morality is based on benificiality... I think that beneficial things should be legal.

Murder is "wrong" because it is illegal-- but I think it should be "wrong" because of my personal moral system. Yes... I believe that slavery was "right" (legal) at some point in history-- but my moral system would have made me want to change the laws to make it illegal (i.e. "wrong").

You said:

"Slavery in this case is analogous to our situation with abortion: a wrong that must be undone."

This is what you believe based on your moral system. Based on my moral system-- I don't think abortion is a "wrong" that must be undone. Who is to say that your moral system is better than mine?

-- My next post will be on "legislating from the bench"--

You brought up the insignificant point that pro-lifers love to bring up that "Jane Roe" is now pro-life (so what?) and then you said:

"more people would be alive to enjoy our liberty and happiness, and people could just be responsible for a change, and control their sex drives. Or are we just animals?"

Yes, we are just animals. It is completely natural for us to want to have sex-- it is what we animals do. Yes, more people might be alive if abortion were illegal-- but there would be less liberty and, I would argue, less happiness. I think that abortion should be a last resort-- I think that other forms of birth control should be used first. I don't think controlling sex drive is necessary-- not having sex is to deny something that makes us human.

You are right my rollercoaster example was a little over the top-- perhaps I should have said that the "retard" and 1 yr old argument is more like saying "legal eating will lead to people eating the original copy of the declaration of independence". My point is that nobody is trying to legalize killing of 1 year olds and the mentally handicapped and we never will legalize the killing of 1 year olds and the mentally handicapped-- just as nobody is trying to eat the declaration of independence and probably nobody ever will-- so it's a ridiculous fear and a ridiculous argument. I'm merely using a ridiculous example to point out a ridiculous argument.

Ok-- so now to Terry Schiavo-- This whole situation should have been a family issue... but for some reason it turned into a media/congressional matter. Maybe you think this is legalized killing of "retards" but that is not the case-- When you get married you trust your spouse to make the medical decisions for you in the event that you can't make medical decisions on your own... if you don't trust your spouse to make those decisions you can put that decision making ability in the hands of somebody you do trust. Terry trusted her husband-- and her husband believed that Terry would not want to live in the condition she was in. Who are you or Jeb Bush to decide what Terry would have wanted?

Why do I do this?

I do this in the hope that some people that have not thought through some issues will read what I write about and make up their minds... and hopefully they'll agree with me. Also, I love debate and I like writing down exactly what I believe in order to make sure that my beliefs make sense.

1:15 AM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

Thro-- I have added your blog to my favorites.. i'm looking forward to your post.

1:26 AM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

Ben, do I know you?

1:31 AM  
Anonymous ben said...

First, no, I am not from college station, so I do not think you know me.

Second, you argue for unhindered indulgence in sexual intercourse. The way you argue it is akin to arguing for bulimia. You would like to eat all you can and then get rid of the natural consequences of the same over-indulgence.

I think being human, and therefore having the capability to control ourr behavior, unlike other animals who are bound to instinct unless trained by humans, and even still are bound almost entirely to instinct, we should exhibit some level of self control. Or would you say that you should only be able to have as much sex as you want? That is, until we invent contra-digestion? Sound absurd? It's really not. Oh, and ever heard of Aristotle, and his doctrine of the mean??

My not-so-absurd analogy shows that there are certain natural processes. And many would agree that it would be wrong to be throwing up after every meal, a la the Romans and Conspicuous Consumption prior to the demise of Rome. Yet frankly people will argue for as much sex as possible, because man, it feels good, right? And something that feels good can't be wrong can it???? Eating feels good, until I get fat. But if I could just throw up and still enjoy the eating part, I wouldn't have to worry about getting fat. And I wouldn't have to exercise!!! That's awesome. I think I'm going to become bulimic now. And if anyone actually is convinced by this logic, it is a sad day indeed. Oh, and this is actually a good analogy, as sex and hunger are both apetites.

As to your beneficiality argument, I'll tell you why that doesn't work. It's the same reason that Thomas Jefferson said exactly what he did about "Unalienable Rights" in the Declaration of Independence. Beneficiality, which is basically another term for Utilitarianism, does not work when it comes to human life. Mr. Jefferson recognized this immediately. Yes, beneficiality is the basis of our government, majority rule being beneficiality/utilitarianism, but even then they tried to limit it so that no one was being stomped on--the checks and balances you so aptly described in your most recent post. But more importantly, Thomas Jefferson knew that people had certain "unalienable rights" which no majority rule or beneficiality should encumber. If these, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, were put to beneficiality, certainly many people would lose all three. And there are millions of people who are losing the right to life, that is unalienable, because people think that we are just animals. And yet you write so eloquently. Are you just an animal? You seem not to be despite your claim that you are.

Anyway, this brings up the next point: defining who should receive these "unalienable rights" because for a long period of time, slaves and women did not fully fall under this category. And so over time, it became necesssary to decide that they were also "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The trouble today, is that we have a silent group of people who cannot advocate for or fight back
for themselves. But then you raise the question, "Are they really people?"

Oddly enough, you also answered your own (rhetorical?) question yourself in an earlier comment: "I never denied that a fetus was a human fetus-- what else would it be? I never denied that fetuses would eventually turn into children (probably annoying children)-- what else would they turn into?" So then if they are in fact human, as earlier generations came to decide slaves and women were, how are they still being denied these "inalienable rights."

But for all their genius, there are some issues that even the founding fathers could never have predicted. If they had, maybe contraception/abortion would be in the Constitution so that we could then have an amendment preventing it, though maybe they would have prevented it at the outset. Who knows?

For all your eloquent writing and good reasoning on political issues, I see a lack of reasoning and really a child seeking to cling desperately to its self-indulgent behavior on this issue. But I'm not trying to make a personal attack on you. I just mean to say that I see that in everyone who thinks that contraception and abortion are good ideas. Really it ruins a beautiful process and makes us all animals. Personally I want to be human. When is America going to grow up and accept some responsibility? When is it going to be an adult?

Another fact: Those who are found to have conditions such as Down syndrome are almost always killed before they can draw their first breath. That's killing retards, but it's in the womb. Still, these parents would have carried their child to term had it not been found to have Down Syndrome. Tell me how that's not killing retards.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous ben said...

Oh, and when I said, "And if anyone actually is convinced by this logic, it is a sad day indeed," in the 4th paragraph, I meant convince to become bulimic. I hope that clears things up.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous ben said...

Also, bulimia is still considered a disorder as far as I know. I hope it still is anyways.

9:29 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

I do not mean to argue for unhindered indulgence in sexual intercourse-- though, I do mean to argue for satisfaction of sexual urges. I am not advocating going around having as much unprotected sex with multiple untested partners as you can--I'm not dumb... I realize there are consequences to having sex.

Keeping in line with my argument for beneficiality, I think people should choose to not have sex when the benefits of not having sex outweigh the benefits to having sex. I think satisfaction of sexual urges through masturbation or by having safe-sex with a tested, monogomous partner can make the benefits of having sex outweigh the benefits of not having sex. However, I can see no case where completely denying our sexual urges would produce the most beneficial circumstance.

We are animals-- the smartest animals. Just because we are the smartest animals doesn't mean we are somehow not animals any longer... that's like the cheetah saying "I'm the fastest animal... thus, I'm no longer an animal." As you said animals can learn to deny their instincts just as humans can learn to deny their instincts-- though, I think that some animals can do this without being trained by humans. If a dog notices benefits from going against its instincts it will learn to go against them... for an example: If a dog has an instinct to run after rabbits but the rabbits are always in prickly bushes-- the dog will learn to not chase after the rabbit because of the pain that the bushes cause. Granted, it is easier for humans to deny their instincts because they have the cognitive abilities to figure out when it is best or most socially acceptable to deny their instincts-- but it would be nearly impossible to argue that somehow this makes humans not animals.

As for your not-so-absurd analogy- I have shown my views on sexual fulfillment do not mean "have as much sex as you want"-- rather, I say have sex when having sex is more beneficial than not having sex-- or masturbating when it is more beneficial than not masturbating. Now let us compare this to bulimia. I would say a person should make themselves vomit when it is more beneficial to vomit than to not vomit. As for doing this after every meal-- the definite and unavoidable effects that accompany bulimia would, most definitely, outweigh the benefits of not being bulimic. I don't think I need to go through all the reasons that bulimia is unhealthy. You stated that many people believe that bulimia is "wrong"-- however, I wouldn't say bulimia is "wrong"... I would just say that bulimia is dumb. However, with smart sexual habits-- birth control, disease testing, & monogomous partner-- the probability of negative consequences can be so nominal that it is clearly not analogous to the unavoidable consequences of bulimia.

As to your Thomas Jefferson argument, I'll tell you why it doesn't defeat my beneficiality argument. First, I need to say that Thomas Jefferson said that we are "born with certain unalienable rights"-- so I don't think that Mr. Jefferson's words would apply to the unborn; however, I do understand your argument. If you read my previous posts you'll see that my beneficiality argument isn't synonomous with the utilitarian argument because I do give credence to personal liberties. I realize that at times what benefits the whole doesn't benefit the minority-- so instead of viewing my beneficiality proposition as a definitive moral code-- I look at it as a way to reason through different problems. I don't think life is simple enough to have these definite moral codes like there are in religions... things change and there are always exceptions to rules... so if you read my post entitled "Chas, Nate and Tim's shift in topic" you'll see that there is no definitive answer as to what is better: (a) Something that has the greatest net benefit but disregards the minority or (b) something that has a lesser net benefit but gives regard to the minority. I can think of examples that show instances where both of them work... so we must look at the specific case: abortion. As I have stated, I value the happiness and freedom of persons who have the ability to understand happiness and freedom over those that do not have that ability. Just as if a tree started to grow through a wall in my house-- I value the happiness I get from having a house without a tree knocking down my wall over the inherent value of the life within that tree... the tree doesnt' care whether it lives or not.

You said this:
"Really it ruins a beautiful process and makes us all animals. Personally I want to be human. When is America going to grow up and accept some responsibility? When is it going to be an adult?"

First, I agree that sex is a beautiful process-- I would like to hear a non-religious argument as to why having sex ruins a beautiful process. Second, humans are animals. Third, having an abortion doesn't mean that you aren't accepting the responsibility for what you've done-- as I have said before, there are consequences both ways and it is up to the mother to make the decision as to which one she thinks has the least negative consequences. Lastly, I would like to hear how you can rationally argue against contraception.

As for your final fact-- it doesn't fit into the argument you made earlier. You were saying that abortion will lead to killing of "retards". By saying that it will LEAD to the killing of "retards" I would assume that you were talking about living, breathing, born "retards". Yes, I realize that people do abort their children... but this is not the same slippery slope argument you were making earlier. Nobody wants to legalize the killing of living, breathing, born "retards". And dude, "retard" is not the preferred nomenclature... "mentally handicapped" please.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

You said the following:

"Nobody wants to legalize the killing of living, breathing, born "retards"."

Now read this:
'"Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person," [Peter Singer of Princeton] wrote in one book. "Sometimes it is not wrong at all."'

This is a university professor at Princeton who wrote this in one of his books. He is talking about infants, not unborn babies. Read also this post from World Magazine.

'If the 21st century becomes a Singer century, we will also see legal infanticide of born children who are ill or who have ill older siblings in need of their body parts...[Peter Singer] also reaffirmed that it would be ethically OK to kill 1-year-olds with physical or mental disabilities, although ideally the question of infanticide would be "raised as soon as possible after birth."' (Taken from http://www.worldmag.com/articles/9987)

This is a single example of an instance where someone is advocating infanticide on a potentially legal scale. This one instance negates the universal statement that "no one" is advocating these things.

It would seem then, that Ben's slippery-slope argument is perfectly valid as one instance is all that is necessary to demonstrate the potential of this argument.

11:13 AM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

"Nobody wants to legalize the killing of living, breathing, born 'retards'"

When I said this, I literally meant not a single person in the entire world would want to legalize the killing of living, breathing mentally handicapped humans... and you have successfully destroyed my argument... congrats.

Or perhaps... when I said it... I didn't mean "nobody" literally? And instead, perhaps I meant that I don't think that we have to worry about our citizens or politicians fighting to legalize the killing of handicapped persons.

2:16 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

And yet there are those who are advocating such things.... That was my point. Just because you don't think we should worry about it doesn't mean it's not happening. And it IS enough to ruin your point.

Jeff, you would do well to avoid being so sarcastic and actually consider the weight of another person's argument.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Besides you didn't really give an answer to my example of Peter Singer at all.

5:38 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

You said it yourself... it's a slippery slope argument (here is a link that explains why it is a fallacy http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/slippery-slope.html). The argument given is analogous to the argument "if we legalize same-sex marriage the next thing we know people will be marrying horses." Same horrible logic-- i'm sure you can find some nutjob animal lover that wants to marry his pony... but that hardly solidifies the argument.

Paul, I did consider the weight of another person's argument and that's precisely why I used sarcasm.

PS One time I said "nobody likes brussel sprouts." ... I'd like to retract my statement.

7:59 PM  
Blogger spankidiots said...

i'm queen bitch.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

You are the queen bitch I suppose....

5:29 PM  
Blogger Help People said...

amen.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

ha

10:17 PM  

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